Customer Reviews: Dyson DC14 Animal Cyclone Upright Vacuum Cleaner
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on October 15, 2004
We have had the DC14 Animal less than a week, but so far we are amazed at it's performance. With 2 teenage kids, 2 Newfoundland dogs, a cat, a parrot and a finch, the floors see their fair share of dirt, hair, crumbs and feathers. We have mostly carpet with some hardwood floors with runners. This machine does an equally great job on all. Its is easy to push around and the long cord allows you to cover a lot of area without having to find another outlet. The wand is easy to use and, judging by the reviews on the DC07, an improved design. Instead of having to disconnect it from the hose, turn it around and re-connect it as noted on earlier reviews on the DC07, you just release it from the handle and extend it.

I don't put a lot of credit in the "sweep with old vacuum then sweep with new" to determine how much better the new unit is. I tried sweeping with the new unit and then swept again with the new unit and picked up more dirt. The test that convinced me that this does a better job is on an item that has never been succesfully cleaned with the old vacuum. We have a 2x4 dirt mat that is in front of the door between the garage and house. It is of a thick fiber material that catches and holds dirt and especially dog hair. Our old Hoover bagless has never been able to completely clean it. In order to remove the hair, we had to use a short stiff bristle brush and brush it out. The DC14 did the job. Did it do it in one swipe you ask? No. I had to sweep it good to get it clean but it did remove ALL the hair and dirt. I was definitly impressed.

We have not used the tools enough to form any kind of opinion on them yet. We have used the turbo brush on the furniture and it seems to do a decent job but I would recommend that you remove the handle from the hose and fit the brush on the end of the hose. It makes it much easier to use.

OK! That's the fluff. Now for the grit.

I guess nothing in this world is perfect. This is the second DC14 we have had in a week. The first unit made an awful ratcheting noise when we used it on the runners on the hardwood floor. I had seen other reviews that commented on this along with statements that it is a design feature to prevent damage to the life-long brush drive belt. If a rug gets sucked up into the brush and tries to stall the brush, a clutch begines to slip rather than burn the belt up. I called Dyson and they confirmed this. Good plan in theory. However, we had tried both the DC07 and the DC14 display models at the store. The section of carpet was similar to a throw rug. I could see the rug being sucked up to the head and hear the brush bar flogging the snot out of it and neither one of those machines ratcheted. In my case, the brush bar was turning and didn't sound like it was trying to stall so, assuming maybe the tension on the clutch on my machine was not set properly, I took it back and exchanged it for another. No more ratcheting sounds. I think Dyson needs a little more "Quality Control" on their clutch. I might add there is a good example why some items might be better purchased from a local store. Much less hassle if you do experience a problem.

All and all, we are very satisfied with the DC14. Only time will tell on it's durability. But in view of the fact it is an improved version of the DC07 and reviews have shown for the most part it holds up well, I expect this vacuum to last as long or longer than any other leading bagless vacuum currently on the market.

If it wasn't for the fact of having to take the first unit back, I would have given it 5 stars. I recommend the DC14.
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on December 18, 2005
In my earlier working years I managed and then owned and operated a small appliance and motor repair shop. One of my primary services was the repair of vacuum cleaners. I came to know vacuums inside-out and quickly learned that probably the most important factor for top cleaning ability was unrestricted air flow through the machine. Full or cheap off-brand bags reduced air flow and thus prevented efficient cleaning. Years later when I began to learn of Dyson's innovations I knew my next cleaner would be from him. Earlier this year the time came and I purchased one with all the gadgets. I was pleased to see that Dyson's technology did a very good job to maintaining a high and consistent air flow as dirt accumulated in the machine. I was not disappointed in that respect.

But a $400-$600 vacuum cleaner needs to do more than maintain suction caused by a high air flow. The unit that I purchased had the feature allowing one to turn off the rotating brush while vacuuming hard surfaces. This feature was so temperamental that, for unknown reasons, it would slip out and turn itself off while I was vacuuming carpet. Because of the noise it was only possible to know if the brush was turning by putting something under the brush head. This was dangerous and troublesome. I found that often I'd be vacuuming large areas of carpet without the aid of the rotating brush.

I also found out that the rubber belt for the roller brush was not user replaceable. The fact that the rubber belt quickly stretches under use and thereby causes the belt to slip more and more as it ages, means that it should be regularly replaced for good cleaning results. This should be done several times a year. Although I could replace the belts myself, it would void the warranty. This was not satisfactory to me and added another strike against the machine.

My wife has severe allergies and my decision to purchase the Dyson was aided by its HEPA filtration system. I had no complaints about the Dyson's ability to filter. But I had a major problem because of the design of the machine that vented the exhaust air out the lower front area. This cause the dust and dirt in front of the machine to be blown up into the air. This was the final strike.

I used the machine for 30 days and gradually discovered these design problems along with the difficulty of using the attachments. Although it performs the tasks of an upright and canister vacuum cleaner well, the attachments are a struggle to use. I returned the Dyson back to the store and purchased a different machine for half the price. This one uses HEPA bags and filters which will cost me the difference over time, but at least the brushes turn when I want them to, I can replace the belts, and the exhaust air doesn't kick dirt into the air.

Dyson accomplished his goal of not loosing suction as dirt was collected in the machine. But he needs to spend more time developing a good vacuum cleaner to put this technology into. He needs to know that when people spend that much money for a vacuum cleaner they expect little things too; like a lamp -- a little thing, but something that is missed and therefore disappoints.
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on February 19, 2005
Overall, this is one amazing vacuum, and I compare it to my Rainbow and a bagless Bissel, among others. I have a Corgi who is in a constant state of blowing her coat, and a daughter with dust allergies. I am thrilled with the Dyson, and, with just a few minor caveats (plus I don't have stairs so can't speak to that issue), I give it my highest recommendation. The way it all fits together, and the thought that clearly went into the design and function of the Dyson just makes it a really cool vacuum whose effectiveness leaves others in the dust.


- Amazing suction--can't say enough about this--unbelievable what it picks up, and carpets and floors look great afterward (actually pulls up the nap in your carpet). This thorough removal of dirt should lengthen the life of my carpets, since ground-in dirt grains cut the carpet fibers.

- Fantastic at getting up dog hair--and I must vacuum at least every other day (wish I could just vacuum the dog).

- Onboard hose, wand and attachments so covenient and easy to use, I am much more likely to quickly go over the baseboards, a/c vents and returns, fans, furniture etc. on a much more regular basis.

- Lightweight, easy to pull around on large back wheels or grasp to carry from place-to-place with conveniently low carry handle--no bending or struggling.

- Bagless, so you can see what you're getting (as I could with my Rainbow, but the Dyson picks up so much more!). It's easy to see when to empty clear plastic bin.


- High profile keeps vacuum from reaching all the way under the toe-kicks in my kitchen and other low but open spaces; must sweep first or use attachments.

- Cannot use on scatter rugs or small (3 x 5) area rugs, even fairly heavy ones, because the mighty suction causes the rugs to adhere to the bottom of the vacuum--I wish there were a "reduced suction" setting for these.

- Obviously, it will suck up the fringe on Orientals, so steer clear.

- Neither of the 2 "offboard" vacuum attachments (also meant for stairs and cars) will flatten out at the end of the wand quite enough to get completely under a queen or king-sized bed the way my old Rainbow could (which is too bad, because my Corgi sleeps under my daughter's bed). I wish the vacuum attachments would swivel just a bit flatter.

- While it is easy to empty the bin in theory, I must do it outside in a cinched plastic garbage bag to keep the dust from flying all around, and sometimes the accumulated hair has to be manually "helped" out of the bin, which could be a problem if one were really allergic to dust. I tie up and dispose of the plastic bag to keep the dust/hair in, so I guess it's not a truly "bagless" vacuum.

But even with these considerations, my house has never been cleaner--hair, dirt and dust-free!
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on March 12, 2006
Ok, look....

I sell dysons for a living, as I am a college student who works in the Sears vacuum department. Usually I ignore most ignorant reviews made by those who have tried them and do not like them. But this time, I decided to set the record straight for those who are looking to purchase one.

1. Dyson's are a mixed blessing. They have tremendous suction, and no they do NOT typically lose it after a year. If they do, they have a absolutely full two year warrenty that covers even maintainence, something unheard of in vacuum cleaners under a $1000 (the closest other than dyson is a 1 year limited warrenty such as kenmore's); simply call up dyson and they should fix it for you. However, I have seen certain people complain that the suction is sometimes too strong. That is because a dyson depends more upon the power of its suction than its beater bar to pick up most things. Works great on bare floors and 90% of carpets, not as well on some, so there is a possiibility of you having problems.

2. Few people have problems with the attachments, but occasionally it happens, mostly because those people tend to misuse the attachments for whatever reason. Consumers must understand the reason for purchasing a dyson. Dysons are great because they last longer than any other vacuum nowadays (and I stress nowadays, because they used to last longer); because they are easier to use (once you get used to it's unique design) than most other vacuums, and because of the fact that there are no running costs to operate it. If you look at the ratings on them by consumer reports, they will typically rate them around number 10 or so (mostly because CRs don't take into account how much longer a dyson will last you, or the running costs) but as far as straight suction goes, I would say they are only slightly above average.

Dysons are great because they are an investment in a vaccum that you don't have to buy bags or filters all the time, and because of its life and ease of use...thats all. If someone tells you that it actually will suck better straight out of the box, they're either lying to sell you one, or they're mistaken. Still, they do work great, and are worth it if you can find one for a great price, around 400 or less.

Last but not least, stay away from the ball (DC 15)its a nightmare...

If anyone is in the area, they could come and see me at sears vacuums in Albany, Oregon...I'd be glad to show them all about the dysons...thank you for reading my extremely long review...Ryan (541) 967 3200
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on October 8, 2004
It was with great trepidation that we decided to plunk down over $500 for a vacuum cleaner. But with two golden retrievers, and 3 vacuums over the last half-dozen years that would never pick up the hair and lost suction quickly over the first months, we needed something better desperately. It's almost embharrasing to admit how excited I was over a vacuum cleaner after my first run through the house with it. But after picking up a tall kitchen bags worth of hair and dust from only about 1000 sq. ft. of recently vacuumed (with the old vacuum) carpet, I was truly amazed.

While it's certainly too early to tell how this thing will hold up, so far, I'm incredibly impressed. It's met all the expectations that I had and more. The handle / tube assembly seems a tad shaky too me (although that is probably part of the design - I've never used a vacuum where the handle itself turns into a sucking / hose utensil), but otherwise, the thing seems fairly well built. It does seem a bit plasticky, but the plastic doesn't seem thin (like another review stated) - but sturdy and pretty indestructible.

Since this is a new product, few reviews exist at this time. Unfortunately, one of the few current reviews was a one star due to the failure of a part. It's unfortunate that this occurred, but considering the incredibly positive reviews on the DC07 from Dyson, I would be willing to consider this a fluke. There will always be a defective unit here and there. The vacuum performs so well, it's worth the risk - and I hope (and expect) that this is a rare occurrence.

I can't say enough positive things about this device. If it lasts 3 years, it would be worth it and I would buy another.
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on July 20, 2005
Can't give this a 5 star as there are some "things" that are less than ideal. Am amazed (and suspicious) that anyone could possibly rate this a 1 star though.

Background- have a Boston Terrier/ Short, stiff hairs. Have been using a very high Consumer rated Eureka for the last couple years...which did a decent job. The house is 3 years old, 3200 sq ft, 1600 sq ft per floor.


First, some have commented that the Dyson was heavy. Not sure what they had been using before....but it's MUCH lighter and certainly less bulky than our Eureka

Second, cleaned the entire house -thoroughly with the Eureka, then used the a word, WHOA! Yes, that's opinion, but having PRE-vacuumed the entire house, ended up with over a cup full of dirt and fluff using the Dyson immediately after, and again, the house is only 3 years old.

Was also thrilled as this is the first vacuum that I could plug in once and can reach virtually the entire level (again, roughly 1600 sq ft per floor). Kind of a silly reason alone to buy a vacuum, but a welcomed feature.

I'm also convinced that the nap of the carpet in general has been revived. That's not scientific, just feels and looks different. This coming from the person who has stared at this carpet once or twice a week for the last 3 years


FWIW, we opted for a "special" DC14 that Dyson makes for Sears. Basically has additional attachments; Had the turbo attachment, floor attachment, mattress attachment and some others. Would NOT advise spending even the extra $20 for these. In fact, we've talked about if we even needed the "animal" tools AT ALL.

The turbo head with beater bar proved to be virtually worthless. It stops moving with normal carpet nap (which since it's air driven it would). Found I was better off to use the regular fixed head -which I did on the stairs and was thrilled with the results)

Have not tried the Turbo head on the cloth sofa yet....although I have my reservations

Lastly, as stated in other reviews, when the beater bar locks up on a throw rug, it WILL scare the snot out of you. Makes a HORRIBLE ratcheting noise. Although we've found the hardwood floor setting seems to work just fine on our throw rugs
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on December 31, 2004
About a year ago I decided to purchase a top-of-the-line Self-propelled Dirt Devil because I didn't see a need to shell out an extra $250 for a Dyson.

A month ago, I purchased the Animal.

All in all, I can't recommend this unit highly enough.

- Significantly lighter than my old DD, but it is also far easier to push around and maneuver, even without the added feature of Self-propel.

- Comparatively speaking this thing is nearly silent. The DD sounds like a hurricane.

- Suction is amazing.

- Wonderful to be able to empty the canister without touching anything. Especially nice for allergy sufferers.

- DOES NOT lose suction due to a choked filter like other bagless vacs. My DD was rendered useless after one thorough carpet cleaning. Banging the crud out of the filter to clean it was an allergy nightmare.

- The Mini turbo tool could use it's own motor. The suction is so powerful, it pulls the brush into the rug and stops the brush from rotating. (Hence, the 4 stars).

- The wand is bit unwieldy on stairs, but I prefer to detach and use the hose for stairs anyway.

- The extra attachments cannot be carried on the machine - Some people are bothered by this... Personally, I hated the fact that the attachments on my DD always fell off.

The unit is very easy to use and superbly designed. The few complaints about design and user-friendlyness mentioned above I have found to be ridiculous... like someone who cannot be satisfied no matter what the product. Mechanically, it has been solid.

I Wish I would have bought it a year ago instead of the Dirt Devil. The Animal (any Dyson) is worth the money. Period.
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on January 30, 2005
Someone spent a great deal of time in probably SolidWorks 3D CAD creating this work of art. Every aspect is ergonomically designed to a useful precision. I don't care for the fluorescent color schemes. It's today's look, but too loud for my taste. I researched the DC14 carefully before proceeding. All the reviews were very positive on every feedback channel I could find. Most the thunder-struck users were bag users, and in comparison, it is awesome. I have two Fantom Fury's since their inception in 1995 and am familiar with wind tunnel technology. The DC14 is equivalent in my experience for pickup power, however the Fantom's beater bar is slightly more effective and I always had fuller canisters with the Fantom. But they are out of business, so I turned to the current champion of vacuum lore.

I like all the bells and whistles in any purchase, so I opted for the best of the line, the "Animal" DC14. The DC07 is close, but the DC14 is a clear winner. The DC14 is a remake of the DC07 after customer feedback. Modified wind tunnel for more pickup power, a much easier wand attachment mechanism and a slightly shorter height for shorter people. Cost an extra $50 over the DC07, but it was probably worth it. I don't have animals, so I can't speak for that aspect. I do have a large house and I broke a good sweat pushing and tugging my Fantoms. The DC14 was reported by a couple reviews as cumbersome, but I found it light and easy to use. It glides across the floors effortlessly. Some people howled about the lack of a headlamp system on such an expensive vacuum. I do agree that lamps should have been part of the design, however, I sweep during the day with the drapes open. Not an issue for me. The turbo head is slightly useless. Like other systems I have used, the small beater bar depends on the force of the suction to rotate the brush. A little resistance against it ceases its rotation. You have to concentrate on lightly gliding the attachment over the surface to realize any rotation. Most every system I have used are designed this way. Unless an auxiliary motor is designed in the attachment with a power lead to the main motor, I guess this is what we have to live with.

The big plus is it is quiet. Compared to any other vacuum I have used, it is very quiet. The neat thing about the power-down was when you reposition it into an upright position to turn off, the suction redirects to the wand attachment and as you turn it off, it sounds like air brakes on a bus. Cool mechanical noises are a guy thing... never mind.

$550 is a lot to lay down for sucking dirt from the floor. My research lead me to use the Bed Bath and Beyond 20% postcard, saving me $110. After 6% sales tax, it totaled $466.39. These typically go for $450 as no-reserve auctions off with $30 shipping. Hope this helps the penny wise and dollar smart.
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on October 5, 2004
I had my doubts about paying this much for a vacuum at first, but my mother bought one and asked me to try hers out. It was AMAZING and I had to have one.

I put this machine to the test the first day I got it. First, I vacuumed a bedroom carpet with my beloved Hoover, then went over it again with the Dyson. The Animal produced a full container of dust, dirt and loose fiber that the Hoover missed.

I then used an older version of a Rainbow vacuum (about a $1500 machine that I "inherited" from my grandmother) on the living room carpet. I had always though very highly of this machine and expected little to be left behind. But again, after using the Rainbow on the room followed up by the Dyson, I got another cannister full of dirt, dust and fiber.

In short, this is probably the most powerful vacuum I've ever used, bar none. The hardwood attachment is a godsend (although the extension tube could be just a *little bit* longer. The air-driven pet hair removal tool is okay, but since it is not electrically driven, it doesn't have the adjitation I had anticipated - still, good for short pile area rugs and furniture.

Possibly the greatest feature of this machine is emptying the bin. I've always dreaded this process with other vacuums, but with the Dyson, one simply holds the bin over a trashcan and push the release button. That's it! No mess, no bags, no touching the dirt and dust and other disgusting things you're likely to pick up with this powerful machine.

The ONLY shortcoming of this machine that I can honestly point out is the documentation/instruction manual. It is very light on content and doesn't go into how to use the attachments properly (the hardwood floor tool has two settings and I'm certain that there must be an easier way to engage it than picking it up and using one's thumbs to click it in and out of place, but there's no mention of it in the user guide). This also makes assembling the machine for the first time only slightly challenging and not so intuitive, but these are minor gripes.

I can honestly say that this is the most powerful, quiet, convenient and easy to use vacuum that I've encountered. It truly does not loose power, even when the collection bin is full, and does everything that it claims in the TV, magazine and web advertisements.

Only time will tell if it is a long-lasting machine, but for now, I'm VERY satisfied with its performance and convenience.
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on April 11, 2005
First, recall the vacuum is advertised as "No extra costs and lifetime filters that don't clog so there are no bags to buy". I guess their "no extra costs" claim is correct if you ignore the new motor you may have to install in your vacuum every year. Thankfully, I bought mine from Sears and put the extended warranty Sear's offers on it. Less than a year after purchase it began making a noise so loud you could not stay in the same room with it. I took it back to Sears and they said a bearing on the motor was out and installed a new motor (cost $92 if I had not had their warranty). Today, I'm taking it back to Sears for the second new motor. It is not quite a year after the last new motor!

I clean and change the one filter that it is necessary to clean each week after cleaning my home on Friday afternoons. So the problem can not be caused by a dirty filter. And unlike Mr. Dyson, I do not live in a 32,000 square foot house that requires a lot of extra vacuuming! My home is a much more typical American home at just about 2000 square feet, and because of ceramic floors that are scrubbed, only a little over half of that square footage is vacuumed each week. I bought the purple 'Animal' vacuum because I have a couple of medium sized short haired pet dogs, so there is not a LOT of animal hair to deal with. Basically, there is no "extra" vacuuming load to cause the vacuum to fail.

The second advertisement made for the vacuum is: "The first vacuum cleaner that doesn't lose suction". Again this is absolutely correct! If you don't add the minor caveat that this only happens when the motor is working properly when its bearings that are prone to go out annually are still in operating condition!

I usually do not write reviews on products when they are good and operate correctly, as others usually offer enough for people who do research prior to a purchase to make a decision. But I find those who write reviews who have problems with the product most helpful, so when I have a problem with an expensive ticket item like this I usually write a review.

I'm not a disgruntled purchaser who misses features from their old appliance. I simply have had major mechanical problems with the machine I purchased.

The vacuum does a good job of vacuuming when it works. But when I spend over $500 for a vacuum, I kind of expect it to work a bit longer than a year before it needs a major heart transplant! My little $100 dirt devil from Wal-mart (which didn't do as good of a vacuuming job) lasted a lot longer than the $500 Dyson I bought to replace it. And if I had bought this item from some place that did not offer an extended guarantee, I'd be out some pretty expensive repair bills at this point!

When I took it in for the first motor replacement a little after a year of ownership, I figured the appliance may have just gotten a bad motor. But taking it in today for its second motor replacement in a little less than two years makes the problem sound more like a real systemic problem the company needs to address!!!

I usually expect a bit more dependability, servicability, and longevity from an high cost service item like this. I guess if you have lots of money, and don't mind having your vacuum in for expensive motor replacements annually, or you don't mind considering it a disposable item annually, then the Dyson brand is the one for you! (based upon my experience with my Dyson)
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