Most vacuum cleaners (including handheld ones) have a problem of losing suction power as the bag or filter fills up with dirt. Dyson claims that its handheld vacuum cleaner has twice the suction power of other handhelds and maintains its power all throughout. So we know it ‘sucks’, but is that enough to make it a product worth recommending?

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The Motorhead DC16 comes with four attachments, a battery pack, and a charging dock that can be mounted to the wall. The main unit weighs 1.73kg, resembles a nail gun, and is mostly made out of hard plastic in order to withstand accidental knocks or bumps. An LED battery indicator is located beside the ‘one-touch’ emptying switch, telling you when it is time to recharge the unit. There is no on/off switch for this unit but instead uses a trigger system to start/stop the vacuum.

To get started, users must first charge the device for three hours. The LED will turn from red to green once the battery is fully charged, telling users when the unit is good to go.


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The various attachments helped us in cleaning several areas of our office. The crevice tool was able to clean the spaces between our filing cabinets, the debris nozzle/brush tool was able to lift dirt from our keyboards, and the motorized brushbar was able to remove dirt from our carpeted floor and upholstered chairs. However, it had a hard time removing dog hair from one of our chairs, forcing us to spend a little more time vacuuming the same spot.

All the dirt picked up by the vacuum can be seen on the clear polycarbonate bin. When the level reaches the ‘Maximum’ level, all one has to do is to press the one touch emptying switch to open the bottom part of the bin for easy dirt disposal. There are no vacuum bags or filters for the unit, which means that this vacuum will always maintain its suction power. Just remember to wash the filters every 3-6 months (depending on the use) to keep the system running well.

While we did not have any problems with the unit’s performance, we feel that Dyson should improve on the products design. Some of our colleagues who used the product to clean their workspace said that the DC16 got too heavy after a while, placing stress on their wrists. Also, since there was no way to keep the unit on without having to press the trigger, users may find it bothersome to keep on pressing it while removing dirt, say, from a carpeted floor.


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The battery life was abysmal, lasting only for six minutes before having to place the unit back to its charging cradle. While six minutes may be sufficient for those who will just be cleaning up their computer or dirt on carpeted floors, it may not be enough for those who plan to vacuum their car. Hopefully, Dyson releases different accessories (like longer-lasting batteries or AC/Car adaptors) to remedy this problem.


The Dyson DC16 Motorhead is a serious handheld vacuum that can clean your car’s interior, workspace, or even your favourite couch with ease. The only problem is, it gets ‘heavy’ after a while, only has a battery life of six minutes, and has an expensive price point ($349). But if you don’t mind spending for a vacuum that works without much of a hitch, and you love that classic Dyson design, then look no further.

Dyson DC16 Motorhead | $349 |  | www.dyson.com.au

For: Powerful suction; Easy to clean bin; No bags or filters required; Motorised brushbar
Against: Unit gets ‘heavy’ after a while; 6 minute battery life; Price
Conclusion: An expensive handheld that could have been better.

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