Thread Number: 16235
Who makes this lower-tier Kenmore canister?
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Post# 173139   3/13/2012 at 21:50 (3,042 days old) by Koobam ()        

I'm in the market for a quality and powerful canister that's within a $150-200 budget and I'm just curious how the quality and performance is on the Kenmore Tangerine and Kenmore Aqua canisters.

I'm actually probably going to buy an older U.S.A or Mexico made Progressive off of craigslist but am VERY curious about these lower-end but still seemingly good Kenmore canisters.

I've read that supposedly TTI makes these ones, but the power head, hose, and I've read that even the motor are all seemingly the same as used in the higher end Progressive lines.

Can anyone shed any real and legitimately truthful light on this subject?


Post# 173198 , Reply# 1   3/14/2012 at 11:28 (3,041 days old) by Koobam ()        

Anyone know?

Post# 173206 , Reply# 2   3/14/2012 at 12:24 (3,041 days old) by magic-clean (FL-GA)        
If the model

number prefix is 116 then it is a Panasonic.

Post# 173208 , Reply# 3   3/14/2012 at 12:30 (3,041 days old) by Koobam ()        

None of the current Kenmore canisters start with 116, but the newer higher end models start with 216 - so those are probably still Panasonics.

I'm still very curious about these lower end ones though. I mean are the motors, hoses, and powerheads of the same quality as the higher end ones just with less features and maybe cheaper plastics on the main body?

Post# 173213 , Reply# 4   3/14/2012 at 12:45 (3,041 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
I have also heard that the lower end canisters are made by TTI.

In Canada, you can even see TTI-made attachments sold with Kenmore central vacuum systems. The tools are identical to those that were once sold with the TTI-made retro Hoover Constellation canister. Never liked that black TTI Hoover dusting brush with the supposed "horse-hair" bristles - more like scratchy "hog-hair" bristles!

Post# 173219 , Reply# 5   3/14/2012 at 13:59 (3,041 days old) by Koobam ()        
In response to eurekaprince

He said "I have also heard that the lower end canisters are made by TTI.

In Canada, you can even see TTI-made attachments sold with Kenmore central vacuum systems. The tools are identical to those that were once sold with the TTI-made retro Hoover Constellation canister. Never liked that black TTI Hoover dusting brush with the supposed "horse-hair" bristles - more like scratchy "hog-hair" bristles! "

My reply: Well hopefully that's all it is - is just the tool! I sure hope the canisters are of good quality and honesty even if they are TTI made they would seem to be of a much higher overall quality than all the other TTI machines (or at least on par with say the Hoover Anniversary series which are VERY decent to good quality machines overall, especially for the money) and maybe wouldn't be so bad.

I've read reviews on these little machines and 95% of them are super positive. May try one out and pick one up sometime, IDK.

Post# 173233 , Reply# 6   3/14/2012 at 14:32 (3,041 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hey there Brendan - for all the flaws Sears has, there is certainly one thing going for it: their appliance division invests a lot of time and money in setting high standards for Kenmore products. You can often find a Kenmore product that actually has better features than the product sold by the original manufacturer. For example, the Kenmore Intuition upright is a better performer than the Panasonic version in many respects.

I guess what I am saying is that Sears may have asked TTI to adhere to very high standards in order for these cheaper vacs to be honoured with the Kenmore label. It is possible that they are okay - I have no idea. Consumer Reports has only rated the Panasonic-made Kenmore canisters - and these have consistently performed well in the CR labs. My personal experience with the cheaper TTI vacs is not very favourable - I really find the attachments to be inferior. I even think the canister bodies are not that sturdy.

Once you are looking for a power nozzle canister - you might as well find a good deal on one of the better Panasonic-made Kenmores. I would even recommend the red Panasonic MC-CG902 canister that is basically the same as the old top-rated Kenmore Progressive. You can find it in stores for only $250. It's a great basic power nozzle canister. See link below:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO eurekaprince's LINK

Post# 173234 , Reply# 7   3/14/2012 at 14:40 (3,041 days old) by Koobam ()        

Thanks for the share of that information. I'm in the process of either buying a 10 or so year old U.S.A Kenmore for $20 locally OR a $45 Kenmore that looks to be an exact match to that Panasonic you linked.

I'm still intrigued by these little *MAYBE TTI-made* Kenmore canisters though. You said the body of these ones felt cheap? I used one once and the suction felt pretty good and stronger than say our Miracle Mate and I think up there with my mint condition FilterQueen D31X (which is for sale BTW, give me a price, it's yours), so I think it'd make a pretty darn good performer if the longevity was reasonably. They're going for $40-65 new on craigslist in Los Angeles - and though I'm in Indiana they usually are willing to ship to me :D

Post# 173260 , Reply# 8   3/14/2012 at 17:55 (3,041 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
Hi Koobam,

I've seen those tangerine and aqua Kenmore canisters at Kmart and Sears and have wondered about them too.

I can tell you that the hose on them looks exactly like the hose on my 1999 Kenmore Whispertone canister. It has been a good hose and has not had any splits like my 1980s Kenmores had.

The Power Mate on those TTI-made canisters appears to be close to those on the Progressives at Sears, but I'm not sure if they are the same.

Personally, if I was going for a new Kenmore canister I would get the white or purple Progressive. They are made by Panasonic and have a good amount of features for the price. However, I think that the 3 piece attachment sets are actually better on those two TTI ones. They are older-style and store on-board the canister instead of on the hose handle like the Progressives and the combo tool seems more useful. Of course, the set of four attachments on older Progressives and Whispertones are better than either of those sets on the new Kenmores in my opinion.

Hope this helps.

Post# 173262 , Reply# 9   3/14/2012 at 18:04 (3,041 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
Cole -

I have to agree about the better attachment sets on the older Kenmore Progressive canisters.....that red Panasonic that I mentioned above has that classic set. Great dusting brush that can be upgraded to a very, very soft horse-hair version that still fits in the on-board "under-the-hood" tool caddy.

Post# 174604 , Reply# 10   3/23/2012 at 21:03 (3,032 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

These Kenmore canisters are NOT MADE BY TTI!

I think TTI has 'brainwashed' someone (Not sure who it is?)

Post# 174638 , Reply# 11   3/24/2012 at 01:11 (3,032 days old) by Koobam ()        

Care to enlighten us? Trying to hint that I'm somehow brainwashed in some way or another for some reason that seems to be completely unrelated to any other discussion I've even remotely HAD with you? Haha...anyways, yeah, I'm actually curious how you know who makes these lower-tier Kenmore cans and who is and why brainwashed.

And yes, a Kenmore Magic Blue has *FAR* more suction than a Miracle Mate Platinum (which I've HEARD a Miracle Mate Platinum is on the same level as a TriStar, just saying)

Post# 174792 , Reply# 12   3/25/2012 at 12:37 (3,030 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

I don't mean anyone on VL is 'brainwashed' at all; just can't get over TTI's takeover on Hoover & Royal.

Maybe TTI DID make the tools for Kenmore?

I could've been wrong on previous post?

Post# 175184 , Reply# 13   3/28/2012 at 21:56 (3,027 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
Some thoughts I had on the tangerine and aqua machines. Since these appear to use the same attachments, hose, and wands as Panasonics from the past, doesn't it seem that those parts at least are from Panasonic? If so, it seems odd Sears would contract TTI to make just the canister and make it such that the Panasonic style attachments and hose fit it.

Also, I was looking at the tangerine canister and saw that the controls on the hose only control the Power-Mate "Floor-Carpet", but not the canister motor. I assume that button on the canister controls the power, and therefore the cord must be pulled to be retracted. This is just like older lower end Kenmores. The aqua one, being higher end, has the control for the canister on the hose handle as well as the Power-Mate "Off-Floor-Carpet", and the button on the canister rewinds the cord. :)

Post# 175190 , Reply# 14   3/28/2012 at 22:47 (3,027 days old) by gmerkt (Edmonds WA)        

Someone mentioned Kenmore model prefix number 216, above. Machines beginning with that model number prefix are made by Phonemate in China. Phonemate made a line of uprights for Sears within the past 5 to 7 years so they may have also made or still make some canisters. I've worked on a number of Phonemate Kenmores; all uprights. I like the Matsushita product better but Phonemate replacement parts are significantly cheaper. The Phonemate uprights tend to the hefty/bulky side.

Post# 175210 , Reply# 15   3/29/2012 at 06:18 (3,027 days old) by sebo_fan (Scotland, UK, member AKA ukvacfan, & Nar2)        

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Isn't it the case that with the U.S getting so many of these Japanese canisters that it would stand to reason that mass brands like Panasonic would use TTI floor heads anyway? It would reduce the cost rather than kitting out the machines with in-house design. Certainly where PN's are concerned, it's hard to tell if a manufacturer goes to all the bother of putting a specialised hood on top to hide the fact.

Post# 175245 , Reply# 16   3/29/2012 at 16:24 (3,026 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Since the summer of 1990, Panasonic has not imported Japanese-made vacs for the North American market. Panasonic vacuums are made in Mexico according to special North American design specifications. I think that very few parts of a North American Panasonic vac are from Asia.

The Sears retail giant has had a very long history of contracting the North American Panasonic division to provide all their high-end Kenmore vacuum cleaners. This began in the summer of 1990, when Japan's Panasonic bought the Whirlpool vacuum factory (I think in Danville, Kentucky or Tennessee - forget where) Whirlpool had been manufacturing vacs for Sears for many decades before that.

But Sears also bought vacuums from other manufacturers over the years, inncluding Korea's LG and Electrolux/Eureka. So it seems quite possible that these cheaper "Made in China" canisters are being made by TTI in China, not North American Panasonic.

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