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Dyson V12 Detect Slim Review

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

Slim Cordless Vacuum with Fantastic Performance

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Dyson V12 Detect Slim

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is a cordless vacuum made to be smaller and more compact. While this means a smaller dustbin and slightly less suction (150 AW), it more than makes up for it. Across all of our tests the Detect Slim showed excellent performance, removing 98.6% of total debris, avoiding hair tangles, and removing pet hair.

Pros

  • Lighter than other models, just 5.2 pounds
  • Fantastic performance in cleaning tests, removed 98.6% of total debris by weight
  • Easily cleaned long hair and pet hair

Cons

  • Expensive, especially compared to non-Dyson
  • Small dustbin, just 0.1 gallons / 0.38 liters

Scoring

Small stick vacuum, big performance
  • Design - 98%
    98%
  • Performance - 98%
    98%
  • Quality - 99%
    99%
  • Usability - 98%
    98%
  • Value - 97%
    97%
98%

Summary

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is a cordless stick vacuum that is designed to be lighter and more easily carried around. Due to the more compact design you lose out on dustbin capacity and suction power, but not cleaning performance. Our testing showed an overall debris removal rate of 98.6%. Additionally, it easily removed the majority of pet hair and avoided tangles in our long hair test. With the Motorbar cleaning head attached it has a run time of 51:22 with a click-in battery. Overall, it’s a lightweight cordless vacuum with tons of power and bleeding edge technology.

In This Review

Cleaning Test | Long Hair Test | Pet Hair Test | Runtime Test | Noise Test | Usability | Accessories | Size | Specs | Summary

Performance Tests

To test the cleaning performance and usability on the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, we put it through 6 different tests in our office and studio space. 

These tests include:

  • Cleaning test
  • Hair test
  • Pet hair test
  • Runtime test
  • Noise test
  • Usability test

Cleaning Test

For our cleaning test, we use 4 different debris types (sugar, kitty litter, rice, and cereal) on 3 different floor types (hardwood, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet). After placing the debris, we run the vacuum on max power over the debris and measure how much of it was removed by weight. 

Overall

98.6%

Hardwood

99.5%

Low Carpet

98.5%

High Carpet

97.8%

The cleaning performance of the V12 Detect Slim was excellent. Across all tests it was able to remove 98.6% of debris.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim
Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Despite this excellent performance, it did seem to struggle with the smaller debris types on carpet. 

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

On hardwood floors, the V12 worked fantastically. For this floor type we used the Laser Slim Fluffy, which is designed for hard surface floors (hardwood, tile, vinyl, laminate, etc.) 

Sugar

100%

Kitty Litter

99.0%

Rice

99.0%

Cereal

100%

The soft brushroll was perfect for this test, handling all debris types with ease. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim hardwood - before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim hardwood – before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim hardwood - after test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim hardwood – after test

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Performance on low pile carpet was also good. For this and the high pile carpet tests, we switched to the multi-surface Motorbar cleaning head.

Sugar

95.0%

Kitty Litter

99.0%

Rice

100%

Cereal

100%

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim handled most of the debris without issue, however, it didn’t capture all of the sugar.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim low pile carpet - before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim low pile carpet – before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim low pile carpet - after test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim low pile carpet – after test

While most of it was gone, there was still some within the carpet after cleaning. 

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

Similarly to low pile carpet, performance was excellent, except with sugar. 

Sugar

95.1%

Kitty Litter

98.0%

Rice

99.0%

Cereal

99.0%

Despite that, most of the debris was removed and I would still consider this fantastic performance overall. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim high pile carpet - before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim high pile carpet – before test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim high pile carpet - after test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim high pile carpet – after test

Long Hair Test

For our hair test, we place strands of hair in the direct cleaning path of the vacuum. We then run the vacuum over it and check to see how much hair was removed, and if any tangled in the brushroll.

Removed?

100%

Tangled?

Excellent

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim handled long hair with ease. It was able to remove 100% of the hair we placed on the floor.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim long hair test results
Dyson V12 Detect Slim long hair test results

In addition, the majority of the long hair did not get tangled around the brushroll. What little hair did tangle was easy to remove by hand.

Pet Hair Test

For our pet hair test, we brought the vacuum over to our Content Manager’s house and vacuumed a rug that had a lot of pet fur embedded within.

Maizy (who sheds a lot of hair)
Maizy (who sheds a lot of hair)

His dog sheds often and a lot, and as people move throughout the house, the pet hair gets pressed into the carpet and rugs. 

Removed?

95%

Cleaning Passes?

Two

After using the Dyson V12 Detect Slim on max power the majority of the pet fur was removed. While I noticed a stray hair here or there in the carpet, ~95% of the hair was removed with just two passes of the vacuum. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim after pet hair test
Dyson V12 Detect Slim after pet hair test

The brushroll within the Motobar head was able to agitate the rug successfully and remove the hair. 

Runtime Test

For our runtime test, we fully charge the battery and let the vacuum run on each mode with the Motorbar head attached until the battery runs out of power.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim battery
Dyson V12 Detect Slim battery

Here are the results from our test:

Eco

51:22

Auto/Med

33:29

Boost

7:28

Our testing showed the Dyson V12 Detect Slim to have a runtime between 7 and 51 minutes. Dyson states the vacuum has a run time of 60 minutes with no motorized accessories attached.

This is about average among other cordless vacuums we have tested. In addition, the battery takes about 4 hours to charge, which is also consistent with other cordless vacuums. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim removing battery
Dyson V12 Detect Slim removing battery

The battery on the V12 Detect Slim is removable. As a result, if you want an extra long run time you can simply purchase an extra battery.

Noise Test

To test the noise levels of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim we run the vacuum on each suction setting and measure the noise generated with a noise meter from about 3’ away. 

Eco

52.8 dB

Auto/Med

55.4 dB

Boost

58.9 dB

Our testing showed the V12 Detect Slim to have a noise range of 52-59 dB. This level of noise is similar to the hum of a refrigerator or moderate rainfall. This is around 20 dB quieter than a typical corded upright vacuum.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim motor
Dyson V12 Detect Slim motor

Common noise levels:

  • 20 dB – rustling leaves
  • 30 dB – whisper
  • 40 dB – quiet library, babbling brook
  • 50 dB – refrigerator, moderate rainfall
  • 60 dB – normal conversation, dishwashers
  • 70 dB – traffic, showers
  • 80 dB – alarm clock, telephone dial tone

Usability

When setting up, using, and maintaining the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, I found the usability to be fantastic. The design is similar to the non-slim cordless vacuum Dyson makes, with a few notable changes.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim lay down height
Dyson V12 Detect Slim lay down height

As with other stick vacuums, it’s lightweight, has a click-in battery, is easy to move around, and lays low to the ground. 

Setup

Setting up the V12 Detect Slim is quick and easy. Keep in mind the battery will come partially charged, but Dyson recommends fully charging the battery before first use. After that the device is essentially ready to go. Simply attach the desired cleaning head or attachments.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim unboxed
Dyson V12 Detect Slim unboxed

Here is what comes with the Dyson V12 Detect Slim:

  • Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head
  • Motorbar cleaner head
  • Hair screw tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool
  • Wand clip
  • Charger
  • Docking station

Additional setup is required if you wish to use the docking station.

Controls & Display

Power control is the biggest change from the standard Dyson design. In previous models, the power was controlled via a trigger. When the trigger is pressed, vacuum powers, when you’re not holding it, no power.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim handle
Dyson V12 Detect Slim handle

In the case of the V12 Detect Slim, there is a button located on the body of the vacuum to power the device on and off. No more trigger.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim power button
Dyson V12 Detect Slim power button

While this change is certainly preferential, personally I like it. Oftentimes when grabbing an older Dyson model, I would accidentally power on the device. This wasn’t a huge issue, but relocating the power button has solved it completely. 

Also, one of the most common complaints we’ve seen on Dyson’s broader cordless lineup is simply that users hate having to hold the trigger down.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim power button
Dyson V12 Detect Slim power button

On top of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is an LCD that conveys information about the vacuum. This information includes:

  • Current power mode
  • Remaining battery life
  • Current particle intake
  • Maintenance alerts

While it’s nice to know the current particle intake the vacuum is cleaning, it isn’t particularly useful to the user. However, the vacuum uses this information to automatically adjust the suction power of the vacuum when in auto mode. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim display
Dyson V12 Detect Slim display

Additionally, below the display is a small button that can be pressed to adjust the suction mode or toggle through alerts. 

Maintenance

Taking care of the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is simple. The most common task will be emptying the dustbin. Compared to the other stick vacuums from Dyson, the dustbin is notably smaller, meaning you will need to do this more often. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim dustbin filter
Dyson V12 Detect Slim dustbin filter

Otherwise, you will need to wash the filter in the main unit, as well as the soft brushroll depending on use. 

Accessories

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim comes with a variety of accessories to assist in everyday cleaning.

Key accessories that are included are:

  • Motorbar cleaner head
  • Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head
  • Hair Screw tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Combination tool

For multi-surface cleaning, Dyson included the Motorbar cleaner head. It can handle all floor types and is the most universal attachment included. In addition, the cleaning head can be adjusted to better fit different floor and debris types. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Motorbar cleaning head
Dyson V12 Detect Slim Motorbar cleaning head

The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head uses a soft brush roll designed for hard floors. On top of that, it uses a built-in laser to illuminate particles on the floor. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Fluffy cleaning head
Dyson V12 Detect Slim Fluffy cleaning head

The Hair Screw tool is designed to avoid hair getting tangled around the brushroll. In our long hair tests, the Motorbar cleaning head handled the task very well.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Hair tool
Dyson V12 Detect Slim Hair tool

However, if you clean up a lot of long hair or want to use handheld mode for hair / pet hair, this tool is perfect. 

Like many cordless vacuums, a combination tool and crevice tool are both included. These are great for reaching tight spaces or cleaning up dust. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim combination tool
Dyson V12 Detect Slim combination tool
Dyson V12 Detect Slim crevice tool
Dyson V12 Detect Slim crevice tool

Size & Dimensions

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim looks and feels like your standard stick vacuum, but smaller. 

  • Width – 9.8”
  • Length – 49.1”
  • Height – 9.9”
  • Weight – 5.2 lbs

The base unit is 1.6 lbs. lighter than the Dyson V15.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim size
Dyson V12 Detect Slim size

In addition, the dustbin is smaller at 0.1 g / 0.38 liters and there is slightly less suction power at 150 AW. Otherwise, the V12 Detect Slim moves and feels like any high-performance cordless stick vacuum.

Holding Dyson V12 Detect Slim
Holding Dyson V12 Detect Slim

It can take tight corners and lay almost completely flat on the ground. 

Dyson V12 Detect Slim Specifications

Specifications
TypeStick vacuum
ManufacturerDyson
ModelV12 Detect Slim
Height9.9″
Width9.8″
Length49.1″
Floor TypeAll
Dust Bin Capacity0.1 gallons / 0.38 liters
Suction Power150 AW
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty2-year
PriceCheck Price

Dyson V12 Detect Slim vs. Absolute

There are two different versions to choose from with the Dyson V12, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim and Dyson V12 Detect Slim Absolute. In both the Detect Slim Absolute and base Detect Slim versions, the vacuum is exactly the same. The only difference is the included accessories. 

 V12 Detect SlimV12 Detect Slim Absolute
Digital motorV12 Detect SlimV12 Detect Slim
Runtime~60 mins~60 mins
Dust Bin0.1 gallons / 0.38 liters0.1 gallons / 0.38 liters
Weight5.2 lbs5.2 lbs
Max Suction150 AW150 AW
MotorbarYesYes
Laser Fluffy cleaner headYesYes
Hair screw toolYesYes
Crevice toolYesYes
Combination toolYesYes
Wand clipYesYes
Docking stationYesYes
Fabric and mattress toolNoYes
Up-top adaptorNoYes
Mini soft dusting brushNoYes

With the Absolute you get access to the Up-top adaptor. This tool adds extra flexibility to the cleaning wand as it can bend and lock at various angles. 

Furthermore, you get the Fabric and mattress tool, which are designed to effectively remove dirt and allergens from mattresses and upholstery.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim body
Dyson V12 Detect Slim body

The final tool, the Mini soft dusting brush, makes dusting delicate surfaces and fabrics easy to do with the vacuum. 

Both the base Detect Slim and Detect Slim Absolute include the multi-surface Motorbar cleaning head and the Laser Fluffy soft cleaning head.

Should you buy the Dyson V12 Detect Slim?

I would recommend the Dyson V12 Detect Slim if you are looking for the following features:

  • A lighter stick vacuum: The Dyson V12 Detect Slim is designed with a smaller body, smaller dustbin, and less suction power. But this doesn’t mean less performance, in fact, performance was excellent across the board.
  • Excellent cleaning performance: With a 98.6% debris removal rate in our tests, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim is more than capable of handling any mess. Additionally, it comes with accessories that enhance the cleaning experience. Whether cleaning on hard floors or between cushions on a sofa, the Detect Slim has the right performance and tool for the job. 
  • Manges pet hair well: In our tests cleaning long hair and pet hair, the Dyson V12 Detect Slim showed excellent performance. It removed the majority of the pet hair from the rug and avoided tangles around the brushroll. If you are especially concerned about long hair, the included Hair Screw tool will manage the job.

For more information or to buy the Dyson V12 Detect Slim, click here.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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6 Comments on “Dyson V12 Detect Slim Review”

  1. I would love to have the low reach attachment for my v12, I’ve looked but can’t find if such a thing is available. Do you happen to know if a low reach attachment from another model would work? Great review, by the way!

    Reply
  2. Wow! That was a really great review! Thanks! When buying it, I started out at Dyson.com then I was unclear where I ended up in the end. Seemed a little shady to have to purchase through a link given over the chat. This makes me wonder if I was sent to a scam website. Do you have any idea how to tell if the one sent to me is an authentic Dyson? Thanks.

    Reply
    • If it goes directly to Dyson.com with no redirects then it should be safe.

      That is very shady for their chat people to use a special link.

  3. Will the motor head for the v8/v19/v11 work on the v12 slim. It’s out of stock at Dyson and I need to buy a replacement asap. Thanks 🙂

    Reply