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Dyson DC34 Animal - Performance and Verdict

By Edward Chester

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

User Score:

Performance

The DC34 range have two power modes – high and low. The former delivers 8mins of operation while the latter nearly doubles this to 15mins, with suction power reduced by about half. In normal/low mode, it really is only suitable for dust-sized particles that are lightly engrained into any given surface. Stubborn dirt or larger particles will quite often be missed unless you’re really persist and precise about how you place the nozzle.

Switch to high power mode, though, and the 104,000rpm motor shows its chops, making the DC34 immediately become more versatile, picking up larger loose items and more ingrained dirt. It’s still not a patch on a full-size mains vacuum but could just about suffice as you main vacuum if you’re short on space.

Dyson DC34 Animal

Compared to other handhelds there’s a clear advantage in terms of raw power but as much of an advantage are those accessories. The crevice tool and main brush are great for poking in all the nooks and crannies of your house or car, while the rotor brush is brilliant for carpets, rugs and other upholstery.

Dyson DC34 Animal

There is a fairly major potential downside when viewing this as mainly a portable vacuum though, rather than one to perform double duty as your main cleaner too. As well as simply being portable thanks to being battery powered, one of the key attributes of a handheld vacuum cleaner is that it’s small, and as mentioned earlier that isn’t really the case here. As such, there are times when you simply can’t get an angle to get the business end of the cleaner into position because the rest of it’s wedged up against a car seat or such like. The backseat footwells of cars and gaps underneath furniture or kitchen cupboards are the most obvious areas of concern here. Some smaller handheld vacuum cleaners are slender enough that the whole thing will slide under a kitchen cupboard for instance.

Dyson DC34 Animal

As for longevity, we found Dyson’s claimed figures to be pretty accurate. This is fine for occasional spillages, cleaning the car or having a quick spruce up, but if you’re having a proper spring clean you’ll probably find it only lasts a couple of rooms rooms before needing a recharge.

A final plus point of note before we look at value is that the clear, easy to empty collection cyclinder does make it particularly easy to pick through any rubbish if you think you’ve hovered up a receipt or precious penny.

Dyson DC34 Animal

Value

As with nearly all Dyson products, where the DC34 Animal potentially falls down is price. At list price (£199.99), it’s simply too expensive but for the £150 or so you can find it online for it’s just about worth considering. Other handheld vacuums can be had for as little £20 so you really are paying quite a premium here but we feel there’s just about enough on offer here to make it worth while.

Verdict

The Dyson DC34 Animal is a great handheld vacuum cleaner. It’s more powerful than any other, it has some neat accessories and it’s really well designed in terms of usability. However, it is bulkier than many handhelds, doesn’t really rival full-size models for power, and is expensive. It’s certainly not a foolish purchase but not an outright recommendation either.

Overall Score

8

Robin

February 2, 2013, 1:17 am

I have a feeling that the thing that will eventually see the demise of Dyson, unless steps are taken to remedy it, is the unreliability of their products and their repair/parts costs. My full size Dyson vacs motor packed in after 18 months and the most economical way of repairing it was to fit a third party motor myself. My DC16 handheld has echoed every second hand one being sold on E-bay, i.e. battery failure - and with a replacement battery costing £50 hardly worth renewing. However, I did so but then shortly after purchasing the new battery, the plastic fan in front of the motor broke. Dyson do not have this as a spare part (shame on them) and the only way of repairing it is to buy a complete motor assy. at £56! Instead I bought a different handheld for £49,99 and, for the car, found it better than the Dyson had been. It's perfect for just vaccing up a few crumbs too. My Dyson washing machine was replaced with an LG Direct Drive after the Dyson had broken down twice in 2 years and eventually became too expensive to repair. What a waste of money the Dyson purchase had been! The LG is now 5 years old, cost £200 less than the Dyson and is still going strong. Unless I hear of some miracle improvements in reliability and a big reduction both in purchase price and repair costs I shall avoid Dyson products in future.

Robin

February 2, 2013, 2:05 pm

I have a feeling that the thing that will eventually see the demise of Dyson, unless steps are taken to remedy it, is the unreliability of their products and their repair/parts costs. My full size Dyson vacs motor packed in after 18 months and the most economical way of repairing it was to fit a third party motor myself. My DC16 handheld has echoed every second hand one being sold on E-bay, i.e. battery failure - and with a replacement battery costing £50 hardly worth renewing. However, I did so but then shortly after purchasing the new battery, the plastic fan in front of the motor broke. Dyson do not have this as a spare part (shame on them) and the only way of repairing it is to buy a complete motor assy. at £56! Instead I bought a different handheld for £49,99 and, for the car, found it better than the Dyson had been. It's perfect for just vaccing up a few crumbs too. My Dyson washing machine was replaced with an LG Direct Drive after the Dyson had broken down twice in 2 years and eventually became too expensive to repair. What a waste of money the Dyson purchase had been! The LG is now 5 years old, cost £200 less than the Dyson and is still going strong. Unless I hear of some miracle improvements in reliability and a big reduction both in purchase price and repair costs I shall avoid Dyson products in future.

Marcia

April 18, 2013, 11:32 pm

HOW DO CLEAN THE CLEAR BIN??? CAN YOU DETACH IT??

Nala15

September 17, 2013, 9:40 pm

I have had a dyson cleaner now for well over 10years never had any thing go wrong with it and its used every day of the week and works just as good as the day it was brought

Peter

December 11, 2013, 4:47 pm

My DC 34just keeps stoping when you are using it. In spite of repeatedly cleaning the Filter, It still continues to do it

Die-son

December 23, 2013, 11:23 am

I bought my DC34 Animal a year ago- it soon started just 'stopping'- and the motorised brush head did too independently of the main motor. I called the help line- they diagnosed a faulty battery, which they replaced FOC (it arrived by parcel post the next day!) The machine was better- for a while. but now occasionally stops again, as does the motorised brush head. It's really annoying, but what to do? Just like most 'digital' things- when they are performing well they're great- when not they are a particularly nasty type of junk! My first hand-held Dyson last 10 years!

Bev

January 8, 2014, 11:18 pm

My DC34 Animal keeps stopping. I took it back to point of purchase only to be asked questions like did I realize that it had to be charged up? Did I realize that I had to keep my finger on the trigger? etc. The woman waved it around in the air and it kept going, so she said there was nothing wrong with it. Over time it has continued to get worse. Now I have trouble getting it start at all, I rang dyson and they told me about a black button behind the filter that I needed to push in, that makes no difference at all. I am totally disappointed with this product. I am in need of a new stick vacuum and also a "big vacuum" but am now wondering about dyson. Has anyone else had this problem??

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