Update to Black & Decker Flex Vacuum

Black & Decker Flex Vacuum


The Black & Decker Flex Vacuum is a handy portable rechargeable vacuum that I reviewed awhile back, I have not used it often but I have had someone ask a question about the batteries.

Flex Batteries

The two battery packs in the base of the vacuum that runs the motor is comprised of five each C cell batteries from Sanyo that are 1500 mAh capacity. The voltage of each battery is 1.2 volts at 1500 mAh so the total voltage adding all batteries is 12 volts DC, the C cell batteries are connected in series.

The two battery packs are connected to each other in series using small connector wires with connectors like those used on automobiles. The two battery packs can easily be replaced with new ones or with ones of higher capacity as long as you use twelve volts as the voltage.

The mAh capacity of a battery is the amount of voltage it can put out over a period of time while the voltage is the total output of the battery. You can use batteries of different amperage but you need to stay with the same volatge so you can use batteries with a higher capacity to have the vacuum last longer.

Battery Pack

As you can see each pack is made of five C cell batteries with a small piece of metal soldered on each end to either connect each battery or the pack to the vacuum. The packs are covered with a shrink wrap plastic but if you make your own some masking tape or electrical tape will work just as well.

The contacts used to connect the wires are simple ones and can be purchased at Radio Shack, you can buy all parts needed including batteries at Radio Shack and other battery stores like Batteries Plus. A contact is on the other side of this pack which runs to the vacuum that connects to the battery at the other end of the pack from the yellow wire while the yellow wire connects to the other battery pack.

The Black & Decker Flex uses Nicad batteries, I think, but you can replace them with either Nicad or NiMH batteries, NiMH are the more current version of rechargeable batteries. I am not sure if you could replace them with Lithium-Ion batteries but this would have to require a little more research.

You can have packs made at stores like Batteries Plus or you can try your hand at making them yourself. Many radio control forums and websites have videos and instructions on making battery packs.

Some references can be found here:



But you can easily Google search and find plenty of places with information on making your own packs.