Pros / The DustBuster performed remarkably well in our carpet cleaning test.
Cons / It doesn't include many attachments, which makes it a little less versatile.
Verdict / This classic handheld vacuum has a simple design but cleans cars effectively.
The Black & Decker DustBuster has been a staple in homes since the 1970s. The DustBuster Auto Vac is designed specifically for cleaning cars; it is easy to handle and empty, and it cleans simple messes quickly. This lightweight car vacuum cleaner is small enough to keep in your car but powerful enough to pick up a range of messes.
The DustBuster earned an excellent cleaning score in our tests. We saw a visible color difference in the upholstery before and after using the DustBuster, earning it a 90 percent score. It had the most difficulty with pet hair and took 10 passes to suck up the fur completely. The DustBuster took about six passes to pick up most of the other debris, which is about average for our comparison.
The vacuum is easy to maneuver because it's lightweight and has a brush and nozzle attachment to extend its reach. The cigarette lighter outlet and 197-inch cord means you can reach most places in your car, whether it's a compact or a large SUV.
This Black & Decker car vacuum excels at cleaning, but it can only clean what it can reach. Despite its high cleaning score, this car vac earned a 75 percent maneuverability score in our test. It was able to pick up most of the material, but it wasn't able to reach debris under the car's seat.
In addition, we noticed the DustBuster had trouble sucking up full-sized pieces of cereal because its long, thin nozzle isn't wide enough. The suction is relatively weak on this model compared to similar models. In our suction test, the DustBuster was only able to hold 3.5 ounces for five seconds. Most of the other car vacs were able to hold at least four ounces for the same amount of time.
The DustBuster's warranty lasts for two years if you need repairs or replacement. There are useful resources on the website such as the owner's manual, a frequently asked questions page and user forums. If you have questions for Black & Decker, you can contact customer service through phone, email or live chat.
- Cleaning Performance Score
- Maneuverability Score
- Usability Score
The Black & Decker DustBuster is a classic car vacuum cleaner with some decent cleaning power behind it. Despite its low suction score and difficulty reaching some areas of the car, the DustBuster proved to be an effective cleaning tool for most messes.