Bagged -v- Bagless Vacuum Cleaners? How to Choose a Vacuum Cleaner.

This article first appeared at Manchester Vacs.

I’ve been in the vacuum business since the mid 1980s, Our shop is the largest independent vacuum shop in the north of England. So I’m probably quite well qualified to opine on vacuum cleaners.

  • Bagged or bagless vacuum cleaner?
  • Which is the best vacuum cleaner?
  • Which vacuum cleaner to buy?
  • How to choose the right vacuum cleaner?
  • What is the most powerful vacuum cleaner?
  • Cylinder or upright vacuum cleaner?

Like any decision you make, you need the facts first. Websites randomly publishing lists of the “ten best vacuum cleaners” as many do is pretty pointless. Best for whom? Against what benchmark? Define best?

We all have different needs. A single person in a bungalow with one cat and Amtico floors has totally different needs to a busy mother in a townhouse full of Axminster, a builder husband with muddy feet, two labradors and three kids who are good at spilling Cheerios on the floor. Those two people’s idea of the best vacuum cleaner will quite rightly be radically different.

“Do people still use vacuum cleaners with bags?” someone asked in our shop recently. Yes they do. And that shows us how effective the marketing of bagless cleaners has been over the last twenty years or so. Bags in vacuum cleaners is not a concept we have ‘moved on from’ though, as some people seem to think.

In fact, with vacuum cleaners at the better end of the market – Sebo and Miele being the most notable examples – they never actually went away.

Let’s take a ramble through the truth and myths about vacuum cleaners with bags and those without bags. Then we can look at choosing a vacuum cleaner that works for you. Corded or cordless vacuum cleaners is another question we will discuss here.

In order for dirt to be collected in your vacuum cleaner, you have two choices as a collection method: Bagless machines or machines with a bag.

Bagless Vacuums – The Pros and Cons

Now let’s be honest. When you think about bagless vacuum cleaners you think of Dyson. They were first to market with a bagless cleaner and have dominated the market ever since with a very large range of models. Nobody else has quite caught them up in the bagless sector of the market and although other manufacturers have sought to emulate them, none have made a notable bagless vacuum we’d seriously consider owning with our own money.

Since bursting onto the market in the mid 1990s with mainstream bagless vacuums, Dyson did a very good job with their marketing convincing many people that bags are somehow old hat, dirty, inefficient and a product of yesteryear.

That isn’t true, and if it were, Gtech wouldn’t just have launched a bagged cordless cleaner(Please note: we do not recommend any Gtech product – here is one reason of many why.)

A bagless machine uses what is known as cyclonic separation to remove dirt from the air flow and deposit it in the bottom of a collection bin. Not all designs are equal though. Well-designed cyclones – as Dyson have mostly made – usually do a decent job of collecting the dirt. Ones made by lesser manufacturers often do a terrible job (I am thinking of Vax and Hoover here among other budget Chinese-made brands).

Cyclonic separation wasn’t a new idea when Dyson began to use it. James Dyson got the idea from sawmills that used the method to collect sawdust. In his own words:

Quote from: James Dyson

I’d seen an industrial sawmill, which uses something called a cyclonic separator to remove dust from the air. I thought the same principle of separation might work on a vacuum cleaner. I rigged up a quick prototype, and it did.

When such a system is collecting uniform items (like sawdust flakes) it is quite straightforward to set a machine up in such a way to make it very efficient. When a machine has many different items to pick up – as with household dirt – it is quite a design feat to get it to work as intended. Dyson have spent many years honing their cyclone designs and it is a continual work in progress. Dysons cyclonic technology evolves over the years as good engineering does.

Quick bagless filter lesson: bagless machines typically have two filters, one after the cyclone and before the motor (a pre-motor filter – on Dysons they are washable) making sure clean air enters the motor, and one after the motor (a post-motor filter) making sure even cleaner air leaves the motor. Second stage air filtration if you like. A HEPA filter is a more effective filter, usually used post-motor, to control the cleanliness of air entering back into your room.

Not all dirt and dust will be trapped in a a bagless vacuum cleaner though, and for this reason they usually have a pre-motor filter of some description. They tend to be less capable when very fine dust is involved such as plaster dust or fire ash. Dust of this nature will often pass through the cyclone and be caught by the filter.

If the pre-motor filter becomes blocked, dirt can sometimes bypass it and reach the main motor – this significantly shortens the life of the motor. Alternatively, when a filter is blocked, cooling airflow through the motor is reduced, so the motor runs hotter, and again, this significantly shortens the life of the motor. Fire ash and plaster dust (not to mention the odd spilled bottle of talcum powder) kills many bagless vacuum cleaners prematurely.

Some later Dyson machines (known as Cinetic machines) are not fitted with pre-filters at all and these carry warnings about plaster dust and fire ash. Critics of Dyson’s Cinetic machines say they are vacuum cleaners that cannot be used to suck up dust. Dyson say they are not designed for building rubble or cleaning out fireplaces. You can see both sides of that debate.

Most Dyson vacuums are fitted with washable filters which should be cleaned as part of your maintenance schedule (or cleaned/replaced when you take it in for service periodically). On some models such as the DC07, the cyclones can block up making annual servicing not a bad idea.

Dyson often use the claim “no loss of suction” when the machine is full. We’d suggest that is debatable.

Dyson have also occasionally made the claim that “Dysons don’t need servicing” – that is also utter bunkum totally debunked in detail here.

Anyone with a bagless cleaner will be familiar with the mushroom cloud that can emanate from your bin as you empty it. It is not recommended to do that indoors especially if you have allergies.

So bagless vacuums are not perfect as we have seen. But if you are going to have one, Dyson is the best of the lot in our opinion. Many Dysons are extremely capable machines, but like any product, they have their limitations and one should seek expert advice (which isn’t a spotty teenager in Currys) before buying to be sure you are getting a machine that suits your needs. And be aware of the maintenance they will need.

Bagged Vacuums – The Pros and Cons

With bagged machines, the air passes through a bag and the bag catches the dirt and the dust free air is expelled. For this reason, many bagged machines don’t have a pre-motor filter. They don’t need one because the bag is the main filter. The better end of bagged machines often have a pre-motor and a post-motor filter, but you dont need to think about them very much as you would with a bagless machine.

Sebo for example sell a service box you can buy every year or two. Along with 8 bags come two clip in filters. Apart from removing hair from the brushroll as with any vacuum, that is all the maintenance a Sebo will need. No washable filters to contend with on bagged machines.

The earliest commercially available vacuum cleaners that actually worked properly used bags. From the 1920s through to mid century, cloth bags were common.

Washing and emptying cloth bags was cumbersome and design soon progressed into disposable paper bags located inside the cloth bags, often secured by a rubber ring that doubled up as a spare belt. Many of us will remember Hoover and similar machines from the 60s, 70s and 80s that used paper bags (many people still use and love machines from that era).

Some early bags filled from the bottom so changing the bag was a dirty and messy affair. This is the mental image and childhood memory many people will have of bagged vacuum cleaners and an image Dyson were always keen to talk about to sell their bagless products.

However, modern vacuum cleaners and their bags have moved on. There has been half a century of design evolution since the machines pictured above. They fill from above nowadays and often self-seal as you remove them to empty. Modern vacuum bags are usually made out of multi-layer micro-fibre and are designed to maximise the performance, longevity and reliability of your machine.

Sebo bags for example, use multi-layer, micro-fibre construction which harnesses electrostatic attraction to combine high filtration and fade-free performance. The high filtration design enables longer life by preventing fine dust and other contaminants from entering the machine and causing unseen damage to bearings and motors.

Bagged vacuum cleaners often last many, many years due to the very high filtration that vacuum bags offer. And of course there are no filters to wash.

The only downside to using a bagged machine is that as the bag nears full, performance on some models can reduce slightly till the bag is changed. But again, with the top end manufacturers like Sebo and Miele, good design reduces this trait to less noticeable levels. Bag full warning lights usually give you time to change the bag before performance takes a noticeable hit.

The Cost of Bags Argument

Dyson and other bagless manufacturers have always made a big deal about “not having to buy bags” with their products. Their marketing worked as some people still have a blanket “I dont want to buy bags” attitude without even listening to the common sense behind bags.

A recent survey by Sebo shows that 83% of us change our vacuum bags monthly (we find many Sebo owners use a box of 8 a year on average but 12 isn’t unreasonable). This equates to 12 bags a year if you are in the 83%. A typical genuine manufacturer-made bag costs about £1.25, and non-genuine aftermarket ones cost less.

This means a typical user running a vacuum cleaner with a genuine manufacturer-made bag will spend a maximum of £15 a year in bags. Or four pence a day.

Bagless cleaners often cost more to buy. At the time of writing, a full size Dyson ball machine costs typically £100 more than a comparable Sebo. That £100 buys you 80 Sebo bags, which if an average user will last you around seven years.

When coupled with more hygienic disposal that bags offer, no mushroom cloud and no filters to buy or wash, the net cost differential is negligible. Don’t believe marketing nonsense from manufacturers that bags are prohibitively expensive and buying bagless costs less – it’s not true.

So Which is Best – Bagged or Bagless?

There is no definitive answer to this because our needs go beyond simply bagged or bagless. We have said in the past it’s like red wine -v- white wine, lager -v- bitter or Brexit -v- Remain. Everyone has their own opinion and one option doesn’t suit everyone.

It remains a fact that for those with allergies, asthma or a preference for clean air, bagged machines tend to be a better choice. The magazine Which? recently announced that the Sebo K1 Releases Less Dust than Dyson Cinetic on Emptying.

In an online poll you can find >>here<<, when asked to choose between Sebo and Dyson, at the time of writing, 48% to 16% of vacuum owners preferred Sebo.

Most vacuum specialists, collectors and experts will tell you bags are better.

What About Cordless and Robots?

Dyson have recently courted controversy by claiming they are no longer developing corded vacuum cleaners.

They seem to feel that the new Dyson Cyclone V10 negates the need for corded vacuums and their marketing is shouting these claims.

We have tested the battery life of the Dyson V10 live on video and we got seven and a half minutes on full power with the floor head spinning. We dont think that is enough to say a Dyson V10 can replace your corded machine.

In our view, Dyson make the best cordless machines out there in the V7, V8 and V10, but we tend to recommend them as secondary machines for most people and never as a main family machine. If you have kids, dogs and a need for a family machine, you need a proper vacuum as well – a cordless just won’t cut it alone.

If you happen to live in one of these sterile environments Dyson use in their advertising…………

……… then you may get away with one as a main vacuum cleaner. But for everyone else, you’ll need a real vacuum cleaner as well.

Robotic vacuums are in the same category. The £800 Dyson robot we tested was fun, but too tall to get under furniture and seemed to suffer software issues in that it spent ten minutes trying to climb a barstool.

Robotic machines are alright if you have a lot of hard floor and can leave them to collect dust bunnies on their own while you are out at work. You’ll still need a real vacuum too of course. If you want a robotic vacuum cleaner, the iRobot Roomba is the best one we have encountered.

So About the Most Powerful Vacuum?

“Most powerful” is a misnomer – I could write an article on that subject alone. I spend much of my working day explaining to people that motor wattage is not the same as air watts and what role brushroll design and carpet agitation play in effective cleaning. Big watts does not equal power and suction. It can, but not necessarily.

All machines in the EU are restricted to 900w anyway now. So if you want a machine higher than 900w you’ll need to buy old stock or get a reconditioned vacuum cleaner.

Buy a well made vacuum cleaner from a company that makes vacuum cleaners (rather than a company that puts its name on anything it can find in China) that is designed properly and dont obsess about power. Good design will always trump bad design and more motor watts. One reason the old Vax machines with their 2200w motors were still dreadful machines.

I Want Lightweight and Powerful

Lightweight and powerful are mutually exclusive in my opinion; subjective at best. A machine I may find quite light you may think is heavy. Many people think a 7.5kg Sebo or an 8kg Dyson is heavy. I find them alright but think a big Miele or a Kirby are heavy. Many older people get drawn towards what are essentially motorised Ewbanks like Gtech because of the weight and persuasive marketing (please don’t buy a Gtech folks).

Lightweight often means very small motors which usually means less power. It can also mean cheap construction which means poor performance.

I have yet to find a very lightweight and powerful machine that ticks all the boxes. It’s the holy grail of vacuuming every manufacturer is trying to create.

If you really need lightweight, see if a cylinder machine will suit you, and if not see if your usage is light enough a cordless Dyson will suffice.

Upright or Cylinder?

Cylinder machines are like Marmite.

You love them or hate them.

In mainland europe, cylinder machines are the norm. In the UK, we tend to prefer uprights. Upright machines tend to be better on carpet and we British typically have more carpet than those in mainland europe. We have found a north south difference: in Scotland a cylinder machine is an unusual thing. In the north of England, you see some but not many. The further south you go the more you are likely to find people who choose cylinder machines over uprights.

It is entirely personal preference, though.

In with cylinder machines we should probably mention Numatic and Henry type machines. We are lukewarm about Numatic and Henry type tub machines in that they lack any type of design or technology and are cumbersome to use. They are just a plastic bucket, a motor and some hose – about as basic as a vacuum gets. If you really want that type of machine, >>these<< are cheaper and reliable.

What Do You Have at Home?

We as vacuum experts are often asked what we have at home. I can tell you we have both a bagged Sebo X series (for the serious work) and a Dyson bagless cordless V8 (for the quick zip round stuff) at home. The two machines do different jobs and compliment each other well.

Where to Buy? 

Buying a vacuum cleaner is a big decision. A good vacuum will cost a few hundred pounds and you’ll own it quite a few years if you choose wisely. Taking advice from a specialist who should ask about your floor types and usage will help you make the right decision.

Independent vacuum shops are a better place to look at your options than chain stores. In an independent shop you are more likely to encounter experienced staff who use the products and know what they are talking about. Online research has its limits and nothing beats discussing your needs with a vacuum cleaner expert to get a recommendation, and trying a couple of products on a shop floor before you buy. You can’t do that in Argos or online with AO.

Remember an independent store should always be cheaper than eBay or Amazon as if you deal direct they are not paying the selling fees it costs to sell on those platforms when you deal directly.

What Brand to Buy

It’s just a vacuum cleaner, isnt it? Wrong. Have you ever wondered why those “budget” vacuum cleaners are sold next to the toilet rolls in the supermarket? It’s because they’re just as disposable. When it comes to picking a vacuum cleaner from a myriad of choices, dont just go for the cheapest. Spending £99 on a vacuum cleaner may seem like a great idea at the time, but year after year you’ll find yourself needing a replacement. In the end, you will spend more money buying a cheap vacuum year after year than you would buying a decent one in the first place.

We’d suggest you avoid Gtech, Vax, Hoover, Bissell, Shark, Zanussi, Beko, Argos, Bush, Hotpoint, H.Koenig, Russell Hobbs, Duronic, Samsung and anything cheap that you have never heard of in the supermarket.

For cordless vacuum cleaners we recommend Dyson.

For corded full size vacuum cleaners we recommend Sebo. Sebo were voted Which? magazine’s “most reliable brand” and are still made in Germany. You can buy a Sebo from us >>here<<. If you don’t fancy a Sebo, look at a reconditioned Dyson instead.

For more individual or specific advice, feel free to make a free account on the vacuum cleaner advice forums and ask advice there. But if you have read this far, you now know more about vacuum cleaners than most other people you know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Want to Drill the Wall to Mount Your Dyson Cordless Vacuum? Here Is the Answer

If you are the owner of a Dyson V6, V7, V8 or V10 cordless vacuum cleaner, you’ll like this.

Similarly, if you have a Dyson DC35, DC44, DC45, DC56, DC57, DC59, DC72, DC73 or DC74 you’ll like this too.

When you buy a cordless Dyson vacuum cleaner, one of the things that can often stump you after purchase is that whole ‘fixing to the wall’ thing.

Yes, it’s very nice and convenient to have your Dyson cordless vacuum fixed to the wall, but what if, for example, you are in a rented property and your tenancy agreement specifically says “no wall drilling” as many do?

What if you don’t own a drill or aren’t especially practical? For sure, you can knock up a bit of flat pack from Ikea (or find a helpful friend that can), but ask you to break out the hammer drill and rawl plugs and you’ll break out in a sweat. Is that you?

What if you move your furniture around and decide to move your Dyson cordless someplace else in the home next week? You are left with ugly holes in the wall where your Dyson once was.

There has to be a better way.

There is.

Dyson cordless vacuum stand

A freestanding stand for your Dyson vacuum.

Dyson Handheld Stand

Why did nobody think of that?

The Japanese did – several years ago. Cordless Dyson vacuum stands are a ‘thing’ in Japan, Thailand, the Philippines and much of Asia. Those folks are very enthusiastic about their Dyson cordless vacuums and they love extra accessories, stands, tool adaptors and so on.

The one you see here you can now buy in the UK (and the EU, Australia, New Zealand and the US).

Dyson Cordless Wall Mount

As you can see, this one features a little basket and several shelves where you can keep your tool adaptors, spare heads and small accessories (we like that!).

Dyson vacuum stand

The bottom is made from an MDF type of stuff while the frame is grey powder coated metal.

And yes, it fits the new V10 too:

Dyson V10 floor stand

Even vacuum cleaner shops and stores are buying these just to display new Dyson cordless vacuums. Even Dyson themselves offer no decent display solution to independent Dyson dealers.

If for some reason, you choose (or chose) to buy a Shark Rocket, Vax Slim Vac, Vax Blade or Dustcare vacuum (no, me neither) instead of a Dyson, then this stand has the mounting holes so you can use it with those vacuums too.

We’d expect any other regular cordless vacuum can be made to fit this stand with an extra hole or two drilled in the back plate of the stand.

You can’t use it with a Gtech Pro [sic] though, as they don’t come with a wall mounting bracket because it is such an ugly machine you have to hide it in the cupboard. And if you are a Gtech owner, it is quite likely that it doesn’t work anyway and your ‘warranty’ is worthless. People – whatever you buy, don’t believe those glib Gtech commercials and PLEASE don’t buy Gtech. Ask any vacuum engineer why.

If you have a newer Dyson V7, V8 or V10 then you probably found out already that your old tools dont fit and if a Dyson Medic reader you have already the adaptors to solve that rather than buying all new tools.

Dyson vacuum cleaner cordless stand

Oh look, a little basket to keep them in so they dont get lost.

What You Need to Know:

We built this stand today ourselves, so if thinking of buying one, there are one or two things you might want to know.

Yes it’s flatpack, and yes they supply a spanner, but it’s close to useless as most flatpack spanners are. You’ll need a Phillips screwdriver anyway and preferably a decent 8mm spanner or socket to make assembly less painful. Using the included spanner will take twice as long.

The grey screw covers are painful to use – we found the quality of them hit and miss. Some people may choose to do without them, some may choose to replace them with black number plate screw covers from the local car spares shop. The extra 50p or so spent may be more aesthetically pleasing to the fastidious.

Nuts and bolts for your vacuum docking station are not included. Some vacuums come with nuts and bolts – some don’t. If yours doesn’t, you’ll need to find two small nuts and bolts. No issue if you have a decent toolbox as any practical chap has, but tedious for a seller if you mither them over such a small thing and they end up sending out two nuts and bolts to ‘Annoyed of Esher’.

A few pence at any hardware or car spares shop will get you the extra nuts and bolts and/or screw covers you may need.

Overall, we think the quality of the unit is good and are happy to recommend it.


These stands are a first in the UK. The quality is OK, the look and finish is OK, the price is OK and they solve the problem.

Shark Rocket Wall Stand

Where to Buy:

You can buy cheapest in the UK >>here<<. Be sure to select “free delivery” during checkout.

If overseas, try >>here<< – the delivery charges using the “eBay Global Shipping” option are usually quite reasonable to Russia, the US, New Zealand, Oz and the EU.

Like what you read here? Please like and share us using the social media buttons. Post our link on Mumsnet, Facebook, Fixya or anywhere else you hang out online. It helps us grow. Dyson DC41

Dyson Red Button Tools: Two Sizes That Look the Same. CY22, CY23, Light Ball & Big Ball Adaptors Explained.

We have written here before to try and demystify the confusion with Dyson tool socket fittings and adaptors.

Here is one previous article: Dyson V8 tool adaptors: Use your old tools with your Dyson V7 and V8 (if you have a V8 or V7 – read that instead).

Here is another: Which Dyson ‘Universal’ Adaptor Do I Need?

Dyson have a habit of changing tool sockets quite frequently. Ostensibly to deny owners of tools belonging to other Dyson vacuums the ability to use them across several models or use old tools with newer machines.

We assume this is to make you dash out and buy a glut of new tools.

However, the more savvy person actually goes in search of a tool adaptor. Dyson make the odd adaptor, and the after-market usually makes the ones they don’t.

Dyson’s latest tool socket comes with a red button on the tools, known as a “quick release” type. (Personally, I never found the older ones slow to release, but I digress…..) 

This red button tool design is used on the cordless V8 (and V7) ranges, and also on the CY22 and CY23 Big Ball cylinder machines and some of the later Ball machines known as “Light” ball, “Big” ball, etc., and at first glance the fittings all seem the same.

However, with Dyson’s historical tendency to make tool sockets differ to inconvenience you as much as possible, what they have done this time is made the identical fitting in two different sizes.

Dyson Red Button Tool Adaptors

Now isn’t that jolly?

The smaller one is for the V8 and V7 cordless machines. The larger one is for the CY22, CY23, Light Ball, Big Ball and Cinetic range.

Here they are from another angle:

Dyson Red Button Tool Adaptors

On the left is a CY22/CY23/Light Ball/Big Ball Cinetic adaptor, and on the right is a V8 and V7 adaptor.

Confusing stuff if you are shopping for adaptors, yes? Be SURE to read the sales listings in detail. And remember, nobody makes adaptors to allow electrically driven floor heads to interchange between types, so don’t bother looking for those.

So what about the CY22/CY23/Light Ball/Big Ball Cinetic or other non-V7/V8 red button tool using Dyson owner who wants to use all his or her old Dyson tools with their new Dyson? What if you have the old DC01-DC14 32mm tools, or want to suck air from vacuum bags, etc.? Dyson will tell you that you cannot do that as the correct adaptors don’t exist.

Well they do. If you have a CY22/CY23/Light Ball/Big Ball Cinetic and want the best cross model compatibility you want this set:

Dyson CY22, CY23, Light Ball, Big Ball tool adaptors

If you want adaptability for your Dyson CY22/CY23/Light Ball/Big Ball Cinetic (not V7/V8) red button tool versions with old DC01-DC14 32mm tools, or want to suck air from vacuum bags, etc., you want the set above.

You can find that set on Amazon >>here<<, eBay >>here<< and on Manchester Vacs >>here<<.

Confused? If so, use the comment box below to ask questions.

Please use also the buttons below to share Dyson Medic on social media. We like that!



“Dyson Vacuum Cleaners Do Not Need Servicing” Yes or No? Read the Truth

There have been several items recently on television and in the media, and statements made by Trading Standards and Dyson themselves that “Dysons do not need servicing”.

This is a very general and broad sweeping statement that as a stand alone statement is patently untrue in that it cannot be applied to all Dyson vacuum cleaners, of all ages, irrespective of usage, in all circumstances.

In this article, we seek to correct this misnomer before it becomes common parlance.

This line has passed into common usage in the media of late as a result of comments issued by Dyson on the subject of the case of Excel Servicing of Leeds who Trading Standards recently prosecuted for cold calling many elderly and vulnerable people and talking them into over-priced “servicing” in their own homes.

Now let’s first be clear on this: NOBODY who is a reputable trader engaged in honest business of repairing and servicing vacuum cleaners condones or supports in any way what the people at Excel Servicing and others like them do.

Indeed, some reputable companies who service Dyson vacuum cleaners have items on their websites specifically warning people about the cold call servicing scams.

Trading Standards in York started this in this article where they make the claim “Dyson vacuum cleaners do not require servicing at all”.

This is untrue. Risible in fact.

Here for example is a Dyson DC07 cyclone unit that is blocked up and very definitely in need of a service.

Dysons dont need servicing

As a result of the Trading Standards article, the Guardian then ran the story and again repeated this untruth:

Dysons dont need servicing

The Guardian is no stranger to making things up and propagating fake news, and in this case, they didn’t bother to fact check at all, they simply repeated the line that Dyson told Trading Standards.  An understandable mistake, but still very shoddy and inaccurate journalism that doesn’t even pass the common sense test.

Perhaps the Guardian would like to explain how this brushroll full of hair is not in need of a routine service?

Dysons DO need servicing

Dyson have been making the spurious claim that “Dysons don’t need servicing” to any media outlet that will listen, and the Trading Standards and the newspapers have been faithfully parroting it as ‘fact’. However, here in the real world, here is a DC25 with a totally blocked cyclone that needs….. a service no less.

Dysons DO need servicing

Indeed, if Dysons didn’t require servicing, why do Dyson offer, er, servicing?

dyson service

Dyson service centres and mobile service agents would not exist if Dyson vacuums don’t require servicing. Indeed, here is a Dyson van.

Dyson service

And look what it says on the door…..

Dyson service

A service engineer? Surely not! Didn’t someone say Dysons don’t require servicing? Hmm…..

Already here we have a contradiction. Service engineers for machines that don’t need servicing?

Dyson’s answer to this is that only their own engineers are capable of working on (and servicing) Dyson vacuums.

This is also untrue. Any capable vacuum engineer or practical DIY enthusiast is capable of working on a Dyson vacuum. There are no dark arts involved. Where do you imagine Dyson recruit their engineers from? They don’t clone them in the laboratory. Indeed anyone can apply for a job.

Dyson service

Above is a screenshot from Dysons site here offering a service job. It says:

Repairing and servicing all Dyson products within customers’ homes within your designated territory, you will show them really professional customer service and after-sales support.

So we have by now established beyond reasonable doubt that the line “Dysons don’t require servicing” is untrue.

But that isn’t all, bear with me here…….

By repeating these claims and encouraging others to do so, Dyson seem to be attempting to tar all the the reputable Dyson repair businesses out there – of which there are many – with the same brush as the Leeds company who were prosecuted for dishonesty and sharp practice. It is a cynical and disingenuous attempt to discredit the entire aftermarket.

The BBC gleefully involved Dyson in an item on the programme Fake Britain recently that covered the dodgy Leeds company that Trading Standards prosecuted. You can watch it below.

On the surface, the BBC pieces above may seem all very well, and “Charlie” from Dyson lends a touch of faux credibility to the underlying theme – already debunked above – that “Dysons don’t require servicing”.

Worryingly, no reference at all is made by the BBC that many honest and capable Dyson vacuum cleaner repair businesses exist and only a small handful are sharks.

The BBC, aided by “Charlie” from Dyson and the bloke from Trading Standards in Yorkshire, also move to attack what they refer to as “cheap copy parts”, implying that any non-genuine part is a “fake”, and as the Trading Standards bloke claimed about a filter he was pawing, “poorly constructed”.

Again here we have blatantly untrue statements.

The filters held up on the programme are not “copy” or “fake” parts. If they were, they would be passed off as Dyson-made parts, and probably in fake Dyson branded packaging. They were not.

The filters shown on the programme are simply aftermarket parts; quite decent aftermarket parts made legally and legitimately by a British manufacturer as it goes.

Aftermarket parts are not “fakes” as the BBC assert, they are simply compatible parts made by alternative manufacturers that allow the consumer to save money.

Some aftermarket parts are indeed of poor quality, but some also are made to excellent standards and more still are OEM parts (made by the same manufacturer that make them for Dyson). Dyson may not like that the aftermarket exists, but it does and it isn’t going away.

The messages that Dyson want to get out here, and are doing so aided and abetted by the BBC, the media and the Trading Standards are these:

  • Dysons don’t need servicing.
  • If your Dyson does need servicing, it should only be a Dyson engineer who does it as nobody else is capable.
  • Only genuine parts should be used as anything else is a cheap copy that may cause your machine damage.
  • Dyson filters require “just a wash” (quote from the programme).

These messages are absolutely untrue.

Here is the truth:

  • Dysons – like many appliances or machines – sometimes need repair and/or servicing.
  • Any experienced and competent vacuum cleaner engineer is capable of doing this. A Dyson specialist is preferable as they will know the product better.
  • If your machine needs spare parts, you can often buy perfectly serviceable aftermarket or OEM parts from sellers that are not Dyson for less money.
  • Dyson filters are often too far gone for “just a wash”, many require more intense cleaning or replacement – this is very dependent on usage.

The purpose of propagating these dishonest and disingenuous messages is in our view to discredit the aftermarket in its entirety.

By fooling Trading Standards into believing that aftermarket spare parts are “fake” or “copies” and that “Dysons don’t need servicing”, Trading Standards have become useful idiots for Dyson. A cynic may suggest this is cunning PR by Dyson.

How long will it take them to start raiding normal, reputable vacuum cleaner repair shops who happen to repair Dyson vacuum cleaners?

What after that? Raiding legitimate UK spare parts manufacturers (some of whom turn over millions and employ hundreds of people) claiming they are making “fake” parts for machines that don’t need servicing anyway?

Public perception is gently manipulated using half-truths and misleading statements, the more a lie is propagated and the more it becomes “known” as a “fact”.

Dysons don’t need servicing? It must be true, that bloke on the BBC’s Fake Britain said so, right?

We suggest in this case, Fake Britain is actually Fake News.


Dyson EV – James Dyson Announces Electric Car Development by 2020

This article first appeared at Manchester Vacs.

This is a memo distributed to all Dyson staff today: 

A Dyson EV – Recieved Items
A Dyson EV James Dyson 26 September 2017 at 16:45
To: All Dyson Worldwide

In 1988 I read a paper by the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, linking the exhaust from diesel engines to premature death in laboratory mice and rats. In March 1990 a team at Dyson began work on a cyclonic filter that could be fitted on a vehicle’s exhaust system to trap particulates.

Dyson Electric Car

By 1993 we had developed several working prototypes and showed an early iteration to British television programme Blue Peter. The team went on to develop a much more sophisticated technology.

To our chagrin, nobody at the time was interested in employing our diesel exhaust capture system and we stopped the project. The industry said that ‘disposing’ of the collected soot was too much of a problem! Better to breathe it in?

Dyson Electric Car

In the period since, governments around the world have encouraged the adoption of oxymoronically designated ‘clean diesel’ engines through subsidies and grants. Major auto manufacturers have circumvented and duped clean air regulations. As a result, developed and developing cities are full of smog-belching cars, lorries and buses. It is a problem that others are ignoring.

Throughout, it has remained my ambition to find a solution to the global problem of air pollution. Some years ago, observing that automotive firms were not changing their spots, I committed the company to develop new battery technologies. I believed that electrically powered vehicles would solve the vehicle pollution problem. Dyson carried on innovating. The latest digital motors and energy storage systems power the Dyson Supersonic hair dryer and cord-free vacuum line. We’ve relentlessly innovated in fluid dynamics and HVAC systems to build our fans, heaters and purifiers.

At this moment, we finally have the opportunity to bring all our technologies together into a single product. Rather than filtering emissions at the exhaust pipe, today we have the ability to solve it at the source. So I wanted you to hear it directly from me: Dyson has begun work on a battery electric vehicle, due to be launched by 2020.

We’ve started building an exceptional team that combines top Dyson engineers with talented individuals from the automotive industry. The team is already over 400 strong, and we are recruiting aggressively. I’m committed to investing £2bn on this endeavour.

The project will grow quickly from here but at this stage we will not release any information. Competition for new technology in the automotive industry is fierce and we must do everything we can to keep the specifics of our vehicle confidential.

In London, nearly 9,500 people die early each year due to long-term exposure to air pollution according to a study carried out by researchers at King’s College London. The World Health Organisation reports “in 2012 around 7 million people died — one in eight of total global deaths — as a result of air pollution exposure”. It is our obligation to offer a solution to the world’s largest single environmental risk. I look forward to showing you all what I hope will be something quite unique and better, in due course!


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New EU 900w Vacuum Cleaner Rules in September 2017

This article first appeared at Manchester Vacs.

The new vacuum cleaner energy label, set to come into effect on 1 September 2017, will reduce the maximum wattage from 1600 to 900 watts for any new vacuum cleaner manufactured or sold in the EU.

Despite the UK having voted for Brexit, we are bound by these EU rules until we actually leave the EU. From September the 1st 2017, new vacuum cleaners will be a maximum of 900w. Our friends in places like the US, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Switzerland, Norway and Russia are not affected by EU rules. They will still have full power vacuum cleaners.

What vacuums are exempt? 

This doesn’t apply to new vacuums bought before September 1st this year, or to reconditioned vacuum cleaners. So a reconditioned 1600w Dyson DC33 is still a great buy and will remain so.  :thumbsup:

Certain vacuum cleaners are not covered by the EU regulations. This means products like floor polishers, robot vacuums, mattress cleaners, hand-held and battery operated vacuum cleaners do not fall within the remit of these new rules. Standard upright and cylinder vacuums are covered, however.

The full details of the new EU law can be found >here<.

What will change? 

Many of the machines we know and love will no longer be available in the UK market.

For example, Sebo, the German manufacturer, will be withdrawing the much loved X and BS commercial ranges from the UK. Markets like Australia and Russia will still have them. For the EU, Sebo will be putting out a new range of vacuum cleaners.

Sebo have already put out this warning:

This means if you want one of the much-loved, iconic and very capable Sebo X4 vacuum cleaners, the time to buy is now. After September, they will no longer be available.

Is 900w enough? 

There are some very capable vacuum cleaners out there that already adhere to the new rules. The Sebo Felix is such an example.

For those that prefer a cordless vacuum cleaner, the Dyson V8 – being exempt from the rules – is probably the best you can buy. That said, it will leave a V8 size hole in your pocket to buy one. The V8 range currently cost between £370 and £550 on Dyson’s website.

The 900w rule will though remove some much-loved vacuum cleaners from the UK market. The range topping Sebo X4 Automatic Pet Boost will be just a memory in the UK after September.

Stock that is already here will still be able to be sold. In reality, this means come early 2018 any new high wattage machines that remain will go up in price as people search out higher wattage machines against a backdrop of retailer’s declining hoarded stock bought now.

The future. 

Until the UK actually leaves the EU, and assuming the government rescinds their rules, we are stuck with this. This means the very earliest the UK is out of these rules is 2019 but more likely a year or two after that until the trickle down takes effect.

From September, if you are buying a new vacuum cleaner over 900w, it will be pre September 2017 bought stock. As stock diminishes into early 2018, we expect people will once again look at reconditioned machines that are not restricted by EU rules.

The big names like Sebo, Dyson, Bosch and Miele know this is coming and are planning for it. All should have 900w machines on the market that are quite decent. However, as any petrol-head knows, a large six or eight cylinder engine will always be infinitely better than a three or four cylinder eco engine. Yes, your Prius will get you from A-B, but wouldn’t you rather arrive in a Jag?

If you are planning to buy a new vacuum in the next year or so now is the time to do it before the 900w rule comes in and before prices go up. And whatever you buy, please avoid the budget lemons like Hoover, Gtech, Vax, Electrolux, Zanussi, etc. Buy Dyson, Sebo or something else German.

Dyson V7 V8 V10 tool adaptors: Use your old tools with your Dyson V7, V8 and V10.

Can you use your older Dyson tools with your new Dyson V7, V8 or V10?

It has traditionally been a source of confusion to the public as to what Dyson tools fit what machines, and what tool adaptors can be used. Indeed, we have an older article on this very subject.

However, the latest source of confusion has been that Dyson have yet again released a new tool socket design with the V7, V8 or V10 cordless handheld models. If you have one of these, your tools all have a red button on there and your previous Dyson tools won’t fit.

Dyson CY22, CY23, Light Ball, Small Ball and Big Ball Cinetic owners read >>this article instead<<.

The after-market are usually quite fast to respond to conundrums such as this, and indeed first to market is one type of adaptor that we were given to test. It is only suitable for very early type Dyson tools that are pre-DC14 so is limited in usability.

However, it did not test very well.

Both the ones we got to look at were very shoddily made and fell to bits during testing.

There is a large spares seller out there still selling these, so we say caveat emptor.

A better solution has since arrived to market though, a pair of adaptors that when used together are considerably more versatile.

The red button adaptor on the left fits into your V7, V8 or V10 and allows most tools from the DC16-DC75 to be used (excepting certain cylinder tools).

Dyson V8 adaptor

The second adaptor fits into the first like so:

Dyson V8 adaptor

This allows usage of your V7, V8 or V10 with vacuum storage bags, Dyson tools from models DC01-DC14 and general 32mm tools from other machines.

Dyson V8 adaptor

This adaptor also fits previous generation Dyson cordless models such as the V6, the DC35, etc.

Please note: These adaptors do NOT fit tools from Dyson models DC11, DC15, DC19, DC20 or DC21 or cylinder model floor heads.

Newer Dyson Cinetic upright and cylinder machines also use a red button fitting similar looking to the one on the V7, V8 or V10, and Dyson do supply an adaptor for that with the product. However, despite looking similar, the new generation Cinetic, Big Ball, Small Ball, etc. adaptor will not fit your Dyson V7, V8 or V10.

If you have tools from your previous Dyson cordless vacuum or another Dyson with the tool fitting that looks like a Euro symbol, you just use the red button adaptor with your Dyson V7, V8 or V10 like so:

Dyson V8 tool adaptor

With these two adaptors, you are able to use the tools from most older Dysons (not DC11, DC15, DC19, DC20 or DC21) with your new Dyson V7, V8 or V10.

Dyson V8 tool adaptor

Very handy indeed, especially if you have previous generation extra tools and accessories like dusting brushes or mattress tools.

Dyson V8 adaptor

Where to buy:

You can buy on Amazon >here<, eBay >here< or from Manchester Vacs direct >here<.

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“Do I need to change the filter on my Dyson Air Purifier?”

If you have one of the range of Dyson air purifier fans, or the hot + cool heater fan combination, they are fitted with a circular HEPA filter.

It is located behind the gauze with the little holes in it.

Three variants are currently available: The tower purifying fan, the desk purifying fan and the “hot+cool” which is also a heater that purifies the air.

When used via the app (recommended) the machine runs a timer and the app tells you when the filter is ready to be changed.

However, the filters are rather expensive at the moment, so the question we are often asked is “Do I really need to change the filter?”.

Disclaimer: We should of course say that if you want to follow Dyson’s recommendations to the letter, do not hesitate, buy a new filter and change it. The same might be said for asthmatics, those with allergies, etc. The advice in this article may or may not invalidate your warranty, blah blah…….et al.

This article is for those who dont feel like buying another filter so soon, and think there may be a little life left in the old one yet.

You will be surprised how much dust actually builds up in there. So let’s take a look……..

I like to start by vacuuming around the vents where the air comes from. You tend to get a streaky build up of dust there solidified a little by water vapour in the air. I find a Dyson stubborn dirt brush (being used here with a Sebo vacuum cleaner rather than a Dyson) is ideal for our purposes here.

Next, there are two buttons on the side one depresses simultaneously to remove the top of the unit.

Having done that, the filter and its shroud are easily removed.

Now here’s the bit you wasn’t expecting: slide the outer shroud off and look at that dust! 

That is testament to how much dust and other detritus these Dyson air purifiers really pull out of the air when left 24/7 on automatic mode as mine are.

Take your brush tool and get rid of that with your vacuum cleaner.

Usually, you can also carefully remove the outer filter gauze in order that the bristles from your brush tool can get right into the pleats of the filter and get as much out as possible.

Take care doing this though, as the pleats are quite delicate here being made of paper. Gentle stroking up and down (ooh er missus!) is the way here. Don’t go at it like a bull in a china shop.

Having cleaned the filter up, replace the gauze, vacuum up what is now all over the floor that look like little grey worms, the inside of the shroud and the internal bits of the fan you can see and refit it all together again.

You may wish to reset the timer on the Dyson app to tell it you have had a “new” filter. Scroll down on the app and expand the options, go into “settings”, and click “filter life”.

Then hit the “reset” button.

Yes, you’re sure.

And Bob’s your uncle, you’re all set (as our friends over the pond say).

I have three connected Dyson “Pure Cool Link” air purifiers at home, one of each type, and find them a great thing to have (if somewhat overpriced).

I tend to leave them on automatic 24/7 and they really do respond to the air quality going on where they are. See here how the air quality dips into the orange at peak times of day when traffic levels are higher on the street (with the windows open).

So yes, they do their job and are a good product, but I think the filters a tad expensive. So I like to get two cycles out of mine before I change them. And having three machines, doing what you have read above saves me about £125 a year.

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Where to Buy a Replacement Ametek Motor for your Silver Lime Dyson DC04.

If you have a grey and lime green Dyson DC04 (called a “silver lime”), it was originally fitted with what is known as an Ametek motor.

Most other Dyson DC04 vacuum cleaners were fitted with what was known as the “YDK” motor.

While broadly similar, the two motors are different. And the problem for Silver Lime DC04 owners is that Ametek motors have been unavailable new for some time. And nobody makes them after-market any more.

This is a DC04 Silver Lime.

And this is the Ametek motor that is usually fitted.

Yes, that’s the one you can no longer buy new.

However, if you want to replace the motor in this DC04 variant, it can be done.

In order to retrofit the more popular YDK type motor, you need this adaptor kit.

Which is used with a YDK motor.

This adaptor kit when used with a YDK type motor allows you to replace the motor on your Silver Lime DC04.

So where to buy? 

You can buy cheapest >>here<<. You can buy on Amazon >>here<< and on eBay >>here<<

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Where to buy a Dyson DC04 Wand Handle in Australia or New Zealand.

There are plenty of Dyson DC04 vacuum cleaners left in Australia and New Zealand, despite them being a model dating from the mid 90s.

What isnt always abundant in Australia and New Zealand however is DC04 spare parts.

And for that matter, the people with Dyson DC04 vacuums in places like France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Holland and other European countries also have some issues buying DC04 spares.

This post applies not only to those in Australia and New Zealand, but to anyone who is not in the UK.

Dyson will tell you DC04 wand handles are no longer available.

What they mean is DC04 wand handles are no longer available from them. Not the same thing.

Yes indeed, you can still buy new ones.

New Dyson DC04 wand

The new ones are standard grey with generic silver fittings like this.

New Dyson DC04 wand

They replace these colour variants:

And fit these machines:

However, when you are not in the UK, what is usually a killer is the shipping cost to overseas for oversize boxes – in this case about a metre long.

The Post Office and most couriers begin to penalise parcels that are over 700mm in length and the price ramps up.

However, there is a cheaper way to do it – utilise the eBay “Global Shipping Programme”.

The Global Shipping Program (or “GSP”) provides a safe and easy way for sellers to “sell internationally and ship domestically.” The details are taken care of—from helping identify which types of items can be sold where, to completing customs forms, to calculating and providing international shipping with tracking.

All international shipping and import charges are calculated automatically and paid for by the buyer upon checkout. Once an item is sold, the seller sends it to the Global Shipping Center using the shipping method of their choice. After the purchased item arrives at the Shipping Center, the seller’s job is done.

How this benefits you with something like a wand handle is that despite the package being long, eBay’s clout with the couriers mean no size penalties.

You can buy a new Dyson DC04 wand handle >>right here on UK eBay for £29.99 including UK delivery<<. eBay will then charge you a further £11 for the onward shipping of the handle from the UK shipping centre to your door down under.

That is £41 in total which is currently around AUD$66. Including customs clearance and tracking. Nothing else to pay.

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