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Dyson V7 Motorhead Review

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Avg. consumer rating = 92/100 

The Dyson V7 Motorhead, with its futuristic cyclonic cylinders and deep pink color, is a very striking stick vacuum. This machine cannot be mistaken for any other vacuum - but does it perform? If consumer ratings are any indicator then the answer is yes. Ratings for the V7 are very good and owners praise the unit for its light weight, power and convenience. Owners are also pleased that the vacuum is quiet, great for doing stairs, and able to clean carpet, rugs and bare floors. However, like many cordless vacuums, there are folks who feel the run time is inadequate for their cleaning needs. In addition, the V7 Motorhead, while great for quick cleanups, is not a full size vacuum and will struggle with larger more extensive cleaning jobs.

Quick Specs
Type Stick
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors & Low Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 5.45 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration No
Power Cord Length Cordless
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 2 Years

 

Dyson V7 vs Dyson V6 vs Dyson V8
The first thing most people want to know about the V7 is how does it stack up against the V6 and the V8?  That’s a good question.  We’ve also got the V6 and the V8 (the Absolute models) and frankly all of these stick vacuums are good in our opinion.  But they do have important differences.  One thing we can say for the V7 Motorhead is that it does appear to be fairly good bang for your buck when compared to other Dyson stick vacs.  On Dyson.com we see the V7 Motorhead for $299USD, and in Canada on Dyson.ca for $499CAD.  As for comparing vacuum specifications, you may want to check out the table below which compares the three Dyson stick vacuums we own (specs are from the manufacturer).

  Dyson V6 Absolute Dyson V7 Motorhead Dyson V8 Absolute
Run Time (motorized head) 16 minutes 20 minutes 25 minutes
Run TIme (non-motorized tool) 20 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes
Run Time (MAX Mode) 6 minutes 6 minutes 7 minutes
Recharge Time 3.5 hours 3.5 hours 5 hours
Suction Power (STANDARD mode) 28 Air Watts 21 Air Watts 28 Air Watts
Suction Power (MAX mode) 100 Air Watts 100 Air Watts 115 Air Watts
Battery Life Indicator Lights 1 1 3
Battery Pack 21.6 V / 2100 mAh / 46Wh 21.6 V / 2100 mAh / 46Wh 21.6 V / 2800 mAh / 65Wh
Vacuum Weight 5.1 lbs 5.45 lbs 5.75 lbs
Dust Canister Size 0.11 gallons 0.14 gallons 0.14 gallons
Hygienic Emptying System No Yes Yes

 

IMPORTANT NOTES: The Dyson V7 output in Standard mode is 21 Air Watts which explains the extended run time given that we found the same battery specs as the V6.  So, one can see that there is a trade off between the V6 and the V7.  The V7 offers a longer run time but with reduced suction (in Standard mode).  The V8 has a longer run time with the same suction as the V6 (in Standard mode), and this is accomplished via the larger and slightly heavier battery.

Consumer Ratings
A review of owner ratings from quality online retail sites has provided the figures in the table below.  We found 845 ratings and when averaged these figures result in a vacuum score of 92 out of 100 (4.6 stars out of 5).  This is a top-notch score and you can compare it to the scores of other stick vacuums in our stick vacuum ratings table or in our Vacuum Cleaner Finder.  The score for the Dyson V6 Absolute is 90 and the score for the Dyson V8 Absolute is 94. 

Source Consumer Rating # Ratings
Amazon 4.4 stars out of 5 277
Bed Bath & Beyond 4.7 stars out of 5 228
Walmart (USA) 4.7 stars out of 5 142
Lowe's 4.8 stars out of 5 125
Walmart (Canada) 4.5 stars out of 5 49
Tesco 4.6 stars out of 5 14

 

v7 motorhead

Consumer Insights
Owner comments about the V7 Motorhead provide insights into what is liked and what is not liked.  We have also added our own experiences to these.

Pros
- Lightweight
- Fairly powerful for its size
- Very convenient
- Not too loud
- Easy-to-empty dust canister
- Comes with wall mount
- Attractive, sleek looking vacuum
- Longer run time than the V6
- Good for doing stairs
- Works on carpet, rugs and bare floors

Cons
- Some feel the run time is insufficient
- A bit expensive
- Not able to do a large house on a single charge
- Doesn’t deep clean like a full size vacuum
- Very short run time on MAX mode
- Struggles with large debris on bare surfaces

As the ratings attest, most owners are pleased with their V7 and have mostly good things to say about it (a surprising number of folks report buying more than one).  Probably the most commonly highlighted aspect of the vacuum is how lightweight and convenient it is. The unit weighs just over 5 lbs and is cordless so it is super easy to just grab and start cleaning.  The low weight also makes it easy to move and maneuver, and the compact size helps it get into tight areas.  In addition, most folks feel the power is sufficient for their basic cleaning needs – there are not many complaints that the unit does a poor cleaning job. 

Like the V8, this machine also has noise dampening features - and it is apparent.  The vacuum is pleasantly quiet (well, perhaps not “quiet” but certainly not noisy like plenty of other vacuums).  This is nice.  We’ve recently seen a number of vacuum manufacturers striving to make their vacuums less noisy. 

Dyson V7 Wand

Also similar to the V8, this unit has “hygienic bin emptying” which we like and so do many V7 owners.  This emptying system helps better clear the dust canister and you don’t need to dig out debris with your hands as often.

In terms of storage, quite a few people write that they love the wall mount (or what Dyson calls the “Docking Station”) that comes with the vacuum.  It provides convenient, out-of-the-way storage and also has space for a few of the tools.

Dyson V7 Wall Mount

One doesn’t usually buy an item like a vacuum for its looks, however Dyson has shattered that behavior.  Their canisters, uprights and stick vacuums all have a very techie, futuristic, sleek design and the V7 is no exception.  Quite a few owners comment on how good this vacuum looks.  We also like it.  If it’s sitting in the corner most people do a double take when they see it.  There is a reason that a Dyson vacuum is in the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) - see it here.

Dyson Stick VacuumAs mentioned above, most owners are pleased with the cleaning performance of the vacuum, but there are some complaints that it struggles with larger debris.  Also, some folks point out that it does not deep clean like a full size, more powerful vacuum will.  This is to be expected given its size but it still annoys some people.  Compact, lightweight stick vacuums are best for quicker cleanups and small-medium area cleaning.  If you want deep cleaning and have a large home you need to be considering a full size canister or upright.

Satisfaction with run time is something of a mixed bag – as it almost always is with cordless vacuums.  Probably the biggest issue here is that the machine is said to provide 30 minutes of run time on a full battery.  However quite a few folks are getting 20 minutes and are unhappy about it.  The vacuum actually provides about 30 minutes WITH non-powered tools attached.  However you will only get about 20 minutes when using the powered cleaner head.  This is stated by Dyson but not prominently so it can be missed.

There are also a few people highlighting that the paint on the vacuum scratches easily.  This is probably not much of an issue with most vacuums, but this is a “pretty” machine so it would be nice if it was less prone to getting marked/scratched.

You can check pricing and read more Dyson V7 reviews on Amazon if you like.


ASIDE: We often see people commenting that their Dyson stick vacuum is pulsing on and off.  Many think their machine is broken.  Dyson states that this is the result of the vacuum not getting proper airflow which could be caused by an obstruction or a dirty filter.  If the filter is dirty then it needs to be rinsed, dried and placed back in the vacuum.  If there is a blockage this Dyson video shows you how to check all the different areas of the stick vac.  If the pulsing persists you can contact Dyson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


What’s in the Box?
When you buy the V7 Motorhead you get the following in the box:
- V7 handheld unit
- Wand
- Direct-drive cleaner head
- Combination tool
- Crevice tool
- Wall mount
- Battery charger
- Quick start guide
- Warranty
- Owner’s manual

V7 What's in the box

V7 Battery and Power Modes
The V7 Motorhead uses a lithium-ion battery which provides what the industry refers to as “fade-free” power.  What this means is that it will provide full power until it just stops – the power doesn’t decrease slowly as the battery is drawn down.  This is a nice feature as you get strong suction right up to the point the battery needs to be recharged.

The unit has both MAX power mode and Standard power mode.  There is a switch on the top of the handheld portion of the vacuum that toggles back and forth between power modes.  MAX mode is substantially more powerful than Standard mode and as a result it significantly drops the run time – from 20/30 minutes (Standard mode) down to just 6 minutes (MAX mode).  We found we rarely use MAX mode but for more difficult cleanups it can be handy.  Just be prepared to recharge the vacuum shortly thereafter.

Recharging the V7
Recharge time is the same as the V6 at 3.5 hours.  The vacuum can be recharged simply by plugging the charger into the back of the handheld unit.  You can also charge it while it is in the wall mount which is handy.  One question we have been asked many times is “Can you run the V6/V7/V8 with it plugged in and charging?”.  The answer is NO you cannot.  We’ve tried it and once the charger is plugged in the vacuum will not run.

Cleaner Head & Brushroll
Unlike the Absolute models, the Motorhead does not come with 2 cleaner heads.  Our Absolute models have a direct drive cleaner head and a soft roller cleaner head (specially designed for hard floors).  The Motorhead just has the direct drive cleaner head, however Dyson state that the V7 can be used on all manner of flooring.

V7 Cleaner Head
 
In our home we have lots of carpet and only a small kitchen area with tile.  When using the V6 or V8 we often cannot be bothered to change to the soft roller cleaner head – so we use the direct drive cleaner head for most cleaning anyways. 

Brushroll
None of the Dyson stick vacs have the ability to turn the brushroll on and off independent of the suction.  When the trigger is depressed the vacuum power turns on, there is suction, and the brushroll begins to spin.  When the trigger is released the vacuum power turns off.

Cleaning Performance on Carpet, Bare Floors, Pet Hair, Etc.

LARGE DEBRIS
Some folks have reported that the vacuum struggles with larger debris.  So we put down some fruit loops on both carpet and bare floors to see what would happen:

Large Debris on Carpet

Large Debris on Tile

As the video shows, the vacuum does indeed struggle with the fruit loops on bare floors and it often pushes them around (the surface allows the fruit loops to move forward easily).  On the carpet the fruit loops do not push forward easily and are forced under the bevelled front of the V7 cleaner head and picked up.

MODERATE/SMALL SIZED DEBRIS
We also looked at more moderately sized debris (dust, hair, smaller lentils, ground up fruit loops, etc).  The vacuum performs better here on bare floors but still leaves a little debris behind.  We then stepped it up to MAX mode and redid the test.  There is definitely better pickup in MAX mode.  See video below:

Medium Sized Debris on Bare Floor

PET HAIR PICKUP
Many households have pets and it is important for a vacuum to be able to pull up pet hair from carpet.  In the video below we’ve taken a piece of medium pile carpet and ground in some white dog hair.  Cleaning performance appears to be adequate but lots of hair gets stuck in the brushroll.  We tried the same test with the larger Dyson Multi Floor and still found a fair bit of hair tangling in the brushroll.  Tangling of hair in the brushroll is a common occurrence for many vacuums.

Pet Hair Cleaning Performance

EDGE CLEANING ABILITY
It can be a little annoyring to have to go over the edges of a room with a crevice tool or other tool because your vacuum will not clean up tight against baseboards.  We’ve put down crushed red pepper along the edge the carpet to see how the V7 performs at edge cleaning.

Edge Cleaning

We’ve tested quite a few machines (canisters, uprights and stick vacs) for their edge cleaning abilities and some are average while others are stellar, picking up almost all dirt/dust/debris.  We’d have to say the V7 tends to be fairly average (even if you step it up to MAX mode).  As the video shows, the more powerful Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2 pulls up pretty much everything.  It is not intended to be a fair comparison (V7 Motorhead vs Multi Floor) however the Multi Floor was put in the video just to show the potential difference between a full size upright and a stick vacuum.

Noise Level
The V7 is noticeably quieter than the V6.  The V6 has more of a high pitched wine.  We have read that both the V7 and V8 have additional sound dampening features so we ran a test.  We used an audio meter to test the peak volume (in decibels) at a distance of 5 feet from the handheld unit (power was set to Standard mode).  The image below shows the basic setup although we rotated each vacuum to the center before testing. 

Dyson V6 V7 V8 Noise Levels

Following are the noise level results:

V8 – 67 decibels
V7 – 68.5 decibels
V6 – 70.5 decibels

The V7 and V8 are definitely less noisy than the V6  You can hear the difference immediately.  Although we are a little stumped why the V8 seems a little less noisy than the V7.  We ran the test twice to be sure.
 
2-in-1 Vacuum
The V7 is versatile.  It is both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum.  With the wand and tools it can be used for overhead cleaning and getting into hard to reach areas.  Also, as a handheld it is quite powerful and does a good cleaning job (in MAX mode these Dyson stick vacs are the most powerful handhelds we’ve tried).  It’s also handy for doing vehicle interiors.

Dust Canister
The V7 dust canister is larger than the dust canister on the V6 but the same size as the dust canister on the V8. 

V7/V8 = 0.14 gallons
V6 = 0.11 gallons

The V7/V8 dust canisters are about 27% larger than the V6.  This is a significant amount given that folks find they have to empty the dust canisters on these vacuums fairly frequently.  Any additional volume helps extend the time between emptying instances.

The V7/V8’s have the hygienic emptying system which is a little different.  There is a red pull tab on top of the handheld unit which opens the dust canister bottom door and pulls the entire cyclone assembly up thereby pushing dust and debris down and out of the canister - see the image below.  We like the system.  It does require a little pushing and banging around so we're not sure about the longevity of the system but we’ve had our V8 for about a year and use it frequently.  So far so good.

Hygienic Bin Emptying V7

Filtration
The filter on the vacuum can be washed (instead of replaced), dried and placed back in the vacuum.  This, combined with the fact the vacuum is bagless, helps to reduce consumables.

V7 Motorhead Filter

There is no HEPA filter on the V7 Motorhead.  Some of the Dyson stick vacs do come with a HEPA filter.  This could be an issue if you have folks with asthma or allergies in the home.  A HEPA filter (and a sealed system) is important for some people but not so much for others.  You can read more about HEPA filtration in our HEPA article if you like.

Battery Level Indicator
The battery level indicator is on the bottom of the handheld unit just above the battery.  There is only 1 LED light (like the V6) and it has a host of different colors and meanings.  Following is an image from the V7 manual:

V7 Diagnostic Lights

The V8, on the other hand, has three charging lights which indicate a low level of charge, a medium level of charge, and a high level of charge.  We find it useful to get an idea of how much vacuuming time is left at a glance.  This approach, in our opinion, is more informative than the system on the V6 and V7.

Check out V7 pricing on Amazon.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The manual for the V7 is a typical Dyson vacuum manual.  It is very graphic-driven - meaning it has many drawings and less text than most manuals.  It is also quite basic but it does cover most of what you need to know.  You can view the manual here: Dyson V7 Motorhead Manual

 

 

 

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About Me

Hello!

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.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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