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Vacuum cleaners suck, but some suck more than others

Not strictly a technology post, I know, but hey! The world needs more vacuum cleaner buying advice!

I’ve got a thing about vacuum cleaners – not in a Nicky Wire “Hoover obsession” kind of way, but in a “I’ve got a black dog, light carpets, doing the stairs is my job and it makes me swear like a bastard” way. As I’ve mentioned before, a single labrador can shed 400Kg of black hair in a single day, and most of it then welds itself to furniture, carpets and anything else nearby.

Because of this, I’ve gone through a whole bunch of vacuum cleaners. Bagged cleaners tried and failed to stem the tide of dog fluff; the bagless Vax sounded like World War Three and blew birthday cards off window sills from 20 feet away; the Panasonic exploded. The bagless Hoover seemed promising when accessorised with a £20 turbo tool, but its dust container is so small you need to empty it every three seconds.

And then I borrowed a Dyson.

*angelic choir*

Now, when a vacuum cleaner costs roughly the same as a BMW M5 it needs to be pretty special. And it is. But it’s not that, compared to rival bagless cleaners, it’s whisper-quiet. It’s not that the ball it’s mounted on makes it a doddle to clean under furniture. It’s not the easy emptying mechanism. And it’s not that the suction is so good, you could stand in your back garden and suck pigeons out of the sky. All of these things are true, but they’re the reasons you give your partner for buying one. The real reason the Dyson is brilliant is this.

The hose attachment looks like a laser gun.

It really does. In fact, if you were to strap the cylinder to your back and adopt an unfeasibly gravelly American accent, you’d easily pass for the hero of any recent sci-fi action game. Although I suspect that a game where you were tasked with removing dog hair from the stairs of a suburban semi wouldn’t be particularly brilliant.

Still, it’d probably be more exciting than F.E.A.R. Files.