• I want a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner with a long lasting charge

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  • Every dustbuster-type vacuum cleaner I've ever owned has a crappy battery that won't hold a charge for long. Is there anything out there that works?

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    Question by mark

It’s a problem I’ve had for too many years. I stopped buying a new dustbuster-type vacuum cleaner when the batteries went crappy, by learning how to open it (not exactly an easy task the first time I did it) and change the aging batteries with the best possible ones I could find on the net. Takes me some twenty minutes to do now and it works even better than when it was new. 

Answer by cris
1 Favorites

Hey Cris – where do you buy the batteries online?

Answer by mark

That’s great advice, Cris.  I can make one anti-recommendation: The Black & Decker 18V Pivot.  The batteries wore out early and I tried pretty hard to replace them myself.  Essentially impossible to get to without destroying the vacuum.  

What vacuum worked out for you, cris?

Answer by blackketter
Answer by pjanzen
1 Favorites

I have a set of Ryobi cordless power tools.  I found out they also have a dustbuster ’like’ vacuum that uses the same batteries so I bought one.  I don’t know if it’s any better as a vacuum but the ability to swap in a new fresh battery has eliminated, for me, the battery problem usually associated with such hand held vacuums.  Note: the vacuum doesn’t come with a battery; they seem to assume you already have some from your other Ryobi tools.

Answer by rlbrooks
2 Favorites

I recommend the Hoover Linx. It’s expensive, but worth it.  It is available both as a handheld unit like a Dustbuster and as a stick vac.  Critically, it comes with a removable, rechargable lithium-ion battery.

We have the handheld unit with the roller brush and used it at least weekly for several years.  We just replaced the battery, and the base unit is still going strong.

Answer by brent
1 Favorites

We have two:

One we use for quicker cleanups around the house is a Bissell Lift-Off. It has a frame attachment so you can use it as a quick cleanup vac on the floors, and detatches for using around other surfaces.  We’ve had it since 2013, and the battery life has been stable.  I would say my only complaint is that with our Husky, the filter can get full kinda fast – but I think that’s more on the dog.

The other we have is a Shark Pet Perfect.  This sees most duty in the cars, furniture, and ’bigger’ jobs.  The powered brush attachment makes short work out of pet hair, it has a bigger capacity, and seems to have more power (easier to pick up spilled dog food than the Bissell).

If I were to buy just one – I’d buy the Shark.  But, we really like the Bissell unit for quick daily cleanups on our hardword floors.

Answer by waukanon

I had the Black & Decker PHV1800CB 18-Volt.

When it was brand new it would last for a very short time, maybe 2 or 3 minutes. You’d hear it start to slow down almost as soon as you turned it on. If the device can’t run on its supplied batteries then trying to upgrade it seems like a complex path. I replaced this with Black+Decker BDH2000PL MAX Lithium Pivot Vacuum, 20-volt

The Lithium battery makes all the difference. This device seems to last for ever on its charge. I’ve never had it run down while in use. I’ve only had it 6 months so I can’t comment on battery longevity.

Answer by adrianm

The reason for early failure of your rechargable batteries (usually NiCd or NiMH in these as well as other small tools) is actually quite complex, and has less to do with the quality of the batteries, than the cheap design of the charging system and mistaken charging practices.

Lithium rechargables, as recommended here, will likely solve your problem for many reasons: much higher charge density, and (mostly) much more refined charging system (by necessity, due to inherent fragility and danger of these if not ”smart charged”).

Explanation, if you want to use the cheaper NiCd/NiMH rechargables, or just understand what’s going on: the ”dumb” charger built into most hand vacuums — transformer + diode + resistor to limit current, has several problems. To keep from too rapid charging, overheating, thus destroying the cells, current is limited to a small value. Sometimes a higher current is used, and a protective thermal sensor is built-in, but this is not optimal, as even this temperature is destructive to the chemicals inside. Slow charging means it can take a very long time to reach full charge, and some say slow charging will never give a NiMH its full charge. Users also tend to leave their devices on the charger full-time, which is fine for the big sealed lead acid battery in your UPS, but causes the NiCd/NiMH to sit there at an elevated temperature, causing the chemicals inside to break down.

If optimally treated, nickel-based rechargables can be kept viable for many years and hundreds or thousands of cycles. But they need entirely different treatment than SLA or lithium cells. If possible, use a smart charger that varies current with charge state — much easier obviously if the cells can be removed, but usually possible by opening the device and hooking wires to each cell individually. Avoid constant trickle charging and/or overheating for any reason (heavy use, recharge, immediate heavy use, etc.). Every few months, give them a deep discharge (slow if possible) to 1 v. or less, under the light load — more important for NiCd than NiMH. This may help undo some of the crystallization that NiCds are subject to (not so-called memory effect that is no longer a problem).

Practically speaking, I don’t smart re-charge every device every time. I use them until performance noticeably decreases, put them on their own slow charger 14-24 hrs or until they get warm — don’t ever let them stay at high temp. Then every 6-12 mo. I open up the device (or battery pack) and with clip-leads, connect each cell to smart charger that has option to discharge/charge with testing, restoration, and charging programs. I have rechargables that have been used over 10 years and are doing fine.

Much deeper info about all these issues is at: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/

Answer by amnnm

Kind of expensive but I got a Dyson DC35 that works very well for both vacuuming small areas and as a dustbuster when you remove the extension. If you had a small apartment it could easily serve as your only vacuum. If you only vacuumed 1 or 2 rooms at a time it could probably do your whole house too. It’s still going strong 3 years on.

Answer by nhorvath

We have used the Ryobi (Home Depot) vac mentioned by rlbrooks for 2 years. It is better than most of the ”Dustbuster”-like units we have owned. If you already have a Ryobi set of cordless tools this is a great option. I used it as an excuse to buy another Li-ion battery, the small battery lasts more than a month of regular use and it can be swapped out in seconds if it starts to run down. The only downside is that I had to use the saw, drill and driver to make a wall hanger

Answer by mpbarry
2 Favorites

I use the Black & Decker listed here: 


 Black & Decker BDH2020FLFH 20 V MAX Flex Vac

It’s a slightly different model than the one mentioned in this thread. Li-Ion battery. 16 min worth of full suction. Only cons are that it can get loud, and the battery is not replaceable, and it’s expensive (open box from Amazon Warehouse Deals: ~$100). If you can find a vacuum that runs on D-cell batteries, another option would bet to get the top-rated rechargeable Li-Ion Eneloop batteries by Panasonic. They make D-cell-sized adapters that you can put AA rechargables in to (or you could just buy D-cell rechargeables). Not sure if there were ever any models that ran on D-cell batteries, though, as perhaps not enough power could be generated.

Answer by interzone826

I add a vote for the Ryobi 18v One plus. As a long-time contractor/woodworker and lover of fine tools, I never thought I would recommend a Ryobi anything. However, a few years ago, I found myself traveling to that other coast a lot where my wife had a gig for a couple of years. I found myself toolless in MA at Xmas, and for some compulsive reason needing to take on a DIY project in my wife’s condo. At any rate, that was my intro to the One Plus line. $69 later I was  equipped with a next-to-worthless mini circ. saw, a pretty good drill/driver, the handheld vac, and 3 nicads along with a little trickle charger. The vac has been fine for what it’s best use is- a convenience for small tasks with minimal cleanup when you don’t want to bother with a serious plug-in machine, and the whisk broom & pan option is not best (carpets).

BTW, after that initial purchase, I’ve picked up other tools sans the batteries; a pruning saw (that takes sawzall blades & telescopes out about 4 ft. or so), a hedge- trimmer (that’s o.k. for the occasional light trim), and a flashlight. These were all to be had for $10 ea. or so at ”reduced price ”. They also work with the li-ion batteries which charge with a dual-chemistry charger that works for the nicads as well.


Answer by bigeloworks



Answer by bigeloworks



Answer by bigeloworks

I would suggest you Ryobi 18v, I’ve been using it since last 1 year then their is no problem for now. Its giving me about 1 hours of play back and I am pretty happy with my choice.

Psearches Technologies

Answer by albertbrown

Cordless models have a hella lot of battery juice now because of lithium ion batteries – they aren’t the huge jump in tech we need to get hours and hours of life per charge but they are an improvement. I’ve used the Bosch BCH625KTGB, which is reviewed at http://spotlessvacuum.co.uk/cordless-vacuum-cleaners/bosch-bch625ktgb-athlet-review/, and you can get 50+ minutes life out of a single charge which should be enough for most jobs?

I don’t know of any with batteries lasting longer than an hour though. That’s the holy grail I think.

Answer by andyjon82

Long battery life is the main challenge for cordless handheld vacuums undoubted. Here you can find a list of handheld vacuums that has good customer ratings. https://cleanthefloor.com/best-handheld-pet-vacuum/

Answer by echols

To keep from too rapid charging, overheating, thus destroying the cells, current is limited to a small value. Sometimes a higher current is used, and a protective thermal sensor is built-in, but this is not optimal, as even this temperature is destructive to the chemicals inside. Slow charging means it can take a very long time to reach full charge, and some say slow charging will never give a NiMH its full charge.  Itsvery good answer.Also you can read more here easy home clean

Answer by easyvacuumcleaner

Also consider a cordless stick vacuum. Its not a dustbuster, but its a lightweight vacuum that is really easy to use. They typically have a lot more power than your average dustbuster too. Most last 20-30 mins on a charge.

Answer by allenjaymichael
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