Bought this yesterday, and while I waited the loong 21 hours for it to charge, I went online and read reviews from several sites. I ALMOST returned it without even giving it a chance. I didn't want to get it dusty and return it a used item. I'm glad my curiosity got the best of me, and what the heck, I gave it a test run. Thinking I only had 5-6 minutes run time, I chose my task carefully. I cleaned the edges, seams and baseboards on the stairway, and it was still going strong. I turned it off, and fired up the stop watch on my iPhone, and decided to document how long this little cutie really ran on its maiden voyage.
It did a great job on the stairs, so I moved to a tiny "watercloset" in the bathroom that is too cramped to bring the full sized vacuum into. It's awkward to clean the floor, baseboards, or door panels behind the door, because you cant close the door with the full sized vacuum in there. The B&D Flex was what I've need all along for this teeny tiny bathroom! So easy to get behind the tank, in the crevices of the window track. It was still going strong, so I cleaned the baseboards and all the tight spots my large vacuum doesn't reach in the bathrooms and bedrooms upstairs. It finally started to lose power, and I clicked off the stopwatch (see photo at right) at 11 minutes, 49 seconds. This did not include the run time spent on the stairs, before I even started timing it!
The other photo you see at the right, is what I found when I opened it up to empty it after this quickie cleaning session. It picked up a lot! Even better, it was simple to clean. I dumped most of it out into the trash can. Some stuff remained, so I turned the center thing counter clockwise and all of the debris came out at once. I tapped that plastic center thing on the trash can edge. Then, best of all, I pulled out the paper filter thing and tapped the dust off into the trash.
The paper filter thing is my biggest pet peeve about small vacuum cleaners. I DESPISE having to pick a bunch of hair, dirt and dust off those paper accordion things. If I was cool with delving that close into the muck, why did I just use a vacuum cleaner to do the job? Yuck! The design on this little B&D Flex really does a fine job of filtering out the big mess before it ever reaches the paper filter. All that made its way to the paper filter was dust, which was easily tapped into the trash. It was nearly white again, with very little efffort.
The only reason I gave this four stars instead of five, is the charge time is really long AND because it has a blue "charging light" that tells you no more than the fact that the unit is plugged in. It does not go off, or change colors to tell you when the unit is fully charged. How dumb is that? You plug it in and it turns blue and stays blue, no matter what the status of the battery is!
I also found the instructions difficult to read. At first glance, it looks like a booklet of nothing but electrical warnings. The most important information is buried in a bunch of verbiage. They really should add a quick start guide, in color, or at least organized with better titles and headings.
Still, I love this little thing! I bought it for my son's tiny apartment, and now I don't want to let it leave my own house! It's a keeper.
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