Dyson CR01 review
Independent washing machine reviews by a repairman with 30 years experience.
The Dyson washing machine is the most talked about washing machine for decades. The only time I remember seeing the same level of interest in a white goods product, by the general public, was when combined washer-dryers started becoming more common (in the UK) in the early 1980s.
The design of the Dyson CR01 range of washing machines seems deliberately provocative. The Dyson CR01 is saying look at me, I'm different to other washing machines, buy me and you won't be buying an ordinary washing machine. I can confirm that in many ways this is true.
The Dyson CR01 may be seen as flash to some people's eyes, but don't be fooled. Inside the CR01 is a serious washing machine that puts some companies who have been making washing machines for many decades to shame.
Unfortunately, although Dyson announced plans to bring another Dyson washing machine out, for the moment, the Dyson washing machine is no longer being made in the UK (although you will still be able to get them repaired).
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The Dyson CR01 looks better in real life than it does in the pictures. It looks modern, uncomplicated and totally unique. If you don't like the silver and purple look, the CR01 is available in other colours
The Door is massive - and so is the 7 Kg drum. There are two doors in fact, the outer one being totally clear. First impressions are that this door is too flimsy and could easily be broken. However, I subsequently discovered that the hinge is designed to detach if knocked harshly (and therefore not break) and the actual plastic is made of the same material that riot shields are made of.
The Dyson washing machine is a good quality washing machine combined with some ground breaking design and features. The Dyson washing machine is tested for a life of at least 20 years, the first two of which are covered by Dyson's guarantee. I wouldn't say it's in the same quality league as Miele though. Build quality-wise the Dyson is more a step up from an AEG, with better suspension and drum weights. The high price here is more for the technology and unique design as well as the large drum size.
Usability of the washing machine
The Dyson CR01 is totally intuitive. Anyone could use it without having to refer to the excellently designed instruction book - even men. This may seem unremarkable, but believe me, I've seen plenty of washing machines where it's impossible to work out how to use it properly, or cancel a program, without the instruction book.
The control panel is well designed and the display is very informative. There is a start / stop button, which lets you pause the wash, and the door will then open immediately. This is possible because the water level doesn't go above the glass on wash. Clothes can be added if needed, and in fact, we have already taken advantage of this when my son decided he "had" to wear a certain pair of jeans and was going out in just over an hour.
The CR01 Memory gets its name from the fact that you can customize up to three wash programs and memorize them as you would your favourite radio stations on a radio. This process is very easy. You just select a wash-type, a temperature and a spin speed, and then press one of the three memory buttons for longer than a few seconds. After hearing the beep, your customized wash is memorized. This is a useful - although not an essential - feature.
The parts inside the Dyson CR01
Although the front is made of tough plastic (so it can never rust) the rest of the casing and back panel is made of galvanized metal. The outer tub inside is plastic, which most other washing machines have these days. The suspension looks very efficient. The individual suspension legs are small, but there are four of them (one in each corner), most washing machines have just two suspension legs. There are also four tub springs at the top (most washing machines have just two)
The tub weight is made of proper cast iron (not concrete like most washing machines) and there are two motors. That's right, two motors.
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They've also been voted top of the customer satisfaction polls by Which? consumer association. John Lewis - the best? (external link to my Blog).
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Review continued .. (starts in left column)
Shortcomings or criticisms about the Dyson CR01 Memory
The length of this section is deceptive. I've been testing the Dyson CR01 Memory for almost two weeks and I can only think of minor points to mention here.
- Although the digital display is most informative, giving information as to which part of the program it is currently on, it would be nice to have a "time left to finish" display which is becoming more common these days.
- The fabric conditioner compartment has a maximum level indicator that cannot be seen very well. This level indicator is mentioned in the instruction book but again, it isn't clear from the diagram where this mark is. The word, "MAX" is printed inside the fabric conditioner compartment but it's in the same colour as the soap drawer and doesn't stand out well at all. If the manual actually pointed this marker out, it could be easily seen once you know what to look out for. My wife mentioned the lack of a level indicator as her only complaint after over a week of using the machine when I pressed her for something she didn't like about the CR01. She'd been using judgment to gauge the levels because she hadn't seen the level indicator. Having said this, the actual functional design of the fabric compartment is the best I've seen (details in the next section)
- Although the Dyson CR01 is very quiet, even on 1400 rpm spin, when doing its contra rotation, it becomes more noisy. It's not unacceptably noisy, but is certainly makes a strange noise compared to "normal" drum rotation. You quickly become used to it though, and the contra rotation is only in action for a relatively small percentage of the time.
- The Dyson washing machine was priced too high
- There have been reports of reliability issues although my Dyson gave no problems. There were several modifications to this machine before it stopped being made.
Things I really like about the Dyson CR01 Memory
This section is going to be long, so bear with me. Most of the things I particularly appreciate here are where Dyson have tackled long standing weaknesses in most other washing machines. Even Dyson themselves don't mention many of these things in their promotions, but they deserve pointing out to potential customers who may not realise their significance. You may recognize some of these common problems with "ordinary" washing machines.
The fabric conditioner
A very common irritation with washing machines is the fabric conditioner compartment clogging up. This results in water being left in the compartment after a wash. It is caused by the small tube where the liquid siphons up and out of the compartment getting clogged up with fabric conditioner. Dyson have clearly recognized this as a problem and have not only a slightly larger diameter tube - but a second one too. So even if one clogs up, the second should drain the water away.
The soap dispenser
Many washing machine soap dispensers leak. Particularly if there is high water pressure. Many times I've remarked to customers that it's ridiculous that there is no seal to prevent water running down the front of the machine. Many washing machines over the years have had soap dispensers that leak - sometimes severely. The Dyson CR01 has a rubber seal at the bottom of the soap dispenser.
The Door interlock
Although a minority of washing machines allow you to open the door as soon as the washing machine has finished, the vast majority make you wait for 2 minutes because it's cheaper to produce those type of door locks. The Dyson washing machine not only lets you in to the washing machine the second it has finished, but if you pause the machine at any time during the wash you can also open the door safely.
The Door seal
Here's what's wrong with the door seal on most washing machines -
- The Door seal is the most common cause of leaks on a washing machine. Some makes of washing machine need the door seal replacing more than once during its life
- As the door seal wears, it can warp at the back. This produces a gap between itself and the revolving drum where clothes and other objects can get swallowed up
- The door seal often holds water when the washing machine has finished. This gives rise to black mould on the door seal or (when combined with too many low temperature washes) a nasty slimy grease which not only rots the flange but causes bad smells. Also, freshly spun clothing can get wet from the water held in such poorly designed door seals
The Dyson CR01 washing machine has done away with the weak flange part of the door seal altogether. The CR01 door seal will be cheap, and extremely easy to replace but also likely to considerably outlast normal door seals. View pictures of the Dyson CR01 door seal compared with conventional door seals.
The fill hoses
Fill hoses are easily kinked causing a malfunction. Although most washing machine manufacturers have long since replaced their rubber drain hoses with kink proof ones, they have stuck with the kinkable fill hoses. Dyson use kink-proof fill hoses. The CR01 Memory and the CR01 FlowCheck both have anti leak devices fitted in the hoses too.
Washing machines are usually difficult to move. They are heavy (especially the quality washing machines) and most washing machines these days have feet instead of wheels. It's very easy to damage the floor, or your back, trying to move one. The Dyson CR01 has a special Rollerjack handle, which when pulled out from underneath, raises the Dyson up onto wheels. It makes moving it around very easy indeed. Once in position, the handle can be returned out of sight underneath.
I've left this until last, but this is the CR01's main feature. This is fundamentally what the Dyson CR01 is all about. Apart from its huge size, which makes you wonder how we ever put up with such small drums for so long, the Dyson CR01 has the only drum that has two halves capable of rotating in opposite directions.
The Dyson engineers discovered that single drum machines actually wash less efficiently than by hand. After much research, they came up with a drum that flexes and manipulates the washing in such a way that the dirt is released quicker and more effectively.
This has to be seen in action to be appreciated. When rotating in a single direction like ordinary washing machines, the clothes just half-heartedly tumble around. However, when contra-rotation is engaged, the clothes are manipulated and rub against each other in a clearly much more efficient way.
- Its 78 litre capacity is 60% larger than leading 'AAA' competitors
- Hot and cold fill
- Duel rotating drum is much more efficient at washing than conventional washing machines
- Improvements to some poorly designed conventional washing machine parts
- The machine shuts down if it detects a leak, for extra security (ideal for flats)
- Made with the same polycarbonate material as riot shields and crash helmets to prevent dents
- Width: 595 mm Depth: 575 mm Height: 848 mm (Note that this machine is slightly deeper than average due to it's larger drum)
- 2 Year guarantee
Dyson advertise the CR01 with the slogan, "Cleanest wash, largest load, fastest time", which sounds just what's needed from a washing machine. The Dyson CR01 memory (and the CR01, CR01 FlowCheck) are an improvement on many conventional washing machines. It's about time someone shook things up. Some of the improvements to the washing machine by Dyson, are on parts that other manufacturers make plenty of money from by selling replacements.
Once you've used a Dyson washing machine, with its faster and more efficient wash, its larger load capacity and its better all round design, you won't want to settle for an ordinary washing machine again. Instead of washing every day, we now only wash every other day because we can fit so much more in. This has several implications.
- The convenience of not having to wash every day
- Savings in electricity, water and detergent
- Savings on wear and tear of the washing machine
The savings on wear and tear on the washing machine shouldn't be under-estimated. It's the same principle as cutting the mileage on your car from 12,000 miles a year to 6000 miles a year. You should expect lower running costs and less break downs. (NOTE: Since writing this review, extra large drums have become much more common and many other washing machines now have 7Kg or even larger drums too)
There is £100 difference in price between this Dyson CR01 Memory, and the next model down which is the Dyson FlowCheck. The washing machines are identical except that the Dyson FlowCheck doesn't have the ability to memorize 3 customized programs, and it doesn't have a delay start.
Therefore, if you don't want the customisable 3 memory facility and the delay start function, you can save £100 and go for the FlowCheck which is otherwise identical. The basic Dyson CR01 is £200 cheaper and just doesn't have the customisable 3 memory programs, the delay start, and the anti leaking devices.
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Please note that all information on Washerhelp is given freely and without warranty. I can't rule out errors in quoted specifications, features or sizes. Please double check any aspect that is important to you with your supplier before buying any washing machine.