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Splendid splurge: Dyson DC59 Motorhead cordless vacuum review

Dyson's versatile new cordless vacuum sucks dirt better than your corded vacuum.
Beth McIntire

If you've never tried a Dyson, you may think that all vacuums are pretty much the same. You would be wrong. I normally write about finding fantastic deals, but sometimes a product improves your life in so many ways that it's well worth the cost.

Dyson provided me with a demo DC59 Motorhead cordless vacuum in return for an honest review, and I can certainly see why Dyson products have developed such a large and devoted following over the years.

The DC59 Motorhead, Dyson's newest product, has much in common with other cordless vacuums, but it sucks dirt like a high-end corded vacuum cleaner. It also comes with quick-change attachments that can turn it from a stick vac into a hand vac in a jiffy.

The DC59 Motorhead took little effort to put together - my 10-year-old testing assistant unboxed and assembled the vacuum on her own and began using it within about 20 minutes.

Amazing performance
Amazing performance Beth McIntire

Amazing performance

An amazingly light vacuum at just under 5 pounds, the DC59 Motorhead maneuvers smoothly, making it extremely convenient to use. Most people wouldn't dream of doing their regular vacuuming with a stick vac, but the DC59 Motorhead does such a fantastic cleaning job that it can easily replace a regular corded vacuum.

What really makes it wonderful for me is not having to move the power cable several times in order to vacuum my entire upstairs. I'd end up not vacuuming as thoroughly as I probably should, due to the annoyance of having to keep moving the cable.

The DC59 Motorhead also picks up large pieces of debris without becoming clogged, unlike my poor corded vacuum, which I regularly need to unclog due to chunks of plastic wrapper, yarn, string and other small items I don't see until it's too late.

Besides being light and easy to carry around, the other things the DC59 Motorhead has in common with a normal stick vacuum are its relatively small dirt cup and limited battery life. A larger dirt cup or battery would partly defeat the purpose of having a cordless vacuum, though, since either or both would make the device larger and heavier.

Light and versatile
Light and versatile Beth McIntire

Light and versatile

The battery died just as I finished vacuuming my upstairs, which covers a fairly large area and was pretty close to Dyson's stated 24 minutes of cleaning time. I had to empty the dust cup once in the middle and again at the end.

I had a bit of trouble removing the dirt cup to empty it at first. I preferred to use a small stick to gently sweep out the dirt. I'm sure that's not the recommended method, but it was quicker and easier for me and a very small price to pay for the vacuum's phenomenal dirt sucking capability and convenient lack of a power cable.

I couldn't believe how clean my carpet looked after using the DC59 Motorhead . It almost looked like I'd shampooed it. The carpet doesn't look too bad anyway, since I generally go around taking spots off the carpet on a semi-regular basis. Using the DC59 Motorhead still made a gigantic difference in how clean my beige carpet looks. Anyone with kids or pets would go ga-ga for the DC59 Motorhead.

The DC59 Motorhead also made vacuuming my stairs a piece of cake, and they admittedly don't get vacuumed very often because I tend to put off dragging my heavy corded vacuum up and down the steps. I removed the long attachment and chose one of the smaller brushes to use the DC59 Motorhead like a super-charged hand vacuum.

Still using the DC59 Motorhead like a hand vac, I also vacuumed out my SUV. The DC59 Motorhead sucked up little pieces of plastic, crackers, small stones, dried leaves and anything else it found. It was significantly easier and more convenient than what I normally do - drop six quarters in a gas station vacuum and drag its big, cumbersome hose around, hoping it'll reach everywhere it needs to before time runs out.

Built to last
Built to last Beth McIntire

Built to last

In addition to an assortment of brush heads, the DC59 Motorhead comes with a charger and a wall hanger for out-of-the-way storage.

Dyson claims that its DC58 and DC59 Motorhead models with their digital V6 motors offer three times more suction than any other cordless vacuum, and having thoroughly tested the DC59 Motorhead, I believe it. Dyson also gave the DC59 Motorhead 75 percent more brush bar power than its cousin, the DC59 Animal.

I have never seen a cordless vacuum that comes close to the level of suction in the DC59 Motorhead, and it vastly out cleans my regular upright corded vacuum, too. I've seen Dyson's Cyclone Technology in action in other Dyson vacuums, but encountering such performance in a cordless vacuum simply blew me away.

Dyson as a company says it spends over $2.5 million each week on research and development and employs more than 1500 scientists and engineers working on its technology. Dyson subjects its prototypes to 636 different validation tests, punching on/off buttons 20,000 times, dropping them 10,000 times and slamming cleaner heads into iron table legs.

The Dyson DC59 Motorhead comes with a two-year parts and labor warranty and sells for $427 at last check on as well as at select retail stores and

Some may consider that a large chunk of money to spend on a vacuum, but consider that you get a vacuum that's not only built to last but is also versatile enough to function as your main vacuum, plus a cordless vacuum and hand vac for cleaning stairs and vehicles.

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