Thread Number: 16034
I Almost Never Find These...
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Post# 171033   2/26/2012 at 17:30 (2,954 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

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I was going through Craigslist at the beginning of the week and found a Kenmore Progressive canister for $10, so I obviously had to try to get it, especially since it had the power nozzle that I like. I emailed the lady and she said I could pick it up Sunday (today), and that I could just have it. Well I got it today and I am really liking it! She told me it just needed a new bag, but when I opened up the bag door, I found that she been using it with no bag or filter! I was so scared to even turn it on because I knew the bearing noise would be horrid. To my surprise, it sounds perfect and the suction is still as good as new! It just needs a cleaning and a replacement crevice tool! I really like this power nozzle too, in my opinion it is Kenmore's best one. It is such a shame that they no longer include it on any of their newer models. The picture makes it look blue, but it is actually a dark green. I'm a sucker for Kenmore canisters, so this will be used a lot!

Post# 171034 , Reply# 1   2/26/2012 at 18:10 (2,954 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I bought my parents a Hunter Green Kenmore that is almost identical, except it has the telescopic wand. It's a great versatile vac, and as you can see, the hose is nice and long (our high end version has a 7 foot hose). It looks like you may even have an 8 foot hose there. It will also take a PowerMate Junior mini power nozzle if you have one. The tool caddy onboard can take any of Sears replacement attachments - including the horse hair version of the Kenmore dusting brush which is one of the best of its kind on the market today.

My only complaints: the motor burnt out after 5 years and needed to be replaced for CAD$120 with a compatible Panasonic motor; I find the word "WhisperBelt" put on the PowerMate to be a bit of a joke - if you lift up the nozzle, it's a real screamer!

Enjoy your new toy!

Post# 171038 , Reply# 2   2/26/2012 at 18:44 (2,954 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Good for you Chase! Nice piece to have.

Post# 171188 , Reply# 3   2/28/2012 at 02:26 (2,953 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

It's kinda scary when you open one up and see that it's been used without the bag. During the selection process for the derelicts that I take in for refurb, I see these from time to time. I usually won't buy one because it's apt to have problems outside of economic reality. But not always, as you have found.

Once in a while when I buy a batch of machines at once, I don't have time to inspect them closely and a bad one sneaks through. Such as the example of being used without a bag, or in the case of a bagless, without filters. Also, vacuums used to pick up liquids. Or vacuum impregnated with the smell of fermented dog hair - very time-consuming to remediate properly.

I have gone through a few machines that have had the motor compartment contaminated and they had to be taken apart down to the backbone and thoroughly cleaned. The motor noise usually isn't from bad bearings but because the fan has gone out of balance due to debris being caught in it. Once the fan is cleaned out, the motor is usually quiet again.

Not long ago, I passed on a machine that had been run without a bag and was about one third full of Cheerios and bird seed.

Those Kenmore canisters are great machines and real money-makers when I can get them. Not many canisters are being offered in the contemporary market, and those that are usually are cheaply made. Sears still sells the Kenmore Intuition which is pretty good but $$$ (that's three figures). Oh, and of course the lovely Miele.

The weak link on these Kenmore canisters is the hose. The hose fabric isn't as robust as I'd like. The later grey material is much better than the silver-ish fabric of the 1990's which tended to embrittle.

Most new Kenmore replacement parts have gotten to be expensive, plus shipping has gotten ridiculous. Normally, I have several organ donors around to facilitate making complete machines/outfits.

Post# 171211 , Reply# 4   2/28/2012 at 08:35 (2,953 days old) by venson ()        


Because they were always taking a stab at something new, Sears' Kenmore vacs over the years were great favorites. The brand was always my old stand-by when someone asked for recommendation of a good, affordable canister. However, the new models appear to be having quality issues. The user reviews I've been reading have contained many complaints re workmanship even on the high-end models. Sad to hear.

Nonetheless, I like the power nozzles.

A big problem for me was that I would eventually somehow manage to break the plastic tab that locks the hose onto the machine. I did learn how to replace it and the outer piece it was molded onto but never seemed to "train" myself to avoid snagging it on things when removing the hose before putting the machine away.

I also think they need(ed) just a little more of an extension down into the bag's mouth to prevent blow-back. They continue to rely on the foam piece on the inner lid for a seal between it and the bag collar by way of the spring-loaded bag mount. I never ran any of mine 'til the bag packed full but always found little bits of debris that ended up in the bag chamber -- not the end of the world but annoying. But for that, I would have ranked them as almost a solid match for Miele.

With the Miele can I presently have, what goes in the bag stays in the bag.

Post# 171230 , Reply# 5   2/28/2012 at 11:43 (2,953 days old) by chan55 (Green Bay, WI)        
I almst never find these

I have that vac, very good. It just broke down after 14 years of service. The part where the wand connects to the power head broke off. Rather then order a new head, I bought a new one. The new one works even better. Great suction, much quieter, and lighter in weight. The only thing I am not too crazy about is that now the tools are stored on the hose instead of in the canister. The mini head and floor brush are still inside the canister.

I am keeping the old one for bare floor work and above floor cleaning. I stage homes for the market and I am pretty rough on Vacs. Nothing beats a good canister for bare floor cleaning.

Post# 171316 , Reply# 6   2/28/2012 at 23:31 (2,952 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

Yes, that's true enough about sealing on the bag collar. It's certainly not uncommon to find bits of stuff on the motor filter. But the Miele also has a motor filter and it's there for a reason!

The contemporary Kenmore Intuition has a kind of basket that the bag sits on inside the dust compartment that allows for more uniform suction to the entire bag surface. Wonder why it takes decades for the engineers to think of this.

Post# 171333 , Reply# 7   2/29/2012 at 06:39 (2,952 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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That's a nice find! Do you know what year that is from? I have two Whispertones from 1999 that are the same color, so I am guessing that may be around the same era? I think I read the Progressives and that PN came out in 1998. The last machines with that PN were a couple years ago I think. They were rounded Whispertone canisters (but didn't have any model name on them) in light blue and guacamole green.

Post# 171339 , Reply# 8   2/29/2012 at 07:55 (2,952 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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In Canada, Sears can't use the word "Progressive" because it is spelled differently in French. So they chose a replacement name that has the same spelling in both English and French: "Elegance" :-)

I actually find the hose a little "too" sturdy - it is tiresome to use for more than a few minutes on high surfaces like curtains.....

Post# 171371 , Reply# 9   2/29/2012 at 14:25 (2,951 days old) by vacman117 (Valparaiso, IN)        

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I'm guessing that this model is from around 2002-2004, but I could be wrong. I'm sure somebody could chime in and confirm that.


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