Our In-Depth Review
The Dyson DC35 Digital Slim is a handheld cordless vacuum. The DC35 is light at just over five pounds, and can be used for many purposes.
It can only operate as a cordless vacuum. You can’t keep the vacuum plugged into the charger and operate the DC35 continuously.
Unlike most handheld vacuums, this model can be used like an upright vacuum. The detachable long reach wand along with the motorized floor brush turns the DC35 into a 44-inch upright.
You can clean area rugs, hard flooring, and even a whole carpeted room with these tools. You only have 15 minutes of cleaning time with this handheld before it needs recharging.
The DC35 is a bagless handheld model. All the dust goes into a small 0.09-gallon canister right next to the handle. Inside the canister is the patented Root Cyclone that guarantees no loss of suction.
For a handheld, this has incredible suction, and can clean carpeting and hard floors as good as or better than many other vacuums. There is one small HEPA filter on this vacuum. It is washable and is built to last the lifetime of the Digital Slim. Make sure to wash the filter once a month
Like all other newer Dyson models, the Dyson DC35 vacuum cleaner never loses suction. The bagless canister features the same root cyclone technology that is in their upright and canister models.
This handheld can run for up to 15 minutes long. This is enough time to clean an entire room. The motorized head cleaner with the carbon fiber brush dislodges dirt and debris from carpeting and hard flooring.
You don’t have to bend over either to use this motorized head because it can attach to the long reach wand. With the wand attached, the DC35 has a 44-inch reach. This handheld also can be used for many other purposes. It can clean in tight spaces. It is perfect for stairs.
The Dyson DC35 Digital Slim is great for cleaning upholstery, drapes, the interior of cars and anything else you can think of. The total weight of this model is only five and a half pounds.
Performance / Using the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim
We were amazed at the power and the overall performance of this seemingly little machine. This is a handheld, but it behaves like a fully functional upright or canister vacuum.
There are other Dyson handheld models, but what separates this from previous efforts, or any other handheld for that matter is the detachable long reach wand.
When you use the wand and cleaning brush, you don’t have to bend down to clean up debris. You actually stand up like using an upright.
Two disc-like wheels are at the base of the motorized head. These wheels and swivel head allow the DC35 to roll around on the floor like an upright machine.
It’s a cordless vacuum that can do it all. The Dyson DC35 Digital Slim can clean up any type of debris in any situation. Once again for carpeting or hard floors, you attach the long reach wand and motorized cleaning brush.
For cleaning stairs, take the long reach wand off. For cleaning upholstery use the combination tool. And finally, the crevice tool is for cleaning up in those tight spots.
Performance on Carpets
For carpeting, the best option is to use the motorized power head attached to the long reach wand of the DC35 handheld. We tested the suction power of Dyson DC35 with this set up.
The first test involved using flour on the carpet. This simulates small particles like dust in the carpeting. All the flour was cleaned up nicely with the motorized cleaner head with only one pass.
For this test, we used the regular mode. There was no need to activate the MAX power with small particles. Next up, we crushed some Cheerios and tossed them on the carpeting. These larger particles were cleaned up nicely too. For a few pieces of debris that got lodged in the carpeting, the MAX power was necessary.
We did notice a distinct difference in the amount of power in the higher mode. The carbon fiber brush spins faster and the suction increased.
In this mode you can vacuum for six minutes instead of 15. We also used the vacuum all the way until the battery ran out of power. There was no gradual loss of suction. One moment the Digital Slim was running at full power. The next it was off.
Performance on Rugs
For rugs, the long wand and cleaner head was used again. This vacuum is ideal for cleaning rugs at the entryway of a home, and large and small area rugs. It cleans up large debris and small dust easily.
It can clean an entire rug even right to the edge. We put the Dyson DC35 up to a hard test when we cleaned a dirty entryway rug. The MAX power mode was used here. Small chunks of salt, dirt, and sand were sucked up into the Root Cyclone right away.
The head of the motorized cleaner helps dislodge the dirt and then it was sucked up. The motorized head is just over nine inches wide, and it didn’t lift the rugs off the floor.
In the bathroom, a lighter rug was lifted up even with the regular suction setting. We were not able to vacuum very light rugs with the motorized cleaning head. We recommend using the debris nozzle for very light rugs.
Performance on Hard Floors
Carbon fiber brushes are designed to dislodge and remove dirt from hard flooring. The carbon fiber brushes also don’t create any static so dust can be freely sucked up into the Dyson DC35 bagless canister.
Once again, we used flour on the hard floor to test how well the Digital Slim handles small particles. It worked wonderfully well, and all the flour was gone with one pass.
For larger particles, crushed up Cheerios were used. It took a few passes to get the largest pieces of the Cheerios off the floor. We switched to MAX power after a few passes if the largest chunks didn’t get sucked up.
These pieces all fit under the vacuum, but some didn’t get cleaned up right away. In most situations, you should really pick up very large particles without a vacuum, but we like to test vacuums full capabilities.
Of course the Dyson DC35 gets right up to the edge with a crevice tool, but it also can clean the edge of carpeting or hard flooring with the motorized cleaning head.
This cleaning head also maneuvered really nicely around corners and curves under the edge of cabinets.
When the flour was right up against the edge, the motorized cleaning head of the Digital Slim worked better head on than going by the side of the wall for both carpeting and hard flooring.
This vacuum doesn’t have an airtight seal and does emit some dust out of the exhaust. When we used the Digital Slim, the amount of dust in the air went down a little bit when the laser particle scanner was held up to the exhaust. Our airborne particle scanner measures dust down to the size of 0.3 microns.
Attachments / Onboard Tools
Technically there are three tools for the Dyson DC35 handheld model. However, the combination tool is both a debris nozzle and brush tool. The brush tool is used for cleaning up upholstery.
It worked nicely on furniture, but the vacuum is a little too powerful in MAX mode for cleaning curtains. Make sure you use the regular mode or else your curtains will get sucked into the vacuum tube.
Pull the brush back to switch the combination tool to the debris nozzle. This is a little wider than a crevice tool, and is nice for cleaning larger particles.
Next up is the crevice tool. This is a narrow nozzle that gets you right into corners. Like all the tools, this can snap into the long reach wand, or take the wand off and attach it right next to the handheld motor.
The best cleaning tool by far is the motorized cleaning head. With its spinning carbon fiber brushes, this tool gets carpeting, rugs, and hard floors spotless.
Ease of Use
Detach the Dyson DC35 Digital Slim from the charging cord, and you will be ready to go. Snapping in the different cleaning tools or long reach wand is very simple. Pick which tool you want to use, clip it in, and start cleaning.
The first step with this handheld is to start charging the battery. The Digital Slim takes three and a half hours to fully charge before use.
Once you have charged up the lithium-ion battery, its time to start cleaning.
Take out the long reach wand; clip it into the base of the vacuum. Next decide what attachment you want, and snap it into place.
To start the vacuum, you pull the trigger. For MAX power, push in the MAX button, and then hold the trigger down to clean.
Normally this isn’t a category we have to concern ourselves with a handheld vacuum. Handhelds can go anywhere and everywhere you could reach with your own hands. This is a different type of handheld because of the long reach wand. When this attachment is in place, the ultra-light DC35 acts like an upright vacuum.
This was mentioned earlier, but the motorize head has two disc wheels at the back of the unit. The head also swivels so you can push the Digital Slim around and turn corners easily.
You simply turn your wrist one way or another to steer the motorized head. We walked right around the room, and were able to clean up right to the edge, even under the overhang of kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
This vacuum has a very low clearance. You can use the long reach wand and get all the way under a couch or chair through to the other side. You will have to crouch down and lower your hands to ground level to do this.
Ease of Use on Stairs
This is the best vacuum we have ever tested for vacuuming stairs. It is lightweight, versatile, and provides numerous options for vacuuming up anything on the stairs.
What we found worked the best for cleaning stairs was to take the long reach wand off, and attach the motorized cleaning head right next to the DC35.
The cleaning head can roll and rotate as you clean carpeted or wooden stairs. If you want to get underneath the edge of each step, take the motorized head off and use the crevice tool or debris nozzle.
On the regular vacuuming mode the Dyson DC35 vacuum registered 78 decibels. In the MAX power mode, the noise level went up to around 83 decibels.
Both of these levels fall in a typical level for a handheld vacuum. If someone were talking to you while you are using this vacuum, they would have to use a raised voice.
This Dyson model requires you to wash out the filter once per month. The filter is located parallel to the handle. On the top of the vacuum is a blue button that you depress to separate the canister from the handle.
An oval shaped filter lies inside. Wash the filter under cold water to clean it. Then let the filter dry out for at least 12 hours.
Emptying the Canister
There is a red latch on the left side of the Dyson DC35. To empty the dust out of the canister, you have to pull down on this latch.
Make sure you have the bottom of the Digital Slim handheld directly above the trashcan. Pull the red latch down, and the bottom of the canister flips down.
The dust and debris in the cyclonic canister drops straight down.
Occasionally, hair wraps its way around the cyclone, and you might have to reach into the canister to pull some of the fuzzy, dust covered hair out.
When you purchase the DC35, a wall clip is included. You can screw this mounting bracket into the wall and then hang up your Digital Slim when it is not in use. Make sure to mount this near an electric outlet so you can charge it and hang it up simultaneously.
Value For Money
Handheld vacuums are always nice to have “on hand” for those little messes. This Dyson model can do all this, but the new long reach wand combined with the motorized head cleaner makes this a unique product. For a small office, or a studio apartment, this might be the only vacuum you need.
Yes, this vacuum is expensive when you can only use it 15 minutes at a time. The reason it is worth the money is the versatility it provides.
For a smaller home or studio apartment, this would be the only vacuum you need.
For large homes, you could use the Dyson DC35 for smaller messes or stair cleaning instead of wasting time getting out a large vacuum, unwinding a cord, plugging it in, getting out the on board tools and finally cleaning up a little dust.
Final Vacuum Verdict
Want a totally unique vacuum? Get yourself a Dyson DC35 Digital Slim. It cleans stairs, carpeting, rugs, and hard floors.
It also can be used to clean couches, chairs, under furniture, inside cars, and the cobwebs in the corners of your ceiling. Take it anywhere.
It’s cordless, light, and very easy to use. On top of all this, it has a lot of suction for such a small package.
The only unknown with the Digital Slim is how durable it is. This is a new product, so we don’t know if it will stand the test of time.
If you do purchase one, make sure to follow the maintenance schedule and wash out the filter monthly. No matter what vacuum you own, if you don’t clean the filter as recommended by the manufacturer, the machine might break down prematurely.