I already have one Dustbuster the Black and Decker CHV1510 but was looking for one to use just in the basement in the cat litter area. I was looking for one that would pick up well but also something that was cordless and had an extra battery so I could always have a freshly charged battery. I have other tools that take the same battery as the SPV1800 so I thought that it would be a good choice.
I ordered this after reading a review so the first time I tried it was after I got it. It seemed a lot heavier than my other Dustbuster but surprisingly it weighs nearly the same. According to my kitchen scale, the whole thing with the battery weighs 3lbs 11.8oz. The battery is 1lb 10.5oz of that weight, but really the battery helps balance out the weight when its in your hand. Still it feels a little bulky compared to my other hand vac of the same weight.
The vacuum is 17.5″ long and 6″ wide at its widest spot and 5.5″ tall at its tallest spot. The Vacuum is tapered toward the end that picks up, and is at it’s widest at the handle. The battery slides into the back of the vacuum and the On/ Off switch is located at the top right where you thumb would be when using it. There is also a button to press below the On/ Off switch that you can use to empty the dirt cup or change/clean the main filters.
The entire Vacuum is Grey with mostly black and a few red accents. I would describe the look of the vacuum as utilitarian. It does not look like or feel like an expensive vacuum but more basic in it’s look and function. I was planning on using this in the basement so I was looking for something that would be tough, but I did not really care how attractive it was.
The Battery and Charger
This is not the type of Dustbuster that has a hook you hang on the wall for charging. The Battery for this item is large and bulky but the good news is that you can have an extra battery charging so if you start running low, you can quickly replace it. I have several outdoor tools that take the same battery. There are some shortcomings to these 18volt batteries in that they only run for about 10-15 minutes at full power and then drain slowly so the tool is less than effective after the first 15 minutes.
The battery that comes with this is an 18 volt slide on spring loaded battery that slides on to the back of the Vacuum. There is a lever to release the battery. The battery also slides into the charger that is a separate piece of plastic with a plug in power supply.
To charge the battery the first time it is suggested that you charge it for at least 6 hours. After that a fully discharged battery will take 6 hrs to fully charge but if it is only partially discharged a 3 hour charge should be enough. According to the literature I read with this product, it does not help to let the batteries fully discharge and then recharge. Apparently they work best when only charging them when you feel that the product is not working well enough. The booklet that comes with the charger says that the battery will last up to 500 charges. It also says not to keep the battery plugged in to the charger for more than 30 days.
While the battery is in the charger there is a red light that comes on. This light just indicates that the battery is charging. It does not go out, or blink or anything to let you know it’s fully charged. Over time the battery will lose it’s effectiveness and you will need to replace it. Replacement batteries are about $35 on the Black and Decker Site, and $28-34 on Amazon.
The bottom line with these batteries is that they are heavy and they are not perfect since they run out slowly over time, but they are replaceable. Most Dustbusters have built in batteries so when the battery goes you have to replace the entire thing, the beauty of this product is that you can just replace the battery. The other plus side is that if you have a spare battery you can put on a new battery and keep going if you run out of power.
How well it picks up
Out of the box this dust buster picks up great. It is a simple hand vac with a simple design and enough power to pick up most messes. I have read reviews that say it will not pick up much and I have to wonder if these people have ever cleaned out the filters. This thing has a total of three filters that need to be cleaned or it will not pick up much of anything. I have been picking up cat litter primarily and it does a great job as long as I keep the filters clean. This is really true of any vacuum. It seems odd that you have to clean a cleaning device but it is the biggest factor in how well the vacuum picks up.
If you have cleaned all your filters and it is still not picking up, then you probably need a new battery.
Emptying the dirt cup
It is pretty easy to empty the debris. Just press the button on the top and gently bend the spout down and it will separate from the rest of the vacuum. You can then turn it upside down and dump the dirt in the trash. Don’t forget to clean the filters if you notice any decrease in what your vacuum is picking up.
Keeping it working by cleaning the Filters
This simple little vacuum has three filters that you have to keep clean.
Exhaust Filter: The exhaust filter is located on the bottom of the unit. It is just a piece of foam in a little slotted latch on piece of plastic. You can remove the whole thing and rinse out the foam in hot soapy water. I can not imagine you will get much dirt there since the other two filters should catch most of the dirt inside.
Dirt cup filters: When you remove the dirt cup you can see the filters attached to the vacuum above. Remove these by twisting slightly and then separate the outer plastic filter from the inner pleated cloth one. I usually clean mine first with my other dust buster or the crevice tool of my upright vacuum. The outer plastic filter can be washed under water easily. The inner one can be washed a few times but I have found after some time I prefer to replace it because I can not get all the dirt out of the crevices of the pleats. There is a rubber gasket that helps seal the vacuum and keep the dirt where it belongs. I think buying a new filter every year or so helps to keep your vacuum running effectively. When your filters are clean and dry replace them on your vacuum and you are ready to go. I keep one extra on hand so that I can put it on my vac while the other ones are drying.
This Vacuum has a 2 year warranty. In the first 60-90 days it is suggested that you return it to the place of purchase for a replacement. After that you can return it to Black and Decker and they will replace or repair it at their option. You will be responsible for the postage to mail the vac to the company. Keep your receipt as proof of purchase is required for the warranty.
Final thoughts and Rating
This is a great vacuum for simple tasks. It is a little heavy and the run time is only about 15 minutes, but it does allow for a battery replacement. I would recommend this product and give it 4 out of 5 stars. While it is a nice Vac it could have a little longer run time and not be quite so bulky.