Everyone has spilled something small and had to pull out their vacuum, unwind its cord and plug it in to clean up the small mess. I know at my house, it is almost a daily occurrence with my two young children.
Well Black & Decker has released a cordless hand vac to help you out. The 2 VPX Hand Vac (VPX2102) is one of the eight tools in B&D’s VPX line. I recently reviewed the VPX Starter Set which includes three other tools from the family.
The entire product family is powered by Black & Decker’s VPX 7V Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) batteries. Some, like those in the Starter Set, require only one VPX battery while others, like the hand vac, require 14V of power which comes from two Li-Ion batteries.
Powered by 2 VPX 7V Lithium-Ion Batteries (sold separately)
Cyclonic action filtering
AccuReach extension nozzle
On-Board storage for accessories
Opening the box, I see that this tool has some assembly required. As normal, I decided to throw the instruction manual to the side to see if I can put the hand vac together without assistance. Happy to say that I was successful in my attempt.
The VPX Hand Vac has the same updated color branding as the entire product line, white with black, orange and silver accents. The black and orange are synonymous with the Black & Decker brand of tools and the white and sliver complement them nicely.
The hand vac is nicely weighted and its handle fits comfortably in the palm of the hand. Even with the nearly 4 lbs. of battery weight, I find the unit to be appropriately balanced for comfort.
The two 7V Li-Ion batteries are loaded in the rear of the vacuum. Here you can see one loaded on the left and an empty bay on the right.
With both batteries loaded, I go searching for some messes to clean up. Lucky for me, I have two small children.
I immediately notice that the sliding power switch is extremely stiff. To say the least, it is not easy to turn the power on and off. My wife was able to turn the vac on and off but she did struggle slightly. I was hoping that stiffness would subside as the device was broken in but it never did in the course of this review.
I am impressed by the initial feel of power the vacuum gives when turned on. It seems like the 14V are providing sufficient muscle, but after sweeping up around the house, I start to notice something affecting the power. The filter was getting clogged up. The cyclonic action filter is designed to keep the filter clean from debris but unfortunately, it did a poor job for me, especially with lent-like (dust bunnies) fragments. When the filter starts to clog, the power is noticeably affected in a negative manner.
The cyclonic action is visible through the clear container where your dirt is stored. I swept up some dried cereal and you could see the cereal circling the filter, like a cyclone.
Emptying the hand vac is very simple. Just push the silver button and pull on the unit’s nose and the two halves separate.
Dump the dirt stored in the nose of the unit and reattach the halves. Simple and easy, just the way we like it.
The biggest plus for the VPX Hand Vac is the cool accessories. First, there is what Black & Decker calls the AccuReach extension nozzle that you pull out from the front of the unit.
It is sort of like the hand vac’s tongue but I have to admit AccuReach extension nozzle sounds a lot better then tongue when read off the side of a box. Anyway, the built-in extension nozzle is great to get into those hard to reach places like the track of my sliding glass door or inside my dryer’s lent trap.
The hand vac also has some other accessories that are not built in but are stored on the unit, which is extremely convenient if you are like me and tends to misplace small things. The crevice tool and upholstery brush are stored on the underneath portion of the base. The hidden tools just snap in and out.
The included accessories fit into the built-in extension nozzle. The crevice tool is great for getting in the creases of your car seats and other tight spots.
The upholstery brush can be used to clean up messes on your furniture.
In conclusion, I like the look and feel of the VPX Hand Vac. The simple push button mechanism to empty the dirt compartment is nice too.
The built-in AccuReach extension nozzle and accessories, which are stored on the device, really show the creativity of the designers that work at Black & Decker.
Alas, the Black & Decker VPX Hand Vac does have some serious drawbacks. The fact that this unit sells for around $40 without the 2 VPX batteries required for power, which run about $35 a piece, plus the ease in which the filter clogs on lent-like dirt are things to consider before adding this device to your cordless collection.