PROS / It charges quickly and runs for a long period of time.
CONS / This is the loudest vacuum we tested.
VERDICT / The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot's rotating head for reaching difficult areas doesn't make up for its lack of power and noisy operation.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot handheld vacuum features a unique nozzle for cleaning difficult spots. The nozzle pivots while maintaining suction, and the vacuum runs on a rechargeable battery. The three-stage filter keeps the vacuum unclogged and your air clean.
The head of the vacuum is a big selling point for the Lithium Pivot. It can twist in different directions around the handle, making it easier to reach above your head or under tables. Our bigger concern, though, is that it isn't as good as the best handheld vacuums in its cleaning ability. The hand vac required six passes on carpet and nine passes on hardwood before the area was completely clean, which is below average in both cases.
It picked up about 80 percent of the pet hair in our tests, which is one of the lowest scores for pet hair in our lineup. Despite coming with different tools, it has trouble reaching into the tightest spots, which showed in our car seat test. We spread sawdust in all the corners of the car seat, and the Lithium Pivot was able to pick up only about 85 percent.
One bright spot with this cordless handheld vacuum is its rechargeable battery. The vacuum runs for 17 minutes, more than enough time for most small messes, and the battery completely recharges in only six minutes, which puts this handheld vacuum near the top. The vacuum sits on a mountable charging station when you're not using it.
The Lithium Pivot really falters when it comes to its motor. It doesn't have nearly the suction of other motors, but it's extremely loud. We measured it at 94.4 dB, which was the loudest volume of all the hand vacs in our tests. It was more than twice the volume of our quietest hand vac.
Black & Decker doesn't have the best website. The customer service phone number feels hidden. There is an email form and FAQs section. Black & Decker offers a two-year warranty, which is a nice advantage to buying the brand.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot has a good battery and a unique nozzle, but it is jarringly loud with little cleaning power to show for it. If you need to reach odd areas and corners, it might be better to consider a higher-rated vacuum with a detachable hose.