Dyson DC16 Root 6 Handheld Vacuum Cleaner Review




Avg. consumer rating = 65/100 

Many Dyson aficionados who have had great experiences with Dyson uprights have jumped at the opportunity to own a Dyson handheld - but consumer reviews and ratings for the Dyson DC16 Root 6 Handheld have been mixed.   It has strong suction, is low maintenance and comes with good attachments, but many consumers are unhappy with the limited battery life.

Consumer ratings from several large sites indicate the following:

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  3.2 stars out of 5  287
 Epinions  3.0 stars out of 5  45
 Target  3.5 stars out of 5  28
 Ciao!  4.7 stars out of 5  7

About the Ratings
Ciao! ratings seem a little out of step with those from the other sites however there are only 7 ratings from Ciao! and this small number could account for the discrepancy.  Also, when gathering ratings, the circumstances under which ratings are provided need to be considered.  It was found that some sites provided the Dyson DC16 as a freebie if you purchased a more expensive Dyson Upright/Canister.  Ratings on these sites were notably higher – these sites were not used in our ratings gathering (they are sites not typically quoted by us anyway due to the very limited number of product ratings).  The weighted average of those ratings above (largely skewed by Amazon’s high number of reviews) is 0.65, a fairly low figure if you look at other vacuum cleaner ratings in our overall ratings table.

Dyson DC16 Features
The Dyson DC16 Root 6 handheld is a powerful hand vac with 36 air watts of power.  Dyson claim that the unit has twice the suction of a normal handheld.  While consumers do indicate that the unit has plenty of suction it is hard to say whether it lives up to this claim (what constitutes a normal handheld?).  The DC16 also uses Dyson’s Root Cyclone technology that applies centrifugal force to spin dirt out of the air.  The technology, as claimed by Dyson, ensures that the vacuum does not lose suction and that there is no clogging. 

Like most handhelds the DC16 Root 6 is designed for fairly quick pick up jobs.  The Dyson literature indicates that the vacuum provides up to six minutes of continuous cleaning on each full charge.  While many consumers feel that the unit does indeed provide some 5 to 6 minutes of vacuum time, a significant portion of these people are disappointed with such poor battery performance and highlight this as a deal breaker.  It has been pointed out that 5 to 6 minutes may be sufficient for small cleanup jobs but it will not suffice for larger (but still typically handheld) cleanups such as vacuuming the inside of an automobile.  The battery life is an area of considerable contention.

There is an LED display indicating the charge on the battery and this is useful when the unit is being recharged.  It is not particularly useful when using the vacuum however as the battery charge runs down too quickly to make monitoring it much use.  The battery itself is a 21.6-volt lithium ion battery and a wall mountable battery charger is also provided.  Dyson claim that the charger recharges up to 3 times faster than others (what “others” are being alluded to here is unclear).

Like all Dyson’s the DC16 is bagless and the clear plastic 0.21 gallon dirt container is easily removed, emptied and reattached (confirmed by several consumers).  It also comes with lifetime washable filters which, like the bagless feature, helps save money as there are no bags or filters to replace.

Consumers have indicated they like the tools that come with the Dyson DC16 – a crevice tool and a combination accessory tool.  The DC16 measures (H x W x L) 8 x 4 x 18 inches (approx), weighs 3.3 lbs, and comes with a 2-year parts and labor warranty (standard for Dyson handhelds).

A review of comments indicates the following Dyson DC16 likes and dislikes:

 - Strong suction
 - Wall mountable charger
 - 2-year warranty
 - Dirt canister and filters are easy to clean (easy maintenance)
 - Not too noisy
 - Included tools are useful

 - Short battery life (very common complaint)
 - Bulky
 - Heavy
 - Expensive (typically about 150USD)
 - Numerous comments about repair issues

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
For those that want to read a little more the Dyson site provides a Dyson DC16 manual.




0 # RC 2012-05-29 21:28
I wish mine would run for 3 or 4 min without stopping. Will restart but runs 20 to 30 seconds at a time. While under warranty, \"service\" blamed me for improper charging. No more dyson for me. EVER.
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0 # Jan Webb 2011-12-16 11:08
I will never buy another Dyson. I have this hand held model I purchsed for the gargage as well as their Dyson Slim for inside the house. Both have great suction however the hand held model will only run about a minute then battery dies (this is the 2nd battery) and the Slim model handle will not stand up and click back in place. Way too expensive for overall job performance. Dyson customer support was not much help either.
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0 # Barbara Bagby 2011-12-04 10:10
I have to agree with the previous review. I was hoping this product would be the answer to cleaning my stairs without having to wrestle a heavy vacuum cleaner with me, but I find the 6 minute battery life to be a little bit ridiculous. Much disappointment here.
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0 # Paddy Murphy 2011-04-22 12:34
I am very disappointed with my DC16. It may have a lot of power on paper but I find it pretty useless when trying to clean the carpets in my car. Very expensive too. I like my big Dyson, but this is a failure by comparison
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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.   

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