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Handheld Vacuums: Expert and User Reviews

By: Kelly Burgess on May 04, 2017

Handheld Vacuums: Ratings of Sources

Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Not Dated

ConsumerReports.org editors compare seven hand vacuums in this review. Tests are conducted on both carpet and hard floors. After evaluating ease of use, run time, recharge time, emissions, noise level, and ability to clean along edges and pick up pet hair, editors recommend three models -- one cordless and two corded models.

Liam McCabe, Jan. 9, 2017

This detailed review builds on testing that has been done over the years as this category has evolved. Early winners were nickel-cadmium battery powered vacuums, they have been supplanted as "best" by lithium-ion models. Currently, the top hand vac is the Black & Decker BDH2020FL. It's worth noting that some version of a Black & Decker portable vacuum has always landed in the top spot.

Angie Parkinson, April 28, 2017

TopTenReviews.com tests and ranks 10 vacuums, with the top choice earning a Gold Award. Hand vacs are tested for performance on a variety of surfaces and their effectiveness at picking up several types of debris. Suction power, noise level, design features and warranty and support are also considered. Although testing is done (hundreds of hours are claimed), there are surprisingly few notes that specifically address the tester's impressions.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of May 2017

There are several handheld vacuums that have earned hundreds of owner-written reviews at Amazon.com, and even a few with thousands -- and tens of thousands -- of reviews. Write-ups tend to be detailed and extremely helpful for determining how the vacuum works in real-world use. Many users come back after a year or more to offer updates on battery life, runtime and general durability.

Contributors to Walmart.com, As of May 2017

Like Amazon.com, Walmart.com has an extensive selection of handheld vacuum cleaners and many have dozens or hundreds or reviews. Dirt Devil, Bissell and Eureka are the top-sellers here, but Walmart also carries more expensive brands, like Dyson, as well, and we spotted a few older Dyson models that are no longer manufactured.

Contributors to BestBuy.com, As of May 2017

BestBuy.com sells fewer handheld vacuums than either Amazon.com or Walmart.com, and they garner fewer reviews. However, there are a good number that get quite a few reviews, in the hundreds. Shark is well-represented here, as are Dyson and Black & Decker. Reviewers can indicate if they would recommend the portable vacuum to a friend.

Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of May 2017

Many hand vacs sold at HomeDepot.com have just a few owner-written reviews, others have hundreds -- though in some cases that includes reviews written at the manufacturer's web site. Popular brands include Eureka, Black & Decker, Ryobi and Dirt Devil. Owners can assign star ratings in three categories -- quality, value and features -- and can indicate if they would recommend the product to a friend.

Contributors to Lowes.com, As of May 2017

Lowes carries just over 30 handheld vacuums, and some get a few dozen reviews, others get just a few or none. Black & Decker is by far the most prominent brand here, and we see several popular Black & Decker models with very high ratings. Some reviews are culled from the manufacturer's website, most notably Dyson, which gives that brand many more reviews than some other brands.

Contributors to Kohls.com, As of May 2017

Kohls.com carries fewer handheld vacuums than other retail sites, around a dozen, but the ones they have accumulated a good number of owner-written reviews. Reviewers can also indicate if they would recommend the product.

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