Rainbow Vacuum Cleaner Model Differences

By Dustin Chaffin June 11, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Disclaimer - All information we have provided is third party information. The information contained herein is what we have learned over the years from servicing Rainbow vacuums. All information and statements are merely our opinions. This document does not contain any official and/or technical information on Rainbow vacuums. For that information you need to contact the Rainbow company (Rexair) or your local distributors. We are not a Rainbow distributor nor are we associated in any way with the Rainbow vacuum company.

Rainbow D3 Vacuum

D3 Rainbow: Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air Moved: 67.

The D3 rainbow is a good work horse Rainbow vacuum. For the price you can't go wrong. If you want more convenience you might check out the newer models. It comes with a standard hose with the power cord on the outside of the hose. It does not have a pump style hose. As with all Rainbows it has a separate tool hose with standard Rainbow tools.  Parts are starting to become harder to find for the D3 (they were made in the 80's)

Rainbow D4 Vacuum

D4 Rainbow. Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air Moved: 72.

With the D4 they changed quite a bit regarding the look and design. They also added more power. The powerhead powercord is still on the outside of the main hose. They also changed the design and look of the standard tools. They changed the look of the tool dolly and there were quite a few engineering changes as well (i.e. motor, fan, water separator, separator nut, gaskets, etc).  The D4 is affordable and a work horse.  Its simple design makes it one of the most dependable models.

Rainbow SE Vacuum

SE Rainbow. Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air Moved: 72.

The main change between the SE and the D4 is the main hose.  Instead of the cord being on the outside of the hose like previous models they made the hose electrical with the pump on the handle.  On the D4 the cord from the power head was long and connected directly to the canister.  On the SE they changed so the cord plugged directly into the electrical hose end.  This is a nice feature if you want to quickly put on a tool to clean something.   On the SE model they also came out with the Rainbow Mate (electrical powered mini head with brushroll).  It will only work on SE and newer models.   They changed the colors slightly and added a slightly different look to the wheel dolly.

Rainbow SE PN2 Vacuum

SE PE PN2 Rainbow. Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air Moved: 72.

The SE PE (also known as the SE PN2) which stands for SE Performance Edition made a couple of changes but most of them were not performance changes. The first change they made was putting a trigger on the pump handle. The trigger has to be squeezed in order for the powerhead to run. This is a great feature fosaftey and keeping your head lasting longer. For example, if you were vacuuming and accidentally caught the edge of your carpet and some carpet fiber wrapped around your brushroll you could quickly let go of the trigger and the head would stop.. The second change they made was to the powerhead. They changed from the traditional squareish rectangular head and made it more triangular. The head was not quite as wide as previous models but the head motor is more powerful (and more expensive).

Rainbow E2 Eseries Vacuum E Series E2  Rainbow. Cubic Feet Per Minute of Air Moved: 80. Usually when a new model comes out they only make a few changes. With the E series they completely went back to the drawing board. With the E series Rainbow we were really impressed with all the changes they made. About the only thing that looks similar to the previous model is part of the hose, wand and the head. Some of the changes are: more power, the color, design and look of the E Series, look of the tools, wheel dolly now locks in place so the dolly won't fall off, added a safety switch to the water bowl, changed the water separator, the water bowl, the hose connections, and added a Hepa Filter. So what do these changes really mean? Well, with more power it is going to vacuum better. With the Hepa Filtration it is going to filter better, with the safety switch it was safer, and with the design change it looked cooler.   They also came out with a new design of Rainbow Mate (powered upholstery tool), introduced the Rain Mate (water Air Purifier) and came out with the Aquamate 2 (carpet shampooer) that is self contained on the Rainbow and does not have to be hooked up to a sink to work (like previous models)
Rainbow E2 2 Speed Vacuum E2 2 Speed Rainbow. The main difference between the 2 speed E2 and the Eseries is the main motor. They actually look very similar and have similar performance. This vacuum uses a brush less motor and has a 2 speed switch. With the 2 speed it allows you to use the vacuum as a home air filter that runs quietly and then the second speed is for normal vacuuming.   The motors are designed to last longer (but are more complicated for repairs) and are a little more powerful.   A few years after this model was released they came out with the blue colored model (they are also sometimes called the type 12 model) that's motor and air purifier function are quieter.   Personally I dont like the idea of taking a 2000 dollar high end vacuum and putting lots of hours on it as a air purifier when you can buy a decent air purifier for less than 200 dollars.  
Rainbow E2 2 Speed Vacuum E2 Black Model 12.  In the mid 2011 Rainbow released this new model.  Rainbow made quite a few changes similar from when the went from the SE Pn2 model to the E series.   Some of the changes we noticed are a new look for the canister and the head.   The head looks totally different.  The head also has side cleaning brushrolls for getting your edges clean.   2 speed motor style where one speed is for air purifying and one speed for vacuuming.    The cord wrap no longer slides down and you have to unwrap the cord (takes a little longer).  It now has 2 led lights on your water while you vacuum (cool factor).  The wheel dolly has been redesigned with 5 wheels instead of 4.   The brushroll in the head is also different.   It seems like a very good well built Rainbow and a good model.   The only down side we see is with each new model they seem to be more computerized which we dont like on the service side.
Rainbow Vacuum tools Optional Rainbow Accessories. With all the Rainbows there are optional items you can buy. There is the Aquamate shampooer that will fit all the Rainbow models that come with a tool hose. The Aquamate 1 fits all Rainbow models and hooks up to a sink for a water supply.  The Aquamate 2 fits all E series, and E2 2 speed models.  Then the Aquamate 3 Which fits all models of Eseries and later models.   There is the Rainmate which is water based air purifier.  It is separate from the Rainbow and it can be used on any 120 volt standard US wall outlet.  Then there is the Rainbow Mate (powered upholstery tool).  There is one style for the SE Rainbows and another style for the E models.   Then there is the inflator tool with refrigerator coil cleaner and also the squeegee tool.  All of these items are extra items not included with the standard tools that we include with all of our Rainbows.  Some of our rebuilt Rainbows will have some of these included though.



Recommendations. If you are thinking about buying another plastic upright or canister from a superstore that is only going to last a few years, we suggest you buy a D3 or D4 Rainbow. It's about the same price and it does a better job vacuuming and will last much longer. If you can afford it we would suggest going with the D4.

If you are on a budget but want a good all around workhorse Rainbow and still a fairly recent model go with the SE.  It is still our most popular seller.   It does not have HEPA filtration but still works great on allergies.

If you like convenience and safety, we would recommend the SE PN2. It is great if you have debris on the floor and it is one of the latest models you can buy.

If you have really bad allergies, we recommend the E series or E2 2 speed Rainbow. However, we have had serveral allergy sufferers that have said the previous models have really helped them as well. The E series seems to have a little more power as well. However if it is out of your budget consider the previous models.

As you can tell, there are differences between the D3 to SE PN2 but the biggest difference is age and color. In our opinion, age is not a big factor in a Rainbow because they last so long. We hope this information was helpful to you and that it will answer your questions about the difference between Rainbow vacuum models.

Share and Enjoy
Deborah Solomon October 12, 2012 at 4:50 AM Reply
I am not sure if my rainbow is a D3 or D4 but I just dropped and broke the bowl and will need a replacement.
Are they available and are they interchangable?
how much will they set me back>


rahul October 18, 2013 at 12:48 AM Reply
Thanks for sharing this post.it such a nice Vacuum Cleaner product .i am happy to buy this.