One of Dyson's latest competitors for the cordless vacuum crown is the Vax Blade Pro 32V. It's a powerful vacuum with a similar stick design - but can it match the Dyson for cleaning performance? And which provides better value? Let's find out.
The days of cordless vacuums being little more than glorified carpet sweepers are long-gone. Today's best cordless vacs are powerful, highly mobile and can tackle almost any surface.
There's also a lot more choice. Almost all the major manufacturers now produce cordless models, which can make it hard to decide which is best for your requirements and budget.
Two examples of popular cordless stick vacuums are the Dyson V8 Absolute and Vax Blade Pro 32V. Both are part of the "new generation" of cordless vacs, with reasonably long run-times and powerful suction. They also have a stick design with the option of a "handheld" mode.
Despite the similar appearance, there are some major differences between these two vacs though - and not just price.
So, if you're struggling to decide on the best cordless vacuum for your requirements, here's our in-depth comparison of the Vax Blade Pro 32V and Dyson V8 Absolute.
For Those in a Hurry...
WINNER: Dyson V8 Absolute
Both the Dyson V8 Absolute and Vax Blade Pro 32V are excellent cordless vacuums - but the Dyson is the superior choice. It's more effective on hard floors, much better at retaining allergens, and has a wider selection of tools. Click here to view its price.
The Vax is still a great choice though - especially as it's much cheaper than the Dyson. It's powerful and provides exceptional carpet performance, although it's let down by its hard floor cleaning and allergen retention. Click here to view its price.
In-Depth Comparison and Review of the Vax Blade Pro and Dyson V8 Absolute
The Vax Blade Pro and Dyson V8 Absolute are both designed to replace corded vacuums. This means they need powerful suction, a reasonably long battery life and the ability to tackle any floor surface. In this comparison review, we'll focus on how each vacuum performs in these categories to see which is the best choice.
Note: This comparison is between the Vax Blade Pro 32V TBT3V1P1 and the Dyson V8 Absolute. There are other Vax Blade and Dyson V8 models available (such as the Animal and Total Clean), but we think these are two of the best options from each range.
Let's start by taking a look at the core features of each vacuum.
The Dyson V8 Absolute is a cordless stick vacuum with a detachable handheld mode. Like all Dyson cordless vacs, the V8 Absolute is powered by two tiers of radial cyclones for great suction power and excellent allergen retention.
As the higher number suggests, the V8 takes the best features of the popular V6 range - strong suction power, lightweight design, handheld mode - and enhances the formula in several key areas. Improvements include a longer 40-minute run-time, stronger suction when on "MAX" mode and a new hygienic bin emptying system.
The V8 Absolute also comes with Dyson's direct-drive cleaner head for carpets and soft roller for hard floors, along with a mini-motorised tool for pet hair. This is the main difference between the Absolute and Animal/Total Clean, which have a different set of accessories.
On the surface, the Vax Blade Pro 32V has a similar design to the V8. It's a cordless stick vacuum with a detachable handheld mode, which is useful for cleaning above-floor surfaces. It only comes with a single floor head, but you also get a motorised pet tool for cleaning furniture and stairs.
Like the Dyson, the Vax Blade Pro aims to improve on Vax's previous model- the Slim range - and it's certainly an upgrade. one of the biggest differences is the new bin design, along with something called "Helix" air flow that helps improve efficiency.
One of the biggest differences between the V8 and V6 series is battery life. The V6 is an excellent vacuum cleaner, but it only has a 20-minute run-time. The V8 increases this to a more generous 40-minutes when using a non-motorised floor tool.
In comparison, the Vax has a 45-minute run-time when in standard mode. This is marginally higher than the Dyson, but hardly a huge difference.
That's not the whole story though. When you activate the Vax's maximum power mode, you can still clean for around 15-20 minutes before it needs to be recharged. The Dyson V8's MAX mode, however, only lasts around 8-minutes - although it's also more powerful.
For this reason, the Vax just about wins when it comes to battery life.
Winner: Vax Blade Pro 32V
Both the V8 and Blade have reasonable run-times, but the Vax edges the Dyson on "standard" modes by around 5-minutes. The biggest difference is when you activate "MAX" power on both vacuums though, with the Vax lasting 20-minutes compared to the Dyson's 8-minutes.
The Vax won the battery life section, but we think the Dyson V8 is the best all-rounder for cleaning performance of any cordless (the Bosch Ultimate is a close second). It's powerful, highly versatile and great for tackling carpets, hard floors and pet hair.
That doesn't mean the Vax doesn't do a great job too though. In fact, it beats the V8 in one key area - it just can't match the all-round excellence of the Dyson.
Hard Floors & Carpets
Dyson proudly proclaims that the V8 is the most powerful cordless vac when set to "MAX" mode - and they have the tests to prove it. This is due to the company's V8 Motor and 2-tier Radial cyclone technology.
Suction power isn't everything though - and the 32V battery means the Vax is no slouch in this regard either. In fact, when it comes to carpet cleaning, the Vax is probably the best cordless on the market. It digs deep into carpet fibres to remove more dirt and dust, and arguably beats the Dyson in this area.
The Dyson is the best choice for cleaning hard floors and laminate though. It has strong suction power, which is essential for pulling dust and dirt from between floorboards. The soft roller floor head is also great for collecting both fine debris and larger items.
While the Vax isn't terrible at floor cleaning, we don't think it can match the Dyson.
Furniture and Above-Floor Areas
Both vacuums have a detachable handheld mode that's great for stairs and above-floor cleaning. They also both include a turbo tool, which is useful for getting rid of dirt and hair from upholstery.
This category is a tie - although the Dyson is marginally lighter so it might be easier to use when cleaning higher areas.
When you're cleaning a car interior, you'll probably use the turbo tool and accessories rather than the main floor heads. We'll get to the tools in a moment, but both have a turbo tool, crevice tool and dusting brush. These accessories, combined with the powerful suction and handheld mode, make both the Vax and Dyson great for cleaning car interiors.
Again, this category is a tie.
Both the Vax Blade and Dyson V8 have powerful suction and can dig into carpet fibres, so they make quick work of most pet hair. The turbo tools also make getting rid of hair on stairs and upholstery much easier.
So we have another tie in this category. You won't be disappointed with either the TBT3V1P1 or Dyson V8 if you have pets.
Winner: Dyson V8
Both the vacuums are great at cleaning carpets, pet hair, car interiors, stairs and above-floor surfaces - and the Vax slightly edges the V8 when it comes to deep pile carpets. The V8 is much better at cleaning hard floors, however, due to the soft roller floor head, which is why it just about wins this category.
Filtration Systems & Emptying
So far, the two vacuums have been fairly evenly matched. The Vax edges it when it comes to battery life and carpet performance, while the Dyson V8 is the better all-rounder and great for hard floors.
Things get more interesting when it comes to filtration though. One of the biggest drawbacks of the Vax is that it has a poor-quality filter - especially compared to the Dyson. If you suffer from dust or pet allergies, the Vax is likely to allow more allergens to escape while cleaning.
In contrast, the Dyson does a great job of keeping most particles trapped in the canister.
Additionally, the Dyson has a new hygienic bin emptying system. This includes a collar that pushes out dust and dirt, so it doesn't rely on gravity alone. The result is that you won't need to pull out fluff that's stuck in the canister as often.
Winner: Dyson V8
The Dyson is the winner when it comes to filtration and bin emptying. It's much more effective at trapping dust and other fine particles, plus it has a more hygienic emptying system.
Tools and Attachments
When we compared the Dyson V6 and Gtech AirRam Mk2, the Dyson was the clear winner as the Gtech didn't include any tools. This isn't the case with the Vax, as it comes with a crevice tool, pet turbo tool and soft dusting brush.
It still can't quite match the Dyson V8 Absolute though. Along with its direct-drive cleaner head, the Absolute includes a mini dusting brush, mini motorised tool, crevice tool, soft roller cleaner head (for hard floors) and a combination tool. The V8 also comes with a docking station for storage and charging.
It's worth noting that the Blade is compatible with Vax's "Pro Cleaning Kit," which includes around 10 different types of brush and accessories. This needs to be bought separately though.
Winner: Dyson V8
The V8's excellent set of tools, including the soft roller cleaner head, crevice tool, dusting brush and combination tool, makes it the more versatile choice than the Vax.
Value for Money
The "value for money" category is often the hardest to judge.
In this case, however, the Vax Blade Pro 32V clearly provides the best value. It's not quite as good as the Dyson - especially on hard floors and allergen retention - but it gets close in most areas while being significantly cheaper.
As you would expect, the Dyson is expensive. We still think it's the best cordless vacuum on the market in the UK, but the high price is likely to be outside many people's budgets.
Winner: Vax Blade Pro 32V
The Vax provides excellent value for money. It matches the Dyson for above-floor cleanin, pet hair and stair cleaning performance, and might even beat the V8 when it comes to carpets. The poor allergen retention and hard floor performance let it down, but there's no doubt it provides great value.
Summary and Overall Winner
If you want the best cordless vacuum, the Dyson V8 Absolute is the clear winner. It's powerful, does a great job on all surfaces, and has excellent allergen retention for a cordless. For all-round cleaning performance, the V8 Absolute is still the top dog.
That doesn't mean you should ignore the Vax Blade Pro 32V though. While it's less effective on hard floors and doesn't retain as many allergens, it's significantly cheaper. It also does a fantastic job at cleaning thick pile carpets. If you're looking for a high-quality cordless but can't afford the V8 Absolute, it's a great alternative.