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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Powerful As They Come
I'm simply thrilled by how well the Panasonic MC-CG885 cleans! At 12 Amps, this vacuum cleaner is as powerful as they come! The powerful suction helps in tackling large areas with amazing speed and ease. It works very well on both bare floor and high pile carpets. On carpets, the motorized beater brush provides plenty of torque to quickly loosen any deeply embedded dirt...
Published on January 8, 2009 by MyBeesWax

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179 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The High Cost of Maintenance
Panasonic MC-CG885 OptiFlow Lightweight Bag Canister Vacuum Cleaner

This vacuum cleaner sucks. There I said it, now that that's out of the way let's get down to the nitty gritty the down and dirty. For the past five years or so I've only been using bag less vacuums. I have three. A Eureka upright, a Panasonic small canister and a DustBuster. Bag less vacuums...
Published on January 9, 2009 by Joseph Spiegel


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179 of 186 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The High Cost of Maintenance, January 9, 2009
By 
Joseph Spiegel "Joe" (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Panasonic MC-CG885 OptiFlow Lightweight Bag Canister Vacuum Cleaner

This vacuum cleaner sucks. There I said it, now that that's out of the way let's get down to the nitty gritty the down and dirty. For the past five years or so I've only been using bag less vacuums. I have three. A Eureka upright, a Panasonic small canister and a DustBuster. Bag less vacuums are a breed unto themselves. You get to save the cost of the bags but you have to figure out how to empty them without making a bigger mess than you just cleaned up. You have to supply a bag of some sort so you can contain the dirt and dispose of it neatly. With a bag vacuum like the MC-CG885 that's not a problem. What IS a problem is the bag inside is quite small and very costly. As Amazon doesn't sell it (yet??) I found it on the Internet for about $6 per bag. For a bag as small as it is, that could be quite an expensive proposition to maintain. My first thought is if you have new carpet, they usually shed for quite a while (my bag less upright pulled up a lot of blue fuzz) and you'll fill these bags very quickly. Going back to my first sentence, this "OptiFlow" has a lot of suction power. That's good it pulled up dirt like nobody's business.

To begin back at the beginning, assembling this vacuum was relatively easy. The hose attaches to the body with an easy twist and the wands also go together with positive latching mechanisms that are quite secure. Just make sure you connect the outboard power line so the beater bar and light get their power. It's a simple, one way is right, positive connection. When it's all together I noticed a few issues. There is a hook on the body to support the wand and head in an upright position for storage or rest. It sometimes tips over. If the head is set to anything other than extra low it always tips over. It won't park as easily as an upright. It on the other hand isn't as heavy as a typical upright. It's fairly maneuverable too. It has three free spinning casters on its bottom and they roll easily on carpet or floor. I have both. The power cord is VERY long so you can plug it in and clean a large area or maybe two rooms. It retracts easily with the press of the large button on the top of the canister. Under the "hood" it has hidden storage for the crevice tool and small brush. Both work as expected. The business end of the hose has a pistol type grip and sliding on off switch. This is where you can attach the tools or by disconnecting the head end power cord you can use one of the rods for an extended reach. The power switch is an Off, Floor, Carpet three position switch. It also controls the beater bar on the head piece. It operates smoothly and efficiently.

I experimented with different heights for the head end. At its lowest setting it has a tendency to want to pull you forward, It's very strong and digs into the carpet. As I raised it that corrected the situation and still got the cleaning done. Just be careful to get the right height setting. As for cleaning a floor, not so good. Light or loose dust is fine but for heavier grime you'll need something better for that. It's not a mop.

Changing the bag is easy and neat. It rests in a basket that has a handle to lift it out of the body. It's all under the big hood that opens easily. That the bag is small and expensive is the biggest most damning strike on this otherwise fine vacuum. It is also relatively quiet for one that is as powerful as it is. I would love to see Panasonic come up with an emptyable cartridge that would go where the bag is, but that's not going to happen.

To sum up. It's strong, quiet, easy to use and does a very good job. I just can't get over the fact that you will be running up serious expenses on bags.

UPDATE: March 14: I would raise the Star level to 4 now that Amazon is selling the bags and at a reasonable price (4 for $10). It ends my biggest gripe.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Powerful As They Come, January 8, 2009
By 
MyBeesWax "A Music Fan" (The Heart of the Golden State) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm simply thrilled by how well the Panasonic MC-CG885 cleans! At 12 Amps, this vacuum cleaner is as powerful as they come! The powerful suction helps in tackling large areas with amazing speed and ease. It works very well on both bare floor and high pile carpets. On carpets, the motorized beater brush provides plenty of torque to quickly loosen any deeply embedded dirt or pet hair. It should take at most a couple of passes to clean an area, even on very dense carpets.

Attachments
-----------
- Cleaning Attachments:
The only fault I can find with it is the lack of an upholstery tool and a floor brush. Besides the main bare floor/carpet attachment, the unit comes with only (1) a small dusting brush and (2) a crevice tool. For the most part though, the lack of a floor brush attachment is not a big deal since bare floor/carpet attachment is really light and maneuverable. Besides, I use my Shark Cordless Hand Vac in conjunction with the Panasonic to tackle the hard-to-reach areas. For upholstery cleaning, I suppose the dusting brush will have to do.

Pluses
------
- Lengthy Power Cord
The length of the retractable power cord is 28 feet, so it provides PLENTY of slack for even the largest rooms. It can be quickly retracted by pressing a button.

- 4 Adjustible Heights
The height of the floor/carpet cleaning attachment can be adjusted for vacuuming bare floor and low pile to high pile carpets. There are 4 height settings: XLO, LO, MED, HI.

- Quick and Easy Assembly/Dissembly
The unit can be quickly assembled for use and quickly dissembled for storage after use.

- Easy-To-Clean Beater Brush
The motorized beater brush, unlike those on some vacuum cleaners, can be easily cleaned -- no more impossibly tangled mass of hair and filth on the brushes.

- HEPA Air Filter
The tiniest amount of dust in the air can trigger my nasal allergies (that's why I use a Honeywell Air Filter). If you're an allergy sufferer like me, you'll appreciate the Hepa filter on this vac, which traps the smallest dust particles to prevent them from being released back into the air.

- Economical Replacement Bags
The replacement bags are easy to replace without causing dirt and dust to spill out and make a mess. A brand new bag may look small, but the slightly elastic material will stretch out as needed to contain the dust and dirt as it fills up. Each bag can actually hold a lot. The vacuum uses the Panasonic AMC-J3EP replacement bags (Part No. AMV16K-5L0) - they come in a 4-pack and are very affordably priced. (Note: this vacuum comes with a vacuum bag included.)

Ergonomics
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- The Power Switch/Slider has 3 modes: Off, Floor, Carpet. It is conveniently located on the handle and is designed to be operated with the thumb of the hand holding the handle of the unit. This makes it possible to maneuver the wand while freeing up your other hand to reposition the cannister when needed.

- For those who are right-handed, the handle is free to rotate up to 90 degrees counter-clockwise to help accommodate the natural position of the wrist. Sorry, lefties, this ergonomic feature is designed only for those who are right-handed.

Conclusion
----------
Last but not least, I must mention this thing is a beauty, so it won't be an eyesore when it's not tucked away in a closet. It's well-designed and looks to be very well-constructed - I'm looking forward to using it for many years to come. For me, the only drawback is the limited cleaning attachments. Still, I have rated it 5-stars based on its impressive cleaning ability, ergonomic design, and looks. Yes, the price is steep, but price aside, if you're looking for a powerful vacuum cleaner that's easy to use and maintain, the Panasonic MC-CG885 OptiFlow Vacuum Cleaner is it.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Will thrill the clean freak in you!, December 23, 2008
By 
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Update March '10: I just wanted to say I've had this vac for over a year now, and still use it at least twice a week(and look forward to using it) to maintain my hardwood floors. I absolutely love it!

Original review: I am a self professed clean freak. We have 2 cats that I am allergic to, so the floors being clean is especially important to me. This Panasonic vac has made me very happy! I live in a 2nd floor apartment with a carpeted hallway & stairs, the rest of my apartment is hardwood floors with linoleum in the kitchen and tile in the bath. I've used it everywhere and it's AMAZING! As someone described it to me, it will 'suck chrome off a tow hitch', which sounds a little funny -- but that is the power it has.

Putting it together is easy and will take a matter of minutes, but be careful that you put the metal poles together correctly, otherwise you won't have power to the vac head that you push on the floor. It took me a bit to figure out that I had made this error in my hast to get it together and use it.

The power button is on the handle, which I thought was an absolutely must have feature. There would be nothing worse then trying to find a button on the unit behind you. You can also switch it from carpet to bare floor with this button, so it's an seamless transition. That button makes it effortless for me to vacuum my little area rugs that are on my hardwood floors and in the kitchen. When using the carpet setting the light comes on the vacuum head and it self propels on its own making it very easy and lightweight to use. The canister was gliding along behind me no problem. I took care of my entire apartment in about 15-20 minutes.

Another of my favorite features is that the cord goes inside the body of the canister and can be sucked back in with the push of a button. No fiddling around with getting it raveled back up, which is something I particularly hate about my upright. This one also adjusts heights with a little foot pedal from x-low to high so if you have short carpet or tall shaggy rugs, it should work amazingly.

I right away took care of my front carpeted stairs, since they haven't been done in some time. We only had an upright vac previously and I found it impossible to do the stairs with that. My boyfriend tried it once or twice, but it honestly just does not get the nooks and crannies. With this new Panasonic vacuum, I maneuvered it around and then went back and got the nooks after easily removing the vac head. I was even able to hold the canister while I did it, which makes it extremely lightweight and not at all cumbersome to vacuum in odd locations.

The only cons for me -- I would love if this was a bagless vac. I hate having to find bags. That feature would make this the absolute star of vacuums to me. Also, if I could strap this baby on my back and not have to roll it around(especially for doing stairs!), that would be thrilling, but it's not a make or break, just something I'd personally like.

I've never had a canister vacuum and after using this one, don't know how I existed without one! Thank you Panasonic for helping me keep my house clean with ease!
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DO I LOVE THIS VAC - YES and NO, January 12, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Panasonic MC-CG885 canister vacuum cleaner has a lot going for it. There are some things I'm not fond of. Here is my list of Pros and Cons.

PROS:
*Vacuum took all of less than 5 minutes to assemble.
*The on the handle height adjustment for carpets is super easy and works great.
*Power cord retracts easy. Not too fast and not too slow. Hasn't had a problem with it at all.
*The way the hose swivels is convenient and saves many steps. I don't have to turn the vacuum cleaner to change my direction.
*Light on the head while doing carpet is a nice feature.
*Storage of the 2 attachments in the compartment is great.
*Love the fact that when I am done using the vacuum cleaner I can stand it upright and it has a little slot for the wand and vacuum head to slide into so it makes it easy to store. I don't have much storage space and I can store this vac. Doesn't take up much space at all.
*The bag is easy to place into the vacuum and has been performing just fine. On other canisters I have had the vacuum decrease suction due to the bag not expanding properly. This one does an excellent job.
*The HEPA filter is nice. I did a test and dusted a room before I vacuumed that room. I came back an hour after vacuuming to see how much dust the vacuum produced and left on my freshly dusted furniture and I found none. That was a huge Plus!
*It was easy to vacuum the stairs without having to lug the entire vacuum up each stair as I found the length of the cord to be just fine for me.
*While vacuuming the carpet I noticed items from the floor jumping up and being sucked into the vac head. I was surprised at the power.
*I have also had great success with using this vacuum on my hardwood floors. Keep in mind that all hardwood floors are not the same. Mine are solid oak and do have a small space between the boards. The vacuum has removed items from those spaces and all of the floors.
*Dog hair has been able to be removed from both the carpets and the floors.
*Not too heavy. I can carry it up and down stairs with ease.
*Very quiet. I can't hear it all over the house like other vacuums. Even the dog doesn't run and hide.

CONS:
*Dusting Brush: A little bitty thing. I think it should have been bigger.
*Dust Bags: Very difficult to find and overpriced. As this is a new vacuum to the market (and the bags are new too) I am sure that it will not be very long before finding bags and the cost of them is no longer an issue.
*Floor Tool: There is no floor tool. It is built into the main head. The main head it too big to get under furniture to get out the dust bunnies and whatever else has landed underneath. I did solve this problem by purchasing a separate Floor Brush that is available.
*Handle Release Lever: This releases the wand from the Power Nozzle head. I am skeptical of this. It is a thin piece of plastic that you use your foot to push down to release. I am wondering how long this will last before it breaks. Hopefully it will never break.

OVERALL:
I love this vacuum with its power and convenience.

UPDATE: Amazon now carries replacement bags and belts
Panasonic AMC-J3EP Canister Replacement Bag(type C-18)(4/U) for MC-CG885
Panasonic MC-V370B Replacement CB-3 Belt for MC-CG885
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Vacuum Cleaner - 1st Time Canister Users, January 5, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Hello All.
A bit of background....
We are a large family with 3 kids...two of them 6 and one 12.
There are lots of opportunities to vacuum our carpets, hard wood floors, and our ceramic tiles in the kitchen.... Vacuuming is easier then sweeping...on tiles and floors.

We have bought various vacuums, all uprights. The latest addition was the ORECK classic upright...because of its weight and guaranteed suction.

I am no fanatic of 4-5-600 vacuum cleaners..because in the end they all have issues.

The Panasonic vacuum was packaged well and was easily unpacked, setup, and ready to go.

We have used it daily for about 2 weeks now and we vacuum about 2 times a day....(especially when the kids were home for the holiday break) otherwise it is once a day. The unit is lightweight and comes with a standard set of accessories for a canister. A brush, a blade type accessory etc. It is a bag unit....as the description says. The cleaning power of this vacuum is notable. As I said...we have been through a lot of up right vacuum's and thus my comparison may be on the weak side...but I am quite positive that this thing out sucks a Oreck classic (excuse the pun).

The unit sets up very easily. The hoses can be detached at two locations....one towards the bottom using your foot so that you get an extended cleaning hose...and one right at the handle for the shortened version.... The power switch is at the handle and has 3 positions (Carpet, Floor, and OFF)....very convenient to have the switch easily available to your thumb to switch modes. The motorized brush has a floor, low pile, and high pile setting which is easily changed by tapping your foot on the button....there is a display window that shows the setting.... The light works as intended.

The best part, for me, was the ability to be on the carpet one moment..using my foot to detach the the motorized brush and move to the floor...change the setting to floor...and then quickly move back to the carpet.. VERY easy.

The filtration seems plentiful and thus if you have dust allergies or other allergens floating around...this will definitely help a bit.

I have read that Panasonic makes all of the Kenmore canister vac's also...that is proof positive that this is an excellent product. I cannot compare its pricing as I have not shopped for a canister vac...however I can tell you that my days of purchasing OTC (over the counter) Uprights are over...I have had it with replacing vac's every year/two. This one is a keeper and we will be buying a second unit as a gift very soon.

Pros:
Light Weight
Wind up Cord
Filtration
Ease of Use
Build Quality

Cons:
N/A

Excellent item.....

Update 1-12-09
WE have donated all of our old vacuum's to the salvation army and decided that we will make this unit our main household unit. It is doing a great job of cleaning and has not lost any suction power thus far. The bag is half full. It is a great unit.

Update 03-19-09
The vacuum continues to run flawlessly. We were finally able to order replacement bags and could not be happier with the performance of this unit.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good machine, great value, August 30, 2010
By 
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
The good:
- Strong suction.
- Good length cord.
- Good electric powerhead for carpets and rugs.
- Powerhead can be used on the floor with the roller motor off if you don't want to stop to change tools.
- Headlight on the powerhead is a nice touch.
- Bag is designed to retain full suction even as it fills up.
- HEPA filter.
- Canister is lighter than some at about 14 pounds.
- Good looking unit.
- It's half the price (or less) of a comparably equipped Meile or Aerus model, yet the cleaning performance seems comparable.

The bad:
- Even though the powerhead can be used on bare floors, it's bulky and not the best to get into corners and edges. You'll probably want to add a simple straight-suction floor brush since one isn't included.
- I find the ergonomic handle more awkward to use than a plain round vacuum handle. But most manufacturers seem to use this type of handle now so it's not just this model.
- All 3 wheels on the canister swivel, making it hard to pull straight behind you. Imagine if the back wheels of your car swivelled back and forth as you steered, you'd drift from side to side bumping into everything just like this canister does.
- The powerhead adds 6 pounds, significant if you're carrying the vacuum up stairs.
- The powerhead is a rectangular shape, which isn't as good as an L-shaped powerhead for cleaning around table legs and under furniture. As far as I know the classic Electrolux (now called Aerus) is the only manufacturer offering L shaped powerheads, though.
- The exhaust is pretty hot.
- The bags are a specialty item. You won't find them at the supermarket, and although they've apparently come down in price online they're still not the cheapest, nor the easiest to replace in a pinch when you discover you've just filled your last one.

Bottom line, it's a great bang for the buck. As much as I'd like a Meile or Aerus, I can't imagine getting twice the performance from a machine costing twice as much as this one, or more. I'd much rather have the real powerhead that comes with this model than an air-driven thing that comes with the entry level Meiles. If you have a lot of bare floors to vacuum I think you'll really want to add a floor brush. Beyond that, most of the remaining negatives are just nitpicks, especially at this price.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Vacuum, August 18, 2009
By 
Scientist "eugene_p" (Minneapolis, MN United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
I bought this vacuum to replace my upright Eureka, which was driving me crazy due to its noise. In addition, you cannot go under the bed without removing the mattresses. Finally, I could not turn off the brush when going over the bare floor, which resulted in scattering the small rocks from shoes all over the place.

All problems are gone now. The Panasonic is very quiet. Cannot directly compare to Electrolux Harmony (I tried it in store with higher background noise), but seems to be very close. It's not like you can vacuum in the same room with a sleeping person, but you can safely do it in the nearby room with a shut door.

The brush is 100% identical to the brush on the Kenmore vacuums (made by Panasonic). However, the design of the vacuum itself is very different. No large ugly wheels (while still rolling fine on high carpet). The canister looks like a droplet, very cute. The white color is more like light grey.

The vacuum comes with only one bag, so stock up on extra ones. They are relatively small. However, due to the OptiFlow design, it sucks the air from all sides of the bag, allowing it to fill up completely without losing suction. And the suction is great! There is also a HEPA filter in the vacuum, which IS included, unlike with other higher-priced brands.

The only gripe I have is I wish it had a handle on top, not front, to pull it while vacuuming (like Electroluxes have).
Other than that, no problems. Love it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not great on hardwood; needs a couple more adjustable tools, January 8, 2009
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Our house has hardwood floors so this vacuum posed a challenge, especially since the large head was difficult to navigate in tight corners and around furniture (but it did flatten well under the beds).

Two years ago, my wife bought the Hoover S3765-040 WindTunnel Electronic Bagless Canister Vacuum for $195 on Amazon. Both the Hoover and the Panasonic OptiFlow feature a 12-Amp motor, a HEPA filter and retractable power cords but the Panasonic sells for $125 more.

After several trials, my wife put the Panasonic in the back room and returned to the Hoover. Here's why she still prefers the Hoover:
1. The Hoover offers three-stage suction control that can be adjusted from the handle.
2. The Hoover has an adjustable extension wand that is easy to use.
3. The Hoover doesn't have a bag. The HEPA filter can be washed, which saves us money by not buying additional bags and filters.
4. The Hoover includes a tile floor head that works better on hardwood floors.

However, the Panasonic OptiFlow's 14-inch nozzle worked better on area rugs and the dusting brush did a fine job on the blinds. Another positive feature is that the vacuum canister can be stored upright, a real space saver.

Additionally, the Panasonic performs quieter than the Hoover, so keep that in mind if noise is important (for example, if you are vacuuming with a sleeping baby in the house).

Overall, the Panasonic OptiFlow earns a three-star rating, deducting one star to reflect the points listed above and the other star to reflect the higher price versus the Hoover model.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Decent Vacuum But Lacks Tools and Advanced Features, February 20, 2011
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
I wanted a lightweight vacuum with the decent suction power. Something that can work on carpet and hardwood floor both. And more importantly, that does not make too much noise since vacuuming with a noisy vacuum can be a real pain.

I looked at Consumer Review Magazine reviews and read online reviews- the choice was between Miele, Electrolux and Panasonic. I didn't want Hoover as my last vacuum was a Hoover and I was not very pleased with it. It was ok but it's weight made it hard to lug it on stairs and it was quite noisy. After dithering between various Miele, Electrolux and Panasonic canisters- I bought this unit as it was the cheapest of the three and had the least negative reviews. It was kind of a (forced) compromise as Miele, my first choice, was too expensive for the budget (I need power head for carpets and a separate bare floor head for wood floor in my house) and a Miele Unit is about $600 with these features, Electrolux's several models sounded great and perfect, but reliability report in the Amazon reviews didn't give me confidence to buy Electrolux (if you buy long term warranty- you may be fine there too). Several Eletrolux and Kenmore models were rated highly in the CR magazine. However, given that repair costs can run as much as half the vacuum price, you want something reliable - so that left Panasonic only. So how did it go?

Here are some positive points of this vacuum:

- Suction, Weight, Looks and Construction (basics): It has good suction and is relatively light weight. At 17 pounds versus 22 pounds weight of a typical full size canister, you may feel some difference - though most vaccums are around 20 Lb +/- 3 lbs. The powerhead unit is very light weight and is easy to move unlike my old hoover's heavy powerhead. To check its suction power, I tried it with my old Hoover vacuum and compared the two. I could clearly see it has noticeable higher suction when I used it to suck a flat heavy metal object (a steak knife) from the floor just for the suction test. So, it seems to have excellent suction power and airflow (almost 1.5 to 2 times of old hoovers). The unit looks good and seems solid. So, there is no issue there - so basics look good. Grade A-

- Carpet and Floors - On carpets you can do three carpet height adjustment by using plastic tab on the head. A bad idea - as you have to bend and adjust it every time. This can be back breaking task if you have multiple types of carpets in the house. Since, they have powered head, they should have done this adjustment from a electric switch on the wand. But, it is a low midrange vacuum and such niceties are for high end vacuums. I would consider this vacuum an unsuitable choice if you primarily have a wood floor in the house (see the -ve points). B for Carpet, D for Floor (Floor could actually be a F- Fail grade)

- Noise Level - it is within acceptable limit for something in this price range. However, it does produce a reasonable motor or suction noise so it is not as quite as some of the Electrolux or Miele units appears to be. I would say noise level to be acceptable and good (almost in the same range as any other 200 dollar hoover vaccum), but not very good or excellent. So C+ here.

- Cleaning Bags: Bags are small and expensive and only available online. So, if you have a big house and need a lot of bags. Watch out the cost of these and you may like to get a vacuum whose bags are more easily available. C+ or at best a B

Air Quality -- You don't want your vacuum to send back the dust to you. In this area, this vacuum is excellent and performs as per the spec. Hepa filter does the great job as expected. This is the only no complain parts of the vacuum. A+

Now, Negative Points - or short comings- and there are many:

1) Carpet Good choice/ Floor - Poor Choice. There is no separate bare floor tool -- that is plain stupid of Panasonic, and is enough reason to reject/return this vacuum if you have mostly hard wood floor in the house (see I already gave it F for floor). I will give it 1 star if you have a mainly wood floor since you cannot really (or should not) use the powered combined unit except for the minor floor area in a mainly carpeted house. I was about to repack and return and then realized that it may be cheaper to buy a compatible floor tool at $20 then pack and send it back. Make sure you order the floor tool. As a matter of fact, the vacuum only comes with a tiny dusting brush and crevice tool. So you may need to buy additional compatible tools - like upholstery tool, bigger dusting brush etc. That at self is -1 star or possible -2 star. So, don't buy this unit if you mainly have a wood floor in the house (or be ready to buy an extra head) - Kenmore floor brush will fit this so you can order that for additional $15 from the sears site. Panasonic CG 902 model has all these tools, but unit is heavier.

2) Convenience - No Telescopic Wand. CG885 does not have a telescopic wand (Hard to find model Panasonic CG887 does) like some other competitors. The telescopic wand can be useful as you can adjust the legth to suit your specially when dusting thh house. Not providing telescopic wand, is probably a cost cutting measure.

3) Dust Sensing - NO Auto Dust Sensor = There is no dust sensing light on the head as some other modern vacuums that can tell you the dust level while vacuuming so you know when you have to stop cleaning at that area. It is again trying to save a few dollars per unit.

4) Suction Power Control - Manual -There is no electronic suction control on the unit to adjust the power. There is an old fashioned ring on the wand that one can rotate to open or close a slot in the pipe to adjust the power. The ring is small and can be used if needed. Well -sometime you need better power control you are dusting delicate curtains or blinds. This unit leaves this to your ingenuity.

5) No powered Small Head - Many new vacuums have this unit (check Kenmore units or even Panasonic CG902 model). But not this vacuum.

In summary - If you have mainly hard floor, this vacuum is *NOT* for you. If you have a carpet only with some hard floor - you should be fine with it (though you may still not be thrilled). If you have mix of carpet and wood - then lack of a floor tool will be strongly felt and you won't be happy without a separately ordered non-Panasonic head. This is the mid-range basic vacuum and obviously lacks advanced features that some fancier or more advanced Miele and Electrolux units have. In short, if you can afford a Miele, they are perhaps the best vacuum and this unit is no comparison. But if you are short on cash, and don't want to take a chance on Electrolux's reliability - this may be unit that you may want to consider. With above negative points, I don't know how this unit can be a five stars for any one as it will satisfy many small apartment users with mainly carpet, but not super please any one. To me it is like OK - there is nothing so great that I need to say that I got something extraordinary.

All I have is a basic vacuum with very good suction power minus a floor tool & difficult to find bags. For about $240, all you get these days is a basic canister vacuum and that's what it is. I expected better from a corporation like Panasonic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A diamond in the rough, October 27, 2009
By 
Christian Davis (San Francisco, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Panasonic OptiFlow Lightweight Canister Vacuum Cleaner, Bagged, MC-CG885 (Kitchen)
I have never written an online review before this moment, but I feel compelled to after my first experience using this machine. I picked this vacuum because it was light, services a number for surfaces - from my high pile shag rug to hardwood floors, and seems of relatively high quality compared to similarly priced models.

I was not dissapointed. It has enough height adjustment (4 levels) to perform well in any scenario. The suction power is impressive for such a small lightweight canister. The filtering, although I am not able to particle count the emissions, seems well up to snuff - and the exhaust hepa filter seems well sealed.

The add on tools are totally sufficient. The upholstery tool, while small, works perfectly to clean the sofa, chairs, or drapes. There is some amount of suction control on the machine- which is accomplished by a dial that covers or uncovers an opening on the wand. It is not as refined as motor speed control, but it allows for some flexibility.

The cord length is very good and the cord rewind is a breeze to use. The machine packs up very well, and fits in a very small space.

Finally, the build of the vacuum seems to be of good quality - which is why at the end of the day i chose this vacuum over the well reviewed Hoover Windtunnel - which to be fair has more features and attachments. Quality build to me, is more important than the extra features- not to mention, the bags are far superior for maintaining air quality, especially when emptying the vacuums contents. IT should also be noted, that because no particles are allowed into the motor/fan chamber, the expected life of the vacuum motor should be increased.

Enough said. I'm impressed and i would recommend this vacuum for a small apartment or house.

Happy shopping.
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