Dyson DC16 Review

Dyson DC16

The handheld Dyson DC16 Root 6 worked well at cleaning a variety of areas around our home including our vehicles.

Because it is cordless, grabbing the DC16 for tasks like cleaning stairs is especially easy, but the nozzle opening is narrow making cleaning larger surface areas laborious.

This machine has excellent suction and includes a handy crevice tool. The Dyson DC16 also has a run time of six minutes and a three hour charge time -- about one third the charge time required compared to other handheld vacuums.

See our in depth review below to get more details on this model.


  • Excellent suction strength
  • Short time to charge the battery
  • Bagless /trap door design


  • Short operating time
  • Not designed for pet hair clean-ups
  • Noisy for a handheld

Video Review


  • Stronger suction (double) than most other handhelds.
  • Trap door dustbin for easy removal of dust
  • LED battery indicator
  • Lithium Ion battery technology - full charging takes 3 hours, working time 6 minutes

Attachments/On-Board Tools

  • Combination Accessory Tool
  • Crevice Tool

Our In-Depth Review

Performance/Using The Dyson DC16 Root 6 Handheld Vacuum

Dyson DC16There were some jobs that we weren’t able to finish before the charge ran out. The DC16 handheld vacuum reminded us of using a power tool requiring continuous pressure on the power button to operate.

Additionally, all of the weight sits at the back of the machine which required us to use two hands for support while operating. The filters were adequate and the noise level was moderate on this Dyson.

It proved to be a useful tool for cleaning our car, but the cleaning area was so small that it took a long time and the battery ran out before we could finish.

Performance on Carpets

Dyson DC16 CarpetsDyson recommends only sucking up small particles such as flour in very small amounts. We can only guess they suggest this to avoid clogging the filter.

That said, we began our thorough test by putting a small amount of flour on our medium pile carpet. Using the Root 6 to suck it up, we found that it did a excellent job extracting all the flour we could see.

Next we used rice to simulate medium particles and found again that the Dyson was easily able to capture all the particles. Lastly, we used white beans.

Not only are the white beans larger particles, they are also the heaviest.

Not all handheld vacuums have strong enough suction to grab these heavier particles. However, they were no match for the Dyson.

Performance on Hard Floors

We found that using the brush on the combination tool was very useful for cleaning fine and medium particles from hard surface flooring. For our large particles, white beans, we pulled back the brush and found that the Dyson DC16 vacuum easily sucked up all of our large particles.

In conclusion, we felt that this machine did a great job of picking up a variety of small amounts of debris from hard surface flooring.

Car Cleaning

Dyson DC16 Car CleaningThe suction on the Dyson DC16 hand vacuum was so strong that it did a beautiful job of getting a variety of debris from our car floor.

The unfortunate thing is that the accessory tools we had are petite, covering very small surfaces at a time.

It took so long to clean the seats and floors that we exceeded the six minute battery charge limit and the vacuum died on us when we had just half the car cleaned.

Pet Hair

Dyson DC16 Pet HairFor many pet owners, finding a vacuum that is able to keep your furnishings free of pet hair is highly desirable.

To see if the Root 6 was able to live up to the task, we rubbed pet hair onto our upholstered couch and used the vacuum to clean it up.

The suction was powerful enough that it was able to grab every last strand of pet hair.

Our only complaint was that a lot of the hair got caught in the lint strip located on the bottom of the combination accessory tool.

While we were glad that it was off our couch, it would be a pain to pluck it off if we needed to clean high volumes of pet hair.


There are two filters on the Dyson DC16, a pre-filter assembly and a post filter. Both filters are made of thick foam and are washable. This can be done simply by rinsing the filters and allowing them to dry completely before using them again.

Dyson recommends washing your filters every three months and even has a program that will automatically remind you with a feature accessed through their website. The filters did an OK job of capturing airborne particles. There wasn’t a huge jump in our particle scanner, but it also didn’t cleanse the air as it cleaned.

Attachments / Onboard Tools

There are a multitude of attachments available for this machine. However, those are a separate purchase. We had the combination accessory tool and the crevice tool for testing.

Combination Accessory Tool – This tool is a dusting brush and upholstery tool in one. The dusting brush fits over the upholstery tool/nozzle and slides down for use. We liked having two tools in one to switch quickly between surfaces. The bristles on the dusting brush are softer and it was great for cleaning baseboards.

Crevice Tool– This crevice tool had a generous length for a handheld. We really appreciated this for jobs like cleaning out our dryer vent and getting in between the seats in our car.

Ease of Use

Dyson DC16 UseThe way this machine handled reminded us more of a power drill than a handheld vacuum. This is a good feature if you want the man in your life to feel comfortable cleaning.

Like a power drill, you have to continuously apply pressure to the power button for the vacuum to be on. Since the charge only lasts six minutes, it didn’t tire our finger to hold it down.

The weight of the Dyson DC16 is all in the back requiring more support from your wrist to operate it.

We found that on longer jobs we actually used both hands to support the vacuum as our wrist started to get worn out.

One feature we really like is the trap door on the dirt container. By pressing a button on the side of the vacuum, the bottom of the dirt container literally bursts open and all the dirt falls into the garbage.

Getting Started

There is no assembly required for the vacuum itself. If you choose to mount the charging stand on the wall, you will need a few tools. The Root 6 only requires a three hour charge before using it for the first time. This is considerable less than other handheld vacuums.

Battery Charge

The Dyson DC16 Root 6 hand vacuum only requires three hours to charge for six minutes of consistent power. While we can’t test the longevity of the vacuum, we have heard from other users that the battery of this vacuum will no longer hold a full charge after a six month to one year period.

However, we have been unable to test this. We really enjoyed having the ability to grab the vacuum and go without having to be limited by a cord. We just wonder how long it will last.


This vacuum averaged eighty-one point five decibels landing it in our moderate noise category. You won’t be able to talk over the vacuum, but its not loud enough to warrant ear plugs.

Ease of Use on Stairs

While using the vacuum on our stairs, we again encountered the problem of the accessory tool cleaning such a small area at a time. It did a great job extracting dirt with its powerful suction, but it took a very long time with the tools we had available. We especially appreciated the cordless feature on our stairs.


The Dyson DC16 Root 6 comes with a charging stand that can be mounted to the wall or stand free. There is no where on the stand to store the attachments. We count this as a strike against it since the vacuum and the tools can’t be stored together.

Value For Money

This vacuum can be purchased for around one-hundred and fifty dollars. At this price, we wished the battery life of the machine would have been longer, but felt the other features on the machine were worth the price.

Final Vacuum Verdict

We liked most things about the Dyson DC16 handheld vacuum cleaner. Dyson seems to have tools available that will handle the jobs the combination tool fell short on.

The suction strength is very strong and it did a excellent job cleaning. We were unimpressed with the battery life on this machine, it limits the length of jobs you can tackle without having to stop for three hours to charge it.