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Finally busting that dust
Black & Decker DV9605 9.6V Dustbuster
Member Name: steves001
Black & Decker DV9605 9.6V Dustbuster
Date: 17/11/11, updated on 17/11/11 (386 review reads)
Advantages: Acceptable performance; battery life; durability; value for money
Disadvantages: No spare filters; stiff on/off switch; not wet/dry
~~~Black & Decker DV9605 Dustbuster Extreme~~~
Our latest 'Dustbuster' is a real improvement on previous ones that we've owned. It's still not perfect but at least this model picks up enough debris to be genuinely useful without resorting to our main 'hoover'. This is a substantially updated version of an original non-technical review published some time ago, based on further regular use over the last year or so.
I was beginning to despair of handheld vacuums. This was our third and, as a slightly less basic model, promised at last to deliver a more reasonable performance - the triumph of hope over experience, perhaps...?
~~The discounted deal~~
We bought this Black & Decker 'Extreme' model at a heavily discounted price from our local Argos over a year ago at around £20, roughly half the full advertised price at the time.
Our previous cordless vacuum was a so-called 'value' product which we'd bought cheaply from the same store a couple of years before, to replace a fairly basic reconditioned Black & Decker product. The reconditioned one had very poor battery life; the 'value' model had virtually no suction; but this new one performs much better in both respects.
It's also worth noting that recent refinements to this model may have further enhanced its performance, probably reflected in the current asking price of around £50.
~~Ease of use~~
We've had no problem using this product, except perhaps for a somewhat stiff on/off switch. It's light enough and makes quite short work of furniture and stair carpets. It's also handy for cleaning car seats.
The onboard tool storage may initially seem a little awkward, though somewhat more convenient once you've fully mastered the arrangement.
The charging unit can be wall mounted which might be most accessible, but we just have this on the floor in a small cupboard, which means some care needs to be taken to ensure it's correctly 'cradled' for recharging.
~~Performance and key features~~
* The 9.6v motor produces fairly good suction and the motorised turbo brush certainly helps with pet hairs etc.
* Battery life is good; this appliance has never actually run out of power when I've been using it. [Note that we keep this permanently on charge. While this may not be best (green) practice, it is at least safe according to the instructions.]
* The transparent bowl shows when it needs to be emptied.
* The crevice and brush tool accessories are useful - e.g. for reaching less accessible areas.
~~Instructions and help~~
The accompanying 9 page, illustrated instruction leaflet is clear enough and seems to cover all key issues. Further information is available on the manufacturer's website (address below).
We've been using this appliance several times a week for well over a year now. So far, it's showing little sign of wear and tear or loss of performance, though care may be required when removing the dust bowl for emptying, as this seems a little flimsy.
Emptying the bowl is quite straightforward, with the above caveat, but filters should be changed every 6-9 months (these can be cleaned but spares need to be ordered).
The filter cleaning button is a nice touch as this can help keep filters clear during operation, thereby maintaining suction. (Note: Filters are washable)
~~Availability and price~~
Latest versions of this product are available from Amazon for just under £50. Note that current models are described as 'cyclonic', which may be a later enhancement.
* Acceptable performance
* Battery life
* Fair value for money
* Filter cleaning button
* No spare filters included.
* Stiff on/off switch (could be a problem for some)
* Not recommended for wet spills
* Pet hairs tend to wind themselves round the turbo brush and can take some disentangling.
* Awkward accessories stowage
I'm not entirely convinced by the 'Extreme' epithet. However, this is a fairly robust appliance that performs reasonably well for a rechargeable cordless device, with just a few caveats noted above. Hence, 4 stars overall out of 5.
While I would recommend this as better value for money than more basic models, especially at discounted prices, there do seem to be several variants on offer from B&D now. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight and subject to pricing, I might be inclined to try one with an even higher power rating if that further improves the suction. Wet/dry capability may also be a consideration, or perhaps one of the less traditional designs that are now on offer, particularly if on/off switch mechanisms have been improved for ease of use.
Voltage: 9.6 volts
Runtime: c. 13 minutes
Full charge: 16 hours
Weight: c. 1.4 Kg
For further details best refer to manufacturer's website (below).
* Black & Decker : www.blackanddecker.co.uk
[Revised version of an original review © SteveS001, 2011]
Summary: Fairly robust appliance that performs reasonably well for the price
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