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Dyson DC44 Vs DC56 -- What's the Difference?

By Edited Jun 26, 2016 0 4

Dyson Hard Vs Dyson Digital Slim (Mark II)

This account is a brief and objective comparison review of two Dyson cordless vacuums -- the Dyson Digital Slim DC44 and the Dyson Hard DC56 -- highlighting their distinct differences as well as their commonalities within features and specifications. From this, you will hopefully be far clearer on what each of the cordless models is essentially about and be able to conclude: which of the two cleaning machines (DC44 or DC56) is right for you and your specific needs and preferences.

What are their intended 'cleaning' jobs?

Although they are similar in appearance (and of course both being cordless vacuums), their actual respective cleaning jobs are rather different. The Dyson DC44 is intended as just a 'vacuum cleaner' for sucking up dirt and debris on all types of flooring: both hard-floors and soft floors etc. The DC56 however is intended solely for hard-flooring cleaning and wiping away dirt and grime (removing the aspect of two jobs: vacuuming and then mopping -- into just one), however it also has the ability to be manipulated into a handheld vacuum when you remove the 'wand' and attach the combination tool (like that of the Dyson DC34, as can the DC44 vacuum too -- explained in greater detail later).What both have in common is the aspect of making the cleaning job easier (i.e faster to do) as well as being more effective and efficient. For more information on the specific cleaning tasks check out the Dyson 'DC44' and 'DC56' videos below.

Dyson DC44 Animal Digital Slim MK2
Amazon Price: $389.69 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 26, 2016)

Which offers the better cleaning (suction) performance?

DC44: Standard Mode: 28 Air Watts | Boost Mode: 65 Air Watts

DC56: Standard (normal) Mode: 28 Air Watts | Boost (max power) Mode: 65 Air Watts 

As seen from the statistics above, clearly they both offer the 'dual power mode' that of the standard and boost mode (to get rid of the extra dirty/grime patches) in which they are both identical. Which is somewhat surprising given that the DC56 is fitted with the 'updated' version of the Dyson Digital Motor i.e version 2. Moreover, as expected both are also equipped with Dyson's unique 'Root Cyclone Technology' that essentially allows the DC44 and DC56 to be bagless as well as not to suffer with loss of suction (i.e as they pick up more and more debris/dirt/grime the level of suction doesn't diminish -- as is found with many non-Dyson vacuum cleaners). Obviously, as their cleaner heads are different (more on this later) hence the actual 'finish' cleaned performance can't really be compared apart from the sole representative factor of the 'vacuum' suction, in which case the DC44 will dominate considering that the entire cleaning head is designed with this sole purpose in mind.

Dyson DC56 Hard- Hardfloor Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Amazon Price: $559.99 Buy Now
(price as of Jun 26, 2016)

Which is easier to use/handle?

DC44: Weight -- 5.07 lbs

DC56: Weight -- 4.86 lbs

Clearly although both are very lightweight (and obviously cordless i.e free range essentially), means they are both incredibly easy to manoeuvre etc. however the fact the DC56 is 0.21 lbs lighter as well as being  fitted with a four way axis -- allows the user to have complete control over the Dyson Hard's cleaner head -- and arguably edges the DC44 within this regard. However, in fairness, (and as said) because they are very similar in design and operation, whereby the given weight distribution of both the DC44 and DC56 is centralised mostly in the handle (with the motor and bin storage being located there) it allows the user to have complete balance and control when cleaning both 'high (curtains, ceilings) and low' (underneath sofas, cabinets, flooring).

Which provides the best practicality factor?

DC44: Battery Life -- Standard: 20 Minutes, Boost: 8 Minutes

DC56: Battery Life -- Standard: 15 Minutes, Boost: 6 Minutes

The DC56 replicates the same (22.2 v lithium-ion) battery life span as that of the DC35 (Mark I digital slim) offering 5 minutes less on standard mode to that of the DC44 as well as 2 minutes less on Boost mode, which is surprisingly given that it encompasses the Dyson Digital Motor Version 2 (i.e a motor that should out do the DC44's). However, although you may believe this to be relatively short -- the issue Dyson and relative common sense should stress is that with use of the DC56 you shouldn't really be taking that long anyway to clean your hard-wood floors anyway (unless you have very large or many hard floors rooms in which case I advise you buy a separate DC56 (or DC44) battery that you can have pre-charged ready to just swap over). On that point, the DC44 takes approximately 3.5 hours to charge, although official figures have not been released I believe the DC56 will be on a similar level to that also (max 4 hours, like that of the DC35) -- both coming with their own unique wall mountable charging docking station.

Moreover, as just mentioned earlier both have the capacity to operate as a handheld vacuum -- where you simply remove the wand (which is the aluminium 66 cm tube like attachment that fits the handle to the cleaner head) and attach the combination (crevice) tool straight to the handle. 

Difference in Attachments/Accessories

Both are provided with the combination tool, which as briefly mentioned is a crevice tool for vacuuming awkward and tight gaps that also doubles up with a brush nozzle so your DC44/DC56 can perform powered dusting essentially. The most obvious difference comes in the cleaner heads -- the DC44 has an 'updated'  motorized head with carbon fiber filaments that has fine nylon bristle hairs for sucking up dust on hard floors and tough static nylon bristles for removing dirt on soft flooring i.e intended solely for vacuuming. The DC56 instead has a 'double-edged' cleaner head that basically performs two jobs at the same time -- it sucks and wipes to "remove dust and grime at the same time" -- operating through a dual suction channel to suck then wipe, and as stated has a four point swivel axis to allow for easy manoeuvering around awkward edges and gaps. You get to start with 9 wipes in total (i.e these come in the box) and then subsequent wipes will have to be bought.

Moreover, the DC44 comes in two versions the Multi-floor where you get the basic attachments as just described above or the Animal where you get in addition to the multi-floor accessories, the mini pet hair turbine tool which is basically a specialised device that efficiently and effectively sucks up pet hair. 

Conclusion: Which vacuum Should I Buy -- the DC44 (Dyson Digital Slim Mark II) or DC56 (Dyson Hard)?

Despite the two cordless cleaning machines possessing some similar features they are in practice meant (in many respects) for two different jobs and hence the one you choose (if not both) should be the one that you are in most need of (be aware of the crossovers that they do share). So if you find that you will benefit more from the saved time and improved effectiveness of the DC56 with regards to cleaning your hard-floor then you should opt for the Dyson Hard. However, if you are in need of a vacuum cleaner to supplement your standard full sized one e.g. you don't want to be carrying a full sized vacuum to and from downstairs then perhaps a DC44 is more suited to your needs. All I am trying to get across to you is that ultimately they are two 'different' cleaning machines and that should reflect in which one (or both) you should buy/get. 

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, experiences either regarding the comparison article 'DC44 vs DC56' or about the DC44 or DC56 specifically (i.e any mechanical specification queries), then please do not hesitate to make them in the comments section below and I will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible. 



Aug 28, 2013 4:10pm
Great article. Question: If you detached the wand and head, and just attached the crevice tool to both the dc44 and dc56 (so both the dc44 and dc56 looked identical aside from color), would they have the same suction power and performance, for example, on stairs? (not taking the battery performance into consideration). A quick response will be appreciated as I have a coupon that I have to use in August and I'm debating between these two handhelds. Thanks!
Aug 29, 2013 2:58pm
This comment has been deleted.
Aug 29, 2013 3:00pm
Thanks for getting in touch. If I am right in saying that you are basically comparing the DC44 & DC56 in their handheld form, then yes you would be correct in presuming that they would have a very similar suction power & cleaning performance (as handhelds).
Sep 4, 2013 12:16pm
Are the accessories for the DC44 interchangeable with the DC56? Can you use the motorzied brush tool on the DC56?
Sep 4, 2013 3:45pm
Thanks for getting in touch & this is a good question. The accessories such as the combination tool & crevice tool i.e passive tools will fit in the same way as they would on the DC44 Digital Slim vacuum. However, with electrical tools & attachments (as you mentioned with the motorized brush tool) you can't fit them with the DC56 for the simple fact that no wires run down the DC56's wand (the tube) as you obviously wouldn't want moisture mixing with an electric current.
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