Black & Decker PAV1200W Automotive Pivoting Vacuum Cleaner Review

I have a two kids and a dog so the inside of my car gets messy.

I’ve tried using a cordless handheld vacuum, but it loses suction as the battery drains and I always lose the charging cable. I’ve used my regular floor vacuum, but it’s too clunky to use in a car and the hose isn’t long enough to get into the hard to reach spaces in the interior.

My wife and I needed a vacuum made especially for cars and we found just the right product in the Black & Decker PAV1200W.

A lot of handheld vacuums seem to just make noise without picking anything up, but this Black & Decker is a very advanced vacuum for its size.

What’s in the box?

Black & Decker PAV1200W Review

The first thing I noticed when I opened the box was how nicely it was packaged.

The pivoting nose folds right into the vacuum so you can fold the whole thing in half. The cord wrap tool keeps the sixteen foot power cord in convenient storage when you aren’t using it.

Long, tangled cords drive me crazy so this cord wrap tool is a big deal!

It comes with a variety of attachments including a crevice tool, an upholstery brush, and a flexible hose. You also get a neat storage bag for keeping everything organized in one place.

Using the vacuum

I was glad I bought the Black & Decker PAV1200W from the minute I first plugged it into my car. The suction was constant without losing power.

It was a little noisy, but that was no surprise.

Since you can only get so much power from a twelve volt outlet, the suction isn’t super powerful but it’s enough for light cleaning.

I could confidently clean up crumbs, hair, and dirt without worrying about the battery draining. I started with the seats and the floor mats and then started getting between the seats. Before I knew it, I was getting carried away vacuuming parts of the interior that I never thought to vacuum like the dashboard, the vents, and around the steering column.

cleaning the dashboard

To get into these previously unchartered territories, I employed the help of the attachments that were included. For those dusty vents I used the flexible hose with the brush on the end.

I noticed it lost a little suction with the hose attached, but it was still strong enough for what I needed it for.

The brush was perfect for loosening up the dust and getting those little plastic fins nice and clean. It made me feel better about the air blowing through them.

using the Black & Decker PAV1200W vacuum

I know my family is breathing cleaner air in the car now that there isn’t dust caked on to the inside of the vents. With the flexible hose still attached, I reached under the seats and cleaned up crumbs that I previously thought would remain where they were for the life of the car. Between the nice long cord and the flexible hose, this vacuum can reach every corner of the inside of your car.

I tried getting into the cubbies in the doors where a lot of junk accumulated in the bottom. I was having a little trouble reaching the bottom with the pivot head, but then I noticed there’s a little extension that slides right out of the head. With those few extra inches, I was able to pick up all sorts of crumbs and dirt that I was never able to reach with any other vacuums. Keeping the head extended, I made short work of the crumbs between the seat and the door jamb.

review of Black & Decker PAV1200W

When you have kids, sometimes stains and messes show up and you have no idea how they got there. This is where the upholstery brush comes in handy. The upholstery brush loosens up dirt making it easier to suck up and clean the surface more thoroughly. A little elbow grease combined with the steady suction make a powerful combination.

Cleaning the vacuum

When I was all done with my first round of cleaning it was time to clean out my new vacuum. This was easy thanks to the one-step clean up. Just push a button and the bagless dirt canister opens up to dump out the dirt, crumbs, dust, and hair right into the garbage where it belongs. Moving dirt from the car to the vacuum to the garbage can was effortless.

cleaning the vacuum

The Black & Decker PAV1200W has a 3-Stage filtration system that keeps dust from escaping into the air. I was a little worried that the filter would be difficult to maintain or replace, but I was pleasantly surprised. The filter pops right out and you can put it in the dishwasher. After it’s clean, let it dry, and pop it right back into the vacuum and it’s ready to take on the next mess.


I wish I could use this Black & Decker to clean in and around the furniture in my house.

Unfortunately, that’s not possible without using some sort of third party adapter. The only power option it comes with is for a car outlet. Since it was designed for cars this isn’t a big complaint, it would just be nice if regular use in the house was an option.

That being said, the fact that it does plug into your car adds versatility. If you’re going on a long trip with your family, you can just bring this with you in the carrying case so you’re ready for any messes that might happen.

This will be perfect for camping trips in case we need a vacuum in the car and there’s no other outlet around.

The Verdict

The verdict is simple on the Black & Decker PAV1200W; if you have a messy car, buy this product!

You might be hesitant to spend Currently Not Available* on a vacuum that you can only use in your car, but it is well worth it. Since it was designed to clean car interiors, it’s the best at cleaning car interiors.

Stop looking everywhere for the cord for your rechargeable hand vacuum and stop tripping over your floor vacuum trying to clean your car. Life is better with a clean car and this Black & Decker is the best tool for the job.

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