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Dyson DC26 Review

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Avg. consumer rating = 79/100 

The Dyson DC26 Multi-Floor City Vacuum Cleaner is the smallest canister vacuum Dyson manufactures and it is indeed small.  So much so that the body of the vacuum will fit on a letter sized sheet of paper.  It is also powerful (especially for its size) and, as one would expect rather light.  The Dyson DC26 has most of the features of the larger Dyson canisters, however due to its size it is probably best suited for vacuuming smaller areas.

The DC26 is powered by a 9.2 amp motor and it produces 160 airwatts of suction power.  This statistic is always a little confusing so let’s compare it with some of the other Dyson machines:

Dyson DC23 Turbinehead Canister: 220 airwatts
Dyson DC28 Animal Upright: 245 airwatts
Dyson DC35 Stick Vac: On max = 65 airwatts

The suction power seems to fall somewhere in-between the stick vac and the full size vacuums. 

Like all Dyson vacuums the DC26 is bagless and uses Root Cyclone technology - an approach that spins air very rapidly and forces debris out of the air flow and into the dirt canister.   This technology ensures no loss of suction over time (even as the dirt canister is filling) and also help keeps filters cleaner longer.

Consumer ratings gathered from a number of quality sources indicate that owner sentiment regarding the vacuum ranges from average to good.  When we average all the ratings below we get an overall score of 79/100.  This is typically not as high as we would expect for a Dyson. You can see the scores for all the Dyson vacuums we have reviewed in our Dyson Vacuum Ratings table.

Ratings Updated March 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  3.8 stars out of 5  426
 Walmart  4.3 stars out of 5  125
 Bed Bath & Beyond  4.2 stars out of 5  76
 Overstock  3.6 stars out of 5  10
 Abt  4.2 stars out of 5  87

 

A review of DC26 owner comments provides the following common vacuum likes and dislikes:

PROS
- Strong suction for such a small machine
- Tools and attachments couple and uncouple smoothly
- Very lightweight and easy to carry
- Good for small apartment dwellers
- Able to vacuum in narrow areas
- Dirt canister is easy to empty
- Great looking machine
- Not too noisy
- A number of owners find it useful for cleaning their vehicles

CONS
- Expensive
- Dirt canister has to be emptied frequently
- Short power cord
- Not as powerful as a full size Dyson
- Hose and attachments make storage not as easy as expected for so small a vacuum
- Several owners indicate it is not as good on carpet as it is on hard floors

Turbine Head
Turbine Head

The Dyson DC26 is designed for use on both carpets and bare floors.  The turbine head nozzle has a brushbar that can be turned on and off.  It can also be removed and cleaned quite easily.  The brushbar is air-driven like the DC23 Turbinehead (and unlike the DC23 Motorhead which has a motor driven brushbar).  The ability to turn the brushbar off is useful for cleaning bare floor or delicate rugs.   Marketing material indicates that the DC26 is ideal on short-pile carpet and indeed many consumers agree, but there is also a general consensus that the vacuum is much better at cleaning bare floor surfaces than it is at cleaning carpet.
 

Hard Floor Tool
Hard Floor Tool

The DC26 comes with a tool specifically for hard floors.  The hard floor tool has an articulating head and consumers report that it is quite easy to maneuver.  In addition, carbon fibre brushes help to remove dust from hard floors.  Carbon fibre was chosen by Dyson for its anti-static properties.  The tool also attaches to the back of the vacuum when not being used

 

Besides the hard floor tool, a combination accessory tool that operates as a brush and a crevice tool is also provided.  It should be noted that the DC26 accessories vary from country to country and there seems to be different combinations of hard-floor tool, stair tool, and mini-turbine head provided.  The combination tool appears to be the common denominator amongst all countries. Also the main cleaning heads vary (in the US you have the turbinehead nozzle while in several other countries like the UK and Canada the DC26 comes with a dual channel floor tool).

The dirt canister on the Dyson DC26 Multi-Floor City is clear plastic so it is easy to know when it needs emptying.  Owners agree that it is also very easy to empty as it requires the simple push of a button.  There is some grumbling however about the need to frequently empty the canister due to its small capacity.  The dirt canister has a volume of only 0.15 gallons.   By comparison the Dyson DC23 canister vacuum has a dirt canister capacity of 0.44 gallons.
 
This canister comes with a washable HEPA filter – like many Dyson machines.  HEPA filtration will remove 99.97% of all particles with a diameter of 0.3 microns or larger from the airflow.  This typically includes most allergens such as pet dander, dust, pollens, etc.  As a result the DC26 City is certified as asthma & allergy friendly by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.

The machine’s power cord length is rather short at 16.4 feet.  There are several consumer comments indicating the desire for a longer power cord.  The cord length seems to be in line with the machines size however and, as mentioned earlier, it really is a vacuum best used for small area cleaning.  Indeed the term “City” in the vacuum’s name alludes to the fact that it is designed for city-dwellers with small to medium sized apartments.  The power cord is also retractable.

The DC26 City is very lightweight and at 12.3 lbs it is fairly easy to carry around the house or up and down stairs.  The vacuum body also has an extremely small footprint - it has dimensions (Height x Width x Depth) of 10.5 x 12.6 x 8.27 inches.  However, the unit - complete with hose and attachments (which can be removed if one wants) - is not quite as small as one would expect and while storage is easier than most full size machines it does not quite tuck away that neatly. 

Other Dyson DC26 features include a convenient on/off foot-switch on the body of the vacuum, a retractable wand, and a crush-resistant hose.   Like other parts of the vacuum the hose undergoes significant testing and is actually kinked 7280 times to ensure its durability.  The DC26 is UL listed (Underwriters' Laboratories is a not-for-profit, independent product safety certification organization in the US) and it carries a 5-year parts and labor warranty.

Vacuum Video
The commercial below gives a quick overview of the DC26.  It is from an Australian company and some of the tools or attachments may not be the same as those provided with the unit sold in the US, but the video still helps with a visual representation of vacuum size and some of the features.

 

 

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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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