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Dyson DC59 Animal Review

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Avg. consumer rating = 92/100 

Note: This is now known as the Dyson V6.  In some ways Dyson are the Apple of the vacuum world. They create innovative, exciting products designed to capture your imagination. The DC59 does not disappoint - it is versatile, light weight, portable and able to operate as an upright or handheld. It is bagless, cordless and has a lifetime filter, making consumables a thing of the past. In addition, the vacuum is capable on carpet, bare floors, upholstery and even pet hair. But you pay for such a product and it is one of the more expensive stick vacs on the market today.


Sept 2015 Update:
Dyson has released the V6 cordless which is essentially the latest version of the DC59. There is a range of V6 cordless vacuums now available from Dyson – you can read more in our V6 Absolute review. The DC59 is still available however and is a great cordless vacuum.


Consumer Ratings
One of the first things we look at when beginning a new review are consumer ratings.  These give us an idea what owners think of a vacuum and also highlight things we may wish to look for when we start our investigation.  Consumer ratings are widespread for the DC59 due mostly to the popularity of Dyson vacuum cleaners.  At this time we've found over 3400 consumer ratings from a number of retail outlets. 

When these reviews are averaged they produce a score of 92/100 or about 4.6 stars out of 5.  This is an excellent score and you can compare this to other stick vacuum ratings in our stick vac ratings table.

Ratings Updated May 2016
 Source  Consumer Rating  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.4 stars out of 5  840
 Home Depot  4.6 stars out of 5  400
 Walmart  4.7 stars out of 5  2157
 Overstock  4.8 stars out of 5  10
 Rakuten  4.0 stars out of 5  2

 

We would like to point out however that consumer ratings can sometimes be a little deceiving.  Our studies have shown that ratings sometimes start high then slip a little over time.  This makes sense as a vacuum, when new, often has little if anything wrong with it.  However problems can creep in over time. 

In the video below we take a good look at the DC59 and run it through some tests:

Consumer Insights
Owner insights found in the many reviews highlight the following likes and dislikes:

PROS
- Strong suction
- Decent battery life
- Compact and easy to store
- Does a good job on pet hair
- Easy to empty
- Lightweight
- Great for cleaning stairs
- Attachments “click-fit” on/off easily
- Attachments work well

CONS
- Expensive
- Small dust canister that can fill quickly
- Not great on high pile carpet
- Too small for cleaning a large house (doesn’t replace a full size vacuum)
- Screws not included with wall mount
- Have to continuously hold the trigger for power
- Doesn’t really have 26 minute runtime

Some owners report that having to hold the trigger down for power can be a bit annoying.  However, in previous Dyson stick vacs and handhelds this was a very common complaint while with the DC59 it is more of a passing comment.  In our DC59 we noted that the trigger required very little effort to depress and hold in place and this wasn’t any sort of issue for us – as a matter of fact we liked it.

DC59 Animal Trigger
Trigger - must be depressed for power

 

Also, as with many cordless vacuums, we see consumer comments lamenting the short battery life – or at least wishing for a longer battery life.  The battery life of the DC59 is actually fairly good when compared to most other stick vacs.  There are a few that have a slightly longer run time but the 20 minutes on a full charge provided by the DC59 is reasonable. 

We also see comments indicating that the vacuum should have a shorter recharge time (which is 3.5 hours).  Again, there are some stick vacs with a slightly faster recharge time but 3.5 hours is quite acceptable in our books.

More positive comments often highlight the extreme light weight of the vacuum.  And at only 4.6 lbs it is indeed a very light stick vacuum.  A number of families report that this unit is such a featherweight that even their children can vacuum effectively with it.

Another popular feature is the ability to quickly convert from Stick vac to Handheld and back.  Many owners say as a handheld it is great for cleaning the interior of their car or boat.

You can read more customer reviews on Amazon if you wish.

Features and Specifications
Dyson’s foray into stick vacs started with the DC35 Digital Slim.  This was followed by the popular DC44 Animal, and now the DC59 Animal.  If you want to buy a new Dyson stick vac then you are likely giving thought to either the DC44 or the DC59.  But what are the key differences between the two machines?

   DC44 Animal  DC59 Animal
 Approx Cost (USD)  399  499
 Dimensions (HxWxD inches)  44.1 x 9.1 x 11.9  4.7 x 9.9 x 8.3
 Battery Run Time (minutes)    
  - Standard mode  20  20
  - Boost mode  8  6
 Air watts of suction    
  - Standard mode  28  28
  - Boost mode  65  100
 Battery Charge Time (hours)  5.5  3.5
 

In the above table we can see the DC59 is a little taller and wider, has a shorter battery charge time, and a stronger boost mode.  Some of the differences between the DC44 and the DC59 are likely due, in part, to Dyson being attentive to customer feedback.  In other words many of the differences are improvements in the DC59 over the DC44.  It is good to see that Dyson appears to be listening.

The DC59 - also known as the Dyson DC62 Animal in Canada - is powered by Dyson’s new 21.6 volt V6 digital motor.  This unit delivers 50% more power than the V2 motor found in the DC44 resulting in much more powerful suction in Boost mode.  As in all Dyson vacuums multiple cyclones are used as the means of dust separation.  There are actually 15 cyclones arranged in 2 levels (these make up the space-age silver looking thing on top of the dust canister).  The cyclones operate in parallel and use centrifugal force to remove dust and debris from the air flow.
 
The brushbar (in the motorized floor tool) is motor driven and is ON when the vacuum is ON – there are no brushbar on/off controls.  Some folks could take issue with this as they may be concerned about scratching their delicate wood floor but we’ve used the unit on wood floors without incident.  Dyson have used both nylon bristles and carbon fibre filaments in the brushbar.  The filaments help pick up fine dust when vacuuming bare floors (they prevent the build up of the static charge that holds the dust to the floor) and the bristles help remove dirt when cleaning carpet.  You can actually see these rows of alternating stiff and soft bristles on the brushbar in the image below.  The brushbar is extremely easy to remove for cleaning (rotate one screw and pull it out) should it get tangled with hair/string/threads/etc. 

Brushbar
Nylon bristles (purple) and carbon fibre filaments (black)

 

Like its predecessors the DC59 has a trigger in the grip that must be depressed to turn the vacuum on.  This has been an area of considerable owner discontent in past Dyson stick vacs but we have noticed fewer comments to this affect for the DC59.  We have read that Dyson reworked the new trigger so that it is much easier on the finger/hand to keep it depressed.

The tools that come with this stick vac are useful and fairly well made:
 
- main motorized floor tool
- crevice tool
- combination tool
- mini motorized tool

DC59 Tools
Wand, main floor tool, mini motorized tool, combo tool & crevice tool

 

The mini motorized tool is for cleaning upholstery (especially pet hair) and getting into tight areas.  This tool is really what gives the DC59 the extension “animal”.  The tools nicely “click” into place (no friction fit here) and when you depress the small button on the end of the wand (or the main unit) the tools are released.  Although we have noticed that some of the tools (like the crevice tool and the combo tool) feel a bit loose even after they are snapped into place.  A tighter fit would have been better.

When the wand is removed the DC59 becomes a handheld vacuum.  This is a handy feature and allows one to clean things like lampshades, bookshelves, automobiles, boats, etc.  There are a few other stick vacs on the market that also provide a handheld component (like the Ergorapido line from Electrolux) but most do not.

This is a good video from Dyson that shows their director of engineering testing the DC59 and also stacking it up against the Electrolux Ergorapido.

There are some complaints that the unit’s dust canister is small (0.12 gallons) however it is actually larger than the dust canister on previous Dyson stick vacs (which are 0.09 gallons).  But – being a stick vac – the dust canister is not of the size you would get in a full-size vacuum and you will find yourself emptying it after any lengthy cleaning session.  The dust canister is bottom empty and the bottom door flips open at the press of a button.  It is also made of clear plastic so you can easily determine when emptying is necessary.  The canister can be removed from the vacuum and washed.  This is handy as it can get pretty grubby over time.

Opening dust canister
Bottom open dust canister. Opens when red slider is pushed down.

 

In the box you will find a docking station that can be mounted to the wall for easy vacuum storage and access.  The docking station will hold the vacuum and also the crevice tool and combo tool (but not the motorized tool).  However there are no mounting screws provided which has frustrated some consumers.  Dyson states that since they are unable to anticipate the material the docking station will be mounted to, they are leaving it up to the consumer to select the appropriate hardware for the wall in their home.

Also, you don’t need to store the vacuum in the docking station in order to charge it.  It can easily be charged outside of the docking station.  A full recharge takes about 3.5 hours.  We’ve seen some folks grumbling about this recharge time but in our experience this is actually fairly fast.  Some stick vacs – such as those with Ni-CD batteries – can take 8 to 16 hours to recharge (although these don’t usually cost $500).

The entire DC59 package includes the following:
- dc59 vacuum
- removable wand
- manual & registration card
- quick start guide
- mini motorized tool
- combo tool
- crevice tool
- docking station
- NMC (nickel manganese cobalt) battery
- battery charger

unboxing the DC59 Animal
What's in the box

 

Now let’s talk run time.  The marketing materials and comparisons with previous Dyson stick vacs are a bit confusing so we’ll try to present this as simply as possible.

Run time with main nozzle or mini nozzle = 17 minutes on Standard
Run time with main nozzle or mini nozzle = 6 minutes on Boost
Run time with crevice tool or combo tool = 20 minutes on Standard
Run time with crevice tool or combo tool = 6 minutes on Boost

The Boost mode time may seem a little short when compared to the 8 minutes you get with the DC44 Animal but remember, the DC59 is producing 100 air watts of suction on Boost mode compared to 65 air watts with the DC44.  On Standard mode both stick vacs produce the same suction (28 air watts).

Boost Mode
The DC59 in Boost mode (blue light around MAX button)

 

But what about the 26 minute cleaning time you've read about?  Well, “cleaning time” and “run time” are different in Dyson’s world.  Cleaning time is the total time you spend cleaning with the vacuum - including the time you are moving furniture, lifting the nozzle up from the floor, or moving from place to place.  Run time is only the time the vacuum is actually working.  So Dyson has calculated that a 26 minute cleaning session only includes about 20 minutes of run time.  Also, Dyson’s trigger approach (sometimes referred to by Dyson as the run-time enhancing trigger) ensures that the vacuum is off when, during your cleaning session, you are not actually vacuuming.

26 minute run time
26 minute cleaning time referred to on box.

 

Like most Dyson vacuums the DC59 comes standard with a lifetime HEPA filter.  This filter is very easily removed from the vacuum and can be washed with tap water and reused.  People may want a vacuum with HEPA filtration as it can be helpful for those with allergies or asthma. HEPA filtration traps/removes very fine particles such as mold spores, ragweed, dust mites, etc from the air flowing through the vacuum.  You can read more in our HEPA filtration article if you like.

The following video (no sound) shows how to wash the DC59 filter.

Additional vacuum features include a low profile nozzle that helps the DC59 get under low furniture, a center of gravity located near the grip that makes the nozzle end more maneuverable, and a 2 year parts and labor warranty.

We've been running the vacuum for about 3 weeks now and use it daily. So far we've been impressed with the DC59 and find it lightweight and handy for small to medium sized cleanup jobs. It works well on our bare floors and carpet (low pile) and recharge is fairly fast. We rarely have any need for Boost mode as the machine picks up well on Standard mode. Maintenance is also a snap. Is it worth $500? Well, it is a great little stick vac and if you can afford it, it will do you proud. We have also noticed that prices are starting to decrease a little at some outlets so this may be worth keeping an eye on.

Finally, we would like to highlight that we were provided a Dyson DC59 from Dyson in order for us to undertake this review. However we make every effort to be unbiased and straightforward with our investigation regardless of the means by which we have received a vacuum cleaner. Also, consider that our scoring mechanism is a function of consumer sentiment from a broad range of outlets across the web and this figure is not something we can or would tamper with.

 

Nigel Russco Nigel Russco has been writing for Vacuum Cleaner Advisor for years and has a background in business and engineering, as well as a keen interest in anything related to vacuum cleaners. Connect with Nigel on Google+
 






 

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Comments  

0 # Mary Ann 2015-01-18 23:20
I\'d like to know how it compares to similar Miele or Rowenta.
Thanks.
Reply | Reply with quote | Quote
0 # shannon 2015-03-09 12:10
Dyson has a lack of service centers. A Lot of local vacuum shops will not service dysons. I have to take mine 3 hours away just for a service in another state. And even though big box stores sell them they still have to be shipped at owners expense to a service center
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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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