The Gtech AirRam Mk2 and Dyson V6 are amongst the most popular cordless vacuums in the UK - and both made our top #5 list. How do they compare though? And which is best for your requirements? Let's find out.
When it comes to cordless vacuum cleaners, Dyson and Gtech are two of the biggest names.
Both produce great vacs, but they take very different approaches to cordless vacuum design. This can make it hard to choose which to buy.
The original Gtech AirRam was one of the most popular cordless vacuums. It has a distinctive appearance and focuses entirely on floor cleaning. While the MK2 improves on the original in several key areas, it still has many of the same features.
Dyson now has its V7 and V8 cordless vacs, but the V6 series is still going strong. It's cheaper than the newer models, albeit with a shorter battery life and less power when on MAX mode.
We thought it might be helpful to compare the Gtech AirRam Mk2 with the Dyson V6, as these are two of the most popular options in the UK. Both are excellent cordless vacs, but the goal of this article is to help you pick the right model for your requirements.
For Those in a Hurry...
WINNER: Dyson V6
For all-round cleaning performance and versatility, the Dyson V6 wins this contest. It's powerful, has a detachable handheld mode and does a great job with pet hair. Click here to view its price.
The AirRam Mk2 is less versatile as it's only for floor cleaning. It's also not great with pet hair. The upside is that it's cheaper and excellent at cleaning hard floors. Click here to view its price.
In-Depth Comparison and Review of the AirRam Mk2 and Dyson V6
Both the Gtech AirRam Mk2 are designed to be corded vacuum replacements. While they might not be quite as powerful as the best uprights or cylinders, they are built to be effective on any floor surface. How do the vacuums compare though?
Versions and Models
One of the difficulties when comparing vacuum cleaners is that a range may have many models. While the base vacuum is usually the same, each model has various features and tools that make it perform differently.
At the time of writing, there are two versions of the Gtech AirRam Mk2. These are the standard Mk2 and the K9 model. The K9 model is similar to the Standard, but has stronger aluminium components and scent tabs to prevent bad pet odours.
The V6, until recently, had many different models (Animal, Absolute, Total Clean, Flexi etc). Each model is the same core vacuum, but with different floor heads and accessories. A common complaint was that it was difficult to know which to get, as there were so many options.
Fortunately, Dyson has tried to simplify the buying process by combining all the models into two: V6 Cord-Free and V6 Total Clean.
The Cord-Free is the basic vacuum and comes with a motorised floor tool. The Total Clean adds an additional mini motorised tool and soft roller head for hard floors.
Let's start with the Dyson.
All Dyson cordless vacuums, including the V6, V7 and V8, feature a detachable stick design. They are lightweight (the Dyson V6 weighs just 2.1kg compared to 3.5kg for the AirRam) and are powered by lithium-ion batteries.
The floorhead attaches to either the end of the stick or directly to the main body, which allows the vacuum to be used as a handheld. This allows you to quickly vacuum large areas of floor, before detaching the tube to tackle furniture, cupboards or even car interiors.
Unlike brands such as Shark and Dyson, which have focused mainly on stick cordless vacs, Gtech has taken a different approach with the AirRam. The AirRam Mk2 has a fixed body and tube, so it can't be used as a handheld vacuum. This is a vacuum that's designed specifically for floor cleaning.
While the lack of a handheld mode is a drawback, there are several interesting features included with the AirRam. Instead of placing the dust canister near the handle, for example, dirt is collected in the floor head where it's compressed to save space. It's also easy to steer and has a low-profile floor head.
"Basics" Section Winner: Dyson V6
The Gtech AirRam Mk2 is a well-designed vacuum that makes it easy to clean floors. It lacks the handheld mode of the Dyson V6, however, so it's not as versatile. The AirRam is also slightly heavier.
Battery run-time is a vital consideration when buying a cordless vacuum cleaner. A powerful motor isn't much use if you can only clean for 10-minutes before waiting for it to re-charge.
One of the best features of the Gtech AirRam Mk2 is its 40-minute run-time. This is due to the 22V Lithium-Ion battery, which provides fade-free suction throughout its run-time. It can also be recharged in around four hours, although you can charge it for an hour to get a quick burst of cleaning time.
The Dyson V6, on the other hand, provides a maximum of 20-minutes battery run-time. This drops to around 6 minutes when on "MAX" mode, which is significantly shorter than the AirRam. The charge time is relatively quick, but this is one area where the AirRam wins easily.
"Battery Life" Section Winner: Gtech AirRam Mk2
The Gtech AirRam Mk2 has a 40-minute run-time from a single charge. This is much longer than the 20-minutes provided by the Dyson V6 (and this drops to 6-minutes when on MAX mode). It's worth noting that the Dyson V8 has a 40-minute run-time, although it's more expensive than the V6.
While the V6 lags behind the Air Ram Mk2 in terms of battery life, it's the clear winner when it comes to cleaning performance. It's not as powerful as the V8, but the V6 provides excellent cleaning performance on almost any type of surface.
That doesn't mean the AirRam Mk2 doesn't clean effectively. It's just not as good when it comes to all-round cleaning as the V6.
Hard Floors & Carpets
Both vacuums are great for cleaning hard floors. They have powerful suction for picking up both large debris and fine dust, which many vacuums struggle with. They also do a decent job on laminate floors and tiles.
If we had to pick one, the Dyson V6 Total Clean is the top recommendation for hard floors, as it comes with a soft roller cleaner head. You won't be disappointed with the AirRam Mk2 when cleaning hard floors though - and it's slightly better for edge cleaning.
There's more of a gap when it comes to carpet cleaning performance. While the AirRam Mk2 isn't terrible when pulling dust and dirt from carpet, it's not as effective as the best carpet cleaning cordless vacs.
The Dyson V6, on the other hand, is excellent at cleaning carpets. The powerful suction and motorised floor combine to provide great performance.
Furniture and Above-Floor Areas
The Gtech AirRam Mk2 is purely designed for floor cleaning. It doesn't have a handheld mode or even a hose, so it's unwieldy to use on furniture and not suitable for cleaning higher areas such as cupboards.
This is another area where the Dyson V6 provides excellent performance. By detaching the tube, it becomes a powerful handheld vacuum cleaner that's great for cleaning stairs, above furniture and other awkward locations.
If you opt for the V6 Total Clean, you also get a mini motorised tool. This is effective at removing pet hair from upholstery, so it's a worthwhile upgrade if you have a cat or dog.
There's no doubt the Dyson V6 wins in this category. So, if you want a versatile cordless vacuum, go for the Dyson.
Again, the fixed design of the AirRam Mk2 means it's not suitable for car cleaning. The Dyson V6, on the other hand, has a lightweight design and combination tool for getting into nooks and crannies.
In the interest of fairness, Gtech also produces a Multi Mk2. This is a handheld vacuum that's much more suitable for cleaning cars. In a competition between the AirRam Mk2 and the V6, however, the Dyson is the clear winner.
The standard Gtech AirRam Mk2 struggles to pick up pet hair - particularly when it's been ground into carpet fibres. The K9 version has reinforced components so it can handle the tough task of cleaning pet hair, but it's still not the most effective at removing large clumps.
The Dyson V6 is great for cleaning pet hair. It can vacuum both shorter hairs and thicker clumps with ease - including on thick carpets. If you have a dog or a cat, the V6 is the easy choice, although we recommend getting the Total Clean as this includes the mini motorised tool.
"Cleaning Performance" Section Winner: Dyson V6
Both the Dyson and Gtech are great for cleaning hard floors. The AirRam loses out when it comes to carpets and pet hair though. It's also less versatile, as it doesn't have a handheld mode for stairs, cars or above-floor cleaning. This makes the Dyson V6 the clear winner for this category.
Filtration Systems & Emptying
So far, there has been a clear winner in each category. This isn't the case when it comes to filtration, as both the V6 and AirRam Mk2 have decent allergen retention.
The AirRam manages to capture most dust and dirt in its floor head canister. While it's not as effective as having a true HEPA filter, it does a decent job at preventing allergens escaping.
Similarly, the V6 manages to retain most dust and dirt without expelling it into the surrounding air.
It's the dust emptying system that gives the AirRam the edge in this category though. The V6 uses a gravity-based system, which is messy and can allow dust and dirt to get caught. The Gtech has a slider for forcing out whatever is in the canister so you don't need to touch it.
Even with this feature, it's worth pointing out that both vacuums are bagless models, so are less suitable for people with severe allergies. This is because bagless vacs are messier to empty and may release dust mites and pet dander.
Gtech has recently released their Gtech Pro model, however, which uses hygienic bags, so if you want a cordless bagged vacuum this might be one to consider.
"Filtration Systems" Section Winner: Gtech AirRam Mk2 (by a slim margin)
Both the Dyson and Gtech do a great job at retaining allergens. It's arguable which is "best" in this regard, but the deciding factor is that the AirRam has a more hygienic emptying system.
Tools and Attachments
The Dyson V6 comes with several accessories depending on which version you buy. The Cord-Free model has a motorised floor tool, crevice tool, combination tool and a docking station for charging. The Total Clean adds an extra soft roller cleaner head and mini motorised tool.
The Gtech doesn't put up much of a fight in this category, as the AirRam doesn't include any tools or accessories.
"Tools and Accessories" Section Winner: Dyson V6
There's no contest in this category, as the Gtech doesn't include any tools or attachments. If you want the greatest versatility, the Dyson V6 Total Clean includes an extra mini motorised tool and hard floor head compared to V6 Cord-Free.
Value for Money
One of the most common complaints about Dyson vacuums is that they are expensive. While you often get what you pay for when buying home appliances, there's no doubt that Dyson vacs are pricey.
This holds true for the V6 range. According to the Dyson website, the V6 Cord-Free costs £300+, while the Total Clean is around £450. This is very expensive - especially as the V7 and V8 models don't cost much more.
The Gtech AirRam isn't cheap either, but it's more reasonably priced.
"Tools and Accessories" Section Winner: Gtech AirRam Mk2
If you just want a vacuum cleaner for floors, the AirRam Mk2 provides excellent value. It's not as versatile as the V6 though, so the right option depends on what you need it for.
Summary and Overall Winner
If you tally up the wins and losses of each vacuum, which should you buy?
It's a close contest, so the right pick depends on your requirements.
If you want a versatile vacuum cleaner for cleaning floors, furniture, car interiors and almost anywhere else in the home, the Dyson V6 is the winner. It's also far more effective at cleaning pet hair, so it's the obvious choice if you have a dog or cat.
If you want a cordless just for cleaning floors, however, then the AirRam Mk2 puts up a good fight - especially as it's cheaper and has a longer run-time. It's particularly good on hard floors.
When it comes to all-round cleaning, the Dyson V6 is the superior vacuum though.
What About the Gtech AirRam Vs Dyson V8?
Dyson's flagship cordless vacuum range is the V8 series. It's more expensive than the V6, but how does it compare? And does it justify the higher priced compared to the Gtech AirRam?
The Dyson V8 has many of the same features as the V6. These include a stick design with detachable handheld mode and several floor heads. In this regard, it's more versatile than the Gtech and better suited to above-floor cleaning, stairs and cars.
Dyson has also improved the V8 in several key areas.
Firstly, it has a 40-minute run-time when you're not using a motorised floor tool. This is reduced when you clean with the direct-drive cleaner head, but the V8 still has much better battery life than the V6. It doesn't beat the AirRam in this category - especially as it takes 5.5 hours to fully charge compared to 4 hours - but it's a much more even fight.
In most other areas, the Dyson V8 is the clear winner. It includes more tools and accessories, has a new hygienic bin emptying system, and is much more versatile. The V8 is also effective on any surface and is great for cleaning pet hair.
This performance is due to Dyson's powerful V8 motor, which provides more suction power than almost any other cordless vac. Dyson actually compared the two vacuum's suction power and found the V8 provided a shopping 70 AirWatts of suction compared to the Gtech's 5 AirWatts, although this was when the V8 was in MAX mode which greatly reduces the run-time.
When it comes to price, the Gtech AirRam provides excellent value for money. If you want the most powerful and versatile cordless vacuum, however, the Dyson V8 is the clear winner.