DYSON D65 ANIMAL
Reviewed by Ronald Epstein
You are probably wondering what a vacuum cleaner review is doing in a forum devoted to Home Theater. Well, truth be, I am a reviewer by heart and it just so happens that I was in need of a new vacuum cleaner to replace my Kenmore canister of 12 years.
Having been an owner of various Kenmore canisters over my lifetime, I naturally looked at another Kenmore as a replacement. I was willing to spend about $350-$400 for their top-of-the-line model. After all, I would think most vacuum cleaner purchases are made once every 10 years. If you are in the market to buy one, don't go cheap. A good vacuum should last many, many years.
Somehow, through my Internet research of replacement vacuums, I came across the Dyson. Now, Dyson is a very familiar name. I knew that they are a highly regarded brand within the industry. I also knew that the brand came with a very high price tag. I cringed when I saw that their top-of-the-line vacuums generally retailed around $600 with a bit of a discount if bought through Amazon.
So, the question became, is it worth paying $500-$600 for a Dyson vacuum?
Dyson agreed to allow me to evaluate one of their upcoming models, the Dyson DC65, which is just beginning to become available through retailers as I write this review. It is part of their "Animal" line of vacuums which have more suction power and the ability to deal with the nasty problem of completely getting up all that dog and/or cat hair that gets nested into your carpet.
Looking at the picture of the DC65 at the top of this page, you sort of marvel at its futuristic look. The vacuum is mostly built of durable ABS plastic, the same plastic that is used in riot shields and police helmets. It's rather lightweight at just over 17lbs. and I found it rather easy to carry around the house.
I am not particularly fond of uprights. I have owned only canisters in my lifetime. There are some pros to using uprights -- which I will discuss momentarily. However, there are some issues of concern here about the upright design that may or may not be a deal breaker for some.
The biggest issue I have had with the DC65 -- and this seems to be the same issue that plagued former models -- is locking the steering handle back into place (and keeping it locked) after usage. You really have to give the handle a considerable push forward to effectively lock it back into its upright position (which is confirmed by a clicking sound). And trust me, you won't always do it correctly no matter how familiar you become with this machine. I have included a short video at the close of this review that demonstrates the issue.
The second problem I encountered was with using attachments, that require you to extend out the hose. The hose is rather stiff (it supposedly loosens within time). As such, you are pulling the vacuum backwards when trying to reach the top of stairs or the edge of ceilings. I have had the vacuum topple over a few times. I have even had it unlock itself from its upright position. Again, the video will illustrate the issue.
Is this a deal breaker? Well, it will try the patience of some. However, when considering the benefits of the Dyson DC65, it could perhaps be overlooked.
I do love the overall handling of the Dyson DC65. Letting it loose on your carpeted floor can be a rather fun experience. The secret to that experience lies in the Dyson Ball, which allows you the easily maneuver around furniture with the smallest of effort. It's rather cool to see this machine "glide" effortlessly across carpeting.
A huge benefit with this upright over the Kenmore canister I previously owned is that I don't have to change heads when moving from carpet to floor. This upright easily moves from one to the other with a simple push of a button that turns off the spinning rotor brush.
This being my first bagless vacuum, I was very surprised to see just how much cat hair got sucked up into the canister after vacuuming my entire house. You think your regular vacuum has been doing a pretty good job of cleaning the carpet -- that is, until you use a machine with this much suction power.
I like the idea of having a bagless cleaner. The convenience does come with a small price: you will probably need to remove and dump the canister after every cleaning as storage space is limited. Additionally, approximately every three months, it is recommended that you clean the removable filter. This should be done by washing it under the sink and then allowing it to be air-dryed outside for a full day.
My carpet was so amazingly clean, that I have gone from vacuuming every week to every two weeks. It's rather incredible to look at my carpeted living room a week later and marvel at how untouched it looks. If you are the type like me that prefers it, you get those nice carpet lines which shows that the vacuum has really done its job of massaging the fibers.
The Dyson D65 comes with a nice assortment of attachments for vacuuming stairs, ceilings, lamp shades and other hard to reach areas. There is a COMPLETE model that is more expensive, and comes with even more attachments. Let's just say I didn't feel as if I was shorted anything substantial as far as these attachments are concerned.
It seems somewhat odd to use the attachments as there is no handle on the extension itself to hold it properly.
My favorite attachment is the turbine tool which I use on stairs and upholstery. Thus far, I haven't had any problems with cat hair getting tangled up in the tool, though I found myself picking traces of it off the bristles, which is to be expected.
So, the question remains, is it worth plucking down between $500-$600 for a vacuum like the Dyson Animal DC65?
It's hard to give an answer to that. There are dozens of vacuums designed for pet households I haven't even tested against this one. Looking at the exceptional job it did on my carpeting and floors, my answer would be, it certainly performed better than my $350 Kenmore. It certainly has cut my cleaning down from every week to just once every two weeks. It certainly seems like a vacuum that I could be owning for the next decade to come.
Amazing suction. Cleans extremely "deep" into carpets to remove animal hair and dirt
Bagless operation means never having to purchase bags.
Basic model comes with a nice assortment of attachments including turbine tool.
Locking the upright into place takes considerable effort.
No grip on handle to properly hold attachments
Extending hose outwards to reach high places can cause upright to tip forward