When Dyson big ball upright cleaners are just too much for the smaller home (or smaller user), the DC50 condenses the latest Dyson tech and features into a compact and bijou package. Weighing in at well under 6kg, the ball system allows the cleaner to be turned on the spot and the main floor head automatically adapts to different carpet piles.
With storage always an issue in smaller homes, the DC50 feature a telescopic handle/wand arrangement making it around 30% more compact than Dyson’s full-size uprights for storing. It’s quiet, easy to empty and for those with pets the DC50 demonstrates its Animal credentials with a compact turbine tool just for pet hairs.
The DC50 comes in the smallest box I’ve ever seen for a fully-features upright cleaner – it’s properly compact. Assembly simply requires clipping the floor head to the body and the handle to the flexible tube, so there’s no problems there either.
The main body, ball and the bin of the DC50 is notably smaller than other Dyson uprights and that limits the bin to a rather meagre 0.8 litres. That’s still double the size of the Dyson V6 Absolute and other Dyson cordless vacuum cleaners, but it’s tight all the same.
Regular emptying is essential, particularly if you do have pets trooping around the home with dirty paws and moulting like an old fur coat.
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The DC50’s main floor head is easily removed for detangling those pet hairs from the main beater bar too. There are two washable filters on-board, which Dyson recommends giving a monthly rinse and spruce up.
This model also comes with Dyson’s innovative turbine tool, with its contra-rotating brushes to pick up pet hairs without them wrapping around a traditional beater bar. I have had great success with this tool in previous models, and it remains our reference tool for stair cleaning carpets in home with pets.
You also get a good sized crevice tool with slide down dusting brush and a tiny little upholstery tool which looks about the right size for a sofa in a dolls house.
Two of the three tools clip to the main body and, by pressing a release clip, the main wand and handle slides down into the cleaner to reduce storage height to just 77cm. Sadly you can’t lift from the handle when it’s in this position as there’s no lock, but there’s a dedicated handle for that job.
If you are used to the solid feel and well balanced stability of a full size Dyson upright, then the DC50’s compact dimensions and rather flimsy feel come as a bit of a surprise. There is clearly a trade-off between keeping the weight and size down versus robustness and overall stability, and it shows.
Everything from the handle to the ball and wheel assembly exhibits a large degree of flex when manhandled, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. Still, as we are yet to break anything on a Dyson test cleaner thus far, we assume the company knows how to make its plastics user-proof.
The concerns fade when the DC50 is fired up, the powerful suction, superbly designed floor head and ball manoeuvrability make it both efficient and a joy to use. It turns with the lightest twist of the wrist, the head steering in the direction indicted, and the floor head very effectively adapts to different carpet heights.
The beater bar can be stopped altogether for sensitive hard floors, but we found the main beater was extremely gentle on hard surfaces anyway and the carbon bristles make for super removal of dust and fine powder from parquet and laminates. The machine’s overall lightweight translates directly to making the cleaner feel ‘nippy’ around the home, doubly so as this test comes straight after using Miele’s tank-like U1 upright, and its notably quieter than most full size Dyson uprights too.
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As I have come to expect from the brand, cleaning efficiency was first class, whether you ran the cleaner over short pile carpets, deep pile rugs, hard floors or tiles. Edge cleaning on the carpet test was excellent with virtually no powered residue left in the dip at the skirting in just a single pass. Likewise, my test using dry porridge oats on deep-grouted floor tiles posed little challenge for the DC50 as it efficiently pulled all the particles from the tile gaps with ease.
The wand and hose unclip from the main body in a single movement, but here things are not quite as perfect. The hose is very short at just over a metre fully extended and, with the fairly limited length telescopic wand, I could only just get to our 2.4m high ceilings to tackle cobwebs. If you have an older Victorian house with high ceilings, the spiders are going to be up there laughing at you. Moreover, the DC50’s slim line style and light weight don’t make for great stability when the hose and wand are being used and it took a tumble a couple of times.
All that said, once again the cleaning results with the hose and tools was superb. The crevice tool is longer than supplied on most compact cleaners and its dusting brush bigger too. The anti-tangle turbine tool is excellent and it is only the upholstery brush design I struggled with. At just 9cm wide, it is going to take you a whole lot of arm action to clean a three-piece suite.