Why haul out your regular vacuum for small jobs around your house and car? You can use the best dustbuster instead and get the job done faster and easier, not to mention do your lower back a favor! You will find that there are also numerous uses for a dustbuster, as small as it may seem in comparison with a regular vacuum cleaner.
What Is a Dustbuster?
A dustbuster is the popular term used for portable vacuums, which may be with cord or cordless, and it’s a reference to the main function of the handheld appliance – to bust (i.e., catch) the dust. Emphasis must be made, however, that it’s also a reference to Dust Buster, a well-known brand of cordless, handheld vacuums developed by Black & Decker for NASA in the 1970s. Even today, the term Dust Buster is a trademark owned by Black & Decker although the appliance itself was initially called Spot Vac, now a ubiquitous tool.
Most contemporary dustbusters run on rechargeable batteries while others have to be connected to an electric outlet for operation. These can be rated dry or wet, too, but all of them should be cleaned of their dirty contents after one or more uses for proper maintenance.
How Do Dustbusters Work?
Dustbusters work in a similar manner as sipping soda through a straw – both are based on a simple suction mechanism. When you sip soda through a straw, your suction action causes a drop in pressure between the bottom and top parts of the straw. With the fluid pressure greater at the top part than at the bottom part, the soda rises up the straw and into your mouth.
While modern dustbusters look like sophisticated and complicated machines, these are actually made up of just six basic parts:
- Intake port
- Exhaust port
- Electric motor
The pressure behind the fan is lower than the ambient air pressure that, in turn, creates suction or a partial vacuum inside the dustbuster. The constant stream of air moving into the intake port and out of the exhaust port creates the vacuuming action.
Top 10 Dustbuster Reviews
With its long-lasting lithium ion battery, the Black & Decker CHV1410l dustbuster can be used for a couple of hours and more on cleaning jobs, a convenient feature when you’re cleaning in areas without a nearby outlet. Plus, it charges quikcly after it has been fully depleted, holds a charge for more than a year, and uses significantly less energy than most batteries.
We love it because of its powerful suction action, thanks to its cyclonic design. The rotating slim nozzle can fit in the nooks and crannies of your car and home, as well as suction out dust, dirt and even live bugs, so it’s such a useful tool. The ergonomically designed handle fits well in the hand so you can keep a firm grip on it.
The translucent bag-less dirt bowl makes it easy to see the dust, dirt and detritus that it picked up, as well as empty it afterwards. You may not even have to empty the bowl after a job because of its large capacity.
The best features of the Black & Decker BDH2000PL dustbuster are its pivoting nozzle, cyclonic action, and powerful motor, all of which contribute to effective vacuuming action. The pivoting nozzle makes it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas, such as between and under car seats, while the cyclonic action keeps detritus away from the filter. The powerful motor coupled with the long-lasting battery means that the dustbuster can be continuously used for a few hours at a time.
We like that it only weighs three pounds, a lightweight dustbuster indeed, and it has a compact size suitable for storage in tight spaces. It even comes with a standing charging base for ease in charging its batteries. It also has a crevice tool and brush for tackling many types of mess, and these are the perfect complement for the pivoting nose.
This dustbuster is also easy to clean – just remove the bowl when it’s nearly full of dust and dirt, wash it with water, and let it dry before replacing it.
The Shark Rocket dustbuster isn’t a cordless vacuum but what it lacks in rechargeable batteries, it more than makes up for in effective cleaning, lightweight design, and versatile uses. With its 15-foot power cord, it can be used in indoor and outdoor spaces for as long as there’s a nearby electric outlet. You won’t have to worry about running out of battery power, an inconvenience in cordless dustbusters.
While it’s 4 pounds in weight, slightly heavier than many of the dustbusters here, it’s a bonus for people who want something heftier on their hands when cleaning. It comes with a motorized brush accessory, too, which easily picks up loose debris, dust bunnies, and pet hair on nearly all surfaces including furniture, car interiors, and stairs.
It has a dust cup with a relatively large capacity and it’s easy to empty of detritus, too – just push a button and it’s done. Even its filters, which are washable and reusable, are easy on the pockets (i.e., no maintenance costs).
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The Bissell Cleanview vacuum has an ergonomic curved carrying handle that makes it easy to maneuver its nozzle in hard-to-reach areas, as well as make it easy to move from one place to the next. It’s a handy tool for cleaning various surfaces and areas, too, thanks to its attachments – a rubber contour nozzle for removing hair, dirt and dust on stairs and furniture, a wide-mouth tool for removing larger detritus, and a crevice tool for nooks and crannies. There’s also a 2-foot hose and hose adapter nozzle for other cleaning jobs.
Unlike many cheaper dustbusters, it has a multi-level filtration system that aids in reducing allergens in your home. Keep in mind that dust and dirt aren’t just the allergens present – there are also bugs, dust mites and the like that the Cleanview dustbuster can pick up. Whatever detritus it picks up can easily be disposed of, thanks to its easy-to-empty transparent dust cup.
The only downside is that it should be connected to an electric outlet for its operation. Many people, nonetheless, will consider it a good feature.
This Black & Decker HHVi320JR02 dustbuster is a definite improvement from the original Dust Buster released in 1979, and it shows in its aesthetics and features. For one thing, it has a more powerful 14.4-volt lithium ion rechargeable battery that can be used for a couple of hours or more continuously on a single full charge. It’s coupled with a powerful motor that gets the job done anywhere, whether it’s inside your car or under the stairs.
For another thing, it has a powerful suction action due to its cyclonic action, which also keeps detritus picked up through the nozzle away from the filter – the less detritus in the filter, the more effective the suction. Its wide mouth design can pick up larger items, such as dust bunnies and small earrings, while its brush and crevice tools make it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas. It even has a slim handle that fits well in most hands, a good feature when there are several people using the dustbuster.
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“Eureka, I’ve found the best dustbuster!” It’s an oft-repeated refrain among many people who come across the Eureka EasyClean dustbuster, a basic handheld vacuum suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Yes, it’s a corded vacuum – it has a 20-foot cord, slightly longer than most of the corded dustbusters here – but its extended reach makes it a handy tool for cleaning cars, homes and garages.
Plus, it has two motors, a relatively unique feature that increases its number of uses. You can achieve thorough cleaning of whatever surfaces you’re using it on due to the dual motor – one’s for suctioning detritus and the other’s for brushing purposes. The motorized brush has an easy-to-reach on/off switch and it’s a great feature for cleaning upholstered surfaces and carpets.
While it’s slightly heavier and larger than many dustbusters, it’s still handy enough to be used nearly everywhere with an electric outlet nearby. It can even be used for cleaning up minor spills in the kitchen and living room.
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The Dirt Devil brand is well-known for its high-quality dustbusters and the Scorpion Quick Flip is among the best in the line for good reasons. First, it’s a lightweight unit weighing under four pounds so it can be used by nearly everybody in the house, from the older children to the parents. It can be used on nearly all surfaces, too, including curtains, couches and counters to pick up dry and wet detritus because of its portable design.
Second, it has a powerful suction action that effectively picks up small and large items off surfaces, even in the smallest corners. It has a slim handle for easy carrying and a slim nozzle for getting into small spaces, such as corners. Its on-board crevice tool and attachable hose make quick work of cleaning so you have more time for other more important things.
Third, it has a washable and reusable filter for long-lasting performance. It doesn’t become clogged with wayward detritus, too, so there’s less need for replacement.
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Pet parents will likely find the Bissell 33A1 portable vacuum a great choice for keeping their homes and cars free of their pets’ various mess, from hair and fur balls to liquid spills. By using its specialized rubber nozzle, you can thoroughly clean various surfaces like curtains, upholstery, and countertops. Since it’s a corded vacuum, you need not worry about running out of battery power although you have to operate it with an electric outlet within its 16-foot cord.
It has a lightweight and compact design that makes it easy to move around, handle, and store. The wire can even be coiled to make it easier to store the vacuum in small areas, such as a cupboard.
Aside from its specialized rubber nozzle, it also has a suction nozzle suitable for picking up dry items and spills, such as dog or cat food. Plus, it has a cyclonic cleaning system that not only contributes to an effective suctioning action but also keeps dirt away from the filter.
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The Shark Rotator NV501 vacuum is best for people who want a more powerful dustbuster and with more sophisticated features, albeit at a more expensive price. It has a power brush perfect for picking up a wide range of detritus like pet and human hair, dust and dirt, and other debris – and it’s effective, too, since the surfaces will be thoroughly clean.
Many dustbusters allow allergens to escape from the dust cup or bag so cleaning becomes moot, a cause for concern among people who suffer from allergies and asthma. But this Shark Rotator dustbuster has two features that reduces allergens in the areas that have been cleaned – first, a HEPA filter that securely traps whatever debris has been picked up; and second, an anti-allergen complete seal that contributes to its effectiveness.
It even has LED headlights for better sight into dark, hard-to-reach areas! Plus, its nozzle can be swiveled for better maneuvering into nooks and crannies that other dustbusters can’t reach.
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The Black & Decker BDH2020FL features a flexible yet sturdy 4-foot hose that can be used in reaching hard-to-reach areas, both high and low, on various surfaces like windows, counters, and floors. With its power motor, which has a 24 AW suction power, it can effectively pick up small and large items that many other dustbusters cannot. These include pet and human hair, even fur balls coughed up by cats and dust bunnies, as well as the usual dust and dirt commonly found in homes and cars.
The 3-stage filtration system keeps whatever dust, dirt and debris picked up by the nozzle securely inside the bowl, a good feature for people who concerned about possible allergens escaping once these have been removed. The bowl and filter can also be washed and replaced easily so the maintenance costs can be kept low.
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Things to Consider When Buying Dustbusters
Which dustbuster among dozens is the best? Keep in mind that there’s no single definite answer because each individual’s needs and wants in the appliance is different. But there are certain things that you should consider when choosing the best dustbuster for you.
Look for cleaning attachments that will be useful for whatever types of dry debris and/or wet spills that you want to pick up off surfaces, whether these are down on the floor or up on the windows. Tools like a brush for pet hair, pivoting nozzles, and bendable hoses as well as soft brushes are just a few examples of attachments that many sophisticated dustbusters are equipped with. But if you will only be using a dustbuster for basic cleaning purposes, many of these tools will only add to the price.
Check the packaging label for information about the capacity of the bowl, in case of a portable dustbuster, or the bag for a regular vacuum. Obviously, the larger the capacity, the more detritus the dustbuster can pick up without frequent disposal necessary.
Corded or Cordless?
Determine whether you want a dustbuster that can be used in places where there are no nearby electrical outlet or a dustbuster that can provide prolonged use. If you want a dustbuster that gives you freedom in cleaning wherever and whenever, then a cordless model is your best choice – except, of course, that you have to charge it as needed. But if you want a dustbuster that can be used without the limitations of a fading battery, then a corded model is better.
Battery Time and Warranty
And speaking of rechargeable batteries, we suggest looking for a cordless dustbuster with batteries that are:
- Quick and easy to charge, preferably with a standing charger base for safe charging and storage
- Able to hold a full charge for months at a time, such as 18 months
- Powerful enough to drive the dustbuster’s motor for a relatively prolonged period
Lithium ion batteries are the more common type used because these meet the abovementioned criteria.
Most of the best dustbusters are manufactured by reliable brands like Black & Decker and Dirt Devil that offer warranties, usually between one and two years.
First, consider the overall weight of the dustbuster. It should be neither too heavy that your arms become tired after 15 minutes of using it nor too light that it slips away from your firm grasp easily.
Second, factor in the overall design of the appliance, especially its handle. You should be able to grip the handle with relative ease yet keep a firm grasp on it. Look for an ergonomic handle for this purpose.
Size, Price, Weight and Portability
Both portable and regular dustbusters should be of the right size for their respective users. You may want a smaller and lighter portable dustbuster because it’s easier to maneuver over tight corners and compact spaces. You may, in contrast, also want a larger and heavier regular vacuum cleaner for larger jobs around the house and garage.
Check the power ratings of the dustbusters, too. Basically, the higher its motor capacity, the greater its power but be sure to consider that it may also require higher power consumption (corded) or longer charging time (cordless).
Our Best Pick: CHV1410L 16v
In our opinion, the Black+Decker CHV1410L is the best portable dustbuster because of its numerous benefits. First, it can actually remove large debris that many handheld dustbuster cannot, thanks to its wide mouth design. It has a powerful suction action – about 23 airwatts – that can pick up the usual small dirt and dust, as well as the occasional pebbles, fur balls, and even insects coming into contact with its nozzle.
Second, its suction power remains effective even after it has picked up a fair share of small dirt, dust and debris. This is due to its cyclonic action technology, a common feature in most Black & Decker dustbusters, which spins whatever debris picked up away from the filter. You should be able to use the dustbuster for an hour or two without running into issues with the suction power.
Third, it has a slim nozzle that can be rotated so as to reach deeper into hard-to-reach areas, such as under car seats and between counters. It even has a slide-out crevice tool for this purpose.
Fourth, its battery lasts longer! The lithium ion battery has several advantages over NiCad battery including up to five times faster charging and up to 18 months of holding its charge. There’s no memory loss, too, during charging times, as well as provide a longer lifespan that complements the sturdy construction of the dustbuster.
Other great features include no loose accessories, durable plastic build, and easy handling. It’s even quieter than expected, especially in comparison with other dustbusters.
Types of Dustbusters
There are four types of vacuum cleaners today.
These have powerful suction capacity, with a tilt-and-push design, and comes in bagged and bag-less choices. These are great for standard cleaning of homes, offices and schools, especially in terms of back-and-forth cleaning motions.
These are typically made up of a tank with a long hose as well as attachments that allow for cleaning nearly everything and every surface. The attachments can include a motorized brush roll head for cleaning carpets, a long hose for cleaning stairs, and others that make it easy cleaning walls, ceiling corners, and furniture.
These are lightweight vacuum cleaners with a slim profile, as well as a light suction action that whisks debris into a bag or bin. Due to their low-profile heads, these are easy to maneuver in right spaces, such as around furniture, easily.
These are portable vacuum cleaners designed for grab-and-go uses, and the 10 dustbusters mentioned above are the perfect examples. These come with or without attachments, such as rotating brushes, and in corded and cordless models.
What Can The Vacuum Pick Up?
If we have to use a must-have cleaning appliance in the home, we would pick a vacuum cleaner because of its versatile uses. Indeed, it can pick up a wide range of items from dust and dirt on the floor, walls and ceiling corners to food crumbs, pet hair, and even liquid spills on countertops, furniture and cars.
The type and size of the things that a vacuum cleaner can pick up effectively will obviously vary on its cleaning capacity, particularly in terms of the size of its nozzle, the power of its motor, and the attachment used, among other factors.
Filter and Maintenance Costs
The easiest maintenance measure in vacuum cleaner upkeep is also the most overlooked – changing the filters. When these aren’t cleaned and changed regularly, these can cause serious damage to the motor and circuit board. This is because filters are designed to catch microscopic particles that the dust bag or cup cannot trap so these must be kept in good condition.
Filters should be checked every six months, especially with heavy use. Depending on their condition, these should be immediately replaced when heavily soiled regardless of the number of months. Otherwise, these can be changed once every year for commercial use and two to three years for residential use; this applies particularly to HEPA filters.
But don’t wait for the six-month or 12-month period either. If you detect a musty odor when a dustbuster is being used, you may have to change the HEPA filter immediately.
Both have their pros and cons so it will ultimately boil down to your personal preference. On one hand, upright vacuum cleaners are more affordable, more efficient at cleaning thick rugs and carpets, and easier to use since there’s no need for bending down (i.e., use a hose attachment) than canister vacuums. But these are noisier, heavier and more difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, too.
On the other hand, canister vacuum cleaners are typically more powerful, as well as better flow-rate and suction power, than upright vacuum cleaners. These are also lighter and, thus, easier to carry and use over various surfaces including bare and carpeted floors. But these require assembly and, thus, aren’t practical for portable or quick use, not to mention that bending is required when using it.
If you’re a relatively healthy individual who can handle a vacuum, then you can definitely use it! In terms of the frequency of vacuuming, we recommend doing so at least twice a week for the entire home, more frequently in high-traffic areas. But if you have pets, you should vacuum daily to remove possible allergens like dirt, dander, and hair.
Both have their pros and cons, too, and your choice will be influenced by your preferred method in disposing the dirt, dust and debris that your vacuum cleaner picked up. Go for a bagged dustbuster if you want a hygienic option, or you want HEPA filtration system (i.e., allergy sufferers), or you want low maintenance costs. Choose a bag-less dustbuster if you’re looking for a more affordable unit, both in terms of purchase and maintenance costs, or you can’t deal with the hassles of changing bags, or you want an eco-friendly option.
Bags can be reused but we don’t recommend it because these can eventually give out and the vacuum will spew debris out of its exhaust. Use discount bags instead or buy reusable cloth bags, if you’re concerned about the cost. Buy a bag-less vacuum, if you don’t want the hassles of bags; empty the vacuum after every use to avoid moist dirt caking in the bin.
- Replace filters once every 2-3 years for residential use and yearly for commercial use, as previously stated.
Yes, it may be necessary if you have high sensitivity to allergens in your home; common allergens include pet hair and dander, dust, and pollen. HEPA, or high efficiency particulate air, is a type of filter that traps microscopic particles that could otherwise be recirculated back into the air. HEPA filters are then recommended when minimal allergens are desired.
It depends. Adjust its height according to the surface being cleaned. On a carpet surface, for example, setting it too high will result in ineffective cleaning; too low and the airflow will be limited, thus, the vacuum will be more difficult to move.
When you’re using the best dustbuster in the proper manner, you will find that not only will you enjoy a cleaner home, you’re also minimizing the impact of allergens on your health. You have to invest money in it because it will become a valuable tool in keeping your home and car clean, tidy and hygienic.