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Old 02-11-2009, 02:52 PM
Location: NY
1,416 posts, read 4,824,383 times
Reputation: 583


My nephew is buying his first house and I promised to buy him a good quality vacuum cleaner (to replace that pathetic Dustbuster-quality thing he's been using in his apartment) as a housewarming gift.

His new house will not have any carpet, but it does have stairs, so clearly a canister vac is the best choice. (He also hates the upright-style thing he is getting rid of!)

I've had a (genuine) Electrolux canister for years and years but (a) there's no way he's getting that and (b) there's no way I can afford to give him something that expensive. I'm thinking something for $300 or less (not including sales tax).

Recommendations please? One with HEPA filtration would be a plus but I don't know if that's common in vacuums costing less than $500.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:44 PM
Location: Eastern Washington
12,897 posts, read 41,449,880 times
Reputation: 10611
Buy something quality but used or rebuilt. Or look in Consumer Reports, if you just have to buy new. But around here there are vacuum repair shops with used quality vacuums, frequently with new belts etc installed by the shop. More for your money.

I have had an old Kenmore cannister from the 1980's, it's been a good reliable machine, but it's probably got nothing to do with what Sears sells today.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:35 AM
Location: Amelia View
4,189 posts, read 11,862,549 times
Reputation: 3658
I have a relatively new Panasonic canister, but I don't like it. Some of its features that are supposed to be helpful aren't helpful at all. The hose is connected to the canister on a swivel with the intent that you can vac around a room and the canister stays put. That's true to the extent if you're vaccing in a 4' circle, the length of the hose. But try moving on and the canister on its swivel wheels goes wherever it wants to and usually hangs up on furniture legs. A pain. The power head is supposed to do hardwood or tile floors, but at that level all it does is spit stuff out from under the head - the roller brushes are more powerful than the suction. I can turn off the rollers, but the head doesn't hug the floor close enough to scuk up anything heavier than a dustbunny. The cord is way too short, about 20'. On the positive side, the tools are stored on board and that's convenient, and the power switch is on the handle rather than on the canister.

My canister also stinks for doing stairs. It's bulky and cumbersome and I need to use both hands, one to hold the canister by its handle and the other to run the vac head on the stairs. If my canister sat better on its end, it might be an easier task, but it doesn't and will tip over easily if I don't hold onto it.
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Old 02-12-2009, 05:47 AM
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,142 posts, read 2,738,659 times
Reputation: 5602
I have had just the opposite experience with my new Panasonic. I absolutely love mine. It does a good job and its easy for me to maneuver. Below is info I found online about it. the place where I bought mine is pretty reasonable with prices (this model is under $225.00 with free shipping). Here is the info on the machine taken from their website.
Panasonic MC-CG973 Canister Vacuum

Recessed Attachment Storage for Easy Access During Cleaning
Tool attachments are recessed on top of the canister for easy access during cleaning. No time is wasted searching for the tool you need. Just lift the cover and it's right within your reach.

Effective Cleaning with Positive Drive Brush System
A V-groove belt and agitator shaft team up for non-slipping positive brush action and more effective cleaning.

Hose Swivel Allows for Wide Range Cleaning
The 360-degree swivel hose permits a wide range of cleaning without moving the canister. Canister tip-over is also greatly reduced since the hose moves freely in all directions.

Bare Floor Cleaning Option Allows for Safer Cleaning
The fingertip switch shuts off the agitator for safer cleaning on bare floor surfaces.

Power Nozzle Overload Protector Helps Protect the Belt and Nozzle Motor
The overload protector reacts quickly to shut off and protect the belt and nozzle motor if the agitator is jammed. When the clogging object is removed and the reset button pressed, vacuuming can be resumed.

The Panasonic 973 Features
  • Powerful 12 Amp Motor
  • On/Off and Bare Floor Switches on Handle
  • 24-Foot Power Cord with Cord Reel
  • Covered, Recessed Attachment Storage
  • 4 Full-Size Cleaning Attachments
  • HEPA Exhaust Filter
  • Auto Cord Rewind
  • 9-Inch Nylon Floor Brush
  • Carpet Height Adjustment
  • Overload Protection Reset
  • Motorized Power Nozzle
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:27 AM
Location: Amelia View
4,189 posts, read 11,862,549 times
Reputation: 3658
FlightAttendant -- just too funny! Same machine, two different users, two different and opposite opinions. Honestly, that's what makes buying a vacuum (or anything else) so difficult sometimes! It's all about personal preference!
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:40 AM
Location: Living near our Nation's Capitol since 2010
2,142 posts, read 2,738,659 times
Reputation: 5602
What a riot! Just goes to show you that just like buying a new car or anything else, there is plenty of room for individual preferences!!! Now in an ideal world, I could buy a robot to DO the vacuuming!!!!!
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Old 02-12-2009, 06:45 AM
Location: Amelia View
4,189 posts, read 11,862,549 times
Reputation: 3658
Originally Posted by FlightAttendant View Post
Now in an ideal world, I could buy a robot to DO the vacuuming!!!!!
And in that respect we two agree fully! The roomba is getting close, but I would prefer a robot with the strength of Hercules to pick up furniture and vac the furnidents where dust and dustbunnies collect around chair legs, etc.
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Old 02-12-2009, 08:14 AM
Location: where nothin ever grows. no rain or rivers flow, TX
2,028 posts, read 7,258,854 times
Reputation: 442
I bought my wife's Electrolux canister vac (refurbished) on ebay for $300. Definitely good as new, uber quiet and powerful
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Old 02-12-2009, 12:01 PM
Location: Raleigh NC
1,250 posts, read 4,196,699 times
Reputation: 924
I like the canister design as well and for me I have all hardwood on main level and carpet upstairs along with the stairs, so a canister is must. Uprights are annoying, loud and heavy.

I always had Hoover but the last one didn't last long at all...I went with Kenmore this time, it's about 3 years old and going strong. I paid $250.00, on sale at the time down from $299 or $329.00 something like that...but I really like it. It was in Consumer Reports, recommended and tested. My dream would be a Miele, but the model I like is about $1k, not on my budget or priority list right now.

I would check out the Kenmore line at Sears, they have a pretty wide selection and prices for a good canister vacuum cleaner.

I have my eye on the new Hoover 100th Anniversary Windtunnel Canister, model S3670, I have read the online reviews and they seem pretty good, but skeptical since my last one died and fell apart quickly. It retails for $299.00

Good Luck...I wish I would have held onto my mom's Hoover Celebrity or Dimension Canister...she also had a Kenmore from the early 70's, Sears Best, apple/celery green, that was the 70's for you...lol You couldn't kill those machines...they truly don't make products like they used to...My grandmother's Hoover Convertible too...that thing went for over 40 years, until we sold it at a yard sale...crazy...
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Old 02-12-2009, 01:03 PM
Location: SE Michigan
1,213 posts, read 4,175,571 times
Reputation: 667
why do you need a canister for hardwood floors? Can't you use an upright with the barefloor switch turned on?
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