Today, the DC01 is discontinued, but the model still appears on after-market Dyson websites as a reconditioned buy. The basic model is grey and yellow, while occasionally the limited edition grey and blue Antarctica models will be found. Some feature higher rated filter systems such as the “Absolute Plus” and the famous multicoloured “De Stijl” model celebrating the neoplasticism movement.
The question is, after so many years, is a refurbished Dyson DC01 better than the current line up of cheaper cyclonic uprights, or against newer Dyson models? They may be a bargain if priced between £60 and £80. As ever, I would avoid the allegedly reconditioned examples to be found on eBay for circa £20–£30. You get what you pay for. Buy from a Dyson specialist if you are buying one; not from a fly-by-night faceless internet-only vendor.
The DC01 Design
There is a lot to be said of the DC01. It serves its purpose well if all you need is an upright vacuum cleaner that can handle removing dirt from carpets. On laminate floors, the DC01 will never be terribly efficient due to the always-spinning roller brush that cannot be switched off with a brush control knob as on later models.
A series of three tools were originally with the DC01, a long crevice tool, a round upholstery brush and a flat stair tool useful for cleaning the stairs, the car, mattresses and curtains. An adaptor is supplied for using the tools with the back telescopic hose.
The tools on the DC01 are stored at the bottom, two on each side, but in common usage they can fall off, and this storage idea remains a bad design idea. Dyson improved this on later models.
Noise is something that if you are the owner of a DC01 you have to get used to. Then again, the DC01 always had a 1200 watt motor, which when compared with today’s cheapest bagless upright, is very humble, but watts do not directly equate to airwatts and suction. Vacs that can maintain suction are different, and vacs these days that cannot suck up 100% of the time, will need a higher wattage motor to fill the void of losing power by maintaining the power.
Over carpets, the DC01 is comparable to similar specification uprights that use bags, it is quite adequate in performance still.
Most Dyson DC01’s have a multi-stage filtration system that is predominantly S-Class or HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter to provide cleaner air than air and dust sucked into the machine (Dyson call it S-level). Changing the filters on a DC01 is easy, there is an article right here on Dyson Medic about this: Changing Dyson DC01 Filters.
The amount of dirt that was trapped by the filters on my DC01, after the first three months of ownership, was incredible. The basic rule of thumb is, if the filters are black, replace them! Filter replacements are available from >>here<< for just £5 for a pack of eight.
Another aspect of DC01 maintenance is to remove blockages. On the back of the DC01, there are two inspection points, both rubber flaps close over when the DC01 is in use. Checking the hose and pipes is easy enough: stick a pipe cleaner up to remove any blockage. I originally thought my inspection airways would be clear until I pushed a finger in one day and discovered a whole load of dog hair matted on the bottom of one of the tubes. My DC01 still worked, but I cannot imagine it would have lasted much longer if I hadn’t had cleared the air ways.
Weight & Other Observations
One aspect that I do not like about the DC01 is its weight: Nine Kilos. Dyson made their machines in ABS plastic and used no metal on the external body. 100% recyclable plastic may very well have been good news for the greens, but in everyday use the DC01 is a very heavy machine and difficult to use if it needs be carried upstairs by a lady.
At the cost of £60 – £80, a refurbished Dyson DC01 is a good buy as your main upright carpet cleaner if you are happy with no fills, bells or whistles.
To all who have never owned a Dyson vacuum cleaner, do not listen to those who insist on telling you that Dysons are no good. Rather, it’s the abuse that most Dyson models suffer from, and the owners neglect that cause them to fail from time to time. After owning a DC01 from new for a few years, any problems encountered only came from prolonged use and increased expectations. Parts are always readily available (especially recycled ones). Treat it kindly; maintain it well and your DC01 can last for a few good years.