Dyson Ltd took the vacuum world by storm over two decades ago, sweeping through the mid-priced market with promises of better suck for our buck. Utilizing cyclone technology and reusable parts, founder James Dyson manufactured and sold enough vacuums to become a household name within a short period of time.
Dyson vacuum cleaners are not without their problems, of course. After a recent trip to a vacuum shop to check out some new products to test, I was told by the shop owner that he, “Will not touch a Dyson as they have so many problems.” Our testing experience has been the opposite, especially with the company’s generous guarantees and good track record. This is why our next test is the Dyson Ball Animal 2.
We like this cleaner and we sad to learn that Dyson does not intend to continue with corded models after this one. Speaking of cordless, the announcement to discontinue new production came in March 2018 at a press conference unveiling the cordless Cyclone V10 vacuums. The company still supports its registered, corded products and sells those on its website.
Sob story aside, there are a lot of points to review about the Ball Animal 2.
Design & Features Favorites
The number one feature of the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is its incredible suction power. Dyson’s website lists that power at 306 W, compared to its Multi Floor’s 250 W. Such suction is enough to tackle large messes across multiple floor types. Don’t believe me? I sucked up popcorn kernels from the family room carpet, then immediately cleared away leftover dinner crumbs on the kitchen tile.
Which brings me to another benefit: the versatility of their self-adjusting cleaning head. The head automatically changes suction based on which floor you are vacuuming. Both the Multi Floor and the Ball Animal have this feature, of course, but it’s my favorite. I don’t ever have to tangle with attachments or settings adjustments while I’m moving.
Both vacuums also have an override button for the beater brush. This means that, on hard floors, I can turn the spinning brushes inside the head off so they don’t kick crumbs around.
The number two feature of the Dyson Ball Animal is its Tangle-free Turbine tool to remove pet hair. Even if you don’t have any pets you are going to enjoy this attachment for my own dropped hairs. Once a dog visits and you face real hair, the turbine tool becomes a better pal than you may expect.
Not only does the hair not get caught in the spinning brushes, but the head has three suction settings. The first, noted with a ‘-‘ sign, is meant for hard floors. The last, noted with a ‘+’ sign, is the most powerful and should be used on thick carpets. There is also a medium setting between the two. I was amazed at how powerful a suction that little tool provides, at a whopping 90 W. To compare: the cordless stick vacuum’s maximum setting is 115 W and the cordless V8 Animal’s maximum is 28 W.
Like the other Dyson models, the Ball Animal has a removable 1.8-liter bin. I am so happy to not deal with vacuum bags and even happier that the bin comes off easily and empties with a simple button.
The vacuum’s other parts are easy to access for cleaning as well. It has a washable lifetime filter, a washable side filter; and the bin filter and suction hose come apart when dirt and debris build-up.
The Dyson Ball Animal is designed around a ball. This ball seems to be the new model for all Dyson vacuums, as even the cordless Cyclone’s suction head pivots from a smaller one. While I was a skeptic of the ball at first, I have found it vacuums just as well with it and really does make for easy maneuvering around furniture and such.
The last two features I love are the long power cord and the extendable cleaning hose. The cord is 35 ft long, four feet longer than the Multi Floor vacuum. Add the Animal Ball’s cleaning hose and attachment, and it has a maximum reach of 50 feet.
Design & Features Downsides
With so much to love, you might wonder if there anything to hate. I love my Dyson vacuum cleaner, so could only think of a few design downsides.
First, the vacuum is heavier than other options. Dyson’s website lists it at 17.5 lbs (nearly 8 kg), which is more than the 15.6 lbs of the Multi Floor model of comparable size and function. The Ball Animal is significantly heavier than the cordless Cyclone’s 5.9 lbs.
Second, I cannot use the hose unless I unwind the power cord from the back. Maybe the vacuum could have had the cord hooks on the side to avoid that, but then it wouldn’t fit as neatly into a cleaning cupboard. One of the cord hooks can be turned downward; after that, I slide the whole loop of cord off and it’s out of the way.
Third, if I don’t lock the vacuum firmly into its upright position, it falls over. I can hear a soft clicking sound from the stabilizing wheels in the back when the unit is locked. Sometimes, however, I click it into place but then bump and unclick it. This causes the whole vacuum’s downfall. I understand, from reading reviews online, that the new Cyclone model is even more likely to fall.
The last design downside is that the amazing Tangle-free Turbine tool is too large to be stored on the vacuum itself. I can store most of the other attachments, but the turbine is understandably bulky and I have to retrieve it when I need it.
As mentioned in the design and features, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a powerful vacuum cleaner. A visiting friend vacuumed my floor for me and remarked how impressed she was with its suction. She said her own vacuum needs more than one time running over a patch in order to clean as well as mine.
Besides regular use, I have also noticed a good suction when using the hose. Once the vacuum is locked upright, the suction automatically reverts to the hose. I really like this feature, since I don’t have to stop vacuuming, detach any major parts, flip any awkward switches, or search for detachable hoses. All the previous headaches were things I went through with other brands of vacuums. While it’s not quite on par with the premium Miele C3, it does its job very well.
Whenever I am in vacuuming mode, I simply lock the vacuum and get hard-to-reach areas as well. I can suck up pet messes, dirt piles, corner spots, ceiling cobwebs, and even the stairway within a few minutes.
Also as mentioned earlier, the unique ball design of this and other Dysons means I can twist forward and around couches or chairs while I vacuum. It’s a bit tricky to get the hang of at first, but I prefer its joint-like movement much more than needing to back up and reposition every time.
Again, I have few complaints about this vacuum cleaner. In thinking hard, I came up with two performance cons.
The first is that I noticed a loss in suction once and could not find the source. Thankfully, Dyson’s website is very thorough in troubleshooting problems. I needed to clear a bunch of fluff mixed with wood chips from the base of the hose, and it went right back to normal suction levels. My children were the ones who used my Ball Animal for wood chips, so I was happy they had not permanently broken it.
Another, final performance downside is how noisy the turbo tool attachment is on maximum setting. According to a review I read, the V8 Animal is quieter than the Ball Animal when the V8 runs in standard mode. Surprisingly, however, the Ball animal is quieter than the V8’s maximum mode. All of that is obviously tied to the suction power of the two. More suction and more power equal a louder motor noise.
Price vs. The Competition
According to Dyson’s website, the Ball Animal 2 retails for $499.99. The Cyclone Animal is the same cost, at $499.99. But Dyson’s similarly-sized corded Multi Floor 2 vacuums, in comparison, run around $399.99. Of course, the prices out on the market are subject to change.
I considered purchasing the cordless stick since it is a similar price but lighter weight and has a higher maximum suction power. It also has a smaller bin, which I did not want; and needs the batteries recharged more quickly after running it on maximum.
Dyson frequently runs sales or includes extras with purchase, like when I purchased mine. For those interested, shop around and find a good deal.
I find little to criticize about Dyson’s Ball Animal 2, but know that not everyone is looking for the same things I am in a vacuum. I find it a very good vacuum for a large home with messy people and animals. It deservedly has a top 3 spot in our list of the pet hair vacuums.
Since we have children and pets, I need a heftier cleaner that won’t die at the first sign of a Lego or a cat hair clump. I also need to be able to feed my children after purchasing one and can’t afford new filters and bags as I need for other brands.
Dyson makes other vacuums suitable for other homes, however, so go ahead and look at those. The Multi Floor model is comparable, if somewhat less powerful; and the cordless stick is handy for smaller floor plans.
- Great Suction
- Long reach hose
- Amazing turbine tool
- Reusable bin and filters
- Dyson warranty & guarantees
- Tippy when not secured
- Loud in maximum mode
- Midrange expensive
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Dyson’s corded powerhouse for dealing with pet hair along with all other types of dirt.
This vacuum comes with a whole bag of tools!
We think the Ball Animal 2 is quite the looker!
The head is impressive and innovative, picking up pet hair with great efficiency in all the situations we have tested.