Dyson DC28 Review
The Dyson DC 28 Animal may be expensive, but it provides a lot of performance for the money.
While Dyson stopped production of the DC28 in 2012, it's still a classic upright vacuum and one of the finest we've tested. It still ranks among the best vacuums out there for cleaning high-pile carpet. New one pop up every now and then on clearance; if you can find a good price (often hundreds lower than the original $549 MSRP) we suggest you snap one up.
Design & Usability
Easy to use as long as you've got some muscles.
Despite its 20 pound weight, the DC28 is very easy to use as long as you keep it on a single floor. With a number of design touches, it's simple and straightforward. To use the cleaner on floors, you put your foot on the marked spot on the front and pull the handle back: there is no release switch or foot pedal. This is easy to do (by not requiring much force), but it does produce a loud cracking sound that might make you think you’ve broken it the first few times you move it. The nozzle and wide nozzle can be stored on the cleaner body: the other tools have to be stored elsewhere.
The power cord for this cleaner wraps around two posts on the back, with no automatic rewind. The cable is just over 35 feet long, which should be enough for most situations. The dirt holder is traditional Dyson: press a button to remove it, press another button to release a trap door and dump the dust in the trash. It's the best solution we've seen for keeping your hands clean while emptying a vacuum short of an old-fashioned bag.
The hose of the DC28 Animal is a little unusual: it is built into the handle for the cleaner. To use it, you lift the red end of the handle, which forms the rigid end of the hose, then lift it off the back of the cleaner. An additional extension tube is also included, which we found provided excellent reach. We were able to clean out to a bit more than 15 feet away from the cleaner, and it added just over five feet and nine inches to our height for cleaning ceilings and lamps.
Features & Performance
Few vacuums can handle tall carpet this well, but may be too heavy for some delicate floors.
We were definitely impressed with the overall performance of the DC28 Animal, which scored highly in all of our tests. It's rare that we see a vacuum do this well against tough high-pile carpet cleaning, but the Dyson got up nearly two thirds of the dirt we put down. When dirt gets trampled deep into carpet fibers, you need both powerful suction and aggressive agitation from a brushroll to clean a carpet. The DC28 delivers on both accounts.
While it didn't fail on our hardwood tests, it didn't do tremendously well, either. First off, the vacuum automatically starts with the brushroll on, which could damage older floors with glossy finishes. Secondly, it's extremely heavy and could gouge softer woods like wide-board pine.
If you've got carpet, you've got little time to snap up the DC28.
$500 is a lot to spend on a vacuum cleaner, but since Dyson stopped production of the DC28 Animal, prices on clearance stock have dropped drastically. It's a great time to buy this machine—even at MSRP, it provides a lot of performance for the money, achieving high scores across most of our tests. It is a complex product, though, and some users may be put off by the range of controls and cleaning tools on offer.
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