Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tuesday ToolTalk: Dyson DC23 Canister Vac

I know it’s Wednesday, but I’ve been busy …

You may recall that I bought the mother a new sweeper (Dyson DC23 Turbinehead Canister) for Christmas.
As is my fashion, she got it early. Very early. In part, because she was comparison shopping for sweepers Thanksgiving night, ahead of our Black Friday adventures.

Dyson is a name you frequently hear tossed around as a great vacuum. In general, this floorcare line has an equally great price tag to go with it. And, since they didn’t have canister vacs (the mother loathes uprights), it was pretty much a moot point.

So imagine my surprise when I learned that they DO have canisters. And what canisters they are, too!

The short version of this review is that the mother loves this sweeper. I love this sweeper. It outperforms anything I have ever seen, including the original Kenmore we had for nearly 20 years (it was a BEAST of a cleaner and I don’t think they make them like that anymore). It is relatively small and compact, especially for a canister. And brother does it pick stuff up! I'm stunned by what I see in the canister just about every time I run it.

Is it perfect? No. My biggest complaint: the hose. For a sweeper at this price-point (on average $399), the hose should not be the chintzy plastic that it is. I can see this being something I will have to replace in a year or so – if it lasts that long. It bunches up in all manners of weird positions while in use. If it were a little meatier, it wouldn’t do that. It also prohibits it from being a true pull-behind canister. Instead, you have to back up, grab the handle and reposition the canister as you go. Thankfully, the handle into which the hose connects swivels or I'd hate the hose even more.

If you have ultra-thick, plush carpet you might not be so impressed. While you can turn the beater bar off, it can be a little difficult to rake across thick carpet. Luckily, we now have a mix of hardwood, laminate and tile surfaces dotted with throw rugs for which this machine is ideal.

We have a dog and cat, both of whom shed. A lot. I am both embarrassed and amazed by the amount of hair the sweeper removes in, at minimum, every-other-day use. The main throw in our livingroom has not been this clean since it was put down despite daily (and sometimes multiple times daily) vacuuming with the old sweeper. I have to say that when I say, “This sweeper sucks,” it is meant as a very high compliment! It’s really hard not to gush in talking about this thing.

Pros: Let me repeat, we LOVE this sweeper! Adding to what I’ve already mentioned, this vacuum is BAGLESS and has a WASHABLE HEPA filter. That in itself is a cost savings of at least $30/year. The canister itself detaches, empties and reattaches easily. There are bristle brush and crevice tool attachments on board, a telescoping handle, and a more than generous auto-rewind powercord. The famous Dyson ball design has been incorporated into the powerhead, making it easy to get under and around furniture. And, the vacuum has a five-year warranty. It’s also relatively quiet considering the punch it packs.

Cons: In addition to the hose, which is my biggest gripe by far, the canister itself is small and generally needs emptying after each use. The release mechanism to empty it seems flimsy. It’s a heavy vacuum – more than 20 pounds. (This is more of an issue with the mother than me.) And it’s been an adjustment to have the power switch NOT on the handle. It would also be nice to have alternating levels of suction that our old sweeper had instead of one single, powerful speed.

Conclusion: I’ll say it one last time: We LOVE this sweeper. Overall, its stellar performance far outweighs the majority of its flaws, most of which are minor. It has a hefty price tag but thus far, I’ve gotten what I paid for. I’ve put it through a variety of paces and it hasn’t come up short once.

Availability: Most major retail outlets or online. Retails $399, currently advertised online for $329-$349. Watch for deals. (I scored this one for $319 at thanks to a combination of sale price and special email coupon.)


Leah said...

oh how I lust for a dyson. I'd like to use one for just one day.
Thanks for letting me live through you, that was fun to read! (gosh, that makes me feel nerdy)

MonkeyGirl said...

I L-O-V-E my Dyson upright! I loathe vacuuming to begin with but I can hardly wait to use mine. It picks up everything in sight and is light weight compared to the ones I had before. I would always put off vacuuming because of 2 things - 1) I would get a monster headache every time I used one and 2) I would end up with a back ache from pushing around a big old heavy machine. I have had neither problem with mine and have had it for about 2 years and no problems at all!

I am one of those people who don't generally fall in love with appliances but I even took a picture and blogged about it when I bought because I was soo smitten with my little purple beauty!!

karen said...

It looks like a monster. I am glad you love it. A little costly for me . But maybe someday.

Kate R said...

Glad to hear you're enjoying your new toy. I had no idea they made canisters. I have to admit I'm shocked to hear about the hose. You are absolutley right - at that price point the hose should be pretty substantial. But oh-how-nice not to EVER have to buy vac bags again!