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It looks like a toy sci-fi ray gun, but point at your target, squeeze the trigger and it…vacuums? At under three pounds, the Dyson DC31 handheld bagless vac is well balanced and ergonomically designed, making it easy to handle when doing a quick cleanup.

A super handheld vac for small pickups and spots, the Dyson 31 uses Dyson’s patented Root Cyclone technology. The highly efficient small and powerful Dyson digital motor does, in fact, create a mini cyclone of considerable power, designed to prevent loss of suction resulting from clogging of the bags and filters. The motor’s 3-D impeller spins at speeds up to 104,000 rpm, creating a powerful centrifugal force that separates the dust and dirt from the air and shoots it into the dust bin. It also handles the fine dust that clogs the filter in other bagless vacuums. The Dyson 31 holds a clear debris bin so you can see when it’s getting full. The bin is easy to empty—no touching the dirt. Two power modes offer either 10 minutes of standard running time or six minutes at stronger suction for lifting ground-in dirt.

The Dyson 31 comes with a high-velocity airflow crevice tool for cleaning baseboards and small spaces between furniture; a tool that converts to a brush for dusting; and an AC/DC power adapter to charge the lithium-ion battery. Optional accessories, such as a wide nozzle attachment and soft- and stiff-bristle brushes, are available. A big plus… no bags to change. Not needing to buy replacement bags or filters (they’re washable) takes the sting out of the initial price. And when you consider the company’s two-year warranty and free shipping from, the DC31 becomes worth the cost. Another version, the Dyson 31 Animal, has all of the features of the DC31 but is also equipped with a motorized brush bar—for picking up dog and cat hair from carpets and upholstery.

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