Does anyone know what are the best rated vacuums?

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I can't seem to find Consumer Reports February 2007 issue at the library. They rated the best vacuums. Does anyone know the top 5 or so?
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

My February 2007 issue doesn't have vacuums at all. I do have the October 2006 in front of me and it does. They don't rate all vacuums together but have a division between upright and canister. These are the top 5 in each category.
Upright                    Canister -------                    -------- Kenmore 35922                Electrolux EL7020A Electrolux EL5035A            Kenmore 25614 Kenmore 36932                Kenmore 25914 Eureka 4870                Kenmore 25512 Hoover U6630-900            Bosch BSG81360UC
--
John McGaw
[Knoxville, TN, USA]
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John McGaw wrote:

Last time I bought a vacuum recommended by consumer reports, it turned out to be the worst vacuum we ever owned. Want a great vacuum, get a Dysan.
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...

My experience w/ about all of CR's ratings -- :(
They and I have a marked disagreement on what appears important on almost every consumer product I've ever compared their ratings w/ my opinions/personal rating/experience.
OTOH, the compiled repair data is of some value on occasion since it comes from a wider sample and isn't based solely on their particular set of inhouse tests that don't seem to be very meaningful often...
imo, ymmv, $0.02, etc., etc., ... :)
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You can get a re-built Dysan for $300 at Big Lots. But, I opt for 3 or 4 inexpensive <rebuilt> vacuums and keep one in each room. If you're really smart, find out how many belts and what they cost, and decide based on future grief in replacing that belt.
Mrs. Clean
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If you want one that really sucks, buy a Lewinsky.
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

The Eureka 4870 Smart Vac Boss has been a CR Best Buy for the last couple of tests. One of the Kenmores was rated a little better, and can often be found at attractive pricing.
Years ago I bought the step-up model of the Best Buy Sharp upright. It pretty much performs as tested - a little weak on edges as tested, but it was well worth the $150 price and is still going strong.
CR criticized the Sharp for lack of tools/attachments, but the extras from our previous, now junked machines work perfectly with it.
The PU-2 bags are hard to find, but are a very cheap buy on eBay(30-40 at a time).
Rob
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wrote:

I have one of those, bought it on Amazon about a year ago at a good price. Works great & surprisingly quiet.
Dan
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Me too. Really good, and inexpensive too.
Is a bit heavy, though.
David
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On Tue, 15 May 2007 20:18:31 -0400, trainfan1

Thanks for the tip! We have a Sharp vacuum as well, and have had trouble finding the bags. Never thought to look at eBay...
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com ( snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com) says...

We have a Dyson. It is by far the best vacuum we have ever owned. We quit using the Sears upright. We sometimes use the Sears cannister vac, mostly for cleaning cars. It came with two power nozzles, one standard rug style and one miniature upholstery nozzle with a handy little beater brush. He upholstery nozzle could use a more powerful motor, but I guess they didn't want housewives wrapping the curtains around the beater bar.
We have an old Rainbow wet-dry vac from the '60s that I call R2D2 because it's a chrome dome. Everybody needs a wet vac around, but it's about worthless for carpets.
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Cleanfan,
Take a look at "Vacuum ratings may surprise you" in the following link:
http://clarkhoward.com/shownotes/2007/02/26 /
It's not the actual Consumer Reports article, but it points out some of their findings.
Hope this helps.
Peter.
says...

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I subscribe to Consumer Reports primarily for its entertainment value. I think it's primarily useful in alerting people to products they may not know about, such as my Panasonic low-profile AC ( the best low profile ever made) which I bought in the early 90's (now discontinued.) But as a rule I don't trust their ratings. For example when VCR's first came out, there were several brands that were obviously identical except for minor cosmetics. Sometimes CR would give them different ratings. (This was in the days when products were judged on many more points than they are today.) I think it is remarkable that nobody has successfully sued them. That seems to attest to their highly positive (for whatever reason) reputation. Several have tried including Suzuki (the celebrated Samurai case) and Bose. In the latter, they downgraded a certain Bose system because they said the sound appeared to "wander around the room," clearly an impossibility. That is the kind of dumb and groundless statement that I have caught them making on more than one occasion. (Of course now we have the baby car seat debacle where we find that CR really doesn't do all their own testing.) I'm not sure the problem is bad intent as much as limited resources. They simply couldn't afford to have enough good techs with specific expertise in each of the areas they cover, so they obviously need to rely heavily on hacks with general knowledge (or lack of it.) I really wish I could get a good discussion going on this group about CR. I think it would be very interesting to see what people report. Again, however, just to be fair, they do get it right on occasion. The Toshiba Regza 32" LCD TV that I got for my GF at Christmas has turned out to be nothing short of superb. Frank
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On Wed, 16 May 2007 20:13:09 GMT, frank1492

I tend to agree with this. A good source of information, but their specific recommendations can be suspect.

I've seen plenty of spirited discussion about CR on the net over the years. It commonly goes something like this:
(in a camera group) "CR is way off base on its camera ratings, but it's a good place to pick a dishwasher"
(in an appliance group) "CR knows nothing about dishwashers, but it's a great place to pick a car"
(in car groups) "CR knows nothing about cars, but I bought my camera according to one of their ratings"
etc...
It seems the more you know about the products, the less confident you are about the ratings. Of course, there are lots of people who follow CR closely and don't have any complaints about it.
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Bill wrote:

My take on them is like this: they're a good place to go for info on a product if you are not an enthusiast of whatever you're looking for and don't care to be. e.g. you're just a general, average consumer and you need a car. Read CR, buy a Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. Done. But if you're a "car guy" you know that there's way better products on the market for what you look for in a car - but an enthusiast's priorities are not aligned with those of the average consumer. Me, I'll keep my 20 year old Porsche, thanks, but your average person would be writing angry letters to CR when they find out that a timing belt service is $1500... (well, to be honest, I thought about writing a letter to Stuttgart myself, what the hell were they thinking driving the water pump off a long ass timing belt like that? And on an interference engine, too?) However, your average consumer does not care so much about handling, acceleration only a little, and above all they want reliability, low maintenance cost and a good dealership experience. They also probably won't bother keeping a car more than 10 years (or even 5) so ultimate durability is of little concern to them. So a Camry or Accord is good for them, but maybe not for me. The short-term thing is *my* biggest reason for not reading CR, I prefer to make long term commitments to my vehicles and CR takes a very short-term, JD Power-esque view of rating "quality." Vehicles that have proven very durable, like many German makes, get abysmal ratings from CR because that seems to go hand in hand with niggling little initial quality issues (more emphasis on design than build quality?)
nate
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My gripe with them is that they usually do a good job of describing what features what models have (which is useful), but they often don't explain the advantage/disadvantage of having/lacking a certain feature.
For example, they will rate lawnmowers and they will tell you which ones have big rear wheels. But they won't tell you why you would want to have big rear wheels (why would you?).
Or they will rate refrigerators and tell you which have humidity controls on the drawers. They won't tell you how well they actually control humidity, nor will they tell you whether this really makes much difference. (much difference in what, besides humidity, I don't even know).
Now I just made up those examples and they may not be true, but they illustrate the idea.
It reminds me a lot of the help files for most software. If you know what you want to do, and what it's called, they will usually tell you how to do it. But if you just know what you want to accomplish, you are often on your own figuring out what feature or combination of features to use. If you just read through the help file, you get the same deal as with CR. You will learn how to apply dithering to your photos, for example, but get no explanation as to when you would want to do this and what to expect.
Often I find the personal reviews of items on Amazon more helpful. But it's a pain wading through all the obvious crap and noise to find the helpful, informed comments. (Kind of like reading Usenet!)
Still, I guess I get just enough useful info from CR to keep my subscription.
Paul F.
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Although you point out a few examples where they give extra prefernce to some features that *maybe most* I suspect *might* find "lesser benefit" from, I say take most data with at most a grain (or a few) of salt unless the data is verifiably withstanding some tests of truth, such as being stated/claimed by both CR and a source of hotrod cars, source of high performance cars that are such from the factory, or by both CR and a source of SUVs!
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wrote:

My question to all the people who dismiss CR's ratings is. How do you decide what product to choose if you don't know much about them? Ask your neighbor?
I've been a photographer all my life and the CR ratings of cameras are MUCH better than looking at the ads, and in general are good choices for someone who isn't into photography. An involved photographer wants features and abilities the novice will never use and will likely confuse them making the camera more difficult to use.
Several times I've heard "professional" painters badmouth their top rated paints and praise their bottom rated ones. They actually run fairly extensive tests of durability on paints. I simply don't believe their worst performing paint is better than their best performing, but I see the equivalent of these comments on CR ratings all the time.
The statement that CR is only good for 'brand new' cars simply isn't true. They have more than a hundred thousand subscribers' experiences with cars listed for the last 8 years. A car isn't likely to have bad reliability for 8 years and become better than average after that.
They have these subscribers'/users repair experiences for almost every major product - TVs, refrigerators, washing machines, and on and on.
I've bought many products based on CRs, and the disappointments are much fewer than products I had to decide without their advice.
So, for you folks who think CR's a joke, just keep asking your brother-in-law. I'll ask the people who have actually tested many brands of refrigerators (not just the two they've owned), and the 100,000 plus people how well all the different brands they've owned held up.
-- jim
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That's a fair and somewhat interesting question -- how do I decide since I find I disagree w/ CR's ratings so frequently? In considering it, I've come to two conclusions --
First, I really buy very little that I don't already have strong opinions upon and likes/dislikes so that I rarely have a quandry in selecting a product -- I already know what I want so just go get it.
On the second where there is some uncertainty, in thinking about what I've done over the last several years, I find I have made a final selection between competing products somewhat like the other poster noted by comparing online user comments at Amazon or similar forums. Products w/ quite a number of DOA's or other comments are avoided and otherwise I simply select based on what I want/see in the literature I can get.
I will agree that the one place where CR still does have some credibility w/ me is in the long-term repair histories -- but again, in many instances they're either so generic as to be meaningless or my personal experience doesn't seem to match the overall data. So, I might avoid a particular model from a particular manufacturer, but if I have used that manufacurer's products for quite some time w/ satisfaction, I'm not likely to switch until I have a personal experience that.
On one specific issue, paint testing -- the problem there is that while CR's tests may be perfect and there of some value, in the real world it's similar to real estate's mantra of "location, location, ..." -- it's all in the "preparation, preparation, preparation." The best paint poorly applied on an improperly prepared surface will peform more poorly than almost the worst paint well- applied on a good surface. Hence, the anecdotal stories...
In general, I've come to the conclusion that CR is, for the most part, more interested in selling CR than anything else...anybody else getting the stupid "testing results as news" on their local news casts? Talk about a waste of air time and lazy reporting...I've wondered but never bothered to ask--are these sponsored? :(
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I agree, and do this too. But, if given both a CR rating and online user comments, though I consider both, I normally give the CR rating more weight.

I agree with you, but I think their paint ratings are the best information available.

CR has no sponsored advertising or publications. Their support comes entirely from their subscribers.
-- jim
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