Thread Number: 11694
Sears Best Canister
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Post# 125848   2/24/2011 at 13:45 (4,751 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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This past weekend I bought a Kenmore “Sears Best” canister at an estate sale. The hose and upper wand were no where to be found, although I did find some extra bags in another part of the house. The canister and Power Mate where pretty fifty and had some mold growing around the bumpers because they had been sitting in the basement.

Luckily, Chad had some extra Kenmore wands and I bought a new replacement hose from Hesco.

The Canister: is in fair condition. The original filter had deteriorated and the previous owner had used dryer sheets to cover the filter compartment. The motor sounds like it could use some work. The bearings need to be either replaced or greased; it has a little grumble when the motor winds down. Are these motors difficult to repair?

The Power Mate: is basically shot. The housing on the belt side is cracked. The height adjustment crumbled as I was taking the power nozzle apart and the wiring must be bad because I tried several bulbs with no luck. It will probably be replaced when I find a replacement.

I really like the vacuum. I’m about 6’3 and the wands seem to be just the right height for me. I returned another Kenmore awhile back because the wands were too short. The tools all store on board and it has a cord winder, the suction is fascistic.

Just thought I would share. If anyone has any suggestions for me on this model let me know. Is possible to find a manual in PDF format?


This post was last edited 02/24/2011 at 14:21
Post# 125850 , Reply# 1   2/24/2011 at 13:55 (4,751 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        
Power Mate

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Bottom of Power Mate

Post# 125851 , Reply# 2   2/24/2011 at 13:58 (4,751 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        

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Bag Compartment

Post# 125874 , Reply# 3   2/24/2011 at 21:30 (4,750 days old) by luxg ()        

Kenny, that is a good find! I had that vacuum and it was really a great canister. Excellent suction and I loved the long hose that came with it. You can still get bags for it at Sears.


Post# 125933 , Reply# 4   2/25/2011 at 14:46 (4,750 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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Very nice! Is that canister made by Whirlpool or Panasonic? Also, how did you get rid of the mold? Does bleach do the trick?

Post# 125934 , Reply# 5   2/25/2011 at 15:01 (4,750 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        
I think it's a Whirlpool design

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I used a Magic Eraser and it seemed to work pretty well. I plan to clean it up more this weekend. I’ve searched through the archives and found some more information on the vacuum. If I understand correctly, this was one of the last Whirlpool models before Kenmore switched over to Panasonic. It’s a big heavy, bulky design sort of like the portable. So I can understand why it wouldn’t be liked by everyone. For some reason, I like heavier vacuums; it sort of gives me a workout while I vacuum. :)

Post# 125935 , Reply# 6   2/25/2011 at 15:10 (4,750 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

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My altime favorite vac! It cleanes up nicely.

Post# 125957 , Reply# 7   2/25/2011 at 21:44 (4,749 days old) by klectrolux ()        

Nice machine! I wanna find one in Green or Gold color. What style bags do these take?

Post# 125977 , Reply# 8   2/26/2011 at 08:11 (4,749 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

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Kenmore 5033 and there is one or two other numbers that will fit. You can also get the 5055/ type C as they are now known, for the Whispertone. They willwork you just have to make sure the collar is nice and snug on the bag holder. Sears should still have them in stock, some hardware stores still have them to.

Post# 126023 , Reply# 9   2/26/2011 at 15:03 (4,749 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        
Kenmore C bags

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Glad to know that I can use Kenmore C bags. They are everywhere, saw some today in Reasors.

Post# 126134 , Reply# 10   2/27/2011 at 17:30 (4,747 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hi there Kenny,

Just a small clarification on the transition Kenmore made from Whirlpool to Panasonic.

What actually happened was the parent company of Panasonic, Matsushita of Japan, bought Whirlpool's vacuum cleaner division (in the summer of 1990, if I remember correctly), so in essence they took the basic Whirlpool designs and evolved them into new North American designs and technologies and features. The Japanese line of Panasonic vacs remained very different from the North American line from this point on. The Japanese-made Panasonic vacs we saw in North America up until that year stopped becoming available to us, and after this dramatic change in the vac industry, Whirlpool no longer made any more vacs. Most Kenmore vacs (and all Panasonic) vacs available to North American consumers were from that point on coming from that same plant in Kentucky (or Tennessee - keep on forgetting where that famous vac factory was!)

I guess Sears had the chance to find another supplier of vacs, but I actually think that keeping Sears as a buyer of vacs from that plant was part of the deal that attracted Panasonic to making the purchase. It's possible that Matsushita would not have bought the plant had Sears not agreed to keep their contract with this plant.

Post# 126173 , Reply# 11   2/28/2011 at 06:22 (4,747 days old) by alexb1186 (Ferguson/St. Louis, MO)        

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Kenny and Ken, 5055 Type C's won't work, they still have the bags for the square models available at Sears as Type E's which fit both 5023/5033. SearsPartsDirect still has genuine replacement square body white hoses available, a 7ft (part 2405) for $35 or the 10ft (part 2407) for $40.

The Maxi-Filters are still available oddly enough but IMHO are not worth $28. You can put in a round Compact/Douglas Lamb motor filter or if you want to keep the Maxi-Filter, go to Wal-Mart and get some Duck Brand Air Conditioner foam filters (when A/C season comes around) for a buck a piece and cut and glue to fit

Post# 126215 , Reply# 12   2/28/2011 at 16:22 (4,747 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa)        
Thanks Alex

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for the heads up. I plan to visit Sears on my lunch break, to see if they have type E bags. I would like to grease or replace both bearings on the Canister at some point. Are these bearings sealed? Or can I grease them?

Post# 126505 , Reply# 13   3/3/2011 at 02:11 (4,744 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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Whirlpool used to make Sears Vacs? Really?

I didn't know this.


Post# 126512 , Reply# 14   3/3/2011 at 06:16 (4,744 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hey there Mark,

Here's a quote from the NY Times business section of June 5, 1990:

DANVILLE, Ky., June 5 — The Whirlpool Corporation and the Matsushita Electric Industrial Company said they had signed a joint venture to produce vacuum cleaners for the North American market from Whirlpool's vacuum manufacturing plant in Danville, Ky.

Whirlpool, based in Benton Harbor, Mich., said that as part of the venture, it would try to expand its relationship with Sears, Roebuck and Company, which sells vacuum cleaners made by Whirlpool in the Danville plant under the Kenmore brand name. Matsushita, based in Osaka, Japan, currently exports Panasonic brand vacuum cleaners to the United States and is expected to use the Danville plant to expand in North America.

Is Lexington far from Danville?

BTW, I think all the Panasonic-made Kenmores are now made in Mexico - as of a few years ago, the Danville plant no longer makes the vacs......

Post# 126514 , Reply# 15   3/3/2011 at 07:12 (4,744 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        

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I vaguely recall that, at one time, Sears owned an interest in Whirlpool. Or maybe it was the other way around! Anyway, I'm not certain about that. Many, many years ago, I'm pretty sure that Whirlpool made all Kenmore appliances, though that's not the case now. So it doesn't surprise me that they made Kenmore vacuums too. However, I'm operating with an "aging" memory! There are others who are far more knowledgeable about these things. So I hope someone will weigh in and correct me!

Post# 126572 , Reply# 16   3/3/2011 at 17:39 (4,743 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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Yes. Danville is about 40 minutes to the SW of Lex......

So Panasonic is still making Kenmore canister vacuums? I thought they stopped making them. I remember reading that another company was going to be making them.......Did that not happen?

Post# 126603 , Reply# 17   3/3/2011 at 22:23 (4,743 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Yes...Panasonic is still making most of the Kenmore vacs in Mexico now. But some of the low end cheaper canisters are now being made in China by TTI (those budget priced square-shaped canisters with the orange or green cover panels and the cheap tools).

Whirlpool/Panasonic never had an exclusive deal with Sears. Over the years, there were Kenmore vacs made by Regina, Sanyo, Ryobi, Korea's LG (magic blue canister) and even Sweden's Electrolux (the Kenmore bagless cyclonic married to a Eureka power nozzle). I remember even some uprights that looked like bag-first Eurekas over the years.

Post# 126643 , Reply# 18   3/4/2011 at 16:54 (4,742 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I remember seeing those on Sears website a while back. I do remember an ORANGE and white one and some other color.....I went to just now and NONE of their full size Kenmore canisters have those colors anymore. It also looks like their selection has dropped WAY down. They used to have a couple of pages of canisters.

Post# 126646 , Reply# 19   3/4/2011 at 17:12 (4,742 days old) by kenkart ()        
Sears Appliance producers..

Whirlpool always made Sears laundry products, but before about mid year 1957 Birtman electric made the vacuums, some mixers and blenders,and Seeger refrigeration co made fridges and freezers, in order to simplify things, Sears instigated a buyout of Seeger and Birtman,I have a Birtman built Kenmore Horizon canister 1957,which was the last to have the Birtman motor, Whirlpool chose to buy Lamb motors instead. Oh yeah, the Kenmore ranges were made by a Roper subsiduary ,most of there stereos,radios and tvs were made by Warwick Electric co.

Post# 126665 , Reply# 20   3/4/2011 at 19:36 (4,742 days old) by eurekastar (Amarillo, Texas)        
@ Hans

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Thanks for sharing that information! I don't know why, but kind of stuff always interests me. I was a marketing major in college, so I'm always curious about branding, marketing channels, product design, etc. Thanks again!

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