Choosing whether to get yourself a cordless or a corded vacuum depends ultimately on your needs (e.g. do I need my vacuum to be lightweight? does it need to have a certain amount of power?) and preferences (e.g. does the Dyson DC44 serve me well as a cordless vacuum?) -- and this is where this article hopes to help you -- by clarify your position through briefly pointing out the relative advantages & strengths and disadvantages & weaknesses (of cordless vacuums compared to corded vacuums), then from there you have more of a direction as to what kind of vacuum (either the corded/cordless category) should you be looking at. Just a brief mention of the obvious difference between a corded and cordless vacuum -- the former has to be attached to the mains (i.e it is wired), whereas the latter is battery powered (hence wireless).
Advantages of the Corded Vacuum
Generally speaking (as it ultimately depends on the vacuum in question), a cylinder (canister) or upright vacuum that is corded will offer you far greater cleaning suction power than what a cordless vacuum can provide. The obvious fact being, a battery operated vacuum cannot offer you the same sort of power than that of a dedicated source to a wired motor can generate. Take for instance the 'corded' Dyson DC41 for instance, it can generate a huge 255 Air Watts (making it essentially one of the most powerful vacuums on the market), whereas a cordless vacuum such as your Dyson Digital Slim DC44 (possibly the most powerful cordless vacuum on the market), can only offer (on standard mode) 28 Air Watts (65 Air watts on boost mode)-- hence you can see there is a gulf in difference (227 Air Watts).
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Moreover, fully sized corded vacuums come with specifically designed features (especially in the case of the Dyson vacuum range) that allow for the efficient optimisation of cleaning such as on the DC40, DC41 etc. where they have an adjustable cleaning head to adapt to the type of flooring being cleaned (lowering to hard-floors and raises for soft floors) -- a cordless vacuum doesn't come with the same level of cleaning sophistication (certainly as of yet).
Another factor is the pretty much limitless 'battery life' that you get with a corded vacuum, you aren't obviously having to worry about how long it has left before it dies out. For instance, you get 20 mins on the DC44 (on standard mode) and unless you have bought another 'battery' to replace it and is already charged -- then if you run out, you will have to wait for the charging time (duration of 3.5 hours) before you are good to go again. No such issues with a corded vacuum.
They also offer you greater practicality -- for instance the bin capacity with the case of the DC44 it can hold only .35 litres of dust and debris whereas the DC41 can hold 2.1 litres that is approximately 6 times larger -- which also means it is 5 less trips to emptying the vacuum's bin. Therefore, those with the larger house should perhaps be more lenient towards that of a corded vacuum in the instance that with regards to specifications, features etc. it is far more suitable.
In general also, you get more attachments to utilise with a standard vacuum. For instance, the DC41 can practically use any of the attachments that Dyson have available from the 'free tangle pet hair turbine tool', to the 'Asthma & allergy kit' etc. The cordless vacuum range doesn't have such a varied amount all they really have to offer is the 'cordless kit'. The point here, being that your corded vacuum offers in all -- a basis of greater multi-functionality for cleaning than the cordless vacuum i.e you have more opportunities to perform a variety of cleaning tasks (and because it is more powerful to a 'better' extent).
Advantages of the Cordless Vacuum
Ultimately, the two main advantages that the cordless vacuums have over that of corded ones is i) the obvious means to roam about freely -- you aren't tied to a limit area due to the wire being attached to the mains, you can quite easily head off to your car after you are done with the living room and start cleaning in there without having to get extension leads out etc. and all the hassle that comes with trying to clean a car with a large corded vacuum.
ii) They are extremely light (DC44 weighs in at just '4.9 lbs') which offers an array of opportunities -- such as being able to clean not only on the floor but upwards on curtains etc. too (check out the DC44 video below), as well as being able to transport it places if needs must. For me it is awesome for when guests (usually Mum and Dad) are soon to arrive (and I have my living room in a general mess), you can whip out the DC44 quickly (hassle free) and give a quick vacuum and can put it away in no time. Moreover, it is just generally a really useful cleaning machine for those who suffer with mobility issues are elderly, as it is just so easy to use and comfortable in operation.
And in all, it does actually work (the DC44) as a general upright vacuum cleaner too, the performance is actually rather good considering the obvious lack of power compared to your standard corded vacuum cleaner (although if you intend to use it for this purpose -- with the DC35/DC44 -- it is recommended that you get the additional articulating hard floor tool also).
Conclusion: Which Should You Buy?
The general ruling with regards to whether you get a corded vacuum or a cordless is the following (in my opinion) -- if you don't have a corded vacuum yet, then get a corded as a cordless vacuum (well as of yet) simply doesn't offer the same practicalties and power to a sufficiently good cleaning job in and around the standard home. With regards to which model then (again in my opinion) you should probably look no further than the DC41, at current probably the best domestic vacuum available -- especially the Animal or Animal Complete version, given the overall value it offers for your money.
However, if you do have a corded vacuum already, then getting a cordless such as the DC35 or DC44 is a great addition/supplement to cleaning your home. For example, if you want to do a quick clean around -- you can bring out it out with minimum fuss or are wanting to reach up to the curtains to vacuum etc. I have often come across people keeping it as the 'up-stairs' vacuum, as it saves the hassle of lugging a heavy (corded) vacuum up and down.
Let me know what you think and if you have any comments, remarks or questions regarding a corded (or the Dyson DC41) or cordless (or the Dyson DC35, DC44) please do not hesitate to leave them in the comments section just below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.