BLACK+DECKER HSVJ520JMBF27 Review
Pros: Quiet, great battery life
Cons: Unimpressive cleaning performance
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Our Analysis and Test Results
This model is a little more convenient to use and easier to use than the average stick vacuum and is about average when it came to cleaning power. It does an alright job on hard floors or carpets, but definitely isn't a suitable replacement for a full-size upright or canister vacuum.
To test these products, we conducted over 20 different tests, ranging from assessing the battery life to cleaning up oats. These tests were grouped into four weighted metrics: Ease of Use, Hard Surface Cleaning, Carpet Cleaning, and Convenience. Each metric is weighted proportional to its importance, with the text below providing more detailed information about how the BLACK+DECKER stacked up when pitted against the other models, head-to-head.
These products are intended to be convenient ways to quickly and easily clean up messes, meaning that our Convenience metric accounts for the biggest portion of the overall score at 35%. We evaluated each product on how well it could clean non-floor areas of your house, whether or not the stick vacuum was battery powered or corded, its reach or battery life, whether or not it could stand upright without support, and its weight. The BLACK+DECKER performed decently well, earning a 6 out of 10 for its slightly above average performance.
This model can convert into a handheld vacuum for cleaning places that are a little harder to reach, but it was a little more difficult to transition this vacuum than other models. This stick vacuum is about average in terms of weight, weighing in at 6.1 lbs and finishing in the middle of the pack, shown in the following graphic.
This cordless vacuum does have a decent battery life, lasting for a little over 16 minutes on its max power mode, more than the Dyson models, but less than the Eufy or the Linx, as shown below.
It did take about five hours to completely recharge. The BLACK+DECKER can stand up on its own.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Ranking behind Convenience in terms of importance, our Hard Surface Cleaning metric accounts for 30% of the total score for each vacuum. We used a section of hardwood floor as our test surface, basing the scores off how well each stick vacuum collected Cheerios, oats, pet hair, rice, and flour. The BLACK+DECKER did an essentially average job at collecting all of this debris, earning a 5 out of 10 for its efforts.
This model took about 1.5 passes to clean rice from our section of hard floor, putting it right in the middle of the group. We used the hard floor mode without a rotating brush roll, but rice would periodically become trapped on the non-spinning brush. However, this model would fling some rice to the side when cleaning hard floors with the brush roll spinning, forcing you to execute a delicate balance of pulsing the brush head for brief moments to clean all of the rice.
This vacuum did the same when tasked with collecting flour, taking about 4 passes to satisfactorily clean the floor. This model removed all of the surface flour and a tiny bit from the cracks in between the boards, though there was plenty of residual flour in the cracks.
This model did tend to build up the flour in various places on its underside that would come loose when the vacuum was tapped on the ground, creating a miniature mess and causing some frustration.
The BLACK+DECKER's performance did improve in our next test. It did a fine job collecting Cheerios, as long as the rotating brush was on — something not typically done for hardwood floors. Unfortunately, this boost was not maintained for the final two tests, oat collection and pet hair pickup. This vacuum did a decent job at collecting pet hair, but once again was only effective if the rotating brush was on. Otherwise, it didn't really do anything. This isn't really a downside, though you can run a higher risk of damaging certain types of floors. It was a similar story with the oats, with the BLACK+DECKER performing identically to its rice test. You again had to walk the delicate balance between actually collecting the oats and flinging them everywhere by briefly pulsing the rotating brush.
Ease of Use
Earning a respectable 6 out of 10 for this metric, the BLACK+DECKER scored in the upper half of the group. This score was based on how well it cleaned under furniture, in close to edges and tight corners, the different cleaning modes available, and how well it handled. This metric accounts for 20% of the total score for each stick vacuum.
The BLACK+DECKER has two cleaning modes available — high and low power — as well as the ability to run the rotating brush off. Unfortunately, this model didn't do the best job at cleaning close to walls, leaving a small strip of rice behind.
This vacuum's performance did turn around when it came to cleaning under furniture, reaching 18" under our simulated sofa. It could have reached further, but the handle from the handheld portion would hit the sofa.
This model is one of the quieter ones of the group, only registering at 73 dBa on our SPL meter. You can see how this compares to the rest of the vacuums in the group.
This model also has swivel steering, making it reasonably easy to maneuver and handle.
For the fourth and final metric in our test, we assessed how well each product could clean carpeted floors, testing on both low-pile and medium-pile carpet. We again used the same sample messes from the hard surface cleaning tests and judged performance in the same way. This metric accounts for the remaining 15% of the total score for each product, with the BLACK+DECKER delivering an average performance and meriting a 5 out of 10 for its efforts.
This product did a decent job at collecting rice on the flatter, low-pile carpet, only taking two passes to collect the rice in its entirety. Its performance did drop a little when it came to the fluffy carpet, as the vacuum was a little harder to maneuver and would plow the rice around, rather than collecting it. The BLACK+DECKER would usually collect it in the end, but it definitely didn't do as well as an upright. This vacuum delivered an alright performance in our next test, doing a decent job overall at collecting the flour from flat carpet, performing roughly the same as the Shark Navigator and the VonHaus.
It continued its average performance into our cereal test, picking up the Cheerios without difficulty when on the low-pile carpet. However, it mostly failed at collecting them on the fluffy carpet, continually piling them up no matter what combination of cleaning modes and the brush being on or off we tried. This vacuum did do well at collecting the pet hair we laid out, getting over 90% of it and tying for the top score. However, it finished out this metric with a rather mediocre showing when it came to collecting oats, taking two passes on the flat carpet and over 10 on the fluffy carpet.
This model is a good, not great value, offering decent performance at a decent price.
The BLACK+DECKER is an all-around, alright vacuum. It would be a great value option for someone who really wanted the ability for their stick vacuum to transform into a handheld vacuum, but it's otherwise a relatively unremarkable product.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer