Review: Dyson Stick Vac DC35

DysonDC35

Much to my constant irritation, we live in an apartment with wall to wall carpets. With a toddler. And a chronic asthmatic. We’ve needed a decent vacuum cleaner for years, and I’ve put off buying one for various reasons.

Enter: the Dyson Stick Vacuum, model DC35.

One of the ladies in a mutual Facebook group asked for vacuum recommendations, and this one kept coming up over and over again. Everyone who had one loved it, and everyone who bought one sang its praises. After the third or fourth post gushing over its ease of use, its power, its simplicity, I finally caved and did some outside research. Then I waited for the right sale, and got one.

And oh, my. It’s every bit as good as I was led to believe.

 

The Specs

The technical specs can be found on Dyson’s website here. Here’s a quick rundown of the main features.

  • Total weight is 2.25kg – I weighed just the hand unit by itself, and it’s 1.3kg.
  • 3.5 hour recharge time
  • 13-15 minute run time on one charge – down to 6 minutes if you use the “turbo boost” (I haven’t needed to yet)
  • Comes with an extension wand, multi-surface floor head, a crevice head, and a multi-function head
  • Has a two-year guarantee that you can register online, by phone, or by mail
  • Price: (Note that these are subject to change and I won’t be updating this list in the future! Prices correct on 11/11/14.) I paid $288 for mine from The Good Guys, on an introductory special.
    • Currently AU$397 from The Good Guys (on clearance)
    • Currently listed for AU$379 at Big W
    • AU$499 RRP (Dyson Shop)
    • For overseas readers, the DC35 is available for US$299 on Amazon.

The Good

This thing is easy to use. The connections are idiot proof – they only go on one way. The barrel is a dark blue, the accessories are silver, and the trigger and bin catch are in a nice contrasting red.

Left is the vacuum barrel. Right is the end of the extension stick that plugs into the barrel.
Left is the vacuum barrel. Right is the end of the extension stick that plugs into the barrel.

It’s also super portable – exactly what you want in a stick vac. It’s perfect for small spaces or light on-the-go cleans, but I wouldn’t want to do an entire McMansion with just this. A smallish two-bedroom apartment, though? Perfect.

The hand grip is a nice size, and the vacuum itself is light enough to use without much hand or wrist strain. (Note that I’m a healthy 27 year old with no history of hand or arm problems. It might be harder on you if you have arthritis or other issues.) The extension wand is 66cm long, which I find a comfortable working height for doing the floors. I’m 5’6″, so YMMV if you’re taller.

To make it go, you pull the trigger. When you take your finger off, it stops. At first I thought that was a bit funny, but it doesn’t take much to get used to and it helps to conserve battery life. Case in point – the first time I did the house with it (the first time in probably two years the carpets have been done properly), I finished all but the bathroom and kitchen floor on one charge. (Again, this might be a bother if you have hand or arm problems.)

A fifteen minute run-time might not seem like much, but think about what you’re doing when you’re vacuuming. If your house is like mine, most of the “vacuuming” is really moving things out of the way and picking up the 2,406 different things that have been strewn from one end of the house to the other. The actual time with a vacuum in hand can be as little as 2-3 minutes per room.

I find the trigger is actually better than an “always on” vacuum – it minimises the amount of noise to just what’s needed to clean the house, and no more. For a family that can sometimes have sensory overload issues, that’s a pretty neat thing.

Speaking of noise, it’s fairly quiet too. Still louder than Chipmunk would like (and me, depending on the day), but quieter than a full-sized vacuum cleaner.

The floor head is a bit smaller than a full-sized vacuum head, but not by much. It picks up pretty much everything you’d want it to. But not things like pencils or bits of paper – sometimes it will suck up bobby pins if I hit them at the right angle. I find this advantageous given my toddler and how fast she can get things back on the floor after I’ve picked them up.

It’s super easy to clean out the roller – just undo the catch plate with a coin, pull out the roller, and pull off the threads and hair.

It's super easy to take the roller out of the head and clean it.
It’s super easy to take the roller out of the head and clean it.

 

The charging station has also been well designed. The extension wand and floor head are meant to stay plugged into the barrel when charging, so you can just grab and go when needed. At top of the photo is the charging cord, which is attached to a spring-loaded barrel holder. You load the base of the barrel handle into the slot, and the charger plugs right in. Let go, and it’s all held securely in place. Neat, huh?

This is what the charging station looks like.
This is what the charging station looks like.

 

The crevice and multi-function heads are stored underneath the space for the barrel. They clip onto the charging station exactly the same way they clip onto the vacuum barrel.

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The Bad

I have surprisingly few quibbles with this Dyson. The main one is the size of the container – it’s pretty tiny. I have to empty it 3-4 times when I do the lounge room, and usually twice in the bedroom and the hallway. The non-carpet areas (kitchen, bathroom, toilet and stairs) can mostly be done with a single empty.

One other thing (that’s more of a personal inconvenience than anything) is the charging station. It’s designed to be screwed into a wall near a power point. The idea is that the charger is always there and on, and you simply unmount the vacuum when you need it. This is actually a really convenient setup – if you have the wall space and the power point in the right place. We don’t.

Pretty much the only space we have for the charging station to hang is right next to the pantry. Unfortunately, there’s no studs in that area to screw into. So I’m stuck with the vacuum around the corner, taking up half a pantry shelf.

Not ideal, but all we can do right now.
Not ideal, but all we can do right now.

Some might balk at the price – $300-$500 for a stick vacuum is a lot of money. I had to think long and hard about shelling out for it. In the end, I decided the money was worth it based on Dyson’s reputation for quality and the long lifespan their products typically have. I’d rather spend my money on a quality, well-designed product that will be a pleasure to use for many years, than save some cash on a cheaper model that I end up hating after 2-3 years.

 

This is an unsolicited review. I haven’t been paid by anyone to write it. However, some links in the post are affiliate links, which means that if you click on them and then buy something, I may earn a small commission on the sale.