Review on a couple of vaccuums

cupajoeSeptember 26, 2004

I've used Kenmore tank vaccuums for years,and while they are a quality product,as I age their weight is taking it's toll on me.Additionally,I feel that they are not made as well as they used to be,and Sears loves to give me a battle over the repair warrenties when I do bring them in.For the past two years I have tried to keep the total vaccuum weight under ten pounds.The top of the list is Kenmore's magic blue.Love the way it breaks from wand to upholstery.Hate its very breakable parts.It has a typical life of four to six months being used on two houses a day.Not great on barefloor,but the convenience of a one switch button between carpet and floor almost make up for it.The wand extends for height adjustment.Price still sits around $150 for it unless it's on sale.

A friend told me about the forty dollar Eureka Ralley and I decided to try it.It had a ten month life,although I have administered cpr in the form of duct tape more than once.Terrific for bare floors,under ten pounds,lowest profile of any vaccuum I've ever used.What this means is that it fits under almost every single piece of furniture with ease.On the minus side,there are no push in button and holes to hold its many parts together.That means that it frequently comes unassembled while working.The floor head has a button that raises or lowers a brush for floor or carpet use.The head really only works well with the brush up all the time,and after ten months the button clicks down when I don't want it to.A replacement head is twenty bucks for one small piece.May as well replace the vaccuum.Not the greatest on carpet,but certainly adequate.Loved that the floor head was real wide.Loved the extension handle which adjusts for height.Walmart no longer sells this for forty,and the cheapest online price to date is $56.Still a bargain for the money in my opinion.I would rather have a vaccuum I can tape back together than one that needs surgery in a repair shop each time.Oh yeah,one more plus (for me anyway).There is no beater bar,thus I don't have to unassemble the head and unwind my waist long hair from the bar everytime I vaccuum my own house,as I must with any of the Kenmore's.I realize,however,that many people prefer the beater bar.

Onto that ubiquitous Shark that seems to be everywhere.The first one that I tried was a tank with the hepa filter. I paid $89 at Target for it.Dyson's ad is right .After about a week the stupid hepa filter was clogged beyond belief,affecting the suction power.The filter doesn't involve merely tapping into the garbage.It involved a process closer to beating the bijeezus out of it for twenty minutes after each homecleaning.Even though I also brushed the dirt out,the filter was useless after a month.I returned it to where I bought it.A vaccuum should work longer than a month.

Another friend called me to preview her Shark stickvac.She was really excited about it's performance(I know,I know..we cleaners get excited over stuff that would bore your average housewife to tears).Since she only uses top of the line equipment,I was suprised at her enthusiasm for a forty dollar cheapy.I immediately made a date to preview,and although I have a few reservations,I bought one yesterday.It has great suction on barefloor and is the best little vaccuum for grabbing dust out of the corners.The suction on this baby is incredible.Almost too strong to do a house of carpet,because there is no way to regulate the suction,as there is with both the Rally and the Magicblue.The profile on this vaccuum is extremely high,so plan on carrying a long handled duster to reach under furniture.Although it breaks down into a chore vaccuum for upholstery cleaning,the process is inconvenient enough to make it essential that you do all these chores first,then reassemble and do the floors.Love the weight,love the carrying handle.The filter on this one has a cover,so hopefully it won't clog up the way the other one did.

We are currently searching for the Shark stick vaccuum that has a seperate switch for carpet cleaning.At 110 pounds,I am not heavy enough to push your average hepa filter vaccuum across a house full of carpet without throwing my back out.

I would be interested in any vaccuum reviews,especially for those under $120.I've discovered that the high end vaccuums break down to often to justify the price for my purposes.Thanks,Sandy

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Off hand I can't think of any particular model there are so many now and they keep changing them or bringing out new replacements. Most are pretty flimsy these days. I hate those annoying friction fit wands that keep coming loose as well. Have you tried piecing together good wands with the button clips to another machine you like and sort of making your own vacuum from various machines? I use two machines, my very heavy and noisy Hoover powerdrive on carpets and a shoulder strap 20 year old Kenmore Handvac that's very versatile..I don't think they make it anymore though. It's similar to those little Shark handvacks that come with a wand,hose, nozzels etc that can fit any which way you like but don't hold as much dirt as the old Kenmore.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 2:35PM
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I got tired of all the cheap vacs we've bought through the years and went in and asked a vac repairman what he would recommend. He strongly recommended a Sanyo which I had never heard of, said I could bring it back if it did not do the job. I don't know how much it weighs but it's medium weight. It's an upright and not too hard to push around. I should mention, I hate vacuuming. That was four years ago, it's still going strong. It has a short hose to use alone or with onboard attachments while using the floor brush, pop it out and pop it right back in. It's also fairly quiet as vacuums go. The store has been cleaning it free once a year, and my only expense has been bags now that my 2 year supply ran out.

We just got through buying an Electrolux commercial for our business and I was impressed at its power and SHOCKED at how much dirt and dog hair it pulled out of a freshly "cleaned" carpet (our manager's). She spends every weekend cleaning her house, and is so proud of her clean house they don't wear shoes indoors. She's been using a central vacuum system which she just replaced with an electrolux system. Unfortunately, I think the commercial vac was around $800, with a home show discount. We took the vacuum to the office and filled about half the bag with dirt, which didn't surprise me as I had complained about how badly that vacuum compared with my one at home. One of these days, I'll drag that one home and see how much dirt it gets out of my carpeting.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2004 at 6:25PM
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I should probobly tell you that the reason I'm reviewing in the ten pound class or less is because I developed carpel tunnel moving the thirty pounders from the car to the clients house.And the reason I'm looking for cheapies is that the life of a vaccuum used for professional cleaning is between six and eight months,no matter how much is paid for it.I have a few clients that have high end machines of their own that they bought for my use.Not moving them back and forth to a car is huge.
As for the Orreck,it is extremely pricy.I've used them before and although they are alright,I'm not crazy over them because the cord is constantly in the way.Wonder how much the electrolux weighs?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2004 at 9:51AM
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I also clean houses do about 15 per week. Done it for past 18 years. Have had Oreck for last 11 years. Only repairs is I change belt every 6 months. Paid $339 for it. The canister that came with it lasted 5. Bought another one at garage sale. Lady had pasted away daughter sold it to me for $10. Have used it for 5 years. Also I have Oreck for my house. When we clean carpet -not as bad as when I had the Hoover that is way too heavy to take upstairs.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2004 at 9:21PM
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You know,I hated the old orrecks,but I kinda like the new ones .They seem more ergonomic.The thing about the Kenmores is that they break down for chores with a push of the button.The older Kenmores used to have a life of five years.The new ones are just too cheaply made.I would prefer a canister over an upright,and I guess with all the new models out there I'm hoping for something easy to use and with great power.Your track record with the Orreck is pretty impressive though.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2004 at 11:19PM
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My cleaning lady uses a Sanitaire commercial vacuum and has been very pleased with how well they hold up and how easy they are to transport. I just ordered one for around $150, prices vary widely. It has a switch on the handle for alternating between hard floors and carpet, and the handle folds down for easier storage. Low profile and seems to clean much better than my heavy duty Wind Tunnel.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2004 at 4:14PM
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Men have riding lawnmowers, I want a riding vac! My biggest problem vac-ing is my back, and would love to zip around sitting, change to wand with flip of a switch, have an edger that actually works and a zoom extention for ceilings, a fine duster, place to hold my tea, tv, radio, phone, massage, foot bath.....

    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 10:36AM
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Man that would be the life.If it had storage for the rest of my cleaning stuff and I could somehow drive it between houses on the highway(while also being small enough to maneuver around tiny kitchens and bathrooms,you can count me in.I could be soaking my feet while I clean houses,lol.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2004 at 8:36PM
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Great idea bodi, why should women work so hard to keep dust off floors. I'm almost tempted to try out one of those vacuums that work on their own, like the Roomba. I could keep it busy all the time. Vacuuming is not my idea of fun.

    Bookmark   November 23, 2004 at 9:29PM
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Had an Oreck, okay for wall to wall, hated it for hardwood. I personally prefer canister vacs.

I have a Miele and I LOVE IT! It's expensive but it's fabulous. Don't know how it would hold up to professional use, but I've had mine for three years (and it's been jumped on by a toddler the entire time, no joke) and I've only changed the bag in it.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2004 at 11:41PM
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My house keeper has a Miele and has had it for over 6 years. She started out with the Red star. She recently treated herself to the Aluminum model which is bigger than the Red Star and her assistant is using the red star. I have had my Miele for 5years and would not trade in for the world. I have not developed carpel tunnel but the canisters are my favorite machines.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   December 10, 2004 at 8:42PM
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Love cannisters. I have yet to meet an upright that doesn't spit stuff all over wood or linoleum floors. Even the Oreck. Oreck was great on wall to wall, but forget about it for anything else. And I certainly didn't want TWO vaccums!

I heard a professional cleaner speaking once and he made some comment like "a cannister vac is like pulling around a pig on a rope' or somesuch snooty nonsense. And I always wanted to say to him "but an upright can't really get under that bed, or be used to suck cobwebs from corners, or clean windowsills or furniture, and they're poopy on stairs...So SUEY! Love the cannister... And with a beater brush head, you've got the capability for all sorts of flooring...

    Bookmark   December 15, 2004 at 11:37PM
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smom40, you have me howling.

I've been hanging around too long on a forum that is only for vacuum cleaners. I'm going to end up with an upright (Kenmore/Panasonic from Sears, $130) for the carpets, and low end Miele with straight suction - maybe a red star or something. I just bought a small (1 quart bags) Royal Airopro canister for quick kitchen clean ups to replace a Sanyo Transformax which I LOVE as an electric broom but I am getting lazy in my old age and want the auto-rewind of the canisters. I'm ending up with FOUR vacuums! Whoo hoo.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2004 at 3:46PM
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I have two long hair cats and the Dyson Animal was recommended. I have been using it for several months and it certainly seems to be doing the job. I use to change the bag in my Kenmore canister once every two or three months. I am emptying the Dyson (bagless) two to three times a week. Since the cats aren't shedding that much hair, I am assuming that what the Dyson is picking up is what the Kenmore didn't picked up.

The wand and attachments are challenging to me. I guess I haven't figured it out yet and need to go back to the manual.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 2:14AM
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Mustangs, I'm having the same experience. I am in shock and disbelief at how many times I have had to empty the Dyson. I love the Dyson, it's best little 'sucker', I've ever had. I had a Hoover Wind Tunnel, I thought it was pretty good....guess, not.

I am doing pretty good with the attachments. I happen to have the tube extensions from different vacuum, they also fit the Dyson. I'm tall and I felt that I wanted the wand to be longer (taller). I have ceramic tile to sweep and I'm using the floor tool on the wand. Great for reaching high places, too. I also find I like using the attachments directly on the end of the hose (without handle), especially for dusting.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2004 at 3:46PM
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I've looked at the Dyson at the store.They now actually have a Dyson canister.But for the money the whole dang thing is made of plastic,and I know from experience that all those little plastic clips will break after being snapped in and out all day long.I wish Mr.Dyson would kindly swich to titanium or at least honeycomb plastic,which is stronger than what he is currently using.BTW,the salesman says that three Dyson's a week come back with broken hoses.So the day I tried the Dyson,I bought the other stick Shark with the rug beater.It's not the persuit,but one in between the forty dollar mdel and their hundred dollar special.I bought it for $64 dollars using a coupon from Linens and Things.I like the vaccuum overall,but the filter is not as nice as the one on the forty dollar model,so it needs constant emptying.It doesn't stand up on carpet,so my helper promptly broke the plastic clip that holds the hose out of the way.The engine is small,and overheats easily.That means rotating chores in a house instead of vaccuuming all the way through.Once the engine overheats,the vaccuum dies and needs several hours to cool off.Ease of use is remarkable though.I love the easy switch to attachments.It sucks up animal hair like nobodies business.My helper(and I'm using the term loosely because there is a problem with her "helpfulness") accidently threw it down a staircase severing the handle from the body .I am currently using it with handle duct taped back on.I will be buying another of these for home use,although this one is too much of a PITA to use for commercial cleaning.The day it overheated,I went out and bought a small Eureka with a hepalike filter.It's an upright,and the handle folds down.I paid $56 dollars at Walmart for it.Save your money folks.This one is a dog.It doesn't pick up anything as heavy as a bread crumb.Attachment hose falls off when extended.Brush roller sits too low to the floor and clogs easily.I'm contemplating a return for this baby.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2004 at 11:33PM
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I loved my Electrolux canister. I had it about twelve years The hose clogged twice,the second time it died. Since then I have owned a Hoover Wind Tunnel bagless, Eureka (can't recall name) and currently have Bissell which I like much better than the other two. When it dies, I will go back to Electrolux. It worked best of any vacuum I have ever owned. I had the world's worst shedding dog. And the Electrolux was terrific on pet hair.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 3:12PM
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Loving my new Windsor Sensor XP12. I have a ton of hardwood floor and it automatically adjusts the brush height up and down from the carpet to hardwood to rug.

    Bookmark   December 24, 2005 at 5:13PM
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I have all hardwood floors, and I am still looking for a good, versatile vacuum that really, really sucks:)

I recently bought one of those little, portable SHARK hand canister vacs...It has the shoulder strap. a short hose, and upholstery tool. It;s awkward at times, because the hose is really short (I called SHark,they said they didn't offer an extension), and as soon as I lean forward, the damn thing falls off my shoulder.


BUT - I clean my sofa, recliners, dog beds and mattress with it. It sucks out so much dust, hair, and dusty gunk, I use it twice a week on the furniture. It has a Hepa - I'm not sure how much longer that poor little filter will hold up, but it's cleanable with water (and I use an old toothbrush)

THe hose is way too short to do much of anything - too short to do baseboards (unless you crawl) or ceiling corners (unless you are on a ladder). I haven't tried it in the car yet.

And oh, my lord, is it ever loud. I actually considered returning it, but for $30 and the magic it worked on my sofa and chairs, and the huge reduction in my indoor allergies, I think I'll keep it for the small jobs

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 11:50AM
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What a difference a few years makes... When I was shopping for a new vac about 4 years ago, almost everyone on this forum was singing the praises of the Airway Centurion. Now, not a word about it.

Well, I ended up purchasing one. It was a more expensive vac than I ever thought I'd buy but I'm glad I did. I don't recommend it for the original poster, however, because it is a heavy (all metal) canister vac. I bought it because we have three dogs that shed constantly and I was tired of often replacing expensive bags. I like the Airway because you can really fill the bags (which are large for a canister vac) all the way up without losing hardly any suction. The bags aren't very expensive either (not like the Miele which I was also looking into).

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 3:15PM
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I'm starting to look for a new vaccuum and stumbled on this site. We currently have a Hoover Windtunnel and hate how often we have to empty the canister and clean the mesh filter and change the HEPA filter. Why have a HEPA filter if you are going to breath in all that dust when you empty the canister!!! We have two large labs who obviously shed b/c that's what labs do, and we need a vaccuum with good suction and easy to manuver......THe Holy Grail of vaccuums if you wll. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Last year my husband purchased a Miele canister for us. I love, love, love it. It's really easy to maneuver and the suction is incredible. It has 2 heads - one for carpets and one for hardwood floors. You never have to touch the dirt and the whole vacuum remains clean on the outside. They are pricey but we've decided that it's worth it. I don't think we'll ever have to purchase another vacuum.

    Bookmark   March 17, 2011 at 3:10PM
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