You probably won’t spend a lot of time wondering, “How does a vacuum cleaner work?” until it stops working. We’ve all been frustrated with our vacuums, but current models have come a long way since this device’s early days. Hand and cylinder vacuum cleaners are lighter, more maneuverable, and have more suction power. than ever before. In the past, when you wanted to clean your hardwood floors, you grabbed your broom and dustpan, not your vacuum.