The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of tech gear


This cheap vacuum can dust, but that's about it
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Price:   $35 List | $49 at Amazon
Pros:  Cheap, good at dusting
Cons:  Poor battery life, difficult to clean up pet hair with
Manufacturer:   BLACK+DECKER
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Feb 6, 2019
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#7 of 8
  • Dust & Dirt - 20% 7
  • Tough Messes - 20% 6
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas - 20% 4
  • Battery Life - 15% 3
  • Convenience - 15% 6
  • Pet Hair - 10% 4

Our Verdict

The HHVI315JO42 by BLACK+DECKER finished close to the back of the pack, but it is the least expensive handheld vacuum that we have reviewed. It did do quite well at cleaning up light messes, like dirt or dust, but is far from the best at cleaning up stuck-on messes or pet hair. It's fairly convenient to operate, but doesn't have the greatest battery life and struggles to clean into the smaller cracks and crevices around your home. If you are shopping on the tightest of tight budgets, it's an alright option, but otherwise, you should probably consider a different model.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The HHVI315JO42 finished right behind the BLACK+DECKER HHVI320JR02 and ahead of the Shark ION W1. The HHVI315JO42 isn't as proficient at cleaning tougher messes or getting into the more confined areas of your home as the HHVI320JR02, but it is a bit better at dusting and cleaning up pet hair. The HHVI320JR02 and the HHVI315JO42 also are comparably priced, retailing for $40 and $35, respectively. The Shark doesn't clean as well as either BLACK+DECKER and costs almost four times as much, so we don't really recommend it.

Performance Comparison

We bought all of the top handheld vacuums that are currently available, then compared and scored their performance side-by-side to pick our award winners. We grouped all of the different assessments into six different weighted rating metrics, with the HHVI315JO42's performance and results explained below.

Dust & Dirt

Starting off, we scored how well the HHVI315JO42 did at cleaning up dirt and dust from hard surfaces, as well as how effective the bristle brush is at dusting in tight spaces. These tests account for 20% of the total score, with the HHVI315JO42 earning a 7 out of 10 for its solid results.

The HHVI315JO42 has a relatively short bristle brush that is on the stiffer side, which did fairly well in our dusting test, removing all of the stuck-on flour from the plastic sheet in approximately 21 seconds.

It also did quite well with dirt and dried on mud — the stiff bristles allowed us to easily scrub off the mess from linoleum.

This BLACK+DECKER vac did a great job at removing crusted on mud from linoleum floor.
This BLACK+DECKER vac did a great job at removing crusted on mud from linoleum floor.

Unfortunately, this wide brush isn't the best for cleaning dust and dirt from small areas, like the top of a baseboard or in the corners of a shelf.

Tough Messes

Next, we moved on to assessing how the HHVI315JO42 did at cleaning up more challenging messes, like extracting flour and oats from carpet and an upholstered cushion. We also scored its performance at picking up mini-wheats and on the overall air movement the vacuum caused. The HHVI315JO42 did slightly above average, earning a 6 out of 10 in this set of tests, which also account for 20% of the final score.

First off, we scored how well the HHVI315JO42 did at cleaning up flour from a section of carpet similar to what you would find in a car. This handheld vacuum did about average, picking up a decent amount of flour, but not really cleaning the section of carpet until we had passed over it seven or eight times. However, it does do a superb job if you use the bristle attachment and really scrub while you are trying to clean.

The HHVI315JO42 also did quite well at cleaning up all of the oats from the same swatch of carpet and from a fabric-covered cushion. It sucked up all of the oats from the cushion without much of an issue, only leaving a tiny bit of dust behind. It didn't do quite as well with the carpet, failing to collect all the oats and leaving a noticeable amount trapped in the carpet fibers.

The 'J042 handled the oats with ease.
The 'J042 handled the oats with ease.

It finished out this metric with a strong showing, collecting all of the mini-wheats without any problems that all.

It also put up one of the highest numbers in our airflow test using an anemometer in a sealed box connected to the HHVI315JO42, with a reading of 1889 FPM. This was quite a bit higher than the average of just over 1300 FPM.

Hard-to-Reach Areas

Our next set of evaluations for each handheld vacuum focused on how well they clean the various nooks and crannies of your house or car. We tested out how well the HHVI315JO42 did at removing debris from the track of a standard sliding window and how far it could clean inside two different sizes of openings. It didn't do the best, earning a 4 out of 10 in this metric, which is worth 20% of the total score.

The HHVI315JO42 does fine at cleaning out the slot of a sliding window track, but the nozzle is a tad bit wider than most tracks, making it a bit slower of a process than some of the other products with a narrower crevice tool.

Unfortunately, it has one of the shortest reaches when cleaning gaps, only able to make it about 5.75" into a 3" gap and 3.5" into a 1.25" gap.

Battery Life

Subsequently, we evaluated and compared the battery life of each cordless vacuum. We started each vacuum with a freshly charged battery, then awarded points for how long it lasted. The HHVI315JO42 didn't do very well in this metric — worth 15% of the total score — earning a 3 out of 10. This vacuum only lasted 12 minutes, 20 seconds before failing — one of the shortest runtimes of the group and a bit below the group average of around 17 minutes.


The set of tests that make up our convenience metric are also responsible for 15% of the final score for the HHVI315JO42. We looked at how convenient it is to manage all of the cleaning tools, the weight, the noise level, and the ease of emptying the collection bin and its size for each product. The HHVI315JO42 did decently well, earning a 6 out of 10.

This vacuum from BLACK+DECKER is about average in size, weighing in at just over two pounds.

It did lose some points by being particularly noisy, registering 81.5 dBa on our meter. Additionally, we also found that it had a bit of a high pitched whine that can be quite annoying.

The HHVI315JO42 has one of the largest dust collection bins with a 0.94 L capacity.

It is also fairly easy to empty the bin, though it does take two steps. You pull the bin out from the vacuum body, then pull out the filter before dumping it.

Pet Hair

Our last set of tests assessed how proficiently the HHVI315JO42 is at picking up pet hair. Accounting for the residual tenth of the total score, the HHVI315JO42 didn't do that well in this metric, earning a 4 out of 10. We attempted to clean pet hair from both a section of carpet and a cushion, noting how much eluded the vacuum and if the hair clogged it up instead of making it all the way to the bin.

The HHVI315JO42 collected about half the hair in each test, but most of the hair that it collected remained trapped on the brush and failed to make it into the dust bin.


While the HHVI315JO42 isn't the best, it is one of the cheapest handheld vacuums we have tested. It's not really a great value since you merely get what you pay for, but it is a good choice if you are shopping on a super skinny budget.


Overall, it is clear that there are much better options out there when it comes to these products. However, all of them cost a bit more than the HHVI315JO42, so this is an acceptable choice if you are trying to get the cheapest option available and temper your expectations accordingly.

David Wise and Austin Palmer