Thread Number: 33823  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Franken-Kirby questions
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Post# 367326   2/21/2017 at 22:00 (482 days old) by Toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        

I'm putting on my flame retardant suit to ask these questions:

I'm a tech minded guy. I LOVE gadgets that makes something more versatile. I do not own a Kirby. I know that there are a lot of weird accessories for them - especially the hand butler. I have seen a number of Kirbys in my area for well under $100. There is a 2001 G6 that doesn't look bad for about $60.00. Here's my question - are the hand butlers generic enough to work on a variety of Kirbys? There are a number of these on EBay for reasonable prices. Last question - are there any major issues with the G6 that I should look for when checking it out?

Apologies in advance to those fine individuals that would never want to turn a vacuum cleaner into a portable workshop.

Post# 367345 , Reply# 1   2/22/2017 at 09:34 (481 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

human's profile picture
Most Kirby accessories made in the past 25 years will fit any Kirby of the same era. Often, the only thing that changed between models was the color of the plastic. The shampoo systems had some evolutionary changes but are cross-compatible between models.

Like all Kirbys, the Gsix is a very robust machine and mechanically it is virtually identical to every Kirby from the G3 to the present. The big things to look for on any G3 or newer Kirby are the Tech Drive and the condition of the fan. If the fan is excessively chewed up, go ahead and replace it to maximize the machine's efficiency. It's cheap and easy to do yourself. Kirbys are designed to be repaired and most work can be done using common hand tools.

The Tech Drive is a little more complicated as it's the only part of the machine the inner works of which are not really designed to be repaired. Fortunately, it's easily replaced and good used ones can be found online for less than $50. The even better news is most Tech Drive problems aren't internal and are easy to address. The fork that pushes the drive unit into forward or reverse may need adjusting, the little drive belt on the Tech Drive may need replacing, or the bracket cam assembly that engages and disengages the drive when the N/D lever is pushed may be worn and need replacing. All of that is very easy to do with basic screwdriver skills.

Post# 367346 , Reply# 2   2/22/2017 at 09:59 (481 days old) by toddk13 (Milwaukee, WI)        
Kirby in my future

THanks! Ive always been facinated by Kirbys. As a gadget junkie, I love the large variety of accessories.

Post# 367349 , Reply# 3   2/22/2017 at 11:05 (481 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        
Kirby Handi-Butler...

sptyks's profile picture



I don't know which Handi-butler you saw on ebay, but if it's the one that's belt driven from the motor shaft and has a grinding wheel and rotary buffer-polisher, then it is not compatible with any of the G series Kirby's including the G6. This type of Handi-butler is compatible with the 500 series (1950's and 1960's) and the Classic series (1970's and 1980's) Kirby's.


The G series (includes G6) Handi-butler connects to the hose and is air driven by the Kirby's negative vacuum pressure. It is basically a Glorified air driven Dremmel l tool. This is the only version of Handi-butler that will work on the G6.



Post# 367367 , Reply# 4   2/22/2017 at 16:18 (481 days old) by dysonman1 (undisclosed)        

dysonman1's profile picture
The Handi-Butler attachment is model specific. The Kirby doesn't run if nothing is attached to the front. As soon as an accessory is attached, the accessory depresses a safety switch. This safety switch, and its location, vary by MODEL.

For example, an early Tradition model will require a different Handi-Butler than the later Tradition model due to the safety switch location change.

The Handi-Butler that includes the jig saw, sander, buffer, etc. stopped with the last of the Tradition models.

Before you buy a Handi-Butler on eBay, ask the experts which model it fits so you don't waste your money buying an incompatible accessory for your particular model Kirby.

Post# 367375 , Reply# 5   2/22/2017 at 17:04 (481 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture



Correction: the old Handi-Butler ended during Heritage I production, in 1983... but yes, the jig saw accessory was dropped after 1980, during the Tradition run.



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