Dewalt recently came out with a new DCV517 20V Max cordless hand vacuum, and we’ve been using it for about 6 weeks of casual cleanup tasks.
This model is quite a bit different, and smaller, than the Dewalt DCV581H 20V Max vacuum that I previously reviewed. That vacuum earned a 20 out of 20 rating for its power, runtime, portability, and build quality.
The Dewalt DCV517 is a HEPA-filtered vac with around 1/2 gallon capacity. I have a purchased copy of their 18V vac, but it’s been collecting dust in recent years – and not in the way it’s intended to – because of my strong preference for Li-ion battery platforms.
As mentioned in the preview post, here’s a quick list of the DCV517’s features:
- 1/2 gallon capacity
- Gore HEPA filter is rinsable, reusable
- Flexible hose attachment, 2.5′ extendable to 5′
- Membrane filter allows for wet or dry pickup
- Gripped handle for comfort
- Built-in “gulper” nozzle
The main standouts are its built-in gulper nozzle and the extendable hose.
The DCV517 is compact and reasonably lightweight, making it a quick companion for taking from place to place. It’s more compact than larger vacs, and has a more versatile design compared to some of the other handheld vacs on the market.
It can be used with standard vacuum attachments, but you’ll need to pick up with a DWV9000 adapter separately.
The vacuum has decent suction power for picking up everything from drywall dust to wood chips. It’s not going to pick up large chunks of wood, obviously.
The built-in nozzle is a great convenience, but there are some limitations. You lose some of the efficiency you get with a separate hose, wand, and nozzle assembly. But that’s part of this vacuum’s appeal – it’s a one-piece system without loose attachments to keep track of.
There are times when the nozzle can’t reach the debris I need to pickup, or when it’s awkward for me to reach with the entire vacuum, and that’s when the flexible hose comes in handy.
The vac is loud, but I don’t often wear hearing protection for quick cleanup tasks. It’s about as loud as a household DustBuster, and a little quieter than my standup vac.
I would say I favor the larger Dewalt vacuum a bit more, due to its greater capacity, its easier reach with the nozzle and crevice attachments, and the flexibility of being able to plug it into the wall outlet when the battery is ready for a charge and there’s still cleaning to be done.
But with both being available to me, I have found myself toting around the smaller vac a bit more often, saving the larger one for larger or messier cleanup tasks. A full-size corded vac gets pulled into action for the largest or widest-area messes.
I mainly use this vac for cleaning as I go. That way it helps keep the mess down along the way. I could do the same with the larger cordless vac, or a full-size shop vac or dust extractor, but doing so tends to be more of an interruption.
Do you want a compact and highly portable cordless vacuum with HEPA level filtration, wet/dry pickup capabilities, a built-in nozzle, and extending hose? It’s got good suction power, decent runtime, and its dust container is easy to empty and clean.
Price: $79 for the bare vac, $179 as a kit
Thank you to Dewalt for providing the test sample unconditionally.