The Dyson V7 handsticks might be the cheapest models currently available from the popular brand, but there's plenty of power here for many users to get do away with their budget corded vacuums.
Just like the iPod, these cordless vacs revolutionized the household cleaning appliance. It began with the Dyson DC44 in 2009 and, although that model has long since been discontinued, the V7 range continues to impress... despite being a few years old already itself.
There are a few versions of the Dyson V7 handstick available, with different models being sold in different markets. For example, the V7 Motorhead and the V7 Absolute are the current models available in the US, while the UK has the Animal and Absolute. In Australia, however, only the basic models of the Motorhead and Cord-free are available to purchase directly from Dyson.
The only differences between the various V7 versions are the number of tools they ship with and the filters. In terms of functionality, though, all Dyson V7 models are exactly the same – they share the same motor, battery, power and bin.
They’re all lightweight and easy to handle (even with the telescopic tube attached to reach high places) and remarkably easy to maneuver on surfaces, even on high-pile carpets.
Speaking of which, some of the toughest jobs a vacuum cleaner needs to tackle are sucking up pet or human hair caught within carpet fibers, and let’s just say the V7 is an excellent sucker here. There’s a lot of power to pull up entangled hair and fur, although if the job is an especially tough one, you will need to go over the area a few times. The main direct drive cleaner head is designed to not have hair getting entangled with the bristles, making it easy to keep the brush clean.
Another feature that makes the V7 easy to maintain is its bin. Unlike the V6, which had a trapdoor that needed gravity to empty the bin (and thus leaving dust bunnies stuck inside), the V7 employs a hygienic slide mechanism that pushes the debris downward. That means you don’t need to stick your fingers inside the dustbin to clean it out (although we would recommend you wipe it out every once in a while).
When used in the standard power mode, the V7 has a 'fade-free' runtime of 30 minutes on a full charge, although that drops dramatically to just 10 minutes on the appliance’s max setting. Even on standard power, however, the V7 is more than capable of gobbling up dust, sand, pebbles and small debris from pretty much every surface.
Dyson V7 price and availability
- Starting price of $299 / £249 / AU$599
- Launched in 2017
- Regularly discounted during sales
The Dyson V7 was launched in 2017 as the ‘lite’ version of the Dyson V8 (which, somewhat confusingly, arrived a year earlier). Since then, it has replaced the Dyson V6 as the base handstick model in the company’s range, making it the cheapest option currently available.
There are four V7 models still sold by Dyson, but not all of them are available in every market. Depending on which V7 model you choose, prices start at $299 / £249 / AU$599, although it’s usually quite easy to find for less, as Dyson periodically offers discounts on its online store, and the V7 can often be had at a steeply discounted price from various retailers around the world, particularly during big sales like Black Friday.
Design and handling
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Converts to smaller handheld option easily
- Moves well on any surface
Like all its products, there’s something very aesthetically pleasing about Dyson's handstick vacuum cleaner design. The V7 is sleek, modern and minimalist. The color scheme on each Dyson model follows what we’ve seen in the company’s other products – while the purple and fuschia combination on some V7 models may not be to everyone’s tastes, the grey, purple and red combos are very pleasing.
The V7 comes with a wall mount panel, which means you can save on floor space when storing the appliance. The wall mount has niches for the standard cleaning heads, meaning everything you need can be stowed in one place.
Each of these tools snap on and off the main handheld unit very easily, including the telescopic tube that’s perfect for general cleaning as well as getting to those high corners in the ceiling.
Where most handsticks are tiresome to hold above shoulder height for even short periods of time (for when you're trying to get at cobwebs, for instance), the V7 is light enough to get the work done quickly and without much discomfort. And in more regular use, that combination of lightweight design and a swivelling direct drive brush (which turns around 270º on its own axis) make it very easy to move along any surface – both hard floors and carpet.
What we found slightly uncomfortable was holding down the trigger to keep the power on during the entire duration of a cleaning session. But that’s the case for every Dyson handstick (and most cordless vacs in general) – you need to hold down the power button located under the handle of the handheld unit within perfect reach of your forefinger for the entire duration of the cleaning session. It would be nice if Dyson added an option to keep the power running without having to keep that button pressed the entire time.
On the other hand, emptying the 0.54L bin is extremely easy – just pull on the bin release tab located on top of the barrel. This pulls the interior of the bin up while forcing the bottom flap to open. And pretty much everything inside drops out immediately, with only a very thin layer of dust sticking to the interior (which can easily be wiped out if you're particularly finicky). It takes barely any force to push the bin back in and click the trapdoor shut.
The battery indicator is a single light on one side of the V7’s handle (as opposed to the three-bar light found on the V8). Also on the main unit is the slider to switch suction modes – while it’s located right in front of the handheld unit, you will need your other hand to swap modes if you’re doing so in the middle of a clean. That’s the only thing you’re going to need both hands for, though, as the V7 is remarkably easy to use single-handed.
- Powerful suction
- 30-minute fade-free runtime
- Versatile appliance
Other than its relative affordability, the V7’s 2-in-1 design is what makes it so appealing. This isn’t unique to the V7 of course, as every current Dyson handstick is just as versatile. Add to that the 100 air watts of suction power you get on the max setting means the V7 can handle pretty much any job.
Despite having an older V7 motor, the Dyson V7 generates plenty of power, which in combination with the 15-cyclone array generates a good amount of centrifugal force – enough to do a really good clean, even of carpets. If it's a deep cleaning of carpets you're after, you may need to consider a powerful corded vacuum cleaner.
As we mentioned earlier, the V7 may not have the same amount of suction as the newer Dyson V10 and V11 handsticks, but it’s more than capable of hoovering up pet hair as well. On carpets, it does take a couple of swipes to suck up entangled hair, but the job gets done.
It’s not just hair and dust the V7 can suck up – if you’ve spilt cereal in the kitchen, got mud, small pebbles, or dried grass and straw in the car, the V7 can manage it all.
One thing to keep in mind when cleaning kitchen accidents off hard floors is that the direct drive brush tends to fling grains away as you move the appliance back and forth. This can be a bit frustrating, but it’s not a unique problem to the V7. Most vacuum cleaners will do so as the bristles move along the floor surface. In cases like this, the Soft Roller cleaner head (also called the Fluffy attachment in some markets) that’s available with the newer models of Dyson’s handsticks is the best option.
As promised by Dyson, you do get the full 30 minutes of fade-free power on the standard setting. During our testing period, the V7 switched off once at the 29-minute mark while, during another cleaning session, it gave out at the 32-minute mark. This might be enough time for a quick clean of a small apartment, but if you need to do a second round, you’ll need to wait a little over 3.5 hours for the battery to top up at the mains. If, at any time, you’re switching on the max setting, you’re not going to get more than 10 minutes of runtime with it on.
Unlike the V10 and V11, there’s no real indication of how much battery life is left on the V7 – the only way you’ll know it needs to be plugged in is when the motor dies, which it does without any reduction in suction at all, in keeping with Dyson’s fade-free promise. The battery indicator lights on either side of the handle begin to flash (denoting the battery needs a top-up) only after the motor has switched off.
Should I buy the Dyson V7?
Buy it if...
You want an affordable Dyson handstick
It’s not the most powerful Dyson handstick you can buy right now – that credit goes to the latest V11 series. However, the Dyson V7 models are significantly cheaper, and there is enough suction power to tackle most jobs.
You need a versatile vacuum cleaner
The fact that you can use this in the house or take it out to your car makes the V7, indeed any of Dyson’s current handsticks, more handy and versatile than a traditional corded vac. This vacuum cleaner not only looks after your floors, but is light enough to hold overhead to get cobwebs off the ceiling. It converts very quickly into a compact handheld unit, making it perfect for cleaning upholstery, stairs, and car interiors.
You live in a small apartment
Given there’s no more than 30 minutes of battery life, the V7 cannot handle large spaces… unless you’re willing to let it fully recharge and then resume where you left off. On average, our one-bedroom test space takes about 45 minutes for a really good deep clean that, unfortunately, the V7 cannot handle in a single run.
Don't buy if...
You’re on a tight budget
It might be the most affordable Dyson handstick, but it still carries a bit of the 'Dyson premium' compared to other options on the market. If you’d like something cheaper, you’ll need to look at models from the likes of Electrolux, Bissell or Shark.
You live in a large home
As we mentioned above, the Dyson V7 won’t be able to handle anything more than a small one-bedroom apartment on a single charge. For anyone living in a larger space, you could consider the Dyson V8, which promises up to 40 minutes of fade-free power, or opt for one of Dyson’s newer models. Handsticks from other companies like LG come with two battery packs, which might be a good alternative.
You need a vacuum with larger capacity
While the V7 is an excellent handstick, it does have a small dustbin. With a volume of just 0.54L, chances are you’ll need to be emptying it out after every one or two sessions, depending on how big the job is. So for those with wall-to-wall carpets, or pets at home, you may want to consider getting a vacuum cleaner with a higher capacity dustbin.
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