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FLEX vacuum review

December 22, 2009

I was super-psyched when Black & Decker contacted me to join their new products team and offered to send me the new FLEX mini canister vac with 3 attachments (brush tool, long crevice tool, and pet hair tool).

And try it, I did!  Over and over and over again.  And it sucks! (and I mean that in a good-vacuum-y kind of way).

It’s small and lightweight, which makes it awesome for pretty much anywhere in the house.  The FOUR FOOT! flex hose stashes away neatly, and the hose attachments sit nicely on the base.  This bad boy fits neatly in our hallway closet and can be easily accessed.

We received the FLEX the day before our holiday party – perfect timing! I charged it, and then used it to clean all of the awkward spaces in the house: behind the toilet, along the baseboards, and in tight corners.  It’s also great for clearing spiders + spiderwebs from the corners (um, not that I would know, of course, because I would never let my house get that dirty.  Or something).  And, this bad boy wins my vote for “most awesome tool to vacuum stairs” hands down.  Because who wants to drag an upright with you as you vacuum the stairs? (side note: I’ve dropped the upright down the stairs twice attempting such an endeavor in this house. Not great for the wood steps.  Or the dogs’ sanity.)

And I also put it up to the ultimate challenge – cleaning out the car.  The older of our two cars has needed to be cleaned out and vacuumed for the past 2 years, and this bad boy finally gave me the excuse to clean it out (not to mention, made cleaning it out fun.  oh yikes.  Did I really just type that?).  It was a success.  This little vacuum is really powerful and had no problem taking up years of dirt and dog hair.  The long crevice tool was great for getting the spot between the seats and the center console, and the flex hose made getting underneath the seats a breeze.

And then, I tested out the pet hair tool.  I have to admit that when I opened the package to find the part that claimed to “loosen pet hair for deep-down clean”, I rolled my eyes and thought “GIMMICK!” to myself.  I was very suspicious of this flexible piece of plastic with lots of thingy things sticking up.  And then I remembered that the amount of dog hair stuck to the carpet in our new car was driving me nuts.  Perfect test spot!

And I think it was a success.  (I used the tool only on the left side of the above photo – can you tell?)  The little plastic-dealie did what it said it would, and I appreciated it, and will continue to appreciate it as long as we have short-haired doggies.  Which will be a very long time.

Other features: Battery life seems good, and charging is easy. I love the canister design – it’s easy to empty dirt into the garbage bag and you never have to worry about vacuum bags.  It says the filter can be washed and reused, which is super-awesome because I hate having to buy stuff like that (I should note that we haven’t had to try washing the filter yet).

Last year, we purchased the Black & Decker Pivoting Nose Cordless Handheld Vac and I really liked the canister design in that vac.  We used that vac a whole bunch and were happy with how it worked, but this new FLEX vac is so much better.  It’s the FOUR FOOT hose.  And the easy-to-use attachments.

And here’s where I add that this handy little vac even has the endorsement of the dogs.  They are approximately 75% less scared of the little vac than they are of my normal upright vac.  And by that, I mean, they barely run away from the little vac!  Only if I’m chasing them will they run from it!  (Not that I would ever, you know, torture the dogs by purposely using the vacuum in their general vicinity… hee, hee).  My guess is that it has to do with the smaller size and quieter motor in the FLEX compared to my regular vacuum, but who knows.

If you’d like a FLEX of your very own (or to give as a gift!), you can find it here.  Also!  As one of my readers, you can get a free power brush attachment (for carpeted areas) and free power scrubber if you enter FLX921 at checkout!

Disclosure: I received the FLEX free as part of Black & Decker’s new products team.  I am not otherwise compensated for my review, and the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. December 22, 2009 12:47 pm

    Wow… first of all, I’m jealous. Just gotta get that out of the way. How do I get on B&D’s rolladex?

    Okay… actually, how can I get on Merry Maid’s Rolladex? 😉

    • December 22, 2009 2:16 pm

      If I knew how I did it, I would totally let you in on my secret… 🙂 I’m not sure, though – one day I just got an email, and then a package, and it was amazing.

  2. December 22, 2009 2:59 pm

    That looks awesome. I’m on a hunt for something to make vacuuming our carpeted stairs less of a PITA.

  3. December 22, 2009 3:09 pm

    I have to ask… did you pull more staples or pick a spot with little to none left to take the picture? 😀

    • December 22, 2009 9:57 pm

      Totally did not pull more staples. Positioned the vacuum at the top of the stairs (mostly just for you! 🙂 ), where all the staples were pulled month ago… our “who-will-pull-the-final-staples” standoff continues…

  4. December 22, 2009 6:02 pm

    Suh-weet! What a fun new gift for you…looks like it did a great job!

  5. December 22, 2009 6:30 pm

    Your idea about TP as White Elephant gift is hilarious! Who doesn’t use TP?!?!

    I ended up doing a wine pourer, a wine cutter, and a bottle of wine. 🙂

  6. December 22, 2009 11:00 pm

    Cool vac. Thanks for entering my PW cook bookgive away. I am so glad the monsters did not get you or your sister. I wish I had a book to give everyone. I am having another awesome give away next month so check back. MERRY CHRISTMAS

  7. Carolyn Harrington permalink
    May 8, 2010 3:57 pm

    How do you empty the Flex? Throw-away bags, shake-it-out bag or . . . ?
    Are you selling these and if so how does one buy?

    • May 9, 2010 8:10 pm

      Carolyn – The flex has a little door on it that you open & dump out the contents. There’s no bag. There is a filter that you can remove & replace, but I’ve been using mine weekly or biweekly and haven’t had to replace mine yet. I’m not selling them, but I assume you could buy them at places like Target, Home Depot, Lowes, etc…

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