They got almost everything right. I've had the similar BDH2000FL
for about 2 years, and now this model for a few days. I'm not a fan of Black & Decker or of overpriced vacuums, but...
The hose-available design is super useful. It's come in handy dozens of times when the mess is not reachable with a standard handheld vac, or a lot harder to reach. Other times, use it one-handed. I would never go back.
Design details are impressive, and make it hassle free.
Hand vacs are a compromise. More suction would be nice, but not if it means more noise and less run time. More run time would be nice, but not if it means more weight and more $$. I'd say they got the compromises about right.
If $100 is out of range, consider the FHV1200
(sometimes below $55) which has slightly more sucking power and the same hose arrangement, but a cheaper NiCad battery. Or wait for price dips, or for model BDH1620FL (no floor head) which B&D says will come out later in 2014.
If you want more power, consider DeWalt's: Model DC515K
or Dyson's Model DC58
* Hose gives access to tight spaces - in car, for example
- Tools: Nice design (crevice, flip-out brush) (see Note 2)
- Li-Ion battery: Partial-charge friendly
- Constant suction strength as battery runs down
- Hose: Very good quality (see Note 3)
- Lightweight: 3.3 lbs with nozzle
- Good ergonomics
- Good quality plastics
- 2 year warranty & 30-day satisfaction
* Suction: OK for small clean-ups. It's at least 25% less than B&D PHV1810. (see Note 5)
* Noise: Annoying, but typical. Not horrible (see Note 6)
* 13 minutes run time per charge (see Note 1)
- Floor Head attachment: A+ design, but not a good idea (see Note 7).
- Recharge time: 3.6 hours
- Charging status light: Shuts off when charging is done. (Nice!)
- Draws only 0.17 watts 24x7 when dormant in charge stand. (Nice!)
- Charging stand: Handy
- Less compact than some (see Note 8)
- Tool & hose replacements are available (from B&D only) (see note 2)
- Dirt capacity 17 fl oz. (over 1 pint)
- Dirt in chamber is visible but not staring you down
- Dirt emptying is easy enough
- Washable filter (see Note 4)
- User manual is reasonably clear and helpful
* Limited life - No replacement batteries available
- - - Cordless Vac Limitations - - -
- It will only last a few years. You'll have to toss it when the battery dies.
- Cordless vacs can't compare with plug-in vacs. Way less suction. Harsher noise. But soooo... handy for quick clean-ups.
- - - Alternatives Compared - - -
BDH1620: This model (currently $99)
FHV1200: Model FHV1200
(Usually $50 - $60)
BDH2000: Model BDH2000FL
(wait for $110 or less)
BDH2020: Model BDH2020FLFH
DeWalt: Model DC515K 1/2-Gallon 18-Volt NiCd Cordless Wet/Dry Vac
PHV1810: Model PHV1810
Non-hose model. More powerful & more compact (usually $50)
20 Air Watts Suction [FHV1200 is 25 · BDH2000 is 22 · BDH2020 is 25 · DeWalt is ?? · PHV1810 is 35]
13 min Run Time [FHV1200 is 7-11min? · BDH2000 is 18min · BDH2020 is ?? · DeWalt is ?? · PHV1810 is ??] (see Note 1)
Li-Ion Battery [FHV1200 is NiCad · BDH2000 is Li-Ion · BDH2020 is Li-Ion · DeWalt is NiCad · PHV1810 is NiCad]
2 Year Warranty [FHV1200 is 2yr · BDH2000 is 3yr · BDH2020 is 2yr · DeWalt is 2-3yr · PHV1810 is 2yr]
- - - Pricing - - -
This new model may eventually have price dips (like B&D's other hand vacs). You can set email price alerts using CamelCamelCamel.
- - - Notes - - -
Note 1: Run Time - 13.0 minutes. I tested once with no load, and again with nozzle against carpet . Same result both times. Vac was brand new with zero dust in filter. (Test had rest periods every 5 minutes.) B&D says run time may improve after 5 charge cycles. But it will also decrease with age. BDH2000 run time is also from personal tests. FHV1200 run time is from widely varying reports. More credence given to those who timed it exactly. NiCad battery power fades gradually, so it's a judgment call as to when it's lost too much power to use.
Note 2: Tools - (crevice tool & main tool with flip-out brush) Well designed. Durable. They latch on and off easily and securely. Choose from 4 90° rotations. Flip-out brush on the main tool is good for dust, not for scrubbing. Skinny crevice tool -- yes! (Skinny part is over 6" long. Tip is appx 0.5" x 1.1" OD) Replacements at B&D's site are low price but $10.99 s&h.
Note 3: Hose - It's very light, but it feels like quality. Supple and stretchable. It feels like a combination of rubber and plastic. Not like the horrible cheap polyethylene hoses on some vacs.
Note 4 Filter: Washable. Replacements (PVF110) are about $5-8 but I've never had to replace B&D filters. Just brush or wash it out.
Note 5: Suction - I did a suction test on 7 vacs. (For details, see Note SB1)
B&D says 20 Air Watts, but I measured about 5% more suction than their 22 Air Watt model.
Relative . . Weight
Suction . . . Lifted
------- . . ---------
14% . . . . 7.38 oz . . Eureka 240A (cordless combo vac in hand-held mode)
21% . . . 10.75 oz . . Black & Decker BDH2000FL "22 air watts" (hand held cordless)
22% . . . 11.25 oz . . Black & Decker BDH16200FLFH "20 air watts" (This model)
28% . . . . 14.5 oz . . Black & Decker PHV1810 "35 air watts" (hand held cordless)
98% . . . . 51 oz . . Electrolux Jetmaxx EL4042A canister vac (plug-in)
100% . . . . 52 oz . . Electrolux Access T8 canister vac (plug-in)
100% . . . . 52 oz . . Electrolux Oxygen EL6988E canister vac (plug-in)
More suction would be nice for car interiors as an example, but it would mean less run time. I use this vac for light clean-ups, and it's adequate.
Note 6: Noise - All 3 B&D models discussed here are a bit shrill, but the noise is acceptable . They're all about 75 decibels at a distance of 2 feet. A bit noisier and more shrill than the typical plug-in canister vac. (see Note SB2)
Note 7: Floor Head attachment - Trust me, the materials and design are A+. But I'd say a floor head makes little sense with a hand vac like this. Not enough suction. For large jobs, get out the real vac.
Note 8: Dimensions - 14.5"w x 7"d x 10"h (In stand. Add 2" to depth if using the tool holders.) The Floor nozzle is 9"w x 2.75"h. Wand is about 29" long. #inches #size
- - - Super Boring Notes - - -
Note SB1: I tested suction with carpet glued to a small cardboard box. All vacuums had empty dirt chambers and cordless vacs were fully charged. All vacs were fitted with a uniform nozzle consisting of a 1-5/16" ID round plastic tube. 11-gram weights were added to the box until a maximum lift-able weight was determined.
Note SB2: Noise measurement - I tested in a large room (avg 75-77 dB) and at an outdoor grassy area (avg 72-75 dB). The canister vac used for comparison was Electrolux Jetmaxx
(about 71dB indoors or out). I used a BAFX Products Decibel Meter. Exhaust ports were pointed away from sound meter.
~~~ Comments & questions welcome ~~~