Are Dirt Devil Handheld Vacuums Any Good?

Dirt Devil is a well known brand recognized around the entire US for their handheld vacuums. They provide some of the most versatile set of vacuums for both domestic and commercial use. The company’s impressive catalog of handheld vacuums brings together a dozen different products, each suited to different applications and power requirements.

Many of these models look very similar to each other. So how do you know which one will match your needs the best? And before we delve into the question of whether these hand vacs are worth spending money on, it is worth classifying them into different categories. Dirt Devil handheld vacuums fall into four main categories:

  1. Bagged
  2. Bagless
  3. Corded
  4. Cordless

On closer examination though, these categories are not mutually exclusive. For instance, some of the corded vacuums are bagless while others are bagged. For this reason let’s make matters simpler by grouping them into three rather amorphous classes as:

1. Bagged and Corded

Some good examples of include the M08230RED Corded and the M08230RED Ultra Corded. They both come with a motorized brushroll that is great for picking pet hair and debris from carpets, upholstery and car interiors. Just as well, both are fitted with 16 foot power cords as well as patented Microfresh filters.


  • Lightweight.
  • Shipped with accessories like crevice tools, brushroll and hose.
  • Mircrofresh filtration technology.
  • Fitted with 2 feet stretch hose.


  • Power cord does not have auto-rewind feature.
  • Need to empty and replace dust bag regularly.

2. Bagless and Corded

Good examples of vacuums in this range include the Purpose for Pets Hand Vac and the Classic 7 Amp. If you are looking for a versatile cleaner that works equally well on bare floors as well as on high-pile carpets, you will find these to be more than adequate:


  • Motorized brush for cleaning everything from embedded dirt to loose pet hair.
  • Come with 5 piece tool set including dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery cleaner.
  • HEPA certified filters.
  • Easy to empty dust cup.
  • 20 foot power cable.


  • The electric motor could be quieter.
  • Replacing the filter is not straightforward though this is only necessary about once every six months.

3. Bagless and Cordless

All cordless handheld vacuum’s in Dirt Devil’s bagless range are Energy Star rated to ensure efficiency and longevity of their rechargeable vacuums.

Read: Do You Really Need a Rechargeable Vacuum Cleaner?

Examples in this respect include the Gator 18V and the Accucharge 15.6V. They are also sold alongside AccuCharge chargers which optimize energy uptake for the shortest charge times.

They are not only compact but no effort has been spared in making them as lightweight as possible too.


  • 15 to 18 volts of rechargeable battery power.
  • Use AccuCharge system to shorten charge time.
  • Cordless convenience.
  • Intuitive, Easy-Empty dirt cup.
  • Integrated crevice tool for detailed cleaning of hard-to-reach parts.


  • The nickel cadmium batteries, while better at storing charge tend to be heavier than comparable lithium ion alternatives.
  • Not equipped with HEPA certified premium filters.

Read: Best Cordless Handheld Vacuum Buying Guide

Considering Your Needs

Handheld vacuums can cause a debate in the cleaning world because they don’t seem to fill an immediate need in most households. Many people might think of them as a silly idea if you have an entire house to clean, but what if you need something to take care of small messes or to clean small spaces? Dirt Devil handheld vacuums are a great idea for a lot of families and individuals alike, but it all comes down to what suits your needs the most.

When it comes down to handheld vacuums, Dirt Devils offer a lot of variety just like any other vacuums. You have a whole spectrum of choices, but it all comes down to a few things:

Cord or Cordless

Do you prefer lugging a heavy battery-powered vacuum around or dragging a cord behind you as you clean? Cords mean less weight, but a bit more hassle finding outlets and working within the cord’s range. Cordless gives you more freedom of movement at the expense of vacuuming time and heavier weight.

Filtration & Cleaning Power

Do you have allergies or problems with the quality of the air in your home? Better filtration helps to solve issues like these, but it will probably come at a cost both financially and with increased weight and size. Filtration options include bag choices of bagged or bagless vacuums as well as secondary HEPA and HEPA-like filters.

What kind of messes are you going to be cleaning up and from what surfaces? Pet owners and those with heavier carpets tend to need stronger suction to clean effectively, even if it’s just a small spot of messiness. Anyone with a hard surface floor shouldn’t need as strong of suction to do the job well.

Suction power is largely decided by the motor size and the dirt collection system. In general the more power a motor has the more suction you can expect from the vacuum. This can vary slightly between models, including between those that are bagged versus bagless, but for the most part a stronger motor is a good indication of powerful suction.

Suction power matters the most when you are planning to replace your home vacuum with a handheld. If you want to use it as a spot cleaner, for cars, or otherwise than you don’t need very strong suction power.

Filtration comes with a lot of different considerations. You can have bagged or bagless filtration systems combined with HEPA or HEPA-like secondary filtration, depending on what you need. Here is a guide to knowing which type of filtration system you should get based on your situation:

  • Pet owner – Pet hair and dander can be difficult to clean up. If you want to use your Dirt Devil handheld for cleaning up pet messes than it’s recommended that you get a bagged vacuum with a HEPA or HEPA-like filter. You might leave behind a bit of the pet dander if you skip the HEPA, plus the bagless vacuum dirt cups fill up rather quickly if are cleaning up pet hair.
  • Allergies – If you have strong allergies to pets, pollen, or otherwise than you should definitely look into getting the best filtration possible. Bagged vacuums suck up more particles than cyclonic filter systems and HEPA filters are much more reliable than HEPA-like or non-HEPA secondary filters.
  • Car Interior – Looking for a Dirt Devil to clean your car with? Don’t worry so much about secondary filtration, focus more on if you’d prefer bagged or bagless. Bagless may be easier to use for this because there are lots of larger pieces of dirt and debris that would fill up a vacuum bag far too quickly.
  • Spot Cleaning – Anyone using a handheld Dirt Devil to keep the house in tip-top shape does not need to worry about the secondary filtration system. Bagged or bagless will do just fine, depending on if numbers 1 or 2 also apply.


How much of each of these can you handle? If you’re a smaller person or aren’t as strong, you may not want to get a heavier vacuum because it will be more difficult for you to use effectively. Unfortunately, smaller and lighter vacuums probably have lower suction power, less filtration, or less battery power if it is a cordless vacuum. The main advantage of a light handheld is the huge increase in portability.

One of the best parts about handheld vacuums is that they are usually so lightweight and easy to maneuver. Dirt Devils give you a lot of options so you can choose the best weighted vac for your needs. Choose wisely as each choice you make for lighter weight is a trade-off for less of something else, be it suction power, filtration, or vacuum size. The one exception to this is that choice between battery-powered and corded vacuums, as corded handhelds weight much less and do not rely on battery life at all.


Handheld Dirt Devils can come with a wide range of attachments to reach every possible place in the home, even the ceilings. If you’re looking to use your handheld as a small-space cleaner, make sure to get one with the potential for a lot of versatile attachments.

Those of you who are looking for attachments or worried about spare part replacement, fear not. Dirt Devils are some of the most versatile and fixable handheld vacuums you can get and there are spare parts such as belts, filters, bags, or dirt cups widely available online. Attachments are made for each of the handheld vacuums, so you can search around and find the brushrolls, extensions, crevice tools, or anything else you need to complete your cleaning.

When to Use it

If you can’t think of a good situation to use a small handheld vacuum, you need to start thinking outside of the box! Handhelds have trouble replacing your main home vacuum unless you live in a small home or apartment, but they are perfect for touch-ups or single room cleaning if you don’t want to bust out the large vacuum all the time. Imagine if you knock over a potted plant and spill dirt on the floor. How much easier is it to just pick up your tiny vacuum and collect the dirt in this one spot instead of taking the effort to drag out a full-sized vacuum?

Also, dusting becomes a lot more efficient with a small handheld vacuum that can reach into tight spaces. Attachments make all the difference here, letting you reach to stairs, the tops of bookcases, and light fixtures with a lot more ease. Your car is another easy area to clean with a handheld Dirt Devil!

What Others Are Saying About it

Dirt Devil makes a large variety of vacuums, by they’re probably most famous for their handheld vacuums. If you simply look online at some of the different models offered by or various household review sites you’ll find generally good ratings from customers everywhere. These are usually reliable vacuums that get the job done, although they may not come with all the fancy bells and whistles of more modern and high tech vacuums.

Is it Worth Your Money?

Handhelds are not a necessity for every home, but if you think you could find a good use for one why not make the investment? You can save yourself some time, strength, and frustration in the long run by avoid whole-house cleaning as frequently. On the other hand, if your home is large and constantly in need of cleaning because of children, animals, or anything else than you might not find these reasons as convincing or compelling. Whatever your needs are, if you can solve them with a handheld Dirt Devil vacuum than it might be a wonderful idea, otherwise you shouldn’t bother.

As we have established, the Dirt Devil range of handheld vacuums is considerably wide and each sub-category boasts a motley collection of features. A closer examination of the vacuums available in each category reveals that the company is both innovative and resilient in optimizing their products to the needs of the market.

Whether you are very choosy or just need a vacuum cleaner which gets the job done, you are sure to find at least one Dirt Devil handheld vacuum that is perfect for your needs. Efficient, ergonomic, environmentally friendly and even pretty to look at; they are definitely worth the money.

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