6.3.2010 | 10:19
Dyson DC25 Lightweight Vacuum Cleaner
The Dyson DC25 is a powerful cleaner. Its characteristic design feature is the ball, intended to incease the manoeuverability of the cleaner. In practice it works well, though whether it’s a decisive advantage over a conventional cleaner is another matter. I found it a useful feature, although it’s a heavy cleaner to manipulate when used over longer periods, belying its description as a "lightweight cleaner".
As an upright, it cleans better than any upright I have used before. Carpets cleaned by our existing Bosch cleaner yielded a startling amount more to the DC25 when it was taken over them moments later. Be aware that it’s a powerful suction and brush combination : I accidentally let it run over the charger cable of my mobile phone (which I’d carelessly left lying on the floor), which was promptly sucked up, and it was powerful enough to strip the insulation clean off the cable.
It has, however, some irritating flaws which seem to me to be design weaknesses. The supplied attachments are of limited use, as they are awkward to use and permit almost no control. There is no way to control the suction power : it’s either full on or off. This means that the attachments are of no use for cleaning drapery. Other vacuum cleaners get round this by having a sliding vent on the tube, which can be opened by the user to allow air to ‘dilute’ the vacuum, permitting curtains to be vacuumed in place without being sucked up the tube.
Users who think that the awkwardness of the hose in use is attributable to its stiffness, and express the hope that it will ease in time to become more flexible, are doomed to disappointment. It is not stiff in use because the hosing is physically stiff (it isn’t) but because of the powerful vacuum generated by the DC25’s motor, which ‘concertinas’ the tubing very powerfully, making it awkward to extend and manipulate. It will never become ‘flexible’ in time.
Cleaning stair carpets is an awkward task with the DC25. In order to vacuum stair carpets, you must use one of the two supplied attachments, fitted on the detached ‘wand’. Unless you are cleaning only three or four steps, you will need to balance the Dyson half way up the stairs. It is difficult to lift and balance the cleaner in this situation, however, because the handle is no longer attached to the body of the cleaner, and its footprint is big enough to make it unstable to leave alone on a step. The length of the wand combined with the stiffness of the hose and the high suction level make stair cleaning no pleasure at all, and far more laborious than it need be. The only practical use there is for the detached wand and attachments is reaching high corners at ceilings, for cobwebs and the like.
The vacuum hose has a connector which snaps in to the wand. This connector is held to the vacuum hose by a push-fit, held in place with two small black plastic lugs which engage in two corresponding slots in the hose. These are physically weak, and during light use when detached from the cleaner and an attachment fitted, one of these lugs sheared off. After this, the hose would not remain attached to the handle, leaving it suitable only for carpet cleaning on flat surfaces.
The bagless cylinder has a rather small capacity, but it’s easy to detach the cylinder and empty it, and just as easy to re-fit it, so it’s no disadvantage.
The negative comments about the supplied accessories shouldn’t be taken to mean this is not a good and effective vacuum cleaner : it is, and it’s one of the best floor cleaners I’ve ever used. It’s merely disappointing that its potential for versatility should have been so curtailed by such unexpected weakenesses in Dyson design.