BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum

Last updated date: March 12, 2019

Review Melt Score
8.7

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We looked at the top 1 Handheld Vacuums and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including New York Times Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, Engadget, Tech Gear Lab, Jen Reviews and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Handheld Vacuum you should buy.

Overall Take

You'll be able to get into tight spaces, thanks to the BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum's crevice tool. This model also runs a full 16 minutes without losing power on a full charge. That's likely all you'll need for basic household cleanup tasks. In our analysis of 63 expert reviews, the BLACK+DECKER BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum placed 1st when we looked at the top 9 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 19, 2019:
Checkout The Best Handheld Vacuum for a detailed review of all the top handheld vacuums.

Expert Summarized Score
8.5
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.8
1,594 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The suction is strong enough to handle most common types of debris, such as crumbs, road grit, and hair.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Has several attachments to clean different types of dirt like dust, pet hair and larger debris like cheerios
- Best Cordless Vacuum Guide
December 3, 2018 | Full review
It also has a 16-minute, no-fade run time, which should be enough to give most cars a thorough tidy-up.
- Forbes
January 1, 2018 | Full review
The charging dock is especially convenient as you can just drop your unit on it and not worry about having to plug a cord in; the dock also acts as storage for all of the included attachments.
- Consumer Reports
The crevice tool is helpful as a wand extender, but it also makes it easier to get in tight nooks and crannies.
- Engadget
March 10, 2019 | Full review
This handheld vacuum is great at cleaning up after your furry friends, collecting most of the pet hair in our test without any issues.
- Tech Gear Lab
November 1, 2018 | Full review
The BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FL 20V Lithium Flex Vac is our best vacuum for pet hair, which has a strong suction and it can clean up most pet food messes.
- Jen Reviews
What experts didn't like
While the suction is good enough for most jobs, this model is not the strongest handheld, and it may struggle with large debris like leaves.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Unfortunately the floor tool does not have a motorized brush that will pick up pet hair off carpet.
- Best Cordless Vacuum Guide
December 3, 2018 | Full review
In our testing, we found that with an open hose (no attachments) the BDH2020FL struggled with large leaves and pebbles, but with the combo brush or crevice tool attached it worked as well as other models.
- Forbes
January 1, 2018 | Full review
In our testing the unit struggled with large amounts of sand – the vacuum would shut down on its own, though when operating it was very effective and shutting the unit off for a few seconds seemed to remedy that situation.
- Consumer Reports
We also noticed the filter gets dirty very quickly, which can cause drop-offs in suction as quickly as two battery cycles.
- Engadget
March 10, 2019 | Full review
This vacuum usually requires two hands to operate, is quite loud, and has a lackluster battery life
- Tech Gear Lab
November 1, 2018 | Full review
It may not have much power as compared to a corded vacuum cleaner, which has extended time of operation.
- Jen Reviews

From The Manufacturer

The BLACK+DECKER BDH2020FL 20V max lithium Flex vac with pet hair brush features lithium technology for strong suction and fade free power. Packed with strong suction and fade-free power. It also includes a pet hair brush to remove stubborn pet hair. It has a flexible 4-foot hose to reaches dirt high and low and this cordless, portable and ultra-compact vac allows you to tackle your chores without lugging out your full size vacuum . A high-performance motor delivers strong suction for messes big and small and the quick charging base keeps Flex vac charged and accessories organized. Cyclonic action spins dirt away from the filter to help maintain performance and a 3 stage filtration system prevents dust and debris from escaping. It also has an easy to empty, washable bowl and filter for thorough cleaning. Includes: Flex vac, pet hair brush, 2-in-1 nozzle/brush tool, long crevice tool, charging base, washable filter (model PVF110).

Overall Product Rankings

1. BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 7
2. Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 7
3. BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 6
4. BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Shark ION W1 Handheld Vacuum
Overall Score: 8.3
Expert Reviews: 4
6. Bissell Corded Pet Hair Eraser Handheld Vacuum
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 9
7. BLACK+DECKER Pivot Vacuum
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 5
8. Dirt Devil Scorpion Corded Hand Vacuum
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 5
9. Eureka EasyClean Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Overall Score: 7.2
Expert Reviews: 9

An Overview On Handheld Vacuums

If you’re tired of running to the car wash every time you need the inside of your vehicle cleaned out, a handheld vacuum can be a handy tool to have around. However, it can also help you clean up those occasional household messes. Instead of pulling out the vacuum cleaner or grabbing a broom and dustpan, you could use a handheld vacuum to quickly clean up that pool of food under your baby’s high chair or suck up some spilled pet food from the floor.

Handheld vacuums have come a long way in recent years. At one time, you’d get started only to find your battery died in a matter of minutes. The only other option was a corded handheld vacuum cleaner, which limited your reach. Today’s handheld vacuums can last up to 30 minutes without the gradual decline in use seen with previous models. Just keep it on the charging base until you need it, and you’ll be all set.

One thing to consider with any handheld you choose is that they each have a filter. Occasionally, you’ll need to clean this filter, and some handhelds don’t come with alerts to let you know when it’s time. This means you may find that you lose power gradually as the filter becomes dirty, and you may not immediately notice that loss of suction.

Weight is also an important factor when you’re choosing a handheld. You’ll often find that you need to operate it with only one hand, particularly if you’re getting into tight crevices or cleaning your car. Check the weight of any handheld you choose. Also, make sure the handle is designed in a way that will make it easy to hold with only one hand.

Finally, you’ll need to consider the price factor. You’ll likely easily find a handheld vacuum for less than $200, but some are much less expensive than others. Decide if the more expensive handheld has enough features to make it worth the higher price before committing.

Review Melt Fun Fact

Vacuum cleaners have come a long way from the 1800s. In the 1860s, an inventor named Daniel Hess came up with a manually-operated machine that could draw in dirt by using air. It was a rudimentary design and not really functional, which is why it was easily replaced by a patented upright model called the Whirlwind in 1869.

But vacuum cleaners didn’t really begin to take off until the early 1900s when a janitor came up with a device that used a broom, pillowcase and electric motor. Eventually, he sold the patent for his device to William Hoover, who initially had misgivings about taking on the project. However, marketing and door-to-door salesmen soon put Hoover vacuum cleaners in the homes of people across the country and, eventually, the world.

The Handheld Vacuum Buying Guide

  • Before you start shopping for a handheld vacuum, make a list of all of the things you’ll encounter on a weekly basis. If you have pets, you’ll likely occasionally want to grab your handheld to clean up hair on surfaces like your sofa. If you plan to regularly use it on your car’s interior, you may find it important that your handheld be able to easily grab debris, such as pebbles and leaves.
  • Strong suction is necessary if you deal with fine particles, like pet hair and crumbs. The Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner has the highest suction at 100 air watts, followed by the BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum and BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum, with 24 AW.
  • One thing that might help your handheld along when it comes to picking up fine debris is a motorized brush. The BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum and BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum both come with a brush, and the Flex’s is specifically designed to pick up pet hair.
  • As with any device powered by a battery, run time is a concern. The Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner runs for up to 30 minutes on a full charge when used in standard mode. However, if you’re picking up larger debris, you’ll need turbo mode, which can only run for 10 minutes before going back on the charging dock. BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum can run for a full 20 minutes without losing power. The BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum can run for 16 minutes, but the good news is that you won’t see power fade during that time, so you’ll get a full 16 minutes of suction. With the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum, you’ll only get nine minutes of use from three hours of charging.
  • Size and weight are both important with handheld vacuums, which need to be able to get into the deepest crevices. The BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum includes a crevice tool to help with that. The BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum is only four pounds and has a curved handle that makes it easy to get into those tight places without needing a separate accessory.
  • In some cases, the attachments and accessories are the biggest draws. The Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner has a mini-motorized tool that can tackle even tough stains.
  • Before you make a purchase, consider where you’ll set the charging stand. When not in use, you’ll need to be able to store your handheld in a place that’s out of the way yet still close to an A/C adapter. The BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum has a charging stand that can’t be mounted on the wall, for instance, so you’ll need to come up with a shelf or rack for resting it.
  • Any vacuum has a filter to catch all of those dirt particles. The BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum’s filter gets filthy rather quickly, so you’ll need to always be on alert. You’ll notice a dramatic drop-off in suction as the filter begins to clog. The BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum also has no filter sensor, which means you’ll have to monitor when things slow down. You may find that you have to clean the filter after every two or three uses.
  • Whether you’re cleaning the interior of your car or getting into those tight places, one-handed operation is a valuable asset in a handheld. The BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum is so lightweight, one-handed operation is a piece of cake. The BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum has a wraparound flexible hose to help with one-handed use.
  • Whether you’re operating your handheld inside or in your driveway, noise can be an important factor. Both the BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum and BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum are notably noisy, so you may want to plan your vacuuming around times when others will be sleeping.
  • Overall, handheld vacuums are relatively inexpensive, but you’ll top the $100 mark with the BLACK+DECKER Flex Vac Pet Hair Cordless Vacuum and the BLACK+DECKER Flex With Stick Vacuum. The Dyson V7 Cordless Handheld Vacuum Cleaner is the priciest of all. If you’re looking for a budget model, go for the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Cordless Hand Vacuum, which retails for well below $100.