Dyson DC65 Animal


 Avg. consumer rating = 94/100 

The DC65 is Dyson's latest upright vacuum and is the replacement for the DC41.  This is a full size upright and consumer ratings to date are fantastic.  The DC65 animal is very powerful and the suction, amplified by an active base plate system in the nozzle, is tremendous on both bare floors and carpet.  The vacuum also performs well on pet hair and it comes with Dyson's tangle-free turbine tool.  The vacuum is expensive however and the price is often over $500. It is also a little on the heavy side at over 17 lbs.

Vacuum Cleaner Advisor takes a good look at the Dyson DC65 Animal in the lengthy video review below. We look at vacuum features, specifications, and also run the unit through a series of cleaning tests!

Consumer Ratings
We’'ve found over 200 consumer ratings from 7 different retailers.  The average rating for the vacuum is calculated as 94 out of 100 or about 4.7 stars out of 5.  This is an excellent score and places the DC65 Animal near the very top of the uprights that we have had the opportunity to review.  You can see how this compares to other uprights in our table of upright vacuum ratings if you wish. You can also compare it to other Dyson vacuums in our Dyson vacuum ratings table.

We would provide a word of caution however.  Our studies have shown that ratings sometimes start high for new vacuums then slip a little over time.  This makes sense as a vacuum, when new, often has little if anything wrong with it.  As we know, however, problems can creep in over time.  We'’re not saying this will happen with the DC65, however the DC65 is still in its “honeymoon” stage in terms of consumer ratings.  The vacuum was released in January, 2014 in the USA.

Update - We have updated the table and score for this vacuum in October 2017 (score dropped from 95 to 94).  The score has not dropped near as much as we have seen with some other vacuum cleaners.

DC65 What's in the box
DC65 with hose, tools, dust canister and power cord


Consumer ratings found on several quality retail sites are provided in the updated table below:

Ratings Updated October 2017
 Source  Consumer Ratings #Ratings 
 Amazon  4.3 stars out of 5  1358
 Walmart  4.8 stars out of 5  4125
 Sylvane  4.3 stars out of 5  9
 Abt  4.6 stars out of 5  13
 QVC  4.1 stars out of 5  127


Consumer Insights
A thorough review of owner comments as well as our own insights has indicated the following owner likes and dislikes:

- Long power cord
- Very powerful suction
- Works very well on both carpet and bare floors
- Cleans up tight against baseboards or furniture
- Ball technology provides great maneuverability
- No need to adjust nozzle height
- Washable filters that are easily accessed
- Turbine tool works well on pet hair

- Expensive
- Fairly heavy
- Some feel the hose is a bit stiff and unwieldy

DC65 Dust Canister
Bottom empty dust canister

Some owners feel the dust canister is a little narrow and report that dust and debris occasionally have to be pulled out by hand when emptying.  In our experience this happens with a lot of bagless vacuum dust canisters – although the DC65 canister is a little taller and narrower than most.  Detaching the canister from the DC65 vacuum body and opening the canister are easy.

There are also a number of consumer comments highlighting how well the vacuum works on both carpet and bare floors.  As you move from carpet to bare floors and back there is a self adjusting base plate which helps the nozzle maintain suction at the floor without having to manually adjust the nozzle height.  This design seems to work well although in some of our tests it got in the way of larger debris, not allowing the debris to get under the nozzle..

Locking the body in the upright position can be a bit of a hit and miss sometimes.  To lock the unit in its upright position you have to push the vacuum handle up and beyond vertical until you hear a small *click* sound.  If you don’t push it far enough forward it won’t click into place and the handle will fall back.  Once you get used to it, it is usually ok but it just feels a little strange at first.  In upright mode – standing on its own – the vacuum doesn’t feel entirely sturdy either and it has a bit of a wobble to it.  But this is possibly related to the ball mechanism and it doesn’t appear to cause any issues.

Some owners feel the DC65 Manual could be a bit more descriptive.  Dyson makes a significant effort to make their manuals simple and they are very picture-driven.  This appeals to some owners but not to others.  Frankly we appreciate the images but also think there would be benefit to more text, description and details.

There are also a few reports that the brushbar must be cleaned frequently because it has a strong tendency to retain long hair, string and thread.  We’re not sure why this brushbar would tangle easier or more often than any other brushbar but – if it does – it may be related to the extra stiff, short bristles.  We have not run into this problem but we don’t vacuum up a tremendous amount of string/thread/hair.

DC65 Brushbar in main nozzle
Main floor tool/nozzle with brushbar. Short, stiff red bristles are visible.


Finally, it is worth pointing out that Dyson creates a vacuum that evokes all sorts of astonished looks and comments from those who have never seen one before.  The DC65 is no exception.  A number of friends who have seen the machine have used terminology like “space-age”, “high tech”, and “cool” to describe it.  We have to agree – it really is a remarkable looking piece of machinery, especially for a vacuum cleaner.  Dyson excels at this kind of thing.

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

DC65 Animal Features & Specifications
The DC65 is a bagless vacuum cleaner (like all Dyson machines) and is driven by an 11.7 amp motor.  It uses cyclone technology to remove dust and debris from the air that enters the vacuum.  Cyclone technology involves sending the air stream through cyclonic cylinders which spin the air very rapidly in a spiral path.  As the air spins the dust and debris are forced out – via centrifugal force – and into the dust canister.

There is a lot of marketing talk about the DC65 having “Radial” root cyclone technology as opposed to just root cyclone technology.  As far as we can figure the ‘Radial” simply means that airways have been remodelled to help improve flow efficiency and reduce turbulence.  In theory this should provide better suction power and dust removal.  The vacuum generates a healthy 245 air watts of suction.  For comparison purposes we provide the following:
DC41 - 235 air watts
DC40 - 200 air watts
DC50 - 128 air watts

If you think that 245 air watts of suction power will create an ear-splitting noise don’t worry.  The vacuum, while not quiet, is not too loud. 

This is a “Ball Technology” machine which means that it moves about on a ball at the base of the vacuum.  This is a unique feature to Dyson units and most people find it an effective way to maneuver the machine, however some owners find it a little awkward.  We’ve used it quite a bit and find it an excellent system for directing the nozzle where you want it to go with as little effort as possible.  The vacuum head turns easily when you turn your wrist.

DC65 Brushbar Control
Brushbar and Power ON/OFF controls

The motor that drives the brushbar is 25% more powerful than the motor used in the DC41.  This combined with the short stiff brushbar bristles help the DC65 generate more aggressive carpet cleaning.  The brushbar on the unit can also be turned on and off via a button just below the handle (see image to left).  It is helpful to be able to turn the brushbar off when cleaning smooth surfaces as this can reduce scatter and also ensure no scratching of delicate surfaces. 

The brushbar extends the width of the nozzle and this arrangement helps when cleaning up tight against baseboards or furniture.  We’ve run the DC65 up against baseboards (with plenty of debris tucked into the edge) and the vacuum does a top notch job of cleaning right up to where the carpet/floor meets the wall.  As a matter of fact we’d feel comfortable saying this is one of the best edge-cleaning uprights we’ve used to date.

DC65 Edge Cleaning
Edge Cleaning and Ball Technology

The nozzle also has a 13.5 inch wide cleaning path.  This is reasonably wide and you do cover a substantial area with each pass of the vacuum. 


The nozzle of the vacuum houses what is known as an “Active Base Plate”.  This floating perimeter around the nozzle seals in suction on both carpet and bare floors and helps limit suction leakage around the nozzle, directing most of the suction to the floor surface.

A number of tools are provided and these include:
- A tangle-free turbine tool
- A large, soft dusting brush
- A combo brush/crevice tool
- A stair cleaning tool

DC65 Tools
Soft dusting brush, Tangle-free turbine tool, Combo tool, Stair Cleaning Tool


The tangle free turbine tool has no motor and is air driven.  Hint:  when you see the words “turbine” or “turbo” these often refer to tools that work off the vacuum suction and are not motor driven.  The tool does work fairly well despite not having its own motor, and it is a good choice for removing hair or dirt from upholstery.  Although we found that it struggled with some larger string and twine.  You can see a great video of this tool below:

The vacuum also comes with a wand attached to the end of the vacuum hose.  Tools can easily be attached to the end of the wand and this provides the ability to clean overhead or up/down stairs, etc.  The hose is quite long at about 15 feet but it is a little stiff and can be a bit fiddly to get extended.  We found it was hard to extend to a full 15 feet.  With the unit’s 35 foot non-retractable power cord, wand and tools the DC65 Animal has a theoretical cleaning reach of 51.7 feet (although we figured it to more practically about 50 feet).  This is significant and longer than most vacuums we’ve reviewed (although some of the Miele uprights have cleaning reaches of 54 feet).  A long power cord is a great feature on a vacuum and we were very pleased with the 35 foot cord on the DC65, however – and this is a minor point – we did struggle a bit with keeping it tangle free. 

The dust canister is very easy to detach from the vacuum and to empty.  It is bottom empty and it opens at the press of a single button.  It has a capacity of 0.55 gallons (same as the DC41 but larger than the DC50 or the DC40 – note that Dyson describes the DC50 as a “compact vacuum” and the DC40 as a “mid-size vacuum”).  Like all Dyson dust canisters this one is clear so that you can easily see when it needs to be emptied.

The vacuum has two filters - one in the vacuum ball and another in the dust canister.  Both are washable and need to be washed regularly to ensure optimal vacuum performance.  The filters can simply be rinsed in cold tapwater and left to dry for about 24 hours.  Make sure they are absolutely dry before putting them back in the vacuum!  Dyson recommends they be washed at least every 3 months.

The DC65 is not a lightweight vacuum cleaner and it weighs in at a rather hefty 17.4 lbs. And its weight is apparent when lugging the vacuum around.   Although we notice on carpet you can feel the nozzle pulling the machine forward which really helps with its maneuverability. 

The vacuum is UL listed. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories which is a non-profit, independent product safety certification organization in the United States.  It also carries a 5 year parts and labor warranty.


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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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.

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