Product Type: Dyson vacuums
Newest Review: ... and then just stretches out easily once released. It is long enough that the Dyson can be left at the bottom of the stairs and the h... more
Doing the Dysoning!
Dyson DC41 Animal
Member Name: jo1976
Dyson DC41 Animal
Date: 22/09/13, updated on 28/11/13 (87 review reads)
Advantages: Exceptional cleaning performance, strong suction, no filters or bag to replace
Disadvantages: Noisy, heavy, difficult to remove blockages
The DC41 Animal is an upright model, with a really bold and attractive metallic blue colour scheme, which contrasts nicely with the grey and red used elsewhere on the body and handle. This really is a very contemporary design for a vacuum cleaner, which is fortunate because ours is generally stored in a corner of the living room. I wouldn't purchase a vacuum cleaner based on its appearance but I must admit that this is eye catching and stylish.
This is much more than a good looking appliance, however, and has been designed with practicality and functionality in mind. The Dyson does need some assembly when it is first purchased but the (largely pictorial) instructions were clear and easy to follow and the assembly itself was fairly logical and straightforward. The only aspect which initially confused us was that it wasn't immediately obvious from the instruction leaflet whether the additional tools supplied could actually be stored on the Dyson itself. It was only by referring back to the image on the box itself that we realised that they could be and worked out how to attach them correctly.
The tools supplied are really useful and include a pipe extension with a brush head at the end (handy for light shades and ceilings) and a small flat attachment that I use for cleaning the stairs and sofa. The only disappointment is that the Turbine head supplied does not attach anywhere on the cleaner itself and is quite a clumpy component to store separately. I also find it feels quite strange hoovering with that attachment in place as it is almost like a mini vacuum cleaner head, attached to the pipe. I tend not to use the turbine head very frequently although it is not that crucial within our household as that attachment is primarily for removing pet hair and our only indoor pet is a gerbil.
There is an optional extras kit available for this model (at extra cost) but I'm more than happy with the attachments provided and find them sufficient to thoroughly clean my carpets and soft furnishings throughout the house. I particularly like the extending tube which is concealed inside the vacuum cleaner and then just stretches out easily once released. It is long enough that the Dyson can be left at the bottom of the stairs and the hose will reach right up to the top of the stairs and still has enough flexibility to allow me to clean each stair thoroughly. The hose is very strong and flexible, with no sign of any damage, despite considerable use over the past 12 months. I also like the extremely generous cord length which means that I don't need to keep unplugging this every time I move to a new room. After use, the cord needs to be manually wound back into place but is firmly secured with a handy clip.
Having invested so much money in this Dyson, I have been very pleased by the cleaning power of this model. This boasts 'root cyclone technology' and, whilst I'm not sure what that means, the results are very impressive. I can still remember using this for the very first time, having already hoovered 'thoroughly' with our previous appliance and being absolutely shocked by the amount of extremely fine dust that was soon very visible within the cylinder. I suspect that our model had lost a lot of suction over the years but the amount of dust and dirt that the DC41 managed to discover and remove was amazing. There was even a visible difference in the colour of the carpet after that very first use and it actually looked as though I'd cleaned the carpet with a water based carpet cleaner rather than just hoovered up. With regular use the results are less dramatic and obvious but there is always an impressive amount of debris collected within the container, even from what appears to be a 'clean' carpet. I think much of this is down to the rotating brush bar which works like a modernised version of an old carpet beater and really gets any ground in dust and dirt out of the fibres.
The suction is incredibly powerful and will visibly pull at the carpet, leaving visible tracks where the Dyson has quite literally left its mark. The DC41 can also be used on other surfaces and I appreciate the option of turning off the brush bar by pressing a single button. This also seems to reduce the strength of the suction, making the appliance much easier to push along hard surfaces such as the lino in the bathroom and hard floor tiles in the kitchen. I also turn off the brush bar when vacuum hoovering mats or rugs as the full strength version makes it quite hard to hoover without the hungry Dyson trying to suck the whole thing up!
One of the features that I loved initially was the method of emptying the transparent dust container. As with earlier models, the cylinder just clips off really easily but this design includes a button at the top which releases the base flap. The cylinder just needs to be positioned over an open bin and all the contents magically drop out within seconds. This is a really fun feature, certainly initially, and was entertaining enough that I even had the kids begging to hoover up and empty the drum. (The appeal didn't last long though!) I do still like this easy drop mechanism although now find that dirt and hairs can collect towards the top of the cylinder and it is a little difficult to empty out completely, so there has been a gradual build-up of dust and dirt inside which is hard to shift.
I do appreciate that there are no additional ongoing costs with this model. There are obviously no bags to purchase and fit and the filter provided is completely washable and reusable. There is a handy reminder on the Dyson to remove and wash the filter every three months. This is simple to do, just using lukewarm tap water without the need for any detergents. The filter is quite thick so I do find it takes several hours to dry out sufficiently to reuse, either outside on a hot day or on a radiator. The only issue I find with cleaning the filter is that some large hairs seem to get stuck inside the central hole and I have struggled to remove them efficiently.
There are a few other flaws with this model that I do have to mention. Firstly, the weight - despite being streamlined and modernised, this is still a hefty upright vacuum cleaner coming in at 7.8Kg. The weight is worthy of consideration, especially if this regularly taken up and down stairs. I must admit that I hoover upstairs far less frequently than I do downstairs and one of the reasons is due to the effort involved in mauling this beast up and down the stairs.
Another drawback is the noise that this model makes. I don't mean a 'stating the obvious' vacuum cleaners are noisy - more that this sounds like more like an aircraft taking off than a household appliance. My boys have never liked the sound of hoovering but both of my youngest sons (aged three and six) shut themselves away in the kitchen, crying, when I get this out.
EASE OF USE
As well as the noise, the DC41 also gives off a surprising amount of heat when working. I really work up a sweat whilst using it and find it really uncomfortable at times. I think this is partly because there is a lot of heat generated (and presumably wasted) due to the sheer strength of the motor but also because I don't find the 'ball' technology as easy to push as Dyson claim. As the suction is so strong, I find myself having to counteract that and push quite hard against the suction in order to move the Dyson along smoothly. This can be quite an effort at times and I feel like I've completed a proper work out when I've vacuumed the entire house!
The pivoting ball technology does have some benefits; making it easier to clean right up to the edges of skirting boards, for example. I also find that the design of the head is nicely shaped so that it can fit quite a long way under the beds or the sofa, with the hose attachment only needed to clean further in.
EASE OF REPAIR
There is another disadvantage to this new design, however, as the strong suction means that it is very easily to accidentally suck up small pieces and jam the inner pipe. My husband was a dab hand at taking our previous Dyson apart and he was able to take off the pipe really easily and remove the blockage. The workings of this model are far more complex and he has not yet discovered an easy way of taking it apart to remove the blockage. Instead, he has had to resort to tipping the contraption upside down and literally banging at the pipe! Luckily, this has always worked thus far but I would appreciate a simpler method of removing blockages along the lines of earlier models. Dyson do, of course, offer the reassurance of a five year parts and labour guarantee but I don't particularly want to be shipping this off to Dyson every time I suck up a large bit of Lego!
This is, admittedly, a pricey appliance - even by Dyson standards- and there are a number of flaws but, despite that, I do believe that this has been money well spent, largely because of the impressive suction. I do think that improvements could be made to this model, to reduce the weight/heat loss, make it easier to push and also make it easier to remove simple blockages. These are all relatively minor issues compared to the overall ease of use and exceptional cleaning power making this an appliance that I'm happy to recommend.
Summary: An expensive but very effective vacuum cleaner, with some room for improvement to make this perfect
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