When my husband and I first moved in together, family and friends were very generous and offered us various bits and pieces to help furnish our new home and kit us out for domestic duties. One of these offerings was a used Hoover vacuum cleaner. Now dont get me wrong, it was really useful and much appreciated but soon turned into a nuisance. After 5 years I was fed up of the damn thing switching itself off after 10 minutes use, and tired of sticking the hose back on with sellotape. Id had enough....I wanted a Dyson!
My parents kindly asked if we would like one as our Christmas gift in 2005 so I jumped at the chance. We were allowed to choose which model we preferred and because we have a dog, we decided on the DC08 Telescope Wrap Animal which is a cylinder vac. This is basically the same as the DC08 Telescope Wrap CarpetPro and Allergy but with the added benefits of specific pet hair removal. It sounded perfect!
On Christmas morning I couldnt wait to get my little animal out of its box! I was a bit daunted when I first peeled back the black cardboard as the Dyson was in pieces. It isnt as bad as it sounds though...its not a flat pack vacuum cleaner! The provided instruction booklet is clear and emphasised with diagrams so I found it simple to follow. All the parts click easily into place and I think the whole process took me about 10 minutes in total.
APPEARANCE AND SIZE...
Once the machine is fully assembled and ready to go its actually quite stylish to look at. This particular model is silvery grey with a purple accent colour. Its typical Dyson really - modern and quite funky looking!
Its really compact too which is a huge benefit for us as we dont have much storage space in our little house. Overall dimensions are approximately 430mm x 292mm x 344mm
This DC08 is classed as a Telescope Wrap model. This means that the flexible hose literally wraps around the unit (twice) and clips in place for easy carrying and neat and tidy storage. The telescope part refers to the solid wand that you hold onto whilst cleaning. To help retain compactness this end tube extends to its maximum length to create an 11 metre cleaning radius, but can be adjusted and released in stages to suit the height of the user. This is done with a simple catch mechanism and when finished, it reduces back to its trim storage position.
The DC08 comes with a selection of tools. The main airflow driven turbine head is quite large but proves to be extremely versatile. It can be used on all types of floor as the brushbar turns off for use on delicate surfaces. We have a variety of floor types in our home (carpet, laminate, real wood) and the head is great everywhere. Ive found that it works with best effect if you move the head over the floor surface quite slowly. This way you only need to go over an area once. Try to do it too fast and it doesnt have chance to pick bits up effectively and you have to go over it again. More haste, less speed!
The bristles of the turbine head do have a tendency to clog with hair and fluff which gets entwined but the unit does come apart easily to be cleared of the collected debris.
This model also has a mini turbine head included as an extra feature which is for use in smaller areas. With its slightly tougher bristles it is designed to quickly and effectively pick up pet hairs in confined spaces (such as upholstery) and is the reason why this cylinder vac gains the Animal title.
Basic accessories that come with the vac are stair tool, brush tool and crevice tool. These fix directly to the end of the wand or hose when being used for their specific cleaning tasks. They have their own handy, removable holster which attaches to the flexible tube or the back of the machine for convenient on board storage.
DYSON ROOT 12 CYCLONE TECHNOLOGY...
Dyson are well known for utilising the most advanced cyclone technology which doesnt clog the machine. In simple terms...
The air spins at high speed in the cylinder, throwing dust and dirt out of the airflow. This is then collected in the bin, not on the filters or in bags. Microscopic particles are therefore captured and this latest technology means that even higher and constant suction power is retained - resulting in more dirt being picked up.
The DC08 has no running costs (apart from electricity of course!) as there are no bags to buy. It is a completely bagless unit.
The vac relies on washable HEPA filters which are designed to last a life time. To maintain their power, Dyson recommend that these circular pieces of foam have to be washed with clean running water approximately every 6 months. Instructions provided are clear though and its a very easy process. The worst part is waiting for them to dry out naturally afterwards!
These effective filters work along with a Bactisafe screen which apparently kills bacteria on contact. These factors have gained the DC08 Telescope Wrap Animal approval from the British Allergy Foundation which aims to improve awareness, prevention and treatment of allergies. In terms of effectiveness, I must admit I cant really confirm if it does its job as we have no allergy sufferers in our home. I cant imagine that it would have gained the approval easily though and can only assume that it deserves the credit it gets.
Some other features which are briefly worth mentioning are:
Rubber wheels - Protective, overmoulded tyres are kinder to delicate floors.
Suction release trigger - Offers variable, reduced suction for use on lighter items such as curtains. It basically stops them being sucked up or ripped off the pole!
Wand handle - For comfort during use. The addition of the grip handle (which is engineered to rotate) takes the pressure off your wrist as you clean.
Dysons dont come cheap unfortunately but I would like to think that you are paying for the quality that you seem to be getting. At the time of purchase my vac was around the £300 mark but prices have dropped since the release of newer Dyson models and styles. At the moment, the DC08 Telescope Wrap Animal ranges from approximately £230 - £280. As with any electrical goods its best to shop around on the web. Tesco.com are currently the cheapest selling this particular model for £230 in their sale.
All Dysons now come with a 5 year guarantee (which can usually be extended at the time of purchase, if required) and customer service is great. I havent had any problems with my machine but a friend at work did have to call out an engineer and was dealt with efficiently. Dyson offer a fast service and will come out to your home to solve the problem...or even your workplace if its more convenient for you!
A helpline is also available (08705 275104) for any queries you may have regarding all things Dyson.
The modular design of the DC08 unit means that if any part was to break, replacements can be bought on the Dyson website (dyson.co.uk) or over the phone, using the above phone number. Extra accessories are also available as many are interchangeable. These include a car cleaning kit, flexible crevice tool, soft dusting brush, mattress brush and even an after party cleaning kit.
MY OVERALL OPINION...
Im going to be completely honest now and let you know about a few niggles that I have with my DC08...
The retractable cord. OK, it winds away to keep things tidy but its not very reliable. Sometimes it whips away like lightening but on other occasions its soooooo sloooooow and the button needs to be pressed a few times to encourage the cord to disappear out of view. I can cope with that though.
And the tool holster. As mentioned previously, this can be stored on the flexible tube of the vac which is great but I find that it can sometimes knock against furniture, causing the tools to fall off whilst hoovering. Perhaps I shouldnt be so vigorous!
Not forgetting the weight. At 8kg this DC08 is no featherweight and is therefore quite heavy to lift and carry about. It certainly wouldnt be suitable for everyone. While heavily pregnant I did struggle with it at times but my normal self can handle it adequately.
But other than that, its excellent! Versatile, powerful all round pet hair removal is achieved due to the excellent suction...and it really works. The first time I whipped round with the vac it was unbelievable how much muck was collected. Had we really been living amongst such filth?! After the initial thorough cleaning session the amount of swirling debris doesnt look quite as impressive as youre then only maintaining the cleanliness and not collecting months worth of dust that has been left behind by your old vac.
Regarding ease of use it couldnt be easier! At first I thought the hose might be a bit sloppy but nope, it wraps into place simply and also unwraps in the same fool proof manner.
The clear bin design is excellent. Although it is quite disgusting to see all the fluff and dirt that youve collected, its also reassuring (and strangely satisfying) to see just how well the vac is working. It also has the bonus of constantly displaying how full it is so you can immediately tell when its time to empty it. Which is incidentally very quick to do! You literally unclip the main bowl, unclip the lid. Tip out the muck (wipe inside with a damp cloth if you desire) and then clip it all back into place - easy peasy!
Ive also found that the clear bin is handy for retrieving lost objects...as I discovered not long after getting my Dyson. Whilst I was cleaning in the bedroom I accidentally sucked up some jewellery. Not fully realising the power of the suction at that point, it whipped up my necklace off my bedside table as I spun round with the hose! I could see it in the bowl straight away though and luckily didnt have to root through much dirt to get it back.
A rear centre of gravity means that during use, the DC08 manoeuvres perfectly, rotating on the spot so you can pull it around items of furniture without any hassle. Its also ergonomically designed to be user friendly on your staircase, sitting at an angle on each step as you clean. Should it fall (although its certainly not advisable to let this happen) the robust construction means it will survive and withstand bumps and bashes. Mine has fallen from the top to the bottom of the stairs (AHEM!) but lived to tell the tale.
So, the DC08 Telescope Wrap Animal may have a few minor bad points but in my opinion these are overshadowed by the fact that it is brilliant at its job and I therefore recommend it. It really is a bit of an Animal!
Dyson DC08 Telescope Wrap Allergy With HEPA + Bactisafe® actually wraps for easy carrying and storage the Contact head® articulates to pick up more dirt / New Dyson DC08 Telescope Allergy bagless cylinder cleaner with HEPA plus Root Cyclone for cleaner expelled air, and telescope wrap for easy storage / Short name: Dyson DC08 TW