The Vax Blade 2 32v has a similar design to the popular Dyson V8 Animal, but costs a lot less money. How do the vacuums compare? And which should you buy? Keep reading our in-depth comparison to find out…
The Quick Pick...
Winner: Dyson V8 Animal
When comparing the Dyson V8 Animal with the Vax Blade 2, we think the Dyson comes out on-top. It’s a powerful cordless that’s great with pet hair and can handle almost any surface. It also provides outstanding filtration. The only drawback is the price. Click to view the price of the V8 Animal.
With that said, the Vax Blade 2 is still an excellent vacuum. It does a surprisingly good job of matching the Dyson in many areas – including floor cleaning – but for a much lower price. Click to view the Blade 2 price.
Are you struggling to decide between a Vax or Dyson cordless vacuum?
Don’t worry – you’re not alone! While Dyson has dominated the cordless market, Vax’s Blade range offers lower-priced alternatives that have become increasingly popular.
To help you choose, this article compares the Vax Blade 2 32V to the Dyson V8 Animal. Both are brilliant vacuum cleaners, but with different strengths, weaknesses and prices.
Let’s see how they match up!
Comparison of the Vax Blade 2 and Dyson V8 Animal
You can’t truly compare two vacuums using specs alone – but they are a good place to start. Here’s a breakdown of how the Vax Blade 2 and Dyson V8 Animal stack up.
|Vax Blade 2 32V||Dyson V8 Animal|
|Dust Emptying||Detachable Canister||No-Hands Emptying|
|Max Run-time||45 minutes||40 minutes|
|Charge Time||4 hours||5 hours|
|Tools & Accessories||Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool||Mini Dusting Brush, Crevice Tool, Combination Tool, Mini-Motorised Tool|
A Quick Overview
At first glance, the V8 Animal and Blade 2 appear to be similar vacuum cleaners.
Both are lightweight cordless stick vacuums. They also both have handheld modes, a motorised brush bar, and a boost mode for tackling stubborn dirt.
Most importantly, both vacuums provide excellent performance that rivals many corded vacs.
There are some important differences between the two vacs though. Aside from price, they have different filters, bin-emptying systems and battery run-times. The right choice depends on your requirements and budget.
Before we go any further, it’s worth knowing how each model fits into their respective product ranges.
There are currently two versions of the Vax Blade 2. We’re analysing the Blade 2 32V in this article, but there’s also a Blade 2 MAX. This model has a 40V battery that charges in just three hours, along with a brushless motor design for improved cleaning performance.
Vax also still produces the original Blade 32V. This has similar features, although version 2 has a removable dust canister and improved cleaning performance.
There’s currently only two V8 models being sold by Dyson: the Animal (which we’re comparing in this article) and the more expensive Absolute Pro (which is only available direct from Dyson). You can still find models such as the Absolute and Total Clean at various retailers though – for more information read our comparison of the Animal and Absolute.
Of course, the V8 isn’t Dyson’s top-of-the-range cordless anymore – that crown goes to the V10 and Dyson V11. The V8 Animal is still one of the best cordless vacs on the market though, and it’s closer in price to the Blade 2 32V for a fairer comparison.
Design and Weight
All Dyson cordless vacuums have a stick design. This keeps the vacuum lightweight, while allowing you to detach the tube to convert it into a handheld.
The Vax Blade 2 has a similar design. Like the Dyson, it combines a rigid stick with a detachable body and pivoting floorhead. It’s easy to push around the home, and the slick design rivals Dyson in terms of appearance.
A minor advantage of the Blade 2 is that it has LED thumb buttons. It’s easy to reach these buttons to activate boost mode or turn the brush bar off, while the V8’s buttons are a bit less convenient.
As with other Dyson cordless vacs, the V8 requires you to hold down the trigger when cleaning. This isn’t the case with the Vax – there’s a single on/off button, rather than a trigger. Some people find a trigger system tiring – especially during long cleaning sessions. The trade-off is that Dyson’s system rarely wastes battery power when moving between rooms.
Both vacuums are relatively light. The Dyson is slightly lighter at 2.61kg compared to 3.1kg, but the difference is minimal and both feel balanced and comfortable to use. The lightweight design also mean you won’t have trouble cleaning cobwebs from ceilings or other high locations.
In terms of dust capacity, the Vax Blade 2’s 0.6 litre canister is a bit larger than the V8’s 0.54 litres. As with all cordless vacuums, both models will need to be emptied regularly.
Both vacuums have a stick design, handheld mode and are relatively lightweight, so this category is a tie. We like the Vax’s LED thumb buttons though. Some people might also prefer not having to hold a trigger when cleaning.
One of the biggest differences between the Blade 2 and V8 Animal is the bin design. The Vax has a horizontal bin that can be completely removed for emptying, which is more convenient and makes it possible to clean the interior.
In contrast, the V8’s bin is vertical and can’t be easily removed. Instead it has a trap-door system for emptying dust and dirt.
The V8 does include Dyson’s hygienic emptying system though. A silicone collar pushes dirt and dust out of the canister, rather than relying on gravity. This is much more effective than the V6’s gravity-only system – although the lever can be stiff to use.
The Vax’s design lets you completely remove the dust canister. This is convenient and also makes it easier to clean. The V8’s hygienic emptying system is an improvement on previous Dyson vacs though.
Cleaning Performance and Suction Power
When it comes to raw cleaning power, the two vacuums provide surprisingly similar performance. We think the V8 Animal has a slight edge, but the Vax holds its own and for a much lower price.
Unlike floor specialists, such as the Gtech AirRam Mk2, both vacuums are versatile and can be used for all-home cleaning. Here’s a breakdown of how each vacuum performs.
Both vacuums provide excellent floor cleaning performance. In fact, the V8 and Blade 2 rival many corded vacuums.
For cleaning carpets, the Vax is arguably the better choice. It’s brilliant at digging into thick-pile carpets and removing dirt that’s ground into fibres. The V8 Animal is no slouch on carpets either though, due to the excellent direct-drive floor head.
On hard floors, we think the V8 Animal is the better choice. The strong suction and floor head design makes picking up both large debris (such as cereal) and smaller particles a breeze. This isn’t to say the Blade 2 is ineffective on hard floors though. It does a decent job, and has enough suction power to remove dirt between floorboards.
The Vax also comes with LED headlights on the floor tool. Headlights are useful for spotting dust and dirt that you might have missed, which makes cleaning floors a little bit easier.
Overall, this section is a tie – both vacuums are excellent for cleaning floors.
Note: It’s worth noting that the V8 Animal doesn’t include Dyson’s “Soft Roller” head for hard floors. If your home has a lot of hardwood or other delicate flooring, it’s worth buying this separately.
As both vacuums have detachable handheld modes, they are highly versatile and can be used for cleaning stairs, cars and upholstery. You can also leave the tube attached for extra reach into corners or ceilings, although this can feel cumbersome compared to using a hose.
Despite the similar designs, the Dyson V8 Animal wins this category. It has more tools, including the excellent motorised turbo tool for removing pet hair and fluff. It’s also slightly lighter.
In contrast, the lack of accessories with the Blade 2 – unless you purchase additional tools separately – makes it less convenient for above floor cleaning.
The Vax Blade 2’s powered brush bar does a good job of digging into carpets and removing pet hair. It doesn’t have a motorised turbo tool, but is still a decent choice for pet owners.
It can’t quite match the Dyson V8 Animal though. Dyson’s direct-drive floorhead is brilliant for getting rid of hair from carpets. This isn’t just on MAX mode – it usually does the job on standard power.
The V8’s turbo tool is also useful for getting rid of pet hair from awkward locations. If your pet loves to sleep on sofas or climb stairs, a mini motorised tool is essential.
The Vax Blade 2 is an excellent cleaner – but it can’t quite match the V8 Animal for all-round cleaning performance. The Dyson excels at almost every cleaning task, including pet hair, stairs and car interior cleaning.
Battery Life and Charging
The two vacuums have similar maximum run-times. The V8 Animal’s battery life is listed as 40-minutes, while the Blade 2 can last 45-minutes.
These figures are when you’re using standard suction and a non-motorised tool though. If you want to use the motorised brush bar – and, let’s face it, you nearly always will – then the run-time drops. Activating boost/max power mode causes the battery to drain even faster.
So, how does using maximum suction power affect battery life on each vacuum?
The Vax Blade 2 is the winner here, as it can last around 15 minutes when using boost mode. The V8 can only last approximately 7 minutes when a powered tool is attached and boost mode activated.
Fortunately, the standard suction modes of both vacuums is usually enough for most cleaning tasks. Stubborn dirt and pet hair may require the boost mode though.
Re-charging takes around 4-hours for the Vax and 5-hours for the Dyson. If your battery runs out mid-clean, you’ll need to wait quite a while for the battery to be fully charged.
On the plus side, both vacuums maintain suction power as their battery starts to fade.
This category is almost too close to call, but the Vax has the slight edge. It charges faster and lasts longer in “boost” mode. Both vacuums don’t lose suction as the battery runs out though.
The V8 does a great job of filtration. Dyson famously claims that the V8 expels air that’s cleaner than the air you typically breathe, due to the whole machine filtration and HEPA filter.
Unfortunately, the Vax Blade 2 is no match for the Dyson in this category. It has a washable filter that removes 99% of dust down to 0.3 microns in size, but this is considerably less than the 99.97% filtration of a true HEPA filter.
We wish Vax could sort the filtration issue, as this has been a reoccurring problem for the Blade series. If you suffer from allergies, the Dyson is the better option.
The Dyson V8 Animal has a superior filtration system. If you suffer from allergies or just want cleaner air, go for the Dyson.
Tools and Accessories
A defining feature of the cordless stick design is that tools can be attached to either the tube or main body. This is true for both the V8 Animal and Blade 2.
The Blade 2 only comes with a dusting brush and crevice tool though. This is bare-bones, although trade-offs are to be expected from a budget cordless that’s attempting to rival the much pricier Dyson range.
Also, while the Blade 2 includes a wall mount, this is just for storage. It doesn’t charge your vacuum – you’ll need to plug it in manually.
In contrast, the V8 Animal has plenty of tools and a proper docking station for charging. These include a mini dusting brush, crevice tool, combination tool and mini-motorised tool. The motorised tool, in particular, is excellent for cleaning cars, stairs and other awkward locations.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, the wider tool selection arguably makes the V8 Animal a better all-rounder. The docking station is also more convenient and ensures your vacuum is always ready to go.
Note: Vax sells a separate tool kit for the Blade series. This includes a longer crevice tool, mini-hose extension, and a couple of other accessories. It’s worth buying this kit as it makes the vacuum much more versatile.
The Vax Blade 2’s lower cost means it doesn’t come with many accessories. It also doesn’t include a mini-motorised tool, making the Dyson a clear winner in this category.
The Vax Blade 2 is considerably cheaper than the Dyson V8 Animal, so it’s an easy winner in this category.
Prices fluctuate, so we can’t give exact figures. But the Blade 2 is often sold for around £100-£150 less than the V8 Animal.
The Vax is around £150 cheaper than the Dyson at the time of writing. That’s a lot of money! While the Dyson is the better vacuum, the Blade 2 provides excellent performance for the price.
The Dyson V8 Animal and Vax Blade 2 32V are both excellent cordless vacuum cleaners. They provide all-home cleaning, with a lightweight design and powerful suction power.
Which is the better vacuum though?
We think the V8 Animal is the winner – not to mention one of the best cordless vacs on the market (click here for all our recommendations). The results are closer than you might expect though. The Blade 2 performs admirably for the price, but the V8 Animal has more tools, including the excellent mini motorised tool. It also provides more efficient filtration.
But there’s a caveat here. The V8 Animal is around £150 more expensive than the Blade 2 (at the time of writing). Whether it’s worth the extra money depends on how much you value the extra performance and features.
For those with allergies, the V8 is the obvious choice due to its filtration system. If you need a motorised tool for stairs, prefer to have a docking station that charges your vacuum, or need maximum pet hair cleaning performance, the V8 Animal is also probably the better choice.
If your budget won’t stretch to the V8 series, however, then the Blade 2 is a solid alternative for a much lower price.
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