Dyson V11 Torque Drive Review

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Review

In this review, we’ll be looking at the Dyson V11 Torque Drive, one of Dyson’s two flagship options that also include the V11 Outsize.

I’ve done extensive tests with it, and the results are quite impressive. The V11 Torque Drive is one of a few cordless options that have the ability to deep clean carpet, and that list includes that previous flagship option – the V10 Absolute.

True Upright Performance Minus the Cord

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Review

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Review

The results are in, and the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is the best cordless stick vacuum I’ve tested so far when it comes to cleaning carpet. It’s a bold claim, but the numbers do not lie – as the V11 was able to pick up an astonishing 114% of sand in one of the tests. That figure may sound absurd, but that’s factoring in the leftover sand from other cleaning tests I did on other vacuums. The improved performance is a result of the larger motor put in by Dyson. This upgrade bumps up the airflow by as much as 11% at the wand and 7.8% at the cleaning head. It isn’t the best on carpets as the V11 Outsize runs longer with its two batteries, but the Torque Drive is a lighter, more compact, and better option if you want to use it as a handheld.

*If you click this link and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Pros

  • It’s one of a few cord-free stick vacuums that can deep clean carpet.
  • Better than the Dyson V10 in the middle setting when it comes to vacuuming sand on carpets.
  • The LCD screen provides a more interactive experience, like showing the amount of run time left.
  • The dynamic load sensor automatically increases airflow on carpets.
  • Torque Drive head also works well on hard floors – even on stuff like Cheerios.
  • The more compact frame makes it better than the Outsize in its handheld configuration.

Cons

  • One of the more costly options
  • Larger body limits its reach underneath furniture.
  • The ball system can scratch hard floors.

Introduction to the Dyson V11 Torque Drive

When James Dyson said in an interview that they’d ditch developing plug-in uprights, I had my doubts, but with the subsequent releases of the V11 Torque Drive and Outsize, he is serious about it.

This model is one best I’ve tested so far when it comes to cleaning carpets (more on that below), thanks to the improvements with the motor, and the new Dynamic Load Sensor that automatically bumps up power when it detects more resistance.

We’ll look at these features in this section.

Torque Drive Head

Dyson V11 Torque Drive Head

The two green arrows point to the adjustable gates.

Unlike the V10 Absolute, the V11 only comes with a single floor tool – the Torque Drive, which is similar, design-wise to the V10’s Torque Drive head.

It has the same adjustable gates as the V10, which makes it usable for cleaning hard surfaces, better than any upright that Dyson has to offer.

These gates, along with the strong airflow, allow chunkier bits of dirt to fit through without having to plop the cleaning head over it just to clean.

One thing to note is that the soft roller (or fluffy) tool in the V10 will fit in the V11, just in case you want that functionality.

On carpet, this tool shines. With the gates fully closed, you can feel the strong suction as there will be lots of resistance pushing it forward, more so on the max setting.

One of the first tests I did was to clean the two carpets I have without scattering any debris.

The first one is a low pile carpet I left in the room for a few days prior, and this was how much gunk it picked up.

Dyson V11 pick up on low pile carpet

We live in an urban area, so it’s quite dusty, and this test shows the need to vacuum regularly even if the carpet looks clean.

Next, we’ll look at how much it was able to pick up on mid pile carpet.

Dyson V11 pick up on mid pile carpet

Most of the stuff you see here is sand, which is what I use when testing how well each vacuum cleans ground-in dirt.

Since this carpet is stored elsewhere, there isn’t much dust and hair.

Dynamic LCD Screen

The Dyson V11 Torque Drive comes with an LCD screen that shows, in real-time, how much run time is remaining that updates as you toggle between the different power settings. It also alerts you of any potential blockages or if the filter is loose.

Dyson V11 LCD screen

Underneath the screen is a button that lets you choose between three different modes – low, medium (or auto), and high.

It does not have a touchscreen feature, but I feel it is a significant improvement over the V10 that uses a slide switch.

The V11 Animal does not have an LCD screen, but an LED display with a single button below it to switch between power settings. It lacks the countdown timer found in the Torque Drive model, but it shows the same information but in a different format.

If you don’t mind not having the interactivity of V11 Torque Drive, then the V11 Animal is a good, less expensive alternative.

Dynamic Load Sensor

Another feature worth noting is the Dynamic Load Sensor (or DLS). This sensor continually monitors the load on the brush roll and then automatically increases suction when it detects an increase in brush resistance.

This means that on normal load, the motor runs at a certain speed, but when there is more resistance (e.g., on carpet), the sensor fires a signal to the motor to increase the RPM, thus raising airflow.

Take note that the DLS sensor is only active in the middle (or auto) setting. In essence, the V11 has six different power settings with the torque drive attached.

Attachments and Tools

Not only will the V11 clean floors, but it also usable as a handheld thanks to the removable wand and interchangeable tools.

Dyson V11 tools

These are the tools that come with the V11 Torque Drive:

  1. Mini turbo brush: a miniature version of the main cleaning head for cleaning fabric sofas, chairs, and mattresses.
  2. Soft dusting brush: This is an oval brush tool with soft bristles that work great for cleaning more delicate areas like curtains and lampshades.
  3. Crevice tool: excellent for cleaning tight spaces inside vehicles.
  4. Combination tool: It’s a two-in-one attachment that has an upholstery and brush tool.
  5. Stubborn dirt brush: It’s another oval tool but with stiffer bristles for cleaning stubborn stuff like pet hair on low pile carpet or fabric upholstery.
  6. Wand storage clip: a utensil that you clip on the wand for storing two extra attachments.
  7. Docking station: It’s a wall-mountable contraption for storing the V11 in a vertical position to save space.

The V11 Torque Drive does not have the fluffy attachment, and this option isn’t available. The Fluffy or Absolute versions are only available in the European and Asian markets. However, if you want to use the soft roller (or fluffy) tool, the V10’s fluffy device is compatible with the V11.

How much power does the Dyson V11 Torque Drive have?

One of the significant upgrades that Dyson put into the V11 Torque Drive is the power. To measure this, I used an anemometer to measure airflow at the wand and cleaning head.

Here are the results of the tests.

AirflowLowMidMax
Wand34.55 CFM41.91 CFM66.13 CFM
Cleaning Head28.52 CFM31.94CFM53.58 CFM

The V11 has the highest airflow numbers of any of the cordless stick vacuums I’ve tested.

Compared to the V10, the V11 has 8.38% more airflow at the main cleaning head and 10.2% at the wand. This difference in airflow translates to better cleaning performance on embedded sand on medium-pile carpets.

How long does the Dyson V11 run?

Dyson claims that the V11 Torque Drive has a 60 minute run time. So I had to test if these were accurate, and the results were impressive.

Please check the table below for the full results.

Power settingLowMed/AutoHigh
Non-motorized tools (e.g. crevice tool)
71:11
40:12
6:53
Hard Floor
74:58
46:11
7:14
Carpet
57:16
18:33

* The tests done on hard floors and carpet are with the torque drive attachment with the wand. I did this to get the most realistic result possible.

So Dyson was quite conservative with their estimate. With the crevice tool, it ran past the 71-minute mark.

I was a bit disappointed with the 18-minute run time on carpets, but when you consider how much sand it picks up on carpet (99.97%), it is still better than the V10 at the max setting (97.03%) that only ran for 5 minutes.

If you have lots of carpet at home, I’d recommend the V11 over the V10.

On hard floors, the V11 ran close to 75 minutes at low and went past the 46-minute mark at the middle setting.

Recharging will take between four and five hours, so you’ll have to wait. Unfortunately, the V11’s battery isn’t removable. Only the Outsize has the detachable battery, so it’s something you’ll have to decide on considering the price difference.

How noisy is the Dyson V11?

Using a sound meter, I measured how much noise the V11 produces with the torque drive as it is the noisiest in this configuration.

  • Low: 66.5 dB
  • Medium: 68.7 dB
  • High: 78.9 dB

There’s no doubt that the V11 is noisy, but one thing I noticed is that the torque drive head isn’t as loud as that of the V10 based on the ear test, even if the results say otherwise.

How does the Dyson V11 clean?

Like most of Dyson’s cord-free products, the V11 works on the principle of interchangeability.

However, with the larger bin and motor, the V11 is heftier than the older generation options like the V7 and V8, making it more top-heavy.

The V11’s primary purpose is to clean floors with the bump in airflow and longer battery life.

Unlike the V10, the V11 Torque Drive model only comes with the standard brush roll.

Fortunately, the adjustable gates have enough clearance to clean more significant bits of dirt like Cheerios and Fruit loops so this won’t be an issue, but it won’t be as good as a soft roller when it comes to cleaning stuff like sand or pet litter (more on that later).

The torque drive of the V11 shines on carpets, particularly, cleaning embedded sand and dust. People looking for a cord-free product that can clean such should have a look at this option.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, even on a clean-looking carpet, it was able to pick up a lot of dust, hair, and sand.

You can use the V11 as a handheld, but one issue I have with it is the bulk. The larger dirt capacity takes up more space than the previous V8 series.

It isn’t an issue on wide-open spaces inside the home, but it can be when cleaning smaller areas such as inside a vehicle.

Cleaning Performance

I did extensive testing with the Dyson V11 with regards to how well it cleans different surfaces using a variety of debris that includes quaker oats, coffee, quinoa, pet litter, cheerios, and sand.

These tests aim to see how well the torque drive head does on carpets and hard floors.

It reveals potential weak points and highlights the strengths of this stick vacuum. For the standard tests, I scattered 50 grams worth of debris on the surface tests and 100 grams of sand for deep cleaning tests.

  • Overall: 99.66%
  • Hard Floor: 99.72%
  • Carpet (Surface Pick Up): 99.26%
  • Carpet (Deep Cleaning): 100%

Hard Floor Results

  • Quaker Oats: 99.3%
  • Coffee: 100%
  • Quinoa: 99.6%
  • Pet Litter: 100%
Dyson V11 on hard floor

The first tests I’ll share are the standard surface pick up experiments using the torque drive head. Remember that this model does not have the fluffy tool, but it was still able to score high marks in all of the tests.

I did not use the max setting in any of the tests to check how well the torque drive will work at the low and middle settings, and it didn’t disappoint!

Dyson V11 cleaning quaker oats on hard floor Dyson V11 cleaning coffee grounds on hard floor Dyson V11 cleaning quinoa on hard floor Dyson V11 cleaning pet litter on hard floors

It was able to pick up close to 100% of the different debris, such as quaker oats, coffee, quinoa, and pet litter. The gates were fully open, which helps the V11 take in more massive piles of dirt with minimal plowing.

Sand on Hard Floor Test

One of the toughest things to clean on any hard surface is sand, and the V11 did well despite not having the soft roller attachment. On two tests, it was able to pick up an average of 99.4%.

The score is impressive because most vacuums with a standard brush roll will struggle with sand.

It did leave a trail on the forward pass, but most of it was picked up at the backward pass.

Dyson V11 cleaning sand on hard floors

You could see trails of sand on the forward pass.

One issue using the standard brush roll on hard floors cleaning sand is the potential of scratching the surface.

Dyson V11 cleaning sand backward pass

It was able to pick up most of the sand on the backward pass.

Unlike the soft roller attachment that has lots of padding, the torque drive does not have such, so there’s more friction.

Large Debris on Hard Floors

Thanks to the two adjustable gates of the V11 Torque Drive, it can pick up even significant bits of dirt like Cheerios.

Dyson V11 cleaning Cheerios on hard floor

The torque drive head can clean Cheerios on hard floors.

Carpet Cleaning

Next, we’ll look at how well the Dyson V11 does on cleaning carpet. So I did tests on low and mid pile carpet. Again, I did most of the tests at the low and medium setting with the gates open to see how effective the torque drive is at these modes.

Dyson V11 cleaning various debris on medium pile carpet.

Low Pile Results

  • Quaker Oats: 99.9%
  • Coffee: 98.3%
  • Quinoa: 99.5%
  • Pet Litter: 99.5%
Dyson V11 cleaning quaker oats on low pile carpet Dyson V11 cleaning coffee grounds on low pile carpet Dyson V11 cleaning quinoa on low pile carpet Dyson V11 cleaning pet litter on low pile carpet

Mid Pile Results

  • Quaker Oats: 100%
  • Coffee: 99.5%
  • Quinoa: 100%
  • Pet Litter: 97.4%
Dyson V11 quaker oats on mid pile carpet Dyson V11 cleaning coffee grounds on mid pile carpet Dyson V11 cleaning quinoa on mid pile carpet Dyson cleaning pet litter on mid pile carpet

The lowest score on medium pile carpet was on pet litter. It was low because I did the first test using the lowest setting, and it left a trail behind on the forward pass. And while it was able to pick up most of the debris on the backward pass, some of it was pushed back further.

If I cleaned the whole carpet, it would be able to pick up the rest of the pet litter scattered.

Deep Cleaning Test

Dyson V11 deep cleaning on mid pile carpet

To test how the V11 does at cleaning embedded dirt, I rubbed 100 grams of sand on medium pile carpet and vacuumed the area at the medium (or auto) and high setting.

I did two separate tests to see if the auto setting is feasible for carpet cleaning.

The results were remarkable as the torque drive head was able to pick up an average of 99.97% in the auto setting.

Take note that the dynamic load sensor kicks in during this setting, so the motor runs at a higher speed.

The bad news is that the run time goes down to 18 minutes at this mode, but it picks up more than the Dyson V10 at its highest setting.

When I  moved it to the max, the V11 was able to pick up 114% of sand. I’m not exaggerating but reporting the results. The excess was sand left on the tests of the other vacuums.

Ergonomics and Maneuverability

The Dyson V11 isn’t the most compact vacuum out there. So it doesn’t score as high a mark as the smaller options like the Roborock H6 or Dyson V7.

But for the amount of power it has, weight distribution in its handheld configuration is decent.

There won’t be any problem cleaning open spaces inside the home. The V11 is light enough to do the job. I like it for cleaning upholstery like this chair.

Dyson V11 Handheld mode

The only I have with it is the body getting in the way when cleaning underneath furniture as it will not go deep.

As for its maneuverability, the ball system of the torque drive head steers well, especially on hard floors.

On carpet, the strong airflow makes it harder to push and pull the cleaning head.

You can alleviate some of that by opening up the gates but at the expense of deep cleaning performance.

Product Specifications

ModelDyson V11 Torque Drive
Brush roll on/offNo
Battery3,600 mAh
Charging time4-5 hrs.
Battery life74 mins.
Net weight6.68 lbs.
Width9.84"
Overall length50.63"
Battery indicatorYes
Filter type1 HEPA filter
Dust capacity0.77 li.
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Warranty2 yrs.
PriceCheck Price

Availability of Parts and Warranty

Dyson parts are widely available because of its popularity.

You can purchase replacement parts (both OEM and 3rd party) from Amazon or Direct from Amazon without any issues. Components such as filters, brush roll, brushes, and even the battery are widely accessible online.

The issue isn’t the availability of parts, but the price. For instance, the replacement battery of the Dyson V11 will cost around $150 if you buy the original one direct from their website.

Dyson backs up its products with a 2-year warranty in the United States. In some parts of the world, that warranty extends to up to 5 years.

Where can I buy the Dyson V11?

The V11 is available in online stores like Amazon and Walmart. Please check the links below for the latest prices.

Please note that if you purchase through any of the links above, I will earn a commission, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!

Does the Dyson V11 Provide Good Value?

Yes, the Dyson V11 is quite expensive, even with the release of the Outsize. But there’s no questioning it’s performance, especially at cleaning carpet.

I’ve tested a lot of stick vacuums, and there’s no doubt that this is the best cordless vacuum for carpet when it comes to picking up embedded gunk.

The Outsize may be better and goes further, but the V11 torque drive is cheaper and lighter.

People who are looking for a cordless stick vacuum that can truly clean carpets will not be disappointed with the V11 Torque Drive or Animal.

You can also take advantage of its power to clean the mattresses.

4 Reasons to buy the Dyson V11 Torque Drive

  1. Outstanding at cleaning carpet: The V11 will clean carpet as well as an upright but also provides the convenience of a cord-free product.
  2. Above-average on hard floors: It also has adjustable gates that make it very usable on hard floors, but there is some risk of scratching.
  3. Extended run time: Even with the torque drive head, it will run for as much as 74 minutes.
  4. Versatile: Not only will this vacuum clean floors, but it has the versatility to clean areas such as furniture or stairs.

The Verdict: An Excellent Alternative to a Bulky Upright For Cleaning Carpet

After all the tests, I conclude that the Dyson V11, either the Animal or the Torque Drive, is an excellent option cleaning carpet.

It has superior performance over the V10 thanks in large part that it can do so longer.

The higher airflow and new torque drive with the DLS sensor can clean embedded dirt as good as an upright and does it without any cords.

If you don’t want to spend a crazy amount for the Outsize, this is a good, less expensive alternative.

Even if it does not have the soft roller attachment, it will do quite well at cleaning most types of debris on hard surfaces.

An Excellent Cordless Option for Cleaning Carpets
  • Ergonomics - 93%
    93%
  • Surface Cleaning - 99.66%
    100%
  • Deep Cleaning - 100%
    100%
  • Quality - 95%
    95%
  • Design - 93%
    93%
  • Value - 95%
    95%
96%

Summary

I’m truly impressed by how the Dyson V11 cleaning carpets. It’s one of a handful of stick vacuums that can perform as well as an upright vacuum when it comes to deep cleaning this type of surface. Even if the Dyson V10 can do the job, the V11 does it better for longer stretches because of how it does it even at the medium setting. Between the V10 and V11, I would recommend the latter for homes with lots of carpets because that’s its main strength. The V11 Outsize may be better, but the V11 Torque Drive is cheaper so it’s a matter of how much you’re willing to spend.