questionsdyson vacuum: worth the hype and price?

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I am very happy with the Windsor I got second-hand refurb from the School District here. But I am a bachelor with a largely non-shedding small dog.

Since you have a baby coming, I would recommend you look into a HEPA variable and add it into your search, should you deem necessary. Which means that it is a vacuum which will also take care of any asbestos fibers in the air. Or so the lady that taught our class claims, so it should take care of anything you throw at it.

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Personally, I think it's a VERY expensive fad. Buy something decent, and buy quality bags, and empty them when they are close to being full. I don't see any actually difference in cleaning, and that's really what it's all about.

In addition, I must respectfully disagree, strongly, with the advice on the HEPA filter for your vacuum. Unless you already have an allergic member of the family, there is such a thing as being too clean.

We used to say that if the baby hadn't eaten a pound of dirt by the time they were two, they'd never be healthy. My daughter took care of that in one summer (at 18 months), and she spent far less time out of school for the standard random flu/cold/whatever that seems to decimate a certain segment of the population.

Hoover's good. Eureka's good. Oh, lordy, there's even a web site just for reviewing vacuums.

http://vacuum-cleaner-advisor.com/

I note that Hoover is recommended by consumer reports. Save your $$$.

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I'll go against the group (so far) and say that I LOVE MY DYSON!!! I've had the animal version for about 4+ years. It picks up so much stuff. I got it after listening to neighbors talk about how much they liked theirs (also pet owners).

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@thunderthighs: What did you have before that the Dyson was an improvement over?

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After buying a new vacuum cleaner about every 18 months for 25 years, I bit the bullet and bought a Miele about 3 years ago when we got the shed-the-equivalent-of-an-entire-dog-a-day dog. FABULOUS vacuum. I swear it pulls dirt up from beneath the foundation. Their bags are cloth, and a new filter comes with every 3/pk of bags. I'm constantly amazed at how quickly the bags fill up, proof positive that it's getting up more dirt (and dog hair) than any other vacuum I've ever owned.

Having given my advertisement for Miele, I have a friend who bought a Dyson pet version that loved it while it lasted. But it didn't last much longer than ... 18 months.

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@shrdlu: I don't recall the brand. It was a bag and I hated having to deal with the bags. This is so much easier.

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I'd also like to throw in my vote for getting a Dyson.. My mom got one after much debate threeish years ago, saying it was the best thing and would last forever, and she's never been disappointed. Being a chore oriented family I had my fair share of using it and, from what I could tell, it always did a great job, and now after having used other vacuums (granted they are the vacuums provided by my college dorm) I do miss the ease and power of the Dyson.

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@thunderthighs: Truthfully, my favorite vacuum is this:

http://www.riccar.com/products/specialty/?prod=RSQ1

Their web site isn't much on details, but I really like it.

It's light, I can vacuum the computers without killing them (or me), it comes with attachments just for keyboards and other tiny things.

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@shrdlu: Same dealer that I bought my Miele from also sells your Riccar.

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@debbiedunlap: Of course, I should admit that I hate carpet. I had it all ripped out, last year, and everything is either tile, or vinyl (or that kinda-sorta flooring that's made out of wood, and is supposed to look like expensive oak floors, but doesn't). Only the stairs are carpeted (for safety). I do have a large rug in most of the rooms, though, and they still need vacumming.

Miele makes a nice machine, though.

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Personally, I'm waiting for a vacuum that operates with a self-contained black hole.

On a more realistic note, Dysons look cool, but to me that is about it. Miele vacuums are way nicer.

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We have had a Dyson for 6 years now. The only thing that we have had to do for it is to replace a belt once, and once every 3-4 months we have to cut the hair out of the roller. That is because both myself and my daughter have long hair. That's not the vacuum's fault, though. We had a Hoover Windtunnel before the Dyson, and I would never go back to another bag vacuum. We have 2 dogs and a cat, and that vacuum is still going strong. One button to take the canister off, one button to open it over the trash can, done. If/when it bites the dust, so to speak, we are going to get the Dyson ball vac. I cannot say enough how much we love this vacuum.

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With three kids, one cat, (a JRT who now is chasing bunnies in the sky) and now two miniature Australian shepherds, I vote Dyson hands down. Over the years, & not in particular order, we've had a Wind Tunnel, Princess, Rainbow, Electrolux, and 2 Kenmores. One was an upright, the other one of those hateful pull along contraptions. The Dyson, a refurb from Woot, cleans our carpets like nothing we've ever used before.

I have to cut out the long hair every couple of weeks as well. The dogs contribute their share. Ever see the commercial with the cat sitting on the stairs that practically explodes with hair when it sneezes? That's what it's like living in my house, especially as the weather starts to warm.

@quarlesr: I have a suggestion. Find a friend who owns a Dyson and ask to borrow it. Vacuum with your old vac and then use the Dyson over the area you've just cleaned. What turns up in the Dyson canister will surprise you.

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@quarlesr: Consumer Reports rated 70 vacuums in their March, 2010 issue. You should be able to find it at your local library or I prefer their website.

What surfaces are you vacuuming? Is your apartment all on one level or are you dealing with stairs? Depending on how you deal with trash are you more comfortable with a canister vacuum or a bag? How much does the weight of the vacuum & maneuverability matter to you?

I would first determine which features are most important to me. Then choose the vacuum that is best rated & most recommended based on my specific needs. No vacuum will do everything!

I prefer to use a very good dust mop on my hardwood & tile. After going through a couple of vacuums I wanted a workhorse to deal with pet hair on the rugs. The inexpensive Eureka Boss is fantastic for that but it is heavy. http://deals.woot.com/deals/details/b56dc0ca-3070-4143-a903-26f5a0340034/eureka-4870hz-boss-smartvac-upright-vacuum-free-shipping#0

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You could always pick up a Roomba off Woot! ;)

Seriously though, I use a Roomba (that my kids named Rodney - after the lead in the Robots movie) on the hardwoods for quick in-between cleaning. We use a Dyson for real cleaning and always for the carpets. Rodney just didn't cut it on the carpet. Our reason for going with the Dyson was entirely bag driven. I HATE bags. Can't stand them. This was the best recommended bagless vac on the market at the time and we've never been disappointed.

And we love Rodney too! He's our third one (all 3 proudly purchased on Woot!).

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I grew up with a Kirby, my mom had, probably still has it from the time i was 3 until I left home at 30. Like I said she probably still has it. It was a heavy sucker though. But it worked great.

I have had a Eureka for 13 years and I really like it. It works well on my hardwoods and awesome on my rugs.

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Dude! (Or dudette...not sure what gender a quarlesr is.)

Dysons rule.

You can get to any part, no stinking bags, waaaaay light and compact, turn the roller brush on/off, filters get washed (not replaced at twenty bucks a pop), sucks great, I could go on. So I will.

Dyson decided to cut the crap and make a good vacuum. For instance, my old Hooover also had a canister instead of bags. But why, pray tell, did they decide to make me have to 1. pull out the canister 2. pull out the filter compartment thing from the top 3. find someplace where I'm okay with setting the filter compartment thing down 4. turn the canister upside down into the garbage 5. empty, then reverse the process?

Emptying my Dyson is two steps: 1. push button to release canister 2. push another button to release dirt out the bottom into the trash. Even old one-armed Buster could do that. (Darn that loose seal!)

Plus, this thing handles corners like my old Honda CRX. Do it. But wait for a Woot!off.

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I got the animal version and when it worked, it did well...but when it broke, well, say "good-bye" because it is virually unfixable. Too many plastic parts.

The local repair guy in my area laughed and said it was worthless once any functional section breaks down. Never again. I paid a pretty price for only a few years worth of service.

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I have a Cleartrac, had it about 12 years, and it is similar to the Dyson. It has a canister and I love it. I never have to buy bags. When this one goes out, a Dyson is next on our list.

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I personally am obsessed with my Dyson. I have 2 cats and 2 dogs and I wanted to put it to the test so when we first bought it I used my old vacuum on the living room carpet and then I took the Dyson and it picked up a ton more hair and dust that the other vacuum missed. I would highly recommend.

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I bought a DC14 about 3 years back in a Woot-off. Overall, it's good, but I wish I had held out for a DC17 or newer model. The DC14 is belt driven but the DC17 and up are direct-driven.

If you have long-haired pets or people, I would recommend looking for a vacuum, Dyson or otherwise, that has a direct-driven beater bar. My old Kirby was also belt driven, and on both of them it is a pain to remove hair from the bar due to the belt.

That said, if you are the type of person who actually follows manufacturer's recommendations for changing bags filters, the Dyson will be cheaper in the long run as long. I replaced my old Kirby, because the bags were getting harder to find and more expensive. All the other bagless models that I could find at the time needed the filter changed, and replacement filters ranged from $20-50. Dyson filters are washable.

Of course, this was three years ago, so things may have changed.

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I bought my Dyson almost 4 years ago, and I love it! I suffer from pollen, dust, and pet dander allergies, and the difference that the Dyson makes is amazing! It picks up so much more of the dust and dirt than any other vacuum I've ever had. Definitely worth the money.

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I have a Kenmore canister vacuum that is 26 years old and still going strong. I have replaced the hose on it and the filter, and it does a great job. I have three cats, who are mostly outside but they do like to nap inside during the day.

My spouse has a Hoover canister that belonged to his mother so it must be more than 40 years old and is also still going strong. He uses it in the garage for various projects.

So, even though I look at the Dyson's sometimes, I really don't need one. Unless my Kenmore breaks of course. Hmmmm....

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We had an ancient Oreck, then Eureka, then Hoover. I got a DC07 refurb from a Woot-Off, and saw a huge difference in suction. I actually used the Hoover and then followed it with the Dyson. The results were disgusting. The Hoover missed a lot of dirt and hair that must have been buried in the carpet fibers. I did have to empty the cannister quite a bit, but that is the only complaint. I recently got the DC28 Animal and am in love with it. We have two dogs and a 15 month old, and I'm not sure who makes a bigger mess. The DC28 is very powerful, and I'm very happy with the results. I sent the DC07 to my wife's place of business, and she says it is working great (she manages a golf course, so there is a lot of dirt and traffic).

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I convinced my mom to buy a Dyson (new) about 3 years ago and the first time she used it, it looked like she had just paid to have the carpet shampooed! Its wonderful, and as the designer who made it says "it never loses suction" - so far that's very true. If I could afford one, I would also have one. Also, I'm fairly certain they make one that's especially good for pets. You may even be able to find a store that will guarantee you like it or you can return it - talk to the sales associates, that's what they're there for (usually). As far as buying a refurbished one, I'm sort of leery of buying refurbs unless its from the manufacturer themselves (no offense to Woot!). Personally, if you can afford to buy a new one, I would do that and then you always have the warranty that comes with it and you don't have to worry about what happened to it before that some place is selling it as a refurb. Sometimes it pays to have peace of mind. Bottom line, YES buy a Dyson.

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Dyson, definitely Dyson. We got one about 4 years ago, it was a display model we picked up from a clearance outlet for an extremely low price. We didn't know it when we bought it, but it was missing a piece of the vacuum, an elbow pipe from the bottom for cleaning out any clogs. We called the service line to see if we could buy a new one.

Even after explaining how we bought it, they not only sent us the piece of pipe, but gave us the full 5-year warranty. That alone is enough to keep me loyal, but after using it for 4 years, we have never had a problem. It will suck a golf ball through a garden hose. We have a cat that sheds and it pulls tons of hair out of the carpet.

It also works great on hard floors. The exhaust sprays up, and not down, so it doesn't just blow the dust around.

We've never had a clog, and never had to replace any belts or anything.

I would recommend a Ball, the Dyson is heavy and doesn't like to turn.

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@flynster: Why is it when anyone tries to insult a Dyson, they always talk about the "plastic parts". Have your purchased ANYTHING in the last 20 years? Everything is plastic. The bumper on your car? That's plastic covered styrofoam. Show me a vacuum that ISN'T plastic.

Plastic can be extremely durable, and in the case of the Dyson, it is. You can't break it. Obviously your "repair guy" didn't know how to fix it, if you even owned one.

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Dyson just seems to be overpriced for what they really do. I know 2 people that have them, and they seem to work fine for them, but they are not that much different other than brand name to justify the price. When using my own bagless Bissell with the Hepa filter side-by-side against an upright Dyson, my Bissell actually has more suction power. The attached hose also seemed to be a problem with the Dyson, where it can easily become kinked and lose basically all suction. We do not have the same problems with the Bissell. I am in no way stating that Dysons are bad, I just do not think they are worth the money, especially after using other bagless vacuums that seem to outperform the Dyson that cost less that 1/4 the price.

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I recenlty (8 days back) got a Dyson Ball Animal. I absolutly love this thing.

Cleaned one room of my house with my Kirby (new bag) then the Dyson. Another with my roomba, then the Dyson, and a third with my Hoover (new bag) then the dyson.

Granted, my Kirby and Hoover are a bit worn out - but it was amazing what the Dyson picked up and the others missed.

If you want to save some money, but also want to keep a warranty may i suggest checking out Bestbuy.com (or in store). Purchase a Refurb for a nice discount, then purchase their 4 year-warranty. It's a cheaper way to go...or try and find an open box (i did) so its discounted and you get the factory 5 years warranty.

Just my 2 cents.

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@quarlesr: I hope you'll come back and tell us what you decide. This has been a very interesting thread, and I like the idea of borrowing (or at least testing) one before you buy it.

One of the things that affects the longevity of a carpet is shampooing it. I know people who insist that once a month is required. I have done it, but it was more like every six months. I wonder if Dyson users consider that they still need to shampoo (they do, of course), and I also wonder whether the vacuum type affects carpet wear (many of my area rugs are antiques, including two that are woven silk, so I may care more than most).

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@shrdlu: I find we can get away with spot cleaning and have the carpets professionally cleaned about every 7 months.

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I bought a Dyson... it's amazing... I have a cat and Irish Wolfhound, the Dyson keeps the floors looking great... I tried the other brands and gave them away, but the Dyson will stay.

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I absolutely endorsed Dyco products. Have 3 children, and various numbers of shedding animals around. Nothing works as well as a dyson. If you're concerned about the price, get a re-fabbed one with the same waranty.

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I've had any number of vacuums over the years. Before my current Dyson, I had a Hoover (my second Hoover vacuum). Will never go back to them, regardless of what the cough shills cough at Consumer Reports say.

I absolutely LOVE my Dyson. I've an old DC8 that has been running strongly for many years now (picked it up on Woot a few years back) and it's like night and day with my previous vacuums.

It DID, however, once lose suction... and I was worried that it might have been dying. However, as Dyson makes every part of the vacuum incredibly easy to get to (it's like a child's take-apart toy in its design simplicity), I took it apart and discovered the bottom of the hose had picked up a stick from somewhere (don't ask, I've no idea), and bits of carpet hair had matted themselves around the stick, allowing no air to pass at all.

After removing the clog, it was back to its usual, powerful self. A 30-second repair job overall.

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@vfr800interceptor: Please don't encourage them.

No more roombas! No more roombas!

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Woot Community:

Thanks for your insight! I have so much to sift through. Honestly I am at least a month from a decision since I live abroad at the moment but this is one of those things that I will need at my new place and something that I feel was worth investigating before I make an investment.

I will definetly try to borrow one before I buy or try it out in the store. I will make sure to check things that you have mentioned like belt or direct drive for the floor beater and the quality of the construction.

I would love to buy refurb but the 5 year warrenty, which would solve some of the issues that people listed here, might be worth the $100 extra.

I will keep my eye out for a good deal and post the result of this search here in a month or so. Hopefully this thread will become very popular as reference for everyone in the market for a good vacuum.

Vote up the topic for good measure! Plus if its really popular Woot might send me one in exchange for a review. Hint hint.

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Few more questions:

If I was going to get a Dyson... Which one?

The classic construction? Or "The Ball"?

The only difference between the animal flavor and the standard is an included attachment. Is it worth the $40 - $50 extra?

Which model, money aside, would YOU get?

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I really recommend a good quality Oreck from their shop. The vacuums are nononsense and powerfull. The warranties are excellent. There are usually sales, and the folks in the shops will do minor vaccum repairs for free. The vacuums do not have attachments, but Oreck also sells an awsome hand vacuum that works well on furniture and corners and such. I am very happy with mine.

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@quarlesr: Ball. Definitely the ball. I love my ball. My brother, who raves over his older Dyson, wishes he had my ball, too.

I wish everybody could have balls like mine.

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I bought my ex/gf a Dyson from woot that she has had 3 years with 2 teens trying to destroy it, loved it while we were together so afterwards, I bought one of my own from big lots a refurb also and put the square trader 2yr extended on itI am still using it a year later. no belts to break and love the cleanable filters for the exhaust air.

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I want one, but am waiting until my old Hoover bites the dust. The animal ball would be most effective on dog hair for me.

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I say buy it from woot at a much discounted price. I love mine! I have allergies to dust and cats and have both in my house. The Dyson is sturdy, works well, is easy to use and empty, and is built to last. I have a built in vacuum cleaner in my house but much prefer the Dyson, and not having to buy bags for it saves over the long run.

Again I would flinch at paying full retail but at the woot prices I think they are a great bargain that work well rather than a "fad". Mine is over 3 years old and still works like a charm! I am pretty sure I got it the first time Woot.com offered them.

Mine is an older model, I think it is the DC 11, the neon yellow one. I have played with the newer models in the stores and the ball seems to be a tiny bit easier to get into tight corners but I would buy the same model I have in an instant.

And being able to take it apart, wash the filter, the long hand hose are features that you wonder how you did without until you own one.

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I love my Dyson. My dad bought it for me for Christmas last year, along with an accessories kit. I think he bought it on amazon.com. Anyway, I have 2 cats that shed like crazy and a baby that's crawling. When my Dyson first arrived, I did a test like everyone else, and vacuumed with the old vacuum and then with the Dyson, and could not believe how much cat hair was being left behind by the old vac. My Dyson has a ball, but I must be a little slow, because I can't seem to maneuver it like they do in the commercials. So I could leave or take that option.

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Update:

I looked into outside warranty protection for a refurb dyson from square trade. They offered it but only for ONE year for $50 and two for $75. Unless a warranty through woot gets me closer to the 5 year from Dyson then I am still inclined to spend the extra money to buy new (ideally open box) and get the 5 year warranty from dyson.

My additional question would be:
Warranty from dyson seems like a good deal, but will they pay out and or fix the thing when it breaks? Any experience here?

Even if i decided to save the money and buy refurb taking my chances that I could personally fix the thing is square trade worth it? Anyone worked with them directly before?

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no do not buy them in my opinion it maybe not get clogged but the fine dust coats the holes and slows the suction down. Pain in the neck to clean with a chop stick and a microfiber towel I have to clean it like that every other time I empty the vacuum. There are a lot of refurbish ones out there for a reason. If you feel the need to spend a lot of money of a vacuum cleaner buy a Kirby mine lasted 30 years

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So after finding the lowest prices (Amazon New and Overstock Refurb) I went and looked at cash back programs from by CC (Chase) and found that chase is offering 12% back from overstock right now till the 14th.

I was planning on waiting longer but after hearing what i have about them from you and deliberating on the warranty situation i may pull the trigger on this a little earlier than i expected (as long as woot doesn't have one between now and the 14th).

The price savings with the new vs. refurb is just too much. Even if the motor or the power head goes and I cant get them to fix it then I will fix it myself and I have found the parts i would need for less than $50 for the ball and $100 for the head.

Buying refurb i will pay: 389 - 12% = 342\
New amazon = $500
New Overstock = $500 - 12% = $440

Any last words?

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@quarlesr: Wait for a woot!off and buy new for $285.

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@foonatic: Really they go for that low... new?

I will wait then.

I am still hoping that woot hears my cries and sends me an unsolicited BOC with a Dyson in it.

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The recent low-price Wootoff Dyson was the mini-me version (DC-24), which is understandably not in the same performance league as the big boys.

@quarlesr: Before you purchase if it's at all possible please try out both the ball and regular full-sized model in a store to see which you prefer for maneuverability. And weight...they are actually quite heavy if you need to carry around, or up and down stairs.

Skip the Animal attachment/model unless you need to vacuum carpeted stars, it's really meh on fur-coated furniture IMHO. And as you pointed out (I think) already, it can be purchased separately if you want it later.

I have two of the original DC07 models, one of which is over ten years old, both going quite strong. That older one has a duct tape patch on its design achilles heel, where the hose split a bit as it bends awkwardly over a connector used to 'holster' the wand. Otherwise it looks and works much like new.

And yes, I'd buy a replacement without hesitation.