Posted on January 25, 2006 at 12:23 AM
A few months back, our 5 year old Hoover bagless vacuum had become almost unusable. The amount of suction it was producing was so poor it's attachment hose would barely hold on to the palm of an open hand, not to mention the visible dust the vacuum was exhausting while in use. On the verge of being vacuum-less, this blog's in-laws stepped in to provide us a loaner vacuum until we could get something more permanent. Though the vacuum we received wasn't your average, run-of-the-mill vacuum, we were lucky, it was an Oreck XL which was in great condition.
The Oreck is the 8 pound marvel we've all heard about on TV and radio over the years that has enough suction power to hold a 16 pound bowling ball in the mid air. (I remember my Father made the Oreck salesperson demonstrate this feat before they purchased their Oreck years ago). After just one session of using the Oreck we were definitely impressed, as it was a tremendous improvement upon what we previously used.
But the time had come to cease our vacuum mooching ways and begin the search for a new vacuum. With so many different types and brands to chose from the decision was somewhat daunting. Our goal was to purchase a quality vacuum that would provide good value and stand the test of time (i.e. maintain suction for more than a couple of years). After getting bitten in the ass for buying crappy $150 vacuums, we decided it was time cough up the cash to buy a quality vacuum. Though we were impressed by our loaner Oreck XL we've always had our eye on something else. That something else was a Dyson.
Now, I've seen the commercials that claim how Dyson's never loose suction because of their patented, new-fangled sucking technology (technical description) which supposedly makes a Dyson superior to other vacuums. But being one that isn't easily swayed by marketing hoo-hah, or a quaint British inventor stating how he "just thinks things should work properly", we talked to friends that owned Dysons and read all the Dyson reviews on Amazon.com. Even armed with all that knowledge, we found that our trepidation concerning the price of the Dyson was the one factor holding us back.
"$549 is a lot of money to spend on something you only use a few hours a week" we thought.
To make a long story short, we pulled the trigger and bought the Dyson.
Now that we had it in our possession we were eager to get it home and immediately start using it (a wild and crazy Friday night, let me tell you). We just hoped it "sucked" well enough to justify the expense.
And so the challenge begins....
Upon arriving home we found ourselves in the midst of a great opportunity. In the same house we had the current reigning vacuum champion, the Oreck XL vs. the upstart challenger, the Dyson DC14 "animal". We immediately laid down the gauntlet, I would start vacuuming the house with Oreck XL and the Head of the Culinary Arts Department would follow suit with the Dyson. This would allow us to see if the Dyson was able to pickup anything that the Oreck missed.
I took great care to make sure I did a thorough job of vacuuming with the Oreck, as I wanted to give the Dyson a run for it's money. But after spending $549 on the Dyson we were hoping that we would be able to see some kind of results.
My dear intraweb friends, let me tell you, there was no competition.
We could immediately see that the Dyson was pulling up dirt, dog hair, and debris we couldn't even see in the carpet. It was unbelievable. I mean, I had just thoroughly vacuumed the carpet with what I thought was a top of the line Oreck vacuum, only to watch the Dyson's dirt canister quickly become full. To get a sense of how much it picked up, I submit for your perusal, exhibit "A", a pic of the Dyson's dirt canister after we used it to vacuum the same area we just finished with the Oreck.
A horrifying sight to say the least. We had no idea how much dirt and debris the Oreck was missing.
Weighing the benefits
While the Dyson isn't without it's faults (though none real significant) I thought I would give you a list of Pros/Cons we observed after using the Dyson over the course of the weekend:
- Awesome sucking power. Dyson's proprietary root cyclone technology claims to never lose suction and picks up objects some vacuums wouldn't touch.
- Dirt collection bin easily empties from the bottom with the push of a button.
- Extra long extension cord (approx. 35 feet). Was able to vacuum a large percentage of the house with the Dyson plugged into the same outlet.
- Lifetime HEPA filter (just rinse, dry and reuse)
- Telecsoping wand lays hidden within the Dyson's handle then extends to 17 feet, allowing you to easily clean a full flight of stairs, giving the Dyson a total reach of about 52 feet.
- Comes with 3 standard hose attachments, a low reach floor tool for hard to reach areas under furniture, plus a mini turbine head tool for upholstery.
- Ergonomic design provides easy handling and a well balanced feel.
- Price ($549 is a little steep for a vacuum but a tremendous value in this blog's opinion).
- Vacuum tends to roll when telescoping hose is used while base unit sits on tile or wood flooring (unit stays situated when placed on carpeting).
- Weight - approx 20 pounds (when compared to the 8 pound Oreck. Not that great of a difference).
By far the Dyson is THE BEST vacuum we have ever used/owned. In the beginning we were timid of the Dyson's cost but found it was easily justified when considering the money we would have spent on other lesser quality vacuums that tend to lose suction over time. Also consider the fact that a vacuum like an Oreck doesn't have a built in extension hose to get those hard to reach places, which would have forced us to use two separate vacuums had we stuck with the Oreck.
I highly recommend this vacuum to anyone looking to replace their dying, suctionless vacuum, especially for those of you that have dogs/cats that shed hair throughout the house or children who are part time geologists and seem to bring home every rock they find on the playground.
Hell, I like this vacuum so much I proudly display it as the gadget of the week. (it was due for an update anyway.)
Ed. note: Any personal experiences (positive or negative) with Dyson vacuums would be greatly appreciated. Feel free to leave a comment below.