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After my my Animal Dyson workhorse died I wondered whether after 8 years with my old faithful, I should look at another breed of vacuum. After all, the Animal did indeed do as promised and I never had to scrape left over cat hairs off the carpets with my foot ever again. But - it was a heavy and clumsy beast to push around, and I'm not getting any younger.
So I looked at other vacuum brands, compared cost, power, length of cord, weight, looks, ease of emptying and finally on board tools and their usefulness.
I came to the conclusion that only another Dyson would fill the gap of the Animal and so further encouraged by a Tesco Direct Special offer of £100 off and £60 worth of free tools I took the plunge and bought the DC25 All Floor - the one with the Ball.
Easy enough to set up, out of the box, although the manual could be clearer on how to release the head into the vacuuming position - too late, after using my foot to force it down I discovered the red footplate at the back, but no harm done fortunately.
I haven't been disappointed with this machine at all. It is actually lighter, a little easier to manipulate thanks to the ball, looks good, has a handy button to be pressed when vacuuming smooth floors and it still gets all those pesky cat hairs up perfectly.
Edge to edge vacuuming is very good, and it gets right up to skirting boards with no problem.
Best of all - it's actually even easier to empty - just unclip the main chamber, hold over the bin and press the handle to release a flap at the end of the chamber. No mess, quick and simple.
The suction power is fierce - I do need to empty more often, but that's a good thing - right? It is nowhere near as noisy as the Animal, and is a pleasure to use.
My only gripe is that as before with the Animal, the extension wand/hose is practically impossible to use. The concertina hose is so stiff, you just can't use it to clean all the way up a flight of 13 stairs. If you try, you will end up over balancing the machine - and you face the same problem if you try to use any of the the additional cleaning tools with the wand because if you need to stretch - the hose is too stiff to try further than a couple of feet. I know from experience that this will never loosen up with use.
Speaking of vacuuming the stairs - Dyson could have included a larger brush attachment for this - the one they supply is too small, and it's quicker to use the end of the wand without an attachment.
The free bag of additional cleaning tools worth £60 that came with the offer aren't all that useful - and as always the tools are always a bit of a nuisance to fiddle about with anyway (in my opinion) and so coupled with the somewhat useless hose I don;t bother with them anyway.
Overall though, the cleaning power and manoeuvrability of this machine is superior and I'm willing to put with the useless wand / hose because it offers such superior carpet cleaning.
An improvement suggestion would be to incorporate a self winding cord.