I guess it seems a little odd to be reviewing a vacuum cleaner here, but this is a very special vacuum cleaner. I first heard of the Dyson vacuum when talking to some graphic designers. They used it as an example of the design process. I looked into it because I was curious, but couldn’t picture myself spending $400 on a vacuum.
A few months later we had acquired some gift certificates for amazon.com. I was looking around and came across the Dyson vacuum on their site. I found that they had refurbished units for $279. The reviews for the refurbished units were favorable. $279 seemed like a much more reasonable price so after some deliberation we went ahead and ordered it.
When the box got her I opened it up and followed the instructions to assemble it. The handle actually fits inside of the hose, so it seemed odd at first, but it keeps the hose tucked neatly up against the vacuum unlike most units.
Most of the vacuum design makes sense. There isn’t a bag because the vacuum relies on centrifugal force to keep the dirt from going back through the unit. Because of this it keeps a very strong suction instead of getting gradually less and less as a paper filter fills with dirt. There is a paper filter deep inside the unit that you are supposed to wash every 6 months. It doesn’t seem to show any dirt and I believe it is a HEPA filter to microscopic particles out of the air that are small enough they will stay in the air flow instead of being thrown to the sides of the canister.
Some of the way things open up on the vacuum are odd at first but the seem to work well. You don’t need a screwdriver to get to most of the areas that you might need to service, but the seals seem to be designed in a way that keep it from losing suction. The vacuum doesn’t have a light which bothers some people. When you put it in the upright position it stops spinning the beater bar and redirects the suction to pull air from the top of the unit instead of the bottom. This is very convenient if you happen to suck up something by mistake because just raising the handle keeps it from doing any further damage.
The way that the hose is held in place is a little awkward if you like to switch back and forth between the hose and the vacuum. You must take the handle off the unit where it holds the hose in place. Then you hook the handle on to the end of the hose which gives you a 3 foot “wand” to vacuum with. This takes 15 to 20 seconds, so generally you’ll want to do your regular vacuuming and then come back and use the hose in the hard to reach areas.
When I started vacuuming the first thing that I noticed was the fact that you could see all the dirt in the canister. We had another vacuum with a clear canister, but the fine pieces of dirt and dust would get caught in the filter where you couldn’t see them. With the Dyson you end up with what looks like sand around the edge of the canister. The suction is very powerful. I’ve seen pieces of dirt get sucked in from 12 inches away just because I was vacuuming near them.
I was amazed at how much it pulled out of the floor. I found that I could go over a section 15 times and still get dirt out of it. It probably took 6 times of vacuuming before we didn’t have to empty the canister every few minutes. My wife noticed a difference when she sits on the floor because her allergies don’t bother her any more.
All in all we are very happy with the vacuum. It is very powerful and the bagless filter works as advertised. With the refurbished prices from Amazon, it was a very reasonable price considering how much cleaner our house is now.