Best Cordless HandHeld Vacuum Reviews

by Garrick Dee

In our small townhouse there aren’t any outlets available inside the bathroom so if I needed to vacuum dirt accumulated on the exhaust, I’d have to plug it on an outlet located in a room a few meters away. Even if the cord was long enough, it’d be a hassle for me to plug and unplug if all I needed to clean was that exhaust.

Cordless handhelds are generally preferred over their corded cousins because these aren’t limited by cord length. You just pick it up from its charging base then clean up what you need to clean then store away afterwards. There’s no need to look for an outlet to plugin to.

These are great for cleaning countertops, tables, ceiling fans, ceilings, blinds and other hard to reach spots not possible with an upright or stick vac. Here are 5 of the best I’ve reviewed that’s based on attachments included, weight, capacity, run time, charge time, battery type and consumer reviews.

Rank
1
2
3
4
5
Model
Read Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full ReviewRead Full Review
Motorized brush
No
Yes
No
Yes
No
Crevice tool
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Brush tool
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Pet hair tool
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
No
Battery
20 volt Li-ion
22.2 volt Nickel
Manganese
Cobalt
18 volt nickel cadmium
18 volt li-ion
20-volt li-ion
Charging time
5 hrs
5.5 hrs
24 hrs (first use)
3 hours
N/A
Run time
(minutes)
18 - 30
20 (normal)
8 (max)
17
10 - 30
15 - 30
Power
(air watts)
22
28 (normal)
65 (max)
35
N/A
24
Washable filter
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Bagless
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Cleaning path
(inchdes)
N/A
8.25
N/A
6.4"
N/A
Weight (pounds)
3.8
4.9
4
5
4.2
Price
$$$
$$$$
$$$$
$$
$$
Warranty
2-years
3-years
2-years
2-years
3-years

Whats your budget?

Under 100 101 to 200 201 to 300 301 and up

How to choose one?

Three key things you need to look for.

First, check how much it weighs. If it weighs more than 5 pounds that’ll be too much as you’ll notice it becomes too straining when you clean stuff above eye level.

Second, check the attachments included. At a minimum it should have a crevice and brush tool because these will help clean really tight areas such as crevices around the sofa or baseboard that most stick vacuums can’t reach. If it has a pet or brush roll that’ll be a bonus but expect to pay a premium for those add-ons.

Lastly, it should run for at least 10 minutes. Spot cleaning generally would take anywhere between 10 to 30 minutes, anything less than that would be a waste of money in my opinion.

Our pick: Black and Decker BDH2000FL

Our Pick - Black and Decker BDH2000FLThis isn’t the best per se but it combines compact design, reach and versatility. It has enough attachments that can clean a lot of areas other than floors. Plus it isn’t too expensive at just below $120.

It weighs only 3.8 pounds so it is light enough to carry around without straining your arms or wrists.

The 4 foot hose is flexible and a great feature because instead of carrying the vacuum all the time, you can just place it down on the floor and work with the attachment. This allows you to put more pressure on the surface you’d like to clean when needed. This allows more agitation to be applied that help remove more stubborn dirt such as pet hair on upholstery. If you’d try this on vacuums with pull out attachments there is a risk of pushing the tool back in if the lock isn’t sturdy enough.

What makes this a great buy is the attachments – it has 3 of them. There’s the crevice and brush tool for crevices and cleaning up dust and there’s the pet hair attachment.

You’ll love this if you have pets. It comes with an oddly designed pet hair attachment that according to reviews is effective in removing pet hair off upholstery. Combine this with the flexible hose you have a robust and effective combo for removing pet hair.

It is powered by a lithium ion battery that takes around 5 hours to fully charge and will last around 16 minutes based on a review by Tools in Action. Take note that the battery is built in the unit and that if there’s any failure, you’ll need to send it to a Black and Decker service center to have it repaired. Or call them up and see if it’s possible for them to send you a new unit if it’s still under warranty.

If Money Wasn’t an Issue: Dyson DC44

If Money Wasn't an Issue - Dyson DC44I couldn’t leave out the DC44 because it simply is one of the best out there even with the hefty price tag. When you remove the extension wand, it becomes a hand held because all the tools can be attached directly on the vacuum itself.

For around $350 to $400 (depending on where you buy) you get 4 attachments plus the extension wand. For budget conscious folks, refurbished units are available for around a $100 less.

  1. A crevice tool to clean crevices
  2. Combination brush tool that can be used to remove dust of vents or pet hair on upholstery
  3. Mini motorized tool that can be used on floors or upholstery
  4. A floor tool with a motorized brush for stairs and floors

It is rated at 28 air watts but there is a boost function that ups that to 65 air watts. This can be used to remove embedded dirt stuck on carpet.  It’s nice to have multi speed function just in case you need it.

Because the floor tool can swivel, this will be great to use on stairs where a long upright would be struggle to maneuver. The mini motorized tool is great in removing pet hair and the wand transforms this into a very long hand vac that you can use to reach up to the ceiling.

Even with the wand plus the floor tool, it only around 4.9 pounds so it fits our criteria in terms of weight.

If budget isn’t an issue. I’d take this any day of the week because of the power, versatility and its myriad of tools that you can use on bare floor and carpet. It is capable to clean up all types of debris from pet litter to pet hair, bread crumbs to cheerios’ and dust.

Value Pick: Black and Decker Pivot Vac Handheld

Value Pick - Black and Decker Pivot Vac HandheldIf you can’t afford a $100 handheld or simply not willing to shell out the $$$ then the Pivot is a worthy alternative at just under $50. It is rated at 35 air watts which is actually stronger than the Dyson DC44 at normal setting. It has a pull out crevice and brush tool so cleaning up debris scattered on the floor or sofa should not be a problem because  it has strong suction. Removing pet hair though could be tricky because of the narrow opening and the lack of a pet hair tool.

Even with this shortcoming consumer reports still say that it did a good job in removing pet hair and it scored 82/100 in their review. Amazon customers also said that it had good suction power and it was easy to empty.

The Pivot’s Achilles heel would be the foldable nozzle that reduces back pressure where dirt sucked in tend to go back out if you don’t empty it afterwards. Despite that consumers still loved this product with some even calling it the best handheld vacuum.

The rotating head can be used at varying angles as you’ll see in the photos below.

Pivot Features

It comes with an 18-volt NiCad battery and run time varies. TheWireCutter reported that it got around 17 minutes. Amazon users got between a few minutes to as long as 20 minutes. Consumers in Black and Decker’s site also got roughly 20 minutes.

Good but it could be better: Hoover Platinum Linx Pet Handheld and Black and Decker Platinum BDH2000L.

Make no mistake both of these products are very good but lack some key features.

Hand Held With a BrushRollThe Hoover Platinum Linx Pet comes with 3 attachments – a brush, pet upholstery and power head brushroll that works great on stairs, floors and vents.

A lot of people though complained about the pet upholstery tool, saying that it isn’t designed well enough to handle a lot of pet hair. If there is too much, it’ll just push it around. They ended up using the brushroll tool for pet hair.

Since it doesn’t have a hose or a crevice tool, this will struggle in really tight areas and won’t clean crevices as well. On uneven surfaces the brush roll tool may struggle a bit but on stairs it’ll do just fine because the head pivots so you can move it back and forth without straining your arms too much.

The Platinum Linx works great as a stair and upholstery cleaner because of the brush roll attachment. It can be purchased as a combo with the Hoover Linx Stick Vacuum that’ll work great on floors. If you combine the price of the Linx Stick and Handheld, it would still be cheaper than a Dyson DC44.

The B&D Platinum BDH2000L is a cousin of the BDH2000FL and is part of the new Hoover Platinum Series, all using the same 20-volt lithium ion battery. While this one has decent suction, what concerns me is the pull out crevice attachment. The locking mechanism isn’t sturdy enough so if you put a bit of pressure on it, the crevice tool gets pushed back. So this limits its usage to picking up loose dirt like sand on hard wood floors.

There is no pet attachment as well so you can’t use this to remove pet hair off upholstery or carpet. So this would be great for homes with little to no carpet and without pets for quick clean ups. It is below $100 so budget conscious shoppers take notice.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

val September 25, 2013 at 7:19 am

Great site. I will visit for other products as well. Best presentation and layout I have seen. Thoroughly informative. Bravo (a) :)

vb

Reply

Leave a Comment