Black and Decker Air Swivel Lite Vacuum


Avg. consumer rating = 76/100 

The Black and Decker Air Swivel Lite (model BDASL202) is a very lightweight, bagless upright vacuum cleaner. It is also compact and easy to maneuver.  The suction is good, it performs well on pet hair, and the machine is affordable.  It does have some issues however.  A number of owners have reported that it just stops running for no apparent reason and it either has to be repaired or replaced – there doesn’t seem to be an easy fix.  In addition, there are several instances of the belt breaking.



Quick Specs
Type Upright
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Bare Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 8.8 lbs
HEPA Filter No
Power Cord Length 20 feet
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 1 Year


Consumer Ratings
Over 200 consumer ratings were found at several respected online retail outlets.  The figures are provided in the table below.  When averaged these ratings produce a score of about 76 out of 100 (or 3.8 stars out of 5).  This is below the average upright vacuum score on our site.  You can see comparisons in our upright vacuum ratings table or on our vacuum cleaner finder page.

Source Consumer Rating #Ratings
Amazon 3.5 stars out of 5 140
Best Buy 4.4 stars out of 5 20
Overstock 4.2 stars out of 5 74
Walmart 1 star out of 5 1


Black and Decker AirSwivel Lite FrontConsumer Insights
A thorough review of owner comments has provided the following AirSwivel Lite likes and dislikes:

- Lightweight
- Easy to move and maneuver
- Washable filters
- Very affordable

- No extension wand
- No height adjustment
- Belt breaking seems common
- Many reports that vacuum just stops working

What are Owners Saying?
Probably the first thing that strikes you when reading Air Swivel Lite owner comments is the large number of folks who have had their vacuum simply stop working.  Our first reaction was that perhaps the machine was simply overheating and the thermal switch was engaging. We did see some of this (the result of a clogged hose and an overheating motor), however in many cases the unit would not turn on again, despite the vacuum being idle for a long period of time. People report having to return the vacuum or, in some cases, folks have just given up on it.

Quite a few owners have highlighted that the vacuum worked very well at first, however, at some point, after a period of weeks or a few months, it just turned itself off and could not be turned on again.

Another frequent problem is that of the belt breaking.  This seems all too commonplace with the Air Swivel.  To make matters even more difficult, many consumers have had a tough time locating the right replacement belt to buy.

While the vacuum is marketed as being designed for both carpet and bare floors, it does not have brushroll on/off controls or nozzle height adjustment. A brushroll is generally OFF for cleaning bare surfaces and the nozzle height is adjusted depending on the carpet height (roughly speaking).  There has been some grumbling that it can be quite difficult to push this vacuum on deeper pile carpet.  

There are a few other issues with this machine but they are not ones that consumers appear to be too concerned about – this is probably, to some extent, due to the exceptionally low price point of the vacuum which is in the neighborhood of $50 - $60.  Consumers, logically, understand that such an affordable machine will have some shortcomings.  Some of these might includes the short power cord, the shortish hose, the fact that it is hard to manage the power cord, etc.  Again, not huge concerns for most owners.

AirSwivel Back View

On the plus side, the vacuum scores well with owners with respect to suction.  Many are pleased with what they feel is strong suction.  It is also quite capable at pulling up pet hair.  Homeowners with pets – both cats and dogs – report that the vacuum does a great job of removing pet hair from both carpet and bare floors.  The brushroll also does not appear to get tangled with hair easily which is nice.

The compact nature of the machine has resulted in far more praise than derision – which is not always the case with a smaller vacuum.  Folks like how easy it is to store and also how lightweight it is.  The combination of light weight and the swivel head also make the vacuum extremely easy to maneuver - an area where the vacuum scores big.  In addition, the nozzle head is not too wide which results in the ability to get into fairly tight and narrow areas.  Finally, the lightweight nature of the vacuum makes it easy to carry up and down stairs or from room to room.

You can see more Air Swivel owner comments on Amazon if you wish.

Details and Specifications
The Black and Decker Air Swivel Lite BDASL202 is a bagless upright vacuum cleaner.  It has a clear, bottom empty dust canister with a volume of 2 liters (about 0.52 gallons).  This is a reasonable size, especially given the compact nature of the vacuum.

The BDASL202 is described by Black and Decker as an “ultra light weight” machine.  At 8.8 lbs I suppose we can go along with that.  It is certainly lighter than most uprights on the market today, but there are others that are comparable – see our list of Lightweight Vacuum Cleaners where we highlight some good upright machines between 7.7 lbs and 12.8 lbs.

Lightweight Air Swivel Vacuum

This is not an attachment-rich vacuum and you only get the one tool: a 2-in-1 crevice/brush tool.  This tool is the combination of a crevice tool and a small dusting brush.  The vacuum also does not include an extension wand which is something of a surprise as most machines do.  The tool fits on the end of the handle at the end of the 6.5 foot hose.

Air Swivel Lite Tool

The 2-in-1 crevice/brush tool can be stored on-board the vacuum.  Other versions of the Air Swivel have different tool sets, for example:

AirSwivel LITE (which is this one – the BDASL202)
- Includes 2-in-1 crevice/brush tool

AirSwivel PET (BDASP103)
- Includes 2-in-1 crevice/brush tool, and Pet tool

- Includes 3-in-1 crevice/brush/upholstery tool, and Pet tool

The machines above also have different power cord lengths:
LITE – 20 feet
PET – 25 feet
VERSATILE – 30 feet

At 20 feet we’d have to say the power cord on the Air Swivel LITE is short.  This is akin to something you might find on a canister vacuum and is certainly shorter than most upright power cords.

The nozzle on this vacuum has no height controls.  Units with height controls will often have a small dial on the front of the nozzle allowing one to raise or lower the nozzle, which helps set an optimal distance (for cleaning and mobility) from the floor surface.  In the case of the Air Swivel you do not have this and as a result it can be difficult to move if you have deep pile carpet.  

Aside: We have noticed that the Black and Decker website indicates that this vacuum has 75 Air Watts of suction.  Most manufacturers don’t provide this information but it is common for Dyson to do so. So by way of comparison we’ve shown the recent Dyson upright vacuum suction figures below:

- Dyson Cinetic Big Ball = 180 Air Watts
- Dyson Ball = 270 Air Watts

Bear in mind that Dyson vacuums are substantially more expensive but the figures do provide some context to the suction of the smaller Black and Decker unit.

The brushroll in the nozzle cannot be turned off.  Usually you want the brushroll off when cleaning bare floors - a stiff brushroll can mar delicate flooring and it can also sometimes cause debris to scatter on bare surfaces.  Also while you are using the hose/tools you typically do not want the brushroll to continue spinning while the vacuum is sitting in one place.  Having said all this, we have not seen any complaints about the lack of brushroll on/off controls from owners.  

The nozzle has what the industry commonly calls swivel steering which allows it to pivot and change direction at the twist of a wrist.  This works quite well and Black and Decker report that this model has a full 170 degrees of motion.  The nozzle also has a 12 inch cleaning path width which is a bit on the narrow side for an upright – it is somewhere between a full size upright and a stick vac.  Some owners find this an asset as the nozzle moves easier and is capable of getting into narrow, tight areas, however others find it a drawback as you have to do more passes of the vacuum to clean an area.  It depends on your preferences and to some extent your room layout.

Air Swivel Lite Swivel Head

There are two filters on the vacuum - 1 pre-motor and 1 post-motor.  The pre-motor filter is found under the dust cup lid (Black and Decker refer to this as the “Dust Cup Filter”).  This filter is washable and when it is completely dry it can be reinserted back into the vacuum.  The post-motor filter (or exhaust filter) is found under the filter cover on top of the nozzle.  This filter is also washable and should be cleaned every 3 months or so.  Neither of these filters are HEPA.

The vacuum also has a carry handle, a power on/off foot pedal (near the backside of the nozzle), and it is UL listed.  UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories which is a non-profit, independent product safety certification organization in the United States.  In addition, the Air Swivel carries a 1-year limited warranty against defects in material and/or workmanship.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
In our opinion the manual is rather poor.  You can see it here: Black and Decker Air Swivel Manual.   It doesn’t cover the features particularly well.  In addition, the images are not very good and even some of the text is messed up. We recognize this is an inexpensive machine but we would have liked to see the manufacturer make a little more of an effort on the manual.


Highest Scoring Vacuums
#1 CORDLESS VACUUM:   Dyson V8 Absolute (94/100)
Top Cordless Vacuum
#1 UPRIGHT VACUUM:      Shark NV752 TruePet (94/100)
Top Upright Vacuum
  Also see Shark NV801 (94/100) 
#1 CANISTER VACUUM:    Miele Complete C2 Hard Floor (93/100)
Top Canister Vacuum



0 # Eve 2019-03-12 18:42
Great machine. Have had mine 3 years. Only issue, belt. I called Back & Decker, they sent me two. Have not had to replace belt in over a year. This lite weight vacuum is great Vacuuming up pet hair, has very good power, easy to maneuver, works extremely well on both carpet and wood floors (we have both), and greatest feature; I can wash all parts of the canister and filters! I bought this machine as I was waiting for my Dyson Animal to be repaired for the 3rd time, when Dyson repaired it didn’t have same power as it did when new. [*]d Dyson and continue to use Air Swivel with great satisfaction. As a matter of fact, I found this Review [*] while looking to see if Black+Decker still carried this model (BDASL202 120V-60Hz HOUSEHOLD TYPE because I want to buy another to keep in back of house (we have 2600+ sq. Ft. Home). I
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0 # Rachel 2018-10-19 21:46
I purchased this vacuum about nine months ago and I started to notice how it was losing power and I don’t vacuum much because all I have in my home is runners and then about a week ago I decided to take it out and check to see if a hose with planned and it wouldn’t even turn on so I try to reach out to customer service and he told me that there’s nothing they could do because I don’t have the receipt where I purchased in nine months ago even though it has a factory warranty for a year and because the model number says that it was made two years ago how are we supposed to know how long something sits on the shelf so then they told me to call target where I purchased it and to see if they could give me a receiptcome on like target would have my receipt nine months ago so now I’m stuck what a broken vacuum Even though are usually read ratings of a product before I purchased first time I didn’t just giving you a heads up I would pass on this vacuum and if you decide to purchase it and make sure you hold onto your receipt in all honesty not worth the money A horrible customer service I would go with a better brand a company that cares about their products and their reputation ps obviously there’s a problem with the vacuum just turning off I’ve read it now and a lot of people’s comments and they still don’t care
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# Betty Arce 2018-09-18 16:37
My Power Swivel Model # BDPSC103 worked great for about a month then I found the suction to be so weak. I looked for clogs in the hose, found none and became dispirited and put it away. I took it out today and it works only on my bare floors but on the carpets (very low pile) it does a terrible job. I've had so many bad experiences with vacuum cleaners, but this was the worse!
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0 # Shy 2018-07-26 10:20
Well after reading this I learned sadly my vacuum died tonight it just turned off.After further inspection I learned that the filter where the ball is was plum full of debris dog hair and so I took it apart and still have not found a way to get in to remove it remind you it’s not the filter with the lock there is another filter inside that vent. It was really hot when it shut itself off I think it’s an exhaust and if it is plug it will over heat and seize up the motor so it doesn’t just stop it’s got a design flaw and I really loved this vacuum barely used it good thing I registered it. So maybe this info will help black and decker fix the problem so that I can continue to purchase in the future.
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0 # Amy Beauchamp 2018-07-20 20:31
I had mine for a few months and the tube that goes into the canister is totally clogged up, and even emptying it, it still isn't suctioning well. I'm really disappointed with this machine, I wish I would've kept my clunky old one that actually did the job....does anyone have any info on how to get a refund or information on how to fix it?
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# Regina 2018-05-19 20:36
I bought this vac in Nov. 17 and today I have no power. I will not turn on or do anything. I loved it when I first bought it but only lasted 6 months a waste of my money. Very disappointed!!!!
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+1 # Holly Hoskinson 2018-05-09 11:42
I had mine for about 2 months worked great then one day it shut off on it's own i let it rest turned it on there was no suction.
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# Herekittykitty 2018-02-18 20:28
I was looking for troubleshooting on my vacuum when I saw this site. I have had this vacuum about 2 months... purchased around Christmas. I loved it....till now...it just shut off while vaccumming. I cant get it to start again, everything is clean. While the price was great at time of purchase...this makes it a waste if money....... anyone able to get theirs going again?
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+1 # Ray Soda 2018-02-21 18:06
I was able to repair 2 vacuums that were [*]d to our church. The power cord wires had pulled loose within the housing. You can reattach them, then, be sure to secure the cord on the outside so that it doesn't pull loose again. Not a good design!
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+1 # Jo Siler 2018-01-17 19:50
Worked great for 2 weeks then it died won't turn back on
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-1 # Michelle Jeske 2017-12-07 04:19
I like this vacuum but sometimes I loose suction or I don't see dirt accumulating in the dirt cup. What do I do?? All the hoses look clear.
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# Nigel 2017-12-08 00:34
You may want to check (and possibly clean) the filters. If they get too dirty they can inhibit airflow and thereby reduce the suction and performance of the vacuum.
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+2 # Ely 2018-07-19 20:39
Quoting Nigel:
You may want to check (and possibly clean) the filters. If they get too dirty they can inhibit airflow and thereby reduce the suction and performance of the vacuum.
I have the same issue - the vacuums is spitting dirt & stuff into air & not suctioning & believe me, filters are clean; unit is only a month old... I got a newer version of my older vacuum (the one this was suppose to replace) & the crap it picked up after the first run was crazy. Go figure, I paid more for the piece of junk that doesn't work. Not Happy
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+1 # LOVE, ELLEN 2017-06-25 15:34
I have owned & used so many different brands of vacuum cleaners in my many years of cleaning (I'm 73); but, the one that has been around and most user-friendly is the B&D Air Swivel that I use today. It is easy to take apart for a good cleaning plus the filters clean up really good for re-use. I've paid from $120 to $60 for my Swivel and by far gotten my money's worth from the $60 purchase! Thank you Black & Decker!
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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.