Thread Number: 35567  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Panasonic find!
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Post# 382126   12/4/2017 at 07:25 (349 days old) by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

So I went to a local Goodwill store and came across a dark red Panasonic MC-V7398 upright cleaner. It was $10.25 and was provided with a disclaimer that it needed a new belt. I thought the price seemed right and I wheeled it to the front to make my purchase. It was a bit scuffed up in the usual spots and had the normal white paint scuffs along the bumpers, but it also came with all the tools and a new package of generic brand vacuum bags. Those alone might have cost $10. Someone had the wrong (new) bag on the inside so I just tossed that; it was clearly too big for the compartment. The new bags are however the correct size.

Anyways, it wasn't too filthy once I inspected it further. The brushroll had the usual hair, carpet fibers and what not wrapped around it that were easy to remove. The brushroll itself appeared to be a genuine Panasonic and was in pretty decent shape. Not sure if it was original though. The hose was in good shape and had no tears or holes. The cord winder was also snappy and rewound the power cord nicely. I have purchased a replacement belt and will also pick up the HEPA filter. I fired it up for a minute and the motor and suction seemed very healthy. I do not see any immediate issues.

I looked on the vacuumland site for other posts about this vacuum and came acrosss a couple threads comparing it to a Kenmore direct drive of the same era. I'm not sure if this Panasonic model was offered in direct drive but mine has a belt driven brushroll. It also has a headlight and a dirt sensor (both hi and low). I don't think that it has a check bag indicator though, which is no big deal considering it is simple to remove the front cover and check to see if the bag needs changing.

I picked this cleaner up to gift to my partner's mother for Christmas since her current vacuum is far gone and in desperate need of a change. I originally was going to give her an Oreck due to it being lightweight and I found a decent one, but the Panasonic I thought would be better due to the on-board tools. It is quite a bit heavier though, but can be tilted back and wheeled around to wherever you need.

So what are your thoughts on this vacuum? Good, Bad, Ugly? :)


Post# 382129 , Reply# 1   12/4/2017 at 10:00 (349 days old) by carolinaguy1996 (Candler, NC)        

I think panasonicvac might explain this to you.

Post# 382130 , Reply# 2   12/4/2017 at 10:01 (349 days old) by carolinaguy1996 (Candler, NC)        

I think panasonicvac might explain this to you.

Post# 382132 , Reply# 3   12/4/2017 at 10:02 (349 days old) by carolinaguy1996 (Candler, NC)        

Sorry for the double post. School internet sucks.

Post# 382183 , Reply# 4   12/4/2017 at 23:32 (348 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

panasonicvac's profile picture
I've been looking for one of these for years now, I'm actually a bit jealous LOL. But overall congrats on your find! These were good vacuums.

These were produced between the mid to late 90's, although these were not common back then so you were very lucky to come across with one. These were made in the USA, although this was one of the models that was made in Tennessee instead of their main factory in Kentucky. It's not one of their top of the line models because it doesn't have a metal brushroll, a metal bottom plate, or a metal handle. And yes Panasonic did indeed made some direct drive versions of these as well (Not just for Sears).

This model comes with an automatic cord rewinder, a floor selector switch, it's got dirt sensors, and it's a got a smart handle switch. One of the nice things about these is that they have a hose ring that you can connect to the hose ring mount that is handy to use for vacuuming a couch for example. It does not have a bag indicator light. However, it does have a motor protector valve in the back that would go off if it either had a full bag or a clog. These have a wooden brushroll, original or genuine brushrolls have metal endcaps, generic or aftermarket brushrolls have plastic endcaps.

She would really love this. In fact, my neighbor's mother has both a Panasonic and a Oreck, she prefers the Panasonic better because the cord is longer, it's quieter, and she can use a hose with it.

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Post# 382191 , Reply# 5   12/5/2017 at 06:25 (348 days old) by Tseg (World Traveller)        

I'm a big fan of '80's-'90's Panasonic vacuums. My wife still uses a commercial Jet Flo MC-6217 from the early 90's (made in Japan) she inherited from work when the cord developed a slight split. Other than my repairing the cord, no other repairs have been required other than a couple belt replacements. It is her favorite vacuum. She hates my Miele canister, dragging the body behind.

Post# 382195 , Reply# 6   12/5/2017 at 09:27 (348 days old) by carolinaguy1996 (Candler, NC)        

That's why canisters are not much common anymore, dragging the machine.

Post# 382196 , Reply# 7   12/5/2017 at 10:18 (348 days old) by luxkid1980 (Richmond, Virginia)        

@ Panasonicvac - Thanks!

It does indeed seem like a well made machine. I got most of the white paint marks off the bottom with a Mr. Clean magic eraser. I can't tell if the brushroll is original (most of the black paint is still on the wooden roller), but it does have the metal end caps.

The Smart handle switch is interesting - I've never seen a vacuum with the trigger incorporated into the handle. I can see this being a handy feature which allows you to stop the machine quickly just by releasing the trigger.

Also, I haven't used a vacuum with a "dirt sensor." From what I have read, the light will turn from red to green when the vacuum senses no more dirt passing through. Does this feature work well?

Post# 382199 , Reply# 8   12/5/2017 at 12:44 (348 days old) by vacuumdevil (Denver)        

vacuumdevil's profile picture
Panasonic vacuums are generally good and inexpensive to fix part wise. It's really hard to go wrong at that price sounds like a good find.

Post# 382530 , Reply# 9   12/11/2017 at 22:21 (342 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

panasonicvac's profile picture
Yes the dirt sensors do work really well, I will say that they do last longer than the Hoover Windtunnel dirt sensors. It's possible that it does have an original brushroll because this model uses a wooden brushroll that's painted black, other top of the line models would either be plastic or metal brushrolls but as long as the endcaps are metal, then it's genuine.

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