The Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V handheld vacuum cleaner is a popular model that’s available for an excellent price. It has a 4.8V battery, which is more powerful than many other handheld models, a cordless design and is capable of sucking up liquids as well as dirt.
But is the Dustbuster powerful enough for everyday use? And how does it perform when vacuuming liquids? That’s what we aim to find out in this review – so let’s get started!
Note: There is a similar Dustbuster model with a 3.6V battery. This has many of the same features, including the same capacity and ability to vacuum liquids, but is less powerful. This review is specifically about the 4.8V model.
Overview of Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V Features
- As the name suggests, the stand-out feature of this model is that it can handle both wet and dry spills.
- This makes it suited for vacuuming up spilt drinks, along with cleaning humid regions such as kitchens or bathrooms.
- The 4.8V battery provides decent power for a relatively small model (although it’s far from the most powerful handheld on the market – see the “Suction Power” section below).
- The Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V has a large “mouth,” which means it can suck up more dust or liquid than other models.
- The filter and dirt container are easy to remove, empty and clean.
- The container is also translucent, allowing you to see when it needs to be emptied.
- A squeegee accessory is included with the vacuum.
In-Depth Look at the Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V
On the surface, the Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V handheld vacuum cleaner might seem like a basic model – and it is. There are, however, some interesting features that are worth pointing out. If you want to learn more about this handheld model, keep reading!
Appearance and Design
The Wet and Dry Dustbuster has been designed for convenience. This isn’t just because it can handle liquids, but also:
- The vacuum is charged by placing it on a charging base. This be can be placed on any surface, or even attached to the wall to save space.
- It’s a lightweight model.
- The nose of the vacuum is designed to be thin, while retaining a wide mouth. This makes it possible to get into nooks and crannies, without reducing the amount of dust that can be vacuumed in a single pass. The thinner nose is also great for getting into the cracks of sofas.
- The vacuum is a cordless handheld vacuum, making it more mobile than corded models such as the AEG AG71a.
- A cleaning brush is included to more efficiently pick up dirt and dust, including pet hair.
- The dust container is simple to remove, and you can empty it without getting your hands dirty. It also includes washable filters.
The Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster is powered by a 4.8V battery. This provides reasonable suction power for everyday tasks, although the small size and cordless design of the vacuum ensure it’s not going to rival more expensive handheld models for suction power.
A downside of the 4.8V battery is the run-time, which is just under 8 minutes. If you want to do anything more than just a quick spill-clean, then this run-time might not be acceptable. For alternatives, including those with a longer run-time, view our list of the best handheld vacuums.
Understanding the limitations of a budget handheld model is important before you buy. The Dustbuster is designed for small, simple tasks. It’s great for this, but for serious cleaning you need an upright or even a wet & dry cleaner. Many of the negative comments from reviewers are due to unrealistic expectations rather than a failure from Black+Decker.
It’s also important to understand the capabilities of the vacuum regarding liquid spills. While it can suck up liquids, it can only do so to a limited degree. This isn’t really a flaw in the design of the model, but a necessary limitation of a cordless handheld vacuum. It’s great for helping clean up a small spill, but it’s not going to suck up large amounts of fluid.
As you’d expect from a small, lightweight and cordless handheld vacuum, the Dustbuster doesn’t have a large capacity. The dust container can hold 175ml of either dust or liquid, which is fine for simple tasks. It will, however, need to be emptied on a regular basis.
Ease of Use
The Dustbuster is designed for simplicity, and it’s extremely easy to use. With just a single button to switch it on or off, and a detachable container for when you need to empty or clean the filters, there’s no learning curve to using the vacuum effectively.
Maintenance is also straightforward. To maintain suction power, it’s important to regularly clean both the dust container and the filters. Without doing so, the effectiveness of the vacuum is likely to decrease over time.
The charging base is also a useful feature. Instead of plugging the vacuum directly into the wall socket, the base provides a “home” for the vacuum.
Only basic filtration is included with the Dustbuster. Again, this is to be expected from a budget handheld model. But if you suffer from allergies, you may want to consider a more expensive option with a better filtration system. The filter is washable so you don’t need to replace it as often.
- The design of the mouth allows you to clean in corners (which some handheld models have trouble with).
- It comes with an ergonomic handle for more comfortable cleaning.
- The dirt container is translucent so you don’t have to guess when it needs to be emptied.
- A squeegee accessory is included.
Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V Reviews
Reviews of the Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V have been largely positive from buyers on online shopping sites. There is some debate about the quality of the vacuum, but most agree that it provides excellent value considering the low price. Here’s a selection of positive comments:
- According to one reviewer, the Dustbuster is much more effective at picking up dust and dirt than his previous handheld model. He adds that he thinks most of the negative comments are due to unrealistic expectations – this vacuum is never going to be as powerful as a full-size model, and it does require users to clean the filter regularly to maintain suction.
- Another reviewer writes that this is her first handheld vacuum and she is pleased with her purchase. She says that it’s perfect for vacuuming pet hair and is simple to clean.
- A reviewer writes that the Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V provides excellent value. She loves using the model as it’s much more convenient than getting out her upright model for small spills.
- A buyer writes that the Dustbuster is great for cleaning up the endless little messes made by her children. She estimates that the charge lasts around 15 minutes, which is considerably longer than the manufacturers estimate. However, other reviewers have mentioned the run-time is approximately 8 minutes.
And some negative comments:
- The most common complaint from reviewers is the relatively low suction of the Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V. One reviewer goes as far to say it would be quicker to pick dust and dirt up by hand. While the Dustbuster certainly isn’t the most powerful handheld on the market, we think many of these reviews are due to either the wrong expectations of a budget handheld or a failure to regularly clean the filter. Even so, if you’re looking for a powerful handheld the Dustbuster probably isn’t the best option.
- A reviewer writes that the liquid pick-up tool is useful, but he would have liked it to be a bit longer.
- The same reviewer adds that he has been forced to charge the vacuum overnight, as a couple of hours isn’t enough time to get full suction.
The Black+Decker Wet and Dry Dustbuster 4.8V handheld vacuum cleaner is a decent model – especially considering the low price. Its suction power is an issue, and there are much more powerful options out there. But for small spills of either dry or wet materials, there are few handhelds that can match the Dustbuster when it comes to value for money.