The Black & Decker Pivot Vac has a pivoting nozzle that's narrow enough to sneak in even the smallest spaces, and an included crevice tool lengthens and narrows its reach even further. Owners say this portable vacuum is powerful and has good suction, but gradually begins to lose power until it peters out at about 20 minutes. The Pivot Vac weighs 5 pounds, has a washable filter and is backed by a two-year warranty. Some users find it loud.
Powerful suction in a compact package. The Black & Decker Pivot Vac has very powerful initial suction, according to owners, but after about 5 to 10 minutes or so begins to lose power until the battery runs out -- even sooner in older models. That's typical performance for handheld vacs powered by nickel-cadmium batteries, like this one, and probably makes the Pivot Vac a better choice for spot cleaning dry messes as opposed to longer, more drawn-out jobs like vacuuming stairs or cleaning a car's interior. However, for shorter cleaning jobs or for vacuuming up the debris left after vacuuming or sweeping, users say, you can't find a better handheld vacuum. Many note that it even works really well on chunky debris on carpets, and extremely well on items that are traditionally hard to clean up, like spilled rice or beans. The Pivot Vac also works well on pet hair, some reviewers say, while other are less-impressed.
Can slip into the slimmest crevices. Reviewers love the Black & Decker Pivot Vac's pivoting nozzle, which makes a complete rotation around the handle. This makes it easy to slip into places where most vacuums can't, like between seats and into the nooks and crannies of cupboards and the corners of shelving units. To make it even easier, the Pivot Vac includes a crevice tool and a dust brush that are stored onboard. It's also easy to empty the vac, just open the side and dump, or you can remove entire dirt cup to clean it as well as to access and clean the filter. Some complain about the lack of a charging base, it merely comes with a cord you plug into the vacuum and into an outlet -- quite a few wish it had a dedicated docking base when it is charging like some other handheld vacs do. The Pivot Vac weight 5 pounds, which a few owners say feels heavy, but most say you don't really use it long enough to experience fatigue.
Mixed reviews for durability. There does not seem to be a consensus of opinion on how long you can use the Black & Decker Pivot Vac before the battery -- which is not replaceable -- reaches the end of its useful life. We saw quite a few comments from owners who say they've had theirs for 3 years or more, yet some say the battery would only hold a charge for a few minutes after just a year. Note, however, that charging performance can be impacted by charging practices -- best results require discharging the battery completely before recharging, and that's typical of all NiCd batteries. Otherwise, the good news is that the Pivot Vac is backed by a two-year warranty, twice as long as the usual one-year warranty for portable vacuums, and Black & Decker gets very good reviews for customer service, with a number of owners posting about prompt replacements when they complained. Some perceive this handheld vac as noisy, but most say it's no louder than any portable vacuum.
Black & Decker Pivot Vac Reviews
The Black & Decker Pivot Vac 18V is a runner up to Liam McCabe's top pick, the larger (and pricier) Black & Decker MAX Flex vac. However, McCabe notes that the Pivot Vac is dependable and he calls out its pivot head for helping to get into close spaces.
Review: The Best Portable Vacuum, Liam McCabe, Jan. 27, 2014
More than 2,000 reviews contribute to an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. Many say the Pivot Vac is plenty powerful for picking up dry spills in the kitchen or around the house. Those who try to use it for pet hair or for extended periods are less satisfied.
Review: Black & Decker Pivot Vac 18V Cordless Pivoting Hand Vac, PHV1810, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of April 2015
In nearly 110 reviews the Black & Decker Pivot Vac earns an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5; 92 percent would recommend it to a friend. Owners say it has impressive suction power and is very easy to stow away when not use. While some use it for 20 to 25 minutes on a single charge, others say it loses power after about 10 minutes.
Review: Black & Decker 18V Cordless Pivoting Hand Vac, PHV1810, Contributors to Walmart.com, As of April 2015
The Black & Decker Pivot Vac earns an average rating of 4.4 stars out of 5 in more than 190 reviews and 92 percent would recommend it to a friend. Owners say it's compact and powerful and is particularly good for cleaning in tight spaces. A few note that it's loud.
Review: Black & Decker - Pivoting Bagless Cordless Hand Vac - White, Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of April 2015