Today, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive stick vacuum became available to buy. It's new and improved features make it a stand-out model, but is it worth the hefty price tag of $699? (For starters, it claims to have more than 20% extra suction power compared to its predecessor, the Dyson Cyclone V10, a model that excelled in all of our lab tests.)
First of all, the V11 comes with a pretty cool feature, a dynamic load sensor. This reads the brush bars resistance against the surface on which its cleaning and communicates that to the vacuum’s motor and the battery’s microprocessors. As a result, the vacuum adjusts its suction according to whatever surface your vacuuming. Whether it be high-pile carpet or a wood floor, the vacuum will output optimal suction and get the job done using the right amount of power. The dynamic load sensor is used in Auto Mode but there is also a Boost Mode, equipped with the most powerful suction, and Eco Mode, which has the longest run time.
Another creative feature? It’s the only vacuum we’ve seen with an LCD screen. You’re probably asking yourself, why do I need a screen on my vacuum cleaner? Well, the screen tells you how much run-time is left, down to the second, so no more anxiety as to when your battery is going to run out. The run-time changes depending on the floor type you’re on because high-pile carpet consumes more power than tile, for example. The screen also reminds you when to clean your filters, if there are any blockages- using a pressure sensor in the motor, and how to clear said blockages using a quick clip on the screen. Personally, I found this extremely helpful - as my vacuum is always getting clogged!
One qualm that many of our consumer testers had with Dyson vacuums is the on/off trigger, and how they had to hold it down when vacuuming. One tester noted that "holding down the power button is tedious” while another said it "stinks." Ouch. Dyson does have a reason for this contested feature, however - it keeps the battery from overheating because it's not continuously on.
Like the V10, there is a switch on the front of the head that changes the suction power. So, basically, if you open the vents, the vacuum will pick up larger debris instead of pushing it around, but if you close the vents, suction will increase to snatch up smaller particles.
All in all, consider this model if you want some bells and whistles and a new, unique vacuuming experience.
When The Good Housekeeping Institute tests vacuums, we look for how well it picks up debris on bare floor and carpets, how well it picks up pet hair on carpet, its weight, how loud it is, and how easy it to use.