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I have been moaning about my vacuum cleaner for months- a two year old £30 Tesco basic cylinder thing that has virtually no suction whatsoever. I might as well get down on my hands and knees and lick the carpet clean for all the good it does. I saved up my Dooyoo vouchers to buy a Henry when my mother gave me her old Dyson, an ancient heavy thing that virtually yanked my shoulder out of its socket everytime I moved it. After another month of vacuuming woes(and quite a lot of moaning probably) my husband walked into the house with a large red box which I was delighted to see was a brand new vacuum cleaner. Usually retailing at £89.99 he had found this 2200 watt bagless cylinder cleaner for £44 in a sale and had decided to alleviate my misery (he does vacuum too, but not as often as me).
The Dirt Devil Bagless Cyclonic Cylinder is a smart, lightweight. modern-looking machine in shiny red and silver. I was immediately delighted to see that it had a greatly superior power than my last machine - 2200 watts compared to the pitiful 1600 watts mustered by the Tesco thing. The box and manual promise a faster and more efficient clean which is what I was after - although who would honestly want a slower and less efficient cleaner?!
After clicking the flexible hose into the hole on the front of the machine I added the telescopic pole. It all slides in easily but we found the pole catch very stiff and it took some brute force to pull out the tube- once released however it slid in and out with no further problems. The supplied accessory holder clips onto the end of the telescopic pole and the three small tools (crevice tool, furniture brush and upholstery nozzle) are attached to it. You get two main 'big tools' - a standard rectangular attachment and a pet hair turbo brush which has spinning brushes inside, activated by the suction of the vacuum.
The vacuum comes with spare filters which are HEPA filters and also impregnated with Microban which is a bit of a silly gimmick (we are not germ freaks in this house), but it was good to see these extra filters provided. You can rinse out these filters to clean them when necessary.
On the top of the vacuum bit are several buttons and dials which are all intuitive and easy to use. The dial in the middle controls the suction strength and the two black buttons on either side are the on/off button and a button to wind up the cable once you are finished. A small niggle here is that it is quite hard to see which is which and several times I have pressed a button with my foot to find I have simple wound up some of the cable instead of turning it off or vice versa. The buttons are quite plasticy and you do have to press quite hard to get it to work - especially the cable button which will leave you with three inches of cable and the plug hanging out of the machine if you don't press it correctly. When the box is full a red light comes on next to the silver button - its a large light but I often don't spot it if I have my head down concentrating on what I am doing or turn the machine off absentmindedly without looking at it.
The final button is a silver one which releases the dust box and enables you to lift it out to empty it. Like the telescopic tube catch it was initially very stiff indeed but loosened up after the first time. The whole process is incredibly easy, you simply press and lift the box out vertically, carry it to a bin bag before pressing the small red button on the side. The flap at the bottom opens and the dust falls straight into the bag - a massive improvement on the messy bags of our previous vacuum and the inconvenient and dusty method of our vacuum before that - where you had to upend the whole cylinder into the bin bag. One small niggle is that a large inner black piece inside the dust box bit also falls into the bin bag and I have to slot it back in every time I empty the box. Capacity of the box is 2.5 litres which is not very big and I had to empty it after two or three rooms, sooner if vacuuming a dustier or dirtier room. The handle sticks out quite a way and I naturally reach for this to carry the machine rather than the carrying handle, which lies flat to the body of the machine. The problem with this is that you can feel it putting strain on the box catches and I am slowly having to retrain myself to lift and use the proper carrying handle instead. After using the vacuum for just one week the plastic hinge on the dust box flap snapped, rendering the whole thing useless. The two plastic hinges are made of very thin easily snapped plastic and just came off with no way of refixing them-not even gaffa tape was an option given the shape and size of the hinges. Really badly designed and constructed.
We have a variety of floor surfaces in our house as it is in the process of being renovated completely so the vacuum gets quite a workout. Here is a quick rundown of how the vacuum performed on different surfaces.
*Bare Floorboards* - Dealt reasonably well with the uneven floor and sucked the dirt from the beams below. They felt cleaner afterwards but I had to use the smaller brush attachment on the places that were too uneven and hadn't been cleaned properly - 7/10
*Laminate* - Slower than on carpet and had a tendency to blow or knock a lot of the larger pieces out in front rather than picking them up. Felt nice and clean afterwards but on the whole prefer to use the broom and dustpan on these areas. 6/10
*Cheap Thin Carpet* - The suction was astonishing and it cleaned the carpet very quickly and even partly restored the trampled pile in places. After vacuuming the carpet felt noticeably softer and cleaner and I used the attachments to great effect with the corners and crevices. Changing the attachments was incredibly easy as they were located right at the end of the tube so I could just pull them off and attach in seconds. However the bulky attachment clip/attachments were rather inconvenient when I was cleaning between the slats of my daughter's bed and they all ended up scattered around the bed. Lots of little bits of Lego got sucked up but it was very easy to rescue them from the dust box when I emptied it. The pipe and the internal black thing got clogged with hair but they were very easy to declog and I was very happy that it had sucked so much of the hair off the carpet. I cleaned the rooms in record time and without any backache or strained muscles. I did try the turbobrush on these carpets to see if it restored the pile more effectively but although it whirred very excitedly the whirring didn't continue once it was applied to the carpet and it became very clogged with hair very quickly (although it does open up so you can clean it out quickly). As we don't have pets I suspect we won't be using this again 10/10 (2/10 for the turbobrush)
*Stairs*- The cleaner is just the right size to rest on our narrow, steep Edwardian steps and it felt very stable. The extra long cable meant I didn't have to plug it in an upstairs plug socket and could keep the cable behind me. The carpet on the stairs is very old thick pile carpet that has been down at least ten years but it came up very nicely with the vacuum although I did have to use one of the smaller attachments which made my hand ache after a while. 9/10
*Antique Rug* - We have a beautiful antique Persian rug down in our bedroom, very old and worn but much loved. The vacuum restored its beautiful soft velvety pile with no damage and seemed very gentle with low suction. All the hair, rice cake and general other child related detritus was quickly and easily cleaned away even with the low suction and I was very happy with the effect. 10/10
*DIY Detritus* -Sucked up sawdust and Polyfilla dust reasonably well, although needed several passes with the sawdust on the carpet. 08/10
*Lino*- See *Laminate*
I really like this vacuum cleaner even though I had my heart set on a Henry or a Miele. Its very light and powerful, extremely easy to use, declog and empty. My five year old finds this a doddle to use and my 14 month old is not terrified of it as he was of my old vacuum as it is much quieter. There are a few niggles with the cable wind up button and the turbo brush but the suction is terrific and the attachment clip is super and makes changing the attachments simple. HOWEVER and this is a BIG however the hinged flap on the dust box broke within a week meaning as soon as you lift out the dustbox it empties into the body of the machine, rendering the whole machine useless and it was returned for a refund immediately. Had this not been a problem I would have given the machine 5 stars, but as it is virtually useless with these dodgy hinges then it deserves just one star.
Short name: Dirt Devil DCC005