Dyson DC39 Ball Canister Vacuum Review

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DC39 Multi Floor Ball Canister VacuumOver the years we have tried to make big purchases with three things in mind: Quality, value for your money and safety/health concerns.  Products that fit that bill are somewhat rare these days.

Recently I had a chance to put a brand new product and concept from the Dyson brand of vacuum cleaners through its paces. The new concept is the now widely known Dyson Ball™ applied to a canister style vacuum, called the DC39.

Since this site deals with frugal living as much as we can, let’s address that side of the vacuum first.  After checking the price of replacement vacuum bags which run anywhere from one to five dollars each, the biggest saver the DC39 has to offer is the fact that you do not need bags. Everything is deposited in a large easy-to-empty clear bin which can be washed in cold water.  The cyclone can also be dry wiped.  Over the lifespan of a quality vacuum, this can save you a considerable amount of money, time and the aggravation of finding/buying bags.

Another big plus is the completely washable filter.  No need for replacement – just remove, wash under cold water as instructed and dry thoroughly before using again. Also inside the Ball is a permanent HEPA filter that does not need to be washed.  Checking the price of HEPA filters I found they run from four dollars, all the way up to fifty-four dollars.

With the rising cost of electricity, it is nice to see an air-powered floor and carpet brush combined.  With a push of a button on the handle, you can switch from carpet to hard floor mode without bending down, plugging in, or trying to tap a button with your foot.  The noise is reduced considerably and there is no fear of burning out a motor if you jam it up – it simply stops turning. No harm done and all you need to do is undo one end cap, pull out the brush, clean it off and reassemble.

I have heard it said many times, “Why would I pay that much for a vacuum cleaner when I can buy one for a hundred dollars or less and it will do just as good a job.”  Well the truth of the matter is, it will not do just as good a job, it will not last nearly as long and chances are there is only a short warranty period.

What I am getting at here is the fact that there is no substitute for quality. I do not consider the five to six hundred dollar range of vacuums to be overly expensive when you consider that some fifteen to twenty five years ago, a quality vacuum used to cost as much as nine hundred to twelve hundred dollars.  Back then a one year warranty was standard.

The DC39 has a five year warranty on parts and labor covering material and workmanship. Stop and do the math. Say the average car costs you twenty two thousand dollars and has a limited mileage and three year warranty.  Your vacuum costs you five hundred dollars and has a five year warranty.  That’s value plain and simple.

One more thing on frugal – it’s not always about dollars and cents.  The less time you spend efficiently cleaning your house, the more time you have for family, friends, leisure or business. And a vacuum with poor suction that picks up dirt only to redeposit it somewhere else, isn’t really efficient use of your time.

When you start hauling this (DC39) machine around behind you, you immediately notice that it takes no effort at all – no tugging, no twisting, no drag and no bumping or catching on corners and furniture.  It’s the Ball and the tracking system that keeps it out of trouble.  Add to the fact that there are no sharp corners and nothing sticking out to catch on baseboards and such. That means a lot less banged up baseboards and furniture legs that you will have to refinish.  The move from hard floors to carpet and back is effortless.  I have never had a smoother transition.

Dyson’s Root Cyclone Technology has made it possible for the vacuum to be at full suction power at all times.  The new smaller multi-cyclones also capture much smaller particles of dust.  What you see in the bin really tells the story and I have had some very large particles, plant leaves, bits of material, half a box of tissues, make it through without clogging up the hose or cyclones.

I’ve always said: “Buy the very best you can afford” and it’s no different when it comes to vacuums. If you need to, save up for this quality vacuum. You’ll find it well worth your time and investment.

You can also read Mariette’s review of the Dyson DC39 on Housewares at About.com.

Note that the Dyson DC39 is sold in two models: DC39 Multi Floor and the DC39 Animal Ball Canister vacuums. The one reviewed here is the Multi Floor. In Canada, this canister vacuum is sold as the Dyson DC37.