Product Type: Dyson vacuums
Newest Review: ... features* Despite my grizzles about the cleaner's bulkiness, I am really impressed with this Dyson which is why we have kept it so long.... more
Member Name: Nar2
Date: 02/01/07, updated on 03/01/07 (5028 review reads)
Advantages: Powerful suction, great tools, washable lifetime filters
Disadvantages: Noisy, bulky, useless under low furniture, dirty bin emptying, drive belt irreplaceable on yellow 04
The Yellow and Grey model as pictured here on Dooyoo is the same Brush Control model as I have used.
** Nar's Quick Skip Product Spec **
Life time HEPA washable motor filter
Life time MEMA washable top filter
Price: £179-99 brand new from Comet. Price now; lower than £135-00.
1200 watts of fixed power, 230 air watts suction; Noisy.
Extendable stair cleaning hose.
3 three cleaning tools; crevice tool, brush tool and upholstery tool.
7 metres of power cord.
Permanently fitted drive belt.
Self adjusting head
8.1 kg weight.
Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Dyson vacuum cleaners but having been through 3 of their first models, I don't take kindly to the design they put into the cleaners despite the 100% suction all the time principle, although for most consumers and Dyson owners that's all that seems to matter. ** This is a long review and appears in parts elsewhere such as Ciao **
** In Use **
Firstly the primary aspect which strikes me of the DC04 model is just how big it is compared to my original DC01 let alone my cherished Sebo X1 Automatic upright. The DC04 reminds me very much of an old Hoover Commercial upright I used to have to push when I first started for the cleaning company and I didn't like it one bit. Although the Dyson is not as heavy as the 14kg Hoover commercial (it was mostly all metal apart from the thick soft bag) it certainly isn't light at 8.1kg and I found it a struggle to lift up stairs for cleaning to commence in other rooms in some of the 2 up 2 down houses I was required and assigned to clean not helped by the large carry handle on top of the dust bin on the Dyson which means your legs get a good bruising because the floor head is against your legs as you carry the thing up the stairs. Try it the other way and you need to watch you don't hit your shoulder off the handle which can get annoying after a time.
Indeed over the Sebo X1 which looks old fashioned against the Lego look of the DC04, the 7 metre cord wrap was easy enough to dislodge even though wrapping it up afterwards is a chore in itself; having to bend down all the way near the bottom by the air inspection tube reveals a workout in itself. With my Sebo it's so much easier since the bottom hook is located at the rear in the middle as opposed to all the way down at the bottom of the Dyson.
Once the cord is plugged in, helped along somewhat by the original grey silver cord and Dyson marked plug (nice design that), its time to switch on! I didn't have any problem putting the Dyson on as the power button is located near the handle with a huge yellow switch which defies logic. What I wasn't expecting was the noise of this upright as it made me stand back a little when I pushed the button down.
One aspect I've never managed to work out is why Dyson have a stupid vented catch at the end of the handle which allows your hand to get a good sucking action when trying to push and pull the model across a floor. Yes I know it's for extra tools which can be fastened onto the top whenever the handle is pulled out to release and extend the long creaky rubber hose, but it makes no sense to fit a catch on it when used as a normal upright.
And by the time I had used it across the floor, I realised why I miss my old Dyson uprights; they do adjust to the floor easily with the self adjusting head (a yellow visor type thing located at the end of the main floor head) but the DC04 prevents you from stooping over when cleaning carpets. The only downside to this is that DC04 feels very heavy ploughing through carpets, no doubt a design aspect which Dyson himself has tried to improve by putting the biggest set of rear wheels I've ever seen on an upright cleaner. It is good that they have been coated in rubber as this means they wont do damage to hard flooring. What is not good is the fact that this model cannot get under low furniture. I had to lift coffee tables out of the way to get under furniture where my old Sebo would have done it without additionally moving anything out of the way. In terms of gliding aspects though, Sebo is better than Dyson here.
Which brings me onto the next feature of this DC04 model; unlike the green model, the yellow and grey model features a big yellow circular stub located on the left hand side of the model by the floor head. This is the "Brush Control" dial and after putting the cleaner into the upright position you then have the choice to turn the Dyson's spinning brush off or on according to the floor type you are cleaning. In one of the houses I was cleaning I didn't have to do much flicking although it became a bit of a pain having to continually bend down and turn the thing off whenever laminate flooring was close by.
And of course the suction which this model provides is excellent. Even when I finished up cleaning three rooms out of four, the bin was still bursting with dirt and the DC04 just kept working with 100% suction felt at the end of the hose. In some ways of course bear in mind that the DC04 uses the older Dual Cyclone technology here against Dyson's Root 8 cyclones, but despite the older use I was still delighted that I could keep vacuuming without worry of emptying the canister. In some respects as a bagged upright fan, worrying about a bag which gets too full is never a worry and the fact that the bin is clear may well interest you for the swirly whirly action of dust spinning but it also plays a trick on you eventually worrying that at some point the Dyson will have to be emptied!
** Using the Hose **
Against what I'm used to, I find taking the handle hose out of the Dyson easy enough but the DC04 topples over crashing to the rear on the floor if all the hose is pulled roughly and in this respect it is no better than my Sebo. However there is more length to the Dyson hose which in my opinion is excellent as you can do just about anything with it in terms of cleaning standard homes with a low or middle to high ceiling without worrying of how long the hose will stretch. It is also an excellent design in terms of the actual substance of the hose; soft and rubbery which is totally see through which prevents at least noticeable clogging if it occurs. The only downside to any see through acrylic hose is that it does get dirty during use and eventually a dark grey colour of the dust stuck between the ribs of the hose stay there unless you wash the entire hose out. The handle is the same handle you will use when the Dyson is in the upright position but I dont like the feeling of the ribbed handle as it reminds me Lego in a way although the design is easy to use as a pull mechanism thanks to its looped design.
** Smaller cleaning tools **
There are three tools to use and choose; the crevice tools is hidden just beside the main hose near the spindle of the Dyson at the back and I found it was the cheapest out of the three supplied. I have to admit that I actually cracked the mouth of the crevice tool as it has small fins of plastic. The upholstery brush has twin lint pickers on either side and is very useful for removing dust whilst the other tool has a similar action - in short much better made than the crevice tool would suggest in terms of plastic glittery cosmetic quality. At least fixing any of the small tools onto the end of the handle has proved to be no problem at all, but no less fast than any of the tools on my Sebo.
** Emptying the Dust **
And here is the reason I don't like bagless cyclonic uprights. In the defence of my Panasonic Twin Bin upright, whenever the bin comes apart, you can take out the filters with minimal dust hanging off it before taking the twin bin to a bin and emptying. I was very much hoping that the DC04 had the bottom release trapdoor to avoid getting covered in dust, but oh no what a pity that it uses a similar shroud design to my old DC01.
This means effectively that when the bin is released from the top, the shroud part has to be clipped off, twists to unlock and then reveals the huge yellow pointed cylinder which in my case had tons of dirt falling off it. The bin itself is a huge item, 4 litres of dust may well be able to fill the maximum that the capacity allows, but even before I got to the disposal bin bag, the front of my shirt was covered in dust due to the top cylinder shroud!! Not happy! I looked as if in short, a small bag of flour had exploded in front of me. Well you know what I'm going to say about my Sebo here - paper bags here are so much better!!
** Filtration **
One of the aspects which is excellent on the DC04 is the filtration standard. Like Numatic with their Henry model, Dyson prefers to use his own acronym terms when it comes to HEPA (High efficiency particulate air) standard filters. The top filter above the bin can be additionally clipped off to reveal a filter called MEMA. In effect although it is a huge cylindrical filter it has been fitted with lifetime needs put in place and shouldn't really need washing but it does have the facility to be washed, as does the similarly huge pre motor filter located underneath the bin which can be unscrewed and lifted off. In both instances I found the filter designs an excellent thought and the air from the Dyson did indeed smell fresh and clean despite using the DC04 to brush the carpets clean of hair and dog hair from the owners. Both filters if washed have to be allowed to air room dry rather than any other means, so it is handy if you have a spare set which is an optional cost option.
** Clearing Blockages **
Sadly it is a disappointment to find that for all that Dyson has engineered what looks like a good upright cleaner, the blockages on the Dyson proved to be problematic. Firstly I had to pull of the air inspection tube which was fitted with a cheap yellow lock catch that eventually came off in my hand before I had to do another section called the "air inspection air way" at the sides of the Dyson. Inspecting both was easy but installing them back in took time and patience. Although the whole tube can be taken off, you need to take out the handle again, release and unlock the acrylic tube off the handle, unlock the hose and then inspect that. What a fuss and bother. Then tip over the floor head, push down the self adjusting floor head and then check the main dirt channel. With Sebo there are only three things you need to check and on this Dyson it is a test of your patience never mind your time limit!
** The Drive Belt **
The DC04 Brush Control model has a permanently fitted drive belt, although it is visible from the brush roller that is made of rubber and sits locked into position. When I returned to the job three days later I was informed that the Dyson DC04 BC model was not working and I would be given a normal DC04 instead. Strangely enough in use my Dyson had started making a rattling noise at times, as if something had been caught up it but I was reassured that if this happened to stop using the brush roll and clear up dust using the back of the hose and put the dial at the front back into the no brush spin mode.
In short, what I was using was a Dyson DC04 which had an inactive clutch from the spinning brush. I thought that this could easily be replaced but have since been told that the Brush Control model cannot have its drive belt replaced by the owner and indeed on reflection at looking at Dyson's manual for this model, there are no diagrams or help offered for drive belt problems. A call out charge of £55 would have to be made however from Dyson themselves for the part to be replaced. Reply from the cleaning company can't be offered here as it consists of two many expletives and my final sub contract was left cleaning with a normal lime green and grey DC04 without the silly brush control knob.
** Conclusion **
If you must buy a Dyson DC04 buy the model which doesn't feature the brush control device. Why? Because it is irreplaceable if there's a problem and it will have to be repaired by a Dyson engineer. Another factor which is evident on the DC04 is a lack of beater brush bars and that the bristles are quite soft feeling without being too harsh - in this sense I feel it can still clean laminate flooring even if the brush is moving. In any eventuality the model's floor head comes up whenever the handle is put back into the upright position.
As for general cleaning and efficiency the DC04 proved to do its job well, but it apes other uprights in my experience on size and weight and proved too bulky at times against other uprights I have used which are smaller and more compact. Efficient as it is at cleaning with its excellent suction, the DC04 does have a few weaknesses such as the messy bin emptying, heavy weight and ploughing factor against my feather light Sebo. The Brush control model is a good idea but in reality if the drive belt can't be replaced and an engineer has to be called out when it eventually goes, how can Dyson state that his cleaners have no lifetime costs then? Thanks for reading. ©Nar07/©Nar2 07
How to wash your filters can be viewed on the website found at:
Summary: Great suction as a carpet upright cleaner but small details let it down.
|Ease of use:|
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