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Review: Dyson V11 Outsize: A vacuum cleaner that really sucks

By Owen McCarthy
Wed 3 Jun 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Never in my wildest moments of fancy did I foresee the day that my beloved and I would almost come to blows over who gets to do the vacuuming. With my asthmatic lungs, the general stirring up of dust makes it an awfully unpleasant experience, and my bad back, arthritic ankle and general lack of motivation combine to make any sort of housework a very unpleasant experience. 

Then Dyson comes along. Not happy with making my air fit to breathe, they are now intent of removing any other allergens from carpets, bedding, furniture, curtains and all other surfaces. I started off by cleaning up where I’d dropped crumbs from my delicious corn wafers, and reminiscent of Fr Ted with the panel beating hammer, I wasn’t content until I’d done the whole house.

You can see the cyclone technology in action, as everything gets swept up in a tornado and swirled into the easy to empty receptacle. Dyson’s website informs me that this action is caused by “18 concentric array cyclones” working together. I’m sure my new-found love of vacuuming is due to the almost mesmeric effect of the tornado of dust and particulate matter that gets swept up.

I have been amazed to look at carpet I knew I’d cleaned a day earlier, and to see it looking fresh and clean. I haven’t even had to stop to change settings as I effortlessly weave my way into our tiled floor surfaces, sucking up evidence of my spilt breakfast cereal. I tend to be with cereal how the Cookie Monster is with cookies.

Now, however, I can effortlessly clean up one-handed while spooning another delicious mouthful with the other hand. 

Sadly, due to unforeseen circumstances, I’m yet to chat with any of the designers or engineers, as I have been busy commuting to and from hospital, with appointments unerringly falling on days when I've been scheduled to Zoom with one of the creators. However, I was fortunate enough to have lunch seated next to one of the Pure Cool Me engineers a year or so ago, and he gave me a wonderful insight into how the teams at Dyson work, from drawing board through to testing, redesigning and retesting.

I’m not an engineer and my understanding of quantum mechanics is in its infancy. However, I have a pretty fair understanding of how Dyson’s technology creates a cyclonic air movement, sweeping up particles both large and small. 

Dyson calls this model 'Outsized' but don’t let that fool you into thinking that it is unwieldy or heavy. I’m pretty sure it refers to the larger attachment that can cover more area with each sweep. Don’t be overwhelmed by the plethora of attachments in the box, by the way.

There is sure to be a special purpose for each one, but the one for the floors will doubtless fascinate you. It actually revolves, brushing into the carpet and ensuring that all those greeblies lurking in the shagpile are hungrily suctioned up. 

Included in the box is a wall-mounted attachment that allows you to hang the Dyson when not in use. The battery charger nestles inside meaning that you recharge whenever you put the vacuum away. You have three options depending on how much you want the Dyson to suck for you.

The main economy setting seems to work well, but I did amp up the sucky factor for those hard to move bits of grit that seem determined to add themselves to the warp and woof of the average carpet. 

That brings me to the next major selling point. This is one easily handled machine, which has no right packing such a powerful punch when you can easily manoeuvre it one-handed and without the need to worry about tripping over cords or reaching the end of the extension lead, I’ve been through the house more than once, and have yet to need to recharge.  

One reason for the ease of use appears to be the swivel mount that means the head glides and manoeuvres effortlessly into those hard-to-reach places like under the sofa or into a corner. Let’s face facts. If you are picking up the hints that I am having fun doing the vacuuming, you know you’ll be onto a winner.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the range of accessories that come with the Dyson. Besides the two main cleaning heads, there are 8 other tools included. There is an extension for hard to remove dirt, a dusting brush, a mattress tool and others that I am yet to explore.

The dusting tool is brilliant. Dusting with a cloth always leaves streaks behind, but the Dyson visibly sucked the dust off my footstool (the one we bought because we thought it had a stowaway box under the cushion, but it didn’t) leaving it spick and span. Storage is ridiculously easy. Just make sure your wall-mount is near a power outlet, and you can hang it away until you next need to vacuum.

From the no-mess emptying action through to the effortless experience of actual vacuuming, Dyson have gone out of their way to make cleaning less of a chore and more of a pleasure. Weighing in at only 3.56 kgs, the Dyson glides through your home effortlessly.

With about an hour of battery time, I have only had to recharge once in three uses. Charge time is about 4 ½ hours, and for those of you with larger homes, you may be interested in purchasing an extra battery.

Retailing at $1379, you should expect more than the average vacuum cleaner. To my mind and judging by the reviews of purchasers from one department store site I visited, you are getting real value for your money.

You won’t be disappointed by the performance, ease of handling, or the small storage footprint. Like me, you’ll be excited at the prospect of finding stubborn dirt, just so you can try the extension.  Promising an hour of use at full power, it is more than capable of handling the average home. 

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