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It’s so nice to have a mini cordless vacuum or handheld vac around for small pickups. It’s especially great if you need to clean out your car, boat, clean dust off the baseboards of your home or even the just get the dead bugs out of your light fixtures. I personally have a ceiling fan light fixture that loves to collect dead bugs, and it’s so nice to just 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.

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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 you’re trying to get into tight spots and corners. It comes with a wall charger that plugs right into the base, so it’s easy to use as well. Second, not only is the Black and Decker hand vac portable, 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. If you’ve ever tried to get into small spaces with a regular hand vac, you know it can be difficult. 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 both tight spots and high shelves without much effort at all. Another nice feature is that all of the tools and accessories are stored right on the vacuum base, so they’re always with you and won’t be cluttering up your storage area. It comes with tools for 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, among them 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 really appreciate if you or your kids have allergies. Speaking of collecting dirt, the canister is really 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, just like with any vacuum large or small, will keep the strong suction going. With this one it’s nice because you won’t have to spend money on filters, as you can just wash it instead.

But does it really suck?

The short answer is… yes. It has a high performance 12 volt motor and uses strong cyclonic suction which spins dirt away from the filter to maintain performance. The cyclones 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 good 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’ll 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, it’s helpful to turn it off when not in use, such as when you’re walking between rooms. This will help conserve battery power so you have it when you need it. If the unit is being used on a regular basis (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’ll be using 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

black and decker flex vacuumPros

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

Cons

The only bad thing said about this vacuum is in regard to its run time and the time it takes to charge. More than one review commented that it would be really nice if it ran longer and charged up quicker. However, this is a hand vacuum so only meant for small jobs, and frankly, cordless vacuum technology is still fairly new, so you certainly won’t be able to run any cordless vacuum as long as you could run one with a cord. If you ask me, it’s a sacrifice that’s absolutely worth it for the convenience.

Consumer Ratings

In spite of the fairly short run time, most every review praises the Black and Decker Flex vac. In fact, it is highly rated at 4 out of 5 stars for its performance, clever design, power and ease of use.

Price

This Black and Decker handheld vacuum currently retails for about $128. However, you can save a lot of money on it by shopping online. Amazon currently has the best price of about $58, a savings of over 50% off regular retail.

Bottom Line

black and decker platinum flex

Black and Decker Platinum Flex

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 out powers 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.

Looking for something with more power?

There is actually an upgraded version of this vacuum if you want something with 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.