Top positive review
June 29, 2017
Wish I'd bought this on Amazon instead of in the store. It would have a been a little cheaper. That being said, I'm very happy with this vacuum so far. Kenmore has made this vacuum in various versions for decades and this is my second one. The first one lasted about 14 years before it finally gave up the ghost. I can't speak to the longevity of this version yet, but it appears to be the same high quality, just with a few updated features that I appreciate having. The only other vacuum I've owned was a very high end ultra light weight Riccar upright that I used for years in my housekeeping business. That being said, I had housekeeping customers who wanted me to use my machine and customers who wanted me to use theirs, so I've probably used a lot more vacuums than the average consumer over the years.
In my experience, this is the best vacuum cleaner you're going to get outside of a dedicated vacuum cleaner shop. Shark and Dyson are extremely clumsy and gimmicky, and no matter what the marketing says they lose suction worse than bagged model vacuum machines. They are also very messy to dump the dust cup from compared to changing a vacuum cleaner bag. In my experience, if you change the bags and filters on time on a high quality vacuum and give it a good cleaning every once in a while, it won't loose suction.
The design on this Kenmore is very well thought out. Honestly, I can't understand why power team canisters aren't a lot more popular. When I would use a customer's upright with attachments I was always annoyed with short hoses, machines toppling over when reaching for something using the attachments, and dealing with getting the hose in and out of the machine was usually a pain. On top of all those annoyances, you can't even vacuum your hard floors with an upright w/ attachments. With this canister machine, it's really simple. You just push a button with your foot and the wand pops right out. Go ahead and suck up that pile of paper clips your kids left on the floor, the hose is huge so they won't get stuck. Go ahead and reach for those cobwebs on the ceiling. The wand telescopes so it won't take you any time to assemble a wand, AND you're machine won't fall over while you do it. Go ahead and vacuum under the couch. The power head has a low profile and the wand lays flat against the floor, so you can get under all but the tightest places. Unlike my last Kenmore canister, the power had seems to work just as well on hard floors as carpets, so I don't even have to change the head when going from room to room or rug to bare floor! I love it.
When I got this I assumed it wouldn't vacuum my carpets as well as my Riccar. (I wouldn't have even replaced the Riccar, but I shorted the circuit board with moisture and the machine was so beat up from years of cleaning houses with it, it wasn't worth the repair cost anymore.) I was alright with the idea that it might take a few more minutes to vacuum the carpet because I figured I was getting the convenience of being able to spot vacuum corners and couch cushions as I did entire rooms in trade for being able to sweep up ground in dog hair in one pass. I was wrong. I hadn't had a working vacuum for two weeks in June in a house with two big shedding dogs when I finally decided to go back to the Kenmore canister. The Kenmore sucked it right up in one pass. I was very happy! As a bonus, it's a lot easier to push across my relatively thick, plush, carpet than my wonderful Riccar ever was.
There are a couple of things about this Kenmore canister that concern me in terms of longevity. The big back wheels seem kind of flimsy. I worry that one of them might snap off eventually. It seems like a really odd design choice because everything else about the machine appears to be well thought out both in terms of usability and durability. My other concern is that the pieces inside the metal extension wand that hold the attachments on are plastic and not metal. They do, however, seem to be pretty sturdy plastic and they hold firmly. I can't remember if my last Kenmore canister had plastic or metal clips, but I do remember they never broke over the years that the machine cleaned up after lots of pets in a big, dirty, farm house.
All in all, I really don't think you can get a better designed, more powerful, or durable vacuum machine at this price. The only other machine I know of that comes close in terms of usability is the Meile canister power team and it costs three times as much. Plus, the variable suction control for the Kenmore is on the handle instead of the canister, unlike the Meile, and the bags are cheaper. The Meile is probably more likely to last a lifetime though, so if you've got the cash it's probably a worthy investment. I didn't have a grand to drop on a vacuum cleaner, so I got this Kenmore and I couldn't be happier with it.