You folks ask for Dyson reviews.
Keep in mind, Dyson vacuums are expensive and I don’t have access to the full line up. So, when I get my hands on one, you better believe I am going to do a review on it. The last Dyson review I did was for the DC30, a small handheld unit, which basically abolishes the dust buster. However, you weren’t overly excited by the DC30. So, my friends at vacuum-direct.com offered up a DC44 Digital Slim Animal for me to review.
I’ve kind of shown my hand, I do like Dyson vacuums, I am a fan. In fact, I own a DC23 and purchased it exactly one day after we got our first cat, Malee (you can see her in the vide). I think it’s pretty self explanatory as to why. The Dyson has been going strong since day 1 and comes with a 5 year warranty. This DC44 as with any cordless Dyson, comes with a 2 year warranty.
I recently had to replace a part and Dyson sent it to me, fully covered under warranty. Believe me, they want you to love their product. Now keep in mind, it’s like any piece of machinery, you need to maintain it in order for it to work well.
I want to make it clear, this is not a replacement for a regular vacuum, especially in a full-sized home. This vacuum competes in the ‘stick vacuum’ category. It’s cordless, lightweight and a great item to use in between larger cleans. It is also known to get into smaller spaces and deal with quick clean ups.
Here’s what comes with the vacuum
- DC44 Animal Cordless Digital Slim vacuum body, looks and functions the same as the DC30
- Motorized head with carbon fiber filaments
- Mini motorized head
- Extension pole
- Combination accessory tool
- Crevice tool
- Charger stand, nice for hanging
Here are the things Dyson is most proud of about this unit
Features and Benefits (and my commentary in brackets):
- Root Cyclone technology maintains the unit’s suction (it really does, wow).
- Rotating nylon brushes remove dirt from carpet (the power head is serious).
- Ultra-fine fiber brushes clean hard floors (I transitioned from carpet to hardwood with ease, and my floors were not at all harmed).
- Run time of up to 20 minutes; up to eight minutes on max power option (thank goodness for the trigger that gives you the ability to control the power, it really prolongs the battery life).
- The wand can be removed, so it doubles as a handheld vacuum as well (the versatility is nice, it’s great for all kinds of tasks, and will be used in our upcoming car cleaning video).
A few things before we fire it up
If you haven’t tried a Dyson before, the first time you do you’ll be horrified. In a good, yet bad way. Let me explain. You see, a Dyson is so good at what it does, that it sucks a scary (gross) amount of stuff out of your carpets. You’ll experience shock, horror, embarrassment and finally excitement in a 10 second wave of emotion. If you have a Dyson already, you know this experience. The battery takes 5 hours to charge. Root cyclone technology is super cool and creates amazing, undying suction. I know these work well, so I am not going to focus on that as much as how the cordless, smaller version works and whether I think it is functional and easy to use. Finally, I do not expect the same performance out of this as I do my full-sized Dyson, so keep that in mind.
Powerheads and attachments
Firstly, the size of the two powerheads. In the video, you’ll see three lined up. The DC44 powerheads are much smaller than the full-sized DC23 powerhead. However, that also means they are a lot lighter. You need to do more strokes with the DC44 to cover off a room, again, if you decide to use it to clean a whole room. The powerheads and all attachments are very east to snap on and pop off. The attachments are versatile, I used every single one during my test and was extremely pleased. I like dusting with the smaller combination tool as well as vacuuming under tables with the mini powerhead. I was actually quite excited about the attachments. The tools gave me access to a lot of awkward spaces that are easy to avoid with a bulkier machine (even if it does come with attachments).
Is it light? I’ve assembled the unit with the extension pole and larger powerhead, and the unit itself is not heavy, perhaps 6 pounds. I can understand how this may be an onerous task for someone with arthritis or an arm injury, however for someone with no physical issues, this is a terrifically light unit. I find it much easier to maneuver it around than my large canister vacuum, not to mention the fact that I am not dealing with cords and wires.
How much can it vacuum?
Well, it’s a small unit so manage your expectations! The collection canister is small, clocking in at 0.09 gallons (or just under 1.5 cups), so it does need to be emptied quite often. Having said that, if you use it in lieu of sweeping your floor, you’d have to empty your broom’s dustpan in the garbage, so think of this the same way (and you won’t have near 1.5 cups of dirt from that)! You have to empty the canister often and clean the filter (very easy to do) often to keep the suction strong. The machine can’t work if it’s clogged, and without these two tasks completed fairly regularly, you will see a decrease in functionality. It vacuumed up most of the problem areas in my house. While I did encounter some areas with cat hair that I needed to vacuum two or three times (or switch to max power), I also know that I can’t expect the machine to work as well as my full-sized unit which is larger and more powerful.
How long can it vacuum for?
The battery gives you 20 minutes of strong, consistent vacuum time. That means that it doesn’t lose suction when it has one minute of battery power left, it stays strong until the last shred of power it has. That’s important! Here’s the key, you need to be mindful of battery use. If you vacuum a floor, it should take you a few minutes, certainly not 20. While you are moving things around, or going to a different area, you won’t be pressing the trigger therefore not wasting battery power. I found the 6 minute life of the DC30 to be a challenge, but 20 minutes honestly tackled 600 square feet of carpet, a large sofa and 3 upholstered pieces, a flight of stairs, multiple little test areas like baseboards, ceilings and tops of picture frames, and still had juice left. It was more than adequate for my needs, understanding this was an in between vacuum. I was skeptical when I tried it, but when I saw what 20 minutes of battery power actually got me, I was pleased and it’s a great trade-off for the ease of use that you get with this machine.
Ground in dirt and HEPA
The thing I find the most of in my house is cat hair (and dander, yes, I have allergies). And I feel fortunate about that actually, not only because my cats are insanely amusing creatures, but because before having cats I had no real experience with pets yet I was asked about how to deal with pets and pet hair all the time. Now that I have two cats, I can share my real experiences with the community. I get the pet hair challenges. I really do. And this vacuum was pretty good with getting clumps out of the carpet. Areas where the cats really like to sit needed the max power function and I had to vacuum slowly and make a few passes over the same spot to get the hair up.
The filtration is NOT HEPA. That’s really important to know. If it did have HEPA, it would not have the ability to be as strong from a suction standpoint (this is according to my research). The filter included is a ‘pre filter’, so it does trap a heck of a lot, but it is indeed not a true HEPA filter. As stated earlier, it is so important to clean the filter. They get so incredibly disgusting and inhibit the machine’s ability to work as well. Simply remove it, rinse under cool water, wash with a bit of soap if you wish and lay flat to dry for at least 24 hours, then replace. Easy!
Ease of Use
This machine is so easy to use, it’s actually worth getting excited about. I must share a secret with you. I hate, I mean hate vacuuming. It is my least favorite cleaning task because I feel so clumsy and awkward with the wires, hoses and canister. With this, as you can clearly see in the video, I can vacuum very tight and awkward spaces, like the tight corners by furniture, areas by stairs, stairs themselves, spaces under low furniture and I could take tight corners. Stairs alone are a royal pain to vacuum, this was so easy to use, the powerhead sipped my stairs clean in record time with very little effort. It was lovely, I really, truly enjoyed vacuuming with this machine. It is easy to use, and dare I say, kind of fun.
Can it be used on hard floors safely?
Yes it can, the large powerhead comes with fuzzy strips on the bottom of the unit which protect it from scratching the hardwood. It was easy to use and glided nicely across the floors.
This vacuum cannot replace a full-sized vacuum, if I have not made that clear already.
On that note, it is a bang-on secondary vacuum if you want a versatile, reliable machine that is easy to use. I love that it is cordless and lightweight, has multiple tools and quite frankly does a really great job.
If you live in a small space like a dorm room, condo, RV or boat, this is actually a great option for you as well. When I used to live in a condo and had literally no extra space, this would have been a dream machine, especially because it can be wall-mounted.
When I look online and see peoples’ complaints, they are mostly upset about the 20 minute battery life and the lack of a continuous on/power switch. I think the review has covered off why, if used properly, neither of these complaints are an issue at all. They are also upset about the price. Yes, it’s expensive, but you wouldn’t pine after a Dyson if it were $100 either. It’s expensive for a reason; it works.
Please let me know your experiences with the vacuum and whether this review has helped you in making a purchase decision to buy or not to buy this vacuum.