I’ve never much been excited by vacs, but when there’s a mini tornado whizzing at the end of the stick you control, it’s a whole different story.
And it's not just me who's oddly enthusiastic about the Cyclone V10 either. Dyson's so convinced by its dirt-busting prowess that it's never going to make a corded cleaner again.
Bold claims, but not just marketing hyperbole – after living with the Cyclone V10 for over a week, it's the new housemate I'm keen to make a permanent fixture.
Why? Well, it's clean, tidy, reasonably quiet and demands little in the way of space, for a start.
It comes in three versions (the V10 Animal, V10 Absolute and V10 Total Clean) and all bring advantages over their fellow cordless suckers: an improved motor and cyclone tech for better suction, greater capacity and enough battery life to clean most reasonably sized homes.
Also, recklessly pouring oats, flour and chilli flakes on my kitchen floor was an added thrill. I felt like Neil Buchanan in an episode of Art Attack.
I shan’t compare it to Moses and the parting of the sea, but I will say it was incredibly satisfying to watch the V10 cut right through whatever rubbish I’d deposited on the floor...
Design: SUCK IT UP
It's the new V10 motor that makes the Cyclone V10 such a sucker. It's smaller than the outgoing V8, and weighs half as much, but spins at a ludicrous 125,000rpm - which is 2,000 times a second, so suction power is apparently up 20%.
The smaller dimensions means everything fits in line now, so the bin doesn't have to be shunted below the handle, and the air flow doesn't have be angled around corners.
I delighted in scattering all manner of sundries on the floor, for the the V10 to gobble up all the mess with total ease. Tested across carpet, wood and vinyl, I found there was even no need to go over the areas I’d already covered. A single swipe was all it took.
And the suction was incredible. Embarrassingly, I think I’ve rediscovered the original shade of grey the carpet was meant to be.
The numerous hose attachments help out, too. I tested the 'middle child' V10 Absolute, which comes with four extra tools, but you can get more or fewer attachments by choosing the models either side of this (the top-end £500 V10 Total Clean or the entry-level £400 V10).
The brush is handy for creating a seal between machine and floor to give suction even more of a boost. And other tools helped it reach under beds and all the other nooks and crannies in my higgledy-piggledy flat.
What I’ve found with many vacs (I’m looking at you Henry), is that the spinning head sends dirt careening across the floor, whereas the V10 forces dirt into the machine. It’s a ravenous dirt-eating predator, leaving no stray hair untouched.
The Fluffy head also makes a return, with carbon fibre bristles for catching fine dust, which is good for shiny floors.
I used it on the living room faux-wood floor and it worked well, though it did get a little icky after a few days. Still, you can take it out, clean it under the tap and then leave it to dry. I haven’t had to do this yet, but I can see it’ll be due for a shower in a another week or so.
The motor even supposedly uses a suite of sensors to calculate things like altitude and even barometric pressure to adjust its speed for the greatest clean. I can’t comment on barometric pressure accuracy, but I can say the flat hasn’t been this dust-free since, well, ever.
Battery life: TAKING CHARGE
A handheld vacuum is a bit useless if it can't last long enough to get around the house, but battery life is one of the Cyclone V10's strengths.
I never ran short of cleaning juice in my three bedroom flat, where I was using it for over 40 minutes. And there was life in the stick yet, so I don’t imagine battery life would be an issue unless your dwelling quarters are in Buckingham Palace.
There are three power settings available on the V10 — low, medium and maximum. Your usage of each will probably be determined by the surface you're cleaning, and how much charge your unit is holding. You can tell this from the LED indicator on the side. On the highest setting, it’ll drain the battery a lot quicker, but I never really found a need to use this setting and found it to lift everything on the lowest setting.
The V10 uses a trigger grip, rather than an 'on' switch, so when you're not vacuuming, you let go and you're not using any battery power. This took a bit of getting used to, but seems totally natural now – you’re in control of the vac and don’t go fritting away precious power. And it definitely can’t run away with you, trapping you in it’s medusa like cable like those old gargoyles of hulky wire-clad cleaners.
The motor also starts and reaches maximum power in less than a second, too, so you aren't waiting for it to spin up before you can start vacuuming.
Of course, this is all well and good for spot cleaning, when you're picking up a bowl of spilled bran flakes or a knocked over plant, but for attacking all the carpets on the weekend, you're going to be using it for longer bursts of power. We were sceptical about continuous use, and questioned whether we’d become fatigued having to constantly hold down the trigger, but it wasn’t an issue.
The charging system hasn't changed: you still fix the docking station to a wall, plug in the charging cable and slide the V10 into place. That way it's always topped up when you need it and you don't need to faff around with plugging it in.
That might not sound life-changing, but once you've got used to simply slotting your vac into its dock, it's hard to go back to plugs and cables. It only takes about 3.5 hours to charge fully from empty and there's room for storing attachments underneath too, like with the V8.
My personal favourite new, yet incremental improvement is the new rubber heel, which allows you to lean the V10 vertically against the wall without worrying about it slowly slipping and crashing on the floor. For the the space-conscious city dweller with little storage space, this is huge.
Capacity: IN IT TO BIN IT
With the motor taking up less space than before, there's room for a bigger storage bin - meaning fewer trips to the rubbish bag when you're vacuuming the whole house. It sounds like a tiny thing, but it’s a welcome tweak and shaves a few minutes off your weekly clean.
It's been relocated, too: instead of sitting below the motor and emptying downwards, like it did in the V8, it opens right where you clip on the hose attachments. That makes it easier to point into the big bag, avoiding any spillages.
To open the lid you slide a lever forward, which also cleans the motor shroud at the same time, and you don’t have to go near the unmentionable melange of gross-stuff.
The movement is ever-so-slightly like sliding the bolt into place on a rifle. Who knew emptying a vacuum cleaner could feel so satisfying. I’m a soldier, fighting a war against dust.
The release mechanism is a little stiff at first, but by round three, it had loosened up a little. Still, it's initially a touch awkward.
Dyson Cyclone V10 verdict
The Cyclone V10 isn't just a great cordless vacuum - it's a great vacuum, end of story. It’s as powerful as any corded Dyson vacuum and the only drawback is really the price tag.
If you're prepared to shell out the equivalent of a new iPad on a dirt-sucker, you'll find it to be a big upgrade on your traditional vac. For starters, its suction lets you clean with great precision and, more importantly, wave it around bookshelves like a magic wand. It's also really easy to swap heads and, if you've bought one of the pricier V10s, transform it with all manner of dust-busting armour.
The trigger switch means you only use power when you’re cleaning and, with over 40 minutes of run time, it has more than enough juice to make it around most homes.
We’ll be telling our grandchildren of the days when vacuum cleaners had long unwieldy cables before the days of cordless vacs and, with the V10, Dyson has made one of the best so far.