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Dyson DC23 Turbinehead Canister Vacuum Cleaner Review

on November 29, 2009 5:43 pm

dysonDyson is well known for their space age style upright bagless vacuum cleaners. I’ve wanted to try one from the first time I saw one of their commercials on TV. I wasn’t aware that they also sold canister style cleaners and happily accepted the opportunity to review the Dyson DC23 Turbinehead Canister Vacuum Cleaner when recently asked. They sent it. I’ve been sweeping. Let’s see if it sucked (a good thing) or not.

Hardware Specs

Air Watts (constant) – 220 AW
Movement type – Fixed wheel
Filtration – Lifetime HEPA + Bactisafe
Bin capacity – 0.44 gal
Dimensions – 13.9 x 19.3 x 11.9 inches (HxWxD)
Weight – 19.5 lbs
Max. reach – 36.2 ft
Cord length – 21.6 ft

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Package Contents

DC23 Vacuum
Hose
Carpet brush bar
Stair tool
Brush tool
Crevice tool
Operating manual
Quick start guide

To start out this review, I have to mention that this is the first time in probably over 35 years or longer that I’ve used a canister style vacuum. We’ve been using the same Kirby upright for about 20 years. Kirby’s are extremely expensive. I think we paid about $800 for the one we have now, 20yrs ago! I never really liked the Kirby because it’s so heavy and it’s a pain to switch out the attachments. I also hate changing the bags. That’s why the Dyson looked so appealing. No more bags!

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The main component of DC23 is the motor housing which is made entirely of Grey plastic. The Blue plug on the side is the Hepa filter. This filter doesn’t need to be replaced. It can be washed periodically and is certified asthma & allergy friendly according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

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The housing has two large wheels and storage for 3 tools (crevice, stairs and brush).

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The canister snaps in and out of the motor housing. This is the part that holds all the dirt that the vacuum sweeps up.

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Here it is assembled. You will also notice the big Red power button and Grey cord retraction button.

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I love that the cord stores inside the housing. Just pull out what you need (it’s 21.6 ft long) and then press the button to automatically pull it back in when you’re done. Easy!

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The flexible hose snaps into the motor housing and can be wrapped around for storage.

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The handle has a swivel grip and an easy snap connector to attach the rigid extension tube or tools.

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The extension tube can be adjusted by sliding it in and out of one end. Here it is fully collapsed…

dyson-dc23-10and fully extended.

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Here is the handle with the brush attachment tool.

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And here we see the carpet cleaning tool. The clear cover is a nice touch as allows you to see if you have anything wrapped around the bar.

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To convert the carpet cleaning tool from carpet to a hard surface such as wood or vinyl floors, you either pull out or push in the Red cap near the wheels of the tool.

Sweeping floors with the DC23 felt a little awkward when I first started testing this vacuum. I’ve been so accustomed to pushing a heavy upright that the Dyson felt entirely too light weight for me. It didn’t take too long to get used to the weight though and now I enjoy that feature more than I thought I would. The only minor annoyance is having to pull the canister along behind me as I sweep a long hallway.

I tested the vacuum by sweeping several rooms of low pile carpet, kitchen and bathrooms with vinyl floors and my computer room that has wood floors. Switching between hard surfaces and carpet could be easier in my opinion. I don’t like having to stoop down to the level of the carpet brush bar to push in or pull out the Red cap. It would be nice if there was a switch I could press on the motor housing with my foot.

Sweeping carpets is easy with the swivel carpet bar attachment as it can extend 3 feet or so under beds or tables.

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One area that the Dyson DC23 excels over almost any upright vacuum is that it can sit on a set of stairs while you’re cleaning them. I have two staircase in my house and cleaning them is a real #@%*. The DC23’s wheels sit on one stair, while the front part of the housing rests on the next higher stair. Too bad it can’t step up to the next stair when needed…

Swapping the hand tools in and out is pretty easy and they work well with the swivel handle.

Suction through the carpet bar or hand tools was noticeably better than all my other vacuums minus my garage shop vac. The Dyson is considerably quieter than the shop vac too. It’s actually quieter than the Kirby and other vacuums that I have.

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I really love that you can see all the gunk that you’ve swept up. It’s funny that there’s a level marking on the side of the dirt canister labeled Max, because that’s exactly what I sweep up in my house… my cat Max’s hair :) The DC23 does an excellent job picking up his hair. Way better than the Kirby.

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To empty the dirt, you just pull out the canister, hold it over a trash can and press the Red level on top. When you do, the bottom releases and the dirt falls into the trash. Your hands never come in contact with it.

dyson-dc23-12I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Dyson DC23 Turbinehead canister vacuum and was a little worried about how to review it. I mean other than sweeping my floors and seeing the dirt in the canister, what else could I do? After a day or so of adjustment, I have really grown to like this vacuum quite a bit. I can tell that it does a better job than my other vacuums. I feel like it takes me less time to sweep with the DC23 than it does with my Kirby, because I don’t have to go over the same area more than once to pick up dirt. Yes, this vacuum is expensive. And for the price, it doesn’t have the capability to shampoo carpets like my Kirby. But I just love the suction and the fact that I never have to buy bags or filters for it. The DC23 is one of those products where you get what you pay for.

 

Product Information

Price:$399.99
Manufacturer:Dyson
Pros:
  • No bags
  • Easy canister cleaning
  • Great suction
  • Sits on stairs
Cons:
  • Needs to be more compact for storage

Comments

  1. 1
    Neil says:

    “And for the price, it doesn’t have the capability to clean carpets like my Kirby.” – I’m not sure what you mean by this…did it not clean as well as the Kirby?

  2. 2
    BaldSpot says:

    We had some dopey vacuum when we bought our first Dyson upright. The first time I vacuumed the house, I had to empty the canister after each room. After the initial cleaning, the canister needs to be emptied only once for upstairs and once for downstairs. No need to wrestle the upright while doing the stairs – it has a hose that stretches out long enough to do all the stairs while the machine sits at the base of the stairs. I love not having to buy bags. The HEPA filter is a thick blue sponge that we rinse out every 6 months, and even then, it only has a light layer of dust on it. This proves how effective the cyclone technology is on this machine. 99.999% of the dirt stays in the canister. (Note: You get an extra sponge so you can continue working while the other one is drying.) The cleaning head is too high (thick) to go under most living room chairs like a canister’s does, but there is an attachment for the hose so you get the same effect as with a canister’s cleaning head. We like our Dyson so much we bought one for each of our three daughters as they set up house, and they love their Dysons, too.

  3. 3
    BaldSpot says:

    PS: A note about Kirby vacuums – I used to sell a little green German vacuum by a company called Vorwerk. My demo was to vacuum a spot 100 times with the owner’s vacuum, and then go over it with the Vorwerk that had a cloth wrapped around the exhaust to catch the dirt. The Vorwerk out-sucked them all, but the Kirby vacuums were among the worst for leaving tons of junk in the carpet.

  4. 4
    Julie says:

    @Neil I need to change that to say shampoo. Sorry.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    @BaldSpot That’s funny… your story sounds exactly like I remember the Kirby salesman doing when I bought mine…

  6. 6
    Tetsubo says:

    I’ve got one of the Dyson upright pet units and I love it. Best vacuum I’ve ever owned.

  7. 7
    Clingeek says:

    Your too late!! My wife just got sucked into (heh, heh) buying another Kirby (our 3rd!). She got a “deal” on it. $1,200!!! Wish I had seen this sooner…….

  8. 8
    Neil says:

    Oh, thanks Julie. That makes sense. We’ve been wanting a Dyson for a long time but they are crazy expensive here in Canada and never seem to go on sale.

  9. 9
    BaldSpot says:

    @Niel – Check Woot.com every day at 10:00 p.m. PST. Every once in a while they sell refurbished Dyson’s for El Cheapo Deluxe. That’s where I got my vacs for our daughters!

  10. 10
    Cheri says:

    I just purchased a Dyson DC23 and I am amazed at the dirt my old vacuum left in my carpet. I like the fact that I don’t have to buy bags and the vacuum is easy to use on stairs and hardwood floors but I find it difficult to use on carpet. I do not have wall to wall carpet in my home. My rooms are hardwood with low pile area rugs in each room and I am finding it difficult to push the carpet cleaning tool over the area rugs, is this typical?

  11. 11
    Michele says:

    I would like to add that the filter does a super job. With my old vac (shark) I would find a thin layer of dust over my entertainment system the next day. It has been a few days since using my Dyson Turbinehead and I have found no trace of dust. Less work for me! I love it.

  12. 12
    Gail S. Taylor says:

    Just bought a Dyson DC23 Turbinehead canister vacuum and so far, so good. It does seem a little bulky when storing as opposed to my ancient (and discontinued?) Hoover Spirit vac. I would recommend this for anyone with pets, as it seems to pick up much more of the pet hair without clogging the carpet/floor cleaning bar and eventually, causing the motor to burn out, like it did on our Eureka upright. We were lucky enough to get it on sale (at a 20% discount) at a Sears Essentials store. I think we made a good investment decision!

  13. 13
    Marnie Kelly says:

    IT IS NOT WORTH IT FOR THE PRICE! I bought a year and a half ago. It worked fine for a while, but as it got older, it stopped working as well.

  14. 14
    AL says:

    I bought mine a year and a half ago and it’s still as strong as it was when it came out of the box. It’s used through out the house on a weekly bases with two cats and two long haired women living in it. The suction is strong enough to lift the carpet off the floor board after all it’s usage you don’t need anything stronger.As far as I can tell with some of the other posters here you really shouldn’t use your DC23 to vacuum up your bath water, or perhaps dumping out the canister at least once a year?

  15. 15
    Mannie says:

    Love my DC 23 but how can you wrap it to store it well?

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