This Cordless Stick Vacuum Has a Special Feature That Gets My Floors the Cleanest They’ve Ever Been

published Mar 26, 2024
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Woman vacuuming kitchen
Credit: sukiyaki/Shutterstock

For most of last year, I used a small, corded stick vacuum provided by my landlord to clean my bedroom. It was a flimsy thing that my roommates also used (and never emptied). Although I could tell it was cheap, I could see junk accumulating inside its dust bowl during each clean, so I figured it was working. But then again, my socks were still constantly picking up dust and hair when I walked around, so I eventually had to invest in something better. Enter the Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme MAX Vacuum, another stick model, though it seemed much more substantial than the one already in my storage closet.

I won’t lie; it wasn’t love at first use with this vacuum. That’s because I couldn’t figure out how to get it to work for the first week that I had it. Because it’s part of Black + Decker’s Powerseries line, the vacuum is cordless and runs on a battery that you insert into a slot by the handle. See, I was not inserting the battery correctly, and just figured I’d been sent a defective model. Then I figured that couldn’t be right, so I tried again, and by squeezing an inconspicuous tab at the top first, I finally managed to slide the battery in. Not very tech-savvy of me, I know, but from there, using my new vacuum was smooth sailing.

A Quick Look at the Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme MAX Vacuum

  • Anti-tangle beater bar that prevents hair wrap
  • Washable filter
  • Convertible design with interchangeable cleaning attachments
  • LED headlights
  • 37-minute run time per battery charge
  • Freestanding

Design Features That Stand Out

In replacing my old vacuum, I knew I still wanted something slim and lightweight, which is what initially drew me to the Extreme MAX vac. At nearly 11 pounds, it is relatively light, indeed, and its stick design is perfect for my small apartment. Although the vacuum comes with a wall mount, it does also stand on its own, so I just stick it inside a closet or in between furniture, and it’s barely noticeable. Now that I know how the vacuum’s battery works, I find that aspect of its design totally effortless too. It usually takes a couple of hours to recharge completely. (The charger has a light that indicates when charging is done.) Then I pop the battery into the insert and can clean for about 40 minutes at a time, or for almost an hour in the handheld configuration. If you live in a large home, these run times might not be long enough for you, but as a small-space dweller, I rarely use up the entire battery in one go.

You’ll also be happy to learn that the vacuum has a washable filter, which I take out every couple of months and rinse under the faucet. Then I just let it dry overnight and replace it. As for the dust bowl, it’s not the easiest to empty. You simply pull it out, but I always encounter resistance. The first couple of times I tried to empty the bowl, I pulled and pulled, and it came off abruptly with the dust flying everywhere. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to finagle it out safely.

Credit: Nikol Slatinska
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How It Performed

If you need something heavy-duty, this probably won’t be the right vacuum for you. But as I mentioned, the Extreme MAX vac is pretty perfect for smaller apartments and everyday cleaning jobs. I live with two cats and a roommate who, like me, sheds a lot of hair, so I love the anti-tangle beater bar on the main attachment. I still pull a few strands out of it from time to time for maintenance, but it really never gets tangled or jammed with hair! Still, I try to be careful about what I pick up with the vacuum. If I were to constantly vacuum up cat litter and food granules with it, it would probably break, but I try to sweep up larger pieces like that instead. But the stick vac does a great job of picking up dust, hair, and other small debris, even in handheld form. I also love the crevice tool it came with, as it’s skinny enough to get into tight edges and corners, like baseboards, behind the toilet, and high-up closet shelves.

What really made me love my vacuum, however, were its LED headlights. I’d read about vacuums with headlights in colleagues’ product reviews, but no matter how much they gushed over the feature, I remained skeptical. How much better could it be than just turning on an overhead light? But the first time I used this vacuum, I was awestruck. When the headlights turned on, I audibly gasped. Whereas I thought I’d been picking up all the dust and hair on my floors with the previous vacuum, I now saw how much of it was actually getting left behind. And I could also see that the Extreme MAX vacuum really was sucking up everything in its path, leaving my floors truly clean for the first time in who knows how long. No hyperbole here — this feature has been game-changing.

What We Loved

  • The multi-surface cleaning: You can use this vacuum on hard floors and carpet in the stick configuration, and also on upholstery when you convert it to a handheld. I’ve even used it to suck lint off my wool coat.
  • The included attachments: The vacuum comes with three attachments for handheld cleaning, including a crevice tool, a 2-in-1 brush, and a pet brush attachment. The latter has been especially helpful since moving in with two cats.

Good to Know

Despite the vacuum’s 40-minute run time, the battery does require kind of a long time to fully charge. For this reason, I usually just keep it in the charger when I’m not using the vacuum. That way, it doesn’t die between uses, and it’s always ready to go.

Should You Buy the Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme MAX Vacuum?

For small households and small apartments, yes, I would recommend this vacuum. It’s so compact and, for the most part, easy to use. I find myself reaching for it almost every day, even if the mess at hand isn’t that big. It’s totally efficient.

  • Fits into tight spaces in both configurations and can lie completely flat under furniture
  • Tackles both human and pet hair without getting jammed
  • Decent run time for single-story homes

Where to Buy the Black + Decker Powerseries Extreme MAX Vacuum


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