Why I'll never buy a Dyson again
Our Dyson DC07
Some years ago our ducted vacuum unit broke. Rather than spend the money on a new ducted vacuum motor we decided to cut costs and purchase a new vacuum cleaner instead.
I can't really remember exactly why we chose to spend our hard earned money on a Dyson. They cost around $700, for which you would expect to purchase a lot of vacuum. I guess we let ourselves be talked into it by the sales pitch. We were after something that would be truly effective. We also told ourselves we were saving money because we were not repairing our ducted system.
The Dysons had a reputation for exceptional suction and fun design. So after doing some comparison shopping, and a small amount of bargaining we became the new owners of a Dyson.
The first thing I noticed about the Dyson is that its shape makes it hard to store anywhere. It takes up a lot more room that a more conventional vacuum cleaner does in the cupboard.
Also, my experience is that the unit is somewhat over designed. I quite like the look of it. But there are so many pieces to it that it is hard to use. Firstly there is a conventional vacuum wand that I never tend to use because it takes too long to attach and is rather unfriendly to use.
Second, because the unit base is quite bulky it is very difficult to get the vacuum head under small spaces, such as beds and in between chair legs. This design also makes it inappropriate to use on stairs.
It is possible to physically remove the tube from the main unit and attach a brush head to it, which will allow it to get into smaller spaces. However, it is time consuming to do this. You have to stop every time you want to get into a smaller space to fiddle with the unit. In a more traditionally designed vacuum, with a long wand, this would not be such an issue.
There have been some advantages of the Dyson. When working well, the vacuum certainly does lift a lot of dirt. Because the unit is transparent you can see exactly how much you are sucking up. It also has the advantage of being bagless.
However, being bagless does also have disadvantages. The unit has to be religiously emptied. The space that collects the dirt is relatively small, and seems to fill up very quickly at every vacuum. Perhaps it fills so rapidly because the vacuum actually does have good suction.
Once the dirt collecting compartment reaches maximum capacity, the unit needs to be emptied. This tends to be every time I use it. The Dyson's effectiveness can be compromised if the vacuum is used with a full dust compartment. This is because dust can get through the filter screen and into the motor. The filter is located at the top of the dust compartment. Once dust gets through the filter screen it really does seem to badly affect the Dyson's ability to vacuum. I know from experience!
Fortunately, we have worked out that we can gently clean out the filter screen by cleaning it with a hand dryer on a cool air setting.
This brings me to another point - the Dyson seems to be very high maintanence.
Not only do I find myself constantly emptying the dust compartment. I also seem to spend a lot of time cleaning the filter and brush heads. The brush head tends to gather an enormous amount of hair and fluff very quickly.
However, my biggest disappointment with the Dyson is the quality. We have not dropped the machine, and have stored it in a dry space since purchase about seven years ago. However, in the first year of having it, the on/off button broke. So now we use a piece of blue tak to hold the button down when vaccuming. The plastic seems to be getting progressively more brittle. As you can see in the photo on this page, a piece broke off the handle one day!
Recently, when I was emptying the dust compartment, one of the sides of the plastic hinges snapped. More annoying, I have also noticed a hairline crack on the lid of the dust compartment. I'm not sure if the crack was already there, or if the lid cracked when it dropped on the tiles when the hinge fell off. Either way, it does seem very inferior plastic for the price we paid for the Dyson.
I'm not sure how long the Dyson will last. It still has good suction once I do the regular maintenance to it. However, I can't help feeling we would have been best off saving our money. We have an old Sanyo vacuum cleaner that I bought very cheaply over 12 years ago. It now lives in the garage and we use it to vacuum the cars. It has a bag that I have to empty occasionally. But it's still going strong. Perhaps I will use it as the Dyson replacement when the Dyson eventually falls apart.