Dyson V11 Cordless Vacuum Cleaner - Torque Drive and Animal Models

Dyson V11 is strong and versatile cordless, bagless vacuum cleaner. It is a convertible, 2-in-1 unit, designed to be used as lightweight cordless stick vacuum cleaner and powerful cordless handheld vacuum.

Although cordless vacuum, Dyson V11 is intended to be used as the main vacuum cleaner even in larger homes and apartments. It features excellent suction, true HEPA air filtration, versatile cleaning tools, convenient wall mountable docking/charging station etc. Also, it is anything but cheap vacuum. However, what you pay is what you get - strong and versatile vacuum cleaner, being able to clean home from the floor to the ceiling.

Updated: September 25, 2019.

dyson v11 torque drive animal 1

Dyson V11 Features and Specifications

Dyson V11 is powered via Dyson Digital V11 Motor, providing maximum suction of 185 Air Watts - and that is a strong suction, often stronger than the suction of many corded vacuums.

Dyson V11 comes with 7-cells nickel-cobalt-aluminum lithium ion battery, providing fade-free power, long operating time and relatively fast recharges.

Unit easily converts from the stick vacuum cleaner to handheld vacuum and back, allowing the user to quickly adapt to new situations.

When being used as the stick vacuum cleaner, unit uses new main cleaner head named 'Nickel Torque Drive' cleaner head, featuring two types of bristles and direct electric drive.

'Nickel Torque Drive' features soft carbon fiber filaments intended for cleaning fine dust and other small particles from hard, bare floors, while stiff bristles remove deeply embedded dirt from carpeted floors.

Also, 'Nickel Torque Drive' features so-called Dynamic Load Sensor (DLS) technology that monitors the brush bar resistance and adjust the motor 360 times per second, allowing the 'Nickel Torque Drive' cleaner head to easily glide over and vacuum different types of floors.

Note: previous Dyson cordless vacuums also featured Torque Drive cleaner head, but Dyson V11 comes with improved cleaner head, and to emphasize the difference, it is labeled as the 'Nickel Torque Drive'.

Despite being excellent cleaning tool, 'Nickel Torque Drive' is not maintenance free tool and occasionally user has to remove tangled pet and human hair, lint and fibers from the brush bar.

Brush bar cover is transparent, allowing the user to see current condition and if required, to clean it.

dyson v11 modes

In order to prolong the cleaning time on a single battery charge and to protect sensitive surfaces, both Dyson V11 Torque Drive and Dyson V11 Animal come with three different operating modes:

- Eco mode features lowest suction, but the longest operating time of up to, or even more than 60 minutes on a single battery charge. Operating time depends on the tool being used and as handheld vacuum with non-motorized cleaning attachment, Dyson V11 can easily surpass 60 minutes of operation without the need to recharge the battery.

- in Auto mode vacuum senses the floor surface and adapts the operation accordingly. This mode allows the user to easily clean large, flat surfaces with 'Nickel Torque Drive', regardless of the surface type. When cleaning using any other tool, Auto mode becomes Medium suction mode. Operating time in Auto/Medium mode depends on the tool being used and the surfaces being cleaned, but it is shorter than 'Eco mode' and longer than 'Boost mode'.

- in Boost mode unit operates at the full power, shortening the battery life to 12 minutes, but producing respectful 185 Air Watts of suction - such suction is rarely achieved even by corded units.

One of the most important and obvious differences between V11 Torque Drive and V11 Animal is display type - V11 Torque Drive uses LCD screen, while V11 Animal uses LED screen.

lcd screen

LCD screen displays most important information about the unit, like battery status, cleaning mode, remaining operating time, potential issues and similar.

led screenOn the other hand, LED screen displays similar data, but displaying options are very limited.

For example, while LCD screen displays exact remaining operating time, LED screen features three LED lights that symbolizes either fully charged battery (three lights on), medium battery charge (two lights on), low battery charge (one light on), or battery empty (one blinking light).

When the battery is fully discharged, both V11 vacuums require ~4.5 hours to fully charge the battery.

Note: in order to prolong the battery life, it is recommended to cool the battery for 10-15 minutes after use, before charging the battery again. Dyson V11 comes with wall mounted charging station and its battery managements system allows the battery/vacuum cleaner to be indefinitely left in the docking station, without the fear of overcharging the battery.

Although large and powerful, Dyson V11 is easy to use and maintain convertible vacuum cleaner. Nonetheless, when it arrives, be sure to thoroughly read the manual/instructions - better safe than sorry.

Dirt cup capacity is 0.2 gallons (~0.76 liters) and is large enough for regular vacuuming even of the larger areas.

Since Dyson V11 uses cyclonic dirt air separation as the part of its air filtering system, it is of vital importance not to overfill the dirt cup.

Dirt cup is transparent, allowing the user to see the amount of vacuumed dirt. When full, dirt cup can be quickly emptied directly into the trash can using its bottom emptying system - there is no need for the user to touch the dirt in any moment.

Also, whole machine is designed with air filtration in mind, preventing the air from exiting the vacuum prior being filtered completely.

Cyclonic dirt air separation system uses 14 cyclones to generate large forces that remove the dirt from the vacuumed air.

Also, Dyson V11 uses washable high-efficiency exhaust air filter, achieving 'true HEPA' level of air filtration - it is able to capture 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles, expelling practically the clean air back into the vacuumed area.

Note: for exact maintenance procedures, check the manual. But, for short, never assemble the unit with wet filter and never use the unit with wet/moist filter or not filter at all.

Dyson V11 Torque Drive vs Dyson V11 Animal

Main differences between these two models are in color, screen type, length and in the list of available cleaning attachments, as shown in the following comparison chart:

Model Dyson V11 Torque Drive Dyson V11 Animal
Photo dyson v11 torque drive table  dyson v11 animal table 
Motor Type Dyson Digital V11 Motor Dyson Digital V11 Motor 
Post Motor Air Filter Yes Yes
Max. Operating Time 60+ minutes 60+ minutes
Operating Time in Boost Mode 12 minutes 12 minutes
Max. Suction 185 Air Wats 185 Air Wats
Display Type LCD Screen LED Screen
Dirt Cup 0.2 gal 0.2 gal
Charging Time 4.5 hours 4.5 hours
Weight 6.68 pounds 6.68 pounds
Dimensions 10.28 x 50.63 x 9.84 inches 10.28 x 49.65 x 9.84 inches
Nickel Torque Drive Yes Yes
Mini Motorized Tool Yes Yes
Combination Tool Yes Yes
Crevice Tool Yes Yes
Mini Soft Dusting Brush Yes No
 Stubborn Dirt Brush Yes Yes

Due to the differences in screen type and the list of available cleaning tools (Dyson V11 Animal lacks Mini Soft Dusting Brush), there is also a difference in price, with Dyson V11 Torque Drive being more expensive than Dyson V11 Animal.

Dyson Cordless Vacuums Comparison Chart

Dyson V11 cordless vacuum is following Dyson's philosophy of convertible cordless vacuums, started long ago and being present in the 'older' models like Dyson V10, Dyson V8, Dyson V7, Dyson V6 etc.

Note: I am not sure what happened with V9 :)

Anyway, the following chart lists the most recent Dyson's cordless vacuums:

Model Dyson V6 Absolute Dyson V7 Absolute Dyson V8 Absolute Dyson V10 Absolute Dyson V11 Torque Drive
Photo dyson v6 absolute  dyson v7 absolute  dyson v8 absolute  dyson v10 absolute  dyson v11 torque drive 
Max. Operating Time 20 minutes 30 minutes 40 minutes 60 minutes 60+ minutes
Max. Power Mode Operating Time 6 minutes 6 minutes 7 minutes 8 minutes 12 minutes
Max. Suction Power 100 Air Watts 100 Air Watts 115 Air Watts 150 Air Watts 185 Air Wats
Post Motor Air Filter Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Dirt Cup 0.11 gal 0.14 gal 0.14 gal 0.2 gal 0.2 gal
Charging Time 3.5 hours 4 hours 5 hours 3.5 hours 4.5 hours
Weight 5.1 pounds 5.3 pounds 5.75 pounds 5.9 pounds 6.68 pounds
Dimensions 9.8 x 47.5 x 8.2 inches 9.8 x 49 x 8.8 inches 9.8 x 49 x 8.8 inches 10.1 x 49.2 x 9.5 inches 10.28 x 50.63 x 9.84 inches

Note: Maximum operating time is tested using non-motorized cleaning attachments, using new, fully charged battery. In real life one can expect slightly shorter operating time, especially when the using motorized cleaner heads.

Dyson V6 and V7 feature maximum suction of 100 Air Watts in the boost mode, and that is excellent suction for cordless units, comparable with lower/medium range of corded units.

Dyson V8 features not only improved suction, but longer operating time and has been offered with extended list of cleaning tools at reasonable price.

Dyson V10 and V11 feature rearranged air pathways, improving suction to respectable 150 and 185 Air Watts, which is stronger suction than the suction of the most corded units.

But, stronger motors and longer operating times require larger batteries, hence V10 and especially V11 are the heaviest Dyson cordless vacuums.


dyson v11 torque drive animal mFor short: If you are looking for top-of-the-line cordless, convertible vacuum cleaner, and you don't mind paying for it, consider Dyson V10 and the latest V11.

But, personally, when it appeared, Dyson V8 Absolute was really something special and after years of use (and abuse), it has shown that it is great machine. Dyson V10 and especially V11 are not as tested in real situations as V8 and with the introduction of V11, the price of V8 is going down even more.

Getting a Dyson V8 Absolute with additional cleaning tools is IMHO the best option at this moment, at least as far as I am concerned.

If you should choose V10 or V11, you will get an expensive machine, but with no rivals in their class regarding suction, air filtration, cleaning capabilities etc.