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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best suction!
I think dyson like bose is a bit overhyped and pricey, but for this handheld vac it truly is one of the best i've ever used. I like vacuuming so have tried many different handheld types (electrolux, hoover LINX, black and decker, stickvacs, handhelds, shoulder mounts, corded vs cordless, etc...). My latest prior to this was the hoover platinum LINX cordless (BH50030)...
Published 11 months ago by penlight

versus
474 of 493 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to the Dyson name - comparison with Black & Decker Flex fvh1200 hand held vac
Dyson DC 34 handheld vs Black and Decker Flex fvh1200 handheld

Purpose of purchase: Clean cat litter around cat box, cat hair on chairs, occasional spills; some dusting (ceiling fans, behind TV's). Also, we needed cordless vac to take out to the parking lot to clean the cars.

I asked Santa for the Dyson handheld as a Christmas gift because we have a...
Published on December 31, 2011 by LizardLips


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474 of 493 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't live up to the Dyson name - comparison with Black & Decker Flex fvh1200 hand held vac, December 31, 2011
By 
LizardLips (Arlington, VA United States) - See all my reviews
Dyson DC 34 handheld vs Black and Decker Flex fvh1200 handheld

Purpose of purchase: Clean cat litter around cat box, cat hair on chairs, occasional spills; some dusting (ceiling fans, behind TV's). Also, we needed cordless vac to take out to the parking lot to clean the cars.

I asked Santa for the Dyson handheld as a Christmas gift because we have a Dyson canister vac that we bought back in 2006 that really impressed us with how well it worked. It remains the best vacuum we've ever owned, but it cost a pretty penny - $500 at the time. However, it just really blew us away performance-wise, and proved the old adage of getting what one pays for.

Based on that experience, and because we were disgruntled with the performance of our ancient, messy, corded handvac, we decided that dishing out the big bucks on a Dyson hand vac would be the way to go. On Christmas morning, I opened up the Dyson, turned it on and went about cleaning everything in the living room but was disappointed with the lack of "wow factor": It seemed sort of average, and certainly didn't live up to my expectations. So, I went onto Amazon to do more research, putting a lot of thought into what I'd be using it for; and decided to pick up and try out the B&D model before making any hasty decision to return the Dyson.

Having the two units at home, I tested them both over the next two days on my ceiling fan, around the cat box, kitchen drawers, etc. - often simultaneously using them side by side, switching hands frequently so as not to favor one particular vacuum. When done, I emptied the contents of each onto a piece of paper to examine the quantity of contents the dust bins. I was shocked by how much more debris was in the B&D and can only surmise that it was due to the inferior physical design of the Dyson (the angle issue -see below) in re. to how well it made contact with the surfaces that I'd been attempting to clean. Also, the B&D came with a nifty pet hair cleaning attachment, which I used on one half of a cat-hair-covered chair (using the Dyson with it's normal attachments for the other) and, in general, there were many areas in different rooms that I simply couldn't reach with the Dyson that I could with the B&D due to its elongated, flexible wand.

Cost: Dyson handheld - $176 (obviously a great bargain) at Best Buy; B&D Flex, $56 at Walmart. Each was priced at about half off the original MSRP.

Battery Life: Much longer on Dyson (about twice as long)

Charge time: Much faster on Dyson (3 hours vs. 20 hours)

Design: Dyson looks cooler but functionally, the design of the B&D model made it more effective at getting into tight spots. Also, even though the Dyson weighs in at only 2.92 lbs, and the B&D weighs about a lb to 1.5 lbs more (I couldn't find actual weight and when comparing specs on Amazon/Internet - Dyson lists actual unit weight and B&D lists shipping weight) due to the angle in which one needs to hold the Dyson in relation to the object being cleaned, AND the fact that one must always push the "on" button on the Dyson where it is gripped ( a power saving but at times annoying feature) it was actually much more tiring to use the Dyson -and I'm a total wimp who initially was excited about the lighter weight of the Dyson, and almost didn't do this experiment after realizing that most of the other hand vacs out there weigh considerably more than the Dyson.

Performance: Due to the difficulty in getting the angle right while holding the Dyson, even though it obviously had more suction power than the B&D model, as proven by oh-so scientifically attaching to each vac to the palm my hands then trying to lift them off the ground via suction power, I found that I was able to clean up more dirt with the B&D. That really surprised me because, at best, I expected them to clean up about the same amount, but actually went into the experiment assuming the Dyson would outperform the cheaper model.

When trying to clean my ceiling fan, the awkward position of the Dyson made it so that it offered no benefit over lugging out my canister vac. But due to the flexibility of the hose on the B&D, I was able to clean in all of its nooks and crannies.

Both units have a two year warranty. My previous experience with Dyson's customer service was excellent (on my canister vac) while previous experience with B&D (many years ago for a power tool) was just so-so, maybe a little frustrating if memory serves. I'm a little concerned about the poor customer service reviewers have noted with Black and Decker models, but even still, I expect that if anything goes wrong with the B&D, I can get them to honor their warranty, even if it isn't a terrific experience.

We're returning the Dyson because, for our particular needs, the B&D worked just as well or better, and cost a whopping $120 less! There is just no way to justify that kind of cost discrepancy. So, for all of you out there who wish you could afford the Dyson, but actually only have $60, don't feel like you're losing out. There may be some aspects of the Dyson that are nicer (longer battery life, shorter charge time) but for cleaning around the cat box and under the car seats, the $56 B&D model more than met our needs.

If each of the units had cost the exact same amount, I'd probably give each of them 4 stars. However, since money is important to me, Dyson gets two stars for its awkward-to-hold design, and for overpricing the unit, while the B&D gets 5 stars for being such a bargain in comparison - and, of course, easier to use.

As a last thought, if my needs were different - i.e., I needed to get out the hand vac several times a day to use for 20 minutes or more each time and had a very specific purpose for it, I *MAY* have gone with the Dyson, especially if pet hair wasn't an issue.
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the best suction!, August 15, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
I think dyson like bose is a bit overhyped and pricey, but for this handheld vac it truly is one of the best i've ever used. I like vacuuming so have tried many different handheld types (electrolux, hoover LINX, black and decker, stickvacs, handhelds, shoulder mounts, corded vs cordless, etc...). My latest prior to this was the hoover platinum LINX cordless (BH50030) which is pricey as well and highly rated. This is my comparison.

I actually own the DC34 handheld, the DC35 stick vac and the hoover LINX equivalent handheld and stick vac. I've been around the block to say the least.

SUCTION POWER:
This is obviously the most important feature. for the handhelds, hoover is so-so. not sure why so many good reviews. suction falls off as it fills. the dyson has a button to increase the suction power. I just leave this on all the time but note this will decrease battery life significantly but for simple cleanup jobs still more than enough battery life. it blows away the hoover in suction power. it starts stronger and holds suction better as it fills, it doesn't get clogged up. it is a much simpler design. dirt and stuff actually flies towards the dyson, the suction is that good.

dyson wins by a long shot. this is also true compared to all my other vacs. nothing has been this powerful ever. the difference is both noticeable and worthwhile. i'm never going back.

BATTERY:
both are lithium which is very nice. LINX models interchange battery and have a charging base. i left an extra battery in the base at all times. no trouble with dying battery or short life. this is convenient obviously, especially since most lithium devices just die suddenly when battery life is gone. however i have noticed with the hoover suction power also diminishes near the end of battery life. not so with dyson. it goes strong all the way until it just suddenly stops working. i thought it broke the first time. i prefer dyson. I also leave the dyson plugged in all the time. no problems. i even leave one in the garage where it gets super hot. still no problems. i've left them off charge for a while and it still holds a lot of charge. gotta love lithium.

ACCESSORIES:
hoover handheld has this slide forward brush thing. kinda worthless. the rotor thing is also not that useful. most rotors just kick stuff around. this is no different.

dyson has a crevice tool and a wider combination tool. i like the long crevice tool best. great for cars where you have to get into nooks and cracks. the opening is smaller though admittedly so bigger items can't be suctioned up. yet it is still the tool i leave attached 90% of the time. I suspect the crevice tool also increases suction power on the dyson by using such a small opening. it works though.

dyson sells other attachments which i haven't tried yet. no need. i'm sure they work well though for their intended purpose..

CLEANING/DUSTBIN:
both have small capacity but good enough for around the house use. hoover chamber is a bit more of a pain to twist off (it's slippery to grip). and also another inner cone-like part inside that you have to take apart and shake to empty. thus may spread more dust than dyson.

the dyson has a tab on the side that drops the bottom out. super simple. sometimes you have to reach inside to loosen stuff, but overall simple and convenient. closes quickly. very easy to see if the chamber is getting full as well. both will spread dust though. i like to empty into the kitchen trashcan and then put a wet bounty on top to keep the dust down.

HOLDING/STORING:
dyson sits much more stable on a surface. the hoover wobbles and has fallen off a counter top a few times as as result. I really like the wall mount of the DC35 as it is also a charging station. I haven't tried the separately sold wall mount for dyson DC30/DC31. I'd prefer the DC35 one admittedly if i could get another.

both are pretty light and easy to hold. no real difference. both can get a little heavy on the wrist if you use too long.

i do like a bit better how the dyson looks so don't mind leaving it out at times.

REFURBISHED?
i've bought nearly all my dyson's refurbished thus far. i have 4. they all work great. definitely worth doing if you want a cheaper investment in dyson. my oldest is 6 years old that i bought on ebay before amazon carried refurbished and still going strong without any maintenance.

BOTTOM LINE?
The dyson is better than hoover in almost every way. yes it is about twice as expensive refurbished but I still strongly recommend. it similarly blows away all the other handhelds i've had in the past. this is in fact the vacuum i use the most of all the vacuums i have big or small. I believe the price is worth it because it is such solid construction and lasts a long time without any maintenance. at least in this case dyson is not overhyped.

(UPDATE: got the DC35 with wall mount and longer extension hose. totally awesome. if you are looking for a frequent use vacuum to use for simple stuff and around the kitchen get that instead. for the car this is still my workhorse.)
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars First dyson I've ever owned-got as a wedding gift(one of the only things I got to register for), May 17, 2013
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
I own an old Victorian home with all hardwood throughout. When I convinced my bride-to-be that we needed a nice little vacuum to use on all of our steps so that we didn't have to lug around my 16 gallon shop-vac she finally caved. The day this thing was delivered to our house, I was like a kid on Christmas morning. Like most guys, I like fun new gadgets.

Having a lot of battery powered tools, I made sure to read the directions carefully so that I didn't damage the life of the battery in any way. After following all of the factory recommended things, I was actually looking forward to doing a little cleaning. I was able to clean the dust in-between all of spindles going up 16 stairs. THEN IT QUIT! I had only been cleaning for literally 5 minutes(maybe 6). I thought it was just a fluke so I recharged and then had a novel idea... I was gonna clean the interior of my Honda accord. I wish I would have started on the front seats instead of the back seats, because when the battery died I only had half of a clean car.

I'm a realist, I realize that no company is going to make anything and it be 100% perfect to every consumer. Even though I was frustrated I didn't get too overwhelmed because I figured since dyson "makes a quality product" they would see that we hadn't owned it for more than a week and it isn't working properly and we can just swap em out and everyone is happy. Not the case.

I called the customer service number on the vacuum and explained to the nice lady that my brand new, just out of the box, dyson cordless vacuum would only work for 5-6 minutes. I was thinking that she would act shocked and be more than willing to help a first time customer and swap out my crappy one for a new one. That's when she informed me that the life of the battery is 6 minutes.

There was an awkward silence at this point!

I basically told her that I would have never registered for this vacuum if I would have known that very important piece of information beforehand. Ya know maybe... this sounds crazy I know... but if you print that on the outside of the box where someone might see it, instead of buried in the manual it could prove helpful. I now know why they don't brag about "the best 6 minutes of their life", and that's because they've already got their $150,

The moral of this story is... If you,ve got a 1 room apartment this product might work out for you, and I hope it does. If you have anything more that 1 room you will learn a very expensive lesson. If you're still considering buying this product, please let me know, I'll sell ya mine for half the price... "gently used".... "like new"
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good power but BATTERY WEAK, November 12, 2012
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
I've had this vac for about 3 years now and the batter went after about 18 months with light use.
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76 of 97 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 4 minutes to vacuum my steps, February 11, 2012
I received this Dyson for a birthday present from my wife. Love the idea, but does not live up to the Dyson reputation. Good suction, however we purchased this vacuum so I can vacuum my steps easily without running up and down with a plug. Well I got to about my 3rd step and the vacuum flashes a light which means it is almost our of batteries. I thought that was weird. I then plugged it in overnight and tried again this morning. Same thing happened. I tried a third time and the full charge only lasted 3:50 seconds until it was totally out of juice. It says 6 minutes on high, which seems too short as well, but under 4 minutes is just a sad story. We do have another pet vacuum from Dyson that we absolutely love. Well worth every penny we spent for it. This one goes back as it does not live up to the Dyson quality...
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the price, July 13, 2013
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
Battery life is short, keeps shutting off while in use even when fully charged which is the most annoying part so there must be a defect and I read another review with this complaint. You have to keep pressing the trigger for it to stay on and your hand can get tired. Also when emptying, the dirt does not automatically come out, you have to pull it out with your hands. Dyson needs to step it up with the design and engineering of their handheld otherwise don't charge so much for it
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the MSRP, October 23, 2013
By 
junkshop (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
I own DC-41 (New), DC-47(Opened Box), DC-34(Refurbished)
I paid around 65% of MSRP for DC-41,
I paid 40% of the purchased price of DC-41 for both DC-47 and DC-34

In general, DC-41 has double suction power compare to DC-47,
and DC-47 has double suction power of DC-34.

Why I have three. My house is 40% carpet, 60% tile.
1. DC-41 for large area of tile and carpet. (once a week)
2. DC-47 mostly for tile that's hard to reach. (once a week)
3. DC-34 with DC-47 extension tube and floor tool for spot cleaning (daily)

Dyson never compares DC-44, DC-35, and DC-34 properly on its website.
* DC-44, DC-35, and DC-34 have the same or similar engine.
* DC-44 has a better battery than DC-35.
* Both DC-44 and DC-35 have the same SPECIAL base connector.
* All general/generic Dyson accessories SHOULD work on DC-34, DC-35, and DC-44.
* DC-34 does a generic Dyson base connector, that is different than DC-44.

As a result, any Dyson accessories designed for DC-44 or DC-35 won't
(or may not) be able to connect to DC-34
(now you understand why DC-44/DC-35 is not lot more expensive ...)

However all accessories come with DC47 work fine on DC-34. That's why I purchased DC-34.

Why 3 stars:
1. MRSP for Dyson is ridiculous.
2. Plastic Accessories are overpriced. Apple accessories are cheaper.
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37 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this little one!!!, October 26, 2011
I absolutely love this little vacuum!!! It is great for the high chair crumbs as well as all those other little and big spots that really don't require the entire vacuum. I also love that it can take the stair attachment that came with my Dyson Ball vacuum. While the stair brush does not spin very fast it still picks up a ton from carpeted stairs and makes for a much easier job. As for complaints regarding the battery...I haven't had to recharge it yet and I have used it for over a month for the little jobs around the house, the stairs and the back seat of the car where the dog sits!!!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love our Dyson floor model, the handheld not so much, January 11, 2014
By 
SeaFreak (Oak Island, NC) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
We are loyal Dyson users so it was a natural choice for us to go with the Dyson handheld when we were looking for a handheld vacuum. Despite warnings from a couple of other reviewers (annoying push button power switch, poor suction ability), we went ahead and bought one. We returned it after only 2 uses. The necessity to always hold down the power switch to get it to work is very annoying and impractical, as turning the unit to get at debris hiding in corners makes it difficult to keep the button depressed. The button also requires quite a bit of pressure to keep it depressed, which fatigues the hand while using the vacuum. Also, it had a very difficult time picking up small debris that you'd expect any vacuum to pick up -- for example, small bits of paper the size of confetti.

I don't know if we got a lemon or what, but we returned it immediately and are looking for another handheld alternative. We still love our full-size Dyson though!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Started out fantastic, but now dead, January 4, 2014
This review is from: Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum (Misc.)
This unit was fantastic as long as it worked. Ours developed a problem whereby it would run only intermittently (in 2-5-second bursts) and then not at all. This is not an overheating issue; it does this when cold. Calls to customer service resulted in tips that made minor improvements (clean the contacts, wash the filter, make sure the little flap is in the right position), but none solved the basic problem. This machine is a very expensive mistake, and while I am still very happy with my DC41 Animal upright (also a Dyson), Dyson needs to go back to the drawing board on this battery-powered unit. If they can solve this problem, it will be a wonderful vacuum, but now it is only a sad piece of Dyson history.
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Dyson DC34 Hand-held Vacuum
$199.00 $162.95
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