Dyson DC31 handheld cleaner 

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The normal household upright or cylinder vacuum cleaner can sometimes be just too large and cumbersome for a small job. Dyson’s DC31 meets the need for a convenient handheld machine when one just needs to do a quick clean up.

dyson DC31 animal handheld vacuum
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Being battery powered and only weighing about 3lb it can be used virtually anywhere around the house or car and, as long as is kept charged, is always ready to go.

The machine is simple and convenient to use. Its has a pistol grip and can be used equally well in either hand. With the brush on its combination tool retracted it can be used on carpets and soft furnishings. Then, with the brush slid to its forward position, the DC31 is then ready for use on hard surfaces. When required, the combination tool can be unplugged and replaced with the supplied crevice tool.

As is usual with Dyson cleaners, it does not use bags which get clogged and so maintains its suction. As the dust collector is made of clear plastic, it is easy to see when it needs emptying. Then, press the release catch and the bottom swings clear to enable the dust to drop straight into the dustbin without getting one’s hands dirty.

I found that, in one minute bursts, it well exceeded the claimed 10 minute run time at normal suction -- a level of power which is adequate for most purposes. However, when greater suction is needed to deal with stubborn or trodden in dirt, a touch of a push-button, switches to the higher power mode. I did not measure how long it would run in this latter mode as I felt that the normal power setting would be adequate for most purposes and that one would only switch to the higher power mode as and when needed.

The DC31 is provided with a smart charger. One knows when the battery is fully charged as the green l.e.d. goes out. Hence, one can leave the charger permanently plugged into a wall socket and only disconnect the cable from cleaner when one wants to use it.

Dyson claims that its electronically controlled motor -- which we are told runs at over 100,000 rpm -- is more efficient than that used in other handheld cleaners. Consequently, they have been able to make the machine both lighter and smaller than previous handhelds and yet achieve a higher performance.

At £129.99 -- or £149.99 for the DC31 Animal which has a mechanised brushbar designed to tackle animal hairs which tend to cling to carpets and soft furnishings -- it is not cheap. However, as Dyson aims to produce well designed premium products, the real questions are whether the DC31 does the job it claims to do and whether it is value for money.

I found that it was an effective handheld cleaner and, because it is so convenient to keep charged and to use, I feel that it would be put to regular use and so it would not become a white elephant.

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Comment by petew, Jul 7, 2009 15:04

I'd assume this is one of the older DC16s (reviewed here). The DC31 isn't officially available until the end of July according to Amazon.


Comment by adrianmorant, Jul 7, 2009 14:42

A short follow-up on my previous reply. If it is one of the new Dyson DC31 cleaners and you are only getting about 3 minutes on full charge, I think you should take it up immediately with Dyson customer support as it definitely sounds as if you have a faulty machine.
I cannot comment if it is one of the older handheld machines.

Comment by adrianmorant, Jul 7, 2009 8:19

I actually measured the run-time on a full charge by using the DC31 on a piece of carpet in timed 60 second bursts with (probably) about 1 minute between each burst. By the way, I timed it in this way, because I had expected the Dyson claim of 10 minutes to be optimistic. It was just into its 14th burst when it suddenly stopped. This was well in excess of the claimed 10 minutes.
Maybe I'm not so conscientious as you, but I found that it was adequate for going over the seats and the foot well in the car.
However, I think that you are being unrealistic to expect to be able to vacuum the stairs as it is only designed for jobs that can be dealt with in a matter of a few minutes. For the hall, stairs and landing we use a Dyson cylinder cleaner which is mains powered and is designed to sit on the stairs. One of the reasons we bought the cylinder machine, and not the upright, was that we thought it would be much more suitable for use on stairs.

Comment by ERLYNCH, Jul 7, 2009 5:43

My Hand held Dyson only seems to last about 3 minutes on a full charge
This is not long enough if cleaning the car interior or if you want to use to do the stairs instead of using the heavier Dyson upright.
The cleaner does what is says on the tin and is very efficient. Just wish it had more staying power.
Not really value for money

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OverallDyson DC31 handheld cleaner rated 88 out of 100

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