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Hands-on with the new Dyson V11 cord-free, handstick vacuum cleaner
4.9Overall Score
Name: Dyson V11
Price (RRP): $1099/1199/1299
Manufacturer: Dyson

I have now been using the Dyson V11 cord-free, handstick vacuum cleaner for two weeks. The verdict – subtle but substantial improvements, evolution, not revolution – over the V10, as you would expect from a science/engineering driven company.

The Dyson V11 is the annual evolution of the cord-free handstick vacuum cleaner. One can only presume that there was a V1 somewhere and a Dyson engineer saying, “Well this is the worst stick vac you will ever buy from Dyson.”

That statement is not at all meant to be disparaging. Never buy V1.0 of anything, but you think they would have got it right in V2.0 – let alone 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10. In fact, Dyson handstick vacs started at version DC1 (Dyson Cyclone) to 62 becoming the V6 version in 2015. And they are still tinkering! And yes, they got it right!

Two things drive Dyson – continual improvement and continual refresh of its products to drive sales on.

We have seen this with its next-gen fan/heater/purifier, I suspect we will see a new Dyson Supersonic hairdryer 2.0 soon, and more. You must keep over 1,000 engineers and scientists in business.

The Dyson secret sauce

Sir James Dyson and the company bearing his name produce vacuum cleaners, haircare, air treatment, hand dryers and lighting. Let’s not forget the top-secret electric car development. Or the annual Sir James Dyson International Design Awards to inspire the next generation of design engineers and perhaps help Dyson embark on new directions.

The secret sauce as far as I can see is: (Check out the thousands of patents held here

  • DC powered digital motor that can scale up or down to fit a car to a hairdryer.
  • Developing battery technology is key to portability in vacuum cleaners to electric cars
  • Application of the Coandă effect and aerodynamics in designing things to use airflow effectively like its fan/heater/purifier and Supersonic hair dryer
  • Understanding of the Cyclonic effect in designing bag-less, fade-free vacuums
  • Beginnings of robotics and automation in relation to household appliances
  • And the application of electronics for sensors and control

So, while you can buy Dyson knock-offs, that may or may not infringe patents, to use Matt Damon’s memorable Martian movie quote, “We are going to have to science the shit out of this.” That is Dyson.

Eye-wateringly expensive or it that the real cost?

The most common exclamation is, “Up to $1250 for a vacuum, $700 for a hair dryer, $800 for a fan, tell him he is dreaming.” But people, especially well-heeled Asians and Aussies, do buy Dyson products in ever-increasing quantities and from what I can tell are very happy with their purchases.

I admit to initially being a sceptic, after all, Godfrey has stick vacs from $95. Let me tell you I pored over its most expensive Hoover and Shark brands. Now I know the paradigms to look for (battery life, bin capacity, suction, airspeed, filter effectiveness/cleaning, electronics, accessories, and build quality). They are not even remotely a patch on the Dyson.

The Dyson V11 has more science it is than put a man on the moon. There are whiz-bang circuit boards and sensors everywhere. There sure ain’t any of those in the cheap stick vacs!

Dyson V11

The only one that gives Dyson a run for its money is the LG A9 Master (review here) that has two hot-swap batteries with simultaneous charging. It is a 2018 model (refreshed in 2019 and yet to have a review) and is more comparable to the Dyson V10 series (review here). Friends have bought the LG specifically for the dual battery feature are wrapt, and it’s quality and accessory levels are up there with Dyson.

The same goes for its $499-699 Supersonic hair dryer (review here). GadgetGirl has used hairdryers for a long time (age withheld😀) and within six months her hair had regained its lustre and fullness as new hair replaces old damaged hair from too hot hair-dryers.

I could go one about its fan/humidifier/purifier but suffice to say that if you can afford Dyson, it will give you a superior experience over cheaper products. Those that join Clan Dyson usually stay there as lifetime service is standard.

Review: Dyson V11 Absolute Pro (Dyson online exclusive gold colour)

Website here

The range uses the same base handstick – it is just the aluminium pipe colour and accessories that differ

  • Torque Drive – $1099 for the new combo Torque head with seven accessories and purple tones
  • Absolute – $1199 for the Torque head and eight accessories (includes Mr Fluffy soft roller cleaner head) and blue tones
  • Absolute Pro – $1299 for the Torque head and eleven accessories and gold tones
Dyson V11

Dyson also still sell the V10 Animal+ for $999 (V10 review here) but while there are over 80 changes to get to the V11 – V10 owners need not contemplate hara-kiri yet. You can get it for $899 at the Good Guys.

Getting a little long-in-the-tooth and using far older technology is the V7 and V8 series ($399-799) and while these are good value, I would find it hard to recommend them to a true Dyson clan member.