Black & Decker is the parent copany of the other brands. I've used a lot of Black & Decker over the years, but I now question their commitment to the customer, quality control & some business practices.
I have the famous Black & Decker Dustbuster© vacuum. Bought 2; one for shop & one for house. The shop one quit in short order -- the problem was the transformer to recharge was defective. B&D would only sell me a new transformer at as much as a new vacuum set complete. Batteries were specific to B&D and cost almost as much as the set. Their life is miserable -- maybe 10-15 minutes of use. I trashed the shop one and now have spare batteries for the other for as long as it lasts.
[Addendum: 12/1/08 The house one crapped, too. Exactly the same problem -- bad transformer.
I have a Delta drill press & power miter saw. Nice press -- for made in China! When the drill stop casting cracked, it took two months to get a replacement. From China -- without the stigma of low Chinese cost. The casting on the vice is starting to crack, too. Chinese castings are crap.
My most recent incident occurred when my B&D shop floor fan (also made in China) started either not turning unless the blade was spin-started by hand, or screeching like chalk on a blackboard if it did start. It was only a about 3-4 years old -- way less than any of my other shop fans. It was used sparingly compared to the others, which might be on for days at a time. I wrote B&D. I got totally inane form letter email replies that had nothing to do with the product or problem. When I attempted to escalate, they refuse to return calls. Then they sent me a survey to ask how happy I was with their customer service . . . guess what the grade was!
DeWalt used to be a prime company with quality tools. I root for Matt Kenseth in NASCAR, but I'll be real selective before buying their products.
The thing that is so disgusting is I used to swear by B&D. As long as you bought their trade or commercial line of power tools, you were getting top notch. I've got a drill going on 30 years old. But it's younger cousin, a supposedly heavier duty version, broke in about 4 with a part that is NLA. Right now I look at Milwaukee first.
[Update 11/2/09: Black & Decker has been bought out by Stanley Works, subject to regulatory & shareholder approval, expected in early 2010.]
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 10-20-2010 at 05:47 AM. Reason: Update
Just a quick reply. If you want a rechargeable vacuum, look at the Dyson. You will probably only need one for all portable jobs.
hope a better article
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For Christmas, we replaced both of our vacuums since the B&D Dustbuster's© had died. For the shop, I went with a DeWalt Mod. #DE515-B. 18v, supposedly wet/dry. Yea, I know it's a B&D, but bought this one only because Lowes had a big sale. Noisy & clogs too easily, but seems to pick up OK. The 'detachable' hose is too short and the nozzle it forms too big to act as a crevise tool. No brush attachment. The collector can't be emptied without spilling contents everywhere.
For the house, we got a Dirt Devil Model #M0924. What an improvement over the Dustbuster©, even when the latter was new! Battery charge lasts through a complete job, something the Dustbuster© couldn't do even with fresh batteries, and suction is stronger to boot.
Last edited by Capt. Mike; 01-20-2009 at 03:37 PM. Reason: Update model #'s