View Full Version : Dyson DC21 Motorhead (barrel vacuum cleaner)

13th December 2007, 07:51 AM
I see there are already two reviews on Dyson vacuum cleaners, but as my model is different I thought I’d let you all know what I think.

The Dyson DC21 Motorhead is the Rolls Royce of Dysons here in Australia. Initially I was going to purchase an upright as I like my carpets to be beaten with brushes (motor driven that is, not air driven). It had been my understanding that if you wanted a motor driven head, then you had to buy an upright. I’d heard about the air driven turbine heads on some of the earlier canister Dysons, but just wasn’t confident in the power of an air driven brush. Then during my shopping around I learned about the DC21 with its motor driven brushes. Now this got my attention. After a store lady kindly gave me a demo (I think she just wanted to play with it) even though she knew I wasn’t going to buy just yet, I was hooked.

One of our son’s got a really special deal for us, so there was a bit of a wait for delivery. I got my Dyson home a couple of days ago. It was fairly late in the evening when I got home but I was keen to take it for a spin. Though I had decided that I would do my thorough vacuuming the next day, I still managed to extract 4 canisters worth of fluff, dust, sand, soil & mainly dog hair out of my carpets. I was actually shocked at what I got out. The next day I managed to extract a further 4 canisters.

What I really love:

This thing really works. It pulls out all that dust, fluff & dog hair like there is no tomorrow. The clear canister rewards you with a display of all that rubbish and it is fun seeing the dust bunnies swirling around in there. The huge volume of air that is pumped out of the unit is clear as a bell and there is not the hint of dust in it. Maybe I could dry my hair while I am vacuuming. The cylinder is very easy to empty & there is no need to touch the dirt that is being emptied. It can be rinsed out very easily & it is quite feasible to imagine rinsing it out after every use. Both lifetime filters are extremely easy to get at. There is one that should be washed at least every 6 months, and there is another that under normal circumstances should not need changing. However if it did need changing it would be a piece of cake. The motor head is very powerful, has a swivel head for easy manoeuvrability around tight spots, snaps on easily & can be worked under a piece of furniture as low as about 13cm (5”). The handle is very comfortable & the stem that the motor head & other accessories plug into is telescopic, so can be collapsed for a very small storage space, or for when working in a small space like the car. Though the DC21 comes with lots of attachments, there are plenty of other accessories that can be purchased and they are readily available in most decent sized stores. I did purchase a mini turbine head for doing the car & the lounge chairs, as the motor head is a bit big & heavy for those smaller jobs. The power head can be switches off so that the brushes do not spin. This means that with the tap of a foot, you can move from a carpeted surface to a smooth or bumpy (like my slate floors) surface without having to change to a different tool. The whole thing packs away into a very small space when not in use, but is very quickly restored to full operational function without having to fiddle. This unit looks really sturdy. Everything appears to be of very high quality. There are no bits that you wonder how long they will last. You do get the feeling that you got what you paid for, which for the price tag is quite a bit. Everything fits beautifully. There is no struggling to undo, or to do something up. Everything works as it should. Finally I love the name “Motorhead”... kind of the rev-head of vacuum cleaners. The name says it all.

What I can live with:

It is a little more work than an upright, simply because not only is there a power cord to keep out of the way, but also the air hose needs to be kept un-kinked & not trodden on while you are working. Moving from room to room or around furniture takes just a little more planning that simply rushing around with an upright. However, being able to get that power head under furniture (especially the bed) and into smaller places means less moving of furniture, so this does compensate somewhat.

What I thought was pretty dud:

The manual! Basically there wasn’t one. I got a leaflet with fairly cryptic drawings on it, a page with warnings like “do not vacuum up anything that is burning”. You don’t say! Then there was an instruction page, if you could call it that. It really wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. Basically I just had to push buttons & flip leavers to work out for myself what was what. That certainly could be a problem for the technically challenged. For the price of the Dyson, they could have done better than that.

The bottom line:

I love it! If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner that really does what it says it does, is as fun as a vacuum cleaner can ever be, and if you can live with the rich price tag, then I say go for it.