Black and Decker Flex Handheld Vacuum Review – Worth It?

It’s so nice to have a mini cordless vacuum or handheld vac around for small pickups. The Black and Decker Flex Handheld Vacuum is especially great if you need to clean out your car or boat, clean dust off your home’s baseboards, or even just the dead bugs out of your light fixtures.

I have a ceiling fan light fixture that loves to collect dead bugs, and it’s so nice to grab the little vacuum and suck them out in a few seconds. The Black and Decker Flex is my favorite tool for all these jobs.

The Black and Decker Flex Handheld Vacuum Review

Last update on 2023-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Ease of Use

The first thing to know about the Black & Decker FHV1200, or the Flex as it’s more commonly known, is that it’s cordless. This makes for a much more convenient vacuuming experience, especially when trying to get into tight spots and corners.

It comes with a wall charger that plugs right into the base, making it easy to use. Second, not only is the Black and Decker hand vac portable, but it’s also really lightweight. Unlike many handheld vacuums, you don’t have to maneuver the little clunky vacuum around to pick things up.

On this little unit, you only use the hose with attachments. You know it can be difficult if you’ve ever tried to get into small spaces with a regular hand vac. You won’t have that problem with this one. It goes everywhere. Being so compact with such a long hose makes it easy to reach tight spots and high shelves without much effort.

Another nice feature is that all the tools and accessories are stored on the vacuum base, so they’re always with you and won’t clutter up your storage area. It comes with dusting, general suction, tight spaces, and even a tool for getting pet hair off furniture.

What about allergies?

This little Black and Decker Flex vacuum is a step above other handheld vacuum cleaners for many reasons, including its three-stage filtration system. This means you’ll get more dirt in the canister and less thrown back into the air, which you’ll appreciate if you or your kids have all energies. Speaking of collecting dirt, the canister is easy to empty, and you can put the filter right into the dishwasher or wash it by hand if you prefer. Keeping the filter clean, like any vacuum, large or small, will keep the strong suction. This one is nice because you won’t have to spend money on filters; you can wash it instead.

But does it suck?

The short answer is… yes. It has a high-performance 12-volt motor, uses strong cyclonic suction, and spins dirt away from the filter to maintain performance. The cyclone flicking dirt and debris off the filter also improves the suction power and prevents it from escaping back into the air.

What about the battery power?

Like with most battery-operated appliances, you’ll want to charge this one for a long while before you use it for the first time. The manufacturer recommends an initial charge of 21 hours. After that, the battery generally runs between 10-30 minutes before you need to charge it again. The manufacturer states it runs 10-12 minutes, but many of the reviews from owners say it can run as long as 30 minutes on a charge.

To make it run longer, turning it off when not in use, such as when you’re walking between rooms, is helpful. This will help conserve battery power, so you have it when needed. If the unit is being used regularly (at least once per week or so), you can leave it on the charger when you’re not using it, and it will be fine and ready to go when you are.

If it will sit for longer than 30 days, it’s best to leave it unplugged, then charge it the day before you use it. All these little tips will help you get the most out of your battery power. The Black & Decker, Flex hand vac is also Energy Star Approved, so even leaving it plugged in should be very economical.

Tools & Accessories

The Black & Decker Flex cordless mini canister hand vac FHV1200 comes standard with:

  • 4’ long flexible hose
  • Long crevice tool
  • Combination nozzle & dusting brush tool
  • Pet hair cleaning tool that will help loosen ground-in dirt and stubborn pet hair
  • Charger
  • Storage caddy

Additional accessories that are available but do not come with the initial purchase include:

  • Powered brush
  • Shoulder strap
  • Wall mounting bracket

What is the warranty?

This handy little vacuum comes with a standard two-year warranty from the manufacturer.

Specifications / Specs

  • Dimensions: 12.5” x 6.25” x 10”
  • Power: 12-volt motor
  • Filter: Washable and dishwasher safe. Replacement filter runs about  $8.97 or $17.75 2 pack if ever needed.
  • Weight: About 3.8 pounds
  • Product Manual


  • The long flexible hose that wraps around the unit
  • Lightweight and easy to handle
  • Good suction
  • Cordless
  • Dishwasher safe filter
  • Great design


The only bad thing said about this vacuum is its run time and the time it takes to charge. More than one review commented that it would be nice if it ran longer and charged up quicker.

However, this is a hand vacuum only meant for small jobs. Frankly, cordless vacuum technology is still fairly new, so you certainly won’t be able to run any cordless vacuum as long as you can run one with a cord. It’s a sacrifice that’s worth it for convenience.

Consumer Ratings

Despite the fairly short run time, almost every review praises the Black and Decker Flex vac. It is rated at 4 out of 5 stars for its performance, clever design, power, and ease of use.


This Black and Decker handheld vacuum currently retails for about $$$. However, you can save a lot of money on it by shopping online.

Black and Decker Platinum Flex

Bottom Line

If you’re looking for a very small and easy-to-carry vacuum for small jobs around your home, this is the one to pick.

It outpowers many other handheld vacuums, and its design makes it extremely easy to use, carry around, and store. It’s a number-one bestseller for a reason. It’s a great all-around handheld vacuum.

Are you looking for something with more power?

There is an upgraded version of this vacuum if you want even more suction capabilities and a longer-lasting battery run time. The Black and Decker Platinum Flex vacuum boasts an even more powerful 20-volt rechargeable ion battery, and the run time is at least double with even more powerful suction.

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Last update on 2023-05-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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