Today we’re taking a look at the Black & Decker Cyclonic Dustbuster CHV9600. I’m always looking for a good handheld vacuum and I wanted to see how this would perform. Black & Decker is known for their relatively inexpensive, but functional, home tools and appliances. How does this portable cordless vac compare?
Review Continued Below…
The stats on the Black & Decker Cyclonic Dustbuster CHV9600 show that it is a standard 9.6 volt portable handheld vacuum with ‘cyclonic action’. In theory, the cyclonic suction helps prevent clogging. The design is a bagless, filter and dirt cup, design. It comes with a charging base and it is also usually packaged with a crevice tool and upholstery brush although I’ve heard of these missing from some refurbished packages sold at outlets.
Performance-wise, the Black & Decker CHV9600 did well when picking up large debris like spilled cereal and such dumped in the pantry floor. It didn’t work so well on my tough cat hair test where it became clogged rather quickly when cleaning up one of our long haired cat’s lounging spots. I also found using it to vacuum our car to be clumsy due to the size. It was difficult to maneuver it under and around seats, especially in our mini-van. Emptying the dirt cup was easy enough although you should open it over the garbage can to prevent dust from going back into your home or car.
Battery life seemed a bit short, maybe about 10 minutes or so. The one I tried out had been returned by a customer who complained about the short battery life although checking online indicated that about 10-12 minutes is par for the course. I also saw complaints about the battery pack not keeping its charge after several months. This is most likely due to the typical way rechargeable NiCd batteries work since they require an occasional complete discharge to work correctly, unlike newer Lithium-Ion batteries.
Overall, I was disappointed with the Black & Decker Cyclonic Dustbuster CHV9600. The vacuum power was so-so as compared to non-cordless vacuums and it tended to clog on cat hair too easily. Also, the size, while small, wasn’t all that practical for tight spaces like the interior of a car, a place where a cordless portable vacuum would be really useful. I also have concerns about the battery performance. If you really need a cordless portable vacuum at a low price it isn’t a bad option, I just think that you’ll get better performance from plug-in vacs for most tough household cleaning jobs.