The best car vacuum is not the biggest and most expensive.
Your car should be your pride and joy both inside and out, but it can become an embarrassment when you do not take the time to clean it properly. Small particles can build up on the seats and the floor, making it look untidy and dirty.
To get rid of these, you need a powerful handheld car vacuum to get to all those hard to reach places.
Handheld vacuums for cars are increasing in popularity, especially as technology gets better, suction power increases, and their portability improves.
When cleaning your car, a handheld vacuum will give you the flexibility that you need to reach all the nooks and crannies.
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- 1 The 5 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners Review
- 2 Editor’s Top 3 Picks
- 3 Verdict
The 5 Best Car Vacuum Cleaners Review
The best portable car vacuum is portable and powerful. Sometimes those two characteristics can contradict each other, though. You have to consider your own situation to determine your best buy when it comes to portability versus power.
This review will look at the top 5 of the most popular handheld vacuum cleaners right now, so that you may make an informed decision on your next purchase.
1. Black & Decker CHV 1410L 16-volt Lithium Cordless Dust Buster Hand Vac
This functional handheld vacuum from Black and Decker is one of the best auto vacuum cleaner in its class, and it’s also affordable. The 16 Volt battery may not seem like it delivers much power, but the unit does keep up with its closest rivals, and delivers an impressive 18.2 Air Watts.
It is easy to hold for extended periods at only 2.6 pounds in weight, so you do not need to worry about exhaustion when using this vacuum.
This is an excellent vacuum to use when you want to clean your car as the battery will run continuously for about 20 minutes, though there have been users that have reported times of up to 30 minutes. The battery will hold its charge for at least 18 months, so if you are not going to use your vacuum often you do not have to worry about not being able to use it the next time that you need it.
This means that you can leave it in your car, and do a quick clean as and when it is needed.
It comes with an array of tools, including a pull out crevice tool to help you access those far to reach places, and foldable brush tools to make the job of cleaning upholstery easier. It has a two stage air filter to help filter the dirt that it picks up. The dirt cup is easy to remove and a lot less messy to clean thanks to the design of the filter.
However, great care must be taken when cleaning the filter as once it gets dirty the suction power on the unit drops drastically. It has been suggested that you clean the filter after every use, and should you be vacuuming a place that is really dusty, you should clean the filter after every few minutes.
There is another major drawback to this dust buster. Despite the power, you have to pass over areas with large pieces of debris such as crumbs.
This is sometimes blamed on the poor suction, and other times it is blamed on the size of the nozzle, which is comparable to the size of a normal vacuum cleaner’s crevice tool. When you only have a few minutes to clean your car, this will cost you time.
2. Black & Decker BDH 2000PL MAX 20 Volt Lithium Pivot Vacuum
This wonderful little handheld vacuum is one of those appliances that you should seriously consider buying and permanently keeping in your car. The Black & Decker BDH 2000PL comes with a powerful 20-volt lithium ion battery that helps the unit deliver a maximum of 35 air watts for superior cleaning power.
The battery will run the machine for an average of 15 minutes, which is just enough to cover all areas of your car. The charging time is also impressive, taking about two hours to get the battery from fully drained to fully charged. However, the initial charge time is about 24 hours, and is very important if you would like to prolong the battery life of the unit.
The excellent power makes up for the weight of this vacuum that is around 3.4 pounds. Since it is so powerful it is easier to finish the cleaning much faster, which means that you will not strain yourself.
Its three-stage filtration system is easy to clean, and both the filters and the removable dirt chambers are machine washable, helping you reduce your operation costs. The motor uses a cyclonic action to ensure that loose dirt and debris are blown away from the filter. This helps to ensure the suction power remains high even as the cup is collecting dirt. The cup is translucent, allowing you to see the amount of dirt you have collected for easier cleaning.
Perhaps the best part of this vacuum pivoted nozzle as it helps you to access those hard to reach places like the bottom of the chairs in your car, or those tight places between the seats. The foldable nozzle also means that the Black & Decker BDH 2000PL is easy to store.
There are a few design flaws that have been reported concerning this unit. For instance, the nozzle gets clogged really quickly, and dust ends up blocking it. This can be especially annoying if you are in the middle of cleaning your car as you will be forced to leave the job unfinished. There have been many reports that anything the size of a cheerio will not be picked up, and when they are picked up, they block the nozzle and cause it to drop all it has picked up once the vacuum is turned off.
According to many customers though, the most irritating thing about this vacuum is the noise. One user decided to see how loud the machine could get so he tested it and found that it averaged 77dB, which is VERY loud, especially for such a small vacuum. When in a small and enclosed space like a car, this noise can seem to be even louder than it actually is.
3. Black & Decker PAV1200W 12 Volt Handheld Vacuum Cleaner
Of all the handheld vacuum cleaners on this list, this is the one that is most specific to a particular job. The Black & Decker PAV 1200W is meant exclusively for automobiles, and unlike the other vacuums on this list, this one comes with a cord that connects directly to your car’s 12v output. However, do not think that the cord affects its ability to get to hard to reach places. Its 16 ft. length should help you to get around most cars and trucks, though if you are planning on using this to help you clean a boat or an RV you may need more cable if you do not have multiple ports.
The pivoting nozzle allows you to reach some of the harder to access areas, while the Cyclonic action keeps most of the dust and dirt that it has picked up away from the motor and the filter. The filter itself is a three stage filter that is easy to manually clean. It comes with a filter refresh knob that helps you to clear debris off the filter, without you actually having to touch it. Black & Decker made sure to keep the collection canister on this easy to clean, and it only needs you to flip a button to open a hatch that gives you access to the canister.
Connecting the vacuum directly to the power means that you do not have to worry about how long the battery will last, and whether or not it is charged before you use it. This is something that would have been useful in other areas such as in the living room.
Another problem is the suction drops immediately you connect the hose and attachments to it. This can be a major problem, especially if you want to vacuum places such as in between seats where only the accessories will be able to access. The overall section of the PAV1200W has also been described as weak, and is only really good if you have fine dust and small debris in your car. For anything really tough, you are going to need either a larger vacuum or to be patient and go over the same spot a couple of times until all the dirt has been lifted.
4. Black & Decker Pivot Vac. 18V Cordless Pivoting Hand Vac PHV 1810
This handheld vacuum has a pivoting nozzle, and packs a bit less of a punch than the BDH 2000PL, but it still provides enough suction to get the job done. The 18 Volt motor is powered by a Nickel Cadium Battery, and produces 35 air watts, which is better than most of its competitors can manage. The battery can keep the vacuum cleaner going for about 17 minutes. It is a heavy vacuum at 4.5 pounds, so you may end up using it for shorter periods of time, ideally for a quick clean.
The filter can be cleaned in one of two ways. The first method involves emptying the dirt cup when it fills up, by opening a latch and emptying it of its contents. The second method involves you taking out the actual filters and washing them.
The pivoting nozzle is brilliant and lets you reach places that would normally be difficult to access, including underneath seats, in the crevices around seat belts and corners of the glove compartment. The pullout brush attachment is perfect when you want to clean areas such as air vents.
However, the lack of any additional accessories push the Black & Decker PHV1810 far down the list, as the brush and crevice tool may come in handy but not much. The batteries also lose their charge very quickly, therefore you have to keep making sure that they are fully charged every single time you use it. The worst thing about the batteries though is that they are not replaceable, therefore, once they wear out you are going to have to buy a whole new vacuum, not just another set of batteries.
It also comes with a filter refresh knob that helps you to clear debris off the filter, without you actually having to touch it.
5. Dyson v6 Trigger
In a market that is dominated by Black & Decker Products, the Dyson v6 is one of the best alternatives that money can buy. This small, light unit was previously known as the DC58. Weighing in at only 3.4 pounds, it is much more portable than some of the Black and Decker models, which means that it is easier to handle.
This unit comes with the powerful Dyson v6 digital motor that provides up to 20 minutes of continuous run time. For those jobs that require a little more suction, you can literally double your power and suck up objects three times faster than the competition. This will make it possible for you to do a quick and very thorough clean of every area of your car.
Suction ability is greatly improved by the 2 Tier Radial Cyclone system. This system arranges 15 cyclones in two tiers, allowing for greater airflow, and making the Dyson v6 able to capture more fine dust particles. The suction is also maintained for a longer amount of time, and does not fade like with other vacuums. Therefore, you can spend more time cleaning between the tight spaces in seats and achieving stunning results.
Cleaning the unit requires opening the canister and emptying it into the trash. You literally will not have to touch any components while cleaning the Dyson v6, making it much more hygienic to handle. Apart from making the Dyson v6 fit perfectly into your hands, the designers also made sure to move the weight closer to the back of the machine to make it more balanced and reduce wrist injuries.
The major problem with the Dyson v6 is the price. At [nsstprice asin=”B00GXFIS5A”] on Amazon.com, it is much more expensive than the other vacuums on this list. It does not have any additional accessories that you can use, and should you decide to buy any accessories, you may as well prepare yourself to spend upwards of $50.
Some of the minor issues include the battery life on max power, which is pretty short. It can also get very loud, and has even been described as sounding like an airplane engine.
Editor’s Top 3 Picks
Let’s check top 3 popular portable cordless car vacuum cleaners we picked bellow to keep it simple and affordable.
Black & Decker PHV1810
4.5 / 5
4.1 / 5
3.8 / 5
|Air Watts||N/A||35 watts||11 watts|
|Capacity||15 ounces||N/A||11.8 ounces|
|Replacement Filter||N/A||110 PVF||100 PVF|
|Bottom Line||It is a cordless handheld vacuum cleaner that's Smaller, quieter and easier to clean.||It is not only powerful, but it’s also so compact that it can be stored within easy reach to any mess.||With 12V and the 16ft cable, It allows you to access all areas of a vehicle to clean up.|
As mentioned earlier, these are all impressive machines. Save for the Dyson v6, they are all about the same price too, with the BDH 2000PL being the most expensive.
Despite the noise, the BDH 2000PL does everything that the rest of these vacuums will do, and it will get the job done quickly. This is the best vacuum cleaner for you to leave in your car so that you can quickly deal with unpredictable spills and leave your car fresh and clean.
The PHV 1810 comes in a close second, as performance wise it is almost identical to the BDH 2000PL.
Unfortunately, the battery is a big letdown, and knowing that it is going to die before the end of 2 years is a turn-off. The Dyson v6 comes in at a close third, but the price and lack of accessories (not to mention the price of those should you decide to get them) make it hard to justify investing in it.
Note: The Black & Decker PAV1200W Automotive Vacuum Cleaner is best car vacuum as it has been created especially for automotive vacuuming.