Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum review

From bestreviews.com
Landon Groves

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum is ideal for households with pets, because it's effective at picking up dander and dirt, and it's low-effort enough to make frequent vacuuming more realistic.

Beyond tidying up floors for appearances' sake, a vacuum is essential for keeping your home clean and healthy by removal of dirt, dander, hair, and even microscopic allergens you can't see.

Still, it can be a chore. Using an upright vacuum usually requires grappling with an unwieldy cord and dedicating an afternoon to pushing a bulky machine around your home. The next generation of cordless vacuums isn't much better, exchanging ease-of-use for less power and shorter battery life.  

Enter Dyson's V11 Torque Drive Cordless Vacuum Cleaner. Dyson claims this is their most powerful and intelligent vacuum yet, promising twice the suction power of any other cordless vacuum. They also say that it automatically optimizes suction and run time across all floor types in order to maximize battery life.

We wanted to find out if the V11 Torque Drive lives up to these guarantees and determine whether the new features really made keeping floors clean easier. Here's what we found.


How we tested the V11 Torque Drive Vacuum 

We put the Dyson V11 Torque Drive to the test in an apartment with hardwood floors, area rugs, and low-pile carpet. We also added a long-haired cat to the mix to see how it handled pet hair on top of everyday dust and grime.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Vacuum performance

One of Dyson's biggest selling points is the V11 Torque Drive's ability to "intelligently optimize suction and run time across all floor types." We found this claim to be true, and the feature to be an incredibly useful one. Repeatedly, we were impressed by the V11's ability to transition from rug to hardwood and back again without having to wait for the vacuum to readjust. That said, we still felt the need to sweep hardwood floors, mostly due to the impossible-to-reach cracks and crevices the cleaner head couldn't reach.

After the vacuum's first test run on area rugs and carpets, the storage bin was completely full, leading us to believe that the Dyson was much more effective in picking up dirt, dust, and hair than the 2-year-old Bissel we'd been using previously.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Vacuum attachments

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive comes with six attachments: a high torque cleaner head, mini motorized tool, combination tool, crevice tool, stubborn dirt brush, and mini soft dust brush. We got a ton of use out of the crevice tool and the mini soft dust brush. The crevice tool was great at getting into hard-to-reach nooks and crannies around the house, while the mini soft dust brush cut the time it took to dust our apartment by half. To swap out attachments, all we had to do was hold down the red button on the attachment and pull it off the vacuum -- super easy. 

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Vacuum review

It's also worth noting how easy the V11 is to use. The lightweight, cordless design made it easier for us to vacuum more regularly, and before long we were using it every day. The high torque cleaner head maneuvers smoothly and can swivel into tight spaces (like between dining room table legs) with relative ease. We also found that the cleaner head's wide-diameter brush roll resisted tangling long hair and eating rug fringes better than the average vacuum floorhead. 

The V11 Torque Drive, with the stick attachment and cleaner head, is compact enough to store nicely. The charging wall mount makes it easy to pick it up for a quick pass around the house. Just put it back on the docking station when you're done and it'll be fully charged by the time you use it next.

The V11 has three power settings -- auto mode, eco mode, and boost mode -- each with its own set of uses. Auto mode uses built-in sensors to adjust suction power based on floor type, and it was sufficient for most tasks. Eco mode prolongs battery life, and while it had less suction power than other modes, it could be useful if you've got a big house and want to vacuum the whole thing on one charge. Boost mode worked great for spot cleaning but was startlingly intense -- if anything, it was too powerful, making it hard to push the cleaner head around.

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive and pet hair

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive did a decent job of minimizing the amount of pet hair, dander, and debris around the house. It took a little trial and error to find the right tool for each job. At first, we used the combination tool, which has diagonally-cut bristles that push back to reveal a suction head. We found that when it came to getting pet hair off the couch, this worked fairly well but wasn't perfect. 

We had more success with the mini motorized tool, which works like a miniature version of the high torque cleaner head. This attachment was particularly effective at getting into those odd angles on couches and chairs. We recommend taking advantage of the many included attachments to determine which one works best for each cleaning task.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive cost

At $689.99, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is a big-ticket cleaning item -- but those familiar with Dyson know that the brand's top-of-the-line performance justifies the cost. While the initial investment may be large, we believe it's worth it considering how easy and effective it makes cleaning our floors. 

Each individual piece and attachment of the V11 feels solidly constructed, and as long as you're in the habit of taking care of your things, it should last years, if not a decade-plus. Dyson also builds its products to be repaired, not replaced, and even offers service centers in most major cities.

How to clean a Dyson cordless vacuum

Cleaning the Dyson V11 Torque Drive was quick and relatively easy. Most of the attachments just needed to be wiped down occasionally, and the rollers in both the cleaner head and mini motorized tool can be removed if you need to get tangled hair out. 

As for the vacuum itself, it's among the easiest to clean we've seen. The filter detaches from the handle so you can rinse it as needed, usually about once a month. When it's time to empty the storage bin, a "point and shoot" mechanism lets you dump the contents in one swift motion. While some users have noted that the storage bin can get jammed from time to time, we didn't run into that problem.

Finally, the vacuum's LED screen will let you know if there are any blockages in its airflow pathways, putting an end to the hand-to-nozzle suction test once and for all.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive pros

In all, we felt that the Dyson V11 Torque Drive lived up to its claim of being the most powerful, intelligent cordless vacuum on the market. The auto mode makes transitioning from carpet to hardwood a breeze. The sucking power is greater than other models we've tested, but the vacuum is still reasonably quiet and suitable for use in an apartment building.

As far as vacuums go, it's pretty compact, and the wall mount makes it great for small spaces with minimal storage. At the same time, it's lightweight enough to easily lug up and down the stairs of a big family home.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive cons

If you're used to a vacuum that locks in the upright position, it might take a while to get used to the fact that this one doesn't stay upright. If you're anything like us, you might find yourself automatically shoving the handle forward, expecting it to catch. It's also slightly difficult to push the vacuum around when it's in boost mode.

Bottom line

If you buy one expensive cleaning tool, this Dyson cordless stick vacuum is a great option. 

First-time cordless vacuum buyers will be shocked to discover how much time is saved not having to wrestle with a cord or hunt for an outlet. After a week with the Dyson V11, vacuuming barely even felt like a chore anymore -- so if the prospect of cleaning your floors has ever left you with a sense of dread, this might be the tool to change that.

We recommend this vacuum to those who are willing to pay a little extra for something that's truly top of the line. It can save you time, energy, and keep your home cleaner with less effort on your part. 



Landon Groves is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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