Hands-on: Dyson Cinetic DC54 Animal review
Dyson ditched the bag, and now it's ditched the filter, but is it really that simple? We've been using the new Dyson Cinetic DC54 animal vacuum cleaner (£459) ahead of its official UK release to find out whether the new tech is worth the hype or whether it's just as effective to stay with what you already have.
Design-wise, the DC54 keeps in line with Dyson's standard and well-loved design ethos. It is a cylinder vacuum cleaner with a long hose, multiple brushes and attachments, a long power cable allowing you to get around each room easily, and all based on the company's "Ball" technology.
Considerably larger than the company's compact and bijou offering, the DC49, this is vacuum cleaning on scale and will be more than capable of allowing you to do an entire medium-sized three-bedroom house, if not bigger, without having to empty the large bin.
The big difference from other cleaners from the British company, is that it has ditched the filter, something that Dyson cleaners have always had whether you've realised that or not.
In doing so, the design has changed slightly, mainly by the inclusion of 54 smaller cyclones on top of the dust bin that have oscillating tips to stop dust particles collecting on them and blocking the tubes.
Yep, there's no filter
That's right, you might not have realised this - or maybe you have and are lazy - but all vacuum cleaners have a filter that needs to be changed or washed every couple of months to remove the random dirt that collects and keep the suction up to the strength it was when you first bought the thing.
If you are reading this intrigued and haven't washed your filter recently on your own vacuum cleaner, it's worth doing. If it's a Dyson, it's fairly easy. Pop it out, run it under the tap for a bit and then leave it to air dry for 24 hours.
Presumably realising that people are lazy, uneducated, or simply don't care, Dyson has released the Cinetic (pronounced kinetic) to the UK after a successful launch in Australia.
The results are a powerful vacuum cleaner that promises never to lose suction regardless of how often you use it.
Dyson can claim this because there isn't anything to become blocked. Those oscillating tips which sit at the bottom of those 54 cyclones vibrate enough that dust doesn't stay there for long and an incredibly fine mesh within the bin allows air through but stops dust getting back out.
Why's no filter helpful?
There are a number of reasons beyond saving you from being lazy, but one of the greatest issues with Dysons and other vacuum cleaners is that the filter gets clogged, the cleaner then works harder to pump the air through and that causes the motor to get hot and eventually burn out. This tech, in practice, should stop all that.
Brushes and accessories
We tested the animal version of the DC54 (there are three versions available in total) and that meant we got several brush attachments to play with. There is a large standard motorised head that features both soft and stiff brushes to brush hard and carpeted floors.
The idea is that the conductive carbon fibre brushes remove fine dust from hard floors, while stiff nylon brushes remove ground-in dirt from carpets. It means that you don't have to press a hard floor button any more and can whizz around your house without thinking about it.
You also get the tangle-free turbine tool launched last year that has counter-rotating heads with brushes to remove hair and dirt from carpets and upholstery. Because they go in opposite directions they don't get clogged up. It's simple, clever, rather small, but importantly works. You aren't going to use this as your main cleaning head, but it is ideal for doing the dog basket for example.
There's also an articulating hard floor tool, which we've never seen before. Designed specifically for hard floors, it has soft nylon bristles. It pivots 180 degrees and has a very low profile to reach into the awkward gaps between cupboards and units more easily.
We've cleaned the house, filled the bin, and then tried to pick up more dirt and the DC54 has worked fine. We haven't had weeks and months to test this, but we can see in practice the new Cinetic tech will work.
There are still some factors to consider. This is a big cylinder device and it's heavy too - 7.6kg - making this a rather large and big purchase, especially if you've got a small house.
There's also the knowledge that you can bypass the need for a filter-free vacuum cleaner by simply spending 10 minutes once every 3-6 months washing your filter.
While you will pay a premium for the tech here in this model, this is tech that will steadily roll out to all Dysons in the future. Dyson hasn't confirmed that officially, but it's a no-brainer.
The DC54 is at the cutting edge of vacuum cleaner technology, if that's a thing to boast about, and it's done a cracking job on your dirty floors and our labs constantly moulting hair.