Review: Dyson DC49 digital vacuum cleaner

15 Nov 2013

What happens when you take a motor that is used to power hand dryers and using the finest engineering minds anywhere manage to squish it inside a uber-tiny vacuum cleaning machine? You get the Dyson DC49, of course.

This is no exaggeration. The wily engineers at Dyson have taken the same motor that powers its Airblade hand dryer and put it into the ultra light DC49 mains-powered vacuum cleaner.

Despite its diminutive appearance, the effect is a beguiling one.

While substantially smaller, the machine appears to have greater suction power than its larger sibling the DC39 and certainly packs a stronger punch than the cordless DC44 Slim handheld cleaner.


The machine – designed initially for the Japanese market – weights just 2.7kg and is 30pc smaller than the DC47 Ball vacuum.

Inside there are more than 100 components, including the motor, ducting and five metres of cable. The machine comes with both turbine head and motor head floor tools that are designed to improve pick-up and sound quality and reduce weight.

The machine’s bin can hold up to 0.5 litres of dust and dirt and comes with a trigger-bin emptying system.

In all, the device has 79 registered patents and a further 46 patents pending and it’s no surprise, given Dyson’s rigorous way of doing things that more than 150 prototypes, including 35 full machines, were made before the pedants were satisfied.



Psychologically, one of the hardest things about vacuuming your home is usually the very thought of dragging a big heavy machine down corridors and up and down stairs.

This is where the boffins at Dyson are onto a winner with the DC49. The device is very light and they were right to include a 5-metre cable despite its size, because when people start they just want to complete the task. It would have been too easy to include a shorter cable but that would have defeated the purpose.

Its light weight is certainly refreshing and comes in particularly handy when attacking the stairs.

Dyson claims the DC49 is the company’s quietest vacuum, however, it is still noisy enough to send our domestic feline bounding for a safe haven under the bed.

The only drawback is its dirt bin, which fills up all too quickly – obviously because of the suction power and of course its 0.5 litre size. Who says small is perfect?

Another drawback related to the bin is debris sometimes gets jammed up around the top of the cylinder so not all of it gets jettisoned when you press the trigger.

That said, the real marvel here is the motor – it’s a hell of a lot of fire power for something so small.

Again, the machine’s light weight combined with the best of Dyson’s engineering means that the chore of vacuuming is less of a problem than it has been in the past.

The Dyson DC49 has been in the Irish market at all electrical retailers since October and costs €429.99.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years