This Powerful $42 Handheld Vacuum Is My Go-To for Picking Up Tiny Specks and Big Spills

published Mar 13, 2024
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BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum Cordless dustbuster AdvancedClean with Base Charger HLVC315B10
Credit: Black + Decker

When you find a good handheld vacuum, don’t let it go. I’ve done my fair share of testing vacuums over the years, and while I’ve found many I enjoy, there have been some not-so-great ones, too. My favorites, however, are the fantastic vacuums that surprise me, such as my self-emptying stick vac. That being said, it’s not always necessary to whip out a full-size vacuum every time there’s something to clean. It’s what makes handheld models so convenient. Plus, they don’t take up a ton of space.

Though it wasn’t intentional at the time, I had the benefit of testing out the BLACK-DECKER dustbuster 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum. It’s not my first round with a dustbuster vac, but it is my most recent.

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at the BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum

  • Lightweight, compact, and slim design
  • Features washable filter and built-in wide nozzle for larger messes
  • Includes crevice tool, push-in brush, and base for storage and charging
  • Up to 11 minutes of runtime
  • Available in two colors

Design Features That Stand Out

The first feature of note is the handheld vacuum’s slim profile which makes it possible to store in tight spaces. Plus, with the added bonus of its own charging dock, you don’t have to worry about stacking it on top of other items or finding a drawer where the vacuum can be kept hidden. The dustbuster 12V MAX comes with a crevice tool and brush accessory that’s stored directly on the base behind the vacuum, keeping it out of sight until necessary. It also prevents any additional vacuum clutter that often becomes an issue when you have devices with multiple attachments. Lastly, the vacuum’s built-in extra-wide nozzle allows you to cover more “ground” at once, speeding up your cleaning time so you get the most out of its 11-minute runtime.

Credit: Britt Franklin

How It Performed

I couldn’t have had the BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum on hand at a better time. As it turns out, accidentally spilling grits all over your pantry makes an excellent test for a hand vac! My only expectation when I unboxed this vacuum was that I wanted it to swiftly clean up the mess. I didn’t care how well it worked, as long as it got rid of the scattered piles of corn granules that had fallen from the top shelf all the way down to the floor. However, this sleek little vacuum actually pulled my attention away from the problem to marvel at how well it worked! Not only did it suck up all the grainy grits that covered the surface of the shelves, it also cleared out the ones that were stuck in the cracks between the shelves and the wall. I thought for sure I would have to go in with a detailing brush to sweep out the remaining particles, but the dustbuster handled it all with ease.

I shouldn’t have been surprised, I’ve been a loyal user of BLACK+DECKER’s dustbuster vacuums for years — and yet, this compact vac blew me away. I love that it stays charged so its ready to use whenever I need it, and even though hand vacs have a shorter runtime, 11 minutes is plenty of time to take care of small messes. I’ve never had to use it long enough for the battery to run out. The dustbin of the vacuum twists off to empty it, and it comes with a washable filter that prolongs the lifespan of the device. Ever since the morning of the grits incident, I grab the 12V MAX for as many quick cleanups as I can, from food spills to pet hair. It’s easily one of the stars of my cleaning tools!

Credit: Britt Franklin

What I Loved

  • Powerful suction: The strength of this handheld vacuum caught me off-guard in a good way! I couldn’t believe how quick and effective it was at picking up even the smallest grains of food and dirt.
  • Charging base: Whether it’s handheld or upright, I love cordless vacuums that have their own docking stations. It’s even better when they’re drill-free and renter-friendly. The device stays charged and has a designated spot so you always know where to find it.
  • Expandable nozzle: The extra-wide nozzle on the dustbuster 12 MAX was a genius idea! Instead of having to replace the entire head of the vacuum, all you have to do is pull out the extended pieces from inside the standard nozzle. It’s so smart and convenient.

Good to Know

The base is not only great for storage, but it also prevents little particles that don’t make it fully into the vacuum’s dustbin from spilling onto the floor. To lessen the likelihood of leftover cleaning debris, simply empty the vacuum after each cleaning session.

Should You Buy the BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum?

If you’re in the market for a handheld vacuum, I’d recommend the BLACK+DECKER dustbuster 12V MAX if you:

  • Live in a small space and want a cleaning tool that blends into its surroundings
  • Prefer a handheld vacuum that doesn’t create extra clutter with many attachments
  • Want a compact hand vac with powerful and versatile suction

Where to Buy the BLACK+DECKER 12V MAX Handheld Vacuum

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