Written by James Hall | 0 Comments | Last Updated: July 18, 2017
The Black+Decker DustBuster PD1420LP Flexi is a handheld vacuum with several unusual features. The most obvious is the extendable hose, which is designed to make cleaning cars, above furniture and other awkward areas easier. It also has a pet hair attachment and lithium-ion battery.
But how does it perform on carpets and hard floors? How long does the battery last? And is it really powerful enough to clean pet hair? Keep reading our review to find out!
Overview of Black+Decker PD1420LP
- 1.5 metre extendable hose for cleaning difficult areas
- Pet hair tool for removing hair from sofas and carpets
- Lithium-ion battery provides strong suction that doesn’t fade
- 12.5 minute run-time and 4 hour charging time
- Excels on hard floors
- Adequate suction on carpets
Features and Performance
Appearance and Design
As you can see from the photo above, the PD1420LP has a unique design for a handheld. It’s not the most attractive vacuum we’ve seen, but it prioritises function over form. It’s also a relatively compact vacuum.
The hose is flexible and can extend to 1.5 metres, making it easy to clean difficult or high areas of your home. When not in use, the hose clips to the body of the vacuum. In this configuration it functions as a typical handheld.
At the end of the hose is a soft brush. This can be flipped out for cleaning surfaces that are easily scratched. We really like this feature, as it means you never have to worry about losing the brush.
The hose is also great for cars. Getting a regular handheld under car seats or into glove compartments can be a difficult job, but the PD1420LP handles this with ease.
Suction Power and Performance
The Black+Decker PD1420LP is powered by a 14.4 lithium-ion battery. Lithium-ion batteries don’t fade as they lose charge, which is important for a handheld model (as they often have relatively short run-times). Additionally, the model uses cyclonic action to improve performance. This works by spiralling dust and dirt in circles until it is caught by the filter.
The 14.4V battery is far from the highest voltage when it comes to handheld vacs, but it still provides strong suction power via the extendable hose. It performs very well on hard floors, making it great for the kitchen. While it struggles a little more with carpets, it has enough suction for spot cleaning between using your full-sized vacuum.
If you own a dog or cat, you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s effective at cleaning pet hair – especially as it includes an attachment specifically for this task. While researching this model, we found a number of pet owners praising the suction of the vacuum and how easily it removes hair from sofas, which is one of the reasons we awarded it our “best handheld vacuum for pet owners” award. So if you’re tired of hauling your upright or cylinder vacuum around the home to clean up patches of hair, the PD1420LP is an excellent option.
With powerful suction and 1.5 metre hose, you might be worried about battery life. This is a reasonable concern, but you can expect the PD1420LP to last around 12 minutes on a full charge. This is comparable with most other handhelds and is more than enough for simple cleaning jobs.
The lithium-ion battery can be fully recharged in approximately 4 hours. This might sound like a long-time, but is actually much less than many handheld vacuums. It also has a built-in eco function for switching off power when it’s charged.
Ease of Use
When it comes to vacuum performance, it’s not all about raw suction power. In many cases, little features or issues can make using a vacuum either enjoyable or frustrating. Here are a few of the “ease of use” features included with the PD1420LP:
- The docking station doubles as both a charging point and storage for accessories.
- The dust bowl is translucent so you can see when it’s full.
- It can also be completely removed from the vacuum for cleaning.
- A side-door is included for fast emptying.
- A light flashes around 30 seconds before the battery is empty.
It’s not all good news though. At 75dB, the Black+Decker Lithium Flexi is louder than you would expect from a handheld model. It’s not a major issue but something to keep in mind if you’re looking for a quiet vacuum.
Also, the vacuum is easy to empty…but difficult to empty hygienically. The shape of the machine makes it hard to empty dust into a bin without spilling it. This isn’t a major problem, but is another reason why we don’t recommend the PD1420LP for allergy sufferers.
A washable filter is included with the Black+Decker PD1420LP (see photo above). This does an adequate job of removing dust and dirt from the air – although it’s probably not suitable for people with allergies.
One thing to note about the PD1420LP is that the filter needs to be cleaned regularly. We also usually recommend replacing filters every so often to make sure they are doing their job. While replacement filters for the PD1420LP are available, we couldn’t find any on major shopping sites at the time of writing.
The Black + Decker DustBuster Flexi PD1420LP is one of the more expensive handheld vacuums we’ve reviewed. It’s still available for under £100 from most online stores, but it’s considerably more expensive than Black+Decker Wet and Dry DustBuster.
But the real question is whether it’s worth the money. In our opinion, the DustBuster Flexi provides excellent value for money. It’s one of the more versatile handhelds, with its pet attachment and extension hose, and can handle most small cleaning jobs.
The main “accessory” is the flexible hose. This is a feature that isn’t found on many handhelds, but makes getting into tight nooks and crannies much easier. It also means you can hold the heavier vacuum body in one hand while using the other hand to control the hose.
Aside from the pet tool, which we’ve talked about earlier, it comes with a flip-out upholstery brush and crevice tool (see image above). There is storage for the tools on the charging station.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can the Dustbuster Flexi vacuum floors?
It has the power to vacuum floors, but its size and short battery life mean it’s much less efficient than a full-size vacuum. It’s great for spot cleaning but not suitable for extended cleaning sessions.
Can it vacuum wet spills?
No, this is not a wet and dry vacuum. If you want to tackle wet spills, take a look at another Black+Decker handheld.
The Black+Decker DustBuster Flexi PD1420LP is an excellent handheld vacuum cleaner. While it has its flaws – especially the lack of a high-quality filter and unhygienic emptying system – it excels at hard floor cleaning. The extendable hose and pet hair tool also make it a versatile machine. If you’re looking for a handheld vacuum that makes it easy to clean above cupboards, beneath car seats or pet hair from sofas, it’s a great option.