Pros / It charges quickly and runs for a long time.
Cons / This is the loudest vacuum we tested.
Verdict / The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot struggled a bit on hardwood flooring, but it had impressive suction on most other tests, and the rotating head makes it easy to reach difficult spots.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot handheld vacuum features a unique nozzle that makes it especially useful for the top task of all handheld vacuum cleaners – odd jobs that traditional uprights just can't handle. This vacuum performed well on most of our tests but was kept out of the top spots by a few drawbacks, including noisy operation and a bit of a struggle on hardwood flooring.
What makes the nozzle unique is that it rotates while maintaining suction so you don't lose time stopping to reposition. You can point it at a specific mess in a hard-to-reach spot and keep going. This hand vacuum also stands out for its three-stage filter that prevents it from clogging and keeps your home's air clean.
The head of this handheld vacuum is a big selling point. It can twist in different directions around the handle, making it easier to reach above your head or under tables. This hand vac required six passes on carpet and nine passes on hardwood in our tests before the area was completely clean, which is below average in both cases. It was well above average on our suction test for weight, though. It was able to suspend 16 ounces of screws for more than five seconds.
It picked up about 80 percent of the pet hair in our tests, which is above average but weaker than some competitors. For the car test, we spread sawdust in all the corners of a car seat, and the Lithium Pivot picked up about 85 percent. That's above average.
One especially bright spot with this cordless handheld vacuum cleaner 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. It sits on a mountable charging station when you're not using it.
One drawback is that the Lithium Pivot is extremely loud. We measured it at 94.4 dB, which is almost the loudest volume of all the hand vacs in our tests.
Black & Decker offers an email form and FAQs section in case you have questions about this unit. It also offers a two-year warranty, which is a nice advantage to buying from the brand.
The Black & Decker 20V MAX Lithium Pivot is noisy, and it was not strong on every cleaning test. It was above average on most of the tests, though, and it has a good battery life and a unique nozzle that can reach into the nooks and crannies of your car and house. The run time is long enough to cover bigger jobs than its competitors can on one charge, so this is a good small vacuum for convenient, cord-free cleaning.
- Carpet Pickup
- Run Time
- Noise Level