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259 of 266 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlueVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
We tested *most* of the top-selling vacuums on Amazon, in side-by-side tests. First, two observations:

(1) Dyson is not the "best" vacuum ever made, but they do have the best marketing. If you're looking for the "best" vacuum, let's reframe the question a little bit - perhaps what's the best vacuum under $500 or under $1000? If you're looking for the "best", be prepared to spend a minimum of $2,000-$3,000 for a commercial upright or whole-house system.

(2) About rating systems - only side-by-side comparisons make sense to us. A friend owns a Ferrari, and complains about expensive tune-ups. He would give his Ferrari 3 stars on a bad day, 4 stars on a good day. My dad really likes his Hyundai, and would give it 5 stars. Does that make Hyundai better than Ferrari? We believe only in comparing apples to apples.

Wish we could just say "XYZ is the best at everything, buy it!" ... but the fact is, each vacuum has its pros and cons. Some are better at area rugs & stairs, some are better at carpet, some are flawless for smaller homes/apartments but not great for larger houses. Read on for comparisons:

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PANASONIC

Ok, to stick with the car analogy ... the engine isn't really the most important thing. Even if your car had a Ferrari engine, the overall performance varies by the comfort of the seats, how smooth is the ride, the settings & controls, how noisy is it, etc.

This Panasonic has a Ferrari motor, as good as Dyson. You won't find a better motor. But that does not make it equivalent - it's a much different vacuum. Here is the breakdown:

PRO: It is the lightest of all the premium vacuums we tested. Very cool, very easy to maneuver.

CON: That means, everything on it is small, including the filter. Requires frequent changing.

PRO: Retractable cord, auto-height adjustment (i.e., no manual low-high settings),

CON: The auto-height adjustment doesn't work on all surfaces, and the brush continues to roll when attachments are used (i.e. on hardwood floors)

PRO: Lossless suction (like Dyson) and bagless filter

CON: The "hourglass" filter design doesn't really work unless you're only vacuuming small areas at a time. I was hoping this vacuum would require less rinsing of the filter due to this design, but no, it actually requires more frequent rinsing, especially for pet owners.

Summary of the Panasonic: I'm actually very impressed, but it really depends on your individual needs. For example, we have several different flooring types in our house (carpet, hardwood with area rugs, tile, etc) and this vacuum is probably better suited for someone with all carpet. Before you buy, I strongly suggest you check out the Eureka Airspeed &/or the Hoover Windtunnel. Read on for comparisons...

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DYSON:

The least expensive Dyson is the (Dyson DC33 Multi-Floor Upright) currently selling on Amazon for $349-399. If you absolutely need a Dyson to impress the neighbors, this is the best bang for your buck.

However, after testing over a dozen different models, we discovered several brands for around $100 that perform just as well. Does the Dyson live up to its marketing claims? YES it does in our opinion, fantastic quality and lossless suction.

But here's an interesting experiment - look for Dyson on craigslist from just about any major city. You'll find dozens of people with buyer's remorse, who paid full price for a Dyson, realized that much less expensive models perform just as well, and are trying to sell their barely used Dysons in an attempt to recoup their investment.

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HOOVER WINDTUNNEL:

These are fantastic vacuums, nearly on par with the Dyson, and currently the #1 selling upright vacuum on Amazon. They have near-lossless suction, lots of attachments, & bagless. We would put them as almost exactly on par with the Bissell Helix, but currently the (Hoover WindTunnel) is only $99 on Amazon.

The auto-rewind cord is a commonly reported malfunction (the one we tested started to lose its spring after about 20 minutes, like an old set of window shades) and both the brush & belts tend to fail early as well. But as previously mentioned, all vacuums have drawbacks and design quirks. A huge perk is that the WindTunnel has a rinsable filter. Based on bang-for-your-buck, this is our top recommendation along with the Eureka Airspeed. You can't go wrong with it.

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EUREKA AIRSPEED:

There are several different Airspeed models (Amazon currently sells the "Gold" model for $110). There are three different standard "Airspeed" models at Walmart ranging from $98 to $135, which is what we tested. They all have slightly different features - bagged vs. bagless, see-through brushroll, etc.

In our tests, the bagless models performed on par with the Dyson. The Airspeed had slightly better sustained suction than the Hoover WindTunnel, if you keep the filter clean. For around $100, both the Hoover & the Airspeed can hold their own against just about any other vacuum in the under $600 price point.

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SHARK:

Shark has done a major turnaround in recent years, with extremely respectable upright vacuums with impressive suction. The 2 popular models are the (Navigator Upright) currently selling for $150 on Amazon, and the (Shark Navigator Lift-Away) for $199.

Basically these are great vacuums, almost as good as the Hoover WindTunnel or Eureka Airspeed. However the price point is higher for basically the same performance, so you're really paying for the amenities, like the lift-away feature. The lift-away is very cool, but unless you absolutely need it, we still recommend going with the under $100 Eureka or Hoover.

If you're looking at the Liftaway because you like the idea of having a canister vac, consider buying a separate canister vac (you'll still end up saving money, *if* you have the storage space). Or consider getting a nice lightweight shop vac with a long hose (we like the Ridgid 4 Gallon Portable Shop Vac, which is $91 on Amazon but only $50 at Home Depot. If you don't have the space for two devices, the Liftaway is a terrific option.

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ORECK:

The Oreck 8 lb. Upright  is a fantastic vacuum, out of the box there's nothing under $1,000 with better suction. Currently the price is $167 on Amazon, which is a fantastic price point (retail is about $350). The Oreck is known for their strong motors that last forever and ever.

However, it is not a lossless suction (you must keep it clean, change the bag, etc., to keep the performance up), and there are no attachments whatsoever - no hose, no stair brush, etc. A great buy if you just need an upright vacuum with no amenities.

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BISSELL CLEANVIEW HELIX:

The Bissell Helix Cleanview is a step up from the previous Helix models (such as the Power Helix - this model is updated, just a few more amenities), but the suction performs the same. The suction is quite impressive at first, maybe 90-95% as strong as the Dyson.

The difference is, the "Helix" sorts out the large debris, but the small debris still ends up in the filter and WILL eventually clog it. Not a big deal - replace the filter (they run about $7 for 2-packs here on Amazon), and I suggest taking apart the canister and rinsing it out, or running it through the dishwasher (top shelf, cold or luke-warm water, air dry, not heat dry).

If you're a Bissel fan, this model is a great deal. A durable workhorse. But if you're just looking for great Dyson-quality suction, the Panasonic Jet Force, Hoover Windtunnel, & Eureka Airspeed performed better for the same price.

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DIRT DEVIL:

We tested several models (Breeze, Easy Clean, Dynamite) - they are all basically the same, just different price points depending on size of canister, number of attachments, and size of motor (10 amp vs 12 amp).

All performed basically the same - mediocre suction, easy clogging, poor design (many right-angle turns for pet hair &/or debris to clog up). We frequently see these on sale at Target and other retailers for under $30 or $40. Our recommendation: If you're looking for an inexpensive dorm vacuum for very occasional/light use (like office use), these are fine but don't pay more than $40. These are entry level vacuums.

Hope this helps - thanks for reading!
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121 of 125 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2012
Purchased this vacuum in August 2012...I would rate it highly. Only complaint is that the top round 4 inch filter on the unit seems to get dirty rather quickly (which probably means it's working fine to trap dust). All you have to do is wash it out with water to clean it...the problem is that it takes forever for it to dry out (24 hours is suggested). Thus you can't use the vacuum until that filter is completely dry. I ended up having to purchase a second filter, which I can pop in while the first one is drying, should you want to use the vacuum again in less than 24 hours.
Took me awhile with Panasonic on the phone to get the part number and finally get it ordered. (Part Number: AC44KDMTZOOO Price: $11.44 plus shipping and tax)
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99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlueVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
In this video, I demonstrate the operation and features of the Panasonic Jet Force Bagless Vacuum cleaner. You will see its vacuum power, how it moves from hardwood floors to an area rug and back again, and its accessories. Quick opinion summary: this is a good choice for apartments, smaller houses, and to keep handy in areas that need frequent touch-ups.

-- Debbie Lee Wesselmann
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2014
I'm not one to leave negative reviews, but this is one that must be told. Please click on the helpful review button if this review changes your opinion and you opt not to buy the product. I'd be delighted to show Panasonic how impossible warranties affect business.

I bought this vacuum to alternate it with my old Dirt Devil. After 3 uses the vacuum started over heating and turning off automatically. Because this was outside of my return window but well within warranty, I called Panasonic Warranty services. I own 3 Panasonic TV's and various other devices, thinking Panasonic is a major house hold name I expected the standard "we ship you a replacement, put the old one in it's box and call it a day". Boy was I wrong. Instead I got the far less favored, "call, wait 30 minutes to talk someone, be offered a call back, wait 3 days, just to be told to take it to a service center 1.5 hours away and if you don't like it sorry you're out of luck" response. This will be the last Panasonic product I buy. The whole point of paying a higher price for a name brand product is to get reliability and service. Offering a warranty that's not worth the paper its written on, Panasonic is happy to just take your money and run.
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57 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Color: BlueVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This little and lightweight Panasonic will not satisfy everyone's cleaning needs.

Over the years, I have had many vacuum cleaners...Sears, Hoover, Eureka, Panasonic and Dyson. Nice to have a vacuum on each floor and if you are lucky enough, one in the basement!

As to this unit:

Pluses:
Lightweight.
Maneuverable.
On board attachments, easily removed and stored.
Good for quick carpet cleanups.
Fringes seem to be safely vacuumed for the most part...use caution here, however. Your own rugs may be too delicate for this pass over.
Retractable cord of good length for such a small unit.
Easy on off switch.
Hint for mats without rubberized backing...start in middle of mat working back and forth in short strokes.

Minuses:
Agitator does remain on even when the unit is traveling across the floor (called Panasonic to verify on this unit). One would believe that an agitator on a hardwood floor is not a good thing.
No adjustment in suction using main unit or attachments. Attachments can often be too powerful for some items and not enough power for others.
Would not use on expensive area rugs as their is no suction adjustment...may pull fibers.
Very, very small dustbin...have to empty too often.
Awkward, at times, the engagement foot press for bringing the vacuum main nozzle to regular height and lower height for going under some furniture. (It seems there are no uprights that can really travel safely under lower furniture pieces.)
Unit does not adapt to all carpet height switch overs and may be difficult to navigate over mats without a rubberized backing, etc.
Attachments...mini power nozzle not that effective and will not do a thorough job on furniture.

Overall...this unit would be ideal as a quick spare or for an apartment with wall to wall carpeting.

Individual needs require special selection of vacuums.

My workhorse is still the expensive, long lasting Dyson.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
I bought this vacuum because I have two dead ones at home and my house was getting filthy. I was skeptical about buying a vacuum made by a TV company, but it blew me out of the water! Even when my old vacuums were brand new, they had nothing on this!! I have two cats that shed like it is going out of style and this doesn't leave anything behind! I am a little sad that I have to empty the canister often because the chamber is tiny, but it is worth it to be able to walk around barefoot on my carpet and it feeling like it is brand new! I would recommend this to anyone!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2013
I loved this vaccum when I 1st got it. It worked great. I use lightly because my house only has carpet in 2 bedrooms in my 2 bedroom condo. I have a area rug in the living room but my condo is 80% tile. So there is no excuse for this vaccum to just stop working in one month!!! total waist of my money. Buyer beware
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on July 17, 2013
I bought this in April. By June both wheels fell off. They could be snapped on but continued falling off. Now in the 3rd week of July the motor stopped. I am so grateful Amazon refunded me for this piece of junk.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 16, 2012
It does have plenty of power and suction. It is light weight and easy to maneuver. The bad is that if you have the new shag style thick pyle carpet then you will see how hard this vacuum is to use. You have to hold it at a very uncomfortable angle since there is not height adjustment. The height adjustment is the angle you put on he handle. That's just weird for me. So you have to have the right handle angle combination for it to not hang up on the thick carpet. I am in the process of trying to return it to the company I bought it from as his is a lot of money to spend on something that isn't easily usable on my carpet.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2013
My wife purchased this vacuum from Amazon less then two weeks ago and it is already having major problems. The vacuum overheats and shuts itself off after less then 5 minutes. The motor sounds like it is ready to explode. We have checked for any clogs, jams etc. It is just poorly built. If we had not already tossed the box, this would be going back. I expected alot more from Panasonic.
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