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First Look: Dyson DC50 Animal
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First Look: Dyson DC50 Animal

3:26 /

How does the midrange Dyson fare against the competition?

Hi. I'm Katie Pilkington for CNET and today we're gonna talk about the Dyson DC50 Animal vacuum cleaner. This vacuum retails for $499 which is a really steep price sticker for a vacuum especially when you consider the market but as it is a Dyson, $499 price sticker may not shock you as much. What may surprise you, however, is that its performance doesn't really live up to its price point. This is fine vacuum. The DC50 performed well in all of our tests but our large particle test on hardwood revealed that the entire success to this vacuum seems to be in the brush roll which Dyson recommends that you deactivate on hard surfaces. So relying on its suction alone, it did well with small particles but did abysmally with pet hair and Cheerios. It is great with pet hair on carpet so if you are a pet owner with largely carpeted areas in your home, the DC50 will perform as expected and collect all of that pet hair. For all of its good performance and Dyson's reputation for making excellent vacuum cleaners, we found this one to be a little bit flimsily designed, or at least that's how it seems. Everything on this vacuum seems to be made of plastic. That coupled with certain design flaws that we're not really wild about makes us pause about the durability of this vacuum. For example, on the bin right here, this button that you push to open the bin itself, it's a really thin plastic pin that does the depressing and it just doesn't feel sturdy. I don't feel confident that it would withstand lots and lots of usage over the course of years. I'm seeing the bin as simple enough but if you need to do a deeper cleaning of the cyclones or the internal working parts of the bin, it's more complicated than we feel it should be. But still I feel like Dyson could have designed this to inspire a little more confidence since design is one of their hallmarks. Moving forward with design, perhaps the most recognizable feature about Dyson vacuums that separates them from other vacuum brands is this roller-ball technology. But the very thing that makes this Dyson vacuum so unique is also something that kind of inspires a lack of confidence in us. For example, the ball is supported behind by 2 plastic axles with really small guiding wheels attached to them. The wheel fell off in one of our final tests. And I don't have a ton of confidence that this would stand the battering that most vacuums go through over the course of 10 to 15 year life span that a lot of people keep them for. Another problem that we had was the locking mechanism. To bring this vacuum into an upright and locked position, you have to push it forward until it clicks. Unfortunately this clicking sound is really misleading as a lot of times we would push it forward until it clicked and then it would fall backwards on us. Long story short, the DC50 is a fine vacuum cleaner and if you have it in your home, it's doing a good job I'm sure. But there are better values if you're in the market for a new vacuum. We would definitely recommend that you look outside the Dyson brand as a lot of other manufactures are making vacuums that are just as sleek and just as modern with all of the cyclone technology and none of the design flaws. For CNET with the DC50, I'm Katie Pilkington.

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