When it comes to cordless hand vacs, the Black and Decker Dustbuster is a household name. But is their best offering, the Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster really the best hand vac for the money? Selling for about $40 retail, Euro-Pro’s Shark Cordless Hand Vac is giving the slightly more expensive Black and Decker’s Dustbuster a real challenge. Here’s why.
Both the Shark Cordless Hand Vac and the Black and Decker Cyclonic Dustbuster have roughly the same voltage, and as a result, both have superior suction. This isn’t your grandmother’s dustbuster; you’re not going to struggle to suck up the cheerios with either of these handheld vacuums, they’re both pretty powerful. Both cordless hand vacs offer a translucent bowl so that you can see when it’s time to empty the canister. Both products also have brushes and edging tools for those difficult-to-reach corners. They even share a negative trait-both the Black and Decker Cyclonic Dustbuster and the Shark Cordless Hand Vac are heavier than other handheld vacuums of the same type. You can still sling them around easier than you can dig out your upright vacuum, but if you’re vacuuming your furniture, both handheld vacs will give your wrist a workout.
The advantages of the Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster.
Black and Decker’s Dustbuster is the first hand vac to feature an authentic HEPA filter. It also gives consumers the option of swapping out the battery if they need more vacuum time than a single charge would otherwise allow. The battery life does last at least 15 minutes, which should be long enough to deal with most spills and cleaning jobs. The Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster also has one unique and handy feature-a filter cleaning wheel that helps improve suction by 80 percent when you’re in the middle of vacuuming and don’t have the time to replace the filter.
The downsides of the Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster.
As cool as the genuine HEPA filters are, especially for those suffering from allergies, the replacement costs of these filters are prohibitive – $10 for a replacement filter can make this an expensive hand vac to own. Moreover, the Dustbuster performs inadequately on carpet or with finer particles like cat hair. One might expect it to do better considering how much power it has behind it.
The advantages of Euro-Pro’s Shark Cordless Hand Vac.
The Shark Cordless Hand Vac comes with an easily detachable, washable filter. It also includes a motorized brush, especially designed to pick up pet fur. This feature works particularly well on upholstery or on carpeted stairs. It also tested very well on car seats. The battery life is adequate, at least 15 minutes, and will even run a little past that on less power once it’s given its warning, so you can finish up the job. And if you need to replace the dust filters, you can buy a pack of three for $11. And the charging stand seemed a bit less complicated than Black and Decker’s Dustbuster.
The disadvantages of Euro-Pro’s Shark Cordless Hand Vac.
Though the Shark Cordless Hand Vac has an attractive design, with silver accents, the nozel on this handvac is a little wider than might be desired. It almost necessitates using the crevice tool to get into tight corners. Moreover, if you have allergies, changing or cleaning the dirty filter on the Shark Cordless Hand Vac might test your patience. It’s easy enough to empty the canister in the trash without inhaling a cloud of dust, but cleaning the filter is another story. Lastly, the motorized upholstery tool can get threads and other fibers tangled in its brushes, rendering it useless. The tool is effective, and makes the Shark Cordless Hand Vac a top product for household use, but it’s not maintenance free. You’ll need to get a pair of scissors and cut the fibers that have wound themselves around the bar after extended use.
These two hand vacs test so closely in performance and every other category that it really comes down to cost and versatility. If allergies are your main concern, get the Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster. Otherwise, get the Shark. Because the Black and Decker Cyclonic HEPA Dustbuster is more expensive than Euro-Pro’s Shark Cordless Handvac, and because it has more difficulty picking up pet hair and lint, the Shark is rapidly becoming known as the #1 handheld vac, with good reason.