Product Type: Dyson vacuums
Newest Review: ... both from the base and from the wand. Its perfect for picking up dog hair, which many hoovers do not. The telescopic reach wand is a must ... more
PRAY BE UPSTANDING FOR THE DC 33 MULTI-FLOOR
Member Name: Nibelung
Advantages: Good basic carpet cleaning ability. Bagless. 5-year warranty. Suitable for hard floors too.
Disadvantages: Noisy. Won't go far under furniture. No edge-cleaning abilities. Still needs regular filter cleaning
Well, I guess it was only a matter of time before our 11-year-old Dyson DC 01 - their original upright model - started to let us down. I'd turned a blind eye to cosmetic details like the loss of the yellow hubcaps, and the fact that the dust collection drum now had to be held in place with a bungee-rubber, having snapped the catch off a while back. I even forgave it seemingly breaking down only to find that if I shortened the power cable by a couple of inches, and reconnected it that it worked again. Cable entry seems to have been a long-term problem, given the knock-about life the lead can expect. Even the hooks provided encourage you to introduce a twist to the cable as you stow it away - ask a sailor how to do it properly.
This time, I'd checked the fuse, tested for cable continuity, tested the switch for operation, but despite my best diagnostic efforts armed with a test meter, I was forced to conclude that the motor was dead.
As luck would have it, the Dyson DC 33 (Multi-floor) which seems to be the nearest equivalent had been reduced to £179 from £229 in Comet and Currys. I could have done without this occurring within days of Christmas and my wife's car's annual service and MOT pending, but heh, that's what credit cards are for! If I recall correctly this is actually less than I paid for the DC 01 in 1999. I'm guessing that deserting the UK and switching production to Malaysia might not be entirely unconnected with this.
...but in this case, I'm glad to state that I don't mean in the American sense, unlike the Flymo garden vacuum I bought and wrote about a few months back.
As I'm swapping one Dyson for another, it's more difficult for me to enthuse over its cleaning abilities, since in my own mind they're already well-documented and what I've come to expect. What I will say is that, after a few days of making do with what used to be jokingly known as a 'cylinder cleaner' with no beating action, and thinking it had done an OK job, the new Dyson's first pass over what I considered was a clean carpet produced quite an impressive harvest of muck.
There are several ways in which the current design is superior to the old one, and a couple of key ones in which it isn't.
It now has seven 'cyclones' instead of two. I'm guessing that this increases its suction power, otherwise why do it?
You can now turn off the beaters to suit hard floor - the older model which was never advertised as 'multi-floor' - it just banged up and down to follow the surface, presumably with its level preset as some sort of compromise.It's useful to note that 'beaters' were (and are still) just brushes, not metal beater bars to vibrate* the dirt loose, and I suspect that this is how I've gotten away with going over the kitchen floor tiles without cracking something.
(*Remember the Hoover commercials? "All the dirt, all the s!*t, Hoover gets it every bit, Hoover beats as it sweeps as it cleans!")
Emptying the clear acrylic bin is now a much tidier affair, with a button on top that allows a hatch at the bottom to drop all its contents into your eagerly-awaiting dustbin bag. Previously, you had to up-end the bin and risk dropping dust all over the cleaner itself as you removed it.
You now seem get a lot more mains lead, enabling me to range over the whole downstairs from one strategically-placed socket. Of course, I haven't had to shorten it yet!
Blockages are now a lot easier to attend to. Previously, I had to undo several screws to gain access to the beaters, should something liked cotton get twisted around it. Now, I release a couple of twists and I'm in! The instructions also show how to 'pose' the machine to give you the best access to check for blockages.
BAGLESS, YES, MAINTENANCE-FREE, NO!
There still seems to be a school of thought that a bag-less vacuum cleaner is the be-all and end-all of it. A friend on mine claims that he'd never buy another Dyson as his just seems to be 'a way of redistributing dirt around his lounge'. When questioned on whether he'd ever checked it for blockages and/or changed the filters, he replied with 'Filters? What filters?'
I have to admit even eleven years back that I was a little disappointed to find that something which claims to extract all that dust with no need for a bag still needed filters, but these are for the purpose of putting nice clean air back into the room and past the motor. Yes, they do block eventually, and in the case of the DC 01, they were a replaceable and chargeable item until washable ones were introduced. With the 'HEPA*' filters supplied on the DC 33, they are washable in the first place. You are advised to wash these at least every three months. To my shame, I (we) used to let my old Dyson overheat and turn itself off for 30 minutes before I'd take the hint. Now, I'm a model of efficiency and mark this auspicious occasion on the calendar!
(*High-Efficiency Particulate Air)
THE DOWNFALL OF BEING UPSTANDING
With the best will in the world, there's no way an upright cleaner will get under low-slung furniture as well as a hose and attachment. Yes, the Dyson DC 33 does bend quite low - assuming you can - but its own bulk still means that it's still only possible to push it about six inches in under something a typical one foot off the floor, say a chair. Fortunately, in our lounge, there's one chair that fits the description, so I just move it when the time comes. Everything else either can't be vacuumed under at all without moving it anyway, or definitely needs a hose.
Speaking of the hose, the new one seems longer and more compliant than the original, and you do get basic nozzle and brush attachments as standard, which are contained on the machine. However, and I've never liked doing this, putting it back by having to feed a tube back down it after it's been stretched is about as easy as sword-swallowing.
One thing which doesn't seem to have changed since the DC 01 is the weight! This one still weighs 9 kilos, just like its grandfather, which is not a problem per se; after all it's designed to be pushed. However, if you need to carry one upstairs you'll be wishing you'd bought one of their 'ball' models, which somehow manage to shave 4 kilos off the weight, partly by being (let's face it) flimisier and with a newer design of lighter motor.
You still carry this one by a convenient handle on top of the dust collection container, NOT by the handle at the top which has all the solid feel of a limp handshake.
Whilst not necessarily being any beefier, this one's 1300 watt motor does seem to make quite a lot of noise, which I find a little disappointing.
Still on the subject of niggles, there are no claims to be able to vacuum close to skirting boards, which is fortunate 'cos it can't! Fitted carpets have an annoying habit of sloping off into a gulley right at the edge, making them as effective a fluff-gatherer as my navel after wearing a new fleecy sweatshirt.
Whether this matters or not depends on your cleaning regime. Personally, we only blitz the house when we've friends coming around, so the edges get treated to the hose and nozzle then and only then!
Having no pets helps!
Having a 'dust is a protective coating for furniture' attitude to house work also helps.
I mentioned 'flimsy' a while back and whilst this machine doesn't feel badly put together, I guess it's inevitable that it doesn't seem to have the build quality of the DC 01. The former was made from what seemed to be the polycarbonate plastic that 60s and 70 GPO phones were made of (and they bounced!). The DC 33 seems to be a curious mixture of more flexible, and paradoxically more brittle materials.
Still, at least it comes with a five-year warranty, not two as before. No wonder the man in Currys looked fed up - no extended warranty to push on me.
Summary: Bagless 7-cyclone upright multi-floor vacuum cleaner
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