Thread Number: 43012  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
disappointment when an item becomes part of vacuum history
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Post# 450178   2/19/2022 at 13:42 (354 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        

So, is it just me or do other collectors also feel some disappointment when something related to vacuums that they really like becomes discontinued and is now a part of vacuum history? That's the case for me here, the Centec CT10 power nozzle is now a thing of the past and is no longer available. As far as I know there is no other electric nozzle available that is like this one. It's a power nozzle designed for hard floors and when using it, it almost feels self propelled. This nozzle was made by Panasonic and I guess when Panasonic decided to leave the vacuum market, Centec bought the remaining stock. I was hoping that the company that took over the Panasonic designs might have continued making these but I guess that's not the case. I'm glad I bought a second one to have as a spare because I love this nozzle for cleaning my hard floors. I'll include a video for those who have never seen it.


Post# 450179 , Reply# 1   2/19/2022 at 13:45 (354 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
Electrolux Ultra One

I also remember being disappointed when the Electrolux Ultra One canisters were discontinued, these were made by the European Electrolux company not Aerus and they were some of the quietest and most powerful canisters available. The one thing I didn't like about them was that the hose end was nonstandard but I use an adapter to solve that problem. Electrolux decided to completely pull out of the vacuum market I think.

Post# 450183 , Reply# 2   2/19/2022 at 18:00 (354 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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The same could be said for these commercial machines:
* American Lincoln Super Sweep (1969-1982) / Super-Vac 180 (1982-1984)
* Kirby COMVAC 1300 (1982-1984)
* Kirby COMVAC 1600 (1982-1984)
* Sanitaire SC-24 "Wide Track II" (1978-1990?)
* Royal 311 straight suction upright (1945-1985)
The first three had indirect replacements in the form of the Kirby Heritage II/Legend, but it's the last one especially that had no true replacement since full-size straight suction machines had largely gone by the wayside ever since the very first vacuum cleaner with the revolving brush, Hoover's 1908 model O, had come out.


Post# 450187 , Reply# 3   2/19/2022 at 18:19 (354 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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I agree with you Mike. There really was an “earthquake” of sorts in the past 2 decades in the North American vacuum cleaner world. We really lost some of the most important players in the vacuum industry: Panasonic, Hoover, Eureka, Kenmore, Sanyo, Sharp, Swedish Electrolux. I don’t know if the collapse of Sears in both Canada and the USA had anything to do with it. Or maybe it was the arrival of bagless Dysons that killed off the other competition. But the variety of vacuum brand names - especially classic bagged vacuums - has diminishes substantially in all of North America compared to Europe. It’s a pretty sad state of affairs here now.

Post# 450198 , Reply# 4   2/19/2022 at 22:05 (354 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I feel the same way... I like to see the older designs still in production, yes, even if they are cheapened and made overseas. I also like when manufacturers still use old style attachments or bags in new machines that go back decades. And also trademarks, like Eureka was still using the "Dial A Nap" name for the height adjustment on their F&G uprights until a few years ago. Maybe Sanitaire still uses it? That and the "Edge Kleener" name.

Brian, Kenmore vacs are still pretty alive and well here in the United States! They are being sold thru Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, and Target's websites. I have seen some models actually sold physically at Target, and on either QVC or HSN (I forget which), there was even an Infomercial for one of their new bagged Shark like machines last year.

Of course, some will say Kenmore "died" when Panasonic got out of producing vacuums. But I disagree. While they are made by Cleva, the designs are still being made, and if I understand correctly, some Panasonic engineers were hired by Cleva. So I think they have a future even if Sears goes under.

I know in Canada you probably haven't seen them since Sears Canada went out of business though.

Speaking of vintage machines, I'm glad Hoover still makes the Commercial Portapower, I got one last summer and like it. I wish they still made the commercial Decade and Convertible style machines though.

Post# 450204 , Reply# 5   2/20/2022 at 07:53 (353 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
Kenmore designs

I think the Kenmore designs also live on in the Titan vacuums. And how about the early 70's designs of the Eureka powerteam canisters? Those were great.

Post# 450205 , Reply# 6   2/20/2022 at 08:46 (353 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Hi Cole,

I guess you are correct in clarifying that Kenmore vacs live on in the US thanks to the Chinese Cleva (clever?) company. Too bad I can’t see these in person at Home Depot Canada or Best Buy Canada.

But it remains to be seen if Cleva can be as innovative as Panasonic was when they designed Kenmore vacs. Those Panasonic innovations were quite helpful for vacuum users: 360 degree swivel hose on a canister vac, non snow plowing floor brush, motor inside a brush roll, LED light on the end of a wand, extra soft dusting brush bristles, separate brush roll motor that can be shut off electronically from the upright handle, power nozzle air vents to help clean plush carpets, slow gentle setting for an upright brush roll, etc.

So I hope that Cleva can match the quality and quantity of innovation that Panasonic exhibited in the years they produced Kenmore vacs. I also hope that Cleva vacuums will end up as high in Consumer Reports rankings as the Panasonic-made vacs did in the past four decades. In fact, the Kenmore Elite uprights produced by Cleva are indeed at the very top of Consumer Reports rankings of bagged uprights. That two-motor silver Elite upright is quite amazing for the price!

Post# 450221 , Reply# 7   2/21/2022 at 05:02 (352 days old) by electromatik (Taylorsville, North Carolina, U.S.A.)        

I've been depressed about the state of affairs in the bagged canister market for some time. It seems that the legendary companies are disappearing one after the next.

I do like the current Kenmores though. The power nozzle canisters have a design I've not seen before. Let me see if I can describe it. The cords that travel through the telescoping wand remain in place and there is a "tunnel" in the wands that enables the wand to slip up and down the cords without the cords moving. I'm hoping that leads to adequate durability!

I think a Kenmore canister will be my choice for a new vacuum.

Post# 450225 , Reply# 8   2/21/2022 at 09:17 (352 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Yes. For example, I thought it was

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a sad day when the Hoover Convertible stopped being made.

Post# 450260 , Reply# 9   2/21/2022 at 19:43 (352 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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This is one of the reasons why I collect mostly vacuums that are no longer made. They may be gone but at least I can look at my collection and just talk about how good or bad they were back in the day.

Post# 450282 , Reply# 10   2/22/2022 at 10:01 (351 days old) by dysonman1 (the county)        

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Cleva is very ready and able to make Panasonic's designs and even improve them if a company is willing to buy enough machines. For example, the industry supplier "Steel City" has Cleva make the "Kenmore" canisters for them as "Titans". The Titan is unique in many ways, as they had the hoses purposely made longer, they made Cleva use steel axels for the power nozzle wheels, and currently use both the Ultra Plush power nozzle, as well as the Standard power nozzle design that was even used on the Air-Way Signature Series and Centurion 2000 models.

I'm going to suggest to the people at Steel City who make the decisions, they might want to go for a smaller Titan canister with the CT10 power nozzle. So many people have one rug and all hard woods. That nozzle is perfect for those folks who are more and more in the majority today as people rip out that wall to wall carpeting.

Post# 450283 , Reply# 11   2/22/2022 at 10:46 (351 days old) by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
And, Alex,

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I still look at them, use them and admire how well they STILL work!

Post# 450298 , Reply# 12   2/22/2022 at 17:46 (351 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I agree with how Cleva was able to improve some of their Kenmores that Panasonic or even Whirlpool never did before. However though, none of them have the quality or reliability that Whirlpool built back in the day like this Kenmore Heavy Duty 3.9 canister vacuum for example. And none of them have even taken Panasonic's three swivel wheel design that were used on both the MC-CG885 and MC-CG887 Optiflow canister models that competed against Miele which also uses three swivel wheels as well. Not to mention the Optiflow bag chamber design that Panasonic had used on their own vacuums, Cleva never used those on their Titan canister models. If there's at least one change that I would like to see Cleva do in the future, I would change the wire-reinforce hose to a crush-proof hose like what Hayden did with their SuperHose.

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Post# 450311 , Reply# 13   2/22/2022 at 21:23 (351 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
I never really worry about it...

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Pretty much every vacuum I own is a discontinued model—some discontinued for decades. I gravitate toward the older, better built machines. They've already stood the test of time and will continue to do so long after today's plastic junk is already in the landfill, posing an environmental hazard as they take a few thousand years to break down, having reached the end of useful life, a handful of years after rolling off the assembly line. I really hate our culture of disposability.

Post# 450314 , Reply# 14   2/23/2022 at 00:39 (351 days old) by FanOfVacuums2 (Williamsburg, VA)        

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I disagree with people who say that the quality of Kenmore vacuum cleaners dropped when Cleva took over. Just to name one, I have both the Cleva and Panasonic versions of the 31150, and I can confirm that they are made to the exact same quality standards. There are slight differences in manufacturing (Cleva loves their hot glue), but the build quality is the same; at least with the 31140 and the 31150/BU1017/BU1018. From what I have seen, their in-house models are made to the same quality standards. On top of fixing some issues with the canisters, they also retained most of Panasonic's more recent designs like the 31140/31150 base, the CrossOver lineup, the bagless 600 Series, the 600 and 700 Series canisters; all of which were solid designs. I am a sucker for my bagless 600 Series. The amount of filth from other vacuum cleaners that it ingests without complaining is amazing.

The metal rear wheel axles on the power nozzle and the more reliable hinges are the first improvement I noticed to the canisters. Upon further investigation, I noticed that Cleva seals the leaking points of the Panasonic models. To single out one model, the bagged 600 Series uses the same motor housing assembly as the older Panasonic Progressive models, but they wrap electric tape around the front of the motor housing to seal the fan housing gasket to it, they hot glue the holes in the back of the motor housing to seal them, they put a little gasket on the keyed rear motor mount, and they put seals where the motor housing clips onto the filter housing. On top of that, the EF-9 filters are far better than the older EF-2 design. They obviously put some thought into making them sealed.

The main thing that I wish they would fix about the bagged canisters is the bag dock. I would like to see that happen very soon. The current one leaks a little more fine dust than I would like, which was normal in the 1980s and 1990s, but is dated nowadays. It would be easy for them to change the bags and the dock, but have it mount in the same spot with the same base casting.

I would not mind seeing a more modern hose on the canisters as well. I do not hate the hoses that they use on them now and they are certainly tougher than some of the far older models, but they could benefit from upgrading to a lighter and more flexible material. The hoses, especially on the ones like the 200 and 400 Series, seem to be the first things to fail. I have seen a couple where people have given them a good yank and disconnected a wire or two, even on the Panasonic models.

They need to offer an extension hose for the 31140 and Elite 31150/BU1017/BU1018 models! The main complaint I hear about them other than the weight is that the on-board hose is way too short and tight. The uprights are amazing in terms of their cleaning ability and raw airflow and suction numbers on top of having above average build quality for the price range, but the lack of ease of use in attachment hose bugs me.

I have never handled one of the new Kenmore models such as the Intuition or the bagless versions of it. I would place money on them being some sort of deal with KingClean, who works in conjunction with Shark, hence the similarities. I know the models in question have issues with the hoses ripping, but the idea of a bagged lift-away upright did fill a gap in the market. In my opinion, it was smart. On the other hand, the bagless uprights (not the CrossOver) look like total garbage with single cyclones and foam filters.

Post# 450336 , Reply# 15   2/23/2022 at 18:37 (350 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I also agree that the quality and probably the reliability of the machines hasn't dropped when Cleva took over from Panasonic. Again, they've even improved in areas that both Panasonic and Whirlpool never done before. I still would buy a Kenmore today. But my favorites would always be the ones that Panasonic and Whirlpool built back in the day. Like the Kenmore 28399 that I shared earlier, it was built like a tank. Or the Panasonic Optiflow canisters that I mentioned earlier as well, I was sold on them when my old local vacuum store carried those. And the Hayden SuperPack central vacuum kits, they were just so fun to use.

Post# 450369 , Reply# 16   2/24/2022 at 18:24 (349 days old) by n0oxy (Saint Louis Missouri, United States)        
Kenmore 116

Not sure when that Kenmore 116 that was in the video was made but it sounds like a two stage motor. Sounds very similar to the motor that was used in at least some of the Kenmore Whispertone models.
It would be awesome if the CT10 nozzle made a come back. Is Steel City a vacuum store or a company? I have a Titan straight suction bagged canister and I really like it.
There are still some good bagged canisters available from Miele, Sebo, and let's not forget the zero g vacuum, that's a great cleaner. There's also the Numatic line of cleaners although these don't include a way to use an electric power nozzle.

Post# 450370 , Reply# 17   2/24/2022 at 18:43 (349 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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It was made between 1988-1989.

Post# 450402 , Reply# 18   2/26/2022 at 18:14 (347 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I agree the uprights do need an extension hose option. I've also noticed the older Progressive models at the top end came with an extra extension wand and a bare floor brush. It seems like after they went to the Intuition and then the Elite lineup, they stopped including them for some reason.

Also, does anyone know why they stopped offering the 2 speed brushroll setting and also why did they stop offering the Inteliclean feature and 3 speed suction motor?

I have two Kenmore Progressive uprights (one bagged and one bagless) and they both have those features and I thought they were really advanced with that. I'm not sure of any American vacuums on the market with those features.

I'm just guessing here but maybe it was that customers found it too confusing, or it got too expensive to offer? I know the controls are a little complicated having all of those settings available. However I have not heard of the electronics failing on any of them.

The current Kenmore uprights only offer a 3 setting switch with "1 Off-2 Brush and Suction-3 Suction Only" which is really a step down from what Kenmore used to offer on their TOL upright models.

I've never experienced the Crossover uprights, but I'd like to try it. The little floor brush that pops off with the hose I think is nifty.

Post# 450443 , Reply# 19   2/28/2022 at 19:20 (345 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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If I were to guess, I think they don't sell extension hoses and other attachments for the Elite because they didn't sell the extension hoses and other attachments well enough at Sears or even Kmart from their older Kenmore uprights to where it wasn't worth selling them for much longer. However, some people still liked having longer hoses that Sears decided to cut cost and made longer hoses on their newer Progressive models like the Intellicleans for example. They probably quit making their hoses longer because they were challenging to unclog and/or they decrease the performance of the units. Now what you can do is to get an adapter for the Elite and buy a generic upright 12 foot hose attachment kit either at your local vacuum store or online.

But definitely for sure they quit offering the features that were on the Intelliclean and some of the older Direct Drive models because they were more problematic. Not to mention they were more pricey to build. I remember repairing a Intelliclean one time and I tried swapping out the circuit board that was off from another Intelliclean, I ended blewing up the circuitry. That's the last time I'd ever mess with the circuits that complicated on a vacuum. This is one of the reasons why Panasonic no longer used features like those on their own vacuums.

Here's also the reason why they quit offering the beltless models on their own vacuums. Dealers including mine complained not only they were problematic but also they didn't cleaned nearly as well as their belted models. Not to mention they were more expensive as well. The only beltless model that I've really liked was their Panasonic Performance Plus MC-V7407D. That one I thought cleaned really well. But overall, I'm not really a fan of beltless Panasonics. I liked the idea behind it but I never found them to clean just as well or even better as their other uprights that uses a belt. Especially the ones that uses a Kevlar Poly V belt that doesn't slip or break like this Panasonic Optiflow MC-UG787 for example. I humbly thought that was Panasonic's best upright that they've ever produced here overall in North America. It really did competed against Miele's own uprights like this Jazz for example.

Because of my cents that I just pointed out here, I have to respectively disagree that using a three selector switch was a step down for Kenmore. I think that was actually good for them. If Kenmore wants to please Consumer Reports and their customers about the reliability of Kenmore, they better keep them simple as they possibly can.

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Post# 450447 , Reply# 20   2/28/2022 at 20:01 (345 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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The Dirt Devil model 501D Deluxe was another short-lived machine: it had the Dirt Devil branding, but the rest of the machine was the all-metal 501 Prince, which Royal did to clear up stocks related to the 501 parts.


Post# 450576 , Reply# 21   3/6/2022 at 19:54 (339 days old) by thatwasherguy (Kentucky )        
Discontinued vacuums...

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I’m sad that the Eureka Victory was discontinued. For a budget-oriented machine, it wasn’t bad at all. My parents had one that lasted 17 years. I also wish that the Hoover Convertible was still made. It was a way better machine than 99% of what’s on the market currently.

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