I've seen all the TV commercials for the gosh-wow Dyson, and it looks cool and high-tech, but it is spendy. We dropped by Costco, checked online reviews, and decided to go to the local vacuum cleaner store, Stark's, where we could do side-by-side comparisons.
We told the manager what we had -- the Kenmore/Panasonic upright -- what we wanted the new machine to do -- suck up the dog and cat hair -- and that we hoped it would last as long as the old one.
He grabbed three upright machines: Dyson's Animal-hair model; a cheaper Hoover; and a Simplicity, also much cheaper than the Dyson. (I don't like canister vacs, the hoses never last.)
He took a handful of dog hair from a handy jar and rubbed it into the carpet and then ran the three machines.
Took the Dyson three tracks to clear the swatch, but it cleaned it good. Took the Hoover four. Took the Simplicity two, and it looked cleaner. Yep, it had bags, and no bells and whistles, but a steel roller instead of plastic, and three hundred bucks cheaper?
Guy laid the Simplicity down and then stood on the body of it. Made in America, he said, same plastic they use for football helmets. Don't want to do that with the Dyson. Uses bags, but you'll probably get eleven or twelve years out of it if you bring it in every couple of years for a tune-up, at $24 a whack. Four-year guarantee -- and the Dyson has a five-year guarantee, but, it will be dead by six or seven.
Much of his business is repairing these critters.
He could have tried to sell us the six or eight hundred buck machines, but since we had been happy with the old one and this was pretty close to it, and, allowing for inflation, about the same price?
Oh. And he had a dog at home, too. And this was the one he had.
Consumer Guide gave it a Best Buy rating.
Good enough for me.