Kenmore FeatherLite Review
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|Bottom Line||A middle-tier vacuum that could be better. Other vacuums offer greater performance at a similar price point||An easy model to push and pull, that won't give you an unwanted workout||Delivering a superb performance across the board and retailing for a great price, this is our favorite vacuum for the budget-minded||If you are trying to spend as little as possible on a new vacuum, this one is definitely worth checking out||A less than useful tool for cleaning messes|
|Rating Categories||Kenmore FeatherLite||Shark Navigator Lif...||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka PowerSpeed||Dirt Devil Endura R...|
|Carpet Cleaning (35%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Hard Surface (10%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Kenmore FeatherLite||Shark Navigator Lif...||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka PowerSpeed||Dirt Devil Endura R...|
|Water Suction Gauge||71 inches||72 inches||72 inches||48 inches||49 inches|
|Model Number||DU4080||NV352||NV356E S2||NEU182A||UD20124|
|Vacuum Head Width||10"||11.25"||11.25"||13.25"||11"|
|Measured Brush Width||8.75"||9"||9"||10.5"||8.5"|
|Measured Weight||12.5 lbs||13.6 lbs||14.8 lbs||10.5 lbs||10.2 lbs|
|Variable Suction Control||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Brush On/Off Switch||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Measured Power Cord Length||25.5'||24.75'||26'||23.75'||19.5'|
|Measured Noise at Arms Length||73 dBa||73 dBa||73 dBa||76 dBa||77 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Kenmore FeatherLite promotes itself as a lightweight and compact vacuum cleaner that promises to deliver exceptional cleaning performance on both carpets and hard floors. However, our comprehensive testing suggests these are slightly inflated claims and found its actual carpet and hard surface cleaning performance to be average or worse. We also found its physical form factor to be heavier and less maneuverable than other the top models our team has tested.
Comprising our most important set of evaluations is our carpet cleaning metric, which accounts for 35% of the final score of each vacuum. We used four different types of debris to simulate common messes such as rice, oats, cereal, and flour. We placed measured amounts on both low and high-pile carpets to score the cleaning performance of each vacuum. The Kenmore FeatherLite eked out a slightly above average performance for the test group.
Ease of Use
After our carpet cleaning metric, we moved on to scoring how easy it was to use each vacuum in our ease of use metric, responsible for a 25% of the overall score of each model. In particular, we examined how easy it was to clean under furniture, along walls, and in the corners of a room, as well as the maximum reach of each appliance. We also measured the noise level generated by each model and compared how easy it was to transition to different floor types. Unfortunately, the Kenmore FeatherLite did poorly in our set of tests and assessments and earned a below-average score when compared to the entire test group.
In our handling test metric we scored each vacuum's ability to maneuver around furniture, up flights of stairs, and how much force is required to push and pull each device. This metric comprises 20% of each vacuum's final score. The Kenmore FeatherLite proved its ability to maneuver well, and it requires very little pushing and pulling effort.
While this model is light and handles well, it lacks a true 'lift-away' feature, meaning the whole vacuum will need to travel with you to access stairs. Lack of lift away feature aside, this model scored high marks when it comes to handling.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Replicating our carpet cleaning metric, we used the same four types of debris in our hard surface cleaning metric. We used rice, oats, flour, and cereal. These tests accounted for 10% of the overall score of each vacuum, and the Kenmore FeatherLite did a dismal job compared to the other models in the test group.
The Kenmore FeatherLite does an okay job of picking up debris from carpeted surfaces but is very good at lifting pet hair from deep within carpets, leaving them looking clean and refreshed. In our pet hair test metric, which makes up 10% of each vacuum's overall score, the FeatherLite lifted 94% of hair. To the naked eye, this looks nearly perfect, and only upon closer inspection could our testers find the remaining .3 grams of hair left behind from the test.
Should You Buy the Kenmore FeatherLite?
The Kenmore FeatherLite failed to impress our team with its good but not great performance overall. At a similar price point, other models we tested offer a significant step up in terms of performance. As such, we can't recommend the FeatherLite.
What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?
The Kenmore FeatherLite did a poor job on hard surfaces and is just an okay upright vacuum all around. At a similar price point, the Shark Navigator Lift Away offers superior performance and would be a good consideration. If budget is no concern and you are seeking the maximum performance from a vacuum, then you need to look no further than the Shark Stratos, which offers exceptional performance all around.