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Dyson V15 detect vs Shark anti hair wrap: Which leading brand has the best model?

Can Dyson’s new laser technology beat Shark’s LED light system? We find out

Emma Henderson
Friday 21 May 2021 16:57
<p>We’re sure that once you try the accurate laser technology, you’ll never go back </p>

We’re sure that once you try the accurate laser technology, you’ll never go back

It feels like only yesterday that Dyson launched its V11 range – December 2020, to be precise – so the team have been busy quickly improving and topping its already well-received machines. So what’s different here? Well, it’s the new age of vacuum cleaning, and it’s all about lasers.

You might think that seems a little overboard for simply just vacuuming your home. But we’re pretty sure that once you’ve tried it, you won’t go back. By lasers, we don’t mean huge strobe lights flashing all over the place, instead it’s a little beam that comes out of the front of the vacuum cleaning head that shows dust better.

The Dyson V15 launched in America earlier this year and is now available in the UK too. Although this is its first laser vacuum stick, it’s not the only brand using this kind of approach to help us clean our homes better, as Shark’s anti wrap cordless stick with flexology, launched in March 2020, has a similar LED light on its cleaning head for the same reason.

For us, cordless vacuuming is the only way we hoover now. No annoying cables to wind up, find plugs for or battle with. But for others who have lots of floor space to cover, the dustbins are too small and the run time is not enough.

Preferences aside, how does Dyson’s new laser technology fare? We’ve put the two leading brands’ latest models head to head to find which is the better buy.

Read more:

Dyson V15 detect absolute

Buy now £599.99, Dyson.co.uk

Weight: 3.1kg

Dimensions: 125cm x 26cm x 25cm

Capacity: 76ml

Charge time: 4.5 hours

Run time: 60 minutes

Tools and accessories:10

Variable power: Auto, eco and boost

Attachments include: Laser slim fluffy head, anti-tangle head, hair screw brush, crevice tool, stubborn first brush, mini soft dusting brush, combination tool, wand clip, docking station and charger

Features

Using a laser to show up where we need to actually vacuum has quite literally revolutionised the way we do this daily chore. Living with a cat means we vacuum often (likely every other day), but it’s clearly not often enough. When we first used the laser, which is on the little fluffy head attachment, we could not believe how much dust was on our floors. What was once invisible, is now hiding in plain sight and means we can really thoroughly clean our homes and be confident about it.

Designed with a class 1 laser – which is safe for humans and pets, but just don’t look directly at it – it’s made for hard floors, as carpets absorb the light more, although we still found it useful there too. For us, it worked best on our hard shiny bathroom floor – we were astounded at how dusty it was, and found ourselves cleaning more – but more accurately too. Although the laser didn’t work as well on the terracotta kitchen floor.

Aside from the addition of the laser, there’s also been some updates to the LCD display on the back of the handle. At first glance, it looks the same as that on the Dyson V11, but this is actually where things get really, (and we mean really) techy. This vacuum actually counts the dust particles it’s sucking up – measuring 15,000 times a second – and can collect particles as small as 10 microns. And not only that, it even shows you a chart of them by size too. Admittedly, the relevance of this has passed us by.

More usefully, it shows the run time you have left, which means you’ll never be caught short while in the middle of a big clean. On the display, you can also select which mode to vacuum in, choosing from auto, eco and boost. The first reacts according to how much dust there is to pick up, ramping up when there’s more. Use the second when you want to extend the battery life and the final one for quick jobs or particularly dirty patches. We found the run time on auto to be very impressive, and have cleaned our spacious two-bed flat numerous times without needing to charge it, which is a huge upgrade from our Dyson V7 that only lasts seven minutes on max mode.

This is also the first time that Dyson has produced a machine with anti-hair wrap on the bar brush of the main head. Often having a lot of hair on our carpets, we found it didn’t tangle around the brush.

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Design

Everything about this machine is ergonomic and nice to look at. The box, the packaging – each attachment neatly packed in like a puzzle. The colours ooze Dyson status too, from bronzy gold to purple, red and steel greys. When it comes to getting going, everything slots together easily: all you need to do is fully charge it before you go. It comes with a QR code to scan, where you’ll find a video on how to set your machine up, the user manual and useful videos on how to use the different attachments and functions.

We really like how small the headslim fluffy head is, which at 25cm wide is nifty and super easy to get into corners, glide alongside skirting boards and into some smaller nooks without having to change attachments. The laser can also be turned off with the little slider switch on the head, so it doesn’t need to be in use at all times. Although frankly, we’re not sure why you’d want to turn it off as it’s such great fun. It’s also very quiet to use too.

The main head, the high torque cleaning with anti-tangle, is larger (although not by a huge amount) and adjusts the suction depending on the floor type. According to Dyson, it has 24 per cent more suction than the V11 range, which of course is good when it comes to cleaning, but if you’ve got thin rugs like we do in the corridor even the auto setting is too strong for them, so we had to shake the rugs and vacuum the carpet instead.

Usability

One thing you notice when using the vacuum is its weight, or lack of. We love a light vacuum; it’s easy to transport  from room to room, or upstairs when not using it, and easy to manoeuvre around the room when you are using it. It’s not cumbersome and people with weaker arm strength won’t struggle to use it on their own, although they may find it harder to lift the barrel themselves if they wished to change attachments. Coming in at just 3.1kg, this is nice and light and feels breezy to use. The LED display couldn’t be simpler with just one button to press.

After you have been for a spin and need to empty, the dustbin is easy to empty, with just a little slide on the side of the dustbin. It is a little springy, so do make sure it’s directly over your bin to avoid dust missing it.

Although not tested on a large house, we were pleased with the dustbin capacity. At 76ml, we were able to amply hoover our two bed flat and shared corridor, without having to empty it. In actual fact, it’s likely we could do this twice without having to empty it.

Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet (triple battery)

Buy now £499.99, Sharkclean.co.uk

Weight: 4.1kg

Dimensions: H:118 x W: 26 x D:24.5cm

Capacity: 70cl

Charge time: 3.5 hours

Run time: 120 minutes (between three batteries)

Tools and accessories: Four extra tools, charger, dock 

Variable power: N/A

Attachments include: Motorised pet tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, 3 x lithium-ion battery, power pack charger and dual charging dock

Features

One of the best features of this machine is the twin tech floorhead, which has been designed to be used on either carpets or hard floors with two brush rolls, so there’s no changing heads when going between the two.

If you are going between carpet and hard floors though, the only thing you need to do is slide the button at the top of the handle. There’s no need to hold anything down for the entire time you’re cleaning, as you just slide the switch to either "carpet" or "bare floor". This is easier to use than the Dyson’s trigger, which needs to be engaged the whole time and can be tiring on your finger, especially if you’re cleaning for longer periods of time. Underneath the slide switch, there’s a boost trigger for max power if you need it, too.

Although Shark is best known for its anti wrap technology, which uses a bristle guard to stop long and short hairs getting tangled up, we still found there was a decent amount of hair wrapped up across the entire width of the head. It also features a rubber flap which ensures air is only sucked up in one direction, which is its anti-allergen seal.

Shark claims this has an impressive 120 minute run. Now it’s important to note that this is across three separate battery packs. Per pack, each runs for 40 minutes, so comparable on a single charge to the Dyson, it has 20 minutes less. It may seem like overkill to have three, but we really liked this feature, as if you’re mid vacuuming and suddenly it goes you can swap. At the size of a large hand, it easily slides on and into place underneath the handle, so if you need to change, it’s a simple and quick process.

It’s a faster charge than the Dyson, by an impressive hour, but if you’re organised enough to put one on charge as soon as one runs out, you’d effectively never feel like you’re out of charge or waiting for a battery to charge anyway.

Read more: 9 best steam cleaners to keep your floors sparkling

Design

What we noticed most about using this machine was the weight. It’s undeniably a heavier machine than the Dyson V15, likely because the head is much bigger. It’s also much noisier too, if that’s a concern for you.

This model has a flexible stick, which allows more movement at the top and bottom of the main stick. Just above the head it can flex to fit underneath sofas and other furniture, while at the top it folds over for better storage, just by clicking a button at the back.

While the Dyson V15 has a laser, the Shark has a LED light on the head to allow for better visibility of what is lurking in hard to reach areas. Although unlike the Dyson, these stay on the whole time and it’s not possible to turn them off. The light is clear and does not show as much dust as the Dyson, but we still found it useful.

Although the main stick stands up by itself, you have to remove the main handheld body, or lie the whole thing down if you want to pause using it, as the main compartment is too heavy to stand up on its own. It is useful to stand it, remove the body and empty the bin though, as when doing the same with the Dyson, you have to bend down to lie it down, or lean it against something.

Usability

For us, the weight difference is undeniable and is a real sticking point, but for what it loses in points for weight, it makes up for with its little oomph from the motor when you’re pushing away from yourself, so there’s a little help there while hoovering, which we quite like, as it makes it feel like less of a chore.

It certainly delivers an impressive clean, picking up debris for all sizes – that we can see. When emptying the bin, we find that hair in particular wraps around the filter, so we often have to get our hands in to pull out the dust and hair from around it.

The verdict: Dyson V15 detect absolute vs Shark anti hair wrap cordless vacuum

Using lasers and lights on vacuum cleaners really has revolutionised things. Not only does it help clean more accurately, but it also then gives us more confidence that our homes are as dust-free as we think they are. Sharks’ LED lights are useful, but not quite as effective as Dyson’s green laser.

The Dyson is noticeably lighter, albeit only 1kg, and has a smaller head for more accurate cleaning, while the Shark has double the run time, but we’re not sure who could push it around for 120 minutes without getting a serious arm ache.

There’s £100 difference between them, which is a sizable amount. Overall, they’re both impressive machines, but for us, the Dyson wins on account of its excellent laser technology, great manoeuvrability with its two smaller heads – the laser head being almost a third smaller than Shark’s – its light weight, and the addition of a digital display to tell you how much power you have left.

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IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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