REVIEW: Dyson Handheld Vacuum

Posted In: Blog, Camping Gear, Product Review, RV Lifestyle, RV Products

Recently we’ve been discussing ways to keep RV interiors clean. We usually remove our shoes at the door. We keep a container of Clorox Wipes handy at all times. And we own a Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner.

Our model is a few years old; it’s the Dyson DC31. The company is now selling the DC34, which supposedly boasts an even more powerful motor (which is hard to believe, since the motor in our own unit is plenty strong).

It slices! It dices! Well, actually it doesn't slice and dice, but it does suck (and I mean that as a compliment).

It slices! It dices! Well, actually it doesn’t slice and dice, but it does suck (and I mean that as a compliment).

If we had a pet and were concerned about animal hair, we’d get one of Dyson’s animal-specific models like the DC44 Animal (wasn’t that a Def Leppard song?). Dyson’s “Animal” line of vacuum cleaners boasts animal-specific features like more power and even greater suction. (Personally, I’d probably go for a factory refurbished model and pocket the substantial savings over buying new.)

Our favorite chihuahua is a little nervous about the camping. We're a little nervous about the shedding. Yep, she's a bit of a shedder.

Our favorite chihuahua is a little nervous about the camping. Yep, she’s a bit of a shedder.

Dyson has made its name by thoughtfully designing innovative vacuum cleaners. Sure, they look like something out of Buck Rogers, but the technology extends under the hood. It’s obvious that a great deal of design engineering goes into each model.

"Shedder? Who you callin' a shedder?"

“Shedder? Who you callin’ a shedder?”

Here’s what I like about our Dyson.

First of all, it has powerful suction. This is what really matters. I’ve used other handheld cordless vacuums and been disappointed by their suction, but the Dyson has never let me down. Inside the Dyson is a “digital motor” (whatever that means) that spins five times faster than a race car engine. All I know is that it works great. This is a cordless vacuum that performs comparable to a corded model.

It’s lightweight and well balanced. The total weight is 2.9 pounds, but the clever design makes it feel even lighter. The bulk of the weight is well distributed in vertical line with the hand grip. So it’s easy to hold and use.

There are no bags. Instead there’s a container bin that easily empties with a push of a button.

It has a couple of attachments, one is “long and skinny” while the other is “short and fat.” Both work well.

The key to squeezing battery life out of the Dyson is judicious use of the trigger.

The key to squeezing battery life out of the Dyson is judicious use of the trigger. Only pull the trigger when you’re actually cleaning. (Duh!)

If there’s a weakness, it’s battery life. So Dyson has included two power modes to extend battery life. In NORMAL mode, you get 15 minutes of suction; in MAX power mode, you get 6 minutes. We typically use MAX mode, and have no problems. Why? First of all, we leave the thing plugged in – it’s always got a full charge when we start using it. Second, the secret to extending battery life in the Dyson is judicious use of the trigger – only pull the trigger when you are actually cleaning! If you pull the trigger at all times (say, just walking around a room), you needlessly waste energy in the battery. If you use the battery wisely, there’s plenty of life.

She's so darn cute, she can shed all she wants.

She’s so darn cute, she can shed all she wants.

We discovered the Dyson a few years ago when the company sent me a unit to review. Forget about the fancy looks; these things work.

Dyson Animation 3


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