Thread Number: 35578  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Strictly upright or strictly canister?
[Down to Last]

Vacuumland's exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 382256   12/6/2017 at 21:23 (347 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

broomvac's profile picture
Hi all,

Do you tend towards liking upright or canister vacuums? Anyone here collect strictly upright or canister?

I have 21 machines right now and only one is a canister: my maroon Dirt Devil Pro Series Can Vac, and I rarely ever use it! The truth is, I very much like upright vacuums, but I'm just not that into canister vacuums. In fact, an almost embarrassing number of vacuums have passed through my collection over the years, but, off the top of my head, I think only TWO have been canisters, and one is the Can Vac! The other was an original yellow Eureka Mity Mite from years ago, and it was not my thing.

I have lots of respect for canister vacuums, especially those of the "good" brands, but frankly speaking, they just don't interest me that much for some reason. I've passed up plenty of them--Electrolux's, Eurekas, Kenmores, Filter Queens, Hoovers, Rainbows, etc--and I've had no problem saying "no thanks." In fact, the only two canisters I WOULD like to have include the Fantom Lightning (or Kenmore equivalent) and the Dyson DC54 Cinetic.

I'm not trying to start a vacuum war or anything, just conversation.

Post# 382261 , Reply# 1   12/6/2017 at 22:34 (347 days old) by FCS3 (Hawaii)        
To each his own...

I'm one of the few on this board "bent" on non-electric
vacuum cleaners/sweepers. Although I'd love to include
many of the venerable 20's & 30's old brand electrics,
with limited funds, the nod goes to the "nons".

I love the innovation and 'old tech'. But, of course,
with each new invention, there sprang up a dozen
"Me Too" varieties from other companies.

Whatever turns your crank, broomvac, go with that!

Post# 382264 , Reply# 2   12/6/2017 at 22:52 (347 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
I've been back and forth over the years...

human's profile picture
For many years, I harbored a little bit of disdain for canisters, preferring the power of an upright; that is, until the first time I used a canister with a power nozzle back in about 1996. It was my late lamented orange Eureka Princess. I won't get into that tale again, but when I first started using it, the thing was a revelation. It seemed to embody the best of both worlds. I ended up moving a couple of years after I got the Eureka and decided it was the only vacuum I needed, so my two Hoover convertibles and a Hoover QuikBroom went to Goodwill. The Eureka served me faithfully for the next four or five years but I eventually replaced it with an Electrolux 1205 and PN-1. Since that time, I've mainly been a canister guy, favoring metal Electrolux machines--1205 and its descendants--until I grabbed a Kirby Gsix from beside a dumpster. It rekindled a childhood fascination with that brand and I love them for deep cleaning. More recently, I've been getting into the Discovery II and later Electrolux uprights but I do still love my canisters. For me, vacuums are kind of like Lay's potato chips--you can't have just one!

Post# 382270 , Reply# 3   12/7/2017 at 05:49 (346 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

eurekaprince's profile picture
For me, I need both. As Iíve said many times before, I clean a room first from top to bottom with a suction-only canister like my Miele FreshAir (Canadian version of Alize). Then I finish the room by deep cleaning the carpet with a ďno toolsĒ upright, working from the far end of the room and gradually backing out toward the door so as not to leave footprints!

But thatís just me...😊

Post# 382271 , Reply# 4   12/7/2017 at 05:50 (346 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

I have both, I really like straight suction tanks and canisters best, I will use a upright, but I'm just not in love with them, that's why I'm thinning them out in January.

Post# 382277 , Reply# 5   12/7/2017 at 10:18 (346 days old) by dysonman1 (Missouri)        

dysonman1's profile picture
When I was around six years old, I saw my first upright. A neighbor across the street had just purchased a Kirby Dual 80. The neighbor invited all the ladies in the 'hood' to come see her new Kirbeast. I remember thinking that it was so shiny. When the lady went to get my mother some tea, my mother said to me "that thing is worthless". I asked 'why'. My mother went over to the lady's sofa and smacked the cushion. Dust rose into the air, and Mom said "See, worthless". When we got home, Mom smacked our sofa, and nothing happened.

The salesman who sold her the Rainbow told her to take ten seconds of her day, each time she vacuumed, and run over the sofa with the upholstery tool. My mother did that, and no dust rose from our sofa. She also used the crevice tool on all the edges, the bare floor tool on the floors, and did all the dusting with the dusting brush. She used the floor tool on the rugs, because there was no Rainbow power nozzle yet, and she didn't care for the rainbow jet air rug tool.

Everyone else I knew had a canister. From the Kenkart next door to the Sunbeam Courier a few doors down, to all the Electrolux and Compact cleaners in my family, I never knew of another upright, with the exception of the Kirbeast, until my best friend's Mom got rid of her Fairfax for a Hoover Dial with the tools. Even at that, I remember thinking she gave up great suction in the 'Fairfax" for the weak suction of the Dial A Matic.

I was a dyed-in-the-wool canister fan - until I was over 21 and on my own. It's then that I started to look at uprights (new ones) and began to be curious about them. It really wasn't until uprights got on-board tools that I began to REALLY appreciate them, mostly for the time saving factor.

Fast forward 30 years later, and I have the ultimate canister vacuum (Vacuflo with Hide-A-Hose and "Volt" cordless power nozzle). But, in the 'guest bedroom', lives a mixture of uprights (Kirby G3, Kenmore Direct Drive, Eureka Ultra Whirlwind, Fantom Thunder, and Hoover Air Cordless - along with a Simplicity Cordless Freedom.

The canisters include my Rainbows (gold D, chrome D, brand new in box D3A, brand new in box SE PE, as well as my beloved 75th Anniversary Edition. I have a Tri-Star MG2, as well as a Tri-Star 50th Anniversary and a C8 Compact. I have my Signature Series Air-Way as well as the Centurion Air-Way (Signature Series' prototype). I have a Hoover Dimension 1000, Electrolux Diamond J, 1968 model L, Hi Tech 2100, Ultra One, and Guardian Platinum. A FQ Majestic (burgundy) lives in the hall closet.

There's always a 'vacuum of the week'. What I use is determined by how long I have to vacuum. If I have all day to really 'clean', then it's a canister or central vac. If I have minutes to clean, it's an upright.

Today, I have no real preference for one style over the other. Like the Lady in the Photo, a glass of wine always helps before (or after) vacuuming.

  View Full Size
Post# 382293 , Reply# 6   12/7/2017 at 19:18 (346 days old) by countryguy (Astorville, ON, Canada)        

countryguy's profile picture
I have 8 canisters (4 with power nozzles) and 2 uprights (Kirby, Eureka). I vacuum everything (floors, couches, chairs, furniture) not just the carpet so I prefer a canister. If I am only going to vacuum the carpet then I will use an upright.


Post# 382295 , Reply# 7   12/7/2017 at 19:35 (346 days old) by vacuumlad1650 (Chicago Suburbs)        

vacuumlad1650's profile picture
I'm pretty well split. I love my uprights for Carpet, but a canister is the way to really clean the house!

Post# 382297 , Reply# 8   12/7/2017 at 21:06 (346 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

fan-of-fans's profile picture
I use both, I think uprights do the best job as far as cleaning carpets, but canisters are better for vacuuming under furniture, and doing most above floor cleaning. Using uprights for above the floor cleaning to me is annoying with most machines. The older ones with the pan converter, at least you can pull around like a canister, but they are still top heavy. Many newer uprights with tools on board have nearly useless hoses, and tend to fall over on you due to the suction through the expandable hose. Some at least have longer hoses though, but you still have to push them around as you clean the room, whereas a canister just follows you.

Cleaning carpets well with a canister however requires an electric hose which can be bulky and you have to move the canister often as you vacuum. I prefer them over an upright for hard floor cleaning though.

Post# 382299 , Reply# 9   12/7/2017 at 21:44 (346 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        
Depends on the job at hand .

compactc9guy's profile picture
I prefer to usea canister i love all the tools and suction ad love a long hose i own 3 canister Compact C9 Electrolux AP 200 Electrolux ZB86 anda Electrolux discovery 2 upright for smaller job i use both and love the features of both for quick small job upright is my go to but for deep cleaning ect Compact C9 or Shopvac whit long hose i use both love both . In my house i have canister and upright and i like to have versatility also i like to change it upa bit both have pros and cons but i prefer the air flow and suction on board tools of a canister .

Post# 382307 , Reply# 10   12/8/2017 at 00:34 (345 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
I grew up in a upright home and most of our neighbors has uprights, My mom decided to buy a canister vacuum in the form of a AEG 509 and while I was as always happy to vacuum I preferred uprights, That said Like Tom said were uprights really started to make sense was when on board tools arrived, That and the ability to vacuum on hard flooring.
I happily collect both but in my house I prefer a upright, allot of this probably has to do with the fact that here in SA most canister machines do not have a power nozzle, Infact very few do. I understand the benefits of a canister over a upright but for me the upright always wins

Post# 382329 , Reply# 11   12/8/2017 at 10:21 (345 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
I grew up surrounded by both, we ad a canister though. I don't typically have a preference, but what I do gravitate to is the central vac.

Post# 382338 , Reply# 12   12/8/2017 at 11:51 (345 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
canisters all the way for me

You can check my profile to see what machines I have, but for me, it's all canisters, whether central vacuum, pull behind machines or backpacks. I have no uprights and have no interest in getting any. For those who like uprights, that's fine, it's personal preference, but canisters are much more flexible. You can get under things much easier, and they are much better for above the floor cleaning. If you combine a canister with a power nozzle, you have the carpet ccleaning ability of an upright.

Post# 382381 , Reply# 13   12/9/2017 at 02:53 (344 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have and use both-or is it three-central vacs.Just use the centrals as GIANT canisters.Use them with my Volt powernozzle.and use my Kirbys,Royals,and Riccar-Simplicity tandem airs for uprights.I don't generaly use uprights as "canisters"-too awkward and too noisey.And using them is like dancing with a drunk-they don't follow well-hoses are too short-canisters have more power when used with hoses since they are designed for hose use-uprights are not.

Post# 382385 , Reply# 14   12/9/2017 at 08:25 (344 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
central vacuum as large canister

This is awesome, I do this as well. I have 8 units scattered around my apartment, connecting a hose directly to them is awesome, the power of a central vacuum without the pipes. I'm also a big fan of backpacks, I know these are usually thought of as commercial cleaners, and they are, but they are also very good at cleaning a house or apartment. Where the backpack and central vacuum really shine is for cleaning things high above the floor such as ceiling fans or dusting out the cabinets. For most pull along canisters, the hose is not long enough to do this. I agree that the Volt is an awesome power nozzle, it will definitely increase the cleaning power of any canister vacuum that it's attached to.

Post# 382407 , Reply# 15   12/9/2017 at 15:12 (344 days old) by Durango159 (State College, PA)        
Power team canisters for me!

durango159's profile picture
I collect both style machines but power nozzle canisters are my primary. My favorite part of a vacuum is a brush roll. Therefore, everything in my collection has a motor driven brush roll.

The major thing I like about canisters is the thin wand maneuvering around my home. At a canisters widest point on a wand, we're talking an approximate diameter of 1.75" with cord and wand connections. Most uprights are round 12" and sometimes larger are the mid section of the machine. A large floor head is great for more floor cleaning coverage. But a large mid section on a machine is bulk to maneuver and make tight cleaning around mattresses, desks, window sills and behind doorways, etc. just more awkward.

In general I will use an upright for a quick cleaning. But a deep, thorough cleaning of my home will always be with a canister vacuum. The power nozzle of the canister gets under beds, under sofa recliners-- when reclined, under some night stands and other furnishings. Stairwell cleaning is great with a canister whether using the power nozzle for a carpeted step and following up to do edges with crevice tool or using large dusting brush to clean hard steps.

I change from power nozzle to an attachment onboard in about 3 seconds, and if the machine is equipped with a brush roll on/off switch then I don't even have to shut down the suction unit in doing so.

That's just my spin on the scenario. I will use both style machines though.

Post# 382533 , Reply# 16   12/11/2017 at 23:13 (341 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

panasonicvac's profile picture
I prefer uprights or central vacuums. I'm not a fan of canisters, I hate using them but that doesn't mean that I hate canisters because there are some exceptions such as collecting, usage, or suitability.

Post# 382691 , Reply# 17   12/15/2017 at 22:28 (338 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

FCS3 I would love to have some of the non electric vacuums in my collection.

The non electric vacuette would be a prized possession in my collection. I would also prize the electric vacuette and the Scott & Fetzer sanitation systems.

I for one like an upright over tank or canister vacuums.

Post# 382722 , Reply# 18   12/16/2017 at 08:16 (337 days old) by S31463221 (Frenchburg, KY)        
I think itís what youíve been used to....

s31463221's profile picture
Like many others of you have already stated, I collect both upright and canister/cylinder vacuums......HOWEVER when Iím reaching for one, 8 times out of 10, Iím reaching for a canister vacuum. As I said in my subject line, itís all about personal taste, what type of flooring surfaces you have, and for me the biggest thing, what I grew up with!

Growing up, my family was strictly Electrolux. My mom purchased her Olympia One the year I was born and thatís all I ever remember being used in our house. She utilized the power nozzle on the carpeted areas and seating surfaces, the dusting brush, and the crevice tool as well. We didnít get the sidekick (I believe they came along later anyway). Our house always stayed clean since I was a major allergy sufferer. I remember once bringing home a Hoover Convertible to try out and her telling me she didnít want it because she couldnít ďget in the edges and corners with it!Ē

When I was a little bigger, my dad brought me in my very own Super J with all of its attachments and that sealed the deal for me! From that point on, not only did I begin my lifelong love affair with vacuums, but I became a devout Electrolux fan! While my poor Super J is long gone, I still have momís Olympia One that still runs fantastic! In a quick pinch, especially if Iím being lazy, I will pull out an upright to clean with, I have two Hoover convertibles I use in those cases, one that has its belt attached for my area/throw rugs, and the other without itís belt for my laminate flooring which comprises 95% of our flooring surfaces. Most of the time though, Iím utilizing a cylinder vac, which I switch up from time to time. Sometimes I use a model XXX, a G, an Olympia One, a Super J, and even a Perfect C101! On occasion, Iíll even pull out one of my Ultralux CEís and give everything a good going over!

Post# 382746 , Reply# 19   12/16/2017 at 14:01 (337 days old) by Ultralux88 (Denver, Colorado)        

ultralux88's profile picture
I never used to have much use for straight suction machines as daily drivers until I started being more active in the vacuum collecting world (which required I know it existed first). I started playing with them more and realizing many of them did an excellent job despite a lack of brush roll.

Post# 382747 , Reply# 20   12/16/2017 at 15:00 (337 days old) by compactc9guy (Bathurst New Brunswick Canada )        
Replyy i have both

compactc9guy's profile picture
I have both and use both .
I have a soft spot for a canister versayilaty mire for the money attachements and can do more .An upright is rug or floor only that being said love both and own both.

Post# 382753 , Reply# 21   12/16/2017 at 16:11 (337 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

gsheen's profile picture
Here in South Africa ,

Tank type vacuums are called Cylinders.

Shopvac style vacuums are called tank or drum vacuums

uprights are stand up, or uprights

What is annoying is when customers describe their wet&dry shop vac style vacs as uprights when asking for parts because its stands high !!!!

My pet peeve as a shop owner is not so much calling the wrong class of vacuum the wrong name but coming in to see me about a part and I ask what vacuum you have.... Its a Blue one and then get upset with me when I have no clue which blue vacuum you have. Would you go to auto parts store and ask for Spark plugs for your white car!!!!!. Or I am needing a hose for my Electrolux Hoover. NO its either a Electrolux or a Hoover Not one in the same

Post# 382857 , Reply# 22   12/18/2017 at 15:06 (335 days old) by Clothbag (West Springfield, Ma.)        

I have only uprights. I used canisters when I worked janitorial and I hated them. I was always tripping over their hoses and because of the way the cubicles were set up they were difficult to move around the room. I would bring either my Kirby 560 or Royal 606 with me and they cleaned the carpets much better.

Post# 382955 , Reply# 23   12/20/2017 at 22:24 (333 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        
Thanks for the responses.

broomvac's profile picture
What an oversight! Perhaps I should have added a few more categories such as central vac, backpack, and non-electric? Maybe even handheld?

It's interesting to see what shapes everyone's tendency. Although preference is often determined by the utility of the vacuum, I also see that people sometimes tend towards the style of cleaner they grew up with.


Post# 383113 , Reply# 24   12/25/2017 at 19:21 (328 days old) by tazcatsdad (Buffalo, NY)        
I like them both.

tazcatsdad's profile picture

And, as someone else said previously, it all depends on what I have to clean.  If I'm only doing my rugs, it's a pretty safe bet that I'm going to grab an upright rather than bother with setting up one of the canisters.  Occasionally, I'll grab one of my power nozzle or straight suction canisters to do rug cleaning, but mostly I reserve the power nozzle machines for when I'm giving the house a full clean (upholstery, floors, carpets, ceiling fans, central heating registers, and bathroom exhaust fans) and the straight suction canisters for in-between-cleanings jobs.


Bill W.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

Woops, Time to Check the Bag!!!
Either you need to change your vacuum bag or you forgot to LOG-IN?

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy