I read a lot of reviews of all similar hand vacs, and wonder if the engineers at B&D and competing companies are ignorant of these. This unit, due to design flaws, doesn't make use of all that power it packs, performing equal to the 12 volt one I first bought and returned, and little better than lower watt ones. Why? This gets kinda technical, but these units need to "breath", they need to use the same design technology of larger vacs, which is, have notches around the suck tube to create air flow. And, with the addition of the extension, this reduces the aperture of the opening, making this model incomparable, in a sense, to other nearly identical B&D models without the built-in extension.
Before offering my engineering tips, let me sing its praises now. It is powerful and has a great filter for such a small unit. It is two-stage and fully washable. The option to just quickly empty it or more fully open it up for cleaning is like a larger pricier vac. The charge lasts quite long also. The extension gets wherever one typically needs to reach, though the angle I find overly steep, meaning you must vacuum with the unit nearly horizontal to get a seal, thus reducing suction going into deep crevices in my car interior where I must keep the unit vertical.
I actually made some modifications to mine that has improved it functionality. I filed some grooves into the plastic and I found an other brush end I saved from a long dead unit that I can insert into the tube, creating a far more functional brush than the nearly useless one that B&D (seemingly) cleverly attached externally to this unit. Looks cool, but when engaged, is too far from "the action" to be very useful.
In conclusion, given the competition, this is about as good as it gets. I'd probably give a try for the cheaper no frills unit if I did it over again, and go about making adaptations. The lower power ones won't make you deaf with their operating noise (this one is intense) and won't break the budget as this one does. For a few bucks more you can get (sold by two competing brands) those light weight vacs that are essentially hand vacs with long handle extensions, which allow detaching the hand vac part. The trick is finding one with useful attachments...
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