Test drive – Dyson Digital Slim DC59
Ever since my kids were old enough to eat solid foods I feel like I have been vacuuming every. single. day.
And with young children in your life, of all the chores around a house vacuuming has to be one of the most short-lived highs when it comes to satisfaction in a job well done. Add to that the tedium and hassle of the whole vacuum experience it becomes a begrudging element of a housekeepers grind. Cue smiling Dyson Slim Digital wielding dancers with crumb and sand free floors and you pretty much sum up our house this past two weeks. (Notice how I didn’t say professional dancers.)
I won’t bore you with the tales of my sad and failed junk yard of past vacuum cleaning devices, but I will tell you this – I have always wanted a Dyson, yet somehow owning one has alluded me (either financially or just timing). So when I was offered the chance to road test the Dyson Digital Slim DC59 for two weeks (with the option to buy it at a discount) I jumped at it. Finally a chance to find out for myself if the Dyson really lived up to the hype; and I figured that many Meetoo readers would probably be curious to know more about this new Dyson product – if they didn’t already own one. (And please, if you do own a Dyson leave a comment below telling us why you love it – or otherwise.)
I think I might have mentioned (at some point in my ramblings) that at uni I studied Industrial Design (and no, we didn’t design factories – rather we studied to how to design objects that would be mass produced – that’s a highly generalised description by the way) and it was around this time that Dyson launched (and yes Dyson appeared on the market in the early 90’s). Now I don’t really know if Dyson was just of particular interest to me because I was a design student and Dyson was possibly one of the more interesting Industrial Design projects of the time – or whether Dyson instantly had mass market appeal, but one thing is for certain: Dyson is not only regarded as the pinnacle in vacuum cleaner design and production – they completely revolutionised the way vacuum cleaners are made and made them sexy.
What do you need to know about the Dyson Digital Slim DC59?
What the PR says:
The latest Dyson Digital Slim™ DC59 vacuum is lightweight, cordless, and packs the same power as a mains vacuum cleaner. RRP $649 for the Animal model and $599 for the Multi floor. Find the new Dyson Digital Slim at www.Dyson.com.au
What I say:
- Pretty much the same stuff as the PR above
- The unit is really flexible – click off the pole and add any of the two nozzles and the unit becomes a dust buster that can clean any surface from upholstery to Victorian skirting boards. Click in the pole and the motorised head and it becomes a vacuum cleaner.
- Hit the booster button and the engine goes into V6 mode giving the unit incredible grunt – carpet pile returns upright and fine particles are sucked away with one or two swipes.
- When the unit is set to boost mode you can expect the battery to last less than 10 minutes – in regular mode it lasts about 20 minutes. Given you only hold the trigger button while vacuuming, and I don’t vacuum constantly as I move about the house, 20 minutes of actual contact time was perfectly adequate for me to do a quick vacuum of three bedrooms, the hall, main living area and kitchen before returning the unit to charge.
- Full charge time is apparently 3.5 hours – however I certainly haven’t waited this long to keep using it, but then I haven’t needed to get another 20 minutes out of the unit so soon.
- Bag-less vacuums have the advantage of not needing continuous investment to keep them going – I would easily spend $70-100 a year on bags for my current vacuum. You do have to regularly wash the filter of the Digital Slim – that said with my bag vacuum I also have to change the filter regularly and there are two of them and I have to cut the filters down to size to fit easily = same amount of fiddling about, possibly more.
- The ‘clear bin’ on the Digital Slim does need to be regularly emptied – it’s a straight forward release mechanism which opens the bottom of the ‘clear bin’ allowing the contents to drop straight into your rubbish bin… this is the best and worst part of the process. It’s the best because it’s incredibly satisfying seeing all the dust and crap going into the bin (and I have really been blown away by just how much dust has been coming out of my carpet). The first few times I used the unit I hadn’t really worked out that the rather obvious line with ‘max’ written next to it on the clear bin was in fact where you should fill up to before emptying (which I have now worked out to be about a rooms worth depending on how dirty the room is). I was having so much fun seeing how much dirt I could collect I just kept vacuuming until I looked down and saw that the clear bin was totally chockers full – like three times more full than it should have been. Luckily with a second click of the release mechanism the clear bin also pops off and you can give the unit a much more thorough clean (and not have to pull out the contents with your fingers – eugh!).
- While we talk maintenance there was one bit I didn’t like so much – the brush bar inside the motorised head is part of what makes this vacuum stand out performance wise, however this is a spot where loose string, thread and/or long hair easily tangles. Once enough of it tangles the brush bar will stop rotating and so you have to remove it from the motorised unit (fairly simple to do) and pull it off the brush with your hands – yup just glad it was my hair and not a random strangers.
- My current vacuum cleaner is only a couple of years old – it’s a well regarded european brand but not only does it require bags, the unit is a bit bulky (it gets shoved in the laundry cupboard and the hose and handle seem to fall out awkwardly as I try to shut the door to contain them) and the power cord seems about 10cm too short to reach certain points which means I have to crawl behind bedroom furniture to plug it into power points enabling me to reach that distant corner. We have a set of narrow carpeted stairs in our house which I loathe vacuuming as it’s like a weights session of me balancing with bulky unit in one hand, cord wrapped around my legs and the other hand trying to angle the nozzle to collect all the dirt – it’s cumbersome, fiddly and possibly dangerous. The Digital Slim just powered through those stairs in a couple of minutes. I think we fell in love on those back stairs.
- The Digital Slim loves small particles – dust, sand, cat hair. It struggles to accept bigger things, especially if they are hard. Our cat is a very messy eater of his crunchies – my current vacuum cleaner would suck the scarf off my neck if I accidentally caught the end of it near the nozzle – not so with the Digital Slim. The Digital Slim’s motorised head has the brush bar sweeping the dirt up as it goes along resulting in objects (like the cat’s crunchies and also things like LEGO) either being left behind or, in some cases, being flicked aside. When one of the kids spilt cornflakes across the kitchen floor the other day I had to crunch them up with my shoe so that the Digital Slim would suck them up!
- The ergonomics of the Digital Slim handheld unit are fantastic. I can hang over the mezzanine and reach places I have never dared before as the unit is so easy to hold – and so light (2kg) – that I really feel confident to reach places that with my own vacuum would be impossible. And if you are worried about the unit hitting the ground and sustaining an internal injury – the prototypes are apparently drop tested 10,000 times.
- Final comment – the fact that it’s so compact means I can keep it in a small space that is easy to access. The fact that it is chord-less means I am not fiddling with retractable chords and power points to clean up every day small messes. If you’re a parent reading this then I don’t need to go into any more detail than this: sand, tanbark, crumbs, rice, glitter, crumbs, sand, crumbs, etc
Do you have a Dyson? Does it live up to the hype? Please leave a comment below!