Sears / Kenmore Vacuum: Design Tweakage

Despite cogent reasons for not buying another Sears vacuum cleaner, the brand currently represents a local maximum of the desirability curve: cheap, readily available, works well enough, and, surprisingly, bags for the defunct Progressive (whatever that meant) vacuum seem to fit just fine.

But the new one does come with some annoyances, starting with trendy dark gray engraved / molded control markings:

Sears Vacuum - power and cord controls
Sears Vacuum – power and cord controls

Quick: from the other end of the vacuum hose, which one must you stomp to turn it off?

Well, I can fix that:

Sears Vacuum - marked power switch
Sears Vacuum – marked power switch

After the Progressive’s bizarre and overly complex tool fittings, the new unit has tools that slip-fit onto a classic steel tube, which means I can throw all those adapters into a box of 3D printing examples for use in the unlikely event I ever do another show-n-tell presentation.

It also has a simple rotating suction control ring at the handle:

Sears Vacuum - marked suction vent control
Sears Vacuum – marked suction vent control

Which, as you can tell from the fluorescent tape, featured the same embossed and unreadably small dark gray markings.

Because that ring and its glaring tape is invisible from the user’s end of the handle, I eventually duct-taped the ring in position to prevent another inadvertent loss-of-suction accident.

If we ever need reduced suction on a regular basis, I’ll conjure a better ring from the vasty digital deep:

Sears Vacuum - suction vent doodle
Sears Vacuum – suction vent doodle

I obviously no longer form deep emotional attachments to these things …

2 thoughts on “Sears / Kenmore Vacuum: Design Tweakage

  1. Our Bissell pet-rated vacuum has good features, but with one major oops. The suckage control is a slider right by the handle, and it’s easy to change (seems we have multiple rug thicknesses in Casa RCP).

    The bad news is that the interior portion of the control traps shedded hair, giving a falloff in vacuum and some interesting noises. Trying to clear the block was interesting. There’s no access to the valve (permanently assembled with no line of sight), but the hose downstream of the valve is detachable. I did that and used the hose on the intake end, and the blockage cleared. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

    Since our dog’s secret power is ability to shed all year round, we’re pretty good at the suckage-improvement maneuver. [sigh]

  2. Bissel is the way to go, in my opinion. I got one with a broken handle, so I removed the brush and belt. Filled the bottom with expanding foam to give it a leg to stand on, and just use it as a shop vac. It’s amazing…….it’ll fill the canister clear to the top of the cyclone part w/o losing suction, and I rarely have to clean the filter.
    The Dirt Devil (also bagless) requires frequent filter changes; perhaps the main floor dirt has different qualities than the basement/shop messes. I’ve had some experience with Dyson and Hoover and maybe Eureka. I really prefer the Bissel.

Comments are closed.