Review: Dyson V12 Detect Slim compact stick vacuum


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Erin Lawrence

Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum full image on a hardwood floor background

There’s probably one or two names that are synonymous with ‘vacuum’. Back in the day it was Hoover. Today, it’s Dyson. Dyson’s newest model is the Dyson V12 Detect Slim. I recently got my hands on one of these vacuums to test and review in my home.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim


This is a powerful and effective cordless stick vac that has a lot of plusses. It cleans well, comes with lots of accessories and it’s easy to carry around. While it’s perfect for small or mid-size homes it may not be enough for larger spaces.



  • Lightweight
  • Powerful
  • Laser really works!
  • Very portable
  • Adjustable suction
  • Several tools/attachments included
  • Good battery life, easy recharging


  • Dustbin may fill quickly in larger spaces
  • Long recharge time
  • Expensive

What is Dyson V12 Detect Slim?

Dyson’s V12 Detect Slim is a compact, cordless laser-enabled stick vacuum that’s designed to be a lighter and more portable option than the recent Dyson Outsize Absolute + which I reviewed earlier this year. This version weighs just under 5 pounds and is made for small to medium size homes, according to Dyson.

The new Dyson vacuum is a smaller version of the Outsize Absolute if you’re comparing, and it has laser dirt detection like the Outsize.

The new Dyson V12 Detect Slim is all about being small, light and easy to tote around the house. It has a modestly sized dustbin and cleaning heads, and a single rechargeable battery with up to 60 minutes of runtime.

New continuous power button

There’s also a new power-on button on the Dyson’s V12 Detect Slim that lets you click on and leave the vacuum running without needing to pull a trigger. This is a first for Dyson.

I appreciate the idea of continuous power since it simplifies the task of vacuuming. However, the button is in an inconvenient place that necessitates using both hands. It would have made more sense to have a locking trigger, but I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim , vacuum, review

New Continuous Power button.In the box the Dyson V12 comes with a boatload of attachments; there’s the main vacuum handle with integrated dustbin and filtration, plus small screen is also built into the back to show a battery countdown timer and different cleaning modes.

3 key cleaning heads

There are three main cleaning heads, and several accessories that come with Dyson V12:

Detangling Motorbar cleaning head

Dyson V12 Detect Slim , vacuum, review

Detangling Motorbar head

You could call this the main vacuum head, and while it’s the same size in width as the other head (below) it’s a bit bigger in diameter. It’s able to automatically adjust power on different floor types, meaning you can deep clean between carpet and hard floor without having to swap accessories.

The Dyson V12 also has unique qualities that make it great for detangling. Here we have something called Hair Removal Vanes, which act much like a comb to remove hair from the brushes. The brushes seem to have fewer bristle rows but are otherwise the same size.

Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head

With its Astronaut-meets-puppy dog name, this brush sounds fun to use. It’s definitely padded and fluffy, and it’s made specifically for wood and tile floors, because those fuzzy rollers can trap and inhale fine particles of dust thanks to anti-static fibres.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum attachment image

Laser Slim Fluffy

Plus, here is where the lasers come in: When turned on, the Dyson V12’s head’s laser beam spreads horizontally over the room’s floor, reflecting off dust particles and allowing for enhanced visibility. More on the mechanics of this shortly…

Mini Hair Screw Tool

The mini hair screw tool has a cone-shaped brush bar that not only picks up long hair or pet hair, but its shape is made to prevent hair, thread, and fibres from wrapping around the roller and creating tangles. Hair should eventually work its way off the brush and into the dustbin. While the Dyson V12 is small, it still picks up a lot in a concentrated way.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim underside view

Hair Screw tool

Other attachments

When it comes to other attachments and accessories, there’s a Combination Tool with brush, Crevice Tool, dusting brush and some mounting hardware and clips that will let some tools ride along on the extension tube.

All the parts (including the filter) are washable

Battery life and charging

The battery life on the Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum is pretty reasonable; you should get 60 minutes of run time on a charge. Fully charging one of the batteries will take a lengthy 4.5 hours, using Dyson’s include AC wall plug. Your battery life is displayed on the rear screen

Filtration data

Another new feature on this vacuum is the data you get about what your vacuum is inhaling. Now on the rear info screen you can see a count and analysis of the size of dust particles that are coming in via Dyson’s multi-stage filtration system. Dyson boasts the filter is fully sealed and traps 99.99% of microscopic particles and allergens as small as 0.3 microns.

Cleaning with Dyson V12 Detect Slim

This vacuum is easy to use, it’s light, yet it feels like it’s doing a solid job. You can use the attachments on the end of the extension hose, or plugged right into the dustbin handle for a more handheld-style vacuum.

The accessories and brush/roller heads snap in and out so easily with no pulling or yanking.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim laser being used to vacuum the floor.

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim laser in action on hard floor.

The Dyson V12 Detect Slim cleaned all the surfaces of my home really well: it definitely powers dirt out of carpets (even mud and dried dog paw prints) and it gets rid of pet hair well; it’s truly surprising to see what ends up in the dustbin, particularly when you though your floors were already pretty clean.

On hard floors, it easily pulls up pet hair, crumbs, lint and dust. To really test it I spilled things like crackers, oatmeal and flour on my kitchen tile too and it does a great job picking up pretty much anything. The cleaner head is also small enough to fit under kick plates in the kitchen and can duck under things like sofas and beds too.

Does the Dyson V12 Detect Slim vacuum work?

When it comes to those two new cleaning heads, I was really and truly surprised by the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head. To be frank, before my testing, I thought adding lasers to your vacuum was about as relevant as adding lasers to magpies. As I found when I reviewed the Dyson Outsize Absolute, the laser does an outstanding job of illuminating dirt I definitely could not see. It cuts across the floor’s surface at an oblique angle which is perfect for making dirt specs and even tiny dust bunnies light up like traffic lights. It truly made hard-to-spot dirt easy to see, both in low light and bright light.

The Hair Screw tool also worked outstandingly well. After using it on a dog bed, furniture, and then even testing it on carpet, the conical brush has absolutely zero hair wrapped around it.

 Emptying the bin

One of the nice features about the V12 Dyson that carries over from other Dyson vacuums is the ‘point and shoot’ bin emptying feature. After detaching your tools, just give the lever a push to flip open the base of the dustbin, and all the dirt falls right into the garbage.

Overall review: Dyson V12 Detect Slim

Overall, Dyson V12 Detect Slim is easily the best compact stick vacuum you can buy.

When it comes to the pros: it’s powerful, has automatically adjustable suction, a great array of tools and accessories included. Plus there’s good battery life. And the laser sighting works wonders, plus the new Hair Screw Tool doesn’t tangle. Any downsides? Simply given its size, the dustbin does fill up rather quickly, at least it does in our two-dog home. Plus it takes a while to charge and yes, it is expensive.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim in use on the floorEven so, it cleans extremely well and I can’t make any major complaints about it.
If you need a light and compact new vacuum with the power of an upright, amazing new, useful cleaner heads, and without the trailing cords, this stick vacuum has the ability to clean your whole home.

Dyson V12 Detect Slim sells for about $849CAD/$649USD. You can get it from Amazon, Dyson or Best Buy.


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