In November of 2003, I bought a Dyson DC07 Animal vacuum cleaner. I reviewed it in these pages and recommended it wholeheartedly to anyone in the market for a new vacuum cleaner.
I regret to say I cannot do the same for the Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner.
My DC07 Animal lasted for six years and had the daylights beaten out of it in that time. It sucked up everything from wet cat sand to fine sawdust generated by sanding a floor for refinishing. I had to replace the two hoses in the Animal on several occasions because they are made out of cheap plastic and wire and are prone to tearing from repeated flexing. But it was the irredeemable clogging from the sawdust that finally did in my Animal. Naturally I looked to Dyson for its replacement.
My wife was convinced that because we'd eliminated all the wall to wall carpeting from the house, and because we are down to five cats from the eight we had with the Animal, that the Dyson Ball was the best choice for a new vacuum cleaner. So I bought one.
The Ball is what Dyson calls the "new generation" of vacuum cleaners. It is designed with a much smaller beater bar head, to allegedly get under furniture better and generate good suction with the substantially smaller motor contained in the ball. Here are its good and bad points.
The switch to shut off the beater bar to make the Ball safer on the finish of an uncarpeted floor has been moved up to the power switch, to make it easier to use; and an automatic cut-off and reset switch has been built into the beater bar head to shut down the beater bar in the event of sucking the fringes of a carpet into the beater bar, to prevent damage to the machine.
The operating mechanism to remove the dust canister and allow it to be emptied has been redesigned to allow one switch to do the work of two in the previous generation of Dysons.
On bare floors or on carpets with no nap to them, the Ball lives up to its press releases. It's easy to maneuver, far more so than a vacuum cleaner with fixed wheels and has good suction. On bare floors or on carpet without a nap to it, you can get in much tighter than I could with my old DC07 Animal.
Now, the bad.
Getting the beater bar to run is a nuisance. It works very well once you get it started; but to get it started requires you to press on a purple foot pedal JUST SO while easing down the operating handle or it won't kick on; and you have to restart it every time you bring the operating handle to the upright position. The end users would have been better served if the beater bar ran constantly as the default position unless manually switched off by the operator.
On any kind of carpet with a nap, the Ball is MUCH harder to maneuver than my old DC07 was. MUCH harder. Yes, I could not get as close to furniture with the DC07 as I can with the DC24, but the 07 was much easier to move on the rug than the ball is.
The wand has been redesigned to telescope, apparently in response to customer complaints about the long fixed wand, to allegedly make it easier to use. It isn't. In order to reach over your head or into corners, you have to carry the base unit in one hand while manipulating the wand with the other on the end of a not-long-enough hose that snaps into the end of the wand as it did in earlier models. To be fair, this is not as burdensome as it might be because the base unit is so light.
One of the features I really liked about the DC07 Animal was a hose long enough to let me work freely five or six feet away from the base unit and still reach under couches and into corners above my head. This new arrangement is neither as flexible not as good as the old. Further, the material used in the hose is the same material used on the short hose of the DC07 that connected the power head to the vacuum proper. I had to replace that hose twice on my DC07 Animal in six years; and that little hose didn't get anything like the flexing a hose meant to let you reach into nooks and crannies or vacuum the steps on the stairs gets. Time will tell how well this material will stand up to ordinary wand use.
Instead of issuing a brush tool and a crevice tool to fit on the end of the wand of the Ball, Dysom put the two tools into a bed and encouraged them to breed. The resultant kludge performs neither of the tasks for which the originals were made as well as the purpose-built tools do. Further, the retaining latch on the storage point on the Ball where this tool is supposed to sit in when not in use is difficult to unlatch.
The DC07 had a 10 meter power cord. This meant that you could plug it into one wall plug in a really big room and vacuum the whole thing without having to shift the cord; or that you could plug it into the wall in one small room and do a goodly percentage if not all of an apartment without having to shift the plug. The Ball has a cord about 7 meters long. Losing that three meters guarantees that you will have to shut down and change to another wall socket at least once in any room larger than about 12 feet or so that has furniture in it. This is definitely a change for the worse.
But now we come to the worst part of Dyson's redesign: the dust canister. It is about a quarter the capacity of the canister on the DC07. If you are working on a carpet with a nap to it, it is literally impossible to vacuum a 12 x 18 carpet without having to stop midway through the job to empty the bin. If you are vacuuming a small bedroom, you will have to stop and empty the canister before going on to the next room. I don't know how you clean with a vacuum, but I find having to stop every couple of minutes to empty out the tiny canister of the Dyson Ball so I can continue working to be an intrusion and a bloody nuisance; it interrupts the flow of the work.
Long story short: if you have an apartment with bare floors or industrial type carpet that has a very short nap, and no pets, this is a good vacuum cleaner to consider. However, if you have pets or deep pile carpeting, choose a larger Dyson with a heavier-duty motor and two wheels. Your back will thank you.
However, even that won't buy you a larger dust canister. All of the current generation of Dysons use that same tiny dust canister. To be frank, under those conditions you'd be better off with a refurbished earlier model Dyson with its much larger dust canister than any of the current ones.
The Dyson Ball does perform adequately. But considering I expected the kind of fabulous performance I got from my purple Dyson DC07 Animal, I am disappointed with it.
(1 customers reviews )
Customers Rating=3.0 / 5.0
More Detail For Dyson Ball All Floors Upright Vacuum
- Dyson Ball technology
- Ultra lightweight and compact
- Motorized brush bar
- Reversible wand for cleaning awkward places
- Washable lifetime HEPA filter
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