Dyson V10 Motorhead Review


Avg. consumer rating = 88/100 

We just got our hands on the Dyson V10 Cyclone Motorhead cordless vacuum. Usually the Dyson stick vacs within a series (V6, V7, V8, V10) are very similar – therefore individual reviews of each model really aren’t necessary. However, in the case of the V10 Motorhead it is sufficiently different from the V10 Absolute and V10 Animal that it warrants a special look. During our analysis/testing we found that we really like this cordless vacuum – it packs most of the punch of the more expensive V10’s for less money.  In fact, if you have certain cleaning needs this could be the best choice.

Quick Specs
Type Stick Vac
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 5.5 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration Yes
Power Cord Length Cordless
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 2 Years


A thorough analysis of owner ratings from popular online retail outlets has provided the data in the table below.  We found over 1000 owner ratings, and when a weighted average was applied we got a score of 88/100.  This is a good score.  We also have a table of all the stick vacuum ratings on our site should you wish to make comparisons.  In addition, you may want to check out our Vacuum Cleaner Finder application which shows all the vacuums we have looked at over the past 10+ years.
 Source  Consumer Rating  # Ratings
 Amazon.com  4.3 stars out of 5  717
 Best Buy  4.7 stars out of 5  171
 Bed Bath & Beyond  4.4 stars out of 5  44 
 Home Depot  4.6 stars out of 5  39
 Walmart  4.6 stars out of 5  27
 Abt  5 starsout of 5  5
On a side note, we have noticed higher owner ratings for the Motorhead than for the Absolute.  We believe that a part of this relates to the very high price point of the Absolute when it was first released.  The price has come down some since then – and we have noticed Absolute ratings starting to creep up. 


The following table is designed to give you a quick snapshot of some of the key specifications of the more popular Dyson stick vacuum models (not every model is represented).
  Dyson V7 Motorhead Dyson V8 Absolute Dyson V10 Motorhead
LOW Power Suction 21 Air Watts 28 Air Watts 15.8 Air Watts
MEDIUM Power Suction N/A N/A 33.8 Air Watts
MAX Power Suction 100 Air Watts 115 Air Watts 151 Air Watts
Recharge Time 3.5 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours
Battery Life Indicator Lights 1 3 3
Battery Pack 21.6 V / 2100 mAh / 46Wh 21.6 V / 2800 mAh / 65Wh 25.2 V / 2600 mAh / 66Wh
Vacuum Weight 5.45 lbs 5.75 lbs 5.5 lbs
Dust Canister Size 0.14 gallons 0.14 gallons 0.14 gallons
Hygienic Emptying System Yes Yes Yes
You may have noticed that we have not included the V6.  Recently we found that the V6 is no longer on the Dyson website (dyson.com).


You will see advertisements and marketing materials stating the V10 has 60 minutes of run time.  This is true – but only when run in a particular configuration.  This is important, as many people buy the vacuum and are unhappy that it doesn’t provide 60 minutes of cleaning when using the direct drive cleaner head on their carpet (for example).  We have created a table below which shows the run times you get in all the different vacuum configurations.  These are the official run times. If you would like to see the tested run times check out our article where we test the battery life of all Dyson stick vacs.
  Dyson V7 Motorhead Dyson V8 Absolute Dyson V10 Motorhead
LOW Power, Motorized tool 20 minutes 25 minutes 35 minutes
LOW Power, Non-motorized tool 30 minutes 40 minutes 60 minutes
MEDIUM Power, Motorized tool N/A N/A 20 minutes
MEDIUM Power, Non-motorized tool N/A N/A 30 minutes
MAX Power, All tools 6 minutes 7 minutes 5-6 minutes


The following table shows how the Motorhead package differs from the Animal and the Absolute packages:
V10 Model Comparison
Note: The MSRP in the above table is still correct however we have noticed that all the V10 models are pretty much discounted by $100 at most retail outlets and also on Dyson.com. 
Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead


We’ve read Motorhead owner comments from many different retailers and combined this information with our own analysis to produce the following insights.
Folks are very pleased with the weight of the vacuum calling it “lightweight” and highlighting how easy it is to move, lift, and maneuver.  We’ve also seen comments that the cleaner head has a sufficiently low profile to get under low furniture.  We concur on all of these points.  The Motorhead is lighter than our V8 Absolute and lighter than our V10 Absolute.  It is also very easy to use.  It snaps together quickly and comes apart just as easily.  Removing the wand to use the handheld component takes seconds.  Also, compared to most full size vacuums, it is fairly easy to vacuum under low furniture (the cleaner head is only about 2.5 inches tall).
Most people feel that the Motorhead is powerful – for a cordless vacuum.  This provides reasonable cleaning capabilities and we also see comments stating that the vacuum is good at picking up animal hair.  However, at the highest power level the run time is too short for several owners who have complained that on max power they do have the necessary time to finish their cleaning.
We’ve seen a number of comments stating that the dust canister is easy to empty.  Some say they prefer it to the dust canister configuration of the V6, V7, V8’s.  There are also several comments that the V10 Motorhead dust canister is too small and that it needs to be emptied frequently while you are vacuuming.  The size is not an issue for us but we don’t have a large area to clean.  It would be more problematic for those who have larger homes to clean. 
Not everyone is pleased with the dust canister empting procedure however, as one owner points out that you have to remove the wand to empty the canister.  This was not the case with the V6, V7, V8’s.  We have always removed the wand before emptying the dust canister – even for the V6, V7, V8’s – so we didn’t find this a problem but we understand that this is an extra step and could be annoying for some people.
Folks report that the Motorhead is reasonably quiet.  We’ve worked with quieter vacuums but it is not a loud vacuum and Dyson has made strides in lowering noise levels since the V6.  We find the noise level of the V10's very acceptable.
A few other things that people like about the Motorhead include that it has 3 battery charging lights which help to indicate how much charge the battery has (image below), and that it does a very good cleaning job on carpet. 

V10 three charging lights
On the downside some folks feel that the wall mount is cheaply made, they don’t like that you have to hold the trigger down to power the vacuum, and, unfortunately, there are a few reports of the battery simply ceasing to charge.   These negative comments are not overly common however.
You can read more V10 owners comments on Amazon if you wish.


- Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Vacuum (includes filter)
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Direct-drive cleaner head
- Charger
- Docking station
- Manual & Warranty Card
Dyson V10 Motorhead Whats in the box


The Motorhead, like the Animal and Absolute, uses Dyson’s digital motor with 14 concentric array cyclones.  The big difference between the V10 and the earlier cordless models (V6, V7, V8) is that the V10 has the motor and dust canister inline (see image below).  According to Dyson this new configuration results in 20% more power than the Dyson V8.  
V10 vs V8 technology


The battery is the same across all V10 models (Motorhead, Animal, Absolute).  All V10 battery packs have the following specifications:
- 7-cell Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 25.2 V
- 20.8 A
- 2600 mAh
- 66 Wh
This is a lithium-ion battery and it generates “fade-free” power.  This means that it will provide full power until such time as the battery is completely discharged.  The power will not slowly wane while you are using the vacuum.  This is a nice characteristic.
With respect to power modes, the V10 has 3: Low, Medium and Max.  All other Dyson stick vacs have 2: Low and Max.  A slider on the top of the V10 handheld unit allows you to choose the power mode.
V10 Motorhead Power Control


A depleted battery can be fully charged in around 3.5 hrs.  This is down from the 5 hours it takes to recharge the V8, and it is on par with the charging times of the V6 and V7.


The Motorhead has the least number of tools of all the V10’s (part of the reason for the lower price).  You only get the following two tools non-powered tools:
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
V10 Motorhead Tools 


The wall mount allows you to hang the vacuum on the wall.  The charger cable can also be run through the back of the wall mount and is designed such that the vacuum will be on charge when it is hanging in the wall mount.  Both tools also store on the wall mount (they click into place). 
The wall mount is a very handy feature if you want a convenient place to store your vacuum and tools.  Otherwise you have to lean the vacuum against a wall somewhere – probably in a closet – and your tools will go into a drawer or cubbyhole.  In our experience it is very easy to lose the tools if they do not have some kind of built-in storage place.


The V10 Motorhead comes with a direct drive cleaner head which is different from the torque drive cleaner head that comes with the V10 Animal and the V10 Absolute.  The differences can be seen when looking at the two units (see images below).
V10 Cleaner Head Top


V10 Motorhead Bottom


Very little is written about the performance differences between these two types of cleaner heads.  Some online sources say that the torque drive head is more an all-rounder and it is great on carpet and reasonable on bare floors.  While the direct drive head is great on carpet but not so great on bare floors.  We put this premise to the test.
On a tile surface we put down a long carefully measured debris field (we have a very sensitive scale) of ground cheerios, flax seeds, dust, chili flakes and green peas. We consider this small to medium sized debris.  We then ran both the Motorhead and the Absolute on low power, did an approximate 10 second pass, and measured the pickup.  Note that the torque drive cleaner head has 3 settings that open and close two gaps on the front bottom of the head (the direct drive cleaner head does not have this - see images above).  When fully closed this maximizes suction under the head and when fully open this allows for larger debris to get under the head.  There is also a middle setting which is the one we used for this test.
V10 Motorhead vs Absolute Bare Floor
Motorhead pickup = 92.5%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to middle) = 86.3%
The results were surprising and they were repeated twice (the above is an average).  We would not consider either of these cleaner heads as “great” on bare floors and we certainly did NOT see the torque-drive cleaner head outperform the direct-drive cleaner head in this test.
To see if the torque drive cleaner head setting would make any difference we re-ran the test for the Absolute with the torque drive cleaner head set to max suction (gaps closed).  We got the following:
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to max suction) = 87.0%
Clearly it did not make much difference in this test.
In our experience if you want top-notch cleaning on bare floors with these vacuums you need to get the soft roller cleaner head (a second cleaner head that comes with the V10 Absolute - see our V10 Absolute review).  A quick test with the soft roller cleaner head provided the following results:
Absolute pickup (soft roller cleaner head) = 99.6%
Test Results - Bare Floor (Tile)  
Motorhead pickup  92.5%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to middle)  86.3%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to max suction)  87.0%
Absolute pickup (soft roller cleaner head)   99.6%


We performed a series of tests on low pile carpet which were similar to the tests done above on bare floors.  All tests were performed in low power mode. We used the direct drive cleaner head with the V10 Motorhead and the torque drive cleaner head with the V10 Absolute. 

V10 Motorhead vs Absolute carpet
Motorhead pickup = 94.1%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to middle) = 92.8%
We were quite surprised at the difference here.  So we decided to move the switch on the front of the torque drive cleaner head (on the Absolute) to max suction (which closes the two gaps) and we redid the test for the Absolute:
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to max suction) = 93.0%

This was an improvement but it was still not at the level of the Motorhead results. So far we were only doing these tests with 1 forward pass.  We thought perhaps the cleaner heads perform differently moving forward than they do moving backward – so we decided to redo the test with 1 forward pass followed by 1 backward pass (Absolute torque drive cleaner head set back to the middle).  We found the following:
Motorhead pickup (1 forward pass + 1 backward pass) = 97.1%
Absolute pickup (1 forward pass + 1 backward pass, torque drive set to middle) = 95.7%
No matter the test the Motorhead performed slightly better on low pile carpet with our debris field than the Absolute.  We don’t know why but perhaps it relates to the different designs of the cleaner heads (they are different as the images further above in the article showed).
Test Results - Low Pile Carpet  
Motorhead pickup  94.1%
Motorhead pickup (1 forward pass + 1 backward pass)  97.1%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to middle)  92.8%
Absolute pickup (torque drive set to max suction)   93.0%
Absolute pickup (1 forward pass + 1 backward pass, torque drive set to middle)   95.7%
Every test above was performed twice and the results averaged.  In addition, we used the new HEPA filter that came with the Motorhead for all tests (both Motorhead and Absolute) to remove any potential air flow issues from the older filter in the Absolute.


Dyson stick vacuums are known for their versatility.  They operate as a stick vacuum, but if you remove the cleaner head (keeping the wand in place) and replace it with one of the tools, the vacuum is great for overhead cleaning.  It is also useful for getting in deep behind furniture or into nooks and crannies.  If you remove the wand entirely you can place a tool on the end of the handheld component and you now have a handheld vacuum.  This is a powerful handheld vacuum that works well.
Motorhead with crevice tool 
We especially like the handheld component of the V10 Motorhead. It is smaller and lighter than the handheld components of the V10 Absolute and the V10 Animal – these, in our opinion, are a little large and unwieldy.  The Motorhead is more manageable
Dyson V10 handheld


We have provided the weights of the popular Dyson stick vacuums in the table below.  It is interesting to see that the Dyson V10 Motorhead is almost the same weight as the Dyson V7 Motorhead.  If weight is an issue for you, the Motorhead may be a good fit.  It is lighter than the V8’s and the other V10’s.
V7 Motorhead 5.45 lbs
V7 Animal 5.30 lbs
V7 Absolute 5.30 lbs
V8 Animal 5.75 lbs
V8 Absolute 5.75 lbs
V10 Motorhead 5.50 lbs
V10 Animal 5.90 lbs
V10 Absolute 5.90 lbs


Digital Sound MeterDyson made a real effort to dampen the noise of their stick vacs after the v6 and it shows (we found the noise levels of the V7/V8/V10 quite reasonable).  We placed a digital noise level meter 3 feet in front of the cleaner head of each machine (in the upright position) and turned each machine on in low power mode.  The peak decibel levels were recorded and are shown in the table below:
V10 Low Power Mode – 63.2 decibels
V8 Low Power Mode – 62.2 decibels
V7 Low Power Mode – 65.0 decibels
V6 Low Power Mode – 69.3 decibels
The noise level does increase when the machines are set to a higher power but for this test we used only low power.  It is also interesting to consider that the quietest machine in low power mode is the V8, and it is also pumping out more power than the the V7 and V10 in low power mode (28 Air Watts).


The V10 motorhead has the same size dust canister as the Dyson V7 and the Dyson V8.  But it is substantially smaller than the dust canisters of the V10 Absolute and the V10 Animal.  The Absolute and Animal canisters are 43% larger than the Motohead canister.  This could be an issue for some folks.  If you do lots of vacuuming and have a fair bit of debris to deal with, you may find yourself emptying to dust canister frequently.
V10 Dust Canister Comparison
However, we find the V10 Motorhead easier to empty than the V10 Absolute.  It seems the longer dust canister of the Absolute requires a little more of a push than the Motorhead.  We actually broke our V10 Absolute dust canister because at one point we pushed a little too hard.  It feels like this will not be the case with the Motorhead.


Filtration is the same for all V10 models and the units have HEPA level filtration and a sealed body so no unfiltered air escapes prior to being exhausted.  The HEPA filter resides on the back of the handheld component and comes off easily with a twist.  The filter is designed to be rinsed in water so there is no need to buy a new one when it gets dirty.  This and the bagless design keep consumables to a minimum.
Dyson V10 Filter
A HEPA filter and sealed system are great features if you or someone in your household has allergies or suffers from asthma.  This design removes the likes of tobacco smoke, dust mites, pet dander, pollen, mold spores, etc. from the air that is passed through the vacuum.


All V10’s carry a 2-year manufacturer’s parts and labor warranty


Presently we are seeing the following approximate pricing for the V10’s.
V10 Motorhead - $399
V10 Animal - $499
V10 Absolute - $599
Please bear in mind that prices change over time and sometimes there are also sales. The links below show the latest prices for these three vacuums on Amazon.


If you are getting a V10 and you have mostly carpet
If you don’t have lots of bare floors to clean and a slightly smaller dust canister is not an issue for you then we think the Dyson V10 Motorhead is the way to go.  Performance on carpet is very good and we like the Direct Drive Cleaner Head that comes with the Motorhead. We also find it easier to empty the Motorhead than the Absolute.  And, of course, the Motorhead is the less expensive option.
If you are getting a V10 and you have mostly bare floors
If you have lots of bare floors you will want the soft roller brush that comes with the Absolute.  You can either buy the Absolute or buy the Motorhead and then pick up the Soft Roller Brush separately.  You should cost this out.  One solution is likely cheaper than the other.  Also, remember that the dust canister on the Motorhead is smaller than the dust canister on the Absolute.


The manual is in English, French, and Spanish. It has plenty of graphics to show you how to operate and maintain your Motorhead.  It also includes information on: safety instructions, using the vacuum, charging/indicator lights, emptying & cleaning the dust canister, filter, battery, charging, storage, warranty, customer care and Dyson contact details.  It is a bit short in our opinion and does not go into great detail about the vacuum cleaner but it is still quite helpful and should answer most questions.  You can see a copy here: Dyson V10 Motorhead Manual

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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.

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