Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Vacuum Cleaner Review


Please note, this review covers both the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Vacuum Multi-Floor and Animal models.  Except for color, they are the exact same vacuum.  The Animal simply adds a Mini motorized brush bar attachment to the included accessories.

Ah, the cordless, handheld vacuum.  What an innovation.

blackdecker dustbuster web

I remember the first one that really got my attention – and a LOT of use. The Black and Decker DustBuster.

I’m talkin’ old school here. early ‘80s (guess that makes me “old school” too, eh?).  This thing revolutionized quick clean ups with its docking station/charger, ‘long’ battery life (by 80’s standards), good ergonomics, decent debris capacity, easy to empty, and oh so portable.

It truly did change the way we clean, not just our homes, but cars, boats, patios, work bench. You name it.

Amazing what a few decades of computerized engineering and R&D will get us today.

Enter the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Vacuum Cleaner. Three years in development at Dyson. The DC35 Digital Slim (also referred to at times as the DC35 “digital stick”) comes in two variants – Multi-Floor and Animal.  It also morphs into two distinct configurations depending on whether you use the included extension wand or not.   But more on that later.

The Dyson DC35 Digital Slim is not meant to be the primary vacuum in your home. It still maintains the original cordless vacuum design concept – quick and easy cleanups… badda-bing badda-boom done. And to that end, I feel it does a very good job.

But it comes at a price.  In fact, a pretty dang expensive price, even by today’s (and Dyson’s) standards.  Is it worth buying as a secondary, quick job handheld vacuum?  You’ll have to decide.

To help you, I’ll give the best detailed, concise review I can. I know there’s potentially a lot riding on your decision because money’s tight these days – but so is your time.

There are some things that people just deplore about this vacuum and we’ll let you know what they are. And there are some things people absolutely love about the DC35 Digital Slim too. Don’t intend to keep ya in the dark on those either.

How about I quit ‘yammerin’ and get down to the review, eh?

What are the Dyson Digital Slim’s Features?

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to store
  • Easy to charge
  • Quite
  • Bagless
  • Dual power mode
  • Battery provides constant suction for entire charge
  • Easily configured for long or short reach
  • Versatile for many uses
  • Quick charge lithium-ion battery
  • Digital motor
  • Use on carpets and hard floors
  • Motorized brushbar

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Assembly?

There are probably more parts-n-pieces in the Digital Slim box than in any other Dyson vacuum I’ve seen. This is mostly because of how flexible the DC35 is.  There are lots of attachments that can be snapped on the DC35, depending on what job you have in mind.  Plus, the Digital Slim needs to be stored and charged.  Still, assembly is quite easy.

  • Snap the motorized brushbar onto the end of the extension wand
  • Snap the extension wand into the DC35 vacuum

Not too tough, right?  The other parts – docking/charging station and additional accessories don’t mount to the DC35. We’ll get to those in a minute.

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What Attachments Are Included with the DC35 Digital Slim?

dyson dc35 attachments 2 webThe Dyson DC35 Digital Slim comes with four basic attachments – extension wand, motorized floor tool, crevice tool, and combination upholstery/brush tool.  If you are interested in the DC35 Animal model, it also comes with a Mini motorized head.

The Aluminum wand and motorized floor tool we took care of earlier during assembly. The combination tool and crevice tool do not attach to the DC35 itself but rather onto the docking/charging station.

Given this is a quick cleanup system, it’s assumed you’ll know the quick cleanup you’ll be cleaning up when you go to get the DC35 out of its cradle and, you’ll configure the Digital Slim appropriately, use it and then put it back in the charging station.

Once again, you ‘Animal’ lovers will have to figure out storing the Mini motorized tool on your own, there’s no spot reserved for it on the docking station. Do you guy’s ever feel left out?dyson dc35 motorized tool on off

The motorized floor tool gives you about a 7” or 8” cleaning path.  And yes, it has its own motor (that’s powered from the main battery). It’s usable on either carpet or hard floors and to that end, the brush bar can be turned on or off, though it must be done on the brushbar itself.

The floor tool is engineered to remove fine dust from hard floors by using ultra-fine carbon fiber filaments, which are anti-static.  There’s also stiff bristles on the brushbar, designed to agitate and loosen dirt from carpeting.

I also like the velour bumper on the front of the floor tool that protects furniture and walls from bumps and bruises. The floor tool pivots 180 degrees so you can lay the DC35 Digital Slim flat on it’s side (while the floor tool maintains right-side up contact with the floor) and get under some pretty low furniture, even beds.

The DC35 Digital Slim’s floor tool also articulates, though not quite as smoothly as on some of the Dyson uprights and canisters, and this makes it easy to control and turn as you use it.

The extension wand is made from aluminum and is lightweight. It’s total length is 26” without the addition of any attachments on its end. Those attachments do snap in so there’s no worry of the them falling off if the DC35 is used above your head.

The Dyson DC35 combination tool combines an upholstery tool and brush tool in one, a slight departure from the usual crevice/brush tool found on Dyson uprights and canisters. Slide the brush back to use as an upholstery tool and slide the brush tool to use, well, as a brush tool.

The crevice tool is long and slender. You can “go deep” into your couch or chair crevices with this tool and it’s slender enough to get under the front lip of most refrigerators or stoves too. This makes it nice for car cleanup as well.

Both tools have notches near their inlets that prevent them from sucking up shear fabrics while vacuuming  them.

The Mini motorized tool (MMT) that comes with the DC35 Animal Digital Slim does not articulate.  It’is primarily designed to snap into the DC35 without using the extension wand and be used in smaller areas to remove stuck on pet hair.

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, I’m normally not a proponent of you spending your hard-earned dollars on the Animal model over the Multi-Floor model, even if you have pets. With the power and suction of the Dyson vacuums, I just think it’s not needed.

However, with the DC35 Digital Slim, I am recommending you purchase the Animal model if you have pets , along with a pet-hair-on-fabric issue in your home. And if you don’t have that issue, please email me and let me know how you trained your pet to only shed in non-fabric areas.

Because the motorized floor tool pivots and articulates, it’s kinda unwieldy when used attached directly to the DC35 without the extension wand.  Not unusable, but it’s like having a bad arm that you gotta constantly use your other hand to hold and move around.

The floor tool constantly wants to just pivot and dangle. So before placing it on what you’re going to clean, you have to lift the head with your free hand as you place it or, just ‘plop’ the floor tool down and let it straighten itself out if you’re cleaning something you can’t damage.

Either way, I think the MTT is a better solution since it’s a rigid extension coming out of the DC35. You have more control and you can put a bit more pressure when needed to extract those glued on hairs sitting on the chair cushion or step.

Your mileage may vary.

Oh, and you can remove the brushbar from either of the motorized tools to clean.  Simply use a coin to turn the end cap 180 degrees and remove from the tool, remove the brushbar, clean and replace.

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What About the Battery and Charging?

The battery on the DC35 Digital Slim is a lithium-ion, which means it will produce constant power right up to the time it completely discharges.  The DC35 will operate at continuous suction for the entire duration of the battery charge.

Speaking of battery duration, the Dyson Digital Slim has two power levels – normal and max. You engage maximum power by pushing a “Max” button on the rear of the motor housing.  I’ll discuss what kind of suction you can expect from each setting in a bit but for now, lets focus on battery and battery life per charge.

        • Normal power settings, you can expect about 15 minutes of use at a constant suction (28 Air Watts of power)
        • Max power setting, you can expect about 6 minutes (65 Air Watts of power)
        • Using main or mini motorized brushbar on normal power setting about 13 minutes

You might not think these are stellar times, especially for the price of the Digital Slim, but you have to realize what the DC35 is designed for – quick cleanups.

Normal power is going to be what you use most often and 15 minutes is plenty of time to go around your kitchen baseboards to bag those dust balls and crumbs, get under and around the kitchen table, knock out any entry-way door and baseboards, and have enough left over to get the bathroom floor.  Even if some of that required Max power setting.

There are two ways to charge the Digital Slim. If you are using the power/docking station, simply set the Digital Slim back in the cradle and it will charge. If you prefer, you can simply plug the A/C cord straight into the DC35 and charge it as well.

Couple of things to note concerning the docking/charging station and the A/C adapter.  First, the power cord is a bit short, considering your wall outlets are down low and the docking/charging station is designed to hang high.

Second, the full charge indicator is on the adapter and not on the DC35. Kind of odd in my opinion since the wall outlet may be behind the washer or something.  I’m not sure it’s a huge concern, just a bit odd to me.

The DC35 charges pretty quickly – 3 to 3.5 hours from completely empty to “full up”. And since the battery is Lithium-ion, you don’t have to worry about the battery getting a memory like we did back in the NiCad days.

There are complaints about the price of the Dyson DC35 compared to how long a charge lasts. I’m not sure I fully understand this unless people are hoping to make this their primary vacuum and wanting to get “Dyson performance” without having to purchase one of the other Dyson vacuum models.

I’ve never had an issue where 10-15 minutes wasn’t long enough to accomplish what I intended to clean. Yes, there are times I’ve pushed and drained the battery, but that’s only because I figured since I expended all that energy to walk and get the Digital Slim, I might as well use it to clean as much as I can.

A car is an example where the battery charge of the DC35 might be exceeded. I mean, I could spend probably  a half hour just trying to get all those pieces of McDonald’s french fries from between the seat and console AND that stinkin’ penny that’s been there for over a year. Course, if it was a nickel I would of had it by now. But that’s another story.

Point is, again, for what the DC35 is designed to do, this reviewer is happy with the length of vacuuming time each battery charge gives me..  Especially when you’re talking about the suction power the DC35 Digital Slim has.

Your mileage may vary.

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What’s the Weight and Dimensions?

Dimensions: 44.1 ” H x 11.8 ” W  x 9.1 ” D
                          or put another way’  44” long (max) X 11.8” front to back of chassis X 9.1” tall
Product Weight: 4.96 Lbs

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How does the DC35 Digital Slim Perform?

We’ve discussed some of the DC35’s performance in a couple sections already, so you might want to read the battery and attachment sections if you haven’t already.

The suction performance of the Dyson DC35 is consistent with all other Dyson vacuums – POWERFUL.  Especially when you consider the size and weight of the handheld.  Of course, for the price, you’d expect powerful suction, right?

Dyson designed and built their own digital motor (a 10 year process I believe) and the result is a smaller, faster and lighter motor over conventional designs. And it spins 5 times faster than a Formula 1 racecar.

This all adds up to suction that frankly, has to be experienced to believe. On normal power setting, you’ll have 28 Airwatts of constant suction and 65 constant Airwatts on max power.

Normal power will handle most everything in your home, in my opinion – hard floors, cabinets, walls, furniture, even most carpet and fabrics.  The car would be cleaned mostly on normal power too. Pet hair, dust balls and food crumbs are sucked up when still inches away from the head or attachment.

We have a toaster oven that collects crumbs right at the hinge of the door, in a little chrome valley between the door and the oven itself.  There’s no way to get at the offenders with a damp cloth or sponge easily, nor a vacuum attachment – even using a handheld. I used to pick the whole oven up and tilt it over the sink to get as much of the crumbs out as I could. Now, I can suck them out with the DC35, even when the attachment is held above the hinge and the crumbs, and resting on the oven door. I was amazed.

Max power will be reserved usually for tough dry spills on carpet – think fine sand from shoes, powder, ground-in crumbs, and of course, that stuck on pet hair. I say stuck on because the majority of hair you’ll encounter on carpet or furniture, pet or human, will be handled on normal power.

Nine foot ceiling corners or high air vents are no problem to dust.  You have about 3 to 4 feet of extension from your hand with the DC35 Digital Slim. Under the bed, desk, or couch is easy too – though depending on the height of your couch, you may need to use the crevice tool instead of the floor tool.

That little gap to the side of your fridge or washer and dryer are now targets for the DC35, extension wand and crevice tool. And so is the back of closets… something I can’t remember the last time I ever vacuumed (ours are carpeted). Can I get a witness on that or am I just gross?

I could go on and on, but hopefully you’ll see some uses from my descriptions above that could be applied to your house too.

Oh, one more – the spot where your dryer lint filter resides. Ours is cavernous… and narrow. And bugs me every time I see it when cleaning the lint filter. I’m tired of trying to squeeze my fingers and hand or an old toothbrush in there. A perfect job for the DC35 and crevice tool.  HA!

Lets talk ergonomics – and a few areas of concern.

First, after several minutes of continuous use on window sills, walls, ceilings, or anything where you have to support the weight of the Digital Slim, it starts to feel heavier than it is. Most of the weight is high on the vacuum and must be lifted. It’s not like you’re carrying a 20 Lbs piece of lead all of a sudden, but it’s noticeable. Your hand may very well become tired.

Second, and a contributing factor to how heavy the DC35 feels after five minutes or so of continuous use, is the fact the trigger must be pressed continuously if you want power.

There’s no trigger lock or on/off switch. This adds to your hand/arm fatigue because you’re using some constant forearm pressure to keep that index finger pressed on the trigger. Not alot , but some.

The trigger isn’t hard to press by any stretch and I’ve found if you wrap your entire finger around the trigger rather than trying to press it with your fingertip helps.  Quite a bit.

Many people complain about no trigger hold and those with wrist or carpel tunnel issues may experience more of a problem.  Again, it’s not like your lifting and using a brick here and frankly, you’re not going to use this to vacuum the walls in your entire house at one time – or are you??

I didn’t experience this as an issue but apparently others have.  Perhaps it gets back to the intended purpose of the Digital Slim – quick clean ups, not a primary vacuum.

Lastly, there is some effort required to push the Digital Slim’s floor tool if you have high pile carpeting. Sometimes the brushbar wants to dig in and bog down. Simply, the Digital Slim is not as effective cleaning large areas of high pile carpeting as it is on lower pile or hard flooring.

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Is it Durable?

This issue always seems to come up when people talk about Dyson vacuum cleaners. Doesn’t matter what model. Yes, at first glance, the DC35 Digital Slim looks a bit like cheap plastic.  Though not as noticeable as a Dyson upright or canister.  Perhaps because there’s less ‘plastic’ to see.

The fact is, the Dyson DC35 and attachments (except for the aluminum extension wand of course) are made from polycarbonate, not plastic.  The cockpit canopy of a F22 Raptor Fighter Jet is polycarbonate. So are police riot shields.

Looks can be deceiving and anyone who says a Dyson vacuum looks cheap or fragile IS being deceived. Polycarbonate is tough for it’s weight. One commercial name of polycarbonate you might be familiar with is Lexan.

But construction material is just one piece of the puzzle. After all, there are plenty of polycarbonate pieces, parts, buttons and whatnot on the Digital Slim that could be failure points. And occasionally, there will be a lemon produced on any automated assembly line process.

But…..

Dyson tries to dish out any torture you can think of before they release a vacuum. Thousands of (mostly) automated iterations of drops, bangs, slaps, and slams against fixed objects are all performed somewhere in a cave by TV deprived men whose wive’s prefer their Dyson vacuum over such men, I think.

OK, kidding but take a look at this:

Dyson Crash, Boom, Bam

Dyson vacuums are engineered, tested and built to be as durable as possible. Many uprights are still going strong after 10+ years of use and abuse.  I’m sure the Dyson Digital Slim will follow suit.

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How Much Does the Bin Hold And is it Easy to Empty?

The bin on the DC35 Digital Slim holds .09 Gallons. Plenty for just about any quick pickup job you have.

To empty the bin, simply hold the entire DC35 over a trash can, low as possibly to keep dust from flying, and press the Red release at the middle-bottom of the vacuum.  The bottom of the bin will drop down and your debris will fall into the trash. Snap the bottom back up and you’re ready to go.

After several uses, there will be some dust that accumulates on the inside of the canister.  The canister is removable so you can clean not just the canister but the vents on the inside of the canister as well.

Underneath the DC35 and just behind the canister is another red release button.  It’s a half-circle shape and between two pieces of Blue polycarbonate. If you press this release, the canister will unlock and can be removed. From there it’s an easy matter to clean everything up.

And if you do this in conjunction with your filter cleaning (more on that in a minute), you’ll have the Dyson DC35 broken down into three major pieces for easy cleaning.

As the great philosopher Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I got to say about thay-at.”

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Is this Vacuum Asthma & Allergy Friendly?

The Digital Slim is not Certified Asthma & Allergy Friendly. There’s only one filter on the vacuum and it’s not a HEPA filter.

The washable filter that is present sits between the handle and the canister.  It’s recommended to wash this filter at least once a month under cold water and allow to dry completely before replacing and using the Digital Slim. Sometimes it takes longer than 12 hours, depending on the weather here in Ohio. In the winter, I set it on a heater vent.

I could verbally explain how to get to this filter and change it but it’ll be quicker (51 seconds) to see for yourself.

(no audio by design.)

 

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Video review of Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Vacuum Cleaner

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What do Others Say?

Some of the features of the DC35 Digital Slim that user’s liked include:

  • Very quick to use
  • Powerful suction never disappoints
  • Vacuum is solidly built
  • Can go anywhere – many different configurations
  • Easy to empty
  • Can charge the DC35 without using the docking/charging station
  • Constant suction during entire battery life
  • Very easy to get under low furniture
  • Great on pet hair

Some of the things that user’s say are negatives about the Dyson DC35 Vacuum include:

  • Head is too ‘floppy’ when attached directly to vacuum
  • Need to hold trigger continuously
  • Heavy and hard on wrist after 5 minutes of use
  • Can’t stand upright when not used, must lay down on its side
  • Not the greatest on high pile carpet

Most reviews are positive in fact……

Overall, the Dyson DC35 Digital Stick Multi-Floor Vacuum has:

A 4.1 out of 5 Stars Rating (254 reviews)

The Dyson DC39 Digital Stick Animal Vacuum has:

A 4.5 Out of 5 Stars Rating

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Pros and Cons?

green stoplight
  • Lightweight – easy to carry and use
  • Versatile – can use just about anywhere
  • Fast charging time
  • No bags or filters to buy, ever
  • Powerful – daily messes are not a problem
  • Without the cord, vacuuming seems so much less of an investment
  • Constant suction the entire battery charge
  • East to get under low objects
  • Easy to empty bin
  • Very quite
  • Replaceable battery
  • 2 year warranty parts and labor
  • Perfect for quick cleanups in kitchen, dining and living rooms
  • Durable
yellow stoplight
  • Expensive
  • No HEPA filtration
  • Short cord on docking/charging station
  • No battery charge indicator on DC35 (its on A/C Adapter)
  • Not so great on high pile carpet
  • Must hold trigger, no trigger lock
  • Can’t carry attachments on vacuum
  • Pet hair wraps around brushbar
  • Tends to get heavy after holding for awhile

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What’s in the Box?

DC35 Multi-Floor Vacuum:

  • DC35 Digital Slim vacuum cleaner
  • Wand
  • Operating manual
  • Quick start guide
  • Motorized floor tool
  • Lithium-ion 22.2V battery
  • A/C adapter/charger
  • Docking/charging station
  • Combination upholstery/brush tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Product registration card

DC35 Animal also includes:

  • Mini motorized tool
dyson dc35 multi-floor unboxed web

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What’s the Price and Where Can I Buy The Dyson DC35?

You can check out pricing at Amazon on the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Animal Vacuum  or the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim Multi-Floor Vacuum.

When factoring no tax and FREE Super Saver SHIPPING on most Dyson vacuums, they tend to have the most competitive pricing.

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Other Dyson Vacuum Reviews Articles

  • Dyson Handheld Vacuum Cleaners - Detailed features, comparisons & reviews of Dyson handheld vacuum cleaners – what works, what doesn’t and things to look out for to help you make an informed decision. ....
  • Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim Cordless Vacuum - Dyson has announced the DC44 Animal, an improved version of their Digital Slim DC35 released last year. Here’s the Cliffs Notes version of the differences: Battery life is improved at 20 minutes (vs. 12-15 mins on the DC35) on standard power (28 Air Watts) or 8 minutes (vs about 6 mins) on boost mode (65 Air Watts) Improved....
  • Dyson DC16 Root 6 Handheld Vacuum – Easy Cleanup - The Dyson DC16 Root handheld vacuum, though small in stature brings with it the famed Dyson root cyclone suction and some nice features, all in a convenient form factor. ....

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