the dyson v7 finished about 20 points ahead of the black+decker flex vac, the next closest competitor. while the v7 did a better job on all of our cleaning metrics, the flex vac is no slouch and excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas. unfortunately, the flex vac doesn’t come close to the v7 in terms of comfort and battery life. however, v7 is slightly more expensive than all other products, costing at least $100 than the next most expensive product.
To select which hand vacs are worthy of winning an award, we first did extensive research to decide which models showed the most promise, then bought them all to test them head-to-head to see which really is the best. We rank and rate each product’s performance across tons of different tests, which we group into six weighted metrics, and v7‘s results on each of these are discussed below.
Reading: Dyson v7 car and boat review
dust and dust dirt
v7 is off to a great start on our first metric, which makes up 20% of its overall score. we looked at how well it picked up fine particles and caked on dirt to determine scores, as well as how well it can clean light dirt from small ledges and corners, like the tops of baseboards, small shelves, or cabinets. window sills. this product scored a 9 out of 10, the highest score of the entire group.
The dyson v7 with the brush attachment made quick work of cleaning the flour off our statically charged plastic sheet, taking less than 15 seconds to clean it completely.
It cleaned dirt and dried mud from a hard surface equally well, leaving it spotless in less than 5 seconds with almost no effort.
The long bristles of the brush attachment also make it a breeze to clean small overhangs and tight corners.
This makes dyson an excellent choice for cleaning the tops of baseboards, railings or window frames.
Next, we evaluated and scored how well dison performed at picking up some more difficult types of mess. In particular, we looked at how well each product performed at cleaning ground oatmeal and flour from carpets and upholstery, as well as how each vacuum handled larger particles. In addition, we also measured and compared the airflow caused by each vacuum with an anemometer in a sealed box. In total, these tests make up 20% of the total score, and v7 scores a 9 out of 10.
The v7 did an excellent job cleaning the flour from a section of the automotive-style carpet, eventually removing most of the flour. however, it didn’t do as much with the initial pass as some of the other products, even when using the motorized brush head.
We used the same brush head in our Crushed Oats Collection Challenge, where dyson put on another terrific performance. This vacuum sucked all the oats out of the carpet section and a sofa cushion, easily getting at least 99% of the oats out with just one or two passes.
The motorized brush head also easily squashed the mini wheats in our large particle test, cleaning all of them without any clogging issues. The dyson rounded out this metric with a pretty strong showing in our wind gauge test, generating an airspeed of 1594 fpm with its high-powered cleaning mode, the second-highest of the bunch.
Then we move on to ranking and evaluating how convenient and easy it is to clean tight and confined spaces with each vacuum. we used each vacuum to clean a sliding window track and cracks of different sizes to arrive at our score, and these tests were also worth 20% of the final score. v7 again delivered another excellent set of results, scoring a 9 out of 10.
the dyson worked pretty well for getting debris off the window track, but the crevice tool is a bit wider than some of the other models, making it difficult to get that far into the window. rail. however, it makes up for that somewhat with its increased suction power on high, which means you don’t need to be as close to dirt or dust to pick it up.
The v7 did an excellent job cleaning in a 3″ gap, allowing you to reach up to 33″ with the included hose attachment.
It was still working fine when we narrowed the gap down to 1.25″, but could only go about 7.5″ when using the hose, still strapped in for the furthest reach of the bunch.
Our next metric, battery life, accounts for 15% of each vacuum’s overall score. We simply calculate the run time for each vacuum on a full battery and for multi-mode vacuums such as dyson we base our results on 70% usage on low power, 30% use with high voltage. v7 did very well, getting an 8 out of 10.
This vacuum lasted about 26 minutes in our mixed-use test, one of the longest run times of the bunch. if you run it exclusively on high power mode, you can expect it to last around 6.5 minutes. Running it solely in its low power mode allows you to maximize battery life and clean for about 34 minutes.
comfort and ease of use also account for 15% of the final score, and v7 scores 7 out of 10 for excellent results. We base it on the weight and noise level of each vacuum, as well as the ease of emptying and the size of the collection container. we also took into account the difficulty of handling all the different attachments and accessories that come with each vacuum.
The dyson v7 is a bit heavier, with the base unit weighing almost three pounds without tools and the vacuum weighing close to four with the heaviest tool attached.
However, it did win some points by being one of the quietest vacuums on its low setting and only slightly noisier on its high setting.
It is also very easy to empty the collection container, which is average in size with a capacity of 0.5 l.
Unfortunately, v7 doesn’t come with any built-in storage for all your tools, so it can be a bit tricky to manage them in an organized way.
For our final rating metric, we rate each vacuum based on how well it cleans up pet hair. this accounts for the remaining 10% of the final score, with the v7 finishing our tests with another excellent performance, scoring a 9 out of 10.
we scattered some donated pet hair on both a cushion and a section of the rug, then tried to clean it up with the v7 with its motorized brush attachment. It did very well in both tests, collecting over 99% of the hair, but it can be a bit more difficult to maneuver on upholstery than some of the other products.
Unfortunately, while dyson is a great vacuum, it’s a terrible value option, costing two to three times as much as many of the other products.