Review: Black & Decker 15.6V DustBuster

Jeff's Rating: 4/5

tl;dr: Very good vac for household cleanup, as long as you keep the dustbin clean.

Dustbuster Cordless 15.6 volt
The Black & Decker 15.6V Cordless DustBuster

My wife and I received one of these vacuum cleaners as a wedding present (we had requested a less expensive model), and there is probably no wedding present that gets as much use!

When I was growing up, I remember an old brown/beige-colored DustBuster (maybe the original?) that my Mom would let us kids use to suck up the multitude of messes we'd create, and I'm glad to see Black & Decker still in the game with some neat tweaks to a well-established line of household cleanup items.


The vacuum is relatively lightweight (only a couple pounds), and for 2-5 minute cleanup, it doesn't create any wrist strain. It's loud, but less so than my Dyson, so it's not a big deal to me to have it on for a couple minutes.

The charging base allows the DustBuster to be mounted on a wall (we have ours out of the way in the kitchen), and it's easy to pop on and off the base. You just need a space on the wall about the size of the vacuum, and it should be vertically mounted.

It's annoying, though, to have to bring the entire charging base with me when I want to use the dustbuster outside the home... but I'll take that trade-off, as I can understand why Black & Decker wouldn't want to include two chargers or two ways of charging one device.

Vacuum Performance

The vacuum itself has a very good amount of suction, and can pick up most spilled food, dry goods, and other bits of dust and such that accumulate on hardwood, linoleum, and tile floors. It works okay on carpet, but it definitely can't get down into the fibers to give a good clean like my Dyson.

The DustBuster also includes what I like to call a 'probiscus'—a half-foot extension that you can pull out of the front, at-will, and get things in hard-to-reach or narrow spaces. It's not perfect (it usually pops back in before I want it to, and it's curved, so it can't get into the tightest of spaces), but it is handy when going under furniture or around baseboards.

The only caution I have: Always keep the dustbin relatively empty. It only takes a few extra seconds to pop it of and throw the contents into the trash, but it will keep the vacuum suction much more strong. Also, every couple of weeks, I like to take the internal filter outside and spray it with a can of compressed air.

A lot of people complain about the filter clogging the suction, but I've found it to not be much of a problem. Probably because I use my Dyson for more insane amounts of vacuuming. The DustBuster is meant for small messes and quick use... not for entire rugs, kitchen floors, etc. (This is also why the DustBuster battery only lasts 10 minutes or so... it's not made for a full day's cleaning!).

[Update: One time, I used the DustBuster to suck up a bunch of drywall dust after sanding some drywall patches. Bad idea! I had to dissemble the dustbuster to get to the little sponge screen at the bottom, and clean it out. Once I did that, though, the DustBuster went back to working great as ever!]


While this vacuum is a little over $60, and you can find cleaners almost as good for prices closer to $40, I still recommend this vacuum because of the handy probiscus, the wall mount charger, and the Black & Decker name—there's something to be said for the fact that my parents had their original DustBuster for over 10 years, and my wife and I haven't had a problem in over a year!

Buy the Black & Decker 15.6V Cordless DustBuster from Amazon for about $60.


Posting an update here after many years of use; this vacuum worked pretty well until about 2015, then the battery started getting a bit weaker (it wouldn't suck as hard), and the proboscis thing got stuck in the end (so I couldn't pull it out) after one drop...

We decided to buy a newer Li-Ion-powered B&D vacuum, and so far it's been a great replacement. It's no Dyson, but it was only about $50 and works as well as this one did new, plus with Lithium Ion batteries, the recharge time is a little better, and you get almost full battery strength until the battery runs out, rather than a gradually weakening suction.