The Most Important Difference. The key issue to evaluate in these kits is the narrowest part of the power brushes where the air flows. Air powered turbine brushes, such as the Turbocat have an opening size of around 5/8 inch. Compare this to the normal 1-1/4 inch opening of the electric brushes and it is easy to determine that less items and air can pass through the air powered brush. The air powered brush requires a narrow size in order to force air through to spin the turbine and roller brush. But a smaller opening doesn't mean an air driven brush is weak - it's amazing to consider the force required to stop a properly operating one. Also consider that everything vacuumed up in the air driven brush is sent through the turbine fan. Items such as paper clips and rocks can jam it or even damage it. Electric brushes, on the other hand, have a nonrestrictive air passage, so more objects are able to go through the brush while it delivers more air flow to the carpet. Quarters, popcorn and the like all go right through them.
How Carpet Dirt is Removed. There are at least three dynamics to remove embedded dirt from carpet. First you must open up the nap, or fibers, to expose the debris. Then you must have air flow to channel air from behind the object to include it in the air stream passing by the fiber. Lastly, you must have a bristle action to actually pull some objects from the carpet which are "clinging." Without all three forces, you will not clean adequately.
The Advantage. The electric powered brush is operated by an independent electric motor which makes it much quieter while providing consistent revolutions and cleaning. The Stealth takes it a step further with an incredible belt protection system, longer bearing life, superior edge cleaning, and top user satisfaction. Price is the last big difference between air driven and electric. Air driven brushes certianly cost less, but when considering carpet is one of the largest investments for homeowners, the up-front cost difference of an electric kit is easily justifiable considering the increased cleanability.