Thread Number: 32492  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby Tool Sets Over the Years
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Post# 356690   7/27/2016 at 00:59 (631 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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How many of you remember the various arrangements over the years of Kirby's basic tool contents over the years, and what you thought of each version of these contents relevant to your model of Kirby that applies?

Between models C and 505, these were the contents:
1. Curved Extension Tube
2. Radiator Tool
3. Fiber Coupler Tube (attaches to tool end of item 17)
4. Upholstery Nozzle
5. Upholstery Brush (attaches to item 4)
6. Lifter Grip
7. Floor Polisher
8. Suction Coupler
9. Blower Coupler
10. Flexible Hose
11. Shoulder Strap
12. Crystalator
13. Sample of Crystals
Model 505 changed the material made for the attachments from vulcanized fiber to a plastic called "Ethocel."

Starting with the 508, the model that pioneered the separate box for the tools dubbed the "Kirby Kabinet," these were the contents:
1. Floor Duster and Buffing Pad
2. Flexible Hose
3. Lifter Grip
4. Shoulder Strap
5. Straight Extension Tube
6. Curved Extension Tube
7. Coupler Tube (attaches to tool end of item 2)
8. Massage Cup
9. Crystalator
10. Suction Coupler
11. Blower Coupler
12. Utility Brush Nozzle
13. Utility Air Nozzle
14. Duster Brush
15. Crevice Tool
(items 5 and 8 are new, while items 12 and 13 were separately redesigned versions of items 4-5 in the 505 and older tool sets)
Most tools now made of gray plastic. These contents would last up to the 515, when late in the model run (formally introduced when the model 516 was out) the color of the tools changed from gray to red, except for the Crystalator.

Model 517's contents were mainly similar to model 516 except the crevice tool was redesigned and with a new brush tip included.

Model 518 also saw the addition of the surface nozzle and swivel attachment, but until the 562 Sanitronic you had to buy these separately.

Model 519's blower coupler was now red plastic.

The Sanitronic VII's hose was redesigned with a new universal suction/blower coupler that was permanently attached to the motor (suction) or exhaust (blower), with the Crystalator being redesigned to match. The contents:
1. Floor Duster Pad (4)
2. Portable Handle (11)
3. Shoulder Strap (14)
4. Crevice Tool Brush (20)
5. Duster Brush (21)
6. Massage Cup (22)
7. Utility Brush Nozzle (23)
8. Utility Air Nozzle (24)
9. Crystalator (25)
10. Surface Nozzle/Swivel Attachment (26)
11. Crevice Tool (28)
12. Straight Extension Tube (29)
13. Curved Extension Tube (30)
14. Hose Coupler
15. Flexible Hose
16. Swiveled Coupler Tube
Numbers in parentheses are those marked on the attachment box, which may vary with different models. This lineup had a long run through 1981, with the only additions being the Inflator tool (Classic III) and the long-optional spray/Suds-O-Gun (Tradition) bringing the total number of items in the set to 17 and 19 respectively.

The Heritage I/Legend II tool lineup (1983-1990), now known as the "Convenience Group":
1. Portable Handle
2. Shoulder Strap
3. Crevice Tool Brush
4. Duster Brush
5. Massage Cup
6. Utility Brush Nozzle
7. Utility Air Nozzle
8. Air Intake Nozzle (replaced Crystalator during the final months of Tradition sales)
9. Surface Nozzle/Swivel Attachment
10. Crevice Tool
11. Straight Extension Tube
12. Curved Extension Tube
13. Hose Coupler
14. Flexible Hose
15. Swiveled Coupler Tube
16. Spray Gun
17. Suds-O-Gun Cap
From 1981-83, the Utility Air Nozzle was deleted while the Spray Gun, Suds-O-Gun Cap, Air Intake Guard and Inflator tool were moved to the Super Renovation Group lineup, and the Massage Cup moved to the Turbo Groom lineup. The Turbo Brush was part of the Convenience Group set in the same period. The lifter grip was also redesigned when the Heritage 84 special edition was released in January 1984. In March 1986, some of the tools were given a speckled finish: these were the surface nozzle, utility brush and air nozzles, and crevice tool.


This post was last edited 07/27/2016 at 04:41

Post# 356732 , Reply# 1   7/27/2016 at 14:59 (631 days old) by CharlesKirby66 (Manteca, CA)        
Wow Benjamin!

charleskirby66's profile picture

Your scholarship is fantastic!  Thank you so much for sharing your hard-earned knowledge so openly with the membership.  You are a fantastic resource and awesome guy over all!

Post# 356742 , Reply# 2   7/27/2016 at 16:58 (631 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture



Thank you very much!



Post# 369741 , Reply# 3   4/1/2017 at 15:50 (383 days old) by Paul (MN)        


I second what Charles said. Whenever I have a Kirby question I search Vacuumland for the answer and most of the time you've provided it. Thanks!

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Thought I'd post a cool photo I got from an eBay listing. I annotated it.

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