The Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot handheld vacuum is a powerful model with a number of interesting features. These include a lithium-ion battery for extra power, pivoting nozzle and attractive titanium design.
With an RRP of £100, you’d expect the Black+Decker to perform considerably better than cheaper handheld vacuums. But is the pivot design really a useful feature or just a gimmick? And does the lithium battery provide enough extra power to justify the cost? Let’s find out.
Overview of Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot Features
- Powerful 18V handheld vacuum with cordless design.
- Battery is built with lithium technology for stronger suction.
- Lithium battery prevents gradual suction fading associated with many handhelds.
- The battery also charges four times quicker than less advanced models, and stops charging as soon as it’s fully recharged (helping the environment and reducing your electricity bill).
- You empty the vacuum from the side, which makes it easy to get rid of dust and dirt without making a mess.
- The nozzle is on a pivot and can move through 200 degrees for easy access to almost any area.
- 1.9kg weight is relatively light for such a powerful handheld.
In-Depth Look at the Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot
The Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot handheld vacuum certainly looks like a high-quality model, and has a number of features which aren’t found on other handhelds. But is it worth the money? Let’s take a closer look.
Appearance And Design
The Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot has an attractive and modern design, with a dark titanium colour scheme and futuristic shape. It’s one of the best looking handhelds we’ve reviewed so far.
More importantly, the vacuum has a pivot feature. This allows the nozzle to pivot through 200 degrees, so it’s much more convenient to use in tight spaces (see the picture below). The pivot is especially useful for cleaning areas such as the top of book shelves, thin cracks or under furniture.
Aside from the pivot design, the vacuum folds up when charging. This helps to save space.
It also comes with an extendable nose, which is useful for getting between objects or into the folds of sofas. While this doesn’t provide the same versatility as a stretch hose, such as on the AEG AG71a, it’s a useful feature to have.
Battery and Battery Life
One of the great features of the Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot is its lightweight lithium battery. This has two advantages over the batteries used in many handheld vacuums.
Firstly, the 18V battery is able to provide more power. This increases suction so the vacuum is better equipped to cope with per hair, dirt and other difficult cleaning tasks. And secondly, the lithium battery maintains a more consistent power output throughout its run-time. This prevents the vacuum gradually losing suction the longer it is used.
In addition, the battery is charged via Black+Decker’s “ECO smart” technology. This results in a battery that charges four times faster, so you can use the vacuum much more often than competing models. The vacuum also stops charging as soon as it’s fully charged, so less energy is wasted.
At this point, you might be wondering how long the vacuum lasts. According to Black+Decker, the model has a run-time of around 10 minutes (although some reviewers claim to get considerably longer than this). This is around average for a vacuum in this price range, although it may be on the short side if you want to use it for long cleaning sessions.
The good news is that, due to the ECO Smart technology, it only takes around four hours to recharge. This is much faster than many other models, which usually need to be charged overnight.
When you combine the 18V lithium battery with the vacuum’s high performance motor, the Black+Decker Lithium Compact Pivot is likely to provide much greater suction than cheaper models (such as the Vax H85-GA-B10).
This increased suction allows the vacuum to tackle more difficult tasks. It’s still not going to replicate the suction of an upright or cylinder vacuum, but it’s useful for small spills and everyday cleaning tasks.
Ease of Use
The primary purpose of any handheld vacuum is to provide a convenient tool to quickly clean small areas, cars or stairs that aren’t easily accessible with a regular vacuum. Here are some of the ways the Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot achieves this goal:
- We’ve already mentioned the pivot feature – but it’s worth talking about again. The pivoting nozzle really does make a big difference when cleaning difficult areas, especially those that are high up.
- While the vacuum isn’t the lightest on the market, it’s not heavy either. This means you won’t get tired during a cleaning session.
- The dust container is transparent, so you can always see when it needs to be emptied.
- Emptying the vacuum is also straightforward. The model has a large door, allowing you to remove both the container and filter for cleaning.
- The vacuum is ergonomically designed for comfortable cleaning.
The Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot handheld vacuum cleaner has an RRP or £100, which we think is a reasonable price for such a powerful, feature-packed machine.
The good news is that you can often find the vacuum available for considerably less than this. If you can buy the Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot for around £70-80, we think you’re getting excellent value for money.
- The motor is contained within the filter, helping maintain the compact form without reducing suction power.
- Cyclonic action is also used in order to keep the filter cleaner for longer.
- A double filtration system is built into the vacuum to maintain performance.
Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot Handheld Vacuum Review
The Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot handheld vacuum has been well-received by buyers, and has hundreds of positive reviews on shopping websites. Here’s a selection of positive comments:
- A buyer writes that he’s been impressed with the amount of suction power provided by the vacuum, which he believes is due to the lithium battery. He also likes that the charging bracket can be wall mounted.
- Another reviewer writes that it does a good job for most cleaning tasks, and the battery charging time is excellent compared to other models.
- A reviewer praises the power of the vacuum considering the small size. He regularly uses it for his car and stairs, and comments that the actual run-time seems to be considerably longer than the 10 minutes quoted by the manufacturer.
- Other reviewers are also pleased with the suction power, writing that it’s even suitable for getting rid of sand after a trip to the beach.
- Finally, a reviewer mentions particularly liking the swivel feature, as it allows him to clean areas that otherwise would be inaccessible without something to stand on. He adds that you can tell Black+Decker have put “real thought” into the ergonomic and convenient design of the vacuum.
And some negative comments:
- A reviewer writes that it needs to be emptied more than you would expect, as the dust tends to jam under the nozzle flap.
- Another reviewer mentions that the emptying hatch can sometimes come open accidentally.
We think the Black+Decker Lithium 18V Compact Pivot handheld vacuum is an excellent model that, despite the higher price tag than many other handhelds, provides excellent value for money. Its pivot design, powerful suction and quick charging lithium battery mean it’s far more advanced than many other handhelds – so it’s definitely worth considering if your budget will stretch to it.