Jack Brooks claimed four wickets as Northamptonshire bowled Kent out for 119 to complete an innings victory inside three days at Wantage Road.
The home side scored a further 51 runs having resumed on 429-7 before they were bowled out, James Middlebrook left unbeaten on 74 off 122 balls.
Andrew Hall had fallen for 146 having added just five more runs to his total, Northamptonshire's captain falling to a superb catch by substitute fielder Ashley Shaw off the bowling of Robbie Joseph.
Coming out to bat trailing by 278, Kent lost openers Joe Denly and Rob Key in a hurry as their top order was blown away by Brooks.
They slumped to 32-6 shortly after lunch when Darren Stevens fell to the seamer for a first-ball duck, with Chaminda Vaas having taken the other two wickets to fall.
Lee Daggett ended Alex Blake's resistance on 18 to make it 67-7 and despite a battling 35 from England spinner James Tredwell, the visitors only managed to last 36.2 overs.
Northamptonshire skipper Andrew Hall's 11th first-class century put his side in a strong position by stumps on day two against Kent at Wantage Road.
Hall finished unbeaten on 141 as the hosts advanced their first innings from 86-3 at the start of the day to 429-7, a lead of 227.
Kent struck twice in the morning, Robbie Joseph (2-64) winning an lbw verdict against Mal Loye (51) and Darren Stevens (2-49) dismissing David Sales (31) in the same manner to reduce Northants to 124-5.
But Niall O'Brien contributed 71 alongside Hall in a sixth-wicket stand of 114 and Chaminda Vaas (27) and James Middlebrook (50no) also chipped in with useful runs as the day wore on.
Hall, playing against his former team, went to three figures after tea and by the close had faced 279 balls and hit 14 fours and four sixes.
Northamptonshire battled their way to 86-3 by the end of a dramatic day one at Wantage Road after bowling out Kent for just 202.
Kent captain Rob Key, who opted to bat first after winning the toss, top-scored for his side with 46 before becoming the fourth wicket to fall.
Chaminda Vaas claimed 3-70, including dismissed Martin van Jaarsveld for 24 with the last delivery before the lunch break, as the hosts made the most of the seam-friendly conditions.
Former England wicketkeeper Geraint Jones battled well for 32 but his departure saw Kent lose their last five wickets for just 48 runs.
Northamptonshire's reply started slowly - they lost Stephen Peters (13) and then Rob White, who was trapped lbw by Stevens after scoring just a single, as they laboured to 38-2 from the opening 23.2 overs.
Alex Wakely (11) also fell cheaply but experienced opener Mal Loye stood firm, hitting five boundaries to reach 42 not out when stumps were drawn.