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on December 14, 2006
After reading these reviews I was hoping this was the perfect machine that could replace my other two vacuums, but as it turns out, now I have three, which all together handles my needs.

PROS:

- It is cool to see the dirt and pet hair swirling around in the clear container like a cotton candy machine making candy out of swirling air.

- It is nice to not have to worry about bags or filters. If you ever suck up anything damp a bag grows bacteria and the next time you use the machine, it really stinks. Even after replacing the filter bag, the outter material bag will always stink. That won't happen with this bag-less model.

- Its plastic materials (compared to my cast iron Kirby G5) makes it light and easy to move around, even up and down stairs.

- Its built-in, long, self-storing hose makes it easy to do stairs and other tight areas without going to look for the right parts to swap out. On a Kirby it's too hard to carry the hose, tubes, vaccum, and heavy carpet head around with you.

- It's quiet, pets appreciate that.

CONS:

- The bagless container doesn't hold anywhere near as much as the Kirby, so it has to be emptied constantly during use.

- The dirt doesn't all just fall out, especially if fur or hair is in there. If you shake it, dust flies around back into the air and sticks to the outside of the plastic container from static electricity, then you end up wearing it. I don't like reaching my hand into the grime to pull the mat out. While it may filter the air great while running, emptying it is not as clean as a Kirby bag.

- The brush on the roller is extremely stiff, somewhere in the middle between a tooth brush and a steel wire brush for removing rust. The bristles are too tough for carpeting. People who were amazed at how much stuff it picked up after using another vaccum first, I have bad news for you, the bristles are ripping the fibers out of your carpeting. When I went over pile carpet, the canister filled up with carpet fibers constantly by ripping them out, and there were whole clumps of carpet fibers stuck between the roller bristles like pulled hair. This was not a problem on my berber carpet with closed loops.

- The Kirby blows away the Dyson in raw sucking power. You can hardly tell when the roller is turning on a Kirby without looking. On the Dyson, you have to turn on the rollers to get the same cleaning power. The Dyson is half vaccum and half broom sweeper that both together results in a clean carpet. Again, not a problem on berber, but too harsh for pile carpet.

There you have it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Nothing's perfect, and I will keep this one, as I need something to do the kinds of things that this one does better.
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on February 26, 2007
The DC17 Animal is amazing. After just vacuuming with my Hoover and then using the DC 17 after I could not believe the gunk that it picked up. Yuck....I do have a black lab and white carpet (stupid huh????) and that means lots of hair but this vacuum is like a sucking tornado. It gets everything. It seems lightweight and easy to manuever. If you have pets, kids, or are just plain not into housekeeping, this vacuum will amaze you with what it picks up. These seem pricey but if you are smart and shop around you can get a new one for way less than the 549.99. With a five year warranty to boot, you cannot go wrong with this. It is worth the money..
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on November 28, 2006
I was a happy owner of an old-school DC-07 for about 2 years when it started to have problems - it wasn't picking up dirt the way that it used to. It was still (barely) under warranty so I took it in for repair. The repairman told me he couldn't find anything wrong but, nevertheless, when I got home it worked better and I was happy for another 4 or 5 months. It started having the same problem again recently but by this time it was out of warranty so I decided to look into a new one.

Despite the problems, I was happy with the Dyson overall and friends and family also had good experiences so I decided to give it another try (esp now that they have a 5 yr warranty).

I was able to pick up a DC17 with a store coupon that brought the price under $400. The main selling point for me was the new brushbar that is supposed to trap less hair - I have very long, thick hair along with a couple of pets and I was forever breaking out the scissors and cutting away the hair from the brushbar on every vacuum I've owned. After 3 weeks with the DC17 I am thrilled with the performance. The see through cover makes it easy to see that there is virtually no hair/string/thread buildup on the brush (which is unheard of for me) and the overall performance is fantastic. This version is much easier to propel than my old Dyson and I appreciate the improved quick-release hose. I've also noticed that this model seems to pick up a lot more fine dust than the older model did, even when it was working well.

All in all, I'm very happy with my purchase and would highly recommend it.
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on February 18, 2007
The Dyson DC17 Animal picked up more dust, pet hair and whatever than I care to disclose publicly on a single oriental carpet in my home! The colors of the carpet were unrecognizable and my wife vacuums regularly with an Oreck XL! The first time we used this Dyson we literally filled the clear Dyson bin three times! (We never imagined we were living in such filth!) We have one eight year old English Springer Spaniel and she sheds. This machine is made to order for her! The Oreck which cost about the same as the Dyson DC17 Animal is going to vacuum heaven.

This vacuum is a little pricey but if it holds up, it will be worth it. We also bought a handheld Dyson which is a little bulky but works well for small jobs.
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on February 14, 2007
The DC17 Animal is the latest in the series. I have also used a DC14 Animal, but disliked some of the design (e.g., the tools can fall off when you dump the dust). The DC17 re-engineered all of the things I found flawed with the DC14.

If you've never tried a Dyson, find someone who owns one and try it. I've had a commercial Electrolux for years and though it was a good machine-- both the Dyson

DC14 and DC17 put it to shame.

From my perspective, there are only two drawbacks--

First: price. A DC17 is a lot of $$$ for a vacuum. Considering it's mostly plastic, it's hard to swallow the price tag.

Second: the size of the dust container. Since it does such a good job of picking up

everything, the dust container fills quickly. Emptying it can get annoying if you haven't cleaned in a while.

I have several dogs and this machine does exactly what it advertises-- the amount of dust, hair and dander it picks up is simply amazing!
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on August 23, 2011
This vacuum has an Achilles heel, that can be fixed if you do one extra step when dumping the bin. And honestly, this should be done on all Dysons, to keep them like new.

Let me explain. I have a refurbished Dyson dc07 that my husband bought for me a few years ago. I have loved it and it is very dependable. So, I bought a used Dyson dc14 all floors for my son from a pawn shop. He is very pleased with it. Then I bought this used dc17 animal for my nephew from Ebay. Well as it goes with buying things from Ebay. The vacuum smelled of wet dog and was nasty. So, I researched all the websites that explained how to tear apart this vacuum to the smallest component so I could clean it. This took all day. What I found was that the improvements between the dc07 and the dc17, mainly the root technology part was this models problem. This vacuum has superior suctioning compared to the dc07 because of the small 8 roots. The dc07 has 3 roots (the round nodules on the top of the canister). This suction is so strong that it easily sucks up even heavy area rugs and destroys their corners as it does it. The moment you turn on the vacuum the lond sound it makes scares you (much louder then the dc07)it lets you know it means business. I was able to vacuum a room with it in a much shorter time then the dc07. I was in love, but this is also it's Achilles heel. The problem with this vacuum is that the hair, carpet fibers, etc. get stuck in the 8 roots. After use you will notice the outside of the cartridge in the bin is covered in stuck hair that you have to brush off with your hand or a tool. This vacuum sucks so hard that those hairs are really stuck on good, but what you don't see is the roots inside are clogged up too. When I opened up the root part of this vacuum (which was no easy task, and voids the warranty) the thing was packed with dog hair; wet dog hair. The previous Ebay owner had tried to use water to clean the canister part. An absolutely horrible thing to do). I removed all the clogged hair, bleached all parts, restored them back together. I would like to mention here that although there was a learning curve in taking this thing apart, I really had to admire how well it was designed and the engineering of how the parts fit/snap together. I had to hand washed both filters with bleach water (yes, the filter you are suppose to clean and the hepa filter you are not suppose to). Dried them thoroughly. Replaced them. I had to do this in order to get rid of the wet dog smell that occurred every time the vacuum turned on. I really didn't want to put anymore money in the project. This worked shocking well. Saved a bundle. This took car of 90% of the odor. Then I put a car air freshener in the dirt bin so that the filters would absorb the pretty smell of it and lose the yucky odor of dog. Took about 6 to 8 times of vacuuming, but worked like a dream. Now I had a prefect, like new vacuum.

NOW THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART: remember I mentioned that the 8 roots is the Achilles heel on this vacuum. These roots will clog again and very quickly if all you do is dump the dirt out of the bin and wipe off the air holes. This is why there are so many bad reviews on this vacuum. You will read it over and over "it was fabulous at first, and then ..."). This is how you deal with this problem and have the most amazing vacuum ever, each and ever time you use it. When you are finished vacuuming, take the dirty bin outside, dispense of the dirty contents into a bag (I use a grocery plastic bag). Then wipe or tap the canister part to dislodge any stuck on hair. Yes the hair is stuck pretty good; this vacuum has very strong sucking power. Then... THIS IS THE IMPORTANT PART... use a air compressor, or a can of air, and blow into the big holes at the bottom (the outlet)and the holes at the top (the inlet). You will be utterly shocked what comes out. (You will want to hold your breathe so as not to breathe in what is going to come out). This one trick will only take you less then 15 seconds to do, and will keep your roots from clogging up. If you have allergies, then slip on a mask (or hold your breathe) while doing this. You are going to be shocked.

This is the sacrifice you have to do to have a vacuum with amazing, powerful suction. It literally takes less then 15 seconds to do. But if you don't do this you will be disappointed with this vacuum. For it will clog up; guaranteed. Too many small roots for the hair to get stuck in.

Now if you would rather not mess with that then I would highly recommend the dc07. It's a very good vacuum with 3 large roots. The hair will not clog in it. And your area rugs will be much safer. You won't have to do the straddle thing with both feet on the outside edges so the vacuum won't suck it up. But if you want ridiculous suction (the wall to wall carpet actually lifts up as you go over it) then buy the dc17, and a can of air.

There is a few small negatives and positives I should mention with this vacuum (besides it Achilles heel)compared to the dc07 that I have noticed over the 4 months I have owned it. The dc07 has a very small section of bristles in the front corners of the head that disturb the dust against the baseboards. The dc17 does not have them. Looking at it you wouldn't think this is important at all, but when using the dc17 you find that it leaves the dust against the baseboards. You have to use the suction hose to get that dirt. On the same note though removing the suction hose on the DC17 is so easy, and even fun. No real need to clip on attachments, just pull out, point, suck, and slip back. The dc07 doesn't slip back in so easy and you have to brace your hand around the flexible part of the hose so as not to bend it at a 90 degree angle which stops the suctioning. Secondly, as briefly mentioned before you do have to do the straddle thing on all area rugs because it will suck them up and destroy them. Especially the corners of the area rugs. It just destroys them. The dc07 doesn't suck as hard and the revolving brush is not as vigorous, so it's gentle on the area rugs and does not destroyed them. Thirdly, it is much louder then the dc07. The cat sleeps through the dco7, but runs in terror over the dc14 (this can be fun). The dc07 does a fabulous job on hardwood floors and area rugs, but is hard to push back and forth on wall to wall carpet (no carpet height adjustment, so it takes big muscles to push and drag it). I always tell myself this is really good as an upper body workout. So I am vacuuming and getting a good workout at the same time. The dc17 powers over the wall to wall carpet with gusto; pulling up all the fibers to make those awesome vacuums marks. But it does not do such a great job on wood floors. If you leave the bristles spinning it just throws the dirt across the room, but if you push the button to turn off the revolving bristles then only the lose dirt is sucked while the stuck on stuff is missed. Also the missing bristles on the front edge are really missed because you sure notice the dirt next to the baseboard on hard wood floors.

This is my dilemma: I bought this vacuum for my nephews birthday; which is coming up in a few weeks. I was so pleased that I thought so far ahead this time and bought his present months ahead of time. I don't want to give it to him. I want it. But I really do like my dc07 too. Both vacuums have their pluses, but I really enjoy the way the wall to wall carpet looks after I use the dc17. All traffic patterns are lifted up and disappear; they look so good. The dc07 you have to go aver it over and over and in different directions to get that result. But shouldn't I give him the best? And besides the rest of the family knows that I bought this for him. How will it look if I keep it? Their rats; they will tell him. But I really, really like this vacuum. It really cuts down the time it takes for vacuuming. I thought if I could just buy another one, used, for real cheap, I could justify buying another one. But I have not found one that is "real cheap". This will be a very sad birthday.
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on January 4, 2007
Everyone thought I was nuts asking my husband for a vacuum for christmas - until I told them I wanted a Dyson. After one use we never questioned the price!!! With a Lab, three cats and a Westie puppy we needed something for pets - this was the ticket. My carpets are SPOTLESS ! ! I was aghast at the dirt it picked up. I purposesly ran my old Sears Progressive Christmas Eve to see if it was as great as the previous reviews I read on here were really accurate. What an understament they turned out to be. I am still in shock at how much dirt it pulls from the carpet and I have been running it every day since Christmas. The dirt chamber is still being filled every day. YIKES ! I thought my house was clean before, little did I know. I had also read a previous post about how their carpet felt better after using the DC 17. Mine feels BRAND NEW. My husband is amazed how soft the carpet is now. A bonus is there is no nasty smell from an old bag when you vacuum now. I can't think of one bad comment on this vacuum, not even the price - it was worth every penny.
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on September 15, 2007
I bought this cleaner 4 weeks ago. Awesome performance. Suddenly the "ON" button cannot be kept down. I went to dyson website, followed their suggestions, cleaned the filter etc...nothing worked. I called Dyson and I was referred to the service center. The customer service was friendly and courteous. They referred me to the service center. The problem was easily solved by opening the casing that covers the "ON" button and resetting it.

However, I was shocked to hear from the service center "this is a piece of plastic crap..., often breaks down, you better be prepared to deal with expensive repairs, this will happen more often..and the comments contd"..

I bought this expensive cleaner based on positive reviews. I still love the performance of the cleaner, but I wish I had read the warnings from other reviewers carefully. Anyway, be prepared if buy this cleaner, you may end up going to your service center often or you may be lucky and will get a great cleaner with no problems.
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VINE VOICEon March 28, 2007
I just had new carpeting installed and wanted a vacuum cleaner that would do a good job of keeping it clean. I also have dust-related health issues that I felt the DC17 would keep under control. I have to say that the vacuum is very sturdy and not as heavy to push as I expected, and even on brand new carpeting it brings up an enormous amount of fluff. Of course, much of this is probably of its own making, since its brushes are very stiff and the beater action is powerful. It is essentially de-fuzzing the carpet with every vacuuming. It does leave grooves in the carpet as one reviewer stated, but this does not bother me since I am more interested in having a scrupulously clean carpet.

The unit is a quality product, so why did I only give it three stars? Several reasons. First of all, for a product that costs a whopping $549, the documentation is abysmal. Dyson would have done better to hire a mime and photograph him using the sweeper. My impression is that Dyson wanted to sell the sweeper around the world and didn't want to pay to have the manual translated multiple times, so they just stuck to illustrations instead of including helpful step-by-step instructions. Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, the pictures in this manual say nothing to me, and I had to log on to Dyson's web site and watch the demonstrations to figure out how to use everything. Second, I cannot imagine designing an expensive vacuum cleaner without an automatic cord reel, especially on a unit with a 37-foot cord. The cord becomes an incredible nuisance without a cord reel; it tangles and gets in the way. Third, the unit only houses three attachments, and these are small and toy-like and must be snapped into place just so or they fall off. The other attachments are nicer (and much heavier) but need a home of their own somewhere in the house, where it is not convenient to use them in the middle of vacuuming. Fourth, the bin needs to be emptied twice in the course of vacuuming each room, about six times for the three main rooms; this is a lot of emptying. Just hitting the red button to open the bottom of the bin does not empty out the carpet fluff, which clings to the inside of the container; I have to detach the bin as well, to break the vacuum seal before the fluff will empty. This is quite cumbersome for what is again a very pricey vacuum cleaner. Although I want it to pick up a lot of dirt, I don't want to make emptying it my life's work; I'd like to see a bigger bin or an easier mode of emptying. Fifth, the nice, stiff brushes get up a lot of dirt but also need to be cleaned virtually every time I use the vacuum. That's a job my old vacuum only needed done every few weeks or even every few months. Dyson does not, as far as I can tell, supply a tool to make this job faster or easier, nor do they have a built-in device that strips the fluff off on its own to prevent the user from having to do what is a dirty job, particularly for people bothered by dust. Finally, I read in a blog that someone used the Zorb powder as directed to clean their carpet and woke up the next day to find that their goldfish in the same room had all died. I would expect Dyson to provide a warning for products that toxic and/or otherwise dangerous.

I am not entirely convinced that this vacuum picks up tons more dirt than my old vacuum, either, considering that what you see in the clear bin is not compressed like the dirt in your old vac's bag was. I'm guessing that if you weighed what comes out of the old bag and what you empty from the bin, you would not find that huge a difference.

Will I keep this vacuum? I haven't decided yet. I do want a clean home, and I think the Dyson does a good job of cleaning the carpet. It also keeps a tight rein on dust; unlike my old vacuum cleaner, it never has a layer of dust on it, and I never smell dust after vacuuming. On the other hand, the inconvenience of all its design flaws--particularly the lack of a cord reel and the constant bin emptying--is a weighty problem. I have yet to decide. A really stupendous design would include a brush stripper that keeps the brush clean by stripping off the accumulating fluff on each revolution and allowing the DC17 to suck it up into the bin. Would that be so hard to design? I would be willing to pay money for an add-on cord reel, by the way; do you read me Mr. Dyson?

Update: I did end up keeping this vacuum, and I'm satisfied that it does a good job of cleaning my carpets. It doesn't create quite as much fuzz as when the carpet was brand new. However, it is not well designed in terms of convenience. For example, I routinely pull it out so that I can use the wand to suck up spiders, which apparently find our area of the Midwest a perfect habitat. It's impossible to use the wand, however, without removing the wound-up cord (which I had to painstakingly wind by hand) from the hook/lever that it is wound on, otherwise the wand cannot be pulled from the machine at all. I've tried carefully pulling the wound-up cord off and trying to put it back on the hook when done, but this never works no matter how careful I am. Thus, even for a quick 10-second job, I have to rewind the entire cord again when I'm done.

In all, the vacuum has good suction so far, although the holes on the motor casing are clogging with dust and I will need another vacuum to get them clean. I thought about getting a Dyson handheld for that job but read reviews that said that it only holds a charge for 6 minutes before having to be recharged for several hours, so I nixed that idea. This vacuum is just very poorly designed in terms of being convenient to use.
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on February 22, 2007
We love our Dyson DC17 the Animal. We have animals, but the machine is up to the task! Great suction. Easy to empty. No complaints.

In shopping it is very difficult to determine the variations among the models. We went to a store and received demonstrations to make our choice, and we have no regrets.

The size of the machine is a bit bulky, but not an insurmountable obstacle, especially given its cleaning efficiency.
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