While we have reviewed Dyson fans and Dyson heaters here at GadgetReview.com, we have yet to review one of the products that people know Dyson for – their vacuum cleaners. Well my friends, that all changes now. While Dyson still makes the large bagless uprights, one of their focuses lately has been on utilizing their “Ball” design in every way possible. Not only that, but Dyson likes to make things as compact as possible – both for storage reasons, and ease of mobility. To accomplish both of those goals, they put the Ball on a small canister vacuum, and the result could not have been better. Ladies and gentlemen, the DC39.
Yes, the name leaves much to be desired – after all it sounds like the code for a new style of jumbo jet – but like the vacuums that the name is on, sometimes smaller is better. After all, do you really want to have to bust out “Oh I’m using the Dyson multi floor bagless canister with ball technology vacuum to do my carpet”? – just saying “I’m using the DC39″ sounds so much more refined. I’m sure the DC stands for something as well (Dyson Canister perhaps), but in the end it doesn’t really matter – you aren’t buying the vacuum for the name.
You might not buy a vacuum for the design either, but it is hard to write a review about any Dyson product without talking a bit about the design first. The DC39 straight up looks like something you might see in a science fiction movie. The canister itself looks like a mini nuclear reactor of sorts, with all of its little turbine looking nubs – top that with the filter that comes out of the center like a sponge cooling rod, and I would not be surprised to see this in an indie file someday. Behind where the reactor canister sits is the ball, which takes up just about as much space as the canister itself. In fact, these two parts comprise 95% of the final size of the DC39, with there being a small part left where the canister rests on, and a handle that make up the other 5%. It is a really radical design, and one that really saves a lot of space in the long run – measuring in at about 14 x 10 x 20 (h x l x w).
Another nice thing about the design is how all of the pieces fit together. Each part can be interchanged with another part due to Dyson’s designs; so if you want a power head on the hose, go for it. If you want to put an upholstery tool on the extendable pole, go for it – or it you just want the trigger grip and a crevice cleaner, it’s not an issue. If there is a configuration you can think of, the DC39 will accommodate it. Now I mentioned the trigger grip just there, and a lot of you may be asking what it is and how it works. The trigger grip is pretty much what it sounds like: a handle, with a trigger underneath it (somewhat like a gun) however it is what it does that is pretty cool. Who hasn’t inadvertently burnt up a belt on a normal vacuum by sucking up a pair of sucks or the like? By using the trigger grip you never have to worry about that, because just by pulling the trigger you completely shut off the suction. This of it like being able to pause what you are doing without completely shutting off the DC39. On the top of the trigger grip is a button that allows you to stop the brush bar from spinning as well, which means no scratches on hard wood floors if you don’t feel like switching the head out.
The DC39 comes with a HEPA filter installed for allergy sufferers like myself, which makes it nice to have around – anything I can do to help with the sneezing is welcomed! Every piece of the DC39 is also washable – with one minor exception – which makes it a breeze to clean. Just throw the pieces in the sink – or do them in the tub if you prefer more room – and you can keep your DC39 looking newer longer. That one exception to the washing rule? The brush bar. Dyson doesn’t recommend that you throw it in water, and says that should it get clogged with hairs and strings, then you should just manually remove them (I used an exacto knife). Yet another helpful feature on the DC39 is the cord return. I really hate having to wind up cords when I am done with them (ask my wife about that), and the fact that I can just step on a button and have the cord rewind itself is a God send.
About the only part I didn’t like about the DC39 was how you empty the canister itself. Let me explain: Once the canister is full (or close to it) you take it off of the DC39 body and bring it to your trash can. Once there, you push a small button on the top, and the bottom swings open to theoretically dump your load directly into the trash. I say theoretically because in my experience that doesn’t happen unless you hold the canister deep in the garbage can before pushing the release. With the speed that the bottom drops out, dust can get flung everywhere if you aren’t careful. My first few times using the DC39 I had that issue and ended up having to re-clean certain areas until I realized that things would work a lot better if I just stuck it a few feet in the can before pushing the release. This might not be an option for everyone though, and maybe the next iteration will have a slightly better solution to this minor issue.
All of that good stuff aside, I’m sure everyone just wants to know how well it works – is the DC39 worth the price of admission? Well, I will preface this next section by saying that I have five dogs in my house along with a Macaw, yet I neglected to tell the PR rep that at first so rather than being sent a DC39 Animal, I got a DC39 Multi Floor. I don’t know if the results would have been different with the Animal version, but I am only writing on my experiences. Got that? Alright then – for the most part, the DC39 works like a dream. As the commercials say, you can vacuum all day and not lose suction – that is until you try to pick up something about the size of a piece of dog food. The brand that we use is Purina Beneful Active Mix, and the chunks of food are about the size of a marble. As soon as the DC39 hit more than one piece of food, the suction would almost completely drop as the food could not pass into the canister’s intake which is thin and long. This would make me have to shut of the vacuum, take off the hose, take off the filter, and turn the machine upside-down to shake out the pieces of offending food. It was an irritating process that quickly trained me on what the DC39 was and was not capable of. As long as I stayed away from dog food though, the DC39 worked as advertised. Like I said though, I don’t know if maybe the Animal version has a larger opening on the canister intake for situations like that. While it isn’t a super big deal, it is something to look for.
The Bottom Line: In the DC39 you can see exactly why Dyson is known for their vacuums; it is futuristic looking, and works better than any other small canister I have used – beware if you have animals though to look for the animal version, and know that a premium vacuum comes at a premium price.
- The Dyson system makes it super easy to switch out parts on the fly for situational cleaning
- The trigger handle is a revolutionary idea that will save you a lot of headaches
- The handle and brush bar head are thin enough to fit under most couches
- Have to really watch when emptying the canister, otherwise dust will go everywhere
- The DC39 can’t handle things about the size of a marble
- The housing can get pretty warm after extended use
You can pick up a DC39 Multi Floor from retailers worldwide, or from Dyson themselves for $449.99