Black & Decker 20V Pivot
Handheld Vacuum Review
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Black & Decker offers a wide variety of vacuums, but its 20V Pivot is a bit different than most. The nozzle of the vacuum is able to, as the name suggests, pivot up and down to the users desired cleaning position. As a rather simple unit, does this vacuum have what it takes to compete with other handheld vacuums in the industry?
- The Black & Decker 20V Pivot is versatile with its movements and on-board cleaning tools.
- This handheld vacuum has a strong degree of suction and is easy to use overall.
- This Black & Decker handheld struggles with larger debris, such as cereal.
- The filtration system requires more frequent cleanings of the filter.
The Bottom Line
Overall, this Black & Decker handheld vacuum has a strong degree of suction and could be a good option for the user who needs to have a vacuum readily available. The collapsible design, on-board cleaning tools, and fade free battery make for a well-rounded unit that could serve as a quick fix vacuum for the everyday user.
The Black & Decker 20V Pivot handheld vacuum is designed a bit different, compared to most other handheld vacuums. The front portion of the vacuum is able to fold completely in half, allowing the unit to store in a much more compact size. A circular shaped midpoint helps to create this pivot also giving users the ability to choose the angle at which they would like the nozzle of the vacuum to point.
Attached to the front of the vacuum is an on-board crevice tool and dusting brush. This seems to be a more common trait among Black & Decker handheld vacuums, as the Black & Decker 16V handheld also contains these same features.
From an aesthetic standpoint, this handheld offers a black and gray color scheme, highlighted by blue lettering along the handle of the vacuum. The modern look and colors create a sleek appeal, in my opinion.
- Power button
- Dust bin
- Cleaning tools
How It Cleans
The Black & Decker 20V Pivot utilizes a cyclonic suction method. After sucking up dirt and debris, the unit runs everything through a three stage filtration system, then continues to spin the dirt and debris in a cyclonic fashion. This allows for stronger, more consistent suction power.
By clicking a small button on the handle of the vacuum, users have the ability to pivot the nozzle of the unit around the circular midpoint, meaning users can then point the nozzle at a specific angle for their cleaning cycle.
Extra tools (crevice tool and dusting brush) are also an option. Once you have rotated the nozzle to your preferred position, you have the option to slide out the crevice tool or flip up the dusting brush. Both are located on the vacuum itself and do not have to be attached separately.
Use this button to pivot the nozzle of the vacuum and create a flat or angled cleaning style.
Size & Dimensions
This Black & Decker handheld vacuum brings home an average size, landing at 18″ long – when fully extended – 6.9″ wide and 6.8″ tall. Additionally the unit weighs 3.8 pounds.
Accessories & Parts
The only accessory that is not physically attached to the Black & Decker 20V Pivot is the charging base and cord. Aside from this, there are no extra parts or accessories included with the purchase of this vacuum cleaner. Everything included is built into the vacuum.
The charging base allows the vacuum to sit vertically on the charger. The charger itself is rather small and connects to the vacuum via the small charging port at the base / bottom end of the Black & Decker 20V handheld.
Parts & Accessories
- Screws for wall mounting
- Charging base and cord
The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Black & Decker 20V Pivot 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.
Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:
- Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
- Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
- Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
- Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.
With the exception of cereal, the Black & Decker 20V Pivot was perfect throughout the hardwood floor tests. Cereal was cleaned up at a level of 81% due to clogging of cereal chunks inside of the nozzle. Once the cereal clogged the nozzle, the suction vanished and the handheld vacuum was no longer able to clean.
- Hardwood – Rice 100%
- Hardwood – Cereal 81%
- Hardwood – Kitty Litter 100%
- Hardwood – Sugar 100%
Low Pile Carpet
The low pile carpet tests seemed to be a bit tougher for this Black & Decker handheld vacuum, but overall it passed the tests. Cereal was once again the hardest debris to clean, as it was only sucked up at a level of 60%. Clogging was the issue here as well.
- Low Carpet – Rice 100%
- Low Carpet – Cereal 60%
- Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 99%
- Low Carpet – Sugar 99%
High Pile Carpet
Finally, the high pile carpet test. As expected, cereal was the most difficult debris, but there was also a slight decline in the amount of sugar sucked up. That said, the Black & Decker 20V Pivot did lift the sugar from the carpet at a level of 93%, so it was still a major success, in my opinion.
- High Carpet – Rice 99%
- High Carpet – Cereal 71%
- High Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
- High Carpet – Sugar 93%
Setting up the Black & Decker 20V handheld was extremely easy. All parts arrive assembled, so the only actual setup required is placing the unit on its charger.
Using this vacuum cleaner was just as easy. A power switch sits on the handle of the vacuum along with the button required to pivot the nozzle of this Black & Decker handheld. There is only one power mode, so running the vacuum only requires the simple flip of a switch into the “On” position, and you’re right to work.
On the nozzle of the vacuum is another button, which releases the entire dust bin and nozzle from the handle. This allows users to remove the filter and wash it as needed. In my opinion, this button could have been labeled more clearly, as I was unsure of its purpose initially.
In addition, the built in tools, located on the nozzle, are easy to pop out and use. Push down on the arrow shown at the tip of the nozzle to release the crevice tool or just flip up the dusting brush. Regardless of the option you choose, neither is difficult to operate.
Using the Tools
Push down the arrow for the crevice tool or flip up the dusting brush for more specific cleaning methods.
Maneuverability plays a large role with regard to a handheld vacuum. The pivot design utilized by the Black & Decker 20V handheld is one of the most maneuverable designs we have seen to date. Users have the ability to rotate the nozzle of the vacuum over 100°, which means it can reach into tighter, more awkward spaces than most other handheld vacuums.
Additionally, the lightweight build helps to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed while cleaning. There are some handheld vacuums that are a bit heavier, which can make vacuuming these quick fix messes more daunting than convenient. At 3.8 pounds, this should not be an issue for most.
Finally, the built in tools allows for quicker cleanings in most cases. You do not have to go digging for that extra tool; simply slide out the on-board crevice tool or flip up the dusting brush and you’re good to go.
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 / Part||Replacement Frequency*||Replacement Cost|
|Empty dust bin||After each use||NA|
|Wash the filter||6-9 months||Check Price|
As a more simplistic handheld vacuum, there is not much to maintain with this Black & Decker. Empty the dust bin, wash the filter, and replace the battery, as needed. Annually, users should expect to pay around $20 in maintenance costs.
We were not able to locate a replacement battery for this Black & Decker handheld, so we cannot make a complete price estimation.
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.
All cordless handheld vacuum reviews on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.
|Charging Time||4 hours|
|Run Time||9 minutes|
The biggest issue I have with the 20V Pivot is the difficulty in locating a replacement battery. Additionally, I was not able to find the manufacturer’s estimated run time or battery capacity, both of which are rather annoying. The run time provided above is an estimate based on in-house performance testing.
That said, Black & Decker offers a 2-year warranty with this handheld, therefore, you should be able to have the battery replaced by Black & Decker within the first two years at no cost.
The Black & Decker 20V Pivot handheld vacuum offers a good value by many standards. The cleaning performance you receive for the price you pay is hard to beat, and the overall quality of this handheld vacuum is solid. Black & Decker does a great job of designing and building a well-rounded vacuum at an affordable price.
Black & Decker also includes a 2-year warranty with the purchase of this vacuum cleaner, in addition to a 30-day return policy through Amazon.
Identical to the Black & Decker 16V handheld vacuum, the warranty states the following about defective products:
The defective product will be replaced or repaired at no charge in either of two ways.
While I don’t love the fact you cannot easily find a replacement battery, the 2 year warranty and relatively inexpensive price do give me more confidence in the long-term value.
Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Black & Decker 20V Pivot:
|Manufacturer||Black & Decker|
|Floor Type||All (indoor)|
|Dust Bin||0.4 L|
|Returns||30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer|
The Black & Decker 20V Pivot is a handheld vacuum designed to add versatility to your cleaning sessions. Rotate the head of the vacuum for different angles, or flatten it our for more normal use. The low price point and excellent performance makes this vacuum a considerable option for a wide variety of users.
I would recommend the Black & Decker 20V Pivot if you’re looking for the following features in a handheld vacuum.
- Want a nozzle that pivots – The Black & Decker 20V Pivot has a nozzle that can rotate over 180°. This allows users to create a more specific angle for certain areas of the home, which could be a big benefit.
- Want strong suction power – This handheld vacuum has a strong degree of suction. The 20V, fade free battery, and cyclonic suction style combine to create a high degree of suction.
- Don’t mind the built in accessories – If you like the idea of separate accessories, this is not the unit for you. The crevice tool and dusting brush are both built into this Black & Decker handheld vacuum, therefore you do not have the option to add any extra hoses or cleaning tools to the vacuum.
For more information on the Black & Decker 20V Pivot visit Amazon.com.
Last Updated - August 6, 2018
The following logs all major updates and changes made to this page.
- August 6, 2018 – Updated the review score as part of our site-wide 1.0 scoring overhaul. Score decreased from 93% to 91%.
Unique Design, Powerful Performance
The Black and Decker Pivot V20 is one of the more unique handheld vacuums we have tested. The pivoting head allows users to adjust the cleaning nozzle, reaching areas that would otherwise be difficult or inaccessible. The design is simple, including few accessories. The biggest detriment is the difficulty in replacing the battery, but that is somewhat mitigated by the 2-year warranty and relatively inexpensive price point.
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.