No luxuries here—this is a bare bones machine.
The Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn is a 17 lb., upright, bagless vacuum with three removable tools that attach to the hose. Its dirt container can be easily removed, the contents releasing through a trap door at the bottom of the canister. There's a washable HEPA filter in there too. The vacuum’s “swivel steering” feature was likely meant to make up for the machine’s considerable bulk, but it creates a flimsy feel when moving forward. Another drawback is not being able to adjust the power brush’s height.
There are a few levers on this machine, most of which aren't covered in plastic or rubber. Turn it on by tapping your foot on the large gray button on the left at the bottom of the vacuum. On the right is another pedal that releases the handle and allows the users to push the vacuum. This button needs to be pressed a few times to actually let the handle down. Also on the left is a lever that either drops the power brush down or pulls it up.
The 24.5-inch power cord retracts back into the Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn with a quick pull. The extension wand is a bit short, with only about eight inches of reach. That's not enough for snagging spiders off the ceiling or cleaning up cobwebs.
This vacuum had some trouble picking up debris off of wood floors, but it was very competitive in most of our other tests.
The Jet Turn was impressive in our dirt tests, picking up more than half of what we put down on high-pile carpet. That may not sound like such a great feat, but other cleaners in this price range leave behind much more filth. Pet hair was also no problem, and the vacuum did pretty well on short carpet and wood floor pickup, too, though it had some trouble getting debris off of hardwood. We attribute this to the lack of height adjustment that made it just too tall for adequate suction.
Lastly, we found that this Panasonic was neither incredibly loud, nor tremendously quiet, and was also fairly energy efficient for a cleaner of its size.
A little pricier than some uprights, but the extra money you spend will be worth it
The Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn represents a very good value purchase for consumers who are not looking to spend $400-500, but still want strong performance on a variety of floors. It outperformed other higher-priced machines on both high and short carpet while receiving high marks in usability with a retractable cord and a dirt container that’s easy to remove and to empty.
The Jet Turn does have its weaknesses, however. It has trouble picking up debris on hardwood, its hose is too short, and the power brush can get bogged down on high carpet. The swivel steering feature can also be counterproductive at times, as it makes the machine somewhat unsteady. These are just minor deterrents, though, considering the Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn’s $199 price tag and solid overall performance.
While the Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn had some trouble picking up debris off of wood floor, it was very competitive in most of our other dirt pickup tests.
Surprisingly versatile, and very effective on high carpets.
The Jet Turn certainly wasn’t the best vacuum we’ve tested on high carpet, but 53% of dirt picked up was a higher percentage than most other high-priced competitors. Users should note that the vacuum is hard to push forward on high carpet because the power brush can get caught. Not only was it easier to push on short carpet, it was better than average in terms of dirt removal, sucking up 80.8%.
On wood floors, it pulled in 87.5% of dirt. Users should ensure, however, that they turn the power brush off before using it on a hardwood or kitchen floor. Speaking of which, the power brush didn’t leave much pet hair behind in our tests, sending most of it into the dirt container as opposed to catching it in the actual brush itself.
This vacuum actually performed much better on high carpet than on hardwood for debris pickup. Because it pushed the majority of the noodles, pennies and dimes forward on hardwood instead of up and into the dirt holder, the Panasonic ended up catching only 49.3% of the debris. It grabbed 73.7% of debris from high carpet, and was particularly effective with rice grains and macaroni.
Moderate noise and a moderate electric bill
With the power brush turned off, the Panasonic MC-UL815 Jet Turn isn’t too hard on the ears, but when it’s on, it produces a piercing whine.
The vacuum doesn’t hit customers too hard with energy usage, though, as its 1112 watts are well below average.
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