Kenmore Elite vacuum: Quick Menu
The Kenmore Elite vacuum is surprisingly lightweight and agile, and it’s clearly designed to be easy to use. Its most notable feature is the EasyReach wand, which can be bent to roughly 90 degrees, giving you excellent reach underneath furniture. Pair that with the fact that the vacuum is cordless, compact, and can be converted into a hand vacuum, and I found myself almost looking forward to using this innovative cleaning tool.
In the past, I've dreaded vacuuming. Knowing that I have to lug out a heavy, bulky vac makes it even more difficult to get motivated to clean. But I also have four cats in my home, so dirt and cat hair accumulate incredibly quickly, and vacuuming becomes a must-do activity.
Yes, even some of the best vacuums for pet hair have lost the battle against animal dander, so I was seriously impressed with Kenmore's machine.
When it comes to ease of use and maneuverability, the Kenmore Elite vacuum beats all of the other cordless vacuums I’ve ever tested. It’s incredibly lightweight and swivels very easily, a major benefit given the fact that I often experience hand and wrist pain. Its EasyReach feature allows the wand to bend at approximately 90 degrees, making it easy to fit the vacuum underneath furniture.
While the vacuum wasn’t the most powerful, it performed well on multiple surfaces, including hardwood, tile, and low-pile carpet. It was fantastic when cleaning carpeted stairs and easily removed lots of cat hair from a carpeted cat tree. Downsides include its relatively small dust cup and limited battery capacity, but I think it’s a great choice for quick cleaning sessions or smaller homes where you just need to clean a room or two at a time.
Testing the Kenmore Elite vacuum
I’m Paige Cerulli and I specialize in product reviews. I tested the Kenmore Elite CSV Max Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand for several weeks in my three-bedroom home. I share my home with four cats, so there was plenty of cat hair and dirt to test the vacuum on.
Kenmore Elite vacuum specifications
- Model Name: Kenmore Elite CSV Max Cordless Stick Vacuum With EasyReach Wand DS4095
- Dimensions (in.): H46 x W12 x L10
- Cleaning width (in): 9 inches
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Voltage: 21.6 V
- Number of speeds: 2
- Corded or cordless? Cordless
- Accessories: 2-in-1 combination tool
- Available colors: Gold, blue
Unboxing and setup
The Kenmore Elite vacuum arrived double-boxed and in excellent shape. The vacuum components were all secured with cardboard packing, which I was able to recycle. Each component was individually wrapped in plastic.
Once I had unwrapped the pieces, it was easy to see how the vacuum fit together, and the clear, detailed instructions also helped with the assembly. The pieces simply clicked together with minimal effort, a benefit since I have limited hand strength and some hand and wrist pain.
The vacuum was already partially charged, so I was able to immediately turn it on and verify that it worked. Then, I charged it for four hours. The charging process is easy. The vacuum includes a charging mount that you can install on a wall. You can also separate the vacuum head from the rest of the unit and place it on a counter for charging.
Using the Kenmore Elite vacuum
When I first started testing the Kenmore Elite vacuum, I immediately noticed how lightweight and easy it was to hold. The entire vacuum weighs six pounds, and the handle has a nice ergonomic shape that easily sits in my hand. I really liked the fact that pressing the button turns the vacuum on and leaves it on — there’s no need to hold down that button while using the vacuum, which helps to minimize hand fatigue.
This vacuum has two speeds, Eco and High. There’s a single button on the control panel that lets you switch between the two speeds. Aside from that, there are no controls, making for a streamlined and user-friendly design.
The vacuum put in an impressive performance. Its greatest strength is its maneuverability. The EasyReach feature, which is located toward the midpoint of the wand, consists of a button that you can press to bend the wand up to 90 degrees. That feature, paired with the fact that the motorized brush head is just 2 inches high, means the vacuum easily fits underneath all of my furniture.
While the vacuum performed well, the dust cup’s capacity was limiting and I had to frequently stop to empty the dust cup. That’s an easy process, thanks to the slider that opens the cup, but I would have preferred something a little larger so I could clean more than one room without stopping. However, that small dust cup is probably what contributes to the vacuum’s lightweight and agile feel.
Kenmore states that a single battery charge offers up to 40 minutes of run time, and a colored circle on the control panel helps you to keep an eye on the remaining charge. I largely used the vacuum on the High setting and found that the battery life was getting low after 25 minutes. At 30 minutes, I had to stop and recharge the vacuum.
Since it takes four hours to recharge the vacuum, and there isn’t an option to buy and swap out a second battery, it’s important to keep charging time in mind when planning your cleaning. This isn’t a vacuum that you can use to clean a multi-bedroom house in one session, but it’s a great option if you’re looking for a vacuum that’s easy to use when cleaning just a few rooms at a time.
Using on hard floors
I tested the vacuum on a variety of surfaces, including hardwood, tile, low-pile carpeting, furniture, a carpeted cat tree, and a cat bed. It performed well on all of the surfaces, but I found that I had to run it on High most of the time to get the deeper cleaning I wanted.
For example, I have wide plank hardwood floors with large grooves in between them. The Eco mode wasn’t strong enough to pull dirt up from between the boards, but the High mode accomplished this well. The same is true of removing cat hair from carpets — the High mode was the way to go.
The vacuum struggled slightly with cat litter on a tile floor, but boosting it up to the High mode and running over the litter several times worked well. The same was true when I sprinkled flour on a low-pile carpet. While the vacuum did ultimately clean up the flour, it took several passes and a little work to get the carpet truly clean.
Using on carpeted floors
I think I appreciated the vacuum most of all when it was time to clean my carpeted stairs. The head measures 10 inches wide, which fits perfectly on my stairs. I used the vacuum on High and was able to easily and thoroughly clean the stairs. The fact that the vacuum is so light and easy to move was also a big help here.
I ran the vacuum over the base of a carpeted cat tree on High and was pleased to see that it did a very good job of removing cat hair.
Using the tools
I removed the wand and converted it to a hand vacuum by adding the included attachments, then used that on furniture, the cat tree, and a cat bed. Once again, it did a good job of efficiently cleaning the surfaces. I also liked that it was lightweight and maneuverable enough to use it as a duster on my piano, shelves, and frames.
Maintaining the Kenmore Elite vacuum
Maintenance requirements for the vacuum are fairly simple. Kenmore recommends emptying the dust cup after every use or once the dust reaches the max fill line on its side. The dust cup release latch on the side of the machine is easy to operate and releases the end of the cup, so you can empty it over a trash can.
The HEPA media filter and pre-filter basket need to be periodically cleaned, too. The filter release button on the top of the machine separates the handheld vacuum from the rest of the unit. From there, it’s easy to remove the media filter and pre-filter basket. They can both be rinsed with warm water.
The brush roll may accumulate hair and other debris, and it can be cleaned by removing the roll from the nozzle housing. This feature makes it easy to access the brush roll — no more trying to cut out pieces of hair or string while the roll is still located inside the brush head.
The wand also separates in two places, which is beneficial if you ever have to remove a blockage. All of the buttons and levers that separate parts of the vacuum are easy to use, even with limited hand strength.
Is the Kenmore Elite vacuum right for you?
The Kenmore Elite vacuum is an excellent machine for specific purposes. It’s not a heavy-duty, super-powerful vacuum that you would choose for deep cleaning of a multi-bedroom house. Instead, I see it being a lighter-duty vacuum that’s ideal for quick cleanups or for cleaning a room or two at a time.
Its versatility and overall agility make it great for all of those cleaning chores that larger vacuums are too cumbersome to accomplish. It’s excellent for getting underneath furniture with low clearance, and it’s so lightweight that you can easily use it to remove cobwebs and clean surfaces like shelves and window sills.
This vacuum would also be ideal for someone looking for a lightweight option that’s easier to hold and operate than other models. I had no problem holding and lifting it while cleaning my home, whereas heavier vacuums started to cause hand and wrist pain. The buttons are all easy to operate and require minimal strength, too, so it might be a great fit for someone with arthritis, nerve pain, or general hand and wrist limitations.
But, if you're looking for something a li'l different, have a look at these options...
A great all-rounder
As well as ranking #1 in our cordless vac guide, this gets crowned as the best vacuum for pet hair, too. It's super easy to use as it adapts its suction power depending on what you're cleaning. It picked up hair from our head of ecommerce and her pug with ease, without getting any tangled around its brush roll. Its battery life is long enough for her to clean her spacious two-bedroom apartment two to three times, and she loved its LED lights for cleaning underneath furniture. Like the Kenmore, the stick bends to access hard-to-reach areas.
Wet and dry
This vacuum simultaneously cleans and mops grime off your floors, saving you a ton of work. It offers a seriously deep clean. Its battery life lasts 35 minutes and it adjusts its suction based on the cleanliness of your floors. The color ring guides you towards the mess, making it easy to use, but it's not the best for anyone with lots of carpeting. It also requires some maintenance.
If you like the sound of our top-rated Shark vacuum above but don't have a spare $450 to spend, then check out the Levoit VortexIQ40. It wowed our reviewer Courtney while she used to tackle a house full of kids and a dog. Much to her surprise, it collected every trace of dog hair, dust, and crumbs. Best of all? It costs $299.99, making it an affordable option for anyone who doesn't have a bunch of money to spend on a new vacuum — or for anyone who doesn't want to spend $300 or more on one.
Good to know
A use and care guide is included with the vacuum. It features detailed instructions and clear, well-designed diagrams. The guide is also available online.
Kenmore backs this vacuum with a one-year limited warranty.
Where to buy
How we tested the Kenmore Elite vacuum
Kenmore sent me the vacuum and I tested it in my home for several weeks before writing this review. I used the following criteria to test and evaluate the vacuum:
Unboxing: I evaluated the vacuum’s packaging, including the overall condition of the vacuum when it arrived at my home. I considered the use of sustainable materials in the packaging and gave extra points for the lack of polystyrene. I also considered how easy the unboxing and setup process was.
Operation: In testing the vacuum’s operation, I considered the many different ways that buyers might use it and replicated those. I tested it on hardwood floors, carpeting, furniture, and pet beds, looking for a consistent and quality performance.
Ease of use: Vacuuming is hard enough, so I looked to the vacuum to make the chore easier. I gave extra points for features like a lightweight design, easy maneuverability, the ability to fit underneath furniture, and buttons and attachments that are simple and easy to operate.
Ease of maintenance: I also weighed factors like the amount of maintenance the vacuum needs and how easy that maintenance is.