Stephen Speicher

In praise of James Dyson, and his vacuum

21 posts in this topic

This is in praise of a man and his machine; James Dyson and his vacuum.

The old addage of building a better mousetrap is true, and it applies to vacuum machines as well. Dyson is an inventor, with a few strange-looking projects to his credit. I do not know much about Dyson's ballbarrow (a wheelbarrow with a large basketball-sized ball in front) except that it supposedly goes where no wheelbarrow has gone before. The Brits seem to love it as it quickly became a leading seller, riding through mud without sinking in. Dyson's "sea truck" has sold in the 500 million dollar range. I understand that, so far, all Dyson products sales total around 10 billion dollars.

As a workman remarked to me when he first saw it in my home, the Dyson vacuum looks like it belongs to the Jetsons (the rocketship TV family that started in the early 1960s, and became synonymous with the look of the future). It is one of the most sensible devices I have ever seen; each part crafted perfectly, operating smoothly, and so well-thought out that you wonder why everything isn't made this way.

Dyson designed a system such that the vacuum never loses suction, and suction is what this device excels at. I own the DC 07 Animal, billed as "The most powerful upright for pet hair." (Now if Cali would only let me apply it daily to her body! :o )

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A slight touch of the foot and the vacuum swivels into an incline, and the flick of a switch and dirt is deposited in the trash. Without a doubt the most beautiful, functional, and delightfully ingenious little machine you will ever come across in a home. It is no wonder that a recent Reuters story indicated that 97 percent of sales is by word of mouth, and evidently sufficient enough to catapult Dyson into the now leading sales position for vacuums in the United States, Britain, Australia and New Zealand, beating out old favorites such as Hoover. Last year Dyson sold 891,000 vacuums in the United States alone, all this from 97% word of mouth! I recommend Dyson and his vacuum line. See it for yourself, right here.

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I second your praise!

I bought the yellow model this christmas, and I love it. Sears sells them with their traditional kenmore line of vacs. I was skeptical at first, because I thought Dyson vacs were an infomercial rip-off product, until the sales person explained the product.

The funky colors, can give the wrong first impression (oh, this vac. must be a toy, etc...). It is not. To prove the strength of the molded plastic, they give you poker chip sized sample. It's called liquid metal, and I have never held in my hand a thin piece of plastic (about the thickness of 2 credit cards) and could not bend nor break it.

Performance is unbelievable. It picked up half a canister of dirt (okay, okay, I'm somewhat lax in my vacuuming!), but this was AFTER I had just vacuumed with my old kenmore canister vac.

The vac uses elementary waves to suck up particles. Haha hee he. Not really.

But it does not use bags, instead it accelerates the airflow into a cyclonic pattern, causing heavier than air particles outward, and no bags are required. Dyson sucks!

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I just wanted to comment on this vacuum (although the post is old), after going out and buying it from the recommendations of the people on THE FORUM.

At my house my family and I have two dogs and their hair to deal with. There is always hair from the dogs that can not be seen. This vacuum picks it up without a problem. We have a 3600 sqft home so it usually takes two canisters to do the whole house. But, it is amazing to watch the canisters fill while going over an area that already looks clean. I also enjoy its capacity to leave it at the bottom of the stairs and use the extension hose to go all the way up to the top without moving the vacuum.

This might sound a little goofy, but this vacuum has actually made vacuuming fun.

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I'm so jealous! I have just a normal old vacuum. My cat leaves tons of hair around my apartment... one time the hair literally filled the tube that goes from the part with the brushes to the part where it connects to the bag so I had to take a pair of forceps and pull it all out (after I finally figured out why my vacuum kept heating up and shutting down!) Does a Dyson have about the same level of noise as a "normal" vacuum cleaner?

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Does a Dyson have about the same level of noise as a "normal" vacuum cleaner?

In general, it seems to have more of a "whirling" sound than a "grrring" noise. It is truly amazing, though, to have continual full suction while seeing globs of dog hair swirling around the open cannister. An incredible design.

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In general, it seems to have more of a "whirling" sound than a "grrring" noise. It is truly amazing, though, to have continual full suction while seeing globs of dog hair swirling around the open cannister. An incredible design.

I actually bought one of the Dyson units because I needed another vacuum and saw your recommendation here. It definitely has great performance. My only regret is seeing the brand new "ball" model that they're advertising, another innovation that lets you easily pivot in any direction. Now (of course) I want one of those ....

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I actually bought one of the Dyson units because I needed another vacuum and saw your recommendation here. It definitely has great performance. My only regret is seeing the brand new "ball" model that they're advertising, another innovation that lets you easily pivot in any direction. Now (of course) I want one of those ....

Thanks for telling me about the new one -- The Ball! I love it. Time for a trade-in. :D

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The Dyson vacuum cleaner sounds pretty good.

Another kind of vacuum cleaner that uses a cyclonic separator is a built-in vacuum. A vacuum cleaner like this has the motor and dirt collection canister in a fixed location in the house, and it is plumbed to outlets in various rooms. The one I'm familiar with also does not have any bag or filter to get clogged.

The advantage of such a system is that the vacuum motor can be larger and more powerful, since nobody has to move it around while vacuuming. The disadvantage of course is that you can't take the system with you if you move....

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I gather he also makes pretty good washing machines - has anyone read his autobiography?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1...3149249-5828411

I have not read the book, but I have read short discussions on Dyson and his life and he seems as interesting a person as his own innovations. The reviews make the book appear quite promising. Thanks for mentioning it.

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I actually bought one of the Dyson units because I needed another vacuum and saw your recommendation here. It definitely has great performance. My only regret is seeing the brand new "ball" model that they're advertising, another innovation that lets you easily pivot in any direction. Now (of course) I want one of those ....

Phil, thanks so much for mentioning this new Dyson. I just opened the box, clicked a few things together, and used The Ball for the first time. Unbelievable! I'm against government involvement in science and business, but if they ever make anyone the Czar of Technology, I hope it is James Dyson. B)

The first thing to mention is the sheer cleaning power; I do not know how it is accomplished, but The Ball picks up dog hair better than the earlier model, with half the strokes. The actual ball used to replace the standard wheels is the same concept that Dyson used in replacing the wheelbarrow with his ballbarrow. The vacuum pivots on a dime and seems to glide rather than roll across the floor. But with The Ball Dyson did not just add the ball to the existing vacuum, but instead redesigned a whole series of mechanisms that comprise the unit. They all fit together with that usual Dyson "click," effortless connections that result from perfection in design and manufacture. One nice little addition is a button within reach that engages or disengages the brushes, rather than having to bend down to switch the main unit. Since I have about a dozen area rugs sprinkled throughout the floors, I often need to switch the brushes on and off, and this new design makes it easy to do so.

I can't recommend this new model, The Ball, too highly. A brilliant design that is just a joy to use.

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Phil, thanks so much for mentioning this new Dyson.

You're welcome. I guess it returned the favor of your original suggestion B)

We got back from Chicago today after attending NextFest yesterday. It was worth going, enough interesting things to see despite a few previously overhyped disappointments. Dyson did have a little display consisting of a number of the ball models, demonstrating them to people. It was very well received.

Another cool gadget shown was the Segway, but unfortunately they were forbidden at some point from permitting people to try them out personally. The Segway is an ingenious 2 wheel electric scooter of sorts that has sophisticated computer control, including gyros, that make it into a very maneuverable, intuitively steered, yet highly stable device.

I'll probably post more about the show in a different thread, later on.

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I can't recommend this new model, The Ball, too highly. A brilliant design that is just a joy to use.

I killed my old vaccuum cleaner earlier this week, so I took the opportunity (after a bit of independent research) to trade up to a Dyson DC15 ("The Ball"). I second all the good things other people have said about it in this thread. The design is ingenious. It's the most maneuverable vaccuum I've ever used, and the pickup is amazing. I don't have any pets with hair, but I've got long hair myself and it gets *everywhere*. This thing picked up four cannisters of crud around the house with almost no effort. And all the little details are just... right. The built-in wand is the first I've seen that's actually long enough, along with the hose, to do serious edge work without having to drag the base unit around after you every few feet. This is the Amazon.com of vaccuum cleaners -- everything you want to do with it has been anticipated and made simple.

This vaccuum might (I emphasize *might*) actually end my Tivo's 5-year run as my favorite household appliance. It's that good. So thank you, Stephen, for bringing Dyson to my attention. I'd never heard of it before I saw this thread. Chalk up another sale to word-of-mouth.

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This vaccuum might (I emphasize *might*) actually end my Tivo's 5-year run as my favorite household appliance.  It's that good.  So thank you, Stephen, for bringing Dyson to my attention.  I'd never heard of it before I saw this thread.  Chalk up another sale to word-of-mouth.

You're welcome. And thanks to you, me, and a few others ( :) ), Dyson showed up recently on Forbes' list of "The World's Billionaires." Here is a short article where Forbes highlights James Dyson.

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I have to say that I love Dyson vacuum cleaners too.

I don't actually own one yet, but my parents do own one. Each time I have used their one, I have really loved it and I am in the process of putting the money aside to buy one. :)

I never went to college. I dropped out of high school to focus on my business.

I never had any professors as teachers. Businessman have been my teachers, by looking at the products I admire and asking myself what makes it so successful.

He helped teach me with his vacuum cleaners that customers don't just appreciate the big things such as the extra sucking power, but all the small bits of thought too in the design that I notice each time I have used it.

I now do the same in my own products, being fussy with the design making sure everything is explicitly chosen to be the best given the budget instead of just the defaults.

I also learnt over seeing the various new models that I don't have to think of everything all in one go, that building successful stuff is a continual process as you think about each problem and as your own knowledge and observations grow.

I am glad that he got his billion dollars. He earned it.

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Dyson Vacuum Cleaners

Quotes taken from handout that came with vacuum.

The idea

While vacuuming his home, James Dyson became frustrated with the lousy suction of his vacuum cleaner. He noticed how the bag and filter quickly became clogged, reducing suction rapidly. So he set out to solve this problem. Several years and over 5,000 prototypes later, he invented the Dyson cyclone- the first vacuum cleaner that doesn’t lose suction.

No place for new technology

James Dyson offered his invention to major manufacturers. One by one they turned him down, apparently not interested in new technology. They seemed determined to keep selling bags, worth $500 million per year. Later, Hoover’s Vice President for Europe, Mike Rutter, said on UK national TV: “I do regret that Hoover did not take the product technology off Dyson: it would have lain on the shelf and not been used.”

I purchased the DC14 Full Kit from Costco and couldn’t be happier with this product. The larger diameter wheels allow the vacuum to roll over the floor and carpet a lot smoother than my old vacuums. When the container gets full, you pull the container out, hold it over a garbage can and push a lever. The bottom opens and the debris falls into the can. The easiest clean up that I have ever experienced.

If you are looking for a new vacuum this is the way to go.

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Can you explain what their statement "it never looses suction" means? I didn't realize that my current vacuum does loose suction :o

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Can you explain what their statement "it never looses suction" means? I didn't realize that my current vacuum does loose suction :o

I think it refers to the fact that vacuums with a filter, lose their efficiency as the filter plugs up.

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Can you explain what their statement "it never looses suction" means? I didn't realize that my current vacuum does loose suction :o

Here's how Dyson explains it.

The standard vaccuum cleaner sucks air into a bag or container with a filter to catch the dirt. As the stuff sticks against the filter or bag, the pores fill up and the airflow, hence the suction, decreases substantially. You have to then replace the bag. Emptying it and reusing it will still leave the pores of the bag filled with fine particles, i.e. clogged.

Basically, Dyson's idea was to create a vortex, somewhat like a centrifuge, to spin out the large particles, then knock out the medium-sized particles with a sieve, then use a more powerful cyclone/vortex to spin out the remaining fine particles, releasing the clean air back out into the room. Since the debris is thrown out of the return path, there is no clogging and the suction (i.e. the rate of airflow) remains relatively constant up until the unit is full. That's the idea. I have a Bissel knock-off -- the poor man's Dyson :) -- and, although it doesn't have the power of a dyson and I think it has only one cyclone going, it's still pretty awesome, compared to the standard bag/filter unit.

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