Best Cordless Handheld Vacuums 2015
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Handheld vacuum cleaners are appliances that fill a very important gap in our daily lives by allowing for quick, local cleanups that would require much more effort and time with a regular vacuum. Needless to say that cordless handheld vacuums allow you to more thoroughly take advantage of the mobility than the corded ones. It is not at all surprising that more and more people find it apt to own a handheld vacuum that can be operated without the need to be plugged in. This article is meant to help you in deciding the best cordless handheld vacuum cleaner. To do that, first, I have discussed the features you need to look for in a decent hand vacuum. Then, I went on with reviews of the best selling handheld vacuum cleaners, providing insight into pros and cons of different products. Hopefully, having read through this page you will feel more clear about cordless handheld vacuums and it will be up to you to decide the most preferrable item.
Finding the Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum
When searching for the best handheld vacuum cleaner you need to take into account a few factors that will indicate which product is the most preferrable.
Suction: This is the most important issue with any vacuum cleaner because the primary purpose of these appliances is to suck stuff in. Some companies reveal data on the maximum suction ability of their products in air watts. 20 air watts or more can be considered a very good suction power and those companies that do not reveal any data are often ones that sell weak products.
Battery Life: Cheap handheld vacuums will run out of power in less than ten minutes. You would better get something that will allow you enough time to actually clean something.
Recharge Time: Most hand vacuums take a day to fully recharge. This is OK for most people but remember that there are also ones that take less time to power up.
Weight and Size: A decent handheld vacuum should be very easy to take around because you are basically buying this thing for mobility. The good news is, all the products in displayed in this page have similar weights of about 3 lbs.
Durability: Many a times a cordless hand vacuum will become useless because the battery is no longer able to hold charge. That happens very quickly when you buy cheap. It is wise to pay for a vacuum that has a more durable battery so that you can keep using it for years.
Dirt Devil Gator and Dirt Devil Accucharge
These are not the best handheld vacuums but they do enjoy some decent sales. Dirt Devil vacuum cleaners are very cheap and that must be the reason for the popularity although they do not sell as many as Black & Decker does.
There are two series: Dirt Devil Gator and Dirt Devil Accucharge. Honestly, Dirt Devil Gators seem too low quality. The 10.8 V variety needs a mention because it is the cheapest cordless handheld vacuum out there. 18 V version has more suction power but at the end of the day, they are both very weak, their charges last only a few minutes and their overall lifetime is short, too. I cannot seem to find anything nice about the Gator vacuums.
As for the Accucharge version, it is somewhat better. It has a special recharge technology that allows it to recharge quicker and last longer while saving energy. The fact is, Accucharge does have a decent suction power at least in the first few minutes when it is fully charged. It then fades away until it is finished in ten minutes or so. The battery goes longer than its lesser Gator cousins but it is still not the best and reportedly becomes unable to hold charge after about a year. Indeed, there are so many reports of the battery dying in one year that you should expect your Dirt Devil Accucharge hand vacuum to become garbage in the next twelve months or so because the built-in battery cannot be replaced. Yes, there is a three year warranty but the question is do you want to keep the receipt etc. all that time and then go through a nebulous replacement process. Dirt Devil should have made this vacuum to survive longer instead of offering to replace it every year.
The conclusion is you get what you pay for. Sometimes people end up happy with Dirt Devil so this might look like a bargain for some. But my personal advice is to have a look at the better vacuums displayed below before you make a decision.
Shark Cordless Hand Vacuums
Shark is another popular brand and makes somewhat better vacuums when compared to Dirt Devil. There are two Shark vacuums reviewed here. The cheaper one does not quite do the job. The other one with the brush can be an option although its performance is not on a par with Black and Decker.
The smaller SV7728 is one of the cheapest handheld vacuums in the market but it is not rated as well as the other Shark because of the weak suction and very short battery life. Also, it has no recharge stand and must be plugged-in to a socket from an awkward location at the bottom that prevents you from leaving it in a stable position when recharging. Finally, it is reportedly difficult to empty and the filter needs frequent cleaning.
SV780 Pet Perfect costs more but appears to be a more viable option for quick cleanups. The battery is again weak but not as bad as SV7728. The good thing is the suction power. Even those who do not like this vacuum admit its suction is decent for the price. The Pet Perfect has a special brush for pet hair. Some people call it great for collecting pet hair, while other stress that it is clogged very quickly and is useless. Also, we find that it has a recharge stand that can be mounted on the wall. It should be mentioned that this vacuum is somewhat too bulky for what it does as it is 18 inches long with an average diameter of around 8 inches.
All in all, Shark handheld vacuums do the job to some extent and are still vallet-friendly. If you decide to go for Shark, I strongly advise you avoid being too frugal and take the better SV780 Pet Perfect. At least, you will get a vacuum that can suck things.
Black & Decker Cordless Hand Vacuums
Black and Decker is the brand I recommend for purchasing a handheld vacuum because their products have the best price to performance ratio. The three models we see here are CHV1510, CHV1410L and Platinum BDH2000L. All three offer premium service at an affordable price.
These vacuums have excellent suction power. CHV1510 is 25 air watts and the other two are 24 air watts. All three can work for over 20 minutes when fully charged and this duration is again excellent. With Black and Decker hand vacuums you will not worry about the charge dying half-way into your cleaning session and you will never be frustrated by weak suction power. And they are durable, too. I have not come across many reports of the vacuums dying any time soon, plus there is a 2-year warranty for CHV1510 and CHV1410L and a 3-year warranty for Platinum.
Now, let me briefly tell you what differs between the three. CHV1510 uses Nickel Cadmium batteries and has a wall mounted stand and must be separately plugged into a socket to recharge. CHV1410L and Platinum BDH2000L use higher-quality lithium ion batteries and have a freestanding recharger stand that is plugged in to a socket. Like most cordless vacuums, none of these three have replacable batteries. CHV1510 takes 24 hours to fully recharge and has an indicator light to tell you to unplug it when it is full to preserve battery life. Lithium Ion models take 4 to 5 hours to get full and stop recharging on their own. Lithium Ion models save energy, can run longer and more often and will survive longer. And the Platinum is even more refined concerning these issues.
In my personal opinion, the more economic CHV1510 is the optimized choice. It has the best suction and although it takes 24 hours to fully recharge, few people would use a hand vacuum for more than 20 minutes a day and run out of charge. Moreover, CHV1510 is the best selling handheld vacuum. The other two should be considered if you will use them very often and want to make the investment in a really high-end product.
To conclude, I strongly advise you to choose Black and Decker if you want a reasonably priced cordless handheld vacuum that does actually clean stuff.
Dyson DC58 Animal Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
There are two popular hand vacuum models by Dyson that will be reviewed here. The stronger DC58 is highly recommended but I have my reservations about the DC34. Let us now see how DC58 and DC34 differ.
At standard speed both models suck at 28 airwatts, which is only slightly more than what Black & Decker offers. But Dyson hand vacuums have a turbo mode. While on turbo, the DC34 has a suction of 65 airwatts and the DC58 has an incredible 100 airwatts! On the normal mode, DC34 will work up to 15 minutes before needing a recharge and DC58 has a battery life of 20 minutes or more. At turbo mode, both will run out of charge in 6 minutes. You can complete most cleaning tasks without the turbo but it will be there when you need extra power and this is what makes Dyson hand vacuums stand out from the rest.
DC58 weighing 3,4 lbs is only slightly bulkier than DC34, which weighs 2,9 lbs.
Dyson handheld vacuums fully recharge in only three hours. This is the best recharge rate in any cordless vacuum and coupled with the long battery life, it could remove the need to keep a corded vacuum cleaner at home.
Personally, I would go for the DC58 without a second thought if I had to choose between the two because I have come across some negative customer reviews on DC34 while DC58 gets absolutely perfect ratings. The complaints with DC34 are about bad batteries and loss of suction. Normally, a few complaints should not cause worries about a hand vacuum but if you are paying over $150 for such a device, you want it to have no issues. Whatever Dyson's people have done, they seem to have solved these issues with the DC58 design.
It is justified to call DC58 the best handheld vacuum on the planet. It is much more expensive than other hand vacs and even costlier than DC34 from the same company. Yet, its suction, recharge speed and battery life represent the pinnacle of cordless vacuum technology. Dyson is known to produce vacuums that cater to people with above-the-average expectations and DC58 is yet another example of Dyson quality.