A hand-held vacuum is sometimes easier to use for smaller spills and messes than a full-sized vacuum. There are different types and strengths, so we examined which ones are best for most messes.
Cordless vacuums have batteries and are charged when connected to a base unit that is usually in a fixed position plugged into the wall.
Many cordless vacs run for about 10 minutes before they begin to lose power; some up to 20 minutes. Be sure to store it on its base so it’s always charged.
Corded vacuums are usually stronger and won’t run out of power, though your range is limited to the cord length.
A wet/dry hand vacuum allows you to pick up liquid and dry spills, but the liquid must be cleaned out immediately to prevent unpleasant odours arising.
There are no bags. Just a collection cup and a filter that protects the motor.
To pick up a lot of pet hair, look for one with a rotating brush.
Look for a vacuum with a large collection cup so you don’t have to empty it as often.
Test out how easy (or hard) it is to empty the collection cup.
Some models come with extra attachments such as a rotating brush, a crevice tool, and squeegee tools for wet spills.
We put these test vacs through some rigorous exercises:
- Euro-Pro Shark cordless wet/dry: $99.99
- Dirt Tamer cordless wet/dry with headlight: $79.99
- Dirt Devil Scorpion corded: $69.99
- Hoover Sidewinder Corded: $59.99
- Black & Decker’s DustBuster cordless: $44.99
Our tests and results include:
Suction Strength Test
We tested each product’s ability to remove pet hair from carpet:
- The Hoover came out on top, no question.
To see which one held the most, we dumped loads of Corn Flakes on the floor and started vacuuming:
Euro Pro: 1 cup
Dirt Tamer: 1 1/2 cups
Dirt Devil Scorpion: 2 cups
Hoover Sidewinder: 3 cups
DustBuster: 1 1/2 cups
Vacuuming isn’t a peaceful chores, so we brought out the decibel reader to see which was loudest.
- The Scorpion was off the scale compared to the other models.
OUR TOP PICK
The Hoover Sidewinder (corded) did the best job. If you want the added convenience of a cordless then we recommend the Dirt Tamer.