By August 16, 2005

Dyson DC07 Full Kit Vacuum Cleaner Review

Ah, the Dyson. The vacuum version of Tucker. The little man amongst the corporate overlords giants. The DeLorean of vacuum cleaner manufacturers — minus the coke bust.

Whether you love them or hate them (Consumer Reports gave them a substandard rating recently after one of their “scientific” tests which involve comparing the cost of any test item to the average income of a retiree on Social Security), the Dyson has a bit of a mystique in the vac market. All but one Dyson model is an upright canister vac, and they are all powered by “turbine” technology which allows the Dyson to maintain consistent suction regardless of the amount of shit it has picked up.

I considered two main models (the DC07 and DC14, at the time of my purchase the DC 15 Ball vac hadn’t come out yet). As far as I can tell, there on only a few difference between the DC07 and the DC14:

  • The DC07 is about $50 – $100 less than the DC14, depending on the kit you buy.
  • The DC07 has fewer turbines.
  • The DC14 has a smaller canister
  • Because of fewer turbines and a larger canister, the DC07 has less suction than the DC14
  • The DC07 wand unit is attached through the top of the handle, essentially making it “upside down” and requiring the user to flip the wand to attach it to the hose. More on that later.

The DC07 and DC14 come in a few different “kits,” or levels of accessories. I’ll run ’em down quick so we can get onto the actual review:

The “All Floors” is the basic model. It is bright yellow and doesn’t come with any attachments other than the Dyson-standard small flat brush, small long-bristle brush, and crevice tool. Mmm, crevice tool.
The “Low Reach” model features the flat, wide floor brush to get under couches, sleeping dogs, etc.
The “Animal” model comes with everything the Low Reach does, plus a mini turbo tool that has a turbine in it. It also has a carpet cleaning kit with Zorb, the lemon-scented sawdust lookin’ carpet cleaner.
The “Full Gear” model comes with everything the Animal does, except it has a longer warranty and an extra filter so you can continue to vacuum while the other filter is drying. The DC14 “Full Gear” model is different from the DC07 one.

On top of all of that confusion, there are some units only available to the DC14 line or to certain retailers, like Costco or Best Buy:

The DC14 “Full Kit” has a mini turbine tool, a bare floor tool, a brush control switch, the extra filter, and the extended warranty. It can only be purchased at Costco.
The DC14 “Full Gear” has an extended warranty, the Zorb carpet care kit, the mini turbine head, and the brush control. To my knowledge the only difference between the Full Kit and the Full Gear is the color, the lack of the bare floor tool on the Full Gear, and about $110 US :\
The DC14 “Full Access” model is only available at Best Buy. It comes with the brush control, an extra filter, and an interesting tool that only comes with the Full Access, the Low Reach turbine head. The Full Access kit also comes with a flexible crevice tool. I have no idea what that is, but damn it sounds like something you’d buy in a store with blacked out windows.
The DC14 “Complete” kit can only be purchased through Sears. It’s stacked like Pamela. The Complete comes with a mini turbine head, a low-reach floor tool, brush control, and two bad ass sounding tools: the dusting tool and the mattress cleaning tool. And here I was, using the mini head to suck the dust mites and sex-crust off my mattress!

Okay, one more thing and then I’ll stop regurgitating product information. Apparently the units sold to Costco, Sam’s, and the like have lower quality tools than the other retail versions. The discount store units are a little bit less expensive, but at least the Costco version comes with something all of the other kits do not: Costco’s unconditional lifetime guarantee. If something goes wrong with the Dyson for any reason I can return it for the life of the vac. That beats the shit out of the 1 + 3 warranty you pay extra for on some of the Full Kit/Full Gear models. Plus you can always buy the other attachments later.

The Costco turbine tool:

The retail turbine tool:

The Decision
Based on what I said about Costco’s return policy, I bought the DC07 Full Kit for $429.99 before tax.

As you can tell, it’s damn ugly — light blue and purple. But I didn’t buy the Dyson to look hawt, which it does in a geeky way; I bought it to jack dust mites like Jim Kelly in Black Belt Jones.

Usage: recreate one puppy with vacuumed up hair or your money back.
I have to make one oral sex reference. The Dyson sucks more than Monica on blue dress night.
I swear to God I almost pissed myself after I ran the Dyson for the first time in our old place in Maryland. The canister was about half full from dog hair and gray “stuff” from just the downstairs alone. I ran my old Hoover Wind Tunnel vac over the downstairs with an empty bag right before I used the Dyson, and the Dyson picked up so much hair I wondered if my Hoover vac was broken. Incredible.

Emptying your “dusty treasures” is easy.
You don’t have to struggle taking a bag on and off with a canister vac like the Dyson. There’s a release button on top of the canister, with a trigger underneath the grip. Pull the trigger, and the bottom falls out of the canister, delivering your hard-earned dusty treasures right into the garbage. I recommend emptying the canister deep in the trash can, as some of the dust will escape when you empty the can. Removing and replacing the canister is a snap.

Kinda heavy, but girls like guys with muscles.
The Dyson supposedly weighs 20#, but the handle is placed well and the weight distribution is easy. I don’t think most people would have any problems with the weight of the Dyson — I would be more concerned about shorter people trying to lug it up the stairs due to the height of the unit. I don’t like dragging the vac up the stairs, so I have to hold it at arms-length. Good for my deltoids, bad for granny with a plastic hip joint.

The magic wand.
The wand system is both righteous and a slight pain in the ass. The wand hose is inside of the upright handle, and in order to use any attachments you have to turn off the vac, extract the wand and hose from the back of the unit, pull the wand out of the hose, and reattach the wand to the coupling on the end of the house via the exhaust port on the bottom of the handle. It’s annoying, and while I appreciate the REALLY long reach you get from this system, I liked the ease of use on my Hoover Windtunnel model a bit more. As far as power, unlike the Hoover, there doesn’t seem to be an appreciable reduction in suction power when using the wand. Attaching the tools onto the wand is a little bit of a pain but the attachments are very sturdy once they’re on. I’ve jacked the brush tool pretty hard against our kitchen island with no ill effect.

Vacuuming becomes fun
I think it’s my A-type, goal-oriented personality, but I like vacuuming just to see how much shit I’ve picked up around the house. I ran the sweeper recently in prep for my birthday and was kinda sad that I didn’t have as much dog hair and “gray matter” as I do when I am on my weekly schedule. Lady Jaye isn’t too keen on vacuuming, which is fine by me, since I rather enjoy the whole thing.

Good Points

  • Great consistent suction.
  • HEPA filter keeps our friend’s sneezing down to a minimum.
  • No extra stuff to buy, like bags or new filters. The filter is easily washable, and only needs to be cleaned twice a year or as needed.
  • Using the wand, even at full extension up a flight of stairs, doesn’t result in a loss of suction.
  • Scares the dog, and we have fun playing cat-and-mouse as he jumps out from around the corner to attack the Dyson.

Stuff I’ll Change When I Become Emperor

  • Can you have a fucking more confusing product lineup? Make the differences between the DC07 and DC14 more clear, and reduce the number of kit models. The number of kits available for the DC14 was one of the reasons I settled for a DC07. If Dyson couldn’t make up its mind in what the most important tools were, I would buy one of the cheapest models I could and make do or buy the individual tools later.
  • Ugly. Damn ugly.
  • The wand attachment system is cumbersome on the DC07 model. The DC14 is apparently easier to manage, I’ll find out when we upgrade.
  • The top of the handle makes a LOT of noise when the vac is fully locked and upright. The vac is loud in general, but the sound it makes when it’s upright made me think the vac was broken the first time I plugged it in.
  • This wasn’t an issue for me, since I knew what I was getting into, but the price might be too high for some. But we’re talking about the house with a front loading washer and dryer and $12,000 worth of windows.
  • Warehouse/discount store models have lesser quality tools than their retail counterparts. If this really bothers you, you can buy the full retail tools separately. I find the unconditional warranties worth it.

Bottom line: Dyson DC07 Full Kit, I dub thee:
Four out of five STFU mugs!

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