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16 Reviews
  • Reliability
  • Not very durable
  • Some of the plastic parts break easily
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    16 Reviews
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      19.01.2014 19:16
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      Improved from DC01, but just does not quite work....

      Item: Dyson DC03

      Anyone who has read Nightmare on Dyson Street will already know that this is my second Dyson Vacuum Cleaner and that I eventually stupidly bought a second one.

      The Design (skip this if you read my other review and start *)


      There was so much hype about the new wonderful all singing all dancing BAGLESS vacuum cleaner when these first came out. Yet, the bagless idea was not a new one, both my VAX and its predecessor an Aqua Vac were very good bagless machines.

      The main difference between my old bagless' and the Dyson was that the Dyson is an upright machine with a long reach wand to compensate for the mainly wheeled suction area.

      The main feature of all Dyson machines and originally the USP was that they feature Mr Dyson's "Dual Cyclone" technology, which is actually quite basic science: The suction of air created a centrifugal force that throws the particles of dust and dirt out of the airflow onto the wall of the container where gravity takes over and they then fall to the bottom. The vacuum cleaner uses several stages of cyclones and the dirt laden air enters a conical container, where it is made to flow in a tight spiral to remove dust and other particles from the air stream, eventually landing in the collection bin that you can see. If you look at the dirt filled chamber you will see that the dirt has been graded according to weight; that's the centrifugal force at work.

      *

      The DC03 has a second Unique attribute that is that it has two HEPA filters and looks like it belongs in the Tardis.

      The Boffins at Dyson Towers listened and this machine is both packed with features and lighter weight than the DC01. The DC03 also features a brush control system that automatically switches off the brushes when the machine is set in the upright position and allows the user to switch the brush bar off for use on delicate floor surfaces. Reversible wand for easier cleaning of hard to reach areas.
      Another worthy attribute is that the filters are lifetime washable filters rather than the previous expensive to replace throw away versions featured on my old DC01.

      In fact the list of improvements was what led me to try again with the British made Dyson:

      "Lifetime filters
      Reversible wand
      Lightweight and slim profile
      Brush control system
      Anti-jam brushbar
      Two HEPA filters
      Suction release valves
      Auto-adjusting head
      Blockage removal"

      In common with other upright Dyson's the DC03 hose and wand that is positioned at the back is easily disconnected via a click button to released from the body and is easy to use, the hose being super expandable and is designed to have a long reach, however I do think it was a little shorter than the DC01 version. The tools are easily attached and are strong and well made. The good thing though is when you park the main machine in the fully upright position to use the wand the brushes automatically cut out, so you don't have the roller brush gradually eating the edge of your rug whilst you clean around the light fittings.

      In Use:

      At first I was sceptical about the new Dyson, it was with mixed feelings that I agreed to buy a second Dyson machine following the string of disappointments with my first version. However the sales man talked the talk and here I was again with a new Dyson in my life.

      Immediately, I noticed that the power and suction were just not as good as the previous machine. I could only hope that this time I would not suffer with loss of suction as there was not much to begin with. The machine is slightly quieter too, certainly it has a different tone of motor noise to the DC01.
      Although lighter weight, I found the slightly bulkier machine harder to manoeuvre and the handle position uncomfortable. When I had owned the machine about two weeks I broke it, whilst using the wand attachment the main machine toppled over and caught the side of a table cracking one of the filter housings. This we patched up with duct tape. Mindful of the problems with the previous machine, I emptied the collection chamber whenever it was about half full to ensure maximum power. After about a month's use I noticed by the door that it was not sucking up the little bits of leaves and hay that tended to fall out of welly boots onto the mat, so I switched of the machine and expected to do battle with the U bend. I was surprised that it was not blocked, the collection chamber was only a quarter full and the bits were small and dry and should have sucked up easily. I removed the wand and sucked everything up easily with that part instead. I went through the DC03 and could not find out why the main part was not picking up correctly. I enquired at the shop we had bought it from and was told to bring it in. The chaps there took one look at my taped up machine and refused to cover it under warranty.

      I persevered a bit longer using the wand and tools, but when I moved house I sold the Dyson and bought a cheap Panasonic on offer in the Co Op once I had moved.

      The DC01 was a nightmare, the DC03 seemed again to promise so much, but it just did not quite deliver plus I found it kept falling over!

      I am so glad I obtained mine heavily discounted:

      New Price £349.99
      Sale Price £249.99
      Less Voucher £120.00
      Less Part ex old machine £25.00
      Cost to me £104.00

      Should have bought a Henry!

      Please, if you see a used DC03 and are tempted don't - walk away - please don't bother!

      One star.


      2014 Price and Availability:

      If you do want to buy one they seem to be on Amazon at just £29.99 these days! Also on eBay auctions and other outlets.

      Thanks for reading and Happy Vacuuming!

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      31.10.2011 18:14
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      A great value buy.

      I've had this hoover for absolutely ages, which must say something about its quality, and it's still going strong - I think it's about eight years old now, so it's not the most modern and up to date of vacuum cleaners, but it really does a good job and is good looking and reliable as well.
      -ooo- The Product -ooo-

      This product has a really eye catching design, and looks much more interesting than other vacuum cleaners - it is all in big, bright yellow and purple colours, which a see-through cylinder for the dust and dirt to collect in, so you can see when it's filling up. It has three different heads for the detachable arm - one with a brush, one that's wide and flat and one that's long and thin and good for getting into gaps. These heads clip onto the hoover when you're not using them, so they all stay together and don't get lost.

      The hoover has a long lead that loops around the back on two hooks and is easy to wind up and store away. It's very easy to take it apart or change over heads etc. as it's really well-designed. Although it looks a little dated now, and more modern models of this product have been brought out, it's still appealing and not as boring and ugly as other brands.

      -ooo- Would I Recommend? -ooo-

      Personally, I've never had any problems at all with this hoover - it's reliable, easy to use and does a great job. It feels a little like it's lost a bit of its suction power over the years, but is still effective. It's so easy to remove the dirt, as it's a bagless vacuum - you just snap open the middle and take it out and tip it in the bin, then put it back in empty. It takes seconds, and takes a lot of hassle away. I like the different heads, which make it easy to clean in hard to reach places or on different surfaces and find it's got good reach, with a long cable.

      Overall, I think this is a great hoover from a reliable brand who design really good machines. It does a great job and I'm going to keep using for as long as it works.

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        29.08.2009 21:42
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        Excellent performance at a price, though noise is a problem at times.

        I've had my DC03 for a few years now and it has proved reliable even through ingesting brick dust from some building work. You get what you pay for with Dysons - they are a bit more expensive than many vacuum cleaners, but you get good performance.

        One disadvantage of the Dyson mechanism is that it really is very noisy, and the noise is an unpleasant high-pitched whine as well as the usual racket from the motor that you get with any vacuum cleaner. The see-through dust holder is a great idea as you can see how full it is, though the capacity isn't huge.

        The one thing this machine doesn't handle well, though few uprights do, is long hair. It gets wound round the beater roller at the front and slowly covers it up, rendering it ineffective.

        The first you get to know about this is when the machine doesn't really pick up some of the small objects it used to. That's the time to turn it over, release the three clamps that hold the beater cylinder at the front and carefully take the beater roller out, taking care not to damage the drive belt. The way I use to get rid of the hair is slice through it all with a Stanley knife, and then pick it off in a mat and throw it away.

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          02.07.2009 12:45
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          Every other manufacturer now copies Dyson so it must be good!

          I think the suction power of Dyson vacuum cleaners has rather gone down in history, certainly everyone else now seems to be copying their design, so there must be something in it!

          After living in a static caravan on a beach for two summers I can say that the DC03 is great. It sucks up the inevitable sand, and copes fine with the lino and carpet. Animal and human hair is not a problem too, although long hair as with all beater bars does get tangled up, so you have to attack it with some scisors!

          If you do suffer a break down at all then parts are easy to come by, and these machines are easy to repair too.

          Make sure you clean the filters as instructed and you won't have problems with it blocking up or loosing suction.

          The cartridge for holding all your filth is rather small in this model, but it does mean it is ver light and easy to use, and it als fits under chairs and beds very easily.

          Lastly, in my static caravan the power supply was restricted to about 3amps, this meant no electric kettle, radiators, toaster, and most vacuum cleaners that are generally around 2000watts. This Dyson however worked fine at only 1400watts, but sucking better than it's more powerful rivals.

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            18.08.2008 21:49
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            I'd buy another Dyson!

            We've had this Dyson for about 4/5 years and it is only recently showing any signs of wear. The suction power is extremely good, this combined with the rotating brushes prove to be really effective carpet cleaners.

            The problem I've had most recently has been with the detachable suction tube where the plastic has split slightly. When the tube is fully extended the suction is slightly compromised but due to the overall suction power, this doesn't really effect it that much.

            The detachable hose stretches all the way up our stairs, which makes cleaning easy. The hoover comes with 3/4 tools which make cleaning curtains easy and a nozzle for picking up bits on hard surfaces.

            The hoover is reasonably light weight which makes it easy to put away and manouveur round the house.

            Overall I've been really pleased with this hooverand when this model finally gives up we'll definitely be getting another Dyson.

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              29.11.2006 08:59

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              waste off money but looks good

              After changing bag after bag on my old hoover, I thought its time to get in with the times. This is the reason I opted for the Dyson DC03. It's a mean looking machine, but very stylish and innovative. The handle on this Dyson can be separated from the main body to use as the 'hose and wand'. When separated, all the power goes into the hose and wand until you fix it back to the main body, which then all. only if the kirby hover were on sale an at a reasonable price

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              23.09.2003 02:31
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              • "Not very durable"

              Well we have the DC03 and for the first few months it was great! The suction was wonderful, it looked good and it's nice and light. Now 3 years down the line it's a big disappointment. The suction is just about bearable, it looks awful but thankfully it's still nice and light! It might be the amount of dust we have in the house, as there have been various building projects going on which produce loads of dust and unfortunately it just can't keep up. I seem to have to clean the filter about once every 2 weeks which is very inconvienient Getting the filter out and in is also very difficult and it's amazing I haven't broken it trying to wiggle it back in place. Also the clip to empty the "dust bag" is also very awquard to undo and I always end up with a sore thumb. The poor thing doesn't look good any more with the number of broken pieces on it. It may just be me but it seems that now-a-days things just aren't made to last. Handle covers have fallen off, and bits of plastic have snapped off...and this is just from normal family handling, I'm not one to throw it around the room! We brought this dyson because of the claim that it will help asthmatics because of the filter. That's all well and good except for the fact that it seems to affect the suction which doesn't help us as half the dust is left behind! Personally I wouldn't recommend this to anyone now we've had it a while, and when we can afford to buy another vaccum I'll be very wary of purchasing another Dyson. This was supposed to be one of our big purchases when we brought our new house firstly for the lightness as we had three floors and I'll for that I give it the thumbs up...but for everything else, I'm sorry it gets a big thumbs down.

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                26.02.2003 01:55
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                Vacuums in our house last only slightly longer than “Hearsay”. We have had a “Panasonic”, a ”Hoover”, at least two “Dirt Devils” and a “Goblin” (I do mean a Goblin vacuum, and not Marandina’s alter ego). All of them have fallen by the wayside in less time than it takes a page on Dooyoo to open, if it’s not hoses coming apart, it’s motors burning out, bags bursting, dog hairs clogging the intake or it’s kids using them as playthings and then denying all knowledge of how the handle came off! Recently, after the demise of our last vacuum, (A Hoover upright) I took to using one I borrowed from the school I work in, it was an ok vacuum by all accounts but more suited to hard floor surfaces than carpets. My good friend Helmet had recently acquired a Dyson DC03 and had even given me a demonstration of its capabilities when I last visited his hovel. I was fairly impressed at its cleaning power but was more impressed at the filtration system (Hepa filter, whatever that means). Both my wife and I, and my oldest son suffer from Asthma, so I immediately became interested in the Dyson. A week later and my wife finally managed to loosen my vice-like grip on my wallet and extracted £230 to purchase our very own Dyson, (A happy day for Alison-aka-Monica, a sad time for my finances). Alison has recently been quite ill and has been left with a weakness on her left side, the DC03 weighs less than 7kg and glides easily over carpets and laminates alike, just the thing for my wife to use without tiring herself out too much. My kids are fascinated by the see through dust-pan-collector-thingy, it makes a kind of time line of dirt, you can see each layer forming as you go from room to room and to be honest it has made Ali a bit paranoid thinking of the amount of dirt hidden in the shag pile. The tools sit nicely on top of the filter unit and the
                w and-come-hose-thingy slides easily into the handle assembly. The hose is plenty long enough for Ali to vacuum up the crumbs and remote controls from under the cushions on the settee and for getting into the hard to reach areas like the corner behind the telly and the valance rail above the windows. Luckily we live in a bungalow so there are no stairs for her to handle, I don’t know how the DC03 would perform if you had to vacuum a couple of flights of carpeted stairs, with the hose coming out of the handle I imagine it would be quite easy to topple the Dyson over once you were only half way up. I have been told that the older DC03 models have filters that only have a six month life span, our filters are washable which should save a bit of cash in the long run. All in all I am very pleased with the DC03, it remains to be seen if it lasts the year out but at £230 it had better! Or it will be back to a dust-pan and broom! The Dyson is available through most of the major high street electrical retailers (Comet,Curries etc) or you can get one online from any number of companies (do a google search, there’s loads of them).

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                  25.11.2001 04:01
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                  After changing bag after bag on my old hoover, I thought its time to get in with the times. This is the reason I opted for the Dyson DC03. It's a mean looking machine, but very stylish and innovative. The handle on this Dyson can be separated from the main body to use as the 'hose and wand'. When separated, all the power goes into the hose and wand until you fix it back to the main body, which then all the power is directed to the brushes. Attached to the top of the left hand side cylinder there are the crevice tool, stair tool and brush tool. These can be fixed to the hose and wand with ease and simplicity to reach those hard to get places. Situated on the right hand side cylinder are TWO (yes two!) lifetime HEPA filters. These filters filter the air going through them, killing bacteria at the same time. No other hoover has this feature! As long as the hoover is used to the recommended usage, the filters will not have to be replaced. In a bag hoover, it is the bag that stops the airflow. There is no bag in the Dyson (a Dual Cyclone system takes its place) therefore the hoover maintains maximum suction all of the time. The Dual Cyclone wall is clear so if you wanted to, you could watch the muck from your carpet swirl around all day :-/ The Dyson comes with a self adjusting head meaning when you move onto a carpet or rug of a different thickness, the hoover will automatically adjust to a different setting. Blockages are never a problem with this hoover. If there happens to be an object blocking the brush, the brush will stop and make an awful rattling sound. There is an openable window on the front of the hoover allowing you to stick something in to remove the obstacle. For those out there with carpets that need delicate cleaning, there is a brush control switch allowing you to switch the brush off. The Dyson DC03 is a very strong hoover, being made from some of the strongest plastics
                  available, but also lightweight which surprised me. I recommend this hoover to anyone with a(insert wife joke here) problem with dust allergies as the HEPA filters reduce the dust floating around greatly. I'd say this is the best hoover out on the market at the moment. A great product from Dyson.

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                    24.07.2001 05:51
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                    I have had two Dysons now and would buy another tomorrow if I had to. The first was an earlier model and I didn't take out the extended guarantee so when it died I just had to buy another. What really impresses me is the amount of dirt it sucks up even if you think your carpet is pretty clean (although you need to watch out if your carpet isn't fitted or has loose strands-you could end up with a rug instead) As my kids suffer from asthma I have to hoover their bedrooms daily and as the tools are attached it is easy to just give the beds a quick going over at the same too. The only problem I had was when it broke down and I had to ring customer services. I was told there would be a 10 day wait for a repairman and when I complained, pointing out that my kids had asthma and would be ill if I didn't vacuum daily, the woman was very rude and unsympathetic. I did write to dyson to complain about her but never heard anything so I am not impressed with that department. The repairman who came out however was brilliant and even fixed a slight fault I had not reported. He also explained that the delay had been because of the launch of the dyson washing machine and it shouldn't be so bad in the future. I don't know why the consumer service woman couldn't tell me that. I find the dyson excellent for the car as well. Those little hoovers made for this purpose often don't have the power needed but the dyson's power and integral tools make car cleaning and other awkward jobs a doddle. The dust box is very easy to empty and although the filters need regular replacement there is a distinct difference when they are changed. The dust box can be washed in warm soapy water and the repairman told me they were bringing out a washable filter which would save money. I also like the the fact that you can hang this model on the wall to keep it out of the way. The product itself is wonderful but customer services leave a lot to b
                    e desired.

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                      15.05.2001 19:10
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                      • "Some of the plastic parts break easily"

                      I've had a DC03 for over two years now. In our house any vacuum has a hard job - it's a country area and we have two large dogs, one of whom regards shedding hair as her vocation in life. (How do they get in the oven? The hair, that is, not the dogs!) The DC03 is quite heavy, although not as heavy as some of the other Dyson models, and any upright cleaner with built-in hose and tools is likely to be heavy. It's got a good long flex and I can vacuum on each floor of the house without having to move the plug. The first time you use it you wonder what filth you've been living in, as the cylinder fills very quickly. My carpets took on a new lease of life, which was a bit of a pity as I'd just about convinced my husband that some of them needed replacing! The are two HEPA (a fancy way of saying "very effective") filters. One of these is permanent and you can forget about it, but the other needs some attention. Older models, like mine, need to have the filter replaced at least once a year at a cost of £20 a time, but you can now buy, for £25, a filter which you can wash. It's quite a saving in the long run, but you do have to remember to wash them at least every six months. How effective is the filtering system? Very! Have you ever vacuumed on a sunny day and then seen dust motes in the air afterwards? Well, that's a thing of the past. One of our dogs suffers from House Dust Mite Allergy, and at 45kg that's a lot of dog to be feeling upset because she's got itchy skin! Every time I vacuumed she was inhaling those dust motes I was talking about. I was keeping my Vet in holidays with all the tests and treatments I was paying for. After Dyson the problem has virtually disappeared, and so have the Vet's holidays. He asked me how I'd done it, as one of his dogs has the same problem - and now he has a DC03! I didn't even charge him for the consultation, which is a bit of a pity, as h
                      e's not so generous! Snags? Well, yes, there are some. 1. Poor balance. I discovered this when I was using the hose on the stairs, with the DC03 at the top. It was greatly attracted to me, and we ended up having a sudden and passionate embrace in the middle of the stairs. Always leave the cleaner sideways on to any drop, particularly if you're underneath it! 2. Stand upwind of the dustbin when you're emptying the cylinder unless you're planning on changing your clothes and having a shower. 3.Some of the plastic parts break easily. The Dyson Helpline were excellent at sending replacements free of charge in the two-year guarantee period. If you get the man who tells you, very kindly, that your husband should have no problems in fitting the parts, don't try and explain the error of this ways - it only upsets him.

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                        02.10.2000 23:32
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                        This is an upright vacuum cleaner with impressive capabilities. 'Ugh!' will be your reaction upon first usage - not because it is a bad cleaner, but simply because it is so good. You will see all manner of dust, dirt and general household filth flying around in the transparent plastic dust collector which has not been collected by your previous vacuum cleaner. I was pleased to see that the Dyson range of cleaners lived up to their reputation(hype) in this respect. They claim that the use of a dust collector, such as this has, will save you money because you do not have to buy bags anymore as with other cleaners. This is true, but emptying out this compartment can be a messy business - you are likely to end up covered in the contents of your floor the first couple of times you try to ever so gently tease the contents into your dustbin. After you get used to it though you can minimise dust escapage(is that a word..lol) although not completely eradicate the problem. Sadly though this doesn't actually save you money as you end up buying filters every 3 months or so which at a cost of around £10 a set can work out as expensive, if not more so, as buying bags. The Dyson DC-03 comes with a very long lead and hose which has the added bonus of being able to reach most areas of your home without too much plug swapping. However, the vacuum itself does not get right up to the edges which is a disappointment and requires you to use the tool attachments around all the edges. There are three accessories provided as standard. One for cleaning edges and small spaces, one for upholstery and curtains and a circular brush attachment. These can all be connected to the end of the hose, either as a long attachment, or a shorter one by removing the handle section(simply a click and pull job). The upholstery attachment also doubles up as a stair cleaner as the DC-03 does not provide an attachment for performing this task - but it does the job adequatel
                        y. The cleaner feels robust and should last the test of time, however it does feel rather heavy and cumbersome. As a result it is perhaps not suited to either the elderly or infirm - or to those who do not wish to push a heavy vacuum cleaner about the house and who could blame them. Overall I was impressed with the performance of the DC-03. Its cleaning power is indisputable but the problems lie elsewhere. Its price is way more than others of a similar class and the need to be replacing the filters so often makes it an ongoing expense. Furthermore, the lack of a stair cleaning attachment and that it doesn't reach right to the edges again does not justify the price. Perhaps look at some of the other models of Dyson, Hoover and Miele before deciding on this vacuum cleaner. They would appear to do the same job but are much cheaper and have some better attachments.

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                          06.09.2000 23:02

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                          I used to own a electrolux floor pull vacuum cleaner. I must admit that one was very powerful to the point where it was sucking carpet as well as dust. However being six foot tall and supplied with a relativly short pipe caused terrible back pain after cleaning the whole house. I was glad when it finally packed in. Not settling for a cheap or a floor pull one, I was recommened the new DC-03E by the sales man at comet. It comes with life-time filters true HEPA and MEMA filtration. Aparently the filters are washable. The first time i tried it I was astounded by the amount of dirt it picked up. Personally I quite like the see through case. It is easy to see when it is time to empty the plastic case. Although the Vacuum is good, the dowside it being the price, which was £320. Even though I paid i'm sure it really doesn`t cost that much to make. I feel I have paid largely for the name and not the cleaning tool. In six months it will probabily be down to £150 in the sales. the vacuum comes with lots of useful accessories which are needed as the vacuum doesn`t clean to the edge of the carpet. However where it does clean it cleans well.

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                          26.07.2000 03:21
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                          My vacuum was a Vax which although a pig to use did a seriously good job of sucking up the dirt. I'd empty the bag and see finer particles of dust that my previous cleaner had missed. When the vax conked out there was no way I was getting an ordinary cleaner to replace it . The Dyson seemed the one to buy so I bought the DC03. It is a good British machine that out sucks my old Vax but it has it's faults. It's easy to empty but hard not to end up covered in the previously mentioned fine dust. It doesn't clean right up to the edge. A not too cheap filter has to be changed once a year. There are a lot of models and I'm not sure that the more expensive is the best. I'm not sure it's a good idea to be able to see the dirt in the cylinder. During a sheet change I hoovered the bed and seeing the debris that came out of it made me itch for ages.

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                          18.07.2000 21:29
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                          Ok....here goes...Dyson now have approximately 20, yes read it, 20 different models available....from their original DC01 upright to the cylinder DC05. If you go into Currys or one of the other large 'sheds' you will see the entire range. Most consumers I would imagine would be baffled about them. Don't you think it is time that they shortened their range? They have just 'revamped' the DC03 giving it more features. They call this model the 'rolls-Royce' of their range and comes in at around £300!!! £300 for a vacuum cleaner? I paid less for my first car! One of their other models is due to be released soon at a staggering £319.99...equivalent models from Sebo or Miele are 70 to 80 pounds less at around £239 and are much better machines and will last longer and especially the Sebo has true HEPA filtration (good for Asthmatics) and recommended by the British Allergy Foundation. I think it will not be long before the British Public wise up to Dyson's marketing ploy of driving the price higher and higher!!!!!

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