Short Version: It’s easy to be dubious about Dyson – they are surprisingly pricey yet still look kind of cheap – but man do these things suck.
Our family bought its first Dyson in about 2003 or so and we use the sucker almost every day. It hasn’t given us a lick of trouble and, true to the the guy who looks like Julian Assange’s word, it never loses suction nor does it require new bags. It is the first and last vacuum we bought this decade, depending earlier on a monstrous Hoover that my dad gave me in college that was made of die-cast metal.
Now we also have the hand-held vac that we use every day and now we can add the DC26 to our little menagerie of vacuums. This 12 lb canister vac looks like the Optimumus Prime’s prostate and holds up to .15 gallons of dirt in a fairly small but easy-to-remove canister. The hose/cleaning head connects to the main body with a pair of small hooks and you cannot actually lift the vacuum by the hose as it pops out. You must carry the vacuum using the built-in handle.
The DC26 couldn’t be easier to use. You pull out the 16 foot cable, plug it in, and start sucking. There is a small suction release switch for pulling junk out of the brushes and there is also an on/off switch at the head that stops the brushes from spinning. This is the single design flaw that I found with the DC26: when you bump up against something, this button can easily pop into the off position, thereby frustrating your attempts to suck up dirt.
It is surprisingly small and light and if you find yourself having trouble carrying the heavier uprights this might be the vacuum for you. It’s ideal for a smaller space.
Why should you get a Dyson over almost any other vacuum brand out there? Well, first it will probably be the first and last vacuum you ever need. These things survive all sorts of abuse and are easy to clean and maintain. For example, we tried and returned a Shark vacuum before the Dyson and found it severely lacking. The same goes for the DC31 hand vac. While you’re obviously paying a bit more, these are not much more expensive than a high-end Miele and, in my arguably limited vacuuming experience, it will outperform almost anything you can name.
Again, these things are expensive but they’re good. This isn’t a Bose/Monster Cable/whatever else situation here where the price tag telegraphs status vs. quality. Dyson makes good stuff all around.