In our labs, tester Frank Spinelli divides the fur into five-gram packets and arranges it into small clumps on a medium-pile carpet. He then drags a 19-pound roller across the carpet to replicate foot traffic pushing the hair into the carpet. After 14 passes with a vacuum, he weighs the hair left on the carpet and on the vacuum’s brush and roller mechanism.
Kenmore's Intuition 31100, a CR Best Buy at $250, is among the uprights that aced that new test without letting us down on regular carpet cleaning, which is still a vacuum's toughest challenge. If you prefer a canister, Kenmore's Progressive 27514, $300, a CR Best Buy, was also impressive in our pet-hair and carpet tests. Panasonic's MC-CG902, $210, also a CR Best Buy, cleaned carpets comparably for less.
Keep in mind that the pet-hair test is only one of seven we conduct—the others measure carpet and bare-floor cleaning ability along with tool airflow, noise, emissions, and handling. Use the product-comparison tool in our full Ratings of canister, upright, stick and hand vacuums (available to subscribers) to see up to five models side-by-side. You can check if they excelled in your pet categories—or if they were called on the carpet.
—Gian TrottaAnd don't fur-get: For quick, low-cost pet-hair cleanups, consider the Pledge Fabric Sweeper for Pet Hair, which we recently tested by removing fur from furniture in a residence with two cats and a dog.
I have one of those kenmore Intuitions..it is amazing. Way better than the Dyson my mom has.
I just logged on to Sears.com to find the Progressive 27514 you reviewed. Sears says they can't find that model number. Could this be in error on your review?
I am trying to contact CR regarding a Sears Progressive canister vacuum we bought about 3 1/2 years ago. We bought it based upon your recommendation as the #1 best vac for pet hair. We paid around $300.00 for it and have had nothing but trouble. In fact, it is in the vac repair shop, AGAIN, as I write. The vacuum repair man even wrote me a letter stating the numerous problems we have had with it. I went to Sears but they said there was nothing they could do since it was no longer under warranty. Is there anything you can do to help me with the situation? Perhaps ours is just a lemon, but since we have often used CR as our guide, I feel a bit discouraged. My husband who has died since we bought the vac swore by CR and we were subscribers for many years. I would appreciate any help you can give me regarding this matter. Thank you. Carolyn
Over the years I have owned Kirby, Panasonic, Eureka, Electrolux and Sears Kenmore vacuum cleaners (upright and canister). The last two have been Kenmore: the first one worked well until the power head failed, the second one failed within three years and was an incredibly noisy, flimsy unit. I am mystified why the Kenmores continue to receive CR's high ratings. I am in the market for a new vacuum and have studied CR ratings, but am still in a dilemma as to which one to buy - bagless, bagged, upright or cannister. Maybe I'll go with a Hoover upright this time - per CR recommendation!
I have to agree that these reviews are actually making it harder to choose a vacuum. We don't have money to burn and it seems some of the recommended vacuums have reliability issues. We would also like to know what country products are made in because we have had too much trouble with items made in China and believe me it is hard to get what you pay for.
We bought a Kenmore Progressive canister vac in February 2007, after it had received a very high rating in Consumer Reports. It's great for cleaning furniture and cleaning out the car, but quite mediocre when it comes to removing pet hair and dirt from carpeting. I bought our son a used Hoover for 425 at a tag sale that vacuums carpets better than the Kenmore. We have had no maintenance issues with the Kenmore, but I am disappointed in its overall performance.
We bought a Sears Progressive in 2009 to help with a German Shepherd and 4 cats. Cannot say enough about it .... LOVE IT!
In response to some comments above about Kenmore ranking high-CR is somehow tied to Sears and thus ranks those products carried by Sears higher than others. Sorry, CR, because I do love to use your site before major purchases, but I do feel the need to clear the air on why sometimes your recommendations aren't always true to the product.
I have also had the same ongoing issues with our Kenmore Progressive Canister Vacuum. It has had numerous problems, the power head and electrical connections had to be repaired, we have ordered numerous parts, and it still only lasted three years. I am very dissapointed and unsure how I will handle purchasing a new vacuum now that the motor finally burned up. I see that it remains a consumer best buy and is still receiving such high reviews. I doubt I will take the chance and buy another for that kind of money. I hope CR will take these comments into consideration.
I've always relied on CR advice when purchasing appliances and pricey items. 4ish years ago I researched for quite awhile and settled on the Kenmore Progressive for around $300 after noting that it was rated #1 or #2. A year later I bought one for my daughter. They have both now died and it is not cost-efficient to repair them. I am disappointed that the life expectancy was so short. When visiting Sears this week (researching once again), I find that the Progressive is no longer made. Hmmmmm...wonder why?
ConsumerReports Best Products of the Year (November 2010) shows Kirby Vacuums as the most reliable but doesn't rate the vacuum in the article. Has anyone purchased a Kirby lately? If so do you like it? One of my concerns is the weight of the vacumm - have to hall it up and down stairs.
Thank you to anyone who responds.