Black & Decker
Handheld Vacuum Review

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The Black & Decker 16V Lithium is a lightweight, powerful, and inexpensive handheld vacuum designed to help users eliminate localized messes with ease. With two extra built in tools, an easy-to-empty dust bin, and fade free suction, this handheld vacuum has a lot to offer.

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum review
Continue reading below to discover if the Black & Decker 16V Lithium is the best handheld vacuum for you.

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Detailed Score

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Pros

  • Strong suction for a handheld vacuum
  • Lightweight design

Cons

  • Wide nozzle isn’t good for crevices
  • Charging base isn’t stable

Bottom Line

  • Good option for those who want a low-cost, cordless, handheld vacuum.
  • No extra accessories means a lower amount of cleaning styles available.

Score

%

  • Cleaning Tests 97%
  • Usability 93%
  • Value 90%
  • Maintenance 87%
  • Maneuverability 92%

Design

The Black & Decker 16V Lithium Ion handheld vacuum is designed with a ball-shaped head and narrow nose. The nozzle of this handheld vacuum offers an extension within the nozzle itself, therefore allowing the vacuum to reach those hard-to-reach corners and crevices. The odd shape of this vacuum does contain an even amount of weight distribution. Neither end feels top heavy or awkward to carry, in my opinion.

Attached to the nozzle is also a brush. When the brush is not being used, it is pressed flush up against the nozzle, helping to avoid it from disrupting the cleaning. As it is put into use, it simply flips up onto the nozzle, allowing users to agitate the dirt and debris before sucking it up.

With regard to aesthetics, the color scheme is a minty blue base, white nozzle, and gray accents. All three colors come together to offer a sleek and modern looking handheld vacuum.

Features

  1. Handle
  2. Power switch
  3. Dust bin
  4. Cleaning tools

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum components

How It Cleans

This Black & Decker handheld vacuum uses a cyclonic suction method to keep dirt and debris away from the filter while also maintaining a strong degree of suction. Users can vacuum using the vacuum as it comes, they can extend the integrated crevice tool,   or they can flip up the multi-surface cleaning brush.

Cyclonic suction

Dirt and debris is sucked up through the nozzle and spun in cyclonic fashion.

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum cleaning brush

Size & Dimensions

The Black & Decker handheld vacuum is approximately 17.2″ long, 5.5″ wide, and 7.8″ tall. Carrying a total weight of 2.6 pounds, this Black & Decker handheld vacuum is both lightweight and portable.

A majority of the weight is portioned to the middle of this vacuum cleaner, helping to avoid any top heavy cleaning sessions.

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum - size and dimensions

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum – size & dimensions

Accessories & Parts

The Black & Decker 16V Lithium Ion handheld vacuum did not come with a multitude of parts and accessories. In fact, everything that comes with this vacuum is already located on the vacuum itself, with the exception of the power base.

A crevice tool is located within the nozzle of the vacuum and can be pulled out in order to add length and reduce the width of the nozzle. The brush tool included with this unit is also attached to the nozzle and can be flipped up at any time. There is no need to grab a separate attachment to pop onto this handheld vacuum, as everything is already setup for you.

MORE: Need a full-size vacuum? See our Shark vacuum reviews.

The charging base included with this vacuum is a small, separate unit that holds the vacuum up in vertical fashion. The charging pins on this Black & Decker handheld vacuum are placed at the back / bottom of the circular, tail end of the unit.

Parts & Accessories

  1. Nozzle
  2. Base of vacuum
  3. Charging base

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum accessories

Cleaning Tests

The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum performs on different surfaces, picking up a variety of debris types. We test on three different floor types, including hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet. For each floor type we test the vacuum cleaner against:

  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces

Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.

Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:

  1. Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
  2. Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
  3. Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
  4. Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.

Hardwood Floor

The hardwood floor tests proved to be an easy task fore the Black & Decker handheld vacuum. Each one of our debris types was cleaned up to a level of 94% or higher. Sugar was the most difficult debris type for the vacuum, but at 94% this Black & Decker handheld had no issues cleaning up the remaining 6% of sugar after another pass.

  • Hardwood – Rice 98%
  • Hardwood – Cereal 100%
  • Hardwood – Kitty Litter 98%
  • Hardwood – Sugar 94%

Low Pile Carpet

Low pile carpet proved to be even less of a challenge for the Black & Decker vacuum, as each debris type was cleaned up to a higher degree, with the exception of sugar. Friction between the debris and the carpet helped to pin down the debris, allowing this handheld vacuum cleaner to suck up the debris with ease.

Sugar was cleaned up at a level of 93%, but once again, the Black & Decker handheld vacuum had no issues cleaning up the remaining sugar particles with another pass.

  • Low Carpet – Rice 99%
  • Low Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
  • Low Carpet – Sugar 93%

High Pile Carpet

As the final testing series, the high pile carpet was not able to defeat the Black & Decker handheld vacuum. The lowest level of cleanliness came in at 91% (sugar), while the three other debris types brought home a score of 95% or higher. After running this unit through the high pile carpet test, it was clear that the suction power of the vacuum was strong.

Several other vacuums have struggled to lift up this amount of debris from the high pile carpet, so to see this Black & Decker perform at this level was impressive.

  • High Carpet – Rice 99%
  • High Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • High Carpet – Kitty Litter 95%
  • High Carpet – Sugar 91%

Usability

Setting up and using the Black & Decker 16V Lithium is quite simple. There really is no setup. Unbox the unit and its charging base, let it charge, and you’re good to go. The light on the charging base will illuminate a solid blue color as the vacuum is charging; once it has fully charged, the light will turn off.

When it comes to using this handheld vacuum, you just flip the switch and get to work. There is only one cleaning mode; therefore, once you turn this Black & Decker vacuum on, you can proceed with cleaning on whatever surface the mess is on.

Additionally, using the attached tools couldn’t be any easier. An arrow indicates the sliding nozzle, which is simply an extension to the already existing nozzle. Push down on the arrow and another 3″ of nozzle pops out, or flip over the brush end of the nozzle and use it to lift dirt and debris before vacuuming it up. The softer bristles are also a good option for cleaning up against the edges of walls, without damaging them.

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum

Rotating Head

Click the lock notch on the vacuum and it will allow you to rotate the head of the vacuum.

Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld vacuum charging pins

Maneuverability

Maneuvering around the Black & Decker handheld vacuum is virtually effortless. The combination of the vacuum’s lightweight design and rotating nozzle allows users to carry this handheld vacuum around and clean in tighter corners and crevices. A simple lock button on the midsection of the unit clicks down, allowing the head of the vacuum cleaner to rotate, which is where the crevice tool will go from lying horizontal to a flatter, vertical position.

The handle and weight distribution of the Black & Decker 16V Lithium is also quite nice. Since the unit is less than 18″ long, Black & Decker was able to distribute the weight evenly, avoiding a top-heavy handheld vacuum.

Weight

2.6 pounds

Power

Battery

Height

7.8″

Width

5.5″

Maintenance

The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the vacuum. The following replacement frequencies are what the manufacturer recommends. However, your individual experiences may vary.

Accessory / PartReplacement Frequency*Replacement Cost
Empty dust binAfter each useNA
Wash the filterReplace every 6-9 months$3.50 / per - Buy Here

Maintaining the Black & Decker handheld vacuum is not hard. Rinse out the filter every couple of uses, replace it every 6-9 months, and replace the battery as needed. Aside from these tasks, there is not much else that needs to be done to ensure your vacuum is running at its full potential.

AUTOMATIC: Discover automatic cleaning options with Roomba reviews!

With regard to annual costs, it’s a bit of a toss up at this time. Unfortunately, we were not able to locate a replacement battery; therefore, we are not exactly sure how much one could cost. To that end, the replacement filters cost about $3.50 per filter, and you will need about two a year. Therefore, you can expect to pay at least $7 in filter costs, and potentially more if you need to replace the battery.

Noise

All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level approximately 3′ away from the vacuum.

At 3' away, the Black & Decker 16V Lithium (handheld) emits 83 dB of sound.

At 3′ away, the Black & Decker 16V Lithium (handheld) emits 83 dB of sound.

Battery

All cordless handheld vacuum reviews on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.

BatteryDetails
SizeUnknown
Charging Time4-6 hours
Run Time15 minutes
Replacement CostUnknown

Batteries are extremely important when a vacuum is not a corded unit. My biggest concern with this Black & Decker handheld vacuum is the difficulty in locating a replacement battery. Black & Decker notes that its battery is:

“Always ready – holds a charge for up to 18 months”

This seems to be an almost unrealistic duration to maintain a charge for any type of lithium ion battery (it’s something I’m planning to put to the test in the future). That said, the vacuum does do a nice job of continuing to clean at the same level of power until the battery is dead. There is no fade out effect.

Value

Sold for less than $45, the performance you receive from this vacuum is top notch. Although this vacuum only has one power setting for suction, the suction is above average for handheld vacuums we have tested thus far.

Although you do not receive any extra accessories with this vacuum, there are two tools included on the nose of this vacuum: a multi-surface brush and an extended nozzle. Therefore, you do not have to waste time attaching these items, as they are already on the vacuum and ready for use.

Black & Decker does include a 2-year warranty with this handheld vacuum in addition to a 30-day return policy, via Amazon.

The combination of excellent cleaning performance, 2 year warranty, and simplicity in usability create what we view as great overall value. However, the difficulty in finding a replacement battery does leave me concerned about long-term maintenance. This is the only major detractor for this Black & Decker handheld.

Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Black & Decker handheld vacuum:

Specifications 
TypeHandheld vacuum
ManufacturerBlack & Decker
Model16V Lithium
Length (inches)17.2
Width (inches)5.5
Weight (pounds)2.6
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery Size16V
Dust Bin0.6 L
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty2-Year limited

Who Should Buy the Black & Decker 16V Lithium Handheld Vacuum?

The Black & Decker 16V Lithium is a well-designed handheld vacuum built to handle a variety of messes on all indoor floor surfaces. Strong suction helps this vacuum lift up dirt and debris while using a cyclonic cleaning method to avoid this same dirt and debris from going into the filter. Easy to maintain and easy to use, this Black & Decker could be a good option for those seeking out a new handheld vacuum.

I would recommend the Black & Decker 16V Lithium if you’re looking for the following features in a handheld vacuum.

  • Want a lighter unit – At a total weight of 2.6 pounds, this Black & Decker handheld vacuum is lightweight and portable for a vast majority of users.
  • Want strong suction power – The Black & Decker handheld vacuum proved how strong its suction power was throughout our cleaning tests. Even on a high pile carpet, this vacuum cleaner was able to remove at least 91% of debris spread across the carpet. This is an impressive number for such a small unit.
  • Don’t need extra accessories – There are no extra accessories included with the purchase of this Black & Decker handheld. Two tools do come attached to the vacuum, but they are not huge difference makers with regard to how the vacuum cleans.
  • Want to spend less than $50 – Priced at $43, the Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld offers a very good value. For the price you pay, you’ll receive a well above average performer.

For more information on the Black & Decker 16V Lithium handheld visit Amazon.com.

Strong Suction, Cool Design
  • 97%
    Cleaning - 97%
  • 93%
    Usability - 93%
  • 92%
    Maneuverability - 92%
  • 87%
    Maintenance - 87%
  • 90%
    Value - 90%
  • 100%
    Returns - 100%
  • 100%
    Warranty - 100%
  • 100%
    Company - 100%
94%

Summary

The Black & Decker 16V lithium handheld vacuum offers great performance in a cordless vacuum. It did extremely well across all of our cleaning tests. The accessories provided added options for cleaning a various surfaces. The one major detractor was the difficulty in finding a replacement battery. Never-the-less, overall, the Black and Decker handheld vacuum is a solid performer and solid value.

Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.

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