Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum + Pet Hair Review

A Review: The Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner with Pet Hair Removal Tool

Black and Decker rarely make a duff machine and this Lithium Flexi vacuum cleaner is a great piece of equipment, especially for those with a family pet. Lightweight, handheld and very easy to use, the Black and Decker Flexi is suitable for all homes and can be effectively used it hard-to-reach places including cars, ceilings and nooks.

While stored, the Flexi is foldable around on itself, making it small and neat to keep in a cupboard or out of the way on its charge stand. With a lithium ion battery, the weight is significantly reduced, making it a good handheld vacuum for everyone, including the elderly.

The key attribute of the Flexi is the flexi suction hose that can use several different attachments. With a pet hair tool, a crevice tool and others, this one small handheld vacuum is capable of removing any hair, debris, dust and fibres from carpets, cars and ceilings.

Quiet yet powerful, just like the Dyson range, this Black and Decker has a hygienic disposal function that’s button operated and won’t leave you with dusty hands or clothes. The only downside? Vacuuming with this Flexi is a two-handed operation.

Key Points:

  • 5m flexible hose
  • Lithium ion battery for lightness and power
  • 14.4v
  • Runtime: between 7 and 12 minutes
  • Weighs 1.4kg
  • Two handed operation
  • 20 Air Watts Suction Power

The Black and Decker Flexi with Pet Hair Tool has a 4 foot flexible hose that folds into itself for easy and clever storage. It’s this hose that makes the machine so highly usable with the ability to clean stairs, skirting boarding and high up shelves and corners.

The pet hair brush is specifically designed to work stubborn hairs from the carpet where they can easily become tangled and embedded. Thanks to the Flexi’s power and design, hairs are quickly removed without much effort and high-tread areas are back to the bright carpet you once knew and loved.

Lightweight, easy to wield


Like other handheld vacuums, the main purpose of the Black and Decker Flexi is to provide a lightweight vacuum for hard-to-reach areas and for quick jobs. Why go to the trouble of lugging your huge, carpet vacuum cleaner all the way upstairs just for a small patch? The flexi is extremely lightweight and the add-on tools are easy and fast to attach.

With its three-stage filtration system, the Black and Decker Flexi stops captured dust from escaping the machine and its cyclonic action keeps the filter working efficiently. Considering it’s less than half the price of the latest Dyson DC model, this handheld from Black and Decker is extremely good value for money and has amazing results.

Suction isn’t too bad in this Flexi model and it has 25 Air Watts which means impressive suction power. It’s not has aesthetically pleasing as the funky looking Dyson versions but it’s incredibly useful thanks in part to the flexible hose.


Tools and attachments

Not a one trick pony, this Black and Decker Flexi with Pet Hair Tool comes with a range of attachments for you to clean every aspect of your home and car. The crevice tool is long and think for sneaky areas like down the backs of sofas and car seats as well as ceiling corners while the 2-in-1 nozzle and brush head is highly effective for small and large mess. The pet hair tool teases animal hair quickly from where it’s embedded from the carpet and soon your dog won’t even realise he’s been there before.

Eco charging

While it takes four hours to charge, compared to the Dyson DC58’s three hours, the Black and Decker Flex has an eco function that switches the charger off when the machine is fully charged. This means you can leave it charging happily without having to remember to switch it off.


Downsides / Cons

The only real downsides of this is that the filter has been known to breakdown after a while and isn’t replaceable. The suction power isn’t as good as many larger, floor models or the Dyson handhelds and those coming from those machines may be disappointed.

With the battery life lasting 10-20 minutes depending on age of the machine, this is comparable to other similar models but as the suction isn’t quite as good as the Dyson DC range, it won’t be as effective overall.

Overall, this handheld is lightweight and fairly powerful and is ideal for those who want a small machine for quick and awkward jobs, especially those who have pets that malt. Even with attachments this is easy to store and while it may not have quite the same brute power as a comparable Dyson, this is a bargain for the price.

You can buy it here Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

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Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum Review

Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum, 18v


An odd looking handheld vacuum, this Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuumis an exercise is design gone mad. But, actually, it’s quite good. The cornerstone of the Lithium Compact Pivot Vacuum is its unique, patented nozzle that is manoeuvrable in itself. This makes it highly adept and getting into all those hard-to-reach places like the top of high shelves, lampshades, sofa creases, car areas and other tough spots.

Although it looks like small animal, this Black and Decker hasn’t compromised on power and suction to create this lightweight, cordless model. In fact, the suction is actually very good for the size. The pivoting nozzle folds neatly down for storage, creating a compact machine that’s easy to whip out at a moment’s notice when something is spilled.

The dust hatch is opened without your hands getting dirty and you can empty it quickly and wash or shake out the removable filter. With 35 Air Watts, this is also a pretty powerful machine and the suction is excellent for the price. Well designed and thoroughly eye-catching, this is probably Black and Decker’s best handheld and a true rival to the Dyson empire. See all the reviews here

Key Points:

  • Runtime: 10 minutes
  • Charge time: 4 hours
  • 18v
  • 200° nozzle for hard to reach areas
  • Ecosmart function shuts off charger after vacuum is fully charged

The overall design of this Black and Decker Lithium Compact Pivot 18v Vacuum cleaner is really interesting and very practical. A one-handed design, this is more efficient and easier to use than the Black and Decker Flexi model and the 200° pivot nozzle allows you to get into, on top of and under any awkward object.

Lightweight and comfortable to use

The usability of this machine is further increased by the lightweight and comfortable design. Balanced perfectly as to not strain or tire your arm, this light machine uses a lithium ion battery to reduce the weight more. Because the nozzle pivots, you don’t need to more your arm into awkward positions to get to the dirt and dust and this means that it’s a great tool for everyone, including the elderly.

Designed for small to medium light jobs, this is great for loose pet hair, crumbs and dry spills but doesn’t have the power for embedded hair or tough dirt in carpets. It makes a good car vacuum cleaner for the times you need a quick tidy up before your mother-in-law is a passenger and is ideal for those last minute clean ups before guests arrive at home.

The translucent dust collector enables you to see when to empty it and with a 0.44 litre capacity, that’s not necessarily every time you use it. For hygienic emptying, simply open the side door and tip the contents into the bin. The filter is removable and washable and if cleaned regularly, this should last a long time.

Included Tools and Attachments

An integrated crevice tools means nooks and corners aren’t off limits to this Black and Decker pivot vacuum cleaner and it can easily get down the creases of sofas and car seats. Without a brush attachment, delicate areas like full shelves aren’t going to be easy to vacuum but this is really a tool for soft furnishings and cars.

The charger is very useful with an auto shutoff feature that turns itself off after the vacuum is fully charged. Charging takes around four hours and the machine has about a 10 minute run time. This is fairly typical for this type of handheld but it’s still short compared to the new Dyson DC58 which runs for 20 minutes and has greater power and suction.

The Black and Decker Pivot Vac is a mid-range handheld that’s designed for small, loose spills and quick clean ups. It charges fairly fast and folds up neatly. For those who don’t want to spend too much on a handheld, this Black and Decker is one of the best in the range and it looks pretty cool too.

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Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms Explained (pt. 2)

This is a continuation of Cordless Vacuum Cleaner Terms – Explained for everyone. You may be interested in reading part one too.

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8. Vacuum Power Ratings

This is a much confused subject. Power is measured in Watts and refers to how much power the motor uses. This is a rough indication of how powerful suction will be but does have some caveats. Firstly, different vacuums use different motors, and some will be more efficient than others. For example, Dyson have incredible electric motors that are very efficient, where as other manufacturers might have a much poorer quality motor which will produce less suck for the same power input.


Dyson DC34

Secondly, a higher power rating (W) means that the battery life will quite often be shorter, or that the vacuum will need a bigger and heavier battery to achieve the same run time as a less powerful motor. So hight power vacuums are almost always going to be heavier and larger, and do not always provide more suction power.

Some people confuse volts with the power rating of a vacuum. Volts is related to the battery being used and does not affect the suction ability of the vacuum. Although, saying that, generally a higher voltage battery will be required by a higher power motor that draws more power so has a high wattage.

9. Docking station

Many handheld cordless vacuums come with a docking station. This is where you can place the vacuum when it is not in use and the docking station will charge it. Therefore the docking station needs to be plugged into the mains somewhere.

Black and Decker Lithimum Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Black and Decker Lithium Flexi Vacuum Cleaner

Docking stations can be wall mounted and offer a convenient place to store your vacuum, especially since it will always be charged and ready to go.

10. Charge Indicators

Some cordless vacuums include some sort of charge indicator on the device. This is a really useful feature as you can easily see how much battery life is remaining and can therefore judge whether to start on the next project or put the vacuum on charge first. There’s nothing worse than only getting half a job done!

11. Attachments

Most cordless vacuums come with a selection of attachments. these attachments go on the suction end of the vacuum allowing the appliance more versatility. for example, a crevice attachment for getting into small corners, or a brush attachment for soft furnishings. When buying a vacuum always check what is included, you may find that the attachments are some of the most useful things that come with you vacuum.

12. Pet Specific Vacuums

Some cordless vacuums come with attachments specifically for pet hair removal. These pet hair vacuums usually consist of a special attachment that is designed to pick up pet hair from a variety of surfaces. Some attachments are designed so that the pet hair does not clog the nozzle and are easy to clean.

If you have a hairy pet or partner, then the pet hair removal tool can be an essential part of your cordless vacuum. If you intent on using your vacuum for mainly pet hair removal then you may want to choose a more powerful model that has the capability to suck up stubborn hair from around your home.

13. Wet and Dry Vacuums

A wet and dry use cordless vacuum is a real bonus. You can use these vacuums to suck up spills, such as coffee or water around your home. They work equally well for normal vacuuming and the dirt and water is collected in a removable collection bin. You may find that you have to rinse out the collection bin when you empty it as the dampness will have caused the dust to encrust itself on the inside. This isnt a very fun job but the ability to suck up spilt cereal and milk for example is pretty handy.


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Cordless Vacuum Terms Explained

Why Choose a Cordless handheld vacuum?

A cordless handheld vacuum won’t replace your main house vacuum but it will give you the ultimate convenience for small areas. These small, lightweight cordless vacuums are ideal for everyday spills, for example in your kitchen or even your car. As you are not restricted by a cumbersome power cord you have the freedom to clean everywhere unrestricted. This can make those previously hard to reach areas so much more accessible


Next we will discuss some of the common terms used to describe these handheld vacuums.

1. Battery Run Time

This is one of the most important features of any cordless appliance as they run on battery power alone. How long the appliance runs for on battery power is stated by the manufacturer in ideal circumstances and in the real world many consumers have noted that the run time is significantly less than advertised. The only manufacturer that does provide accurate battery life data is Dyson, for all others you could take off between 10% and 30% for real world values.

Handheld Cordless Vacuums have relatively short run times, typically between 10 minutes and 30 minutes. As previously mentioned, they are not designed to vacuum your entire house, but to be on hand for emergencies and for those hard to reach areas. As with most things, there is a compromise and handheld vacuums cut weight and size by having smaller batteries, and as a result, shorter run times.

2. Charge Time

Charge time refers to how long it takes for a flat battery to be fully charged. Cordless vacuums use one of two battery types. Cheaper models use Nickle Cadmium (Ni-Cal) batteries and more expensive models use Lithium Ion (Li-ion). The latter is far superior but is only found in the more expensive vacuums. Li-Ion batteries require far shorter charging times, typically around 3 to 4 hours compared to Ni-Cal batteries that require upwards of 8 hours. When buying a cordless vacuum you have to consider how often you want to use it, for handheld vacuums the run time is quite often short so opting for a fast charging Li-Ion model is often a good choice that will avoid the frustration of waiting for you appliance to charge.

3. Weight

Handheld vacuums are supported entirely by your arm so you need to be able to easily lift and manoeuvre the vacuum. Weight therefore is an important consideration, especially if you are planning to vacuum hard to reach areas such as book shelves, curtains or other hanging furnishings.

Upright vacuums are supported by the floor and pushed along by the user, therefore weight is a consideration but perhaps not as critical as for handheld vacuums. However, you may still need to carry the vacuum up stairs and to wherever you store it so being able to lift it will still play a part in your decision process.

4. Dirt Collection Capacity

Sometimes referred to as just “capacity” or “bin volume”. This is how much the vacuum can pick up and store without the need for emptying. Handheld cordless vacuums typically have small collection bins of about 0.3 litres volume where as upright and stick type cordless vacuums have larger capacities, up to 1.6 litres.

Most cordless vacuums are designed to be small and light and as a result have small collection bin capacity. This is one of the trade off with having a smaller machine but does mean that you may have to empty the bin after almost every use.

5. Bagless

Modern cordless vacuums are almost all bagless, that is, the collection of dirt is not held in a bag but in a plastic container that you remove from the vacuum and empty into your household refuse. Some people prefer bagged vacuums are the dust is neatly contained and this option can be better for people who suffer from allergies. However, for most people the convenience and simplicity of bagless collection is a major plus point.

6. No Loss of Suction / Cyclone Technology

Some manufacturers advertise that their vacuums do not lose suction power whilst vacuuming. This was invented by Dyson and is what made them the market leaders. Other manufacturers also offer cyclone technology vacuums these days and generally they are just as good. Many bagged vacuums will lose suction power as the collection bag fills during cleaning, this is another reason why most manufacturers now use bagless technology.

7. Boost Mode / Turbo Mode

Some vacuums offer a boost mode.This is an option to increase the suction power but at the expense of battery life, shortening the run time of the appliance. Sometimes you may find the manufacturer has listed the cordless vacuum’s run time with 2 numbers, for example 8/15 minutes. This refers to how long the vacuum will last at either high suction mode or regular.

Continue to PART 2

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