Although reviewers tend to give cordless hand vacs top billing, experts say corded hand vacs have some advantages. For one thing, they don't run out of power. There's also the issue of durability; the battery itself tends to be the shortest-lived component of cordless hand vacs, accounting for more negative comments than any other feature. Finally, without the power limitations of battery-driven hand vacs, corded models often have a motorized brush that can be more effective at loosening dirt in carpet fibers or pet hair on upholstery.
The Bissell Pet Hair Eraser Corded Hand Vacuum (*Est. $30) is recommended by one consumer testing organization. Testers say it's easy to use and a top performer on carpet, bare floors and along floorboards. However, despite its name, it receives the lowest rating for removing pet hair on medium-pile carpet. Still, it receives mostly 4 and 5 stars from more than 225 reviewers at Amazon.com and 150 reviewers at Walmart.com, who seem to mostly be using it to remove pet hair from upholstery. Owners say its included rubber tip has bristles that work well to get hair off of couches and pet beds. This hand vac comes with a one-year warranty.
Although the Eureka Easy Clean Hand Vac 71B (*Est. $40) , formerly named the Quick-Up, is not covered in expert reviews, it is another corded hand vac that receives many positive owner reviews. Like the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, it has a stretch hose and crevice tool attachment that conveniently stores in the vacuum's base. The clear waste container makes it easy to see when the vacuum needs to be emptied, but the manufacturer says the reusable filter is not intended to be washed. Eureka backs this vacuum with a one-year limited warranty.
The Eureka Easy Clean is top-rated by more than 1,300 owners at Amazon.com and another 230 at Walmart.com. Reviewers say the motorized brush does a great job of sucking up pet hair and the flip-up guard on the roller makes it easy to clean the vertical rise on stairs. Downsides noted are the relatively heavy weight, loud operating noise and ineffective cleaning of curvy car seats.
Another option with a motorized brush is the Dirt Devil Purpose for Pets Hand Vac (*Est. $50) , which also features a HEPA filter. We didn't find any expert reviews on this model, but it receives mostly praise from more than 100 owners at Amazon.com, where it gets an overall rating of 4.3 stars. Most owners are using it to remove pet hair and agree it works well, though some complain the dirt container is small. The Dirt Devil Purpose for Pets is covered by a two-year warranty on parts and motor.
You'll be hard pressed to find a cheaper handheld vacuum than the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip Hand Vac . At less than 4 pounds, it's also lighter than most hand vacs. While not covered in expert reviews, the Dirt Devil Scorpion Quick Flip earns extremely positive reviews from 80 owners at Amazon.com. Reviewers say the suction is amazing and the flip-down crevice tool is great for reaching into nooks and crannies. The main complaint from users is that it's noisy. Dirt Devil offers a three-year warranty on this model.
Dirt Devil also makes several models of corded hand vacs with a stretch hose. The Dirt Devil Power Reach (*Est. $40) receives poor reviews at Amazon.com and is one model you probably want to avoid. Two-thirds of the approximately 85 owners who have written reviews give it only 1 star out of 5 because it lacks power and its revolving brush stops turning as soon as it touches carpet. If cleaning waste containers and filters aren't your thing, the Dirt Devil Ultra Hand Vac is one of the few hand vacs that uses a bag. The brush on this model is motorized, rather than simply powered by air like the Power Reach. It gets slightly better reviews at Amazon.com, but more than 20 owners complain of excessive noise and premature breakdowns. Both of these Dirt Devil models of come with a three-year warranty.