Like many modern couples, I talk a great game about sharing the household responsibilities but my wife ends up doing the bulk of the labor. Still, one of my immutable chores since the beginning of our long marriage is vacuuming – first in our apartments, then the house.
I acquired a Hoover upright vacuum at a hardware store in South Acton, Massachusetts, the location of my first post-college apartment, in 1985 and paid $79. Remembering my 1985 self, it’s almost impossible to imagine that I would have considered spending any money for a vacuum of my own volition, let alone $79. I’m guessing that my girlfriend/now wife must have had some influence in this decision. Turns out that the Hoover was money well spent. It has required no maintenance other than an occasional drive belt replacement and bag replacement and is in good, working order. It does an adequate job on rugs, but has no attachments and isn’t suitable for anything else. This is a utilitarian machine with no frills that gets the job done with no style or whimsy.
The vacuuming of stairs, area rugs, nooks and crannies, underneath furniture … necessitates an additional handheld vacuum with attachments. I’ve gone through a succession of Dirt Devils and others and have concluded that they all stink. All of these inexpensive handhelds start strong, degrade quickly, and require replacement every couple of years. My latest, the Eureka Easy Clean is highly rated on Amazon but it’s designed to be a disposable product.
Every time I have to replace a handheld vacuum, I consider my options. Ideally, I want a single vacuum that does it all and doesn’t require a secondary unit. Miele and Dyson make some nice vacuums but they all seem bulky, heavy, and not necessarily up to the task of a sole solution. Also, plugging and unplugging vacuums around the house is tedious.
Then I heard about the Dyson V8 Absolute Cordless vacuum. Initially, it seemed breathtakingly expensive for a high end Dust Buster. As I read more, I concluded that it’s a breathtakingly expensive unit that might enable me to vacuum the entire house on a single charge with no other additional equipment. Music to the ears of this Tyranny of the Cord writer! After a chat session with a Dyson representative and an assurance of a 90 day money-back guarantee, I was sold.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is everything I’d hoped. With its myriad attachments, it’s the only vacuum I need. The battery is beefy enough for me to thoroughly vacuum our small house on a single charge. This won’t be the case for those of you living in mini-mansions. The freedom of having a complete cordless solution is a real game changer.
There a few things I didn’t expect or even consider.
- This Dyson vacuum has so much more suction than my old vacuums that it leaves the house much cleaner than before. The Dyson has a clear receptacle that collects the dust/dirt and it’s amazing to see how much is gathered by the end. Dyson has the equivalent of Tesla’s Ludicrous mode. In Dyson’s muted British vernacular, they call it “Max mode.” I haven’t figured out when one would use the Max mode, which runs down the battery quickly, other than to exfoliate a layer of skin or suck up small rodents.
- This device makes a boring and tedious task fun. The handle has a trigger that responds to a light touch. The attachments lock in with a satisfying thunk. It’s a well-designed piece of machinery that’s light enough to enable the elderly or the weak Tyranny of the Cord staff (aka, me) to wield it like a pistol.
- The flexible joints on the attachments enable vacuuming under all of the furniture. The Dyson enables a more thorough vacuuming. I expected the cordless vacuum to save time by not having to run around plugging and unplugging into outlets around the house. In the end, I spend more time vacuuming but the tool enables me to do a better job. Dyson, you make me want to be a better vacuumer!
Cutting the cord is liberating. Still, my old friend Hoover sits patiently in the basement waiting to be called back into service the day the Dyson battery fails.