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Dyson V7 vs V8

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Dyson V7 vs V8The Dyson V7 and the Dyson V8 are two of the most popular cordless stick vacuums on the market today.  While they are similar in many ways, they also differ in some important aspects - such as run time, suction power, battery specifications, weight, etc.  In this article we compare the two vacuums and we also test their cleaning abilities on bare floors and carpet.  We were a little surprised with some of our test results...


1. Popular V7 & V8 Models
2. V7 Tools & Attachments
3. V8 Tools & Attachments
4. Batteries
5. Suction Power & Run Time
6. Filtration
7. Dust Canisters
8. Noise Level
9. Carpet Cleaning Tests
10. Bare Floor Cleaning Tests
11. Weight
12. Warranties
13. Costs
14. Conclusion - Buying Tips

Popular V7 & V8 Models

There are three popular Dyson V7 models.  The Motorhead, the Animal, and the Absolute.  There is actually a fourth model called the V7 HEPA but this one is only available on Dyson.com and we don’t see it much.  The three popular V7’s can quickly be differentiated by their wand color:
 
- V7 Motorhead: Fuschia
- V7 Animal: Iron grey
- V7 Absolute: Red
 
Popular V8 models include the V8 Animal and the V8 Absolute.  Again, wand colors help identify the two units:
 
- V8 Animal: Silver/Titanium
- V8 Absolute: Yellow (more an orange gold color actually)
 

V7 Tools & Attachments

The V7 Motorhead is the bare bones V7.  It includes the following:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
Notably absent are the soft roller cleaner head, the mini motorized tool, and the soft dusting brush. (see the V7 Motorhead on Amazon)
 
V7 Motorhead in box
 
The V7 Animal has a few more items.  It includes the following:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool
Notably absent is the soft roller cleaner head. (see the V7 Animal on Amazon)
 
The V7 Absolute is the top end V7.  It includes the following:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Soft roller cleaner head (great for bare floors)
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool
 

V8 Tools & Attachments

The V8 tools & attachments lineup is similar to that of the V7.
The V8 Animal includes:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool
Notably absent is the soft roller cleaner head. (See the V8 Animal on Amazon)
 
The V8 Absolute includes:
- Direct drive cleaner head
- Soft roller cleaner head (great for bare floors)
- Docking station
- Crevice tool
- Combo tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Mini motorhead tool
 
Dyson V8 in box
 

Batteries

The battery pack that comes with the V8 is larger and more powerful than the battery pack provided with the V7. 
 
The Dyson V7 battery has the following specifications:
- 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 21.6 V
- 16.2 A
- 2100 mAh
- 46 Wh
 
The Dyson V8 battery has the following specifications:
- 6-cell Lithium Ion Battery Pack
- 21.6 V
- 18.5 A
- 2800 mAh
- 65 Wh
 
Dyson V7 & Dyson V8 Batteries
 
The V8 also has 3 battery indicator lights which is a nice feature as you can tell how far along the battery charging is, and also how much charge is left while you are vacuuming.  The V7 only has one battery charge light and this doesn’t give you the same level of information.
 
The larger V8 battery results in increased run times and suction power on the V8.  However there is one drawback to having a more powerful battery and that relates to the recharge time.  It takes 3.5 hours to recharge the V7 battery while it takes a full 5 hours to recharge the V8 battery.
 

Suction Power & Run Time

Both vacuums have 2 power modes, Low and Max.  A switch on top of the handheld component slides back and forth allowing one to easily choose the mode.  This is different from the approach on the V6 which has a Low/Max power button on the very back of the handheld component.  The V7/V8 approach is, in our opinion, a little easier to work with (see image below).
 
V8 power mode switch
 
The following table shows the published (or “official”) figures for Dyson V7 and V8 suction power and run times when using a motorized cleaner head.   
 
  Dyson V7 Dyson V8
OFFICIAL run time / Low Power / Motorized Head 20 minutes 25 minutes
OFFICIAL run time / Max Power / Motorized Head 6 minutes 7 minutes
OFFICIAL Suction / Low Power 21 Air Watts 28 Air Watts
OFFICIAL Suction / Max Power 100 Air Watts 115 Air Watts
 
The table above indicates that in Low power mode the V8 generates 30% more suction power than the V7 and can sustain this for 25% longer.  Also, in Max power mode the V8 produces 15% more power than the V7 and is capable of sustaining this for about 17% longer. 
 
Probably the most important take away from this table is the difference in suction power on Low power mode between the V7 and the V8.  How did this come about?  It is our opinion that this was the result of Dyson looking to create a marketable distinction between the V6 and the V7.  The V6 and V7 have the same battery specifications so how do you create a difference between the two units?  One way is to dial back the suction power on one and thereby increase its run time.  So that is exactly what Dyson did, and they were then able to market the V7 as having a longer run time than its predecessor the V6.  
 
We did several run time tests, the purpose of which was to compare the “official” run times with the actual (or tested) run times.  The vacuums used the direct drive cleaner head on a low-to-medium pile carpet.  The battery was charged to capacity, the dust canister was emptied, and the filters were inspected to ensure they were clean.  We kept the trigger depressed until the vacuum simply stopped and the time from beginning to end was recorded with a stopwatch.  The table below shows the results.
 
  Dyson V7 Dyson V8
TESTED run time / Low Power / Motorized Head 23 min 28 sec 27 min 28 sec
TESTED run time / Max Power / Motorized Head 6 min 22 sec 7 min 45 sec
 
We were pleasantly surprised by the run time tests. They showed - in every instance - longer run times than expected.  We did not test the suction power however (Dyson suction power is difficult to test and compare).  It is conceivable that the suction power figures are lower than expected thereby allowing for longer run times, but we do not know.  If that is not the case then it is nice to see a company provide run times over and above what was promised.
 

Filtration

Some V7 models have a HEPA filter while others do not.  There is no HEPA filter on the V7 Motorhead or the V7 Absolute (no filter on the Absolute seemed odd to us so we asked Dyson and they told us, in no uncertain terms, that it did not have one).  There is a HEPA filter on V7 Animal however.  In terms of the V8, both the Absolute and the Animal have HEPA filters.
 
   HEPA Filtration
 V7 Motorhead  No
 V7 Animal  Yes
 V7 Absolute  No
 V8 Animal  Yes
 V8 Absolute  Yes
 

Dust Canisters

The dust canister capacity for all V7 models and all V8 models is the same at 0.14 gallons.  This is larger than the capacity of the V6 which is 0.11 gallons.  In addition both the V7 and V8 have a “Hygienic Dirt Ejector System” which is a system that helps remove debris from the canister and minimizes the need to put your hand into the canister to pull out debris (the V6 does not have this).
 
Our video below shows the differences between the older dust canister emptying system and the newer hygienic system (using the V8 and the V6):
 

Noise Level

We used a noise level meter that measures peak decibels and tested both the V7 and V8 in Low power mode:
- V7: 65.0 decibels
- V8: 62.2 decibels
Surprisingly, even though the V8 is generating more suction power than the V7 it is still quieter.  We would not say the V7 is a particularly loud vacuum however.
 

Carpet Cleaning Tests

To test the cleaning ability of the two vacuums we measured pickup of a carefully weighed mixture of debris on low pile carpet.
 
The debris consisted of:
- 5.3g Chili Flakes (lightweight but easily visible)
- 17.8g Flax Seeds (small seeds)
- 24.0g Split Green Peas (larger and heavier than the flax seeds)
- 7.5g Ground Cheerios (a powdery debris)
 
This debris was laid down in a line, 66 inches long, on the carpet.  The vacuum was run over this line in approximately a 10 second pass (we used a stopwatch).
 
V7 vs V8 Carpet
 
- V7 pickup: 99.29%
- V8 pickup: 98.17%
 
As the figures above show, the V7 pickup was better than the V8.  This was also apparent from just looking at the debris field left behind by the two vacuums (the V8 was certainly leaving more behind).  We ran the test a second time with similar results.
 
How could this be? We did some investigating and noticed that the direct drive cleaner head on the V7 is slightly different from the direct drive cleaner head on the V8.  You can see the differences in the images below.  The V8 is larger, the backend of the underside is different, and it even has a bigger diameter brushroll.
 
V7 vs V8 cleaner heads top

V7 vs V8 Cleaner Heads Bottom
 
 
To see if the cleaner head could be the culprit we ran the same test with the V7 cleaner head on the V8 (the V8 cleaner head will not fit on the V7).  All test results are in the table below: 
 
   % Pickup on Low Pile Carpet
 V7  99.29%
 V8  98.17%
 V8 with V7 Cleaner Head  99.31%
 
There was no question that the V7 cleaner head was picking up better than the V8 cleaner head. 
 
In the following video we try to show the pickup difference between the V7 and V8 using some rice on a dark 10 foot carpet runner.  Bear in mind that the results on the carpet runner were more dramatic than we experienced on our low pile carpet.
 

 
We then recorded a video with the V8 using the V7 cleaner head:
 

 
To see if the poor performance of the V8 was a function of the debris size, we redid the test with large debris (full size cheerios) and the difference in performance between the two cleaner heads disappeared.  See video below:
 

 
CONCLUSION:
On low pile carpet and on small to medium sized debris, the V7 has better pickup than the V8.  This appears to be the result of the V7 cleaner head working better under these circumstances.  However this does not appear to be the case when dealing with much larger debris like cheerios. 

Bare Floor Cleaning Tests

We ran similar tests with the two vacuums using the soft roller cleaner head on a tile surface.
 
The debris consisted of:

- 10.6g Ground Cheerios
- 3.7g Chili Flakes
- 14.7g Flax Seeds
- 27.7g Split Green Peas

 

V7 vs V8 Hard Surface
 
 
 
   % Pickup on Tile Floor
 V7  99.93%
 V8  99.88%
 
These numbers are virtually the same and any difference, in our opinion, is pretty much noise. Pickup visually was also the same.  The V7 and V8 soft roller brush cleaner heads are identical.  We should also point out that the soft roller cleaner head really does do a better job on bare surfaces than the direct drive cleaner head.  For this reason if you have a lot of bare floors to clean you may want to consider getting this cleaner head. 
 

WHAT DO THE CARPET & BARE FLOOR TESTS TELL US?

1) Our tests show that the V7 is better at picking up small to medium sized debris on low pile carpet than the V8 - DESPITE the V8 having more suction.
2) Our test show that the V7 and the V8 have about the same pickup on large debris on low pile carpet. 
3) Our tests show that the V7 and the V8 have about the same pickup on bare floors when using the soft roller brush. 

Weight

The V8 is heavier than the V7 and this is not surprising as the V8 has a larger battery than the V7. 

   Weight (lbs)
 V7 Motorhead  5.45
 V7 Animal  5.30
 V7 Absolute  5.30
 V8 Animal  5.75
 V8 Absolute  5.75
 

Warranties

Warranties for both Dyson stick vacs are the same: 2-years parts and labor
 

Costs

Costs are tricky to provide as they vary from retail outlet to retail outlet and also tend to change over time. However we have tried to provide some general idea below.  You will likely find a range if you look around.
 
   Approximate Cost (US$)
 V7 Motorhead  $299
 V7 Animal  $399
 V7 Absolute  $449
 V8 Animal  $449
 V8 Absolute  $499
 

Conclusion - Buying Tips

- For homes with mostly carpet
   Consider the V7 Motorhead or the V7 Animal
- For homes with mostly bare floors
   Consider the V7 Absolute or the V8 Absolute
 
 

Comments  

0 # Catherine 2018-11-28 21:22
Thank you so much for such thorough reviews and insight. If it wasn't for your videos and site, I would have be buying the wrong Dyson. I'm grateful and wished you worked for Dyson! You could be of great value to their R&D dept for sure.
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0 # kelly 2018-11-16 02:01
This was a great and thorough review! Much appreciated. Helped me make my decision.
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0 # Frank 2018-09-01 02:30
Fantastic Job!!! Thank you so much for doing this test/review!
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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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