I rate vacuum cleaning right up there with DIY cranial lobotomies and root canal surgery, but with two greyhounds at home, vacuuming is a necessary evil, lest we find ourselves drowning in a sea of doggy fur.
The problem is that most vacuum cleaners are horrible to use. Cords tangle, and when they’re not falling over – or knocking something over – they’re demanding to be emptied.
I have two Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, but they both died (perhaps they had a dog fur allergy?). Our ageing Electrolux wheezes rather than sucks and using it feels like dragging an elephant corpse around the house.
Enter stage left, Dyson’s latest sucky motor, the V10. It’s made vacuuming as close to being pain-free as I can remember. There’s no bulky body to drag along the floor, no cords to continually untangle and the hay fever hell that is bag emptying has been made much simpler too.
Looks wise, the V10 is like Dyson’s previous wireless sucky stick vac, the Animal. Like the Animal, it sports a design aesthetic reminiscent of technical Lego. Where the Animal has a dustbin on its underside, the V10 dustbin – which is 40 percent larger than the V8’s making for less frequent emptying – is in line with its suction pipe.
This helps keep the V10’s centre of gravity and balance just right, enabling it to be used one-handed with little to no strain. In use, I was surprised at how well balanced and light the V10 felt. When the full-length suction pipe and brush bar head are used, the V10 weighs in at a very manageable 2.6kg.
The vacuum comes with a tonne of accessories and Dyson have thoughtfully included a bag to store them in. I found the brush bar particularly useful for tackling shed greyhound fur, while a flexible extension hose made vacuuming areas above my head much more manageable.
Performance wise, the V10 impressed on several fronts. First and foremost, its cleaning chops are incredible. Even though its motor is a fraction of the size of steel anvil tucked away inside our ageing Electrolux, the V10’s suction was phenomenal. When set to max, it often picked up rugs as I was vacuuming them. This is due to its new motor design. Further refinements to what Dyson call their digital motor has seen the motor powering this engine being a full 20% lighter yet 20% more powerful. It spins at 125,000rpm, and this plus a new fan impeller design equates to a lot more suckage.
As mentioned earlier, the V10’s ergonomics are excellent. A universal joint means its vacuum head swivels, which makes getting it into nooks and crannies a far easier proposition than with old-school fixed vacuum heads. Even though the V10 is constructed out of colourful plastic, it feels solid and should take a fair bit of punishment. Another upside of its plastic construction is its weight.
The biggest question mark in my mind was battery life. Being cord-free makes life so much less complicated, but not if the vacuum needs to be charged every 15 minutes. However, my fears proved unfounded as I was typically able to get at least 50-60 minutes out of a single charge. From zero charge the Cyclone V10 takes three to four hours to fully juice up. Charge level is indicated by blue LEDs pulsing on the side of the battery pack. As well as a charge level indicator, there are LEDs to show when there is a blockage or a dirty filter.
The vacuum packs seven Nickel-Cobalt-Aluminium (NCA) cells that crank out 25.2V and 525 watts. NCA batteries may cost more than their Lithium-Ion counterparts, but they hold a lot more energy and have a long lifespan.
If there is one small design flaw in the V10’s otherwise stellar design, it’s tricky to leave standing upright. Leaning the flat battery pack beneath the handle against a wall sometimes results in it falling over, even though Dyson has thoughtfully placed a rubber grip surface on the battery pack’s underside. Dyson have, however, bundled a wall mountable charging dock that the V10 slips into to stay upright
If, like my greyhounds, your pets see the vacuum as Satan’s spawn, the three-stage power settings may be just what the doctor ordered. High power mode is noisier, offering incredible levels of suction. The trade-off is vacuuming time gets shortened to between 10 and 20 minutes. The middle power setting gives extra cleaning time but a little less suction. Low power setting is much quieter and pet-friendly, offering well over an hour of use.
Emptying the bin is simpler than falling off a log. Pushing a red plastic lever underneath the dustbin and pushing it forward slides the dustbin away from the body. At its maximum point away from the V10’s body, the bin flap opens. The bin can also be detached from the V10 which simplifies cleaning, and easily emptying hard to get at pieces of cruft and hair.
The in-line design of the bin also requires that the vacuum tube and heads are removed before you can empty the bin.
If you hate vacuum cleaning as much as I do, then you probably should look at the V10. Its powerful suction means it’ll deliver excellent cleaning performance on most surfaces. Couple this with a superb runtime and excellent, well thought through ergonomics and the V10 is the vacuum that other manufacturers are going to need to emulate if they’re to stay in the game.