Sometimes it is just a pain to drag out a big vacuum cleaner to clean a small spill of crumbs, or get some pet hair collected in an area of carpet. The biggest pain is trying to vacuum carpeted stairs because it requires a balancing act while stretching the hose. Using a large vacuum on carpeted stair steps means inevitably having to hold the vacuum with one hand while cleaning with the other. It is awkward and straining when doing a thorough job of cleaning. So, I decided to get a DustBuster. A few years ago I tried another brand and was very disappointed. I decided I would give it another try using a more powerful and more expensive model of DustBuster. I have been pleased with some other Black & Decker products I own, so I bought the Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster to see if it could simplify my stair step cleaning.
The Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster costs more than some other brands and models of hand held vacuums. As such I was expecting more. This Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster has a filtering system, and a translucent dust bin, where you can see how much stuff your have collected from dirt to dust to crumbs and pet hair. It works on a battery charging system and its filtration supposedly makes for clean air exhaust. It comes with a few attachments including an upholstery brush and crevice tool. It also has a full 2 year warranty, which I thought was a plus, since I am used to seeing one year warranties.
This Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster is heavier than a cheaper hand held vacuum I bought in the past, so it felt more solid. It has a filter cleaning wheel and it also comes with a quick charging base. There is also a control where you an increase the amount of suction.
When I first tried this Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster I felt it wasn’t too noisy, so that was good. The suction felt stronger than hand held vacuums I have tried in the past. The high speed suction setting was great for picking up crumbs and dust and pet hair. I did notice however that the longer I vacuumed the less powerful it became and I could feel the charge weakening. I like to do a thorough job when I clean carpeted stair steps and reach every inch of surface. This Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster was far easier to handle on stair steps, however I felt it did not do as good a job as my full scale full-size vacuum, because the battery charge did not stay strong for what could take 20 to 30 minutes of cleaning. I consider good vacuum cleaning where the first step is to remove the visual dirt, dust and pet hair and the second step is to deep vacuum for all the embedded dust and debris that is not visible, but you know is there deeper into the carpet fibers. I also felt like I was backtracking if the exhaust was blowing some dust and pet hair away while I was motioning the unit back and forth. It was kind of like sweeping a floor in two directions, where you get most of the dirt where you want it and some is pushed away in the wrong direction.
In summary, I liked that the attachments could be mounted to the unit and not need to be stored separately. I liked that this Black & Decker Cyclonic DustBuster felt solid and could be mounted to the charger, and that it is capable of strong suction. I don’t like that the charge doesn’t hold long enough for the job of cleaning stair steps. It holds long enough for a small quick vacuum job such as a spill or cleaning a couple of car mats. It was a little awkward to clean and remove the filter basket and it required my using some other brushes and combs to clean out any debris and lint that did not easily fall off when removing excess dust from the filter.
This Black & Decker 14.4-Volt Cyclonic DustBuster could come in handy if you don’t like to drag out the big vacuum to carry between floors of a house when you have a small job, however my intended primary use was for stair step cleaning and although the Black & Decker DustBuster should have handled the job, it is just not designed for using for more than 5 or 10 minutes without a significant decrease in suction power because of the drain on the battery. I would consider this unit handy for some quick car cleaning, but for me it is more worthwhile to take the big vacuum out and deal with the cleaning issue than have to baby this little hand held so much, which seems to take just as much effort to clean up afterwards and recharge again.