Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum: Shark vs Bissell vs Black+Decker

We took three of the most popular handheld cordless vacuums: the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser, the Shark Pet Perfect 2, and the Black+Decker pet cordless vac and tested their airflow, battery life, weight, usability, and pickup ability. I’m going to summarize those tests.

Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

We started with airflow tests to see which one of these had the most power. It should be stated that the Bissell and the Shark had only one power setting, which we’ll refer to as high power, while the Black & Decker had a low and a high power setting. We tested the airflow using a sealed box and an anemometer.

The Shark had the most power at 1,652 feet per minute, which was 26.5% more than the Black & Decker, which measured 1,240 feet per minute on high and 1,023 feet per minute on low power, and a whopping 52% more than the Bissell, which measured only 944 feet per minute.

Next, we weighed them. The Shark in the Black & Decker were virtually the same weight without the pet hair attachment with the Bissell being the heaviest by a small amount. But with the pet hair roller attached, the Shark was more than 50% lighter than the Black & Decker at only two pounds 13 ounces.

Black+Decker pet cordless vac

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With the pickup test, we tested a debris field with and without the attachments, as well as a pet hair field with the pet hair attachment. Here are the takeaways from the pickup tests. The Bissell, which did okay with the pet hair test, could not really process medium to large debris at all. The intake hole gets clogged way too easily and it just failed to pick up much of anything.

The Shark and the Black & Decker did really good with medium and large debris, performing as good as you would want a handheld vacuum to perform, but they both faltered a little bit with the extra-large or fruit loop sized debris. The Black & Decker’s brush roll attachment got clogged and the Shark’s intake get clogged. I’m sure they both would do well with isolated pieces but not all at one time.

The Shark and the Black & Decker did amazingly well with pet hair. Though I found that you have to use the Shark at the correct angle in order to optimize its effectiveness with the pet hair attachment. The Black & Decker’s pet hair attachment, which is much more elaborate, had a swivel joint which made the angle issue irrelevant.

Shark Pet Perfect 2
Shark Pet Perfect 2

Next up was the battery life tests. We expected these numbers to be inversely proportional to the airflow results, that is the most powerful vacuum should have the shortest battery life, but the question was by how much. On high power with the powered pet hair attachment connected, She shark lasted 10 minutes and 47 seconds with the Black & Decker lasting 11 minutes and 51 seconds. The Bissell, the weakest of the three, lasted 14 minutes and 6 seconds.

Oddly on the second test, this time without the attachment, the Shark and the Black & Decker stopped at almost the exact same time, 10 minutes and 38 seconds, while the Bissell held at 14 minutes and 15 seconds. So except for the decrease in the Black & Decker’s battery life, the attachments did not seem to affect the battery life.

Bissell Pet Hair Eraser
Bissell Pet Hair Eraser

One issue was the recharge time. The Black & Decker consistently took about eight to nine hours to recharge where the Shark and Bissell took about five hours. We found that the build quality was very good for all three vacuums, that is they looked and felt sturdy, but one issue with the Black & Decker was that after emptying the bin, it doesn’t snap back together very easily. You have to use both hands and squeeze it hard to snap it together. It’ll work fine after that but it’s worthy of mentioning.

Both the Bissell and the Black & Decker have removable brush rolls which can be helpful for cleaning them, but the Shark’s brush roll is not removable so you have to clean it the usual way by kind of picking out the pet hair. Though I have seen that the replacement part they sell does have a removable brush roll. Either way, the Shark’s brush roll did get more hair caught in it than the others.


Attachment packages can vary, but other than the pet hair attachments, the Bissell came with the most options, including an upholstery tool, the Shark came with a crevice tool and the Black & Decker, which is already shaped like a crevice tool, came with only a dusting brush attachment.

So because of the higher airflow, cheaper price, shorter recharge time, and great pickup test results, I’ll have to give the crown to the Shark Pet Perfect 2, beating the Black+Decker by a nose. The Bissell, on the other hand, just didn’t have a good showing. I love Bissell and they make some great products but I would take a pass on the Pet Hair Eraser 1782.

Shark vs Bissell vs Black+Decker
Shark Pet Perfect 2

Overall Recommended Handheld Vacuums
Best of the Best!Tight SpacesPopular Option
BLACK+DECKER dustbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, 16V (CHV1410L)BLACK+DECKER 20V Max Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Grey (BDH2000PL)BLACK+DECKER dusbuster Handheld Vacuum, Cordless, Flexi Blue (HHVI315JO42)
 • 2.6 lbs
 • Suction Power 15.2 AW
 • Dustbowl 20oz
 • 17.25 x 5.5 x 7.75 in
 • 3 lbs
 • Suction Power 35 AW
 • Dustbowl 15oz
 • 18 x 6.88 x 6.75 in
 • 2.11 lbs
 • Suction Power 16 AW
 • Dustbowl 13oz
 • 13.9 x 7.9 x 5.3 in

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