One thing that drives me crazy about vacuuming, and why it is my absolute least favourite cleaning task, is that I hate dealing with the weight, bulk and positioning of a vacuum. They are just so annoying to use. Ugh. I’ve had fantasies of raging against my vacuum before, a la Office Space when they main characters smash a printer to pieces in a field after it frustrated and failed them after many attempts of printing TPS reports.

In 2009, we purchased a full-sized Dyson, exactly one day after we got our little kitten, Malee. Our central vac, after just ONE DAY of having a kitten, could not keep up with her. Technology has changed since then, and while our Dyson still works the way it did on day 1 (thanks to taking care of it and that crazy cool cyclone technology), the bulk of the vacuum just made me hate using it. Ask my husband. I liked the results, I just hated using it.

Full disclosure here; as many companies do, Dyson contacted us to outfit me with some new vacuum swag. I am not paid by them, but I can see how it makes total sense for them to give me any vacuum I want đŸ˜‰ (I’m not complaining…now if only Tiffany’s felt the same way). I did a lot of research, and I landed on the DC 46 for the midsize vacuum of choice. So I’ll give you a detailed review of this vacuum and why I chose it.

The reason I picked the DC46 Motorhead is because it’s small enough to be easy to use and maneuver because of its light weight and ball technology (it follows you around accuratley like a puppy begging for treats), and comes with all of the power, tools and filtration a full-sized Dyson comes with. Unlike the cordless V6 Absolute which runs out of juice in 20 minutes, this baby plugs in and gives me all the power and function I could ever want, without the bad feelings. I also like how easy it is to store (it’s significantly smaller than my full-sized unit). And with pets and carpets at home, it made most sense for me to get the motorhead version.


The plastic tools are good quality and well-designed. I find it funny how some people online complain about the fact that the plastic tools are ‘cheap’. They are made to be lightweight and easy to clean. Heavy plastic just means more weight for you to carry – I’ve never found Dyson to be a company to skimp on quality.

They also has a wonderful 5 year warranty; my hose on the first Dyson we had broke and they shipped us a new one within a few days of me placing the call and asked me to recycle the old part.

The tools are easy to take off and put on and can be stored in a small basket. The plastic parts (non-motorized) can be cleaned in a bucket filled with soapy water, rinsed well and left to dry on a towel.

Here’s what you get with the DC 46:

The extendible vacuum arm has an easy to use clip for attaching and removing attachments. It’s not hard to figure out or attempt, which can be frustrating with other vacuums. I also really like how the vacuum handle itself has power controls for turning the motorhead on and off, increasing and decreasing its speed and cutting power altogether. It’s also very lightweight, which makes it good for those long vacuuming journeys and allows for easy ‘high dusting’ work too – you don’t need to raise a clunky, heavy vacuum arm to reach your vents and corners. This makes a difference in my books.

Articulating hard floor tool – articulating is a fancy way of saying that the tool rotates (like the ‘ball’ technology they are so famous for). It’s nice because it is flexible enough to wiggle and jiggle into awkward corners and tight spaces, it has a slim enough profile to fit under furniture (score! Less moving stuff around), and it also has spacing between bristle clusters, which allows for larger pieces of debris to be picked up (a big pet peeve of mine with other hard floor tools). It’s so lightweight and easy to use, I’ve found this does a really nice job on my floor, and it also has a wide breadth meaning less strokes for faster task completion.

Soft dusting brush – Vacuum-assisted dusting is the best way to remove allergens from a surface. This brush features an elongated oval shape and soft bristles attract tiny dust particles and allow in larger pieces too. This is perfect for dusting the most delicate furniture and even soft surfaces like lampshades and window coverings. The soft bristles and the large surface area means your job will be done without damage and sped up significantly.

Combination accessory tool – this acts both as a crevice tool and a soft-bristle brush. It is perfect for dusting and light vacuuming jobs with a specific focus area, such as a keyboard, a vent or a tight corner. I used this tool when I was detailing my car as well, specifically for dusting small crevices and corners, the air vents and those sneaky areas between the seat cushions. The brush is retractable, meaning it can be used or pulled back to reveal a full crevice tool depending on the job at hand.

Carbon fibre motorhead – this is the motorhead I am growing to love! It features two kinds of brushes, nylon and carbon fibre and is safe to be used on both hard and soft floor surfaces. Nylon bristles dig dirt out of your carpets, and these fancy carbon fibre filaments work to remove dust from hard floors. It’s a multifunctional tool which means you don’t need to change tools or operating speeds when going between floor types, and you’ll get one heck of a good vacuuming in. It is smaller in breadth than my previous Dyson’s powerhead, but it is also quieter and lighter (my other one was a monster). I got nice cut lines but did have to do more work with this one in terms of strokes to attain coverage in a room. That being said, its smaller size makes it easier to maneuver around tighter spaces and furniture which can’t move, and allowed me to get under pieces which we were normally unable to with the previous model.

Stair tool – vacuuming stairs is a challenging task without the right unit and tools. This small stair tool is fabulous for stairs and risers, as well as those tiny spaces between spindles. My stairs are hardwood, which I know is much easier to vacuum than carpeted stairs (which I had and grew to hate growing up), but this tool compounded with the lightweight unit makes the job at least tolerable!

The core unit

The technology which goes into one of these machines is really something. The website explains the technology best, but I will try to give it a layman’s term spin here.

I want to go back to how lightweight it is. It is 6.6 KG. My old DC23 Stowaway had to be at least double that. The difference this makes when cleaning (and dragging around the house) is really obvious and frankly, appreciated. Taking it up and down stairs is much easier and the fact that it is not clunky and awkward makes it more enjoyable to operate.

It has a 5 meter cord length (I’ll cover this more in the cons section), but the retraction function is nice.

Ball technology is what makes the machine easy to maneuver. It’s not awkward, it moves with ease and without fuss right behind you as you need it. I find it to be very obedient!

Cyclone technology – 32 cyclones are hard at work creating incredible and lasting suction to get you the best possible results. Learn more about this incredible technology on their website (frankly, they explain it best). What you need to know is that this technology is what makes these machines so special – they just don’t lose suction power, ever. They vacuum long and strong for years and capture the tiniest of particles to effectively clean your space.

Whole machine HEPA filtration is also another reason why I vouch for these machines. Clean air makes a difference in our wellbeing at home, and having the right vacuum with HEPA filtration notably increases air quality in your home. It works so well that it has received a rigorous independent test and has become certified asthma and allergy friendly. All of the technology is best explained on their website, but trust me, it is impressive. The filtration system is simple to clean and you never have to purchase replacement parts or new filters either, which I really like.


If you’re planning to make an investment into this machine I will tell you the things you may not love about it upfront, however these are meek in comparison to all of the benefits. But I do want to be clear about what I think can be seen as a negative.

You have to empty it more often – although the bin is easy to empty, you pop it off the base and press the red clip to release the bottom into a garbage can, it has a smaller capacity than my DC23 Stowaway. Being responsible and emptying the vacuum when it reaches its fill line takes discipline, especially when your vacuum is doing as good a job at collecting crap as this one does. Vacuums with filled canisters simply cannot function properly and in fact, can overheat and become damaged if not emptied. Because of the more compact size, this can get annoying if you are doing large chunks of vacuuming at a time.

The light weight of the unit can sometimes cause the unit to tip over if you are used to a larger machine. I am used to yanking my DC23 around the house with all of my might because that baby was heavy! It did take some getting used to with this smaller and lighter model, however ultimatley I got used to it and we are getting along swimmingly now.

The 5 meter cord length means you’ll be unplugging and finding a new socket more frequently than you would with a larger model, simply because it needs more space to wind up more cord. If this really irks you, pick up an extension cord. It is just something I want you to be aware of!

Overall I am quite pleased with this vacuum, it is sleek, performs well, gives me a wide range of use and is easier to use than its chunkier predecessor. I think that the tools certainly can make or break the job and because this one is markedly easier to use than my DC23, I can at least tolerate vacuuming now.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this vacuum if you have one, please let me know below!

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


  1. I got myself one for my birthday in dec 2014, and I LOVE it! I agree with your review, except have not had any issue with it tipping over. I do however find myself, needing to watch it more closely to empty more often, BUT…. I have THREE inside house dogs. This makes a huge difference I am sure than someone who does not have pets. Best ever vacuum!


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