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Everyday Cheapskate: The Best Inexpensive Cordless Handheld Vac

Mary Hunt on

To say that I had a love/hate relationship with handheld vacuums for many years would be putting it mildly. I love the idea of a cordless handheld vacuum that is charged up and always ready to make a quick pickup; in fact, it is on my list of household must-haves.

But I hate when the thing runs for only a few minutes before it needs to be recharged, is heavy and awkward to use, and has such weak suction it doesn't do a very good job of picking up anything.


It's been more than 30 years since I got my first handheld Dustbuster. It would hold a charge for maybe two minutes, if all the stars were properly aligned and I held it in just the right position. And the thing completely failed after only a few months -- refusing to hold any charge at all. Rubbish!

Since then, I've had no fewer than five other brands of handheld vacs, putting up with a lack of suction, short-run times between charges and difficulty emptying and cleaning -- only to have all of them fail as well.

The pricey Dyson handheld vac was nothing to write home about. Its maximum run time of about six minutes was marginally acceptable, but it was really heavy, awkward to empty and difficult to clean. Plus, it lasted for fewer than three years.


Can't anyone make a decent cordless, handheld vacuum cleaner that is convenient to use; holds a charge well; runs for at least 15 minutes before needing to be recharged; has powerful suction to pick up all kinds of stuff we need a vacuum to pick up, including pet hair; will last for more than a couple of years; and doesn't cost a fortune?

Yes! Finally.

It was a "Eureka!" moment back in February 2017 when I found it -- the perfect handheld vacuum. The 2017 Black and Decker Dustbuster (CHV1410L) continues to be my pick for Best Inexpensive Handheld Vacuum. After four years of continuous use and occasional abuse, it operates as if new. It can't be beat.



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