Something That Sucks

Jen and I have been using a Dyson DC-15 Animal ever since we got an apartment together in 2007, and it has been showing its age for a while. The brush driver was extremely hard to turn by hand, it frequently left things behind, and one it has always emitted a high pitched tone that drove me to don firing-range hearing protection.

I’d recently disassembled the agitation brush system to clean out a bunch of cat hair and dust that had caked itself into the gear assembly that drives the agitator. I removed roughly a golf-ball worth of wadded-up dust so tight it almost resembled paper. I’m glad they made it possible to remove the rollers without tools, but the chintzy plastic knobs necessary for this aren’t exactly reassuring. And the fact that the roller is actually split in two allows for the dust to infiltrate the gears in the first place.

More importantly, emptying the dust canister has always been a ridiculous process. The canister itself is not a large space, despite its size.

Taking up residence

Taking up residence

What’s that huge thing in the middle that’s taking up over half of the canister’s volume? No idea, but the worst part is the thin space around its circumference and the side wall. Dust, cat hair, and other detritus can get wadded up there so that it’s not possible to shake out into a trash bag. This means it must be disassembled entirely to facilitate airflow. There are easy-access tabs and buttons to accomplish this, but it means the canister must be emptied frequently to avoid clogging that section. The entire procedure also releases tons of dust into the air, which means Jen can’t ever empty it with her allergies.

So a few months ago, I was browsing YouTube randomly looking for vacuum reviews. I eventually stumbled across a vacuum repair guy at Performance Reviews discussing various models he’s had to repair, and engineering shortcomings associated with each of them. He maintained a fairly dim view of most common models, and even some expensive systems, and that cynicism warmed the cockles of my heart. Then he reviewed the Sebo D4 and couldn’t stop complimenting it. At one point, he described the engineering of the cord reel as “fucking genious!” because even air pulled in through the cord hole is filtered and cleaned.

So we bided our time and waited on sales, and eventually managed to acquire one in Peoria. I tested it in my office and was marginally impressed, but it wasn’t until I did the whole house that its virtues truly manifested themselves. Despite being a bulky canister vac, it weighs far less than the Dyson. It’s orders of magnitude more maneuverable, with a powered head that can go places the Dyson could only dream of reaching. On advice I read on a couple of forums, we also added the premium parquet tool for the hardwood floors. Those cat-fur dust-bunnies build up, and one of the litter boxes is in the front room, so this will also mean less sweeping.

I didn’t vacuum as much as I should because I hated lugging around the slow, bulky Dyson. Jen couldn’t vacuum at all due to the canister design and her allergies. This should address both of those issues. Yes, this does have the added expense of using bags, but lower particle counts are an enormous benefit.

Alas, this is also how I finally realized I’m old; excitedly extolling the virtues of a vacuum cleaner is the epitome of a boring geezer.

Until Tomorrow