Dyson V8 Absolute: should I buy it?

The Dyson brand is one of the most reliable, high-tech and stylish of all vacuum cleaners, with its ranges regularly topping out our best-of lists. But what of the older models? Do they still perform well enough to give the current competition a run for their money? Here, we're looking at the ageing, but still impressive, Dyson V8 Absolute. There's a good chance it'll be reduced in the upcoming Black Friday 2019 sales, which start officially on November 29. 

However, many major retailers, including Amazon and Currys in the UK, are kicking off their sales seasons ahead of time – so expect to see Dyson rivals like Shark and Hoover also offering up deals, too.

The bottom line: Before there was the heralded Dyson Cyclone V10, there was the V8 Absolute. This cordless dust-buster may not be the newest model in the lot, but it has plenty of power and clearly displays Dyson's renowned design pedigree. 

Pros: It's cordless, so you can take it anywhere in your home. Maneuverability and its quiet presence are also big plusses. It's adept at cleaning either hard wood or carpets, and can lap up animal hair. 

Cons: The biggest drawback with the Dyson V8 Absolute is the battery life. Dyson says it lasts up to 40 minutes, but most reports indicate this is when you are using attachments that aren't the motorhead brush. This means that standard cleaning with the V8 is going to last about 25 minutes before you need to recharge, which takes four hours minimum before you can reuse the vacuum again. There are also complaints that the pistol grip isn't comfortable.

Dyson V8 Absolute: Everything you need to know

As noted, the Cyclone V10 has usurped the V8 Absolute as the top cordless vacuum in the Dyson family, but the V8 Absolute hasn't yet been put out to pasture. 

It's still a powerful vacuum that can clean hardwood and carpet, handle everything from crumbs to dog hair, and comes with three separate attachments for specialized cleaning. It's battery life may be a tad deceiving, but it will get the job done... if only incrementally. 

Battery life: The battery life of the Dyson V8 Absolute is billed as up to 40 minutes, but that goes down to up to 25 minutes when you use the motorized cleaning head. So, if you are using a hose attachment, you could get up to 40 minutes of cleaning power, but if you are using the standard motorized attachment, that time will be much less. You'll also have to recharge it for at least four hours before you can use the V8 once the battery drains out.

Design: Being a cordless vacuum, you can take the V8 Absolute with you anywhere in the house, or even outside it. You can hold it up to suck down cobwebs, or use it to clean your car seats. It's adaptable to different cleaning environments thanks to its swappable brush heads.  It weighs 5.75 pounds, so it's relatively lightweight compared to some other cordless vacuums. 

Sound: By many accounts, the V8 Absolute is a much quieter vacuum than many on the market, which could be due to the HEPA filter. Not only does this capture allergens, but apparently it helps muffle the sound. This is a plus if you'd like something quieter that doesn't bother you or those you live with.

Performance: Let's not overlook the V8 Absolute's performance. It runs on a Dyson digital motor V8 and is equally adept at cleaning hardwood floor and carpet. Able to capture everything from the finest dirt to long animal hair, the Dyson V8 Absolute will leave your floors cleaner than before it got to them.

Anything else?

The Dyson V8 Absolute is still one of the best cordless vacuums on the market, and there are loads of them. Shark has put out an impressive effort in the IONFlex 2X DuoClean, which may rival Dyson in terms of design. 

But the V8 Absolute continues to be a fan favorite for a reason. It works really well, it's lightweight and it's versatile. You probably can't go wrong with picking up this cleaning machine, though just go in with your eyes open about the battery life. 

Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle was previously a news editor at TechRadar, leading consumer tech news and reviews. Michelle is now a Content Strategist at Facebook.  A versatile, highly effective content writer and skilled editor with a keen eye for detail, Michelle is a collaborative problem solver and covered everything from smartwatches and microprocessors to VR and self-driving cars.