Thread Number: 15483
Opinions on Kenmore Whispertone Upright
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Post# 164613   1/4/2012 at 10:44 (3,008 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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I recently inherited my grandparentís old Kenmore Whispertone upright vacuum. They bought it new at Sears around 1994. It replaced their old Eureka Vanguard upright. When they bought their new Oreck XL 21 the Kenmore became there basement vac. My grandfather said he thought it never did pick up like was supposed to.
I knew it wasnít working well for some time because the agitator would not spin. It did have a belt on it so I thought the lower brush roll motor had gone out.

I discovered that the tiny micro switch that activates the brush roll motor when the hose is inserted had broken. I used some electrical tape and taped the switch down, problem fixed!

I found another identical upright at an estate sale but this one was missing the front wheels and had a crack in the bottom plate. So I used my grandparentís upright to make a complete vacuum.

I was never fond of the upholstery tool on this vacuum. It has very powerful suction and the upholstery tool always made an ear piercing, high pitched noise as the air rushed through the nozzle. The cord clips never really held up either and constantly had to be screwed back in. My grandparentís vacuum is still in good shape after being used in an all carpeted three story house for 10 plus years. My aunt even carried it to her newly constructed home and used it before her central vacuum was hooked up.

While the Kenmore is not necessarily my all-time favorite vacuum, I do believe it has some great features (such as the ability to shutoff the brush roll for bare floor cleaning, belt protection system, good filtration and onboard tools). It does bring back childhood memories to me and it is my only upright vacuum with onboard tools. Itís a keeper to me.

Iím wondering if anyone else has had similar experiences with this vacuum. They seem to be hard to find in my area and I canít find the manual online through Sears direct.

Post# 164638 , Reply# 1   1/4/2012 at 13:34 (3,007 days old) by kenmore81 (Warwick, RI)        

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I liked those, they are hard to find here as well, I dk why though. They came in white. black, blue, teal, red, and i think hunter green. most had the same features 4 hight settings brush roll shut off etc.. the early versions had  9, 10, 11 amp options then eventually 12 amps. I belive the 9 amp may not have had brushroll pertection/shut off.

Post# 164648 , Reply# 2   1/4/2012 at 14:26 (3,007 days old) by bravokid ()        

i really like the whispertone, they were also labled the preformance system. they were the competition for the other dual motor greats such as the excalliber. the bissel plus. and the dirt devil magnum/ultra 6 to on that lol. a great vac indeed :)

Post# 164650 , Reply# 3   1/4/2012 at 14:33 (3,007 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
That's correct!

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My grandparent's had the hunter green model. They loved everything Sears until a couple of years ago. I didn't realize that they have been around so long until Sean gave me some old Sears catalogs from 91,92.. At the Dallas mini meet. I don't know why they are so hard to find either. I've seen some of the newer models with the curved headlight but I very rarely see the older ones.

Post# 164652 , Reply# 4   1/4/2012 at 15:05 (3,007 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

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I have the very same model except it is gray and self propelled. I think its neat how it has the two motor system. It's really powerful, but REALLY heavy. My handle release is broken on mine, so that makes matters even more worse, but they are really neat! I have always had a soft spot for Whispertone uprights.

Post# 164674 , Reply# 5   1/4/2012 at 19:51 (3,007 days old) by LongLiveKirbys ()        

I used to have the burgundy model (basically the same as yours just a different color) and I loved it!
It was a great cleaner and it was very simple.
But I sold it to my friends mom because they needed a good vacuum and I just had it sitting around but I would definatley say its a great machine to use and easy to maintain.


Post# 164675 , Reply# 6   1/4/2012 at 19:52 (3,007 days old) by LongLiveKirbys ()        

I agree with chase on them being powerful with the 2 motor system but yes they are really heavy.

Post# 166154 , Reply# 7   1/17/2012 at 14:09 (2,994 days old) by whirlsonicmore ()        
They're tough and reliable.

We have the Panasonic version of this machine. It's yellow and black, has a 3-wire heavy cord, and was the TOL Panasonic commercial during the late 90's. Model MC-V400. There was also the MC-9901 in a gray color and red lettering, same basic machine.
Would really like to find one of those Self-Propel machines.

Post# 166159 , Reply# 8   1/17/2012 at 14:25 (2,994 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I wonder if Sears and Panasonic decided on the name "Whispertone" because of the word's similarity to "Whirlpool" - the heritage brand behind the American factory Panasonic bought in June can see the shadow of the name in the word "Whispertone"!!!!

Post# 166162 , Reply# 9   1/17/2012 at 14:41 (2,994 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I think the name Whispertone was actually recycled from the top of the line Whirlpool/Kenmore canisters from the 1950s/60s. They added extra sound insulation to the motor to make them quieter.

In the 1990s the Whispertone name was added to top of the line Kenmore canisters yet again, and uprights as well. Not sure if they had extra sound insulation or not.

Post# 166174 , Reply# 10   1/17/2012 at 16:24 (2,994 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Thanks for that background info Cole!

Post# 166441 , Reply# 11   1/19/2012 at 22:38 (2,992 days old) by whirlsonicmore ()        

Well, as far as the canisters, most of them with the Whispertone name had the hard rubber cartridge that the motor rested in. It didn't isolate motor vibration very much. Some of these were fairly quiet, but most were anything but whisper quiet. There were quite a few different grades of Lamb motors used. Most of them 2-staged with ball bearings.

The metal/ rubber ring used in the previous generation of the Kenmore canisters was actually more effective in suppressing noise. The vertical orientation in which the motor was mounted might have helped with that as well.

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