Why Did I Buy a Dyson Cordless and not a Robotic Vacuum?
I still find it both strange and funny that my Dad was the one who talked me into buying a Dyson V11 over a Robotic vacuum. I'm glad he did for a range of reasons, but I did have my heart set on a robotic vacuum. They just look so good.
I ended up with a Dyson V11 Motorhead. In this review, you'll find out why I chose one this over both a robotic vacuum and similar Dyson models.
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My Previous Much-Loved Dyson
I bought my first Dyson in 2005/2006 when my youngest son was barely a toddler. It eventually gave up the ghost early in 2019.
By this time I knew that I no longer wanted to be plugging and unplugging from power outlets as I vacuumed different areas of my house. Besides, technology had advanced a lot over the years. What I wanted now was a cord-free rechargeable.
Due to budget restrictions early in 2019, I went with an Electrolux stick vacuum. I think from day one, I had always mentally compared this new vacuum to my previous and much loved Dyson cylinder vac, so it never quite made the muster.
I know it was never a fair comparison given the difference in their prices. That being said, about 15 months in, it decided it was going to stop doing its job and just blow bits around the floor rather than suck them up.
I'm not going to go into the particulars of which model I had or give this particular vacuum a bad review as my daughter has the same brand, (although a different model). She's had hers for a few years now and has no complaints - perhaps I just got a bad one.
The First Rechargeable Stick Vacuum Vacuum
By May 2020, I had enjoyed the freedom of my cord free, rechargeable stick vacuum for around 15 months, and the power of the good ol' Dyson Cylinder Vacuum for a good 13 or 14 years before this.
The Electrolux now needed replacing around the same time as we started coming out of being in lock down for a few weeks.
During lockdown, it had become more clear to me that keeping the house clean and habitable was more important than usual, as we were all spending much more time at home.
With home schooling taking place and everyone staying in the house for weeks on end, I was becoming exhausted trying to keep up with everything.
Why I wanted a Robotic Vacuum
I had it in my head that a robotic vacuum means 'you never have to vacuum again'. YES, that's what I really wanted. Shut up and take my money!
LIke most people, the thought of an automated vacuum sounded terrific but these were expensive when they first come out.
I began researching Robotic vacuums. I really liked the look of the Ecovacs Deebot. These had much better user reviews than the Roomba, and great features that I didn't even know existed. The Ecovacs map out the rooms in your house and are controlled by an app on your Smart phone. Sounded good so far.
My home is all ceramic tile with rugs in the lounge and dining areas, so I had started eyeing off an Ecovacs model that had a vacuum and mop option. Apparently it's smart enough to recognize carpet, and I was assured it 'wouldn't accidently mop any bath mats or prized persian rugs' (not that I have Persian Rugs, prized or otherwise), but hey, it was good to know.
My Dad Shared His Thoughts
Just like every other appliance available, there is a low end and high end. I wanted something in the middle, but was still agonizing over the price. I fully understand that you get what you pay for when it comes to vaccuum cleaners, but I also had to be reasonable and stick to a budget.
I started sharing my research with my family looking for some feedback. I didn't quite expect my Dad to be so strong on his opinions of vacuums.
Dad said something along the lines of, 'Don't stuff about with a robotic vacuum, just get a Dyson and be done with it.'
Ok, but I wanted a robotic vacuum and had already spent hours narrowing it down to the Ecovacs. I was all set to press the Buy Now button. Dad, these were not the words I wanted to hear.
Dad's Experience with a Robotic Vacuum
Probably just like you, I was surprised that my father had (very strong) views on vacuum cleaners. My Dad is retired and in his mid-70s, and to be honest I'm not sure how many vacuuming hours he's actually officially logged. I should check this with my Mother.
I was still umm-ing and ahh-ing over the extra dollars I would need to spend getting a Dyson. But it wasn't just that... I liked the idea of a Roomba style vacuum that was supposed to do all the work for me.
My Mom and Dad had bought a LG Robo-Vac a few years ago, but as you've probably guessed by now, they weren't giving it a glowing review. My Dad said that it was a lot of small, annoying things that added up for them that meant they just didn't like their robot vacuum. They replaced it with a Dyson V11 Rechargeable.
They gave it away... to my sister - Haha! (oops, was that outloud?). I did ask her about it, but she said she didn't really use it because she already had a vacuum so it was redundant. Right, this was not helping my research one way or the other.
In My Dad's Own Words:
The LG Robo-Vac is good for harassing or amusing pets. Small dogs and cats can hitch a ride on top. Dress your pet in a fun pirate or shark costume, and do a video for YouTube. That is about as good as this cleaner gets.
But how bad really? Pathetic. Mainly shifts dust and dirt from one spot to another.
Don McKenzie - AKA My Father
Don't hold back Dad, tell us what you really think
The big difference we found between the Dyson and the Robo-Vac, and this is the real kicker:
Dyson has super suction that picks up all of the dirt, dust, and hair up straight into the bin.
Robo-Vac pretends to sweep the room with a brush, then attempts to place it in the bin. The result is you get hair in the roller brush, and are continually trying to clear it. A real waste of time and money.
Which means the Robo-Vac really sucks. Well, it doesn't and this is the main problem.
~ Don McKenzie ~
Cordless Stick Vacuum vs Robotic?
Doubts had started to creep in with the robotic vacuum. I had a friend who swore by hers. She had updated her robotic vacuum a couple of years ago when her previous one had become a bit old. She loved that it vacuumed while she was at work.
I just wasn't quite ready to spend all that money on something that was still a bit of an unknown for me. The doubts that had started to emerge were around the size of the bin compartment and the battery life. Also, I still needed something to clean the car and vacuum the crumbs out of the crevices in the lounge - I blame having teenage boys solely for this.
It would mean I still need a handheld vacuum for these jobs. I have a 3 bedroom unit and ample storage space isn't its strong point. Do I really want to have 2 vacuums? The answer was No, no I didn't.
Which Dyson Stick Vacuum to Buy?
Regardless of whether I'm buying online or in a department store, I'm the type of person who does a lot of research before I buy an applicance. By the time I'm ready push the Buy Now button, I'm fairly clear on what I want.
I suppose it came down to already having a good experience with a Dyson and that's what pushed it over the line for me. It was now just a matter of which one?
Dyson V11 comes in 4 Models
Dad had already been sending me screenshots of Dyson's that were on Sale in my local department stores. This was my starting point. The first image he sent was a V11, but I knew nothing about it or the differences in the 4 different models of the Dyson V11s.
The four models in the Dyson V11 range are:
The V11 Animal and the V11 Torque Drive are very similar, just like the Outsize Origin and the Outsize are very similar.
The V11 Animal is the base model in the V11's. The Animal doesn't have an LCD Display. All the other models have an LCD Display.
The Outsize Origin and the Outsize have a larger cleaning head than the V11 Animal and the Torque Drive models.
They also have a visibly larger bin capacity. Officially it's 150% bigger, which of course means longer between emptying.
Unlike the other 3 models which have one battery compartment giving 60 minutes of charge, the Outsize has 2 click-in batteries giving it double the charge of the other V11 models. This gives 120 minutes of charge in Eco mode which is great for larger homes.
Dyson Battery Replacement
For all my hours of research, there was still one thing I missed until it was pointed out to me by the Salesman. The Battery Compartment is a fully sealed unit. and lasts an average of 3 to 4 years before it needs replacing.
Learning this made me pause for a moment, but then I thought of the Dyson work horse I'd had for 14 years, followed by the money I'd spent on a cheaper stick vacuum that had only lasted for 15 months.
I mentally balanced the price of buying a replacement battery every few years with throwing money on a cheap vacuum that won't last and wasn't that great in comparison in the first place. I have faith in the Dyson that it's going to give me many, many years of faithful service. I can cope with replacing the battery.
Also what I hadn't realized until later is this is common in all modern vacuums - both robotic and cordless stick vacuums.
My New Dyson V11 Outsize
I have a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit but I went with the Dyson V11 Outsize over the Outsize Origin. For me, it was going to be either the Outsize or the Outsize Origin because of their larger bin capacity and cleaning head.
The Outsize Origin would easily have enough charge to do all of my unit including all the crevices and fiddly bits, but it was on Sale so I went for the one with the longer battery charge.
Height - 12.5 inches (or 31.8 cms)
Length - 50.63 inches (or 128 cms)
Width - 11.7 inches (or 29.7 cms)
Weight - 7.85 lbs (or 3.56 kgs)
As you can see by the dimensions, this is no small vacuum. Regardless of its size, it is light-weight at 7.85 pounds and very manageable. The swivel head is not overly loose, it has a nice and controlled movement. It easily goes deep under the space between the bottom of my couch and the floor. It's the same with under the beds.
The Dyson V11 has three power modes.
Eco gives the best running time for longer cleans.
Auto Mode as you can probably guess, automatically adapts power between hard floors and carpets. This is its optimum power mode.
Boost gives a turbo charged burst to clean really ground-in dirt.
Dyson stick vacuums have been designed to dampen noise and keep their sound levels down. It is not a loud vacuum even when it automatically changes its power mode when moving from tile to rugs or carpet.
It has also been engineered to absorb vibrations. I don't notice any annoying mechanical vibration in my hand while its running.
Dyson's Hyperdymium Motor & Battery
According to Dyson, the motor spins at up to 125,000 rpm, creating the most powerful suction of any cordless vacuum on the market.
Its 18 cyclones generate forces of 79,000g which fling dust into the bin without clogging the filter, meaning there’s no loss of suction.
The seven-cell nickel-cobalt-aluminum battery has fade-free power. There's no slowing down, it just goes full-on until its out of charge and then just stops. It will take a full 4 and a half hours to fully charge the battery of the Origin.
Advanced Whole-Machine Filtration
Dyson boasts a fully-sealed, six-layer filtration system that traps 99.99% of dirt particles as small as 0.3 microns in Boost mode. All other modes achieve at least 99.97% filtration.
An LED indicator tells you when to wash the filter. This is easily removed and washed under running water. It will need to be set aside to dry for a solid 24 hours before being reassembled.
I'm extremely happy with the V11 Motorhead Outsize.
It has a trigger button rather than an On-Off switch. I had thought it could be annoying having to hold the trigger down, but it's actually easy to adjust to. It makes it quick and easy to turn the machine off and back on again, for the times you need stop briefly to move a piece of furniture to vacuum around.
I have accidentally switched it on a couple of times when I carry it to the bin for emptying. It's just something you adapt to - and you just need to make sure you don't hold it by the switch part of the handle.
It's super easy to empty the bin compartment. Have a look at the video at the top of the page if you're not convinced yet, but you really do just hold it over the bin and flick the lever. Not messy at all.
The Dyson V11 Outsize comes with a wall attachment kit, and also the additional cleaning attachments need to efficiently clean the tops of cupboards, window sills, doors, and photos. You can even clean computer keyboards.
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