Dyson DC59 Animal hand-held vacuum cleaner – First impressions…

I’ve just bought a Dyson DC59, their latest offering. Beware of Amazon, who offer an entirely different machine as Dyson’s latest – it’s an import from Europe and you can’t get parts in the UK. Possibly the warranty is void too.

I’ve been toying with the idea of buying one of Dyson’s “stick”** hand-held machines, but have been put off, frankly, by the cost and by the bad rep of their build quality, but as it comes with a 2-year warranty I thoutgh I’d take the plunge while I had the money. Also, Amazon reviews have been getting much better of late, which suggests problems have been addressed, and while the DC59 hasn’t been around long enough to make an impact, good or bad, I’d think they’d take the opportunity to fix past faults. And Which? Likes it, so we’ll see.

**The official designation for this model is “Digital Slim” whatever that means.

The very first impression was, Mr. Dyson, you’re a cheap bugger! At £359.95 for this thing, I expect two screws to affix the docking station to the wall to be included. Maybe a couple of wall plugs too.

Then I had a rethink As the machine is internationally available, the provision of legally-approved fasteners would be a nightmare (some up-market homes also have such conditions imposed on tenants). In addition, not providing fasteners protects the company against litigation in a number of ways, not least some numpty putting a screw through a water pipe or power cable. That’s a particular problem in my flat, as the internal walls are hollow – plasterboard  (drywall in the US), and studding, through which the electric and phone cabling runs – and I have no idea where it is! I also lack a suitable location as the only unused electrical socket (for the charger), is right where my manual wheelchair lives and, when I move it, sooner or later it will knock lumps out of the Dyson.

I’ll work something out – it just won’t involve the docking station.

Having said all that, on first acquaintance I confess I’m impressed. And believe me, for me to say that, it takes a lot. My usual response is more along the lines of “WTF? At that price?” – in a shrill, disbelieving voice! Which was exactly my response to my new Quickie Life manual wheelchair when it was delivered (rather more pricey at £1,500). Until, that is, I spent an afternoon sat in it, in superb comfort. That’s what a custom-built chair gets you – a perfect fit.

First things first – it’s extremely well packed. Some may say it’s overkill, I said something rather more colourful at a couple of points! Ladies, beware – unpacking this might well cost you some fingernails. I broke one and mine are very short.

Quite a bit of thought has gone into the packaging. There are, for example, none of those annoying wire twist-ties (every part is in a plastic bag, with protective cardboard where necessary), as loose ends of the plastic bags are tucked into holes in the contents and are easily plucked out. The Bottom of the box has photos of the contents, so there is no doubt about what you should have.

Of course, eventually it will be out of warranty, and some parts aren’t usually covered anyway, so it’s a relief to see that it’s easy to take apart if it needs repairs out of warranty, like drive-belt replacement. Interestingly, while using non-Dyson spares will void the warranty, opening the machine up will not, though you are told not  to, and anything you do while in there that damages it will also void it.

And removing the brushes from the motorised heads has been made very simple – useful if you don’t pay attention and suck up string, or a ball or wool, or if the brushes get full of animal hair.

All things considered, it’s very well thought out, and very well engineered. Everything fits together tightly, with a firm, reassuring click as the locking mechanism engages. Nothing wobbles, or rattles either, With it being mainly plastic I’m not sure how long that will last, but my guess, given how it’s designed, with male and female parts engaging very snugly (oh, stop it, and behave!), with no perceptible play, it’ll be good for years to come.

So, how is it in use? My first thought was, “Damn, it’s heavy!” and it is. It’s really not as ergonomically sound as it’s claimed to be. However, with further use it was clear that it was no more of a burden than my cylinder vac (I was just taken by surprise), plus I don’t have to drag it behind me – always a bonus.

It’s extremely efficient – in the sucking up crap stakes it’s everything they say it is. It even removes plates of my dead skin from the carpet that my other vac won’t touch. In fact even though my other vac appears to do a good job, judging by the muck in the reservoir, having used the Dyson on a fairly busy area, just in front of the fridge, the dirt and – worryingly – the amount of skin and skin debris, as well as normal fluff and dust, is seriously impressive.

I have no doubt that, after a few days use, my respiratory health will improve considerably, after I found out last week that my carpet is loaded with a beige dust that my normal vac doesn’t touch.  This, it turned out, is dead skin, from my legs, a result of my healing lymphoedema infections, and I am highly allergic to it – see this post – the Dyson is, I hope, my solution (first test, great results). And even if it’s not my flat will be a lot cleaner!

Run time:-

Using either or the powered heads – 17 minutes

Using the passive tools – 20 minutes (if accurate the 3-minute difference  suggests that Dyson’s motors are extremely efficient – Hey James – feel like branching out into powerchairs? Do watch the price, though!

Boost mode, using any of the tools – 6 minutes

The longer run times are probably longer than my personal run times, so I don’t have a problem with those.

Bottom line, yep, I’d recommend it to a friend (though obviously I can’t speak for its longevity beyond what I’ve already said), and right now I’m extremely happy with it. And trust me on this – I have extremely high standards and I’m a picky sod!

Downside, I hear you say? Well, yes, there is one – nothing’s perfect – and it’s that the motor blasts air in your face so if, like me, you have respiratory problems, you’d better hope the filter is as good as it’s claimed to be.**

**The bald claim is that the DC59 is suitable for allergy sufferers, in that from a menu you check “Allergy sufferer” on this page and it throws up, in the results, the DC59. Other than that it tells you absolutely bugger all about the filter.

Get a grip, Mr. Dyson, this stuff is important!

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6 thoughts on “Dyson DC59 Animal hand-held vacuum cleaner – First impressions…

  1. HOW MUCH?!?!?! 🙂 I have had dyson cleaners for years and have always been impressed by them. I think I’ve had nearly every upright that they have made. However, they are now far too heavy for me to use and I can only get one room done in my little bungalow without having to take an hour or so to get over it! Admittedly, the problem is not with the dyson but with the arthritic wrists, which means that even your new dyson would be a struggle for me. My surgeon has told me that my wrists need to be fused! (After what happened with the ankle fusion then you will be aware of my feelings on the subject and I’ll bet you can guess what I said!)
    About 9+ years I bought a Dyson washing machine – cost a fortune! Used it twice and it broke down, got the dyson engineers out and they didn’t know what F13 was as it wasn’t in their hand held computer type things. Finally got it going and used it once and it went again – this time I demanded a new machine as the one I had had obviously been built on a Friday. Gets new machine delivered a week later (I was hopping mad by then) – uses the machine twice, and guess what happened? Yes, it broke down again, and again, and again until I was so pished off that I demanded a refund, bought and LG machine (brilliant), a freezer and a larder fridge with the amount of money I had spent on the Dyson! And the LG wasn’t a cheap machine to buy either!!!
    The Dyson washing machines didn’t last long so I don’t know if it would be a good idea for James to mess about with wheelchairs 🙂 🙂
    Will be waiting to see how the new “beast” is going to get on and whether or not it is going to live up to your expectations.

    • No matter how good the DC59 turns out to be, you don’t want one, not with arthritic wrists. As for its ergonomic claims, the centre of balance is about a foot and a half in front of the handle, so not remotely ergonomic at all – I wonder if the woman in the TV ad, waving it in the air with such abandon is an athlete?

      To be fair, I said earlier models had a bad rep, and that seemed to be mainly the on-off trigger failing. The DC59’s trigger has been redesigned – or as Dyson like to say, re-engineered – so hopefully they’ve fixed it.

      A major problem with reviews – and I’ve found this a lot with digital cameras – is that faults that are reported on Amazon, or online review sites, are often down to user error, or failure to RTFM. Trouble is, reading the review, we can’t tell for sure, not always. (Not having a go at you, I know Dysons can fail!)

      • Ah well, I’d best keep hold of my hubby then 😉 He can carry on hoovering or we’ll do it in stages between us as it takes him over an hour to get over doing the hoovering of the bungalow!

  2. I have Copd Emphysema and bought the dyson stick from Currys got a good deal too £149.00 I use it regular although you only get 15 minutes for a 3 hour charge it does the job and I’ve already had to order spare parts from dyson as it was the floor model and the brushes were a wee bit worn, wouldn’t be without it.

    • That’s the main reason, despite the horrendous cost, I went for the DC59 – the older models had poor battery life. There’s a suggestion, though, in the Amazon reviews, that the DC59 is worse than the DC35, with one buyer getting a mere 9 minutes use – about half of what’s claimed by Dyson. I’ll be timing mine carefully!

  3. I’ve had a Dyson vacuum for over five years, and love it. So far *touches wood* I have no problems with it. I’d definitely get another one, when this one dies.

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