What We Like
Adjustable suction level
Four pile height settings
What We Don't Like
Floor brush is tricky to attach
Bags need to be replaced regularly
The Kenmore 81414 400 Series Canister Vacuum has some stellar features—a telescoping wand, impressive reach, and adjustable suction, just to name a few—that make it stand out from the competition. With a HEPA filter that traps common allergens like dust and pollen, it’s also a great choice for allergy sufferers. Since this is one of the most highly rated Kenmore models on the market—and one of the most talked-about canister vacuums—we wanted to put it to the test on a variety of surfaces in our home. Read on to see whether this vacuum is worth buying.
Setup Process: Easy enough to assemble, but instructions are lacking
The Kenmore 81414 was relatively easy to assemble. Since we already own a similar Kenmore model, we had prior knowledge of how the vacuum should be assembled and it took us no more than 10 minutes. We did hit a few minor hiccups along the way, though, and ended up correcting a few of our mistakes by trial and error since the user guide didn’t provide much clarification.
One place where we encountered an issue was in trying to connect the bare floor tool. Although the instructions say the floor brush will simply click into place, it actually requires a lot more work than that. In order to attach the bare floor tool to the wand, we had to push down hard on a tiny metal button on the wand and simultaneously slide the floor brush into place with our other hand.
Performance: Extremely powerful
We were extremely impressed with the Kenmore 81414’s performance. Thanks to a two-motor system, this vacuum has plenty of suction and cleaning power. We used it to vacuum every room in our house, and it proved just as productive on hardwood floors as it did low-pile carpets and area rugs. The Kenmore effectively sucked up dirt, dust, debris, and dog hair. With two dogs in the house, we find our fair share of pet hair, and the vacuum consistently picked it up in one pass.
We were extremely impressed with the Kenmore 81414’s performance.
After vacuuming the floors, we tried out the various attachments on other items in our house. The crevice tool—which is basically a narrow suction tube—worked great in tight corners and hard-to-reach areas like vents, windowsills, and furniture ledges. We used the dusting brush on furniture and home decor that’s more delicate, like lampshades, Venetian blinds, and drapes. It did an excellent job of removing dust without sucking up any of the fabric.
We really appreciated the adjustable suction level that’s conveniently located on the handle. This allows you to easily customize the amount of suction you need at any given moment. You can also adjust the pile height settings by pressing the height adjustment pedal on the back of the floor nozzle. There are four settings to choose from: high, medium, low, and extra low.
The Kenmore effectively sucked up dirt, dust, debris, and dog hair.
Design: Lightweight and easy to maneuver
We loved the Kenmore’s cord for two reasons: It retracts with the push of a button, and, at 26 feet, it’s long enough to let us move around an entire room. The telescoping wand is adjustable—it extends to almost 9.5 feet—giving you an impressive amount of reach. When vacuuming with the floor nozzle and the wand fully extended, it can also get under very low furniture like couches and coffee tables. We managed to get all the way under our sleigh bed, which is only a few inches off the floor—a first for any vacuum we’ve ever owned. The handle is also detachable, allowing you to easily clean furniture, car interiors, and tight spaces.
One of the vacuum’s biggest advantages is its lightweight canister that’s easy to maneuver. It slides around on two wheels and can rotate a full 360 degrees, which means you don’t have to physically turn it as you’re cleaning—it will just glide along smoothly on its own. The roomy handle on the canister allows for a very comfortable grip. We brought the vacuum all over the house with us and we didn’t get tired, even though we lifted it frequently.
One of the vacuum’s biggest advantages is its lightweight canister that’s easy to maneuver.
The wand has an attachment holder for the crevice tool and dusting brush, allowing for convenient storage. The floor brush also snaps into a compartment right on the canister. Since everything can be stored on the vacuum, you don’t have to worry about misplacing any loose parts. As with all bagged canister vacuums, the bags will need to be replaced regularly. The Kenmore 81414 is equipped with a “check bag” indicator that will turn on when the bag needs to be changed or when airflow is blocked.
Price: An incredibly powerful vacuum for a reasonable price
Retailing for about $250, the Kenmore 81414 is one of the best mid-range bagged canister vacuums on the market. Considering its excellent suction and cleaning power, this vacuum is certainly worth the money. It would be difficult to find a canister vacuum that works equally well on hardwood floors and carpets at this price point. However, if you find replacing the bags to be a big hassle, a bagless canister vacuum is definitely worth considering.
Competition: Bagless options might be more convenient
Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Pro Canister: Retailing for roughly $430, the Dyson Big Ball Multi-Floor Canister is a high-price vacuum that comes with a combination tool, stair tool, soft dusting brush, mattress tool, articulating hardwood floor tool, and lifetime filter. This vacuum pivots on a large ball (rather than wheels) and users rave about its maneuverability. Like the Kenmore, it has a suction control on the handle—right at your fingertips—so you can easily switch between various surfaces. Although it’s (far) more expensive than other canister vacuums, its convenient bagless design is worthy of consideration.
Bissell Hard Floor Expert Bagless Canister Vacuum: With an MSRP of $180, the Bissell Hard Floor Expert Bagless Canister Vacuum is more reasonably priced than many of its competitors. This compact and bagless canister vacuum will keep your hard surface floors spotless and shiny, but users say its performance on carpets is lackluster, so that’s a consideration to keep in mind depending on your home’s floor makeup.
- Product Name 81414 400 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum
- Product Brand Kenmore
- MPN 81414
- Price $249.99
- Weight 22.6 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.2 x 12.2 x 46 in.
- Warranty 2-year limited warranty
- What’s Included Crevice tool, dusting brush, and floor brush