BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Flexi PD1020LPGB review 2022
The Flexi will bend and coil into awkward spaces for easy cleaning. Cover your ears, though, as it makes quite a noise.
- £79.99 at Currys
|Accessories||Crevice tool, Pet tool, 2-in-1 nozzle, Flip-out upholstery brush|
|Surface type||Carpet, Hard floor, Laminate, Tile|
|Colour||Black and chrome|
|Run time (minutes)||10|
|Charge time (hours)||4|
|Overall Finder score||★★★★★|
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Flexi 18V handheld vacuum review
How well does the BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Flexi PD1020LPGB clean?
We tested this BLACK+DECKER on carpet to see how well it fared tackling Cheerios, rice and biscuit crumbs. It comes with a standard power mode and does not have a turbo feature.
The Flexi isn’t a conventional handheld – you have to use 2 hands to properly use it when cleaning the floor. It cleaned up around 80% of rice in 3 sweeps with the 2-in-1 combi nozzle, but some were shoved aside if not picked up at the right angle. It was difficult to pick up the smaller grains as the extendable hose felt like a never-ending tunnel for them to reach the dust bowl.
We found this model better suited to picking up clumps of debris, rather than individual bits. It mopped up all the cereal in 3 sweeps and around 90% of the biscuit crumbs, but it wasn’t the smoothest experience to handle. While there wasn’t any clogging, the Flexi made a racket (more than any of the others we tested) and it blew a lot away while cleaning.
Despite these criticisms, the Flexi works wonders with crevices – and is up there with the best we’ve tested. The very narrow and long attachment swept the bulk of large and small crumbs off the sofa and between the cushions.
Can the Flexi clean pet hair?
The pet tool is not included in the Flexi’s box, which probably would have made a difference when cleaning hair off our carpet and sofa.
Disappointingly, the vac only managed to pick up the looser hairs on the carpet, with about 60% swept up in 3 passes. The dusting attachment came to the rescue…slightly. It removed the smaller hairs from the floor, but the Flexi’s suction just couldn’t manage to pick them all up. Using the dusting brush earlier resulted in the larger tufts getting stuck in its bristles.
Cleaning the sofa went considerably better. We cleaned around 70% of the big hair in 3 sweeps, then using the dusting brush, we swept the rest off in a couple more. The velvet looked very clean afterwards, even though there was no motorised tool, which some models have (like the Dyson V7 or Gtech MK2 K9). There was no clogging or blow away with both tests.
Due to its disappointing carpet cleaning, but reasonable sofa efforts, this Flexi sits in the middle of our handheld vac pack for pet hair.
What’s the run time of the Flexi?
The run time of this model is just over 10 minutes, with a charge time of 4 hours. This’ll be enough to clean a small car that isn’t too dirty. For a handheld vac with a longer run time and shorter charge time, check out the Dyson V7 Trigger, which offers 30 minutes of cleaning.
How convenient is the Flexi?
The Flexi has a capacity of just over 0.5 litres, which is more than the average handheld vac we reviewed. You won’t be running to the bin all the time to empty out dust. It doesn’t have an automatic emptying system though, so emptying will take a few seconds more than one with a dirt release button.
It’s got a charging dock to make your life easier, and its tools are simple to attach.
You can replace the battery on this model – unlike the Dustbuster Pivot we reviewed – so this means you don’t have to get an entirely new vacuum if the battery conks out after the 2-year warranty expires.
Is the Flexi easy to use?
When cleaning tables, other furniture and heights, this vac is one of the easiest to use. You have to use 2 hands to pick it up (the body in one hand and the hose with attachments in the other) but it is light at 1.37 kg. Cleaning floors is tricky, though – the easiest way to clean is by kneeling on the floor, which wasn’t a comfortable experience compared to the other single-handed vacs.
Its vent tends to blow smaller particles about and it’s very loud compared to the other vacs we tested.
BLACK+DECKER Dustbuster Flexi PD1020LPGB customer reviews
The Flexi has garnered mixed reviews on Amazon. Generally, users tend to like how easy it is to use and its suction on certain surfaces like cars and hard floors. They praise how well it sweeps up lingering dust, and say that its accessories reach into nooks and crannies. However, recurring complaints include loud noise, disappointing suction with long pet hair and on carpets and short run time. (Based on more than 1,800 reviews and last updated: May 2022.)
Pros and cons
- Flexible and easy cleaning with the hose
- Spacious capacity
- Great on crevices
- Replacement batteries available
- Short run time
- Mediocre carpet cleaning
- Not the best for pet hair
Our verdict: Is the Dustbuster Flexi any good?
It’s not the best, but it’s certainly not the worst. If you don’t have mounds of pet hair or lots of carpet in your house, then this model is worth considering. It’ll do a good job of picking up dust from hard surfaces and its hose – a feature not found on many other models – is incorporated well into its design. Its run time is questionable though, and it’ll create a din, so it’s not the best one to use while the baby’s sleeping.
Frequently asked questions
Reemul is a writer at Finder, specialising in product reviews and news. He's a qualified journalist having worked at local papers in the UK covering breaking news, food and restaurant reviews. He has an MA in Film from UCL and a BA in History and French from Durham University.
As well as being renowned for its power tools, BLACK+DECKER makes plenty of vacuum cleaners, including the PD1020LPGB. Its clever design and lightweight frame mean you can pick it up with one hand and reach into tricky areas for cleaning, like under sofas and on top of cupboards. The crevice tool attachment and the 1.5m-long hose won’t give you a backache.
Its run time of 10 minutes is short, considering the 4-hour charge, but it doesn’t lose power as the battery loses juice.
The Flexi will work best on hard floors, but once you hit it with lodged-in dirt and longer pet hairs, it may struggle. When picking up cereal in our test, the Flexi regurgitated the pieces if they weren’t picked up at the right angle since the suction wasn’t strong enough to take them fully through the elongated hose.