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Of all the appliances in my house, I have to say that the vacuum is the most important. It’s not that I’m obsessive about clean floors, although I like them that way, but with more than 200 pounds of German shepherds running around, literally, well, as you can imagine, the fur flies. Truthfully, it flies even when they’re still.

Dex&Luke

 

Not only does all of that fur and hair find its way under, over and on just about every surface in the house, but it then magically morphs into balls of fluff. And after the fur makes a cohesive unit, it then manages to multiply with startling speed and tenacity. Think of the original Star Trek, when the Enterprise was overrun with Tribbles.

Tribbles

This could be my house if I didn’t vacuum for a few days. Think I’m kidding? This is what a few swipes with the dog brush nets me.

fur 002

Even Dexter looks as if he can’t believe it. And it’s his.

So, when I say I take my vacuum seriously, believe it.

I was raised with a Kirby. Remember those? They were the tanks of the vacuum world. I guess they still are, but I like my vacuuming to be a little more streamlined these days. And that’s why I’ve been a Dyson fan for more than a decade. (Not a fan of the Dyson fan, by the way. Too noisy. Maybe they’ve improved it. Let me know what you think if you have one.)

When it comes to vacuums, I’ll take some models over others.

I prefer an upright to a canister, so the Dyson canisters I’ve tried just don’t work for me. I end up tripping over them or yanking them around because the canister section is always lagging behind, and then I find that I’m angry at an inanimate object. Enough to kick it, which I’ve done. So, these days, I know what works for me, and it’s an upright.

For the past several years, my vacuum of choice for everyday cleaning has been the compact Dyson DC24.

DC24

I love this little guy. And it’s perfect for smallish spaces. The DC24 is lightweight but a heavy hitter when it comes to sucking up all of those doggy dust bunnies. It’s my all-time favorite vacuum.

But, when the folks at Dyson asked if I’d like to check out the newest diminutive, but muscle-packed vacuum, the Dyson DC50 Animal, I didn’t hesitate.

DC50_front_side

It would take a lot for me to consider another vacuum when I’m so happy with my DC24. Did the DC50 knock my beloved DC24 off of its pedestal? My review follows.

 

Dyson DC50 Animal vacuum, $499.99. Available at major department stores, dyson.com, www.amazon.com on June 3.

First look: Dyson doesn’t want consumers to think that it shrunk its vacuum, instead, the company concentrated the power, if you will. As for looks, it’s hard to miss a Dyson since they all have a fairly specific design with the round lines of the much-touted cyclone. But this new generation features a double tier made up of 19 cyclones, giving it a more space-age look. As with all Dysons, there’s a clear removable bin, so no bags. The vacuum includes a combination tool, stair tool and the Tangle-Free Turbine tool that’s designed with counter-rotating heads to keep hair from getting tangled in the unit.

turbine tool

Good news: The Dyson DC50 features a cord that’s just under 25 feet, much longer than the DC24. I don’t know about you, but I hate having to stop and unplug a vacuum too many times. Like all Dyson models, the DC50 has a solid feel with no flimsy pieces or rattling. The self-adjusting cleaner head seamlessly rolls over my wood flooring onto the cow hide rug and other assorted throw rugs and small carpets, without missing a beat. It’s slightly quieter than other vacuums I’ve used, including other Dyson models. And since I’m constantly cleaning upholstered furniture and dog beds, that turbine tool is a time saver. Have you ever sat on the floor with a pair of manicure scissors, snipping and unraveling tangled hair from a vacuum beater brush? I have. Too many times.

The ball technology allows for fluid movements around furniture and tight spaces.

A convenient button near the off/on switch stops the rotor brush. And the new brush design includes carbon fiber that eliminates static on hard surfaces, allowing the vacuum to suck up fine dust particles.

The clear bin is easy to empty with the push of a button, and the washable cone-shaped filter is a snap to remove.

The handle retracts, making the DC50 even easier to store in small places. It weighs in at just over 11 pounds.

 

Bad news: If you have a large house, then you might find the Dyson DC50 too small. The bin is designed with a capacity of .21 gallon, so you’d end up emptying it often if you had kids and pets to clean up after. If your place is under 2,000 square feet, or if you live in a larger house with only a goldfish, then this vacuum would be ideal.

There’s no getting around it; The Dyson DC50 Animal, like other Dyson products, comes with a deluxe price tag. If you’re the type who isn’t looking for the latest model each year, then consider the DC50 a worthwhile investment because it’s going to hang around a good long while.

A minor quibble, but the snap-on tool rack doesn’t hold all of the tools included, so you won’t have them close at hand when needed. But, really, do you want your sleek Dyson to look like a construction worker lugging a loaded tool belt? I didn’t think so.

Last words: I still love my Dyson DC24, but Dyson DC50 won me over with its uber-efficient self-adjusting cleaner head. Oh, and the longer cord. Wait. And the Tangle-Free Turbine tool.

Post Script: Dog owners, I have a magical tool to share. It’s worth every penny of the $69.99 price, and it works with most Dyson vacuums. The Dyson groom tool is a dog brush with retractable bristles. Unlike the retractable brushes you can find in pet stores, this one snaps onto the Dyson hose, allowing the hair to be sucked up as you brush.

Dyson Dog brush tool 005

Press on the bar to extend the metal bristles and start brushing your dog. The tool isn’t designed to be used on cats, nor dogs with very short or woolly coats. And it helps if your dog doesn’t mind the vacuum. 

After a few swipes, check for hair.

Dyson Dog brush tool 006

Take your finger off of the bar to retract the slicker bristles, and watch the hair immediately disappear into the vacuum.

Dyson Dog brush tool 007

There it goes.

Dyson Dog brush tool 008

Gone.