Dyson DC14 Full Kit

Dyson Animal Vacuum Review

Dyson DC14 Full Kit
Dyson DC14 Full Kit

Dyson makes a very expensive vacuum cleaner. Enough people rant and rave about them that you would think price is the only reason anybody wouldn’t want to own a Dyson Vacuum Cleaner. Everybody has heard about how great Dyson Vacuum cleaners are so how great are they, really?  We bought our DC14 Full Kit Dyson Animal Vacuum at Costco three and one-half years ago. I thought it would be useful to provide some long-term feedback on the performance, quality and reliability of the Dyson Animal Vacuum, specifically marketed by Costco as the DC14 Full Kit.

Introduction

The Dyson DC14 Full Kit is marketed by Costco with with a few extra tools to the standard Dyson Animal Vacuum: Curtain cleaner, hard-wood floors brush, and high-speed upholstery cleaner. It also comes with an extra HEPA filter, despite the fact that Dyson advertises this never has to be replaced. Value is one reason to buy from Costco. For the price of a regular Dyson, I got the more expensive animal version with some extra tools. The other reason to buy from Costco is their unbeatable return policy, which a happy Costco shopper reminded us of, as she enthusiastically sold on he product over the cheaper, Infinity, wanna-be brand that we were seriously considering.

Features, Design and Construction

The Dyson is a high-powered, versatile, bag less canister vacuum for the home. The canister is brilliantly designed. To remove the Dyson Canister, simply press the top button, and push it away from the frame. To empty, simply hold the canister over the trash and press the button. The bottom of the canister flips open and lets the debris and dust fall into your waste basket – very clever. You can also easily remove the entire top panel of the canister in order to put your hand inside to completely remove any debris and dust. . The Dyson  has a 18-foot retractable wand tool for vacuuming stairs, corners, upholstery and any other hard to get places. I’m not quite as impressed with the cleaning wand as I was the Dyson’s removable canister. The wand is easy enough to remove, but requires a little bit of work to retract the extension pool. I wish there was an easier way to remove the hose from the Dyson, but it requires pulling off the entire pole, then detaching it with two hands. This is a bit of a nuisance, and not as quick and easy as it should be. Also, the cleaning tools do not fit in the storage place very snugly, so they tend to fall on the floor if you’re very aggressive at all working on cleaning the floors. The process for switching from bare floor to carpet is just as inconvenient as it is with much cheaper vacuum cleaners. You have to bend down to the head of the vacuum, grab a knob with both hands and turn it up for bare floors or down for carpet. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could change from the carpet to floor setting without having to crouch down to the floor?

Dyson Carpet Setting
Dyson Carpet Setting

Or is that asking too much for something that costs four times the price of your typical vacuum?  The Dyson DC14 is fairly light and is easy to carry up and down the stairs by using the handle on the canister. Overall, the ergonomics are pretty good, but I question the durability and strength of all the pieces. So far, only one thing has broken; the plastic guide for wrapping up the electric cord, precisely the same part my wife broke on the pressure washer. It’s not really a flimsy piece, so don’t ask me how it happened. Like the pressure washer, it’s one of those pieces my wife likes to break. I think this is our 3rd vacuum cleaner with a broken cord guide.  One more thing; the roller brush seems to get clogged up rather quickly and is not really easy to clean. It would be nice if it could be easily removed for thorough cleaning.  This is the only thing that’s broken so far and it’s not Dyson’s fault. So far, my concerns about quality are based on

Dyson Broken Piece
Dyson Broken Piece

my impression of the light-weight pieces and nothing more than that.

DC14 Full Kit Performance and Tools

Yeah, this vacuum really does have a lot of suction, and it does a great job on my cream colored shag carpet. The one problem I’ve noticed is that the roller brush does get dirty and hinders the performance of the cleaning quite significantly. The best cleaning I’ve gotten from the Dyson Animal Vac is with the included Stair Cleaning Tool. This tool is a high speed roller brush that attached to the wand. It really works great for stairs and carpet. In fact, I can honestly say that the stair and upholstery attachment is the best vacuum hand tool I’ve ever used. I’ll go a step further and say the Dyson Animal Vacuum is the best Vacuum I’ve ever owned. On the other hand, there are other vacuums like the infinity which look and claim to be similar The question is whether or not they perform as relatively well as their price.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t hesitate to pay $379.00 for this vacuum if I knew nothing else came close for a lesser price. I will look into the $150 models and report back. Meanwhile, you can gamble on cheaper, imitation brands to clean your carpets or you can go with a proven champion that thousand of people will vouch for.

Dyson Animal Vacuum Ratings

  • Design and Features: 85
  • Quality and Construction: 85
  • Performance: 95
  • Durability: 85
  • Value: 79
  • Overall: 86
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Gas Powered Pressure Washers

Good Performance but Cheaply Made

A month ago I reviewed the Task Force 2000 Electric Pressure Washer. I was so caught up with how useful and powerful an electric power washer can be, that I didn’t give much consideration to its build quality and durability. The Task Force Electric Pressure Washer is proving to be less than sturdy. In less than a month, the power washer now fails to dispense detergent.

Cheap Plastic

and has a broken cord reel.

My wife, who seems to have a knack for breaking things, grabbed the wand from me one day as I was washing wood-ties, to spray off the trax on our deck and tipped it over, snapping the brittle plastic reel. In just my second time after using detergent, the Pressure Washer’s dispenser became clogged. The instructions, which were completely useless, warned me the detergent dispenser can get clogged if soap is left in it overnight, but offered no solutions on how to fix it. I went online and contacted Task Force support. They emailed me a response and somewhat ambiguous instructions on how to solve the problem, which involved removing the high pressure hose from the front of the unit. I was unable to loosen the hose by hand, so took a pair of channel locks to it and learned how cheap and fragile the plastic hose connector. In just a couple of turns, the plastic grip ribs were completely stripped (see photo to the right).

Discouraged and afraid to do anymore damage, I tightened the hose back up and decided to power wash my car without soap. It was a bitter sweet experience, as I learned how nice of a job an electric pressure washer can do on your car, but left me wishing I could use car wash detergent to do the best job possible. With the right power setting, it gives you a very nice, wide, high-pressure stream of water. My wheels, which were very dirty and gummed up with break-dust, came 90% clean without any soap or scrubbing. The rest of the car was immaculate.

Gas Powered Pressure Washer, Maybe?

While, I highly recommend an electric pressure washer, I cannot endorse this specific product. I would try these other brands: A Husky Electric Pressure Washer, Excell Pressure Washers, or any Gas Powered Pressure Washers. I base this conclusion on the number of more favorable consumer reviews given to these brands and gas-powered pressure washers, which seem to be better made. I wish I would have done a little more research on Electric Pressure Washers, before I opened up the box of the Task Force. Having owned an electric pressure washer for a month now, I can tell you some of the pros and cons of an electric pressure washer vs. a gas powered pressure washer:

Pros and Cons of Electric Pressure Washer

Pros: Electric Pressure Washer

  • No gas needed and no fumes
    • Instant On / Off
    • Smaller size

Cons: Electric Pressure Washer

    • Winding and unwinding of cord is a nuisance.
    • Not as powerful as Gas Powered Pressure Washers
    • Not as sturdy (tips over)
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