This account looks to analyse and contrast the handheld vacuum (the DC34) to that of the Dyson Hard (DC56) -- assessing their similarities as well as their differences amongst specifications and features. Ultimately, this article aims to distinguish which of the two cleaning machines is best for you and your specific needs & preferences, through identifying which offers the most overall value relative to its price.

To give just a quick overview of what the Dyson DC34's and D56's intended cleaning purposes are, to give you a clear idea as to how they differ as cleaning machines.

The Dyson Hand-held Vacuum - DC34: as stated in the name the DC34 is essentially that, a handheld vacuum cleaner that allows you to operate the intricate jobs such as cleaning your car & stair ways in a quick & easy yet powerful manner. 

The Dyson Hard Cleaner - DC56: this cleaning machine is rather unique to the market (in that there is nothing really like its kind) -- it is basically used for hard-floor cleaning (again, given in the name) and removes the aspect of effort, time and difficulty from it by simultaneously performing two jobs (vacuuming & wiping) at the same time to a very high standard. For further details check out the Dyson Hard 'In Action' in the video below.

Dyson DC56 Hard- Hardfloor Cordless Vacuum Cleaner
Amazon Price: $559.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 6, 2016)

Design & Specifications

From the handle aspect of the two they do look very similar (both looking pretty sleek and modern) and incorporate similar specifications such as the fact the DC34 and DC56 have the bagless mechanism as well as the same bin capacity (0.35 litres) along with certain practicalities such as being incredibly lightweight.

It should be noted that the Dyson Hard (DC56) can essentially become the DC34 through removing the 'wand' (the 66 cm aluminium tube that attached the handle to the cleaner head) and just fitting the combination tool that comes with the DC56 to the cleaner head. Hence, with the weight aspect the DC34 (1.33kg) simply weighs what the DC56 (2.2 kg) would without the wand and cleaner head.

Dyson DC34 Handheld
Amazon Price: $160.30 Buy Now
(price as of May 6, 2016)

Cleaning Performance & Battery Power

Hence, from the realisation above -- you won't be too surprised to find out that in terms of cleaning performance and power they are very similar too. They are both fitted with a 22.2 volt lithium ion 'fade-free' battery (with which both take approximately 3.5 hours to charge from 'dead' to full') and a Dyson Digital motor (although the DC56 has an updated one -- the 'V2') and have a dual power mode for standard cleaning -- 28 Air Watts and a boost mode (for tougher stains) which for the DC34 is 60 Air Watts and the DC56 is 65 Air Watts. So (along with other various factors) the DC56 is slightly more powerful in this regard. Moreover, in terms of 'run time' (battery life) both offer 15 minutes of standard mode and 6 minutes on boost.

Fitted Technology

They are also both fitted with the unique standardized version of Dyson's Root Cyclone technology (which basically gets incorporated into every Dyson vacuum) that basically allows them to benefit from three main aspects: i) it allows the bagless mechanism (meaning you know when to empty the bin due to the transparent container as well as saving you the running cost of replacing the bags) ii) they help to generate high centrifugal forces that increases pick up of microscopic dust particles and iii) it also prevents loss of suction with your vacuum (i.e as the dirt & grime build up increases it doesn't diminish the suction level).

Practicalities & Accessories/Attachments

The DC56 comes with the combination tool (a crevice tool that is used for cleaning awkward gaps and areas, that doubles up as a brush nozzle for powered dusting) and when this is attached it becomes basically what the DC34 handheld is. Moreover, both are provided with an LED display to indicate the condition of the battery and whether it soon needs charging -- with which the DC56 is provided with a wall mounted docking station (but it can also be charged like the DC34 through the mains). With the DC34, however you can buy it as an animal version i.e DC34 Animal with which you also get a specialised pet hair pick up attachment -- the pet hair mini turbine tool.

Cleaning Heads

 This only really applies to the DC56 as the DC34 doesn't technically have one -- the DC56 is fitted with a dual channel head that basically allows the front & back strip channels to conduct the vacuuming (i.e pick up of dust and debris) and then a centralised wipe (where you get nine to begin with and will have to buy more from Dyson to keep it going) to remove stains and grime away.

Conclusion: Should You Buy the DC34 or DC56?

If you are just after a handheld vacuum (for stair cleaning and cars -- general awkward areas) and nothing else, then the DC34 is obviously the way to go. However, with the Dyson Hard I believe for the relative prices of the two -- you are getting a lot lot more value for your money as you are essentially getting a better version of the DC34 (as it is more powerful) but you also obviously have the ability to clean hard-floors effectively (which is only really useful of course if you have a lot of hard-floors e.g. wood/tile in your home) as well as being able to clean high (curtains & ceilings etc.) & low.

If you have any questions, remarks or concerns regarding either this comparison account 'DC34 vs DC56' or about either of the cleaning machines specifically (e.g. the Dyson Hard cleaning features) 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.