Thread Number: 18483
Green Kenmore Canister - $99
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Post# 203117   10/8/2012 at 20:16 (2,734 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I happened to see that Sears has their green BOL Kenmore powermate canister on sale for $99 this week. I really like the color of this unit - reminds me of the old 70s ones. It also has the non-quick release PN, pull to rewind cord and power switch on the canister which reminds me of the older units, as well as having the attachments on board instead of some on the hose.

I thought for a moment about picking one up to play with - but I really don't need another Kenmore canister, I just bought my Progressive earlier this year.

I think this vac could be good for someone who needs a simple machine to clean a smaller home with hard floors and carpeting. At this price, it can compete with some of the lower cost uprights! I have never seen a Kenmore PN canister sell for this low of a price. The dusting/upholstery brush appears to be nylon instead of horsehair as mentioned, but the better horsehair dusting brush can be purchased separately and will fit on this unit.

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Post# 203134 , Reply# 1   10/8/2012 at 21:59 (2,734 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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I was gifted one very nicely by Mark Amico. We found it new in box at a discount store. Thank you Mark!! The plastic is a little cheap but power is good. I've used it a few times. I need to look into thicker style bags, not the Sears Ultracare brand though, I think those are overpriced and oversized.

Pictures will come! It's a wonderful green!

Post# 203162 , Reply# 2   10/9/2012 at 00:49 (2,734 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Cole, I agree with is a good vacuum for the money! $99 dollars is pretty hard to beat for a powerhead canister vacuum. And Kenmore canisters clean exceptionally well for the $$ you spend on them, as good as a TriStar CXL actually.

BUT, they can't really compete with the lower-cost uprights. Why? Because the motors in these BOL Kenmore's are JUNK!! You're lucky if you get 3 to 5 years MAX out of one of these motors. And when you budget another $150-$170 you will spend to replace the motor, you really haven't saved that much money, if you're thinking this is cheaper than comparable canisters. Even if you just bought 2 & threw out the 1st canister when it dies & keep the replacement parts from it, you're STILL not doing well for $200. Chances are you could buy 2 low-cost uprights for $200 that would last much longer & still clean well.

A couple of bad things I am not fond about these new BOL Kenmores is that the HEPA filter is NOT SEALED! TONS of dust escapes around the HEPA filter on them. And although it uses the same bag as previous Kenmores, they cut down the size of the bag compartment, so the bag is too big for the compartment. That means it fills up faster, requires replacement more often, & puts more $$$ in Sears's pocket.

Rob Shore: The Panasonic Style C-18 (AMC-J3EP) will also fit Kenmore canisters....the collar is identical to the Kenmore bags & fits the red plastic bag holder fine. They are also a little bit smaller too, as they are for the Panasonic Optiflow canisters, & they should be just the right size actually :) I bought some to use in an older 1990's Kenmore canister, & they worked great. There is also a EnviroCare Technologies generic version of the C-18 bag as well. Below is the link to the genuine Panasonic bags, & Amazon also sells the EnviroCare bags too. They are asking only $9.75 for 4 Panasonic bags, so that is a good price & would certainly be worth trying.



Post# 203430 , Reply# 3   10/10/2012 at 22:47 (2,732 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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Thanks Rob Walton for the link and information!!

Post# 203431 , Reply# 4   10/10/2012 at 22:55 (2,732 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        

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I think 5 years for a $100 product isn't too bad. Although finding a $200 product that lasts 15 years is MUCH better!!

Back around 1996 my family bought a $100 Eureka Boss Bravo II Powerline hard case 12" upright from BJ's Wholesale Club. It lasted 16 months.

The Eureka Maxima bagged uprights are about $70 brand new and run terribly from day 1!!

It's very hard to find quality for less than $150 for any vacuum. In the canister range that number lifts to around $190 where years ago you could find better made Panasonic and Hoovers at that range. The current market of canister vacuums is terrible. Very little suction. Eureka has 0 power team bagged canisters listed on their website. Hoover has the Duros--which I consider a rebadged Sanyo and not a true Hoover. Of course Hoover has the Anniversary Windtunnel bagged---BUT THAt's it. 6 years ago the market was great with a selection of PowerMaxs and Windtunnels!!

Post# 203448 , Reply# 5   10/11/2012 at 00:38 (2,732 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        

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Of course, an $80.00 or $90.00 HOOVER Convertible will last for decades. Now, THAT was a bargain!

Post# 203458 , Reply# 6   10/11/2012 at 06:51 (2,731 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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Is this the same motor in the BOL vacuum that is in sears TOL canister vacuum?

That is a good price! And least you won't have to worry about the connections going bad since there is NO quick disconnect!

Post# 203494 , Reply# 7   10/11/2012 at 18:44 (2,731 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I don't know if this motor is the same as that on the Progressives and Intuitions, but I would doubt it. I took a sky blue '05 Kenmore (just one above the BOL at that time) apart and it has a tiny Matsushita motor. I doubt any new Kenmores use Ameteks but I would think the better ones would use at least a bit higher end motor. My new red Progressive has a high pitched sounding motor, so probably something cheaper than the deeper sounding Ameteks, but I don't wanna take it apart to see until the warranty ends.

As far as the connections going bad, I've never had trouble with the Quick Release connection at the PN going bad. I have had trouble with the connection at the hose handle and wand in my mother's '99 Whispertone. It wasn't a short though. There is a plastic tab inside the handle that holds the outlet for the PN cord to plug into. That little tab broke off, which allowed the outlet to slide up and down so it would only sometimes make connection. It caused the PN to turn on and off. What I did was position the outlet where it should be and then glued it in place which fixed the problem.

This green canister and the orange one use the same style hose handle as that '99 Whispertone, so I wonder if this problem could happen again, or if they corrected it? If so it's an easy fix.

Post# 203508 , Reply# 8   10/11/2012 at 22:27 (2,731 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Rob Shore, you are very welcome for the information! I hope the bags work well for you. And yes, I do agree with you about the bagged Eureka Maxima....I have owned & used both the bagged & bagless versions of it. Having said that, I do think the bagged version is MUCH better than the bagless version. I was given the bagged one by a neighbor who abused it, & it needed a good cleaning very badly....I even had to blow out the motor, as the fan was CAKED in dust from not being used with a bag. What I found with mine is that you could fill the bag up quite a fair bit before it lost enough power to clean well. BUT the bags aren't that big, & fill up quickly. And they literally just stuffed a bag into the dirt cup of the bagless model, put a new top on it, & put it on store shelves....a half-ass design in my opinion!

Cole: The BOL Kenmore canisters, like the one Rob Shore has, use the Sip Cinderson motor, & they have used since at least 2008/2009. I bought a BOL Kenmore as a parts machine, as I have an older Whispertone from 2001 that uses the Ametek motor, & I wanted it for the base. In my opinion, the Sip Cinderson motors are just as bad as the Panasonic motors, they come into the local repair shop all the time around 3 to 5 years old with dead motors. In the spring of this year, a local cleaning lady brought in the exact same canister, it just had a cheaper hose & handle than Cole's was only 1 1/2 years old & already had a dead motor! She replaced it with a Riccar. I don't know what it is, but it seems housekeepers love these cheap Kenmore's, along with Filter Queen, Aerus & TriStar canisters.

There are 2 canisters on the market in this price range that are SUPERIOR to this Kenmore, & are far more worthy of purchasing. The first one would be the Dirt Devil Jaguar II Canadian Tire here in Canada, it sells for $199 dollars & goes on sale 1/2 price all the time for $99 dollars.

PROS: 1. Bags are a reasonable price, can be found online easily, & are a good size & hold a fair bit of dirt before needing to be changed. 2. It has a variable speed control & a bleeder valve on the hose for suction control, & check bag indicator. 3. Has TONS of power....this Dirt Devil is just as powerful as the Kenmore canisters & really cleans carpeting well. 3. This vacuum has a really good quality HEPA filter....very large with plenty of surface area & good quality paper used....& it is a Sealed HEPA System too, absolutely NO leaks, air only comes out of the filter. HEPA filters are very reasonable cost, only $20 dollars each & require replacement only once a year.

CONS: 1. The Powerhead is cheaply made....this is the Dust Care PB11 powerhead with a different cover & flat belt. The plastic screwholes break easily, & the powerhead motors have a short life....usually only 2 to 3 years. 2. The hose isn't very flexible, & is very prone to failing electrically. The only good part about it is that the hose is only $35 dollars to replace. Now, having said all that, the powerhead can be replaced with a Eureka Express when it dies....just put the metal tube into the Eureka's neck & wire it up. Also, if you save the end from the hose, you can buy & fit an adapter into it that will allow a Plastiflex crushproof hose to be fitted & used. If you can get one of these Dirt Devils for cheap & do the fixes, it will last MUCH longer than the Kenmore canisters & clean & filter better. The earlier version of this vacuum was the same as the Royal Lexon S17, which is still sold in vac shops & on Ebay now.

The other canister that I REALLY like & recommend to everyone is the Shark Professional canister vacuum. This sells in Canadian Tire for $260 dollars, but goes on sale all the time for 1/2 price at $130 dollars. This vacuum is REALLY GOOD!! As far as I'm concerned, it's literally a Chinese Miele for a fraction of the price a Miele sells for.

PROS: 1. Power!! This vacuum has TONS of airflow & waterlift through the has the same 100" Waterlift that Miele & Riccar/Simplicity canisters have. While the Dirt Devil & Kenmore canisters are good, the Shark literally leaves them in the dust! 2. HEPA bags- the Shark uses HEPA bags that are the same size as the Miele FJM bags & will hold a LOT of dirt before needing to be changed. The bags are also inexpensive to buy....a 3-pack of Shark bags are only $10 dollars at Canadian Tire, & has them in bulk, too. I believe may carry them too. 3. The Shark puts out very little dust emissions with the HEPA bags & exhaust HEPA filter. 4. It has both a variable speed control & a bleeder valve on the hose for suction control. 5. It has a direct-connect telescopic wand for the powerhead, to adjust to the user & no electrical connections to make by hand. 6. It also has a VERY aggressive very well on even plush carpeting, has a height adjustment, quick-release PN neck to use your wand without having to bend down. 7. The powerhead can also clean bare floors very well without leaving dirt behind it, as there is a squeegee strip built-in behind the brushroll. 8. Has a bag change indicator. 9. A Turbobrush can also be purchased from Shark for it, or a Miele Turbobrush can be used as well....Due to the 100" waterlift, the Shark works very efficiently with a Turbobrush to clean hair off surfaces or to clean stairs. 10. Repair parts, such as hoses & wands, are very inexpensive compared to Miele....$23 to replace the hose, $40 for the wand, & $50 for a new powerhead. 11. The Zenon light on the Shark's powerhead is REALLY of the best out there, it illuminates everything!

CONS: 1. Unlike Miele, the Shark has no bag closure system built-in, so of course there's a small chance of dust leakage back into the air when changing bags.
2. Although it is a Sealed System, & the HEPA filter has plenty of surface area, the Shark's filter material isn't good....the paper feels like cardboard when you feel it with your finger. One has to wonder how much it would capture of the little bit the HEPA bags don't catch. 3. The plastic used is good quality ABS plastic, BUT it has a poor paint can see the black plastic showing thru the red paint when looking at it from the side. 4. The upholstery tool is OK, but could be tends to stick to couches when used, so airflow through the tool isn't good, due to it's design. 5. The dusting brush uses short nylon bristles, which don't clog the middle of the tool while in use & trap dust, but although they aren't too rough, some people may prefer to replace it with a horsehair dusting brush. The dusting & upholstery tools from a Miele will fit onto a Shark Professional if desired....they both use 1 3/8" diameter hoses. 6. Although they include a rug/floor tool with the Shark, there is no separate bare floor brush, so you have to purchase one from them or find one online. There is however generic tool caddys & tools as well available for vacuums using 1 3/8" diameter tools.
7. The powerhead's neck is prone to cracking & breaking on the Shark, & like other makes, the telescopic wand can fail electrically after a long time. 8. The powerhead uses a flat belt that must be changed, unlike a cogged belt like Miele powerheads have.

I tell anyone I know that wants a new canister vacuum to try the Shark first & see if they like it. In the unlikely event they find the exhaust emissions a problem, they can always return the Shark for the Dirt Devil. Due to the issues with the pn neck & wand, I recommend to anyone that buys the Shark to buy a 2nd telescopic wand to use with attachments & leave the one for the powerhead on there & not use the quick release, that way the pn neck won't break & they also have a spare wand for when the first one breaks down. The only reason I don't recommend the Dirt Devil first is that although the Powerhead can be replaced, the Eureka costs $120, & although the hose can be replaced with a Plastiflex hose, you would have to do that yourself & have some handyman skills. Either one of these canister vacuums is SUPERIOR to the Kenmore canisters, & you should be able to get 7 to 8 years lifespan if taken care of.


Post# 203576 , Reply# 9   10/12/2012 at 15:32 (2,730 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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What a post Kirbylux77 I've never heard of that Dirt Devil. I'll look it up.

Regarding the connections going bad on the quick disconnect, I think it WAS in the handle and not where the wand meets the PN, but in my cases, the tab hadn't came loose, it was shorted. I do know the tab you are talking about but that wasn't the case with mine. And I was always VERY careful not to take the handle or wand apart while the PN power was on, which can cause the short to happen, but it still happened with me on TWO of them, but it took 2.5 years of everyday use for it to happen. The way I vacuum, I probably got five years use out of it because I'm a cleaning fool! I can't stop.

Post# 203577 , Reply# 10   10/12/2012 at 15:34 (2,730 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I should proofread before posting! Many grammar & spelling mistakes :( Sorry

Post# 203680 , Reply# 11   10/14/2012 at 03:13 (2,728 days old) by kirbylux77 (Orillia, Ontario, Canada)        

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Give me a day or two, & I am going to start two separate for the Dirt Devil canister, & one for the Shark Professional canister. I can honestly say that despite these being Chinese-made canisters, these vacuums are extremely good canisters, & despite their flaws, they are very good value for the money. For collectors, they may not be the most desirable to collect, but for the average person who has a home to clean, wants a canister, & has allergies, these do a darn good job without shelling out $1,000 dollars for a Miele or Sebo. And more importantly, us collectors should be telling the people we know who need a vacuum about them.


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