While it may look more like a coiled snake than vacuum cleaner, this Black and Decker is a handheld vacuum that incorporates a hose like many upright vacuums. This gives it fantastic flexibility, working either has a standard handheld cleaner, but also with the ability to unwind the hose and reach into more awkward spots – as well as making cleaning more comfortable for you.

Black and decker flexi dustbuster hoseBut there’s more to this vacuum than just its 1.5m flexible hose, it also works at a very impressive 1700w, giving it fantastic sucking power for a handheld. We found it does a great job, with as much power as some upright cordless vacuum cleaners, making light work of everyday tasks.

Compare it with its rivals by reading our guide to the best handheld vacuum cleaners.

Battery life

All this power comes at a cost though, with a battery run time of just 15 minutes which is even less than other handheld vacuums. This means it’s still not a great choice if you want something capable of replacing a main vacuum. On the plus side it does include a fast charging system that means you can get a full charge in just 4 hours compared with rivals that need up to 12 hours – with an eco feature which shuts off the power once the battery is charged.

Weighing 2.3kg it’s not the lightest handheld vacuum cleaner we’ve used, but it’s not overly heavy either. It’s well balanced making it easy to handle and carry throughout the house. We thought the power button was a little awkwardly placed, but it didn’t cause major problems so we wouldn’t say it’s something to pay too much attention to.

It only has a 560ml capacity so you will need to empty it often. This isn’t unusual for a handheld, although the emptying mechanism isn’t the neatest – with the whole side of the cleaner opening, allowing you to empty it by tilting it over a bin. While it does mean you have to be careful to not make a mess, it does give you decent access for getting out clumps of dust or hair, plus the window means you don’t have to guess when it needs emptying.

The filter can be removed and rinsed with water to clean. This means you won’t have to keep replacing the filter, reducing the total running costs.

Black and decker flexi dustbuster filterIt comes with accessories including a soft brush for delicate surfaces and a crevice tool for getting in really tight spaces such as between car seats and down the back of the sofa.

Price

It’s expensive for a handheld vacuum coming in at £150 – but is available for less than £90 at Amazon – but we definitely think this one is a case of you get what you pay for, offering considerably more than lots of its cheaper rivals.

If you’re looking for something more affordable for small jobs, we would recommend the Vax H85-GA-P18.

Conclusion

An excellent handheld vacuum, providing a superb amount of power with the flexibility of an extending hose giving you access to higher and harder to reach spots. The battery life stops it being a main vacuum replacement, but for quick jobs when you don’t want to get a big upright out it’s a superb choice. It’s not the cheapest available, but it is fantastic quality and you will see the difference of spending a little more.

See also: Best cordless vacuum cleaners

A fantastic cordless handheld vacuum
Pros
Great power for a handheld
Flexible hose
Quick charging
Cons
Short battery life
4.5