Panasonic OptiFlow Canister Vacuum Cleaner, MC-CG917



Avg. consumer rating = 84/100 

This is the next generation of the OptiFlow vacuum from Panasonic and most consumers like it.  This unit gets better consumer ratings than the previous model.  Owners report that the new OptiFlow has good suction, attachments that work well, and that it is very easy to switch from bare floors to carpet mode.  Some folks feel that it is a little heavy however and that the edge cleaning ability is limited.



Consumer ratings for this machine are getting difficult to find but we searched hard and managed to find some.  They are provided in the table below.  In general they show that most owners are fairly satisfied with their purchase.

Ratings Updated February 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.2 stars out of 5  735
 Walmart  4.3 stars out of 5  129
 Consumer Reports  4 stars out of 5  1
 Sylvane  2 stars out of 5  1
 Home Depot  4.7 stars out of 5  21
 Overstock  4 stars out of 5  6
 Rakuten  5 stars out of 5  1


There are almost 900 consumer ratings in the table above and these provide an overall average score of 84.4 out of 100.  You can compare this to the scores of other canister vacuums in our Canister Vacuum Ratings table.

Comments from owners also help to highlight areas of the vacuum that are liked and disliked.  Common likes and dislikes are provided below.

- Bag is easy to change
- Easy to switch from hard floors to carpet cleaning
- Retractable power cord
- Quiet
- Attachments are easy to access and work well.
- A number of owners report that the OptiFlow technology works well and the machine does not lose suction as the bag fills.
- Good suction
- Rubber-like wheels are good on hard floors

- Canister is a bit heavy for some
- Attachment lid has plastic hinges and can be stiff to open
- Edge cleaning isn’t great

This bagged canister is powered by a 12 amp motor and it uses Panasonic’s OptiFlow technology.  OptiFlow technology, according to Panasonic, involves using a double walled vacuum bag coupled with a special venting system to help maintain airflow through the machine’s vacuum bags.  This ensures limited drop-off in vacuum suction as the bag fills.  You can learn more about the OptiFlow technology in this short marketing video here.  FYI – replacement bags for this machine are MC-V295H, Type C-19.

OptiFlow On/Off Switch
OptiFlow Three Way Switch

The vacuum nozzle on the MC-CG917 has been designed to clean both carpet and bare floors and it has a motorized brushbar that can be turned on and off.  The brushbar is wooden, tufted, and has two rows of brushes.  A three-way switch on the vacuum handle turns the brushbar (as well as the vacuum) on and off. The switch has Off/Floor/Carpet settings – see drawing to the right.

The nozzle also has overload protection and a headlight on the front that helps when cleaning in dimly lit areas.  Overload protection will stop the nozzle motor should the brushbar be obstructed or jammed (the main vacuum motor will continue to run however).  This helps save the nozzle motor and the vacuum belt.  If overload protection kicks in, the vacuum needs to be turned off and unplugged and the jam or obstruction removed.  There is a reset button on top of the nozzle that can then be pushed to start the nozzle motor again. The nozzle also has a 14 inch wide cleaning path.

A number of tools and attachments are included with the new Panasonic Optiflow:
- Crevice tool
- Floor brush
- Combo tool that includes dusting brush and upholstery brush
- Air turbine brush
- Telescopic wand

Panasonic OptiFlow Tools
Tools that store on-board

The crevice tool, floor brush and combo tool all store on-board the vacuum in a recessed and covered area on top of the canister.  The air turbine brush attaches to a caddy that can be snapped into place on the wand.  The air turbine brush has an air powered brushbar (not as powerful as one driven by a motor) and it is good for cleaning furniture and stairs.  The vacuum also has a 6 foot non-electric hose.  The hose has the ability to swivel a full 360 degrees which helps to stop it from getting twisted.

There are 2 filters on the vacuum.  A motor filter and an exhaust filter. The motor filter helps protect the motor from dust and debris and it cannot be cleaned.  It should be replaced at least once every year.  The exhaust filter on this unit provides HEPA level filtration.  HEPA filters are capable of removing the likes of pet dander, dust mite feces, pollen, ragweed, etc. and are a great feature for households with individuals who suffer from allergies or asthma. The HEPA filter (MC-V199H) cannot be washed and must be replaced when dirty. A number of vacuums on the market today have washable filter which tend to reduce costs over time.  Unfortunately both filters on the MC-CG917 need to be replaced when dirty.

The OptiFlow has the ability to adjust the distance between the nozzle and floor surface.  This can be useful when dealing with different pile carpet.  There are 4 settings which are controlled be a foot pedal on the nozzle:
 XLO – this is generally the best setting for bare floors and low pile carpet
LO – for low to medium pile carpet
MED – for medium to deep file carpet
HI – best for shag or deep pile carpet

Additional vacuum features include a 24 foot power cord, suction control (simply a hole that can be opened or closed to adjust suction), automatic power cord rewind, and a carrying handle on top of the canister.  The vacuum cleaner specifications indicate the unit weighs a hefty 25 lbs and the canister itself is said by a few owners to be rather heavy.  A rubber strip surrounding the canister cushions walls and furniture from bumps or scrapes, and owners report that the wheels are more rubber-like than those of the previous OptiFlow making it easier on hardwood floors. 

The Panasonic OptiFlow carries a 1 year limited manufacturer’s warranty.  This seems a little short (in our opinion) given that the vacuum is generally between $200 and $300, however we have not read of many problems with the machine.  A copy of the vacuum warranty can be seen here.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
If you wish to read more about vacuum features, attachments and maintenance you can view the Panasonic OptiFlow MC-CG917 Manual here.



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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.