I live in North Florida on six acres of land, which is 'paradise', for my Grand Kids to roam, play, and have fun. However, when they come inside for treats from Grandma, meals, or 'potty', they bring the great outdoors in with them. All of my heavy traffic areas get littered with grass clippings, sand, leaves, and an assortment of yard debris as the kids constantly go in and out. The nationally known brand of upright vacuum I used to clean these areas did a credible job, but sometimes I had to use my industrial shop vac to help out because it is more powerful. However, my shop vac was not designed to clean carpets, and, only picked-up surface debris.. Another matter was my youngest Grand Daughter, who is sixteen months, and could spot a cookie crumb on the floor from twenty feet away. She is notorious for putting everything she found on the floor in her mouth. So, it is especially important to keep our floors as clean as possible. When I had an opportunity to receive a complimentary Dyson in exchange for an honest and comprehensive review, I chose the Dyson Ball Animal 2 because it is specifically designed for pets and heavy-duty cleaning, like the challenge of my messy Grand Kids We do not have a pet yet, however, the Grand Kids are 'pushing' that issue with Grandma and me – it won't be long.
After two weeks of cleaning with this Dyson I have found it to be amazingly powerful, rugged, and lifts, embedded dirt, sand, and debris from my carpets, upholstery, and hard floors with ease. What impressed me the most was all of the sand I was getting out of the carpet the first few times I vacuumed. Never saw any sand in the housing of my old vacuum, and, now I know why. It's suction was not powerful enough. I estimate that this Dyson removed approximately one and one quarter cups of sand from my carpets the first week alone. WooHoo!
It took me several days to get used to the 'maneuvering' with the Ball. The powerful suction of the Dyson allows it to glide almost effortlessly over my floors. I discovered that the Dyson turns and maneuvers easily if you just keep it moving before trying to turn it. Getting used to turn my wrist to change the direction of the Dyson was a learning curve for me. During the first week of vacuuming with the Dyson I kept stepping on the attached electrical cord, especially when I went backwards. There is no cord clip at the top of the handle to help keep the cord out of the way of my feet. But, I found an easy solution to that scenario. I ran the electrical cord through the triangular shaped opening in the handle. The handle is approximately twelve inches above the cord stress-relief attachment, which is high enough to keep the cord from under my feet as I moved the vacuum around. Since I am right-handed I ran the cord through the 'left' side of the handle space so I could wrap the cord up using my right hand when finished with the unit. If you are left-handed go through the right side of the handle.
What is also impressive is that the Dyson's powerful suction makes this an excellent dusting and versatile, cleaning tool for under furniture, walls, corners, and ceilings. It comes with attachments for your stairs (under furniture also), combination crevice/brush accessory tool, and upholstery turbine tool, which is so cool. Everything 'clicks' and 'snaps' together for speed and convenience. It takes only seconds to use any of the attachments with the expandable hose and wand. I found that the hose and wand together gives me a generous eleven foot reach. YooHoo! No ladders needed! But I don't have to use the wand for any of the attachments. In fact it gets in the way using the upholstery turbine tool. I use the wand and hose for use under my furniture with the stairs tool. The electrical cord is approximately thirty feet in length, which allows me to move freely about from entrance way to hallway to living room. The unit has an 'ON' and “OFF' switch and a Brush Roll switch. Whenever the unit is in the upright position, the brush roll turns 'OFF' automatically, and for good reason. When you dust or clean other then carpets, keep the unit upright, or, turn the brush roll switch 'OFF'. If the unit is stationary and the brush roll is rotating, because of the powerful suction, it could cause some damage to the carpet. So, the Dyson designers made it so, as long as the unit is in the upright position, the brush roll defaults to 'OFF'. A word of 'Caution' – combined with the suction and brush roll rotation this unit may damage wood or laminate flooring. I found that it was too much for my real wood floors, and turned the brush roll 'OFF'. The powerful suction cleans them thoroughly anyway – no brush roll needed.
After using the Dyson for the first week and removing so much sand I decided to clean both of the lifetime, washable filters. Glad I did, the filter in the ball was ready for cleaning. They are both washable and easily removed, but follow the instructions for the ball-filter carefully. I put them both out to dry in the Florida sun. They were completely dry in eight hours. However Dyson recommends a twenty-four hour drying period. The debris bin is so easy to detach and empty – I found it is best to empty in an outside environment – you will be surprised at the amount of dust, dirt, and debris from your flooring this unit will vacuum.
Now, I want to mention the 'Wish-It-Had' features, which I think would make this Dyson an even more outstanding cleaning machine. LED lights on the brush roll would help in areas that are dimly lit; A small cord clip on the triangular handle would help to keep the cord from being a nuisance; Storage attachment to carry all three cleaning tools 'on-board' (will only carry one now); A flexible, ninety degree-turning, dusting attachment to clean the top of shelves, ceiling fan blades, furniture, etc.
My final thoughts are pretty much aligned with the old adage, “You get what you pay for”. This Dyson undoubtedly is the best vacuum cleaner I have ever used. It's upfront price should be considered with the thoroughness of its powerful cleaning ability, the money saved in not having to buy replaceable filters, and outstanding reputation that Dyson has established as the leader in floor cleaning technology. I highly recommend the purchase of this unit, especially if you have messy Grand Kids, and, or pets – you will not be disappointed.