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One of the benefits of our business is that we are often selected to take part in trials of new products and to write our reviews of these for possible publication.  Over the past few months we have participated in 2 of these trials and are soon to start another. 

In February Mylo, one of our own dogs, started a trial for a new dog food specifically aimed at dogs with weight problems - you will be able to find out about how he got on with Butcher's Lean and Tasty soon.

Facebook is a wonderful example of how the internet can get consumers and suppliers to interact and one of the many dog related Facebook groups of which I am a follower is that of Dogs Today Magazine (see their page here) and a few weeks ago they invited people to write in explaining why they should be given one of two new tools to use with their Dyson to try out and review and I opted to try out the Tangle Free Tool rather than the Dyson Groom Tool, an accessory available to make dog grooming easier.

The Dyson Tangle Free Turbine and DC41

Bought some 8 years ago, to replace an aging and traditional vacuum cleaner, our Dyson DC07 has been a reliable and effective cleaner.  We have had the engineers out a couple of times to replace the clutch and motor (great service by the way) and I did have to buy a replacement part through ebay but the machine has been heavily used over the years what with a couple of cats and numerous dogs.

We currently share our home with our own 3 Finnish Lapphunds, Mylo, Kiva and her daughter Sassi.

In addition to our own dogs we also have guest dogs with us throughout the year - the majority of these are also Finnish Lapphunds all of which have profuse coats.  We also often welcome visitors, two legged ones that is, into our home to introduce them to the pack.  As the Finnish Lapphund is a fairly rare breed people interested in them need to travel a fair bit to meet them visiting us at Dogs to Stay provides them with the opportunity to meet at least three and sometimes as many as six of them.

All of our visitors get the full story behind the breed and as to how they make truly wonderful pets, they are pretty low maintenance and don't require a lot of grooming, and aren't prone to excessive moulting.  I explain that though I vacuum daily the Dyson only needs emptying once a week - though the brushes do tend to get clogged up quite regularly - hardly surprising with the length of these dogs' coat.

The pictures on the left show just how much the brushes get tangled (note to the house-proud; this isn't after 1 use, more like a week's) & even though getting access to the brushes to get rid of the tangle fur isn't that difficult it is still a time consuming process that I thought might be solved by using the Tangle Free Turbine to go over the areas where the dogs' hair could be seen prior to conventional upright cleaning.

I sent my application to be considered for the trial to Dogs Today magazine in March and was delighted when a couple of weeks later I received an email informing me that I had been chosen to be one of the reviewers, all I had to do now was await its delivery.  A few weeks went by before I received a phone call from Dyson saying that because our DC07 was so old the Tangle Free Tool wouldn't work with it (boo) so they were going to send me a new Dyson, the DC41 to use with it (hooray) and two days later it arrived!

Problem #1 - getting it out of the box!
Never have I seen anything so well packaged, I don't think that there was a cubic centimetre of space in the box not used effectively; what a great way to reduce waste!

Problem #2 - getting it assembled!
Well that was easy - not a problem at all, in fact it was easier to put it together than it was to get it out of the box, the clear instructions made it simplicity itself.

The Turbine Free Tool in Use (TFT)

Rather than just go ahead with a brand new machine I wanted to find out just how much difference to tangled brushes on the DC07 the TFT would make so I attached the tool to the new Dyson DC41 and proceeded to vacuum an area of the lounge carpet with it - I then used the DC07 on that area and the result was no tangled brushes and a clean carpet - The Tangle Free Tool works!  Wanting to find out just how useful this wonderful little accessory was I then went over the suite, the hall stairs and anywhere where the dogs were prone to lie with it attached to the DC41, yup, I was correct, it really does work.

I would recommend this well designed and easy to use accessory to any household with pets that shed, it really does work and is so much more effective than traditional brush accessories, its easy to use, highly effective and small enough to get into all those nooks and crannies where dog hair gathers.

The DC07 vs DC41 Challenge

Our DC07 had been a faithful and reliable servant, it was tired, had a few war wounds but did its job, in fact we thought it did its job pretty well, time to see how good it was compared to the DC41.  The picture on the right shows how they compare size wise, the DC41 being slightly smaller but of similar weight, the most significant difference was that the new machine was operated by ball technology.

I made sure that the collection cylinders of both machines were empty before going over the lounge carpet with Old Faithful, the DC07, I also made sure that the carpet had its fair share of dog hair to deal with and that the dogs weren't in the way.

I made sure that the carpet had its fair share of dog hair to deal with and that the dogs weren't in the way, I also made sure that the collection cylinders of both machines were empty before going over the lounge carpet with Old Faithful, the DC07.

OK so the dogs might have stirred a little and Mylo was fairly adamant that he wasn't going to move but that didn't stop me dealing with the hair, dust and dirt that had accumulated over the last 48 hours.

Once I had gone over the whole lounge carpet, about 24 sq yards, I emptied the cylinder of the machine onto a tea towel (see picture to the left). 

This would be a pretty standard amount collected by the DC07 after 2 days with 5 dogs in the house, the carpet looked clean and I would have been quite satisfied with what had been achieved .... I did say would!

Now it was time to see what the DC41 could do.  It was no more noisy that the DC07, in fact I would say it was a little quieter and it was a whole lot easy to manoeuvre than a traditional machine.  What I did like was that the front of the machine was significantly lower than that of our original machine meaning that it could get under items of furniture that I would normally have to move to clean under.  Having gone over the whole lounge again, bearing in mind just 10 minutes earlier I had done so with the DC07, I emptied the cylinder contents onto another tea towel ... oh my word!

To say that I was lost for words would be an understatement - the pile of dirt in the picture to the left shows what the DC41 picked up after I had previously used the DC07 on the same area. 

What was of particular note was, that though some of the pile was of dog hair, the majority of the the pile was of fine particles of dirt - dirt which might previously had not been picked up by the DC07.

The picture on the right shows the contents of the 2 cylinders with that at the top being the contents of the DC07, the first machine used, and that at the bottom the contents of the DC41 which I used immediately after the DC07 - impressive or what!

Would I recommend the DC41 to my friends?  Too right I would.

In summary I would say that the Tangle Free Turbo is a must have accessory for any home with pets that shed (assuming they also have a Dyson - if not, why not?) - it really does do its job well picking up hair and fur without the need to untangle any brushes, it really is a useful tool.  If it had been possible to use the TFT with our original machine I would have been more than satisfied with the results however being given the opportunity to try out the DC41 was an eye-opener, this really is a great machine.  It's only failing is that it makes a mockery of my claim that the Dyson only needs emptying once a week - due to the improved efficiency of the DC41 over our old DC07 it's more a case of emptying it every other day.


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