Kenmore 81214 200 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner

As its name says, Kenmore 81214 200 Series is bagged, canister vacuum cleaner, designed for cleaning surfaces from the floor to the ceiling. It is 2-motor design, with one motor used for creating the suction and another motor for powering so-called PowerMate main cleaning head. Picked up dirt is stored in the disposable dirt bags, which are important part of HEPA air filtration system.

kenmore 81214 200 series canister 1

Kenmore 81214 200 Series Canister Vacuum - Features and Specifications

During the operation, Kenmore 81214 draws 12 Amps, which is more than enough for creating good suction and for spinning the main brushroll (agitator).

Unit is powered via 24 feet (~7.3 m) long power cord and with maximum attachments' reach of 9.3 feet (~2.8 m), it has maximum reach of up to ~33.3 feet (~10.1 m).

kenmore 81214 200 series canister 2To help with the storage, unit also features automatic power cord rewind, easy-to-carry handle, 2 piece wand, can be stored in up and flat position, and when it is stored in up position, wand can be attached to the canister.

Kenmore 81214 200 Series Canister Vacuum weighs 19.6 pounds (~8.9 kg), which is not a weight to be neglected. However, most of the weight is on the floor (canister itself and PowerMate cleaning head) and only the flexible cleaning hose and the wand are carried by the user.

Note: 19.6 pounds is the weight of the whole vacuum as the cleaning system: canister, hose, wand, PowerMate cleaning head, attachments. Since most of the weight is on the floor, unit is easy to use and to vacuum large area quickly.

Cleaning width of the PowerMate cleaning head is 14 inches (~35.6 cm) allowing the user to cover and clean large area relatively quickly.

PowerMate cleaning head also features manually adjustable cleaning height:

- Hi (High) setting is used for cleaning shag, deep pile, super-soft, or ultra- plush carpets, scatter rugs and similar surfaces.

- Me (Medium) setting is used for vacuuming medium- to deep-pile carpets.

- Lo (Low) setting is used for cleaning low to medium pile carpets.

- XLO (Extra Low) setting is used for cleaning of the low-pile carpets and also for bare floors.

Brushroll (agitator) controls are on the handle - user can quickly turn the brushroll on and off, depending on the type of floor. Carpets and area rugs should be vacuumed with brushroll turned on and bare floors and sensitive carpeted areas should be vacuumed with brushroll turned off.

Also, using suction controls, actual suction should be decreased when vacuuming sensitive surfaces to avoid any possible damage.

Thanks to the large wheels and soft bumper, canister can be easily and safely pulled along the cleaning path, without the danger of making any damage - just don't overuse the soft bumper, just in case!

kenmore 81214 200 series canister attachments

For cleaning other surfaces, Kenmore 81214 200 comes with three additional cleaning attachments:

- Crevice Tool is designed for cleaning tight and narrow areas and places, including corners, edges, various gaps, between mattresses and cushions etc. Note that PowerMate cleaning head comes with brush edge cleaners on the both sides, decreasing the need of using the crevice tool for cleaning the edges along the baseboards and similar.

- Dust/Upholstery Brush is designed for cleaning sensitive surfaces.

- Bare Floor Tool is used instead of PowerMate cleaning head for cleaning bare floors and up to the point, low-pile carpets. It is much lighter, non-motorized cleaning tool.

Cleaning attachments are carried onboard the unit - Bare Floor Tool is carried on the canister, while Crevice Tool and Dust/Upholstery Tool are carried on the wand.

Note: Kenmore 81214 canister vacuum is easy to use canister vacuum cleaner, but just in case, before the very first use, read the manual thoroughly.

Air filtration is excellent and advertised as HEPA air filtration - but we couldn't find exact HEPA air filtration level.

 Air filtration is based on:

kenmore 81214 dirt bags- disposable dirt bag - it should be replaced when it gets full, or when suction drops off significantly. This unit uses Q/C true HEPA dirt bags, being able to filter out 99.97% of 0.3 microns or larger particles. This is one of the many reasons why should one use only OEM dirt bags and other replacement parts.

- motor safety filter protects the motor from most of the dirt and debris. This mechanical air filter is washable, just never assemble the unit with wet filter and never operate it without the dirt bag or air filters.

- exhaust HEPA media air filter is not washable. When the suction drops, it can be gently tapped of the hard surface like edge of the trash can, but it is NOT washable. When air filters get dirty, replace them with new ones.

Kenmore 81214 200 Series Canister Vacuum Safety Features

Since unit features two electric motors, main safety features are thermal protection systems for both motors.

If there is a clog in the vacuum of any kind or the dirt bag is full, reduced air flow will lead to overheating issues with the main motor. In order to protect it, thermal switch is activated and main motor is stopped.

When that happens, power off the unit, unplug it from the wall and wait at least 50 minutes before looking for the actual clog.

If there is an issue with the main brushroll (agitator), brushroll's motor can overheat. In order to prevent that, thermal switch powers down electric motor in PowerMate cleaning head, signalizing the user to stop with vacuuming, to turn off the unit and after cooling period is over, to check the issue with the PowerMate cleaning head.

What could be improved?

Kenmore 81214 200 Series Canister Vacuum is very good canister vacuum, but there are few things that could be improved, too. For example:

- there are no LED headlights in PowerMate cleaning head. Call me spoiled, but such headlights are very useful when cleaning in low light conditions and for spotting the dirt on bare floors and low pile carpets during the day.

- there are no dirt bag full or clog sensors - it is left to the user's 'feeling' to sense when the dirt bag is for changing or there is a clog in the system.

- some users complain about brushroll reliability, although most of the users are happy with the brushroll even after longer period of time - quality control issues or incorrect use?

- although attachment fit is strong and reliable, it is friction fit type (no click!) and that also could be improved.


Long Story Short: if you are looking for corded, bagged, canister vacuum cleaner with good suction and air filtration, consider Kenmore 81214 200 Series canister vacuum cleaner.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Kenmore 81214 200 Series Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).