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Dyson V11 Review: Torque Drive VS Animal

  • Dyson V11 Review: Torque Drive VS Animal

In this comprehensive Dyson V11 review, we are going to share everything that you need to know about this very popular stick vacuum cleaner and see how it compares from its predecessor, the V10 in terms of cleaning abilities, features and much more

We hope that once you are done going through our review, it will have helped you in determining whether or not the V11 is an ideal unit for you.

Dyson V11 review: Torque Drive, Animal, and Absolute

The Dyson V11 is actually an upgrade of the Dyson V10 and just like it’s predecessor, it comes in three different versions which include models:

  • Torque Drive,
  • Animal,
  • and Absolute Pro (currently not available in the US market)

The three have a similar core feature set but have slight differences which we are going to see as we take a closer look at what the Dyson V11 has to offer. So, let’s get started.

Main features:

  • Three-Stage Cleaning Process
  • High Torque Cleaning Head
  • Dynamic Load Sensor System
  • HEPA Filtration System
  • LED Screen Display

and now in more detail…

Cleaning system

The first important part where the Dyson V11 received a major boost is the cleaning system.  It relies on a two-tier cleaning system which consists of a brush head and suction with the addition of an effective filtration system.

The first stage involves the main brush head which is a high torque drive brush roll that’s made up of two types of bristles. It’s an advanced brush head designed for both hard and carpeted floors, and it’s capable as well of identifying different types of floors.

The second stage is the suction which utilizes the Dyson digital motor V11 which is a powerful motor compared to what the Dyson V10 has and delivers strong suction to lift up dislodged dirt.

The final stage is the filtration system and here the Dyson V11 uses a HEPA filter which removes allergens and dust in the air that pass through the unit to expel cleaner air to the surrounding.

The Dyson V11 also comes with a good number of additional attachments that are quite useful for several cleaning tasks. It comes with a soft dusting brush, a stubborn dirt brush, a mini motorized tool, a combination tool, and a crevice tool.

In short, as far as the cleaning system and tools are concerned, you are well covered with the Dyson V11. But, how does it perform when it comes to the actual cleaning?

Cleaning performance on different types of floors

Performance on carpet floors

The V11 is really engineered towards carpet cleaning as it has a reliable cleaning head and sufficient suction power to deal with even high piled carpets that often need a deep clean.

  • Torque Drive Brush Head

As I mentioned above, the main cleaner head for this model is the torque drive cleaning head and it’s present in both the Torque Drive and Animal versions of the V11 model.

Dyson v11 Torque Drive review

This advanced brush head is designed to clean all floor types but it performs excellently when it comes to carpeted floors. It features two sides, one with stiff bristles and another featuring soft carbon fiber filaments.

The stiff bristles brush bar is a powerful brush roll that spins at a speed of around 60 revolutions per second.  The bristles are slightly apart and much firmer which together with the fast rotating action allows the brush to agitate deeply embedded dirt more vigorously.

If you have medium or high-pile carpet, you will appreciate how good this brush head is at dislodging embedded dirt from carpets. It’s a lot more efficient and offers a wide cleaning path which allows you to cover much ground within a shorter period.

Moreover, the Dyson V11 comes with a hard dusting brush which has longer and stiffer bristles. It’s a nice addition to dealing with stubborn dirt especially on high-pile carpets.

  • Suction power

Aside from the impressive torque drive brush and hard dusting brush, the strong suction power at the nozzle of this V11 vacuum is yet another thing that makes it a highly effective carpet cleaner.

Dyson V11 digital motor

The unit is equipped with the Dyson digital motor V11 which spins at 125,000 RPM. At such a fast speed, the motor generates a great deal of suction that’s capable of pulling in even the tiniest particles.

The suction power of this unit alone is 20% more powerful than that of the V10 model. What this means is that you will be able to perform deep vacuuming on your high pile carpet much quickly and effectively using this unit and that’s a big plus.

Performance on hard floors

When it comes to hard floors, the V11 is well equipped to handle all kinds of messes without causing any damages on the surface. It utilizes the same high torque drive cleaner head but uses the soft carbon fiber filament.

The soft filaments of the cleaner head are quite effecting are removing finer dirt and dust particles from hard as well as bare floors. It’s gentle and gets all the dirt out without leaving marks on the surface.

When you combine this brush and the strong suction that the motor produces, you can quickly and efficiently clean up whatever lies in your path.

A mini soft dusting brush has also been included in the package and this is indeed a wonderful addition especially when it comes to wooden floors.

This mini brush has soft bristles that are gentle and close together. It’s a handy dusting tool that makes it a lot easier and safer to clean sensitive surfaces like wooden floors.

It’s worth noting that the V11 Animal does not feature a soft dusting brush. It’s not a big deal but it’s a handy tool that’s certainly worth having.

Upholstery and pet hair cleaning

One thing that you might have noticed by now in this Dyson V11 review is that this model comes fully equipped to handle different kinds of cleaning jobs. It has several tools that simplify cleaning your upholstery as well as pet hairs. 

The most notable one is the mini-motorized tool which actually serves as a good handheld tool for removing pet hair and dirt from upholstery as well as fabrics.

Dyson V11 motorized brush tool

The amazing thing about this cleaning head is that it can boost suction as you are cleaning, especially where there’s a lot of pet hair to clean.

Another useful tool included with this vacuum is the combination tool which serves as both a dusting brush and a crevice tool. It’s quite an effective cleaning tool for things like furniture and couches. You can even use it to clean your car.

Both the Torque Drive and Animal versions also feature an equally useful crevice tool. It’s longer with a narrower opening ideal for capturing debris as well as for cleaning hard-to-reach spots like behind and under furniture.

Dyson V11 crevice tool

All these tools coupled up with the strong suction, the V11 is indeed capable of handling pet hair and upholstery cleaning pretty well. 

Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) technology

In a few Dyson stick vacuum reviews, we went through, there were concerns that several previous models didn’t clean consistently when transitioning from carpet floor to hard floor and back again.

Most Dyson vacuums are known for doing great on different floor types, however, Dyson seems to have considered these concerns when they built the V11 model.

The V11 goes a step further as the torque drive cleaner head which is the main cleaner head is incorporated with a Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) technology. This system is unique to the V11 and it does feature sensors that detect the brush bar resistance as you clean.

With this data, the unit can detect the differences in the floor surface upon which it can adjust the motor speed accordingly and deliver optimal suction based on the specific floor.

Dyson V11 Dynamic Load Sensor

For instance, when you run the vacuum over a hard floor, the cleaning head sensor will detect less resistance and keep the suction power at the standard level.

However, when you switch to a carpeted floor, the brush bar sensors will detect more resistance and adjust the motor to spin much faster to increase suction power.

This way you get to easily move from one floor to another and the same time has just the right suction power for the respective floor you are cleaning. No need of toggling a switch like in most other vacuums since the whole process happens automatically.

That’s one of the biggest perks you get from this V11 model and the outcome is not just an outstanding cleaning performance but it also helps save the overall run time.

Apart from just being able to detect different floor types, all the cleaning heads of the Dyson V11 have a low profile with a slim design which makes it quite easy for them to reach and clean low and awkward spaces or hard to reach areas like under low furniture.

Cleaning modes

To make your cleaning experience even easier, the Dyson V11 features three cleaning modes – auto, boost, and eco which all control the suction power of the unit.

Dyson V11 cordless vacuum cleaner

On the AUTO MODE, the vacuum utilizes the Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) technology hence it’s able to intelligently adjust the suction power as you move from one floor to another.

This setting is more efficient for cleaning hard floors as well as low pile carpets and it’s also effective when it comes to pet hair pick up.

The BOOST MODE, on the other hand, provides a super-powerful, intensive cleaning as the suction power is increased to an optimal level. It gives an outstanding pick-up on both carpet and hard floors.

Due to the high suction strength, the boost mode is particularly ideal for tacking deeply embedded dirt on carpets as well as picking up larger crumbs and fine dust on hard floors.

It can pick up lots of pet hair too in just one easy sweep. The catch though is that the battery won’t last long on this setting. You will only get around 10 minutes of continuous use before requiring a recharge. However, it does last much longer when it’s in the auto mode.

The last mode is the ECO MODE which uses significantly less power allowing you to clean for a longer time compared to both auto and boost modes. Due to the low power consumption, the suction strength is greatly reduced making it more ideal for less-intensive cleanings. 

Filtration system

Filtration is a vital part of any vacuum especially for those that suffer from allergies or respiratory diseases like asthma. In other words, a great vacuum cleaner should have a reliable and effective filtration system.

During our Dyson V11 Torque Drive review as well as from the many Dyson Animal reviews we got to go through, we noticed that both versions were equipped with a highly efficient filtration system just like the in the V10 model.

Dyson has incorporated a whole machine filtration system in both versions which is basically an advanced fully-sealed system that utilizes a HEPA grade air filter.

The filter is capable of capturing up to 99.97% of dirt and dust particles that are as small as 0.3 microns. It does achieve the efficiency of a true HEPA filter which is the highest standard you will get in a vacuum cleaner.

The best thing about this filtration system is that Dyson has also included a cyclonic dirt air separation system as part of it. This system uses 14 cyclones which generate large forces that separate dirt and dust from the vacuumed air.

The filtration system is fully sealed such that the air can’t exit the unit while it’s being filtered. All allergens and dust particles are completely removed and trapped inside the dirt bin. The unit practically expels only the clean air back into the surrounding.

Therefore, if you suffer from allergies or if any member of your family has any respiratory diseases or allergies that may get triggered with exposure to dust, then the V11 would be a much safer vacuum. Plus the filter is washable too and very durable.

Dirt bin capacity

With a dirt bin capacity of around 0.2 gallons, it’s not the largest you will find in the market but it’s a decent size for regular cleaning even of larger areas. Emptying the dirt bin is very easy and quick. No struggling with a lid or flipping anything over.

Once you are done with the vacuuming, you just push down on the bin’s side lever which then opens it where you can then empty its contents directly into the trash can.

It utilizes a bottom emptying system, so you don’t end up touching the dirt in any moment as it empties straight down. Furthermore, the bin is transparent hence you get to view the amount of vacuumed dirt and easily tell when the bin is full.

Power source

The V11 is a cordless unit and as such, it’s powered by a battery. However, when compared to its immediate predecessor, the V10, it has a more efficient battery with a higher capacity.

The unit uses 7-cell lithium-ion batteries which can deliver up to 1 hour of fade-free power once fully charged. That’s enough run time to cover a large area before requiring a recharge.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive

The actual run time might vary though depending on the power mode as well as the type of floor and attachments you will use.

Even so, these batteries are very powerful and allow the unit to generate 20% more suction power than that of the V10 model and it remains constant until the battery charge becomes low enough not to churn out sufficient power.

An added advantage is that the unit gives you more control over your cleaning as it features a built-display that lets you know the real-time battery level. The Dyson V10 also lets you know the battery level but instead of a display, it uses an indicator.

Recharging the battery is pretty straightforward but it takes about 4 to 5 hours for it to fully charge which is somewhat long. The good thing though is that Dyson has made it much easier with the addition of a convenient docking station.

It serves as a charging dock and also as a convenient storage space for both the vacuum and other attachments.


While going through different Dyson reviews, another key thing we noted is that most customers and experts complain about how the previous models offered little in the way of usability.

You couldn’t tell the remaining run time as you vacuumed or detect filter problems. To address these issues, Dyson incorporated an advanced LCD screen into the V11 and it’s indeed a welcomed feature that has really simplified the usability of this new vacuum.

Aside from showing you the selected power mode and the machine performance in real-time, the LCD screen features a countdown timer that displays the remaining run time before the battery dies.

The count down is fairly accurate and really does help you to allocate your time more wisely especially if you tend to overestimate the cleaning time and battery usage.

Moreover, the unit is designed to detect blockages or any problems with the filter upon which you get an alert on the LCD screen to let you know that there’s a problem. It even alerts you in case the filter is loose and sends reminders to clean it if it is clogged.

However, unlike the Dyson V11 Torque Drive version, the Dyson V11 Animal features a more basic display. It does not include the countdown timer but it does show the battery level.

The overall design and build quality

Looking at our Dyson V11 review so far, you can clearly tell that Dyson has put much effort in boosting the performance of this new vacuum compared to its earlier models.

However, a good design is not only about performance but should also focus on making a vacuum more efficient to use and to this end, Dyson has again really tried.

First, this model features a 2-in-1 cordless stick design with trigger power controls that’s much similar to the V10. You can use it as a stick vacuum cleaner with the main cleaning head attached or convert it into a handheld vacuum using the smaller attachments.

With this versatility, you can quickly handle different cleaning situations like cleaning stairs and upholstery with much ease as opposed to when it’s just a single stick unit.

Another nice addition in terms of design is the clip-on tool carrier that fits onto the wand. Dyson has been trying various methods in the past to help users manage all the attachments and this is the one that actually seems a bit sane to us. 

The clip allows you to carry two tools securely which is not only convenient but also makes changing the attachments fast and easy.

Also same as the V10, the motor and the dirt bin are aligned with the wand of the vacuum. This straight-line design results in better airflow which translates to stronger suction since dirt and air are sucked up into the unit in a straight line.

Besides, the unit is incredibly thin and weighs only 6.68 pounds, so it’s fairly light plus the weight is well distributed across the body.  The wand is flexible while the base can swivel to facilitate for tight 90°.

There are no wheels, but the brush roll does navigate smoothly and considering that the unit is relatively lightweight, you can carry or push it around with complete ease.

Overall, the vacuum feels very solid with all the parts including the cleaning attachments made of good quality materials that can withstand frequent heavy use. It’s a unit that’s built to give you service for a long time.

Noise level

As for the noise level, Dyson V11 is not the quietest stick vacuum out there but the fact that it has acoustic baffles built into its motor to divert direct sound helps cut down the maximum noise level.

It slightly quiet when using the small attachments but does make a bit of noise when using the torque drive brush. It produces a sound of around 68 dB which is more of a “high-pitched whirring”. Fortunately, you won’t have to endure the noise for too long as the vacuum is very efficient and thorough.

Who is it best for?

Generally, the Dyson V11 is an ideal choice for anyone that likes the versatility offered by a cordless vacuum. If you do a lot of cleaning often, have pets that shed hair like crazy or your home is majorly covered with carpets, medium or high-pile one, then the V11 is perfect for you.

It’s also an ideal vacuum for those with larger homes and apartments but they do not want the inconvenience of a large vacuum thanks to its effective cleaning system and longer battery life.

The fact that it features an effective HEPA filter makes it a good option for those that have allergies or are asthmatic since it’s more than capable of giving them the protection they need when vacuuming.

Torque Drive vs Animal: what’s the difference?

So far, we’ve looked at the core features that this Dyson V11 vacuum offers, but although its two main versions, the Torque Drive, and Animal share a lot in terms of design and features, there are slight differences that set them apart and it’s worth noting them. 

The main difference between the two versions is the display screen. The Dyson V11 Torque Drive model features an LCD screen that has a countdown timer. It displays the cleaning performance, the battery level and the remaining run time in real-time.

The screen can also display and alert you in case of any problems with the filter. It can even show a quick animation on how to fix such errors like a loose filter or blockages.

The Dyson V11, on the other hand, comes with an LED screen which is a little basic since it does not feature a countdown timer. It only displays the battery level and performance. Although it’s a slight difference, the LCD screen of the Torque Drive is definitely an advantage worth having.

From our Dyson V11 Torque Drive review and Dyson V11 Animal review, we also noted a minimal difference in accessories between these two versions. While the V11 Torque Drive has a total of eight included attachments, the V11 Animal has only seven.

The difference here is the soft dusting brush, which is not included in the V11 Animal version. Other than that, all the other core features and attachments are the same in both versions.

Related: Tineco A11 Master stick vacuum cleaner

Dyson V11 vs V10: is there any difference?

Our Dyson V11 review would not be complete without a comparison with previous Dyson V10 models.

The Dyson V11 and the V10 models share a similar look, feel and core features. However, the V11 was released as an upgrade to the V10 and the two models even though they seem much similar, they do differ in several areas.

Cleaning head

One of the areas that Dyson has stepped up a notch in their new V11 model is in the main cleaning head. While both models have an almost similar torque drive head, that of the V11 is more advanced as it features a Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) system.

This is an advanced floor sensor technology that allows the V11 to identify different floor types and automatically adjust the power according to the specific floor.

It’s a very essential feature that makes the V11 more efficient than it’s predecessor as it’s able to deliver the deliver optimal performance on different floors.

Suction power

Another key difference between the two models is the suction power. In max mode, the Dyson V10 delivers around 150 AW which is sufficient suction power for a cordless stick vacuum.

However, the Dyson V11 offers a much stronger suction as it delivers 185 AW in max mode and even gives more power in medium mode setting (auto mode) compared to the V10. It’s able to pick up large crumbs and dirt with much ease than most other similar vacuums.

Built-in Display

The other obvious thing that sets the V11 apart from the V10 model is the LCD screen located at the top of the handle.

The Dyson V10 is equipped with only an indicator that lets you know the battery level. The V11, on the other hand, comes with an LCD screen which not only shows you the battery level but also the remaining run time as well as the performance of the vacuum in real time.

The Animal version of the V11, however, has a more basic display. It doesn’t have a countdown timer but it still shows the performance, battery level, and current mode. Therefore, Dyson V11 is quite an advantage especially in terms of ease of use and efficiency when it comes to operating it.

Cleaning attachments

As we have mentioned earlier in our Dyson V11 review, both the V11 and V10 models come with about the same accessories kit. One change we’ve noticed though is that the Dyson V11 lacks the soft roller head which is designed purposely for cleaning hardwoods.

Dyson V11 attachments

Neither the Torque Drive nor the Animal version includes the soft roller head but the Dyson V10 has it.

This is a bit surprising and disappointing at the same time because the soft roller brush is very effective at capturing debris and dust from hardwood floors without leaving marks or blowing them around the floor.

To be honest, the V11 model has a very impressive overall cleaning performance thanks to the Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) system.

However, in our previous tests, we found the soft roller head to be an essential addition as it does make a noticeable difference when it comes to cleaning hard surfaces.

The battery life

The Dyson V11 is powered by 7-cell lithium-ion batteries which are run much longer than that of the Dyson V10. At high power settings, the V11 can last up to 14 minutes while the V11 only gives you a maximum run time of 9 minutes.

At the lowest power setting, the V11 can last for around 60 to 80 minutes before requiring recharging. The Dyson V10, on the other hand, can go for 40 to 60 minutes on the lowest setting, the eco mode.

In other words, the V11 has a much longer runtime which makes it perfect for handling large cleaning tasks. The catch, however, is that it takes a little longer to get fully recharged. While the Dyson V10 takes around 3.5 hours, the V11 takes an hour more to recharge.

Is Dyson worth it?

Is Dyson worth the money and is getting the newest model, the Dyson V11 a good choice? Well, your choice here will depend on your preference as well as the size and type of floor you’ve installed in your home.

In general, Dyson is a great brand that always delivers and while both its V10 and V11 models do a superb job with regards to cleaning carpet and bare floors, getting the Dyson V11 is much better.

It’s more intelligent and efficient due to the surface detection sensors, it’s more powerful in terms of suction power, it has an informative display that’s very useful, and it has longer battery life.

When it comes to cleaning performance, the V11 is as effective as its predecessor and it does make less noise the V10 despite having a stronger suction. So it’s a great upgrade over the V10 and certainly worth considering.


Dyson V11 review: final thoughts

Dyson has been constantly improving and reinventing their vacuum cleaners with every new release bringing something better into the market. The Dyson V11 is definitely no different in that respect. It’s a strong and versatile cordless vacuum that’s indeed worth every penny.

Images credit: dyson.com

9.8 Total Score

If you are looking for an advanced stick vacuum that offers convenience, versatility and great performance on various types of floors and surfaces, then the Dyson V11 is an option we would highly recommend you take under consideration.

Ease of use
Value for money
  • Capable of detecting different floor types
  • Impressive cleaning performance on both carpet and hard floors
  • Great for upholstery and pet hair cleaning
  • Powerful suction in both medium and high power settings
  • Excellent filtration system and a relatively long run time
  • Does not feature a soft brush roll
User Rating: 5 (8 votes)
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