Continuing my series on the Dyson V12 Detect, we’ll compare it to the V8 Absolute – one of Dyson’s older alternatives.
As I’ve mentioned in my other reviews, the V12 Detect is Dyson’s latest and another sub-variant in their ecosystem – smaller than the V15, V11, Outsize, and V10, but without the limitations of hard-floor-only options like the Micro and Omni-Glide.
The V8 Absolute is the last of Dyson’s previous generation cordless stick vacuum with a vertically aligned dustbin before switching to the current design. Dyson has discontinued this model, but it is still available in several online stores.
So which option is better? I’ve both the V8 Absolute and V12 Detect Slim through a grueling series of tests to find out.
An Overview Between the Dyson V12 Detect and V8 Absolute
Jump to: Introduction, Similarities, Differences, Ergonomics, Interface, Run Time, Airflow, Cleaning, Noise, Maintenance, Noise, Maintenance, Product Specifications, Where to Buy, Which is Better, Verdict
These models represent two different eras in Dyson’s history.
The V8 Absolute was the last of Dyson’s previous generation options, with a vertically aligned dustbin. The V12 Detect is Dyson’s latest, armed with a button instead of a trigger, plus a lighter frame, giving it better ergonomics than the gargantuan V15 Detect.
So both are some of Dyson’s lightest options, which bodes well for their handheld usability, but the V12 Detect has Dyson’s latest technology built-in, like the slim laser roller and the torque screw tool.
Better Ergonomics Than The V15 Detect: Dyson V12 Detect Slim
- Lightweight option over other full-sized Dyson stick vacuums (V10, V11, Outsize, and V15)
- Dyson’s first “full-sized” stick vacuum with a push-button switch
- Some sub-variants come with two detachable batteries
- Extended run time – around 63-minutes per battery
- A lighter frame enables it to move around tight quarters better than other V-series options
- This variant has the latest Dyson technology, like the light pile crevice tool, laser slim roller, and torque screw tool
- Small dustbin (only 0.35-liters)
- An expensive option
As I’ve said numerous times, the V12 Detect Slim is a new sub-model in the Dyson ethos – smaller than its full-sized counterparts (the V10, V11, Outsize, and V15) but without the limitations of the hard-floor-only options, the Omni-Glide and Micro 1.5KG.
The one-plus-point weight reduction may not sound like a lot, but cordless stick vacuums are enormous and can be felt during extended use.
Some comments in my V12 Detect review (on YouTube) reflect this sentiment, saying that the ergonomic benefits outweigh the power, range, and capacity compromises.
And these compromises could be the deciding factor between a full-sized V15 Detect or the (slightly) downsides V12, but there’s more nuance between this variant and the V8, which we’ll look at later.
The V12 Detect offers better value since it has Dyson’s latest technology built into it.
These include the dynamic LCD screen behind the motor connected to the Piezo sensor, showing the debris quantities and sizes picked up.
This feature was first seen in the V15 and is now slowly being rolled out to the Outsize and the V12.
The most helpful feature, in my opinion, is the laser slim roller that uses a bright green laser angled precisely accentuating almost-invisible dust better than any LED-equipped stick vacuum.
Other goodies integrated into the V12 Detect are the torque screw and light pipe crevice tools. The latter is available in select variants, so please check before purchasing.
The torque screw tool is (perhaps) the best tool I’ve used for cleaning long hair strands on fabric upholstery.
Even with this much hair, nothing wrapped on the brush afterward.
The light pipe crevice tool has an integrated LED stripe, lighting the areas around it – another Dyson innovation I haven’t seen in other brands.
Overall, the Dyson V12 Detect offers high-end features in premium Dyson options at a sub-premium price point.
If you don’t mind the shorter range, downgraded suction, and smaller dustbin, it’s an excellent alternative to the more expensive V15 Detect and Outsize.
More Basic Option: Dyson V8 Absolute
- Lighter than the V12, so it offers better ergonomics
- Larger-sized dustbin (0.54 vs. 0.35-liters)
- Lots of tools
- The first Dyson cordless vacuum with a hygienic system, so it’s less messy to empty
- Slightly better
- It doesn’t have the new tech found in the V12 Detect
- Non-detachable battery
- Shorter run time (41 vs. 63 mins)
- Not a huge price variance
The Dyson V8 Absolute was an innovation during its release. It was the first Dyson cordless stick vacuum with a hygienic system, which was a game-changer back then.
One issue with the previous Dyson V6 variant is the emptying mechanism that relied heavily on gravity and struggled with dust and hair.
The hygienic system solves this issue, providing a way to push debris downward.
Dyson has since implemented this technology to the newer V-series options like the V12 but using a horizontally aligned dust container.
Since this variant is an older model, don’t expect much with technology, as Dyson wasn’t at this advanced stage.
None of their products had LCD screens, relying instead on mechanical slide switches.
So the V12 Detect has the advantage in this aspect.
Also, the V8’s battery isn’t detachable, and consumers need to loosen a couple of bolts to remove it.
Overall, the Dyson V8 is still a good option at the right price. Right now, there’s around a $100 variance with this, and the only advantages it has over the newer V12 is the larger dustbin and lighter frame.
There isn’t much, but we’ll look at how these vacuums are similar.
While these vacuums don’t look alike, they use a similar framework that made Dyson cordless vacuums one of the best sellers in the industry.
I’m talking about the top-mounted dustbin, motor, and filter placement, enabling these products to have the versatility of two products in one.
So the V12 and V8 are usable as handheld and stick vacuums.
To piggyback on the first point, these stick vacuums are versatile products that can be used as a handheld vacuum by switching tools.
Dyson is a pioneer; you’ll see its footprints with other brands copying this design.
3. Standard Brush Roll
Instead of using the newer brush roll design in the V15, the V12 reverted to the older V8 brush platform with the rubber blade behind the brush.
One difference is that the V12’s brush has more ports than the V8, enabling it to pick up large dirt piles while minimizing any snowplow effect.
4. Sealed System
Lastly, for this section is the sealed system. The Dyson V12 and V8 have sealed systems that didn’t leak during the fog test.
One variance is the filter used with the V8 Absolute having two filters – one pre-motor and a post-motor HEPA filter.
Please note that (only) the pre-motor filter is washable, but not the post-motor since it uses a pleated paper element.
The V12 filter combines both elements into one.
There are two parts – the narrower area is the pre-motor portion, and the broader area is the post-motor filter (you can see the pleated parts through the transparent case).
Dyson products have excellent seals, so they leak during the fog test – another reason it’s a famous brand.
Next, we’ll look at the V12 and V8 options differences.
1. Dustbin Alignment
The photo above perfectly represents the two different eras in Dyson’s history.
On the left is the Dyson V12 Detect with the horizontally aligned dustbin (albeit smaller), and the V8 Absolute on the right with the older vertically aligned dustbin.
Dyson changed the alignment to improve efficiency and cleaning performance, plus increased debris volume.
The V12 Detect’s dustbin may look more prominent, but the V8 can hold more dirt (0.54 vs. 0.35-liter capacity).
2. Power Switch
Another upgrade Dyson put in the V12 Detect is the push-button switch, something their customers have been asking them to put into their products.
The V8 Absolute, as the older model, uses a trigger switch, which you’ll need to squeeze to run the vacuum.
Surprisingly (at least for me), the V12 uses a smaller 2500 mAh battery but still has a longer run time than the V8 (2800 mAh).
One reason is the newer battery cells Dyson uses that maximize energy storage, thus improving range.
Another variance is the V12’s detachability, which Dyson has implemented into their newer release. d the V12 model I got has two plus two chargers, doubling the run time to over 63 minutes.
This feature gives the V12 the edge in this category because removing the battery and extending the range is easier.
4. Soft Roller Nozzle
Another variance is the soft roller design. In earlier releases, the V8 Absolute uses the chunky roller bar, but select sub-models have the “slim” version like the V12.
I prefer the slim version because it’s sleeker and better reaches under tighter spots because of its lower height.
Also, the V12’s slim roller nozzle has a green laser that accentuates dust better than any cordless stick vacuum I’ve tested.
Almost invisible dust pops with the bright green laser flashing on the surface, even in dark conditions.
The Dyson V12 and V8 use the same core toolset, but the V12’s connecting points are smaller, so consumers cannot interchange the V12 and V8 tools.
Also, the V12 benefits from the new attachments Dyson released over the past few years, including the torque screw tool, light pipe crevice, under-bed attachment, and the laser slim roller.
Fortunately, these same tools are found in the V15 and fit the V8, so if you own a V8 and want the functionality of the newer attachments, get the V15 version that’s backward compatible with the V8.
There isn’t much variance between the Dyson V12 and V8 with ergonomics. Without any tools, the V12 has a lighter body at 3 pounds and 4 ounces compared to the V8’s 3 pounds and 7 ounces.
However, the V8’s more compact frame gives it a slight advantage in its handheld configuration in tight quarters, but the V12’s push-button switch offsets it.
Also, the V12’s torque screw tool gives it better resistance to hair tangles, so it’s better at cleaning pet hair on upholstery and carpeted stairs.
Next, we’ll look at the interface of these vacuums, another advantage of the newer V12 Detect.
Behind the motor, it has an interactive LCD screen showing the Piezo sensor readout with the debris size and quantity.
Not only does it show this information, it also alerts users of potential error codes in an easy-to-understand graphic, so there’s no guesswork.
The V8, being an older variant, doesn’t have this feature, only a solid piece of plastic behind the motor.
Despite having a smaller capacity battery (2500 vs. 2800 mAh), the V12 ran longer during run time experiments.
|Dyson V8 Absolute|
|Non-motorized||41 mins||N/A||7:23 mins|
|Standard Nozzle||31:33 mins||N/A||8:31 mins|
|Dyson V12 Detect|
|Hard Floor||63:00 mins||37:50 mins||N/A|
|Carpet||42:00 mins||27:31 mins||6:25 mins|
One reason is that Dyson uses their latest, energy-dense battery cells in the V12, so it runs further than the older battery tech found in the V8.
Another advantage for the V12 is its detachability, and the model I bought comes with two, thus increasing the run time to over 120 minutes, almost quintupling the V8’s run time with a brush roll.
|Dyson V8 Absolute|
|Wand||31.34 CFM||N/A||54.24 CFM|
|Cleaning Head||26 CFM||N/A||36.95 CFM|
|Dyson V12 Detect|
|Wand||27.43 CFM||32.23 CFM||58.74 CFM|
|Cleaning Head||24 CFM||28.52 CFM||48.38 CFM|
There isn’t much variance with the Dyson V12 and V8 airflow. While the V8 has more in the eco setting, the V12 edges it in the boost (or max) setting with (as much as) 26% more using the brush roll.
Unfortunately, this advantage doesn’t translate into the deep cleaning experiment where the V8 beats out the V12 (97.7% vs. 94.1%).
But outside cleaning embedded sand, I like the V12 over the V8 in other cleaning aspects, especially on hard floors because of the laser slim roller nozzle.
|Model||Dyson V12 Detect||Dyson V8 Absolute|
|Hard Floors (Surface Test)||99.8%||99.66%|
|Sand on Hard Floor||99.9%||99.5%|
|Carpet (Surface Test)||99.45%||97.29%|
Even with the 3% variance in the deep cleaning experiment, the Dyson V12 scored a higher percentage in the cleaning tests.
Aside from the embedded sand test, where it didn’t do as well, the V12 picked up more surface debris on hard floors and carpet, which is a testament to Dyson’s improvements.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, the V12’s standard brush has more ports to minimize the snowplowing effect caused by the lower front clearance, as seen in the surface debris experiments on carpets.
The Dyson V8 has these ports, but it’s got fewer of them, so there’s a higher risk of plowing large debris piles.
Which option is better on hard floors?
One metric I use to determine hard floor performance is how much sand it picks up, and the Dyson V12 got more (99.9% vs. 99.5%).
And the eye-test shows proves this accurate as it picked up nearly everything.
The V8 isn’t bad, but it got a (slightly) lower percentage.
Hair Wrap Comparison [Hard Floors]
Another win for the Dyson V12 as it was better at resisting long hair strands above seven inches.
- 5-inch strands: 96%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 92.5%
- 11-inch strands: 98%
- 13-inch strands: 100%
One issue with the V12 slim roller is the gap on the axle since hair strands will wrap on it.
The Dyson V8 wasn’t as good, and it struggled with eleven and twelve-inch hair.
- 5-inch strands: 100%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 100%
- 11-inch strands: 89%
- 12-inch strands: 63%
It was perfect between five and seven inches, but visible hair was on the roller in the eleven and twelve-inch tests.
Edge Cleaning Comparison
There’s not much variance between the Dyson V12 and V8 at cleaning edges, as both picked up nearly everything in this area.
The soft roller attachments have enough agitation to pick up debris in this area. Again, the huge advantage the V12 has is the slimmer profile and the green laser that reveals dust, making cleaning more efficient.
Which option is better on carpet?
The answer here is two-pronged. I’d give the edge to the V8 Absolute for deep cleaning since it picked up more embedded sand (97.7% vs. 94.1%, but the V12 is better in the surface debris pick-up, getting two percentage points higher (99.45% vs. 97.29%).
Hair Wrap Comparison [Carpet]
Surprisingly, despite having less airflow, the V8 picked up more hair than the V12.
The V12 Detect picked up well between five and nine inches, but struggled with long eleven-inch hair, only getting 30%.
- 5-inch strands: 96%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 92.5%
- 11-inch strands: 30%
The V8 Absolute was much better with a perfect 100% pick-up between five and seven inches, and still got a higher percentage in longer eleven and twelve-inch strands – a definite win for the V8, at least on carpeted floors.
- 5-inch strands: 100%
- 7-inch strands: 100%
- 9-inch strands: 100%
- 11-inch strands: 83%
- 12-inch strands: 16%
However, the V12 is better on fabric upholstery because the torque screw tool is the best (so far) at picking up long hair strands, while the V8’s standard mini-turbo brush doesn’t like cleaning hair strands.
The torque screw tool’s tapered brush and stiffer bristles funnel hair towards a holding area and then into the suction port, so virtually nothing wraps on it.
|Model||Dyson V8||Dyson V12|
|Low||62.8 dB||70.1 dB|
|Max||73.2 dB||80.7 dB|
Unsurprisingly, the V8 is quieter across all settings, ranging between 62.8 and 73 decibels, while the V12 maxes out at over 80 decibels.
I want to point out that the V8 tests were done with the sound meter a few feet away from the vacuum, and I did the V12 beside it, so that could be another variance.
Cordless stick vacuums like the Dyson V12 and V8 require some TLC to function at their peak for years.
I’ll enumerate a list of components consumers should check.
- Primary brush roll: a vacuum’s brush is (perhaps) the most abused component since it’s responsible for picking up gunk and debris. Clean it (at least) once a week to prevent dust and hair from hampering its performance.
- Dustbin: Empty it after every cleaning cycle to prevent dust mites from breeding inside the dustbin.
- Filter: Dyson recommends cleaning the filter once a month, but avoid soaking the pleated part in water since it’s paper-based, and performance will degrade with repeated soaking. I’d suggest purchasing an extra filter to eliminate any downtime while waiting for the filter to dry.
- Mini-turbo brush: The V12’s torque screw tool is so good that I don’t think you’ll need to clean it, but check for any visual accumulation and clean it using a microfiber towel. The V8’s mini turbo brush is prone to hair wrap, so remove the brush and cut off any hair buildup.
- Battery: Avoid using the max setting for extended periods, as it’ll shorten its service life because of the excess heat. Use it in spurts on carpets, but it’s not necessary on hard floors.
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- Dyson V7 vs. V8
- Dyson V7 vs. V10
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- Dyson V10 vs. V15
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- Dyson V12 vs. Outsize
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These cordless stick vacuums are available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing information.
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above. But at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
The answer to this question would be the price variance. There’s (right now) around a $100 gap between (take note, this is seasonal, so always check first) the V12 and V8.
With this variance, I’d say the Dyson V12 is the better deal because it offers Dyson’s latest technology in an ergonomic package that rivals the V8, plus it has better surface debris pick-up.
The Dyson V8 is an older tech, so it won’t run as long or have the premium features found in the V12, so it’s at a huge disadvantage.
5 Reasons to purchase the Dyson V12 Detect
- Latest tech: The V12 comes equipped with the latest technology out of the box like the laser slim roller, Piezo sensor, torque screw tool, and more.
- Runs further: The latest generation seven-cell battery enables the V12 to run further (63 vs. 41 minutes) than the V8.
- Tracks dust: It has the laser slim roller with the green laser where dust pops when flashed.
- Detachable batteries: Consumers can remove the battery with the quick-release lever.
- Better surface debris pick-up: Based on tests, the V12 picked up more surface debris than the V8.
4 Reasons to purchase the Dyson V8 Absolute
- More compact frame: While the V8 is heavier on paper, its handheld unit is visibly smaller, helping it fit in cramped spaces better.
- Picks up more embedded sand: The V8 had better deep cleaning scores than the V12 (97.7 vs. 94.1%). It’s only a slight advantage, but worth noting.
- The abundance of parts: There’s an abundance of parts available for the V8, so it’s still a viable option for consumers looking for a sturdy stick vacuum.
- Old tech is better long-term (?): The V8 doesn’t have any fancy tech, which means fewer components could potentially break. I put a question mark because only time will tell how well the V12’s high-tech features hold up.
Even if it’s the more costly option, the features it brings to the table versus the add-on cost make the V12 Detect the better value-for-money alternative.
Consumers will benefit from the new technology by making vacuuming more efficient because of the laser slim roller that tracks dust like no other non-Dyson stick vacuum.
Other attachments, like the torque screw tool, aid in cleaning large quantities of long hair strands, again aiding with cleaning proficiency, which was Dyson’s aim with the V12 without sacrificing too much on ergonomics since it’s smaller than the V15.
I couldn’t think of any other reason for purchasing the V8 over the V12 other than its deep cleaning performance, which is offset by the latter’s long(er) run time and surface cleaning advantages.
Maybe you’d want something with a simpler structure that will hold up long-term, but the price variance makes it hard for me to recommend the V8 over the newer V12.