BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Stick Vacuum with SMARTECH
Includes a detachable dustbuster
Powerful, consistent suction
Two power levels and optional beater bar
Large particles fall out of dustbin
Swivel steering is hard to control
BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Lithium Stick Vacuum with SMARTECH
We purchased the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
If you live in a small home or simply don’t like dragging a full-size vacuum around, a product like the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum is definitely appealing. Stick vacuums are smaller, lighter, and more portable than their full-size counterparts. Many models are also cordless, so you won’t have to play musical outlets as you vacuum your home. However, this means most stick vacuums run on batteries, which can result in compromised suction power and run time.
To find out if this stick vacuum is a feasible replacement for a full-size vacuum, we put it through its paces, evaluating how well it performed cleaning up messes around our house. We were interested to see if there was enough suction power and battery life in this slim cordless vac for a full cleaning session, and whether the dustbuster was a useful tool or pointless add-on. Read on to see if this versatile stick vacuum was up for our challenge.
Performance: Impressive suction power
Arguably the most important consideration for any vacuum is its suction power, and the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum didn’t disappoint us. Both the stick vacuum and dustbuster efficiently pick up dirt, hair, and other debris from low-pile carpet and hardwood, living up to the brand’s claim that you only need one pass to clean up messes. This vacuum also boasts automatic suction adjustment as you move from carpet to hard floors. We found that this feature works well, saving us the hassle of interrupting our cleaning session to stop the vacuum and change its setting.
Another key aspect of this vacuum’s performance is its two power levels and optional beater bar, which allowed us to customize the suction power to the task at hand. For instance, when we were cleaning up kitty litter, we discovered that we were better off without the beater bar, which will throw particles everywhere. However, it’s worth noting that, despite its versatility, this vacuum can’t handle a thick shag carpet—it simply gets stuck.
Both the stick vacuum and dustbuster efficiently pick up dirt, hair, and other debris from low-pile carpet and hardwood
Design: Challenging steering and dustbin issues
The two-in-one design of this vacuum is quite useful—the stick vacuum is convenient for pushing around larger areas, while the dustbuster is more adept in tight corners. However, there are several aspects of this vacuum’s design that fell short of our expectations. For one, the swiveling head is supposed to make it easy to clean around furniture and other obstacles. In reality, the sensitive maneuverability makes the vacuum challenging to control, as the slightest touch can send it turning in the wrong direction.
Further, the vacuum’s dustbin has problems retaining larger particles. There’s a small flap that’s supposed to keep the dustbin’s contents trapped, but after we turned the vacuum off and returned it to an upright position, we found a noticeable number of particles fell out onto the floor. The same thing happened after using the dustbuster—when it was inverted to attach back to the stick, debris that had just been vacuumed up fell out of the mouth.
Finally, the dustbin on this vacuum is fairly small at just .5 liters. We got close to filling it after vacuuming just two rooms, so you may need to empty it a few times if you plan to clean your whole home at once.
Battery Life: Sufficient for small homes
Because cordless vacuums rely on battery power, they typically have limited runtime. The manufacturer doesn’t specify exactly how long the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum can run per charge, but they do claim you can tackle a 2,500-square-foot home on one charge. In our tests, we vacuumed around 800 square feet, and the vacuum showed no signs of losing suction. With that in mind, it’s probably safe to say this stick vacuum will provide sufficient runtime for apartments or small homes.
When it’s time to charge the Black+Decker 2-IN-1, you’ll need to plug the included power cord into a standard wall outlet and into the vacuum itself. There’s no charging base or removable battery included. The charge time for a dead battery is about five hours.
Price: Well-priced for power
The Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum is square in the middle of the average cordless vacuum price range. While there are a few budget models costing $50 or less, the majority of stick vacuums cost $150 or more—sometimes as high as $400. With this in mind, the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum comes at a fair price, especially considering you get both a vacuum and dustbuster.
Competition: None with this price and versatility
One of the most high-end stick vacuums available today is the Dyson V8 Absolute. Though the Dyson has more power, a longer runtime of 40 minutes, and it comes with six attachments that make it incredibly versatile, it comes at a high price. Since it’s more than three times the price of our Black+Decker Cordless Stick Vacuum, the Dyson model is better suited to those looking to replace their full-size vacuum.
A middle-of-the-road option in terms of price and performance, the Hoover Linx Cordless Stick Vacuum is less versatile than the Black+Decker model. The Hoover vacuum doesn’t have 2-in-1 capabilities—it’s essentially a smaller, more portable version of an upright vacuum. If you don’t want or need the Black+Decker’s dustbuster functionality, the Hoover Linx might be a good option for you. That said, it costs roughly the same, so you might as well go for Black+Decker’s more adaptable offering.
Need more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our selection of the best cordless stick vacuums.
Don’t replace your full-size vacuum.
Thanks to its 2-in-1 nature, the Black+Decker 2-IN-1 Cordless Lithium Ion Stick + Hand Vacuum is a great tool for doing touch ups or cleaning up small messes. However, because its design issues leave something to be desired, you probably won’t be satisfied using this product in place of a full-size vacuum—it’s better as a supplementary cleaning tool.
- Product Name 20V MAX Lithium Stick Vacuum with SMARTECH
- Product Brand BLACK+DECKER
- Price $149.99
- Weight 9 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.4 x 10.5 x 29 in.
- Color Eggplant
- Charge Time 5 hours
- Warranty 2-year limited warranty