The only real significant difference between the Dyson DC47 & DC47i is simply that the latter comes with an extra attachment the stubborn dirt brush tool - every other aspect remains the same (apart from the slight colour change, where the DC47 multi-floor is in classic Dyson yellow, the Animal is in a purple & silver mesh and the DC47i, the independent, comes in red) i.e one version isn't any better than the other - they are identical in power, practical features (e.g. cord rewind) etc.
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Just to give a brief overview of the commonalities between the DC47 & DC47i : they both have a suction power of approximately 180 AW as well as being fitted with the new two tier radial root cyclone technology -- which both in turn allow the DC47 'compact' canister vacuum to perform the same cleaning performance as that of a full sized canister vacuum.
With regards to the cleaner heads provided with each version - you will have to specifically check (as some come with the triggerhead tool, musclehead tool, dual channel floor tool, carbon fiber tool & the articulating hard floor tool -- with a width of approximately 8.4 inches) from the retailer your are purchasing from (they even somewhat vary through Dyson depending on the country you buy it from, as well as interchanging the names -- generally speaking you will get the triggerhead tool). This being said, every cleaner head I have researched into - has only been with one of the very latest (with marginal pick-up results between them, so no issue of significance here) versions.
The same practical features are on offer too -- whereby they are both equally compact (dimensions: 11.5 x 8.7 x 17.6 inches, hence very easily stored away) & extremely agile (weighing just 13.84 lbs & have been integrated with an updated centralised Dyson ball allowing you to swiftly turn on a dime, whereas standard canister vacuums have to be dragged back & forth). Moreover, as they are compact vacuums - their specifications are somewhat minimal (only being intended to clean small flats & apartments etc.) e.g. the bin capacity is approximately 0.15 gallons & the max cleaning reach being 26.3 ft ( cord length: 10 ft + telescope hose: 16.3 ft).
The Difference Between the DC47 & DC47i
The attachments that come with the DC47 multi-floor are pretty much the standard package: the combination tool (which is basically a crevice tool that can be used to vacuum tight & awkward gaps, which also has the ability to double up with a brush nozzle for powered dusting) & stair tool (that can be also used for upholstery etc.).
The DC47i, however offers the combination tool & stair tool, but offers the additional attachment of the stubborn dirt brush (a really useful tool that has been designed with tough & stiff nylon bristles that effectively remove dug in dirt from soft flooring through a 'popping' motion to flick the dirt from the carpet & in the vacuum's bin).
There is also the DC47 Animal version which comes with the combination tool & stair and a specialised pet hair attachment (note: the DC47 doesn't come with the stubborn dirt brush) -- the tangle free turbine tool that effectively & efficiently removes pet hair intricately in and around your home.
Note: you can also buy additional attachments for the DC47 to improve its functionality yet further e.g. the highly rated Dyson Groom tool which can be used directly on your dog (particularly recommended if you have a serious pet hair problem in your household) or you can get hold of them in bundle packages like the Dyson home cleaning kit.
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Which version of the DC47 will you buy?
Simply work out which is the cheapest option. Firstly, establish do you want the stubborn dirt brush tool? If not, simply go for the multi-floor or Animal. If you do, work out how much it will cost if you were to buy it separately then add on the price of the DC47 multi-floor. Then work out which option is cheaper -- option A: the DC47i or option B: the DC47 multi-floor + stubborn dirt brush tool (it should be option A, given that it is in a bundle package - but if you were to shop around you may just find that option B is actually cheaper). This being, that the colour of the DC47 doesn't matter to you. Moreover, if you want the Tangle-free turbine tool as well - you will have to get the DC47 Animal & the dirt brush tool separate anyway.
Also, if you have any questions, comments, concerns regarding either the comparison article: DC47 Vs DC47i or about either version (or any of them) then please be sure to make them in the comments section just below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon possible.