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Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL Review

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The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL is one of the best selling portable vacuums sold today. We purchased one and put it through all kinds of tests to see if it was worth it. Continue reading for our impressions as well as the pros and cons we found after testing this popular handheld vacuum.

Another Good Dustbuster from Black+Decker

Verdict

The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld performed well in our each of our tests, picking up all kinds of debris without issue.

It is a good option if you’re shopping for a portable, handheld vacuum for quick cleanup tasks around the home when you’d rather not use a full-sized vacuum.

Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL

The 20V Max BDH2000PL is one of several dozen portable handheld vacuums Black+Decker sells and has listed as a best seller on their website for quite some time. On Amazon, you will find over 25,000 reviews, most of which are 4 or 5 stars. Black+Decker is the original manufacturer of the classic 1979 “Dustbuster” handheld vacuum, and has been generally known as an industry leader in this style of vacuum.

Unboxing the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL
Unboxing the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld. © Vacuum Wars

This Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld vacuum comes with a charging base, charging cord, a crevice tool, and a brush tool. It features a wide mouth and relies on cyclonic action to spin debris away from its filter. Its motor, design, and that cyclonic action bring us to our list of pros.

What we like

Strong suction power

When in use, the cyclonic action leads to stronger suction, which led to above average power scores in our tests. 

Testing Suction Power - Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL Review
Suction and airflow testing. © Vacuum Wars

We tested its suction at the base as well as airflow. We combined those scores to get a power score of 83. As we mentioned, that score came in above average when compared to the average power score of 65 for other portable vacuums we’ve tested.

Strong performance

The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld’s suction was evident in our various pickup tests. It picked up debris of all shapes and sizes, from fine to extra large, and did so without any clogs.

Testing the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld with Various Sized Debris
Testing the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld with various sizes of debris. © Vacuum Wars

Our tests included debris such as coffee grounds, sand, kitty litter, and various shapes and sizes of cereal.

In the box

  • Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL
  • Charging base and cord
  • Manual and warranty

Debris pickup vs. other handhelds

Other handheld vacuums we have tested struggled where the BDH2000PL excelled, especially with large debris. The reason why this Black+Decker performs better is due to three factors overall: Black+Decker’s design has a larger airway than most handhelds, it has ample suction, and its filter is positioned so that it doesn’t interfere with pickup.

Related: Have bigger messes to clean up? Check out our roundup of The Best 6.5 HP Wet/Dry Shop Vacs!

Like any handheld, the most basic and primary job the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld will be used for is picking up debris. In that regard, it performed really well. One way that we quantified this was by measuring the size of the smallest opening, which is usually the internal air intake.

Measuring Intake Diameter of Various Portable Handheld Vacuums - Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL Review
Measuring the intake diameter of multiple portable handheld vacuums. © Vacuum Wars

The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld intake was 16 millimeters, while the average for this type is 15 millimeters. That extra millimeter helps to explain why it was better at avoiding clogs.

Cleaning pet hair

Another pro is that it was excellent at removing embedded hair from upholstery. To test this, we took fine pet hair and embedded it into a mat. The Black+Decker Dustbuster did exceptionally well, removing all of the hair from the mat without issue.

Removing the Filter - Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld Review
Removing the filter. © Vacuum Wars

Ergonomics

The 20V Max BDH2000PL is also easy to use. It has a nice feeling handle, and we weighed it at 954 grams, which is a bit lower than the average of all portable handheld vacuums we have tested. This makes it light and compact, and it can be used in a variety of spaces, which is just what you want in a cordless handheld vacuum. 

Lightweight - BDH2000PL Review
The portable vacuum is lightweight, and the handle has a nice feel to it. © Vacuum Wars

The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld’s dustbin capacity is higher than average at 953 milliliters, which is about 30% larger than the average of all the handheld vacuums we have tested.

A note about battery recharge time 

When we made our video about the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld, we stated that its battery recharge time was its biggest shortcoming. At that time, we initially believed it took ten hours to fully recharge the lithium-ion battery. In checking the Black+Decker website however, it states that it takes only four hours to recharge the battery.

Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld on Charging Stand
Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld folded and on its charging stand. © Vacuum Wars

Four hours to recharge is right around average, if not a bit faster, than the average of all handheld vacuums we’ve tested.

Black+Decker BDH2000PL Pivot Vac

There is a little confusion, at least for us, with this model. Black+Decker lists it as the 20V Max Handheld, but we’ve also seen their 20V Max Handheld Pivot Vac sold with the same BDH2000PL product number. In that model, the nozzle pivots up to 200 degrees for, according to Black+Decker, “easy cleaning at several angles.”

It appears this model does, too, so we think they must have changed up the product’s name at some point.

What could be improved

Battery run time

Where negative aspects are concerned, the first isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s worth mentioning. Its battery life was only 12 minutes when used on its max power setting. Compared to the average 14-minute run time for all the handhelds we’ve reviewed, it’s not necessarily on the low side, but it is lower than average

We don’t find it to be that impactful however, as 12 minutes is likely still long enough for what the vacuum is intended for

Emptying the Black+Decker BDH2000PL
Emptying the Black+Decker BDH2000PL after testing in our studio. © Vacuum Wars

Noise

Its noise level was also slightly high at 91 decibels when compared to the average of 85 decibels. For a reference point, 91 decibels is somewhere in the same range as the noise generated by a hair dryer or food processor.

Testing Heavy Debris Pickup - Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld
Heavy debris pickup testing. © Vacuum Wars

Filtration

Filtration was about average for a handheld, which is to say it’s not all that great. The filter and dustbin are washable however, and can be conveniently washed in your sink.

Verdict

In conclusion, there are more pros than cons with the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld vacuum. It scored above average for power, it picks up debris well without clogging, and it performed well with removing embedded hair from upholstery.

Our Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL Purchased for Review
Our Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL purchased for this review. © Vacuum Wars

It’s easy to use because of its lightweight handle, and its dustbin capacity is over a third larger than the average competitor we tested. For the most part, the cons of this vacuum were minor and consistent with other vacuums in this category. 

All-in-all, the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL is a good option if you’re shopping for a portable, handheld vacuum for cleanup tasks around the home.

About Black+Decker Dustbusters

  • During the Apollo era, Black+Decker collaborated with NASA to create lightweight, battery-operated tools for lunar landing expeditions.
  • The innovations resulting from this collaboration inspired Black+Decker to develop the Dustbuster, a portable handheld vacuum that was introduced to the market in 1979.
  • Since its initial launch, the Black+Decker Dustbuster has consistently sold millions of units each year, establishing the Dustbuster name as nearly synonymous for any handheld vacuum.
  • Since their original Dustbuster release, Black+Decker has continued to innovate and produce new handheld vacuum models, such as the Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL detailed in this review.

Specs

Vacuum typePortable / Handheld
BrandBlack+Decker
Model20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL
Corded / CordlessCordless
Dust bin capacity15 oz
Battery typeLithium Ion
Weight3.8 lb
Washable filterYes
Warranty2 years
Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld BDH2000PL specifications from the Black+Decker website and product manual.

Frequently asked questions

Can a Dustbuster be left plugged in all the time?

Yes. The batteries used in Dustbusters are designed to be plugged in all the time, so they are always ready to use.

What are Dustbusters used for?

Dustbusters are marketed as convenient, lightweight, handheld vacuums for cleaning small messes around the house. Today, all Dustbusters use rechargeable batteries, making them also handy for other tasks, such as car cleaning. 

Can the battery be replaced in a Black+Decker Dustbuster?

No. Black+Decker uses batteries that are not removable and are not intended to be replaced or serviced. There are DIY instructions however, which do walk through a procedure that involves sourcing a battery online and disassembling the Dustbuster. So while technically possible, our answer is ’no’ as it is something most customers wouldn’t be comfortable attempting and it is not supported by the manufacturer.

The Black+Decker 20V Max Handheld is available online, including at the retailer(s) below.

 

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