Purchased this Dyson DC21 canister type "Stowaway" model, basically due to all of the problems/issues I had with the upright model (gave to my son), thinking this would be easier/handier to convert back and forth from carpet nozzle vacuuming to hose/furniture vacuuming. Unfortunately, this model also comes with many problems of its own so does not necessarily compensate for the problems/issues in having the upright and these include the following:
1. The electrical cord is terribly and painfully short (about 15' feet), which is just way too short in my experience, therefore having to constantly unplug the vacuum to re-plug into a closer outlet location (doesnt reach from hallway to far end of bedroom or office or from kitchen to far end of dining room), it gets to be very annoying because this happens every few mins or so of going along - I vacuum dining room and then have to unplug/replug to do half of a short hallway, and unplug/re-plug again to do bedroom across the hall from plug-in. It's just way too short. Why can't it be as long as the upright model, probably because it has a retracting cord function using a button for the cord to be retracted to (and from), inside the canister unit. After having to keep bending down to unplug, move and re-plug in, I'd actually prefer having to manually wind the cord than having it retract, which is already very slow, and cord has to be pretty much completely straight. So, the cord retraction does not compensate for the extreme shortness of the cord. After a few years, it doesnt even retract at all so we just leave it out.
2. As you are vacuuming along and if you are going in a forward motion, you have to pull or tug on the hose to pull the vacuum along, which is all well and good, if only it would roll in the direction pulled. Instead of rolling straight forward, because the hose is "off-set" on the right side of the unit/canister, it also does NOT roll straight, but veers to the right, therefore when pulling or tugging you actually have to extend arm fully and get the hang of directing it, which is hard on my back and shoulder and even still most of the time doesn't make it go straight so have to step back bend down to manually guide it properly together with having to prod it with your foot, and even still the vacuum wants to go off to the right, so you literally bend down to pick it up and set it down a foot in front of itself - what's the point of having a canister unit if it doesn't roll along with you in a straight line. This is not the only problem this causes, because of its veering off to the right when you pull along on the hose as you're vacuuming, it keeps hitting other furniture, walls, corners, and therefore I have little dents and scuffs in all of these areas, eg. My coffee table legs, dining table legs, chair legs, walls and corners are either dented or paint chipped off, anywhere that is not cushioned, so you have to take extra care, caution and extra bending to pick up and move the unit by the handle at the floor level, rather than it follow along with you. So, that's a major pain (literally), would be hard for elderly, pregnant, or any minor issues or disability. My mom used it at my house and was surprised how much she hated it. And she didnt even have to empty it, thats another drawback.
3. Due to the constant off and on of the dirt catching canister, the front clasp has popped off now (last time I went to empty out the canister) and is not going back on, it has a spring and clearly not easy or that simple to figure out how to put back on, and we've spent time trying to do just that without success. It closes but it is just sitting there closed, not sealed tightly/closed.
4. Emptying the dirt from the canister is a major chore - MUST be done into a garbage bag OUTSIDE as it is very fine dirt/dust and a cloud forms. That only gets the majority of dirt from centre but if you want to remove all of the remaining fine dirt that remains inside the canister you have to keep tapping it on the ground to loosen and remove, also making sure the wind isnt blowing in your direction. Not easily done in the cold & snow in long winter months.
I could not return the vacuum because I bought it at WalMart, return policy is 30 days. Ridiculous return policy for a vacuum.
5. The wand terribly short even fully extended to max, and Im 54. Bad for back.
6. Extremely loud.
Very disappointed overall, have had better for cheaper - and this is 2nd Dyson we tried. Stopped recommending it/them especially in context with the very high price, and believe me, many people ask how we like it. Ive had better. It's hard to believe realistic trials were performed as these issues would quickly be discovered and hopefully resolved. There are many other vacuums out there with just as good suction only better more effectively functioning features, hoses, cords, maneuverability, etc. etc.
Overall score 2/10 - for overall vacuum experience.
Dyson Animal Upright - DC15 DC25
Purchased Dyson DC upright model a few years back its ok for doing open areas of carpet. As for doing floors or furniture, corners, close to walls, furniture, under bed area, emptying, its a complete hassle. Here are some significant drawbacks we found:
1. When I have to change over to the furniture attachments etc., I often can't remember exactly how to disassemble the hose contraption from the unit because you have to reconfigure it in order to vacuum directly from the hose attachments, because
2. Although the hose stretches, it only stretches so far - only 1 or 2 feet before it starts to pull on and move the unit, you really need 3 hands for this. [Once finished, you have to reattach and put all back together/reassemble the hose unit, and 9/10 times I do it wrong\ where the handle goes because it always looks backwards so this frustrates me. So if youre not sufficiently coordinated or good with puzzles like me, and have a bad shoulder/arm it's frustrating and time consuming going back and forth from hose to upright vacuuming. I usually like to do both but now I do all my hose vacuuming first, then go back to the same rooms and do the upright floor/carpet vacuuming afterwards]
3. The cord length is ok, because there's no retractable cord feature like the canisters, you do have to wrap it all around the hooks on the handle (which is better than the canister type model, it's definitely a plus to have to manually wrap the cord if you favour or prefer cord length, since Dyson severely sacrifices length for retraction feature).
4. Also although the unit has "ball" technology, you still need a lot of arm, shoulder and wrist action, so if you have issues with that, I'd stick to a straight model vacuum. It is not really that much easier to vacuum around coffee tables or under the bed and barely even beside the bed and such because the head on the unit is so big and tall/high, you cannot go under furniture lower to the ground, before it bumps into the bed or 2-tier end/coffee tables, you get about only 1-2" inches at most of vacuumed space under/around those kinds of areas.
5. Suction is good for normal dirt and light crumbs etc. although still have to go over area a few times to pick up, unless canister is completely empty, it gets less and less the fuller it is. Will eventually pick up pet hair or lint but must go over and over area several times, and even then... meh. Also does not like to pick up larger pieces such as popcorn kernels and anything that size, have to either go over and over it, or just bend over, pick it up and put it in the garbage manually.
6. Emptying the dirt from the canister is a chore, MUST be done into a garbage bag outside as it is very fine dirt/dust and a cloud forms. That only gets the majority of dirt from centre but if you want to remove all the fine dirt that remains inside the canister you have to keep tapping it on the ground to loosen and remove the remaining fine dust, also making sure the wind isnt blowing in your direction. Not easily done in the cold & snow in long winter months.
I could not return the vacuum because the store I bought it from no longer exists here, and so I gave it away to our son.
I'm disappointed and do not recommend it especially in context with the very high price, and believe me, many people ask how we like it. Ive had better for cheaper. It's hard to believe realistic trials were performed as these issues would quickly be discovered and hopefully resolved. I think there's other vacuums out there with just as good suction, maybe even better, and with better more effectively functioning features, hoses, cords, manoeuvrability, etc. etc. Is the cyclone technology great? Sure, but that's about it. So I just wish the rest of the vacuum had as much thought/trials put into it.
Overall score 3/10 - for overall vacuum experience
For suction: 6/10 - a lot of vacuums have that
For versatility: 3/10 good for straight large area carpet vacuuming only (not including along walls/corners, furniture, bare floors).
Length of electrical cord: 5/10.
Emptying dirt canister: 2/10.
Overall score 3/10 - for overall vacuum experience