Review: The Dyson DC49
The strong, silent type?
If you had told me 10 years ago that I would have been as excited about a vacuum cleaner as I was about a smartphone, I’d have pitied you. Because you obviously had got me pegged wrong. Very wrong. I chose my first vacuum cleaner at the age of 24 because it was cheap, it promised some HEPA filter rating that would help with allergies, and because it was a colour I could live with.
How times have changed.
I’m a convert to the Dyson bagless vacuum cleaner for two reasons: first, it has no bags to mess about with, and second because they actually work, in my experience. They fact that the products have a lot of technology shoved under the shiny hood that makes it very interesting is an added bonus.
The Dyson DC49 is the latest in the company’s line-up of ball vacuums, ie those that have improved handling and (mostly) don’t end up caught on furniture, walls and any other obstacles in your way. This one, however, is even more compact than previous efforts - it fits almost on an A4 sheet of paper - and it claims to be the quietest Dyson yet.
This makes it ideal for apartment dwellers - those with thin walls and limited storage space will appreciate the small dimensions and lower noise levels, although the latter may be of more benefit to the neighbours - or anyone who finds space is at a premium these days.
This is mainly due to the digital motor that Dyson developed for its products - it’s used in both the handheld cleaners and the Airblade hand dryers - that has been put into the DC49. It was 10 years in the making, and is cleaner and more efficient than the traditional motors. The V4 spins at around 101,000 revs per minute; in contrast, a Formula One car engine has an rpm count of 18,000, making the Dyson digital motor more than five times that.
Dirt is collected in the clear bin, which you can easily detach and empty after each use. And that’s recommended, as leaving it to build up means that you can end up creating more mess trying to get it out. Particularly if you pick up a lot of fluff - from carpets, for example - it can get caught in the gap between the cyclone filter and the inside wall of the bin, meaning you’ll have to separate the cyclone unit from the bin to free it. It’s not the worst thing in the world to have to do, but you have to be careful not to dump some of the dust and dirt back on to the floor. However, if you stick to the instructions - don’t let the dirt level go above the “max” level indicated, you probably won’t run into this one too much.
That’s the one thing though that might hinder this vacuum cleaner: its bin has a capacity of only half a litre. You’ll end up emptying this one frequently, depending on the size of your home or how much dust comes out of your flooring. Still, it gets you into the habit of emptying it regularly, rather than leaving it to sit for several days.
Filters are washable. Once a month you pop out the two small filters - one in the middle of the clear bin, one on the rear of the device - and run it under cold water, giving it 24 hours to dry.
This particular model was the multi floor, which means out of the box it came with a stair tool, a crevice tool and a multifloor accessory - everything you need to get started, but Dyson also does a good line in optional accessories, including a tangle-free turbine tool that is designed to pick up hair without getting its caught on the brush bar.
Out of the box, you’re more than equipped to tackle the everyday household tasks. The multifloor tool has been redesigned; it’s smaller, with carbon fibre bristles and the ability to turn off the brush bar should your carpet not be suited to it.
It weighs in at a paltry 2.7kg, so it can be easily lifted for tackling stairs. And the noise level is lower, but doesn’t impact on its performance.
When it comes to actual suction power, the diminutive cleaner more than pulls its weight. It dealt with most standard household grit (and a good bit that wasn’t) with ease and managed to extract fluff I didn’t even realise was there.
The verdict: At around €430, it’s not a cheap home appliance, but it does exactly as promised, and in a more compact way than its predecessors. Great for those with a lack of storage space.