In 1913, a fledgling company called Kenmore released its first product, which was a sewing machine for the home. On the tails of the sewing machine’s success, Kenmore branched out into washing machines. In 1932, Kenmore added vacuum cleaners to its product lineup, and the company grew at a rapid pace. Today, Kenmore makes a full suite of household appliances and enjoys numerous accolades for its well-made and innovative products.
To satisfy the demands of consumers everywhere, the company has created three brands – Kenmore, Kenmore Elite and Kenmore Pro. The original Kenmore brand offers high-quality, sensible appliances while the Kenmore Elite brand consists of more technologically advanced appliances. There is also the Kenmore Pro brand, which brings commercial-level performance to the home.
Although Kenmore doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the appliances it creates, many people are unaware of the company’s range of vacuum cleaners, including sticks, uprights, and canisters. These vacuums are produced under the Kenmore and Kenmore Elite brands, and they are thoughtfully designed. To see how the original and the Elite brands compare in the realm of vacuum cleaners, we decided to pit one canister vac from each brand against each other.
The Kenmore 81614 600 Series Versus the Kenmore Elite 81714 Ultra Plush
Talk about fully loaded. The Kenmore 81614 and the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush canister vacuums are equipped with two motors that separately control the canister and the main floor head. With their variable-speed suction and four handy attachments, there is virtually no surface you can’t clean.
To help you tackle dusty window treatments, ceiling cobwebs, and other above-floor areas, these canister vacs’ extendable wand and retractable cord offer an incredibly long reach. The vacuums also have a gripping mechanism to keep them firmly planted on your stairs.
You can adjust the swiveling nozzle to one of four heights, so you can achieve a thorough clean on all your floors. Thanks to an ergonomic handle with fingertip controls as well as a smooth pair of wheels, the canister vacuums are easy to maneuver. For air that stays clean as you vacuum, the Kenmore 81614 and the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush boast a bagged HEPA filtration system.
Of course, each vacuum cleaner offers a set of unique features besides a dazzling display of color. For instance, the Kenmore 81614 gives you the benefit of the brand’s Pop-n-Go function that allows you to secure the floor brush while standing upright, and the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush cuts through dark spaces with its headlight and wand light.
Two Are Better Than One
Right off the bat, the jewel-tone purple Kenmore 81614 canister vac catches your eye. However, this 12-amp canister vac is more than just a showpiece appliance as it runs on a two-motor system. One motor operates the canister while the other is dedicated to the floor nozzle to maximize the vacuum’s overall performance. In conjunction with dual walls that steadily move the air, these two motors deliver no-dirt-left-behind suction.
Like the 600 Series, the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush also has two motors in addition to Kenmore’s two-layer Power Flow technology. Also a 12-amp vacuum, the Ultra Plush has a motor that’s designed to elevate the vacuum’s suction by 20 percent in comparison to a standard upright vacuum. Both canister vacs are protected by a thermal cutoff switch to avoid clog-related motor burnout, and the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush’s golden champagne color adds the perfect touch of elegance.
Options at Your Fingertips
Whether you clean for 5 minutes or 45 minutes, your hand won’t be sore or tired. The handle on the Kenmore 81614 and the Ultra Plush vacuum is looped for ergonomics. Therefore, your hand will stay comfortable, and you won’t lose your grip during extended cleaning sessions.
All the suction and brushroll options offered on these two canister vacuums are located on the handle, which makes going from one vacuuming task to another a breeze. With the touch of the wand-release button, you can instantly remove the vacuum’s pole for close-range cleaning, and suction slider allows you to increase and decrease the suction to adjust the vacuum’s strength to any type of surface.
Then, there is the motor switch. This control can be set to one of two positions besides off. In carpet mode, the motor in the canister and the floor head are engaged. In the hard-floor mode, the brush roll stops rotating to prevent damage to delicate hardwood and tile, and the vacuum relies on its suction to clean.
Tools for All Spaces
Both canister vacs come with an assortment of tools that attach to the wand or directly to the handle. There is a dusting brush that you can use to vacuum shelves, lampshades, and blinds, and the crevice tool takes the hassle out of cleaning in between sofa cushions. If you own pets, you’ll absolutely love the motorized PowerMate attachment; this tool is also useful for cleaning carpeted stairs. Since they lock into place, the attachments will stay secure the entire time you vacuum.
When you use one of the tools with the telescopic wand, you get over 10 feet of reach. Since it’s made of aluminum, the wand can stand up to heavy-duty use. Adjusting the wand’s height is simple – All you have to do is press a button. Plus, it’s equipped with an LED light to help you see in dark corners.
Once you’re finished using a tool, push the wand’s tool-release button to detach the tool. The Kenmore 81614 canister vac offers on-board storage for all of its tools in the form of a door-covered compartment. In the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush’s enclosed caddy, there is room for the horsehair brush and motorized tool, and the crevice tool hooks onto the handle.
Motorized Floor Care
A hallmark of the 600 Series and the Ultra Plush is the PowerMate nozzle. This swiveling floor head features a bevy of functions like the wand-release foot pedal and the overload reset button, which gets the vacuum up and running after a brushroll jam.
In addition to these practical features, the PowerMate floor head has another pedal, which lowers and raises the nozzle to one of four heights. With its dual-side brushes, the floor head also does an excellent job of vacuuming along the edges of baseboards. It even has a bumper to protect your furniture.
While both canister vacuums’ nozzles are similar in many ways, there are some differences between these 14-inch-wide PowerMate floor heads. Each nozzle is able to thoroughly clean carpeted floors; however, the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush’s nozzle moves easier on high-pile carpet, and it has a headlight.
A Nozzle for Hard Floors
Although the PowerMate is suitable for use on hardwood, tile, linoleum and other non-carpeted surfaces, Kenmore also included brush just for bare floors. The Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush’s hard-floor brush has horsehair bristles that are gentle enough not to mark your floors yet durable enough not to fall apart with regular use. Thanks to Kenmore’s Pop-n-Go apparatus, the bare-floor brush that comes with the Kenmore 81614 canister vacuum can be attached to the wand without you needing to bend over.
HEPA Filtration – the Real Deal
Some vacuum manufacturers state that their products have a HEPA filter, calling them HEPA-style filters. However, HEPA-style and HEPA-type filters are actually HEPA-impostors. Kenmore uses true HEPA filtration media for its 600 Series and Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush canister vacuums to protect you from 99.97 percent of allergens as small as 0.3 microns.
In fact, these two vacuum cleaners boast three layers of filtration, ensuring no dust, dander or pollen escapes into the air. Their filtration system consists of a HEPA cloth bag with locking tabs, a washable pre-motor filter, and a disposable exhaust filter. When the onboard indicator light illuminates, you’ll know it’s time to clean a filter or replace a bag.
Lift, Carry, Push and Roll
An often-overlooked feature, the wheels on a canister vacuum matter in regard to its maneuverability, and the wheels on these two models are oversized and smooth, allowing the vacuum cleaners to practically gliding across your floors. If you need to lift these 22-pound canister vacs, the raised tote handle comes in handy.
Wherever you vacuum, the retractable power cord that measures over 25 feet provides an incredible cleaning radius, but don’t think you’re limited to using these vacuums on a flat surface. Thanks to the inclusion of a gripping mechanism on their undercarriage, the Kenmore 81614 and the Ultra Plush won’t slip when they’re propped on the stairs. Therefore, you have both hands free to vacuum the steps.Related Kenmore Canister Vacuum Articles
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A Pair of All-Inclusive Vacuums
First, let’s talk numbers. These canister vacs have two motors, two-floor heads, and three attachments, which means you get plenty of tools for cleaning your home from end to end. Plus, the vacuums are packed full of thoughtful features, including a stair grip, enclosed storage caddies, on-handle controls and a rewindable power cord.
One of the nozzles is height-adjustable, so the suction inlet and brushroll can get close to the floor. Unlike the floor heads on most canister vacs, the PowerMate is extra-wide, covering a lot of floor per pass. Variable suction lets you safely vacuum drapes and area rugs, and their triple-HEPA filtration system is the answer that every pet owner and allergy sufferer seek from a vacuum cleaner.
Even though the Kenmore 81614 canister vacuum has the convenient Pop-n-Go setup while the Ultra Plush has LED lights and a slightly souped-up floor nozzle, you’re sure to be pleased by either canister vacuum. Buying the Kenmore 81614 or the Kenmore 81714 Elite Ultra Plush is money well spent.
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