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Dyson DC65 Animal vacuum review

on April 4, 2014 6:00 am

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I must have the cleanest carpets in the country by now due to all the vacuums that I’ve been testing lately. In the past few months I’ve reviewed three different vacuums from three different manufacturers (see related links at the bottom of this review). Two of them were cordless vacs and in the end I decided that maybe having a cordless vacuum really isn’t all that it was cracked up to be. The latest vacuum to show up for review is the Dyson DC65 Animal. A huge sticker on the front of the vacuum says that it has twice the suction of any other vacuum. Since I have a long haired cat, the name of the vacuum gives me hope that it will work well to keep the cat hair tumble weeds at a minimum.

Note: images can be clicked to view larger size.

Hardware specs

Bin capacity: 0.55 gallons
Filter: Lifetime washable post filter
Maximum reach: 51.7 ft
Cord length: 35 ft
Dimensions: 42.4 x 13.4 x 15.4 inches (H x W x D)
Weight: 17.35 lbs

Package contents

Dyson DC65 Animal vacuum
Self-adjusting cleaner head
Tangle-free Turbine tool
Soft dusting brush
Combination crevice / stair tool
Operating manual
Quick start guide

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Assembling the DC65 takes only a couple of minutes. The self-adjusting cleaner head connects to the bottom, the extension tool tube inserts into the hose, which then slides into the back of center section along with the handle and dirt canister which snaps into the front of the center section.

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The self-adjusting cleaner head has a clear plastic cover that allows you to see any jams.

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The bottom of the cleaner head has five small rollers that help it glide smoothly over hard surfaces and carpet. The bottom part of the cleaner head  floats up and down so that it self-adjusts depending on the surface you’re using it on, allowing it to maintain close contact with the floor at all times. This helps seal in the suction across carpets and hard floors.

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Also included with the DC65 are several other tools including the Tangle-free Turbine tool, Soft dusting brush and Combination crevice / stair tool. There’s also a holder that snaps into the center of the sweeper that allows you to attach a tool for quick access while you’re cleaning.

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The Tangle-free Turbine tool is great for picking up dirt and pet hair from furniture.

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It has counter-rotating heads with brushes to remove hair and dirt from carpets and upholstery and releases it straight into the dirt bin.

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The Dyson DC65 has a bagless design, which is one of my must-have features when it comes to buying a new vacuum. The DC65′s dirt bin is large enough hold all the gunk swept up from days of use. Even with Max my long haired gadget cat, I didn’t need to empty it but once a week or so with daily vacuuming.

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The top of the bin houses the removable/washable filter that should be cleaned once every three months. Cleaning is just a matter of rinsing and letting it air dry for 24hrs.

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To dump the bin, you just press the red button at the top of the bin handle to detach the bin from the vacuum. Then you can hold the bin over a trash can and press the button again to open the bottom lid so that the dirt falls down into the trash can.

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Dyson’s upright vacs are known for their ball shaped wheel that is designed to allow for easy navigation around furniture. The two sides of the ball act as wheels and pivot points.  The vacuum is not self-propelled, so it does require a slight effort to push it around a room.

One thing that really irritates me about the DC65 is that the smaller back wheels, are only there to keep the vacuum standing upright when it’s not being used. You can’t tip back the vacuum and wheel it to another location on those back wheels. When you try, the handle of the vacuum snaps down and the back wheels snap up as shown in the image above.

To get back into the upright position, you must lift up the handle and push it forward to lock it in place.  If you don’t pay attention and make sure it’s locked, the handle could drop to the floor, hit a table, a cat, or even a child.

Lifting and lowering the handle makes a loud cracking noise that almost sounds like something is breaking when you do it.

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The DC65 is controlled by two buttons. The power button and a roller on/off button.

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One of the nicer functions of the DC65 is the built in extendable hose that you can attach tools.

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The hose is really handy for cleaning stairs, but since the hose material it is made of is soft flexible plastic, it tends to kink at the tool end, which causes a loss of suction.

Thoughts after using the Dyson DC65 for a week

After a week of using the Dyson DC65 Animal around my home on carpets, vinyl and hard wood floors, I find that it does a very nice job picking up cat hair, cat litter and other dirt from the carpets, hard surfaces and furniture.

I appreciate that the dirt bin is large enough that I can vacuum for several days before needing to dump it.

I like the long power cord that allows me to vacuum down halls and into other rooms without having to relocate the plug.

I like that it’s not too heavy to carry up and down the stairs and that the built in hose allows me to clean the two sets of stairs in my house while leaving the vacuum at the bottom of the stairs.

I really only have two complaints with the operation of the DC65. One is the locking mechanism for the handle when it is sitting upright. It seems to require a bit of manhandling and I often find that I have to shove the handle forward more than once  till it clicks into place. It’s more annoying than anything…

The second issue is that it doesn’t do a very good job sweeping up cat kibble. My cat eats Hills Science Diet kibble which is about the size and shape of a chopped off pencil eraser. There are always a few pieces of his food scattered around his dish in the kitchen on the vinyl floor. The DC65 just pushes the pieces around instead of picking them up. This is because the pieces of cat food are taller than the gap between the floor and the self-adjusting cleaner head. To pick up the food, I have to push down the vacuum handle far enough that the sweeper head lifts up and over the food. Then it can suck it up. Not the end of the world, but just another annoyance.

The one other thing that can make a purchase of this vacuum prohibitive to a lot of people is the price. $600 is a lot of money to spend on a vacuum when you’re on a tight budget. Having said that, Dyson vacuums always seem to get a lot of good reviews and I will agree that the DC65 has good suction and offers several ways to clean with the included tools. I especially like the bagless design and large dirt bin capacity. Dyson’s 5 year parts and labor warranty is also an advantage. If the price and issues I described above don’t scare you away, I think the Dyson DC65 Animal should do a good job keeping your floors and furniture clean for years to come.

 

Product Information

Price:$599.99
Manufacturer:Dyson
Pros:
  • Long hose attachment
  • Good suction
  • Large dirt cup
  • Includes several attachments
  • 5 year parts and labor warranty
Cons:
  • Expensive
  • Handle design can be awkward to lock in upright position
  • May have issues picking up certain types of "dirt"

Comments

  1. 1
    Marko Koskenoja says:

    We have 2 dogs and a cat. When our $500 Sears Kenmore vacuum died after 6 years or so we bought a $185 cyclone 1500 watt Samsung vacuum that traps 99% of the dust, dirt and hair in the plastic cyclone tube. After a year we finally had to replace the paper bag inside the vacuum.
    It is a great vacuum cleaner.

    I also bought a Samsung Note 3 yesterday-wow, What a device! I have had BB’s since 1999, a HTC back in 2005, a iPhone 5 and a Galaxy S Infuse, It’s amazing how far and fast the technology has come along. I hope to use it for much of my computing.

  2. 2
    CR says:

    From long experience (over seven years with a Dyson) the process for getting the little wheels down becomes a habit and you hardly notice the steps. The hose kinking I took as a problem that I’ve had with flexible hoses on about everything – you simply close your right hand over the point of kink and turn a sharp angle into a a softer curve. What I don’t get is how you can go a week without emptying the thing. I have four dogs in a 1700 sq. ft. house and I need to empty several times during a suck session. They have a long warranty, it’s true, but I’ve never needed service.

  3. 3

    @CR I have about the same size house as yours, but I only have one cat. Big diff…

  4. 4
    Dawn S says:

    Good review Julie. I like reading your comparisons with the vacuums. Want to come test some out on my house? Your carpets are too clean now.

    I am not sure I would want to spend that much on a plastic machine, but the review showed it does work. I am in need of shopping for one, as I am stuck with the bagged Hoover upright from years ago.

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    @Dawn S For a full-sized upright, this is the best one I’ve tested so far. But if I were going to buy one of the 4 that I’ve recently reviewed with my own $$’s, I would pick the Shark Rocket. It has the best bang for the buck.

  6. 6
    John says:

    My experience has been the Dyson is more hype than quality.

    I owned a Dyson Animal; just sold it on Craig’s List for $75 and bought a Miele.

    My Dyson did not have that great a suction, particularly on stairs at the point where the cleaner ran up against the next stair.

    I also didn’t like not having a bag – the filth and scum permeate the air (whether you can see it or not) when you empty it. Also, I have read that the whirling particles eventually damage the engine (don’t know if that is true or not). It takes several months to fill a bag, and they’re not that expensive.

    Also, you’d think that if you paid $600 for a vacuum cleaner, you’d at least get a light on it.

  7. 7

    @John That’s a very good point about the lack of a light. I forgot to mention that and had noticed it myself as I don’t usually turn on the lights in the bedroom when I vacuum. My old Kirby has a headlight on the front, and I missed that with the Dyson…

  8. 8
    Andrew Baker says:

    2 dogs 2 cats here. Both dogs and 1 cat are long haired breeds. They collectively murdered two bissells, an Eureka, and a roomba. I was about to give up and live in furry squalor when a vaccum repair man told me to get a Electrolux or Miele. I got an Electrolux. So far I have been VERY VERY happy with is. It was not cheap around $300-$320 at costco. But it’s been reliable and still working perfectly after a year of fur abuse. The self cutting/cleaning roller is the most awesome invention ever. When the roller gets tangled in fur/hair, you just tap the clean button and little razor blades come out and clean it all off the roller. Takes about 5 seconds.

    http://www.allbrands.com/categories/821/40022-electrolux-el8902a-nimble-bagless-upright-hepa-vac

  9. 9
    Barbara says:

    Thanks for the review. I just bought the DC65 and love it! I have one question. Do you know how to attach the tools? A video would be great. I must be a dweeb cause I do not understand the Dyson pictures.
    Thank You!

  10. 10

    @Barbara the tools plug into the red end of hose. Each tool is keyed. They just snap into place. I can’t make a vid or take a pic for you because I just gave the vacuum to a neighbor.

  11. 11
    Dana says:

    I recently bought the Dyson Dc65 and my only complaint is the handle falling down since it takes a good bit of effort to lock in place. It is very irritating and I have considered returning it for this reason. Has Dyson responded to your review in regards to a fix for this?

  12. 12

    @Dana they did not comment on my criticisms about this vacuum.

  13. 13
    Chris says:

    Just bought this model at BB and while it has great suction, it was hard to maneuver on tile and hardwood floors. Took a lot of wrist twisting to get it to pivot. Think there may be something wrong with it. Took it back. Bought another one at a different store and it moves a lot easier and seem to have more power BUT….it is making a horrible high pitched whistling sound that is driving me crazy. First time I used it, too. Started after about 3 minutes of vacuuming. Seems to be coming from the ball which gets pretty hot in my opinion. Have read a few comments that say the same thing about the high pitched noise. Might not be able to keep for that reason…really annoying. How many do you have to buy and test out to find a “good” one?

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