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Let’s face it; Dyson makes some of the best vacuums, hands-down. But what happens when you pit two of their top models against one another?
That’s exactly what we set out to do. We looked at several different categories to decide which one is the better of the two. This wasn’t an easy task, by any means. Both the V8 and the Animal are fantastic vacuums.
But if we can help direct you to the best model for your particular needs, then we feel like we’ve done our job. We hope you find our guide helpful in your quest to find the perfect cleaning companion.
Dyson V8 Vs Dyson Animal at a Glance
Just looking at these two powerhouses, you can barely tell a difference between them. But after some rigorous testing, we’re here to tell you that there are quite a few. Before we jump down to the categories where we compare each unit in detail, let’s look at their pros and cons.
This quick guide will give you a general idea of how each vacuum performs and what they are capable of doing.
Dyson V8 Advantages:
- Soft cleaning head
- More attachments
- Greater versatility
Dyson V8 Disadvantages:
- Slightly heavier
- Takes longer to recharge
- Smaller dust cup
Dyson Animal Advantages:
- Great run-time
- Less expensive
- Faster charge time
Dyson Animal Disadvantages:
- No dusting brush
- No soft cleaning head
- Fewer attachments
Winner: Don’t want to read the full article? The editor’s choice is the Dyson Animal.
What’s the Difference Between Them?
This is where we break down each model’s performance and abilities. We cover one category at a time so you can see which vacuum did the best. In some cases, there may be a tie, as these are very similar units.
Both the V8 and the Animal have an average run-time of 40 minutes. It should be noted that this is when running on their lowest settings and without the use of any attachments.
Once you increase their power settings or add attachments, this drops down to around 25 minutes. Which is still great compared to previous models. Dyson has done a tremendous job of improving their battery life over the years.
The big difference here is that while the max setting drops the V8 down to around 8 minutes, the Animal can run at this setting for around 20 minutes.
We watched our time as we put each model through its paces. We were able to complete all the rooms in our home without needing to recharge. This, of course, was with both units running at lower power settings.
Due to the Animal continuing to perform longer at max suction level, it gets the win in this category.
Verdict: Dyson Animal
The Animal uses a 4,000mAh 21.6-volt lithium-ion battery, as where the V8 makes use of a 2,800mAh 21.6-volt battery. Both batteries add a little over a pound and a half to each vacuum’s total weight.
It depends largely on where you get your batteries, but a replacement will run you anywhere from $50 to $80. For the sake of safety and performance, you should always use certified Dyson batteries. With high-quality vacuums such as these, it is simply not worth the risk to buy an off-brand.
When it comes to recharging each model’s battery, there is some variation. The V8 will need about 5 hours to completely top-off. The Animal has the advantage here, as its only takes around 4 hours to fully recharge.
With lithium-ion batteries, there is no need to completely drain them before recharging. Once you are finished using your vacuum, you may simply place either the battery or the vacuum in its included docking station.
Furthermore, you need not fear accidentally overcharging. These ‘smart’ batteries will automatically stop charging once they reach their full capacity.
Verdict: Dyson Animal
In one of our previous articles that featured Dyson’s V8, we really put it to the test. We tested it to see how it picked up all kinds of objects and debris.
We used it over dirt, dust, paper clips, hair ties, and even pennies. We must say, it easily grabbed up everything we threw at it.
So, we wanted to be fair in our testing. We put the Animal through the exact same tests using identical parameters. We figured that with such similar machines, the Animal would perform at about the same level as the V8.
We’re happy to report that we were right in our thinking. The Animal did in fact pick up all the debris and objects we put in its path.
And we were pleased to see that neither vacuum suffered any clogging in the process. In past testing, some models struggled to suck up heavy objects. They would often get debris built up, reducing their overall suction power.
We also made sure to double-check each unit’s dust bins and rollers to ensure there was no visible clogging or tangles. Both looked free and clear and kept their suction quite well.
Suction power remained so high, in fact, that we tested the Animal in the dreaded bedroom. Historically, its thick carpeting has been the bane of nearly every vacuum that we have ever tested on it.
We’ve had to increase suction on every model across all sorts of brands just to finish the test. This effectively drains the battery in no time flat, forcing us to switch over to our backup battery. So, how did the Animal fare on this kind of carpet?
So far, it has done the best out of any and all vacuums. We didn’t have to stop to replace batteries or turn it off for fear of burning up the motor. They don’t call it ‘Animal’ without a reason.
It had plenty of juice left, so we took it to the bathroom for further testing. If you are looking for one of Dyson’s most powerful cordless stick vacuums, we believe the Animal to be one of them.
Verdict: Dyson Animal
Both the Animal and the V8 come with several handy attachments. These tools make any job easier and we couldn’t imagine not having a single one of them.
These tools are the dusting brush, motorized cleaning tool, crevice tool, combination tool, and direct drive head. As we have already mentioned, both units come standard with a docking station for mounting and recharging.
The V8 is unique between the two, in that it includes a soft roller cleaning head attachment. Let’s quickly go over each accessory to give you a better idea of what they do.
Mini Dusting Brush
If you’re in need of cleaning off, say, delicate furniture, you will definitely want to use this attachment. Its super-soft bristles won’t scratch, allowing you to get hard-to-reach or sensitive areas with ease.
To test its cleaning abilities, we attached it to both vacuums while in handheld mode. We found it to be better than simply dusting. By sucking up potential allergens, you reduce the risk of that dust becoming airborne.
Mini Motorized Cleaning Tool
Attach this handy tool to your handheld to get a little extra suction power for stubborn debris. It has its own independent motor and brush roll.
It works especially well on pet hair. We ran it over our sofa and recliner – where disobedient pets like to lay – to see how well it picked up. We were quite stunned by how clean it got the fabric.
We also tried it out in our vehicles. Here, too, we were delighted by how clean it got our seats and floorboards. It makes a great companion for portable cleaning power.
This attachment is your best friend if you have back problems or need to reach a difficult area. It’s great for getting cobwebs out of corners or off of ceilings. We also found it useful for getting between car seats.
The great thing about this tool is that it maintains very strong suction when attached. When cleaning our vehicles with it, we were able to pick up loose change. Now that’s powerful!
This handy little gizmo allows you to quickly switch out attachments on the fly. Its 2-in-1 design lets you sweep up debris at close range.
It has a sliding feature built into it that easily toggles between a brush and brushless end. This is nice to have when there is more than one type of mess to clean up.
Direct Drive Cleaning Head
This is your go-to attachment for cleaning floors that aren’t sensitive. It features sturdy nylon bristles that work to pick up all kinds of debris. You can use this on carpeting, bare floors, and rugs.
When combined with Dyson’s powerful suction, these two work together to leave your floors spotless and debris-free. This is the attachment we used throughout our home when testing each vacuum’s mettle.
Soft Roller Cleaning Head
This is the oddball attachment that only the V8 has included. It sports a super-soft nylon brush. To aid in your cleanup, this brush is lined with filaments that are made of carbon fiber.
This combination of materials works to pick up even the smallest and most stubborn of particles. And we must say, it works like a charm. We tested it out on everything from laminate flooring to antique tabletops.
Keep in mind, you want to use this on your more sensitive flooring only. More abrasive or rough surfaces can damage the delicate roller.
There are many other attachments and accessories that Dyson offers for these two fine vacuums. But for the model that came with the best ones, we have to give it to the V8. By default, it comes with one more attachment than the Animal.
The soft roller is a very handy tool to have if you own any kind of delicate surface that you need cleaned often.
Verdict: Dyson V8
The V8 will cost you roughly $30 more than the Animal. Depending on your needs, either one could easily equal the better value.
For example, if you need the soft roller cleaning head attachment, this could be a huge advantage to your cleaning needs. This tool by itself will cost you nearly $100. When you have two vacuums of such similar performance, spending that extra $30 is a no-brainer.
But, just going on the numbers, Dyson’s Animal is the least expensive and therefore takes this category. Besides the soft roller, you’re still getting the same attachments as the V8.
Verdict: Dyson Animal
Both the V8 and the Animal have a 0.14-gallon dust cup capacity. As with other cordless stick Dysons, this isn’t very much space to work with.
You will often find yourself heading to the waste bin to empty out your dust cup. During our testing, we had to do this three times. If you absolutely want to cut down on this, we recommend that you sweep your kitchen floors with a regular broom before vacuuming.
This will help to take care of a large part of the overall debris. By eliminating a dirty kitchen floor, you may be able to vacuum your entire house without needing to empty the dust cup.
Of course, this will vary by user depending on the size of your house, how dirty your floors are, and how frequently you vacuum. If you make it a habit to vacuum often, you will decrease the amount of buildup in your dust bins.
For our tests, we purposely let debris accumulate for a few days. We also added in certain objects beforehand. We littered each room with items like paper clips, hair ties, pennies, etc. This helped us to better gauge things like suction power and run-time.
In terms of quality, we could find no noticeable difference between the V8’s and the Animal’s dust cups. Both are made of the same high-grade material and weigh the same, too.
We didn’t feel like either model had an advantage when it came to removing and reattaching the dust cup. So for this category, it’s a clear tie.
This is one of the most important aspects of a cordless stick vacuum. Most people buy them for the purpose of being able to easily manage their new vacuum cleaner.
As you’ll read shortly, both the V8 and the Animal are extremely lightweight units. We found each one to be equally as easy to operate and maneuver. Carrying them around the house is an absolute breeze.
If you’re like us, you loathed carrying a traditional vacuum up and down stairs. With these models, that concern is completely eliminated. No longer do you have to tear your back out when it comes time to vacuum.
To fully test the versatility of each model, we used them inside and out. We cleaned our vehicles thoroughly, making sure we made use of every attachment.
Inside, we tested to see how easily each model could reach under furniture. We cleaned ceilings, corners, and ceiling fan blades. We got in between the kitchen counters and the stove. We attacked the baseboards in each room, as well.
We picked up loose pet hair anywhere our dogs frequently traveled. By the end of our testing, we had one truly spotless home. More importantly, we were able to say with certainty that these two cordless stick vacuums are some of the most versatile that money can buy.
Neither one necessarily feels better than the other. So we had to factor in battery life (run-time), attachments, and how easy they are to use.
Of these parameters, the Dyson V8 takes this category. Its extra soft roller cleaning head attachment makes it slightly more versatile.
Verdict: Dyson V8
Dyson uses a HEPA filter in both the V8 and the Animal. This is what makes both units able to collect 99.97% of all dust particles that are 0.3 microns in size or larger.
Anything that may cause allergies is effectively swept away into the filter. This keeps your air cleaner, allowing you to breathe safely without stirring up those pesky dust particles.
The filters that Dyson uses are very durable and can last a lifetime if they are properly maintained. Every one of them are washable and reusable, serving to extend their life far beyond traditional filters.
Both model’s filtration systems are top-of-the-line and work hard to keep your air clean. They are easily cleaned and maintained. Dyson has made it easy to clean the filters, too. They just pull straight out of the top of the unit for quick and easy washing.
It is vital that you make doubly sure that your filters are completely dry before reinserting them back into the vacuum. Doing so can be just as damaging to your vacuum as running it without a filter intact.
We cleaned each vacuum’s filter by running them under water, just like Dyson recommends. We then gently rang them out just like you would with a wet washcloth. Finally, we let each filter air-dry for 24 hours before popping them back into their respective vacuum.
Aside from the waiting period for the filter to dry, the entire process takes no more than a minute. We felt that both models cleaned exactly the same. Neither one was easier or more complicated than the other.
Older Dyson models ran at 350 watts. The newer V8 vacuums run at an impressive 425 watts. This is thanks to Dyson using improved nickel cobalt aluminum batteries.
These bad boys have much better electronics and software than what their earlier counterparts had. Combined with new digital motors and sleeker, more compact designs, the V8 series is quieter than ever. All of this new technology delivers performance that is 50% less noisy than past models.
The great thing, too, is that suction has not been compromised. In fact, it’s better than ever. And with Dyson incorporating the use of better materials, you get steady, solid, and reliable performance.
New Dyson cordless stick vacuums use polycarbonate in their construction. This is the same material used in aircraft windshields, so you know it’s made to last.
As we thoroughly tested both vacuums, we definitely noticed how whisper-quiet they were in action. You’d be hard-pressed to find a quieter vacuum. And believe us, we tried.
We can’t say if either the V8 or the Animal was quieter than the other one. They both sounded equally the same to us. So for this category, we give it a tie.
If you’re concerned with the overall weight of these vacuums, you’ll be pleased to know that they are both exceptionally light. This is what made them such a pleasure to test out. We were able to tote them around with the greatest of ease.
The V8 weighed in at 5.75 pounds. It is a cinch to operate in any capacity. The Animal, on the other hand, came in at 5.63 pounds. It is easily one of the lightest vacuums we have ever used, cordless stick or otherwise.
When you switch either vacuum over to handheld mode, things get even lighter. And as a result, easier, too. Both units weigh roughly 3 pounds when disconnected from their vacuum shaft.
You will find it to be a huge advantage having a lightweight cordless handheld with so much power. If you’re like us, you’ll look for things to clean just to take advantage of such a clever and useful tool.
But for the most lightweight of the bunch, the Animal takes this category by only a few ounces.
Verdict: Dyson Animal
After extensive testing, we feel that the Dyson Animal is the better cordless stick vacuum of the two. The V8 certainly has its merits, but in the end, we would take the Animal any day.
Dyson continues to impress with quality craftsmanship and unrivaled performance. Regardless of which model you ultimately decide on, we can say one thing with absolute certainty. You will be happy that you bought a Dyson.
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