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Thread Number: 34018  /  Tag: Brand New Vacuum Cleaners
Kirby vs Metal Royal
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Post# 368784   3/20/2017 at 13:21 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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I recently purchased a Kirby Sentria and it's become my favourite upright.

I am thinking of importing a Metal Royal to add to my collection.
How does the Royal compare to the Kirby?

I have heard it has a very aggressive brushroll and is as noisy as a jet engine 😂
Would love to hear your views

Post# 368785 , Reply# 1   3/20/2017 at 13:43 by hooverkid (PA,USA)        

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I personally cant stand the new royal in fact I have a one of the new pro series metal uprights and i never touch it. Its noisy and not of the fit and finish a Kirby is. Personally I'd stay away.

Post# 368815 , Reply# 2   3/20/2017 at 17:58 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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The Royals are very nice machines. They are more simple and don't have the bells and whistles of the newer Kirby's. There's no Tech Drive and no belt lifter on a Royal. In fact the floor nozzle is not removable on a Royal. There is a hose adapter that allows you to use attachments. It connects through the Adjust-O-Rite opening on the front of the nozzle but you have to manually remove and replace the belt. Overall it is a very rugged and sturdy well built machine that will last as long as a Kirby. The early Royals (1950-1990) had 4,5,6 amp motors that were not very loud but cleaned as good as a Kirby.


There is one thing  you will like about a Royal - The Nozzle size is only 14 inches wide which makes it highly maneuverable around furniture etc. 


The newer Royals (1990 to present) have 7,9,10 amp motors and are much louder, a little bit louder than your Sentria II. I have a Royal Everlast 8300 made in 2008 that has a 10 amp motor. It is slightly louder than my Sentria, but it will definitely OUTCLEAN my Sentria. The brushroll on most models has stiffeners which act like beater bars. It also sucks down to the carpet which makes it harder to push and pull. I have a bad back so I would much rather use my Sentria with Tech Drive. I pull out my very powerful 10 ampl Royal Everlast about once a month or when I really want to Deep Clean my carpets.


Here are some pictures of my Royal Everlast 8300:


  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 7         View Full Size
Post# 368828 , Reply# 3   3/21/2017 at 01:16 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Thank you for that Stan

So your Royal will out clean a Kirby? I'm surprised you said that 😱

The 9, 10 amp models are only slightly nosier than a Kirby?
Maybe I'll import one then.

Post# 368830 , Reply# 4   3/21/2017 at 02:23 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I like BOTH the Royals and the Kirbys-do think the Kirby has more airflow than the Royals-the Kirbys have the larger bag fill tubes and bag horns.Would like to put a Kirby tube and horn in a Royal and see how that works!I have several Royals-could use one for the Mr Wizard experiment.The Kirby G series are quieter than the Royals 9,10 A machines.

Post# 368838 , Reply# 5   3/21/2017 at 08:55 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        
I have used both

I LOVE the early Royals and Kirbys, but don't really like any of the newer ones, The Kirbys after 1969 are too big and heavy, and the Royals after the 801 just don't feel the same.I personally don't want or need a upright that tears all the nap out of my carpet and sounds like a jet...LOL

Post# 368841 , Reply# 6   3/21/2017 at 09:30 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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That's always a concern with a very aggressive brushroll it can wear out your carpet prematurely. You need to find the sweet spot between maximum pick up of dirt without damaging the pile of the carpet

You can take agitation too far.

Post# 368843 , Reply# 7   3/21/2017 at 11:21 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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I will have to disagree with Tolivac about airflow. My Royal 8300 has more airflow than my Sentria. I have measured this by putting my Baird meter at the end of the hose of both machines (my Royal has the optional Hose with attachments). My Sentria pulls about an 8 on the Baird, but my Royal pulls about a 9.5. Keep in mind that I am talking about my 10 amp 8300. Royals with motors smaller than 9 amps will not outclean a Sentria.


If you don't have a Baird meter it's still easy to tell by removing the inner paper or cloth bags from both machines then turn them on and hold your hand about 6 inches away from the fill tube opening. I can easily tell that the Royal has much more air pushing against my hand.


About Royal brushrolls: When I examine the contents of my Royal's cloth HEPA bag, I can find no carpet fibers at all, just dirt and cat hair. This is because the Royal brushroll has very soft and fine bristles, much softer than The Sentria's  fairly stiff bristles. The plastic brush stiffeners on the Royal brushroll act like beater bars, which the Kirby doesn't have. As far as carpet shredding goes, have you ever seen a Hoover Senior or Convertible or a Sanitaire destroy carpet fibers? No. The Royal brushroll acts exactly like the ones in those Hoovers and Sanitaires. Soft bristles and stiffeners do not destroy carpet. You can search the Vacuumland archives and you will not find any posters that say their Royal is shredding or destroying their carpets.


Post# 368844 , Reply# 8   3/21/2017 at 11:40 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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I would like to import a metal royal but with shipping import taxes and having to buy a step down transformer plus the 2 HEPA bags plus shipping to the UK will cost me 30. If I lived in the US I would definitely buy one but importing one to the UK looks uneconomical to me sadly. 😞

Post# 368851 , Reply# 9   3/21/2017 at 14:13 by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

Have always moved more air, but they did not seal to the carpet like a Kirby so it seemed they didn't.,,They used to advertise that the curved fan blades moved more air with less amperage.

Post# 368857 , Reply# 10   3/21/2017 at 14:41 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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So if the Kirby seals to the carpet better it's going to have more airflow at the floorhead where it's needed isn't it?

Post# 368865 , Reply# 11   3/21/2017 at 16:20 by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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I used to own a late 90's or early 2000's Royal Commercial 10 amp (I regret giving that away) and I used to own a Ultimate G that I just recently got rid of. I definitely liked the Royal a lot better than the Kirby, it had better agitation and it felt like it moved more air than the Kirby. I liked how much more simple it was just like what Stan said and it also felt lighter than the Kirby.

Post# 368869 , Reply# 12   3/21/2017 at 17:57 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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Both Kirby's and Royals seal to the carpet!


The Royal has the Adjust-O-Rite indicator on the front of the floor nozzle. As you adjust the nozzle down to the carpet, the button on the front of the nozzle sucks in to indicate a proper seal to the carpet. 


The Kirby's proper height is determined by lowering the nozzle one more click after you hear the brushes contact the carpet. So you see both machines have a method to determine when you have a proper seal.


The 10 amp Royal will have more airflow at the floor head than the Kirby. If you compare the fans of both machines, you will see that the blades of the Royal's fan are not only much more curved than Kirby's fan, but in my opinion it's that the Royal's fan blades are quite a bit taller or deeper than the Kirby fan which means it scoops more air per revolution than Kirby's fan. The Baird meter proves this.


I have proven that the Royal cleans better with this simple test: I spread about 1/2 cup of coffee grounds on my light beige living room carpet. I run my hand back and forth over the coffee to push it deep into the carpet pile. I do this for each machine. I then run each machine one pass forward and one pass back. My Sentria leaves a few coffee grounds behind, But my 10 amp Royal 8300 gets it all. Nothing is left behind. My Sentria needs to make a second pass to get the rest.


Don't get me wrong, I still love my Kirby Sentria more than my Royal because the Sentria has Tech Drive and also seems to be smoother, more balanced and more of a joy to use than the Royal. Keep in mind that there is only one vacuum cleaner that can outclean a newer G series Kirby, and as far as I know that is only a 10 amp Royal.




Post# 368872 , Reply# 13   3/21/2017 at 19:42 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
Stan, Here's My Baird Tests To Date

You'll notice that the G5 and Sentria II both pull 10's from an outstretched hose with fresh HEPA bags installed. If your Sentria I scores a 8, something is amiss.

BUT, your claim of fill tube (exhaust) airflow is very interesting. Using a GM8901 anemometer I found that:

Kirby Heritage II Legend (low speed) = 153 CFM
Kirby Heritage II Legend (high speed) = 182 CFM

Kirby G5 (low speed) = 174 CFM
Kirby G5 (high speed) = 191 CFM

Kirby Sentria II (low speed) = 157 CFM
Kirby Sentria II (high speed) = 195 CFM

My Sentria II does 137 CFM at the nozzle with the brushroll on and HEPA bag installed. If I turn the Tech Drive off and the height adjuster is properly set for medium pile carpet, I can barely move the machine. My older Kirbys (G6, G5 & G4) only do 120 CFM at the nozzle and that 17 CFM drop means the older G's are moderately easy to push with the power drive off. I couldn't imagine a non-power drive, carpet nozzle sealing machine with more airflow because I would think it would be impossible to push on standard carpet.

Maybe there really is quite a difference between a Sentria I and the newer Sentria II/Avalir?


Post# 368950 , Reply# 14   3/22/2017 at 20:57 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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I will have to admit that when I performed those airflow tests about 2 years ago, I did not have brand new bags installed in both the Sentria and the Royal. So today I replaced the bags in both machines with brand new cloth HEPA bags and repeated tests.


The Sentria pulled a 9.5 at the end of it's 6ft hose'

The Royal solidly pegged the meter at a 10 with it's 8ft hose. If the Baird meter scale went up to 15, I wonder how much higher it would register.


I'm not sure why your Kirby tests varied so much. As far as I know all of the G series Kirby's have the same 7 amp motor. The only variables I can think of would be the type of fan installed or differences in the outer bag materials and/or construction.


I am quite sure my Royal has considerably more airflow than any Kirby. I wish I had the tools to measure CFM.


I welcome your thoughts on this.





Post# 368983 , Reply# 15   3/23/2017 at 13:32 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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I was thinking another reason why your Kirby airflow tests varied was the different style mini emptors Kirby used over the years.


You mentioned this:   " I couldn't imagine a non-power drive, carpet nozzle sealing machine with more airflow because I would think it would be impossible to push on standard carpet. "

My Royal is easier to push than my Sentria is with Tech Drive off. I believe the reasons are because it is a few pounds lighter (15.5 vs 23 lbs.) than the Sentria and also the stiffeners on the brushroll tend to propel the machine forward. If I let go of the handle the machine will slowly move across the carpet by itself. You might think that it is not really sealed to the carpet, but the fact that the Adjust-O-Rite button sucks in proves a proper seal. If there were no seal, the Adjust-O-Rite button would not get sucked in.



Post# 368984 , Reply# 16   3/23/2017 at 14:02 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

Is your Sentria 1's hose length really only 6 ft? Here's the lengths of my Kirby hoses. I was surprised that they varied so much actually.

Sentria II = 7.5
G6 = 8.5
G4 = 8.0
Heritage 2L = 6.5

As far as Baird readings go, I found out that much above an "8", the meter goes non-linear as the below graph shows because the spring is stretching too far. So the difference between an 8 and 10 is only about 5 CFM. My Sentria II actually snaps the Baird meter past a 10 via the hose and my anemometer reads 120 CFM from the end of its outstretched hose.

The Sentria II apparently has about 17 CFM more airflow than previous models due to a slightly stronger motor (I have current tests that prove this) and a newer one piece emptor and fill tube. Kirby is always tweaking their designs, albeit very slowly.

I will reiterate what I've said before. At 137 CFM, my Sentria II is almost unusable on medium pile carpet with the Tech Drive turned off. If your Royal has significantly more airflow, how would you be able to push it? I would LOVE to see 150 CFM from a carpet nozzle, but I'd bet it wouldn't move after the seal was properly created.

Of course, measurements speak volumes to me and if I have a chance to obtain a newer Royal, I certainly will. What I suspect is this. Up through the Sentria 1, Kirbys appear to have maxed out (using HEPA bags and the newer Amodel fan) at around 120 CFM at the nozzle (@120VAC). From the Sentria II forward, Kirby made some improvements that have yielded about a 14% increase in airflow. My water lift tests haven't yielded any significant difference since my G4.

Post# 368986 , Reply# 17   3/23/2017 at 14:24 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Lets just say they both have enough airflow and agitation to clean carpets very well and are hard to beat. :-)

Post# 368988 , Reply# 18   3/23/2017 at 14:31 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
Look Like We Had Some of The Same Ideas

Regarding the emptor and fill tube changes. :)

Regarding the Adjust-O-Rite settings you said,

"If I let go of the handle the machine will slowly move across the carpet by itself."

That more or less means to me that the Royal is NOT sealed to the carpet. Otherwise, wouldn't it just sit there (kinda like a plunger?) The Adjust-O-Rite plunger is set to "pop" a some preset level, but we don't know what that is, right? It could be satisfied with 60 CFM pressure or 80 CFM pressure, we dont' know...

The two vacs I've tested so far that "self-propel" without a power drive have dramatic CFM losses at the nozzle. Look at my "airflow losses" posts for the Panasonic MC-UG589 and Simplicity Symmetry.

If you want to see a true test of deep cleaning, get a patch of medium pile carpet and put a small amount of flour under it. Then in just two complete passes, look at what's left under the carpet. If the flour is mostly gone, you have a machine that has a good seal and great CFM.

You know, now that I've mentioned that "under the carpet" test, I think I might test all of my machines and post the results when time permits...


Post# 368989 , Reply# 19   3/23/2017 at 14:35 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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I thought that. If it's self propelled by a very aggressive brushroll it can't be sealed very well and will lose airflow at the cleaner head.

Post# 368990 , Reply# 20   3/23/2017 at 14:35 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

Yes, when you're talking about triple digit nozzle CFM, you are automatically in a class that sets itself apart from everyone else! No Dyson or Rainbow can do that.


Post# 368992 , Reply# 21   3/23/2017 at 14:40 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Will the action of the brush stiffeners that act like beater bars prevent the floorhead from making a good seal? I may be wrong I usually am 😁

Post# 368999 , Reply# 22   3/23/2017 at 14:56 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        
Yes, you are correct

I have 4 different types (grades) of Kirby brush rolls and they change the forward bias of the machine slightly. With the stiffest one (152505), you can definitely tell the nozzle rises up very, very slightly and wants to move forward more easily. Of course, no Kirby brush roll makes the machine move by itself...

With the oblique softer bristles (152502), my Sentria II gets noticeably quieter and the very slight forward rise and pull mostly go away. It pulls up less carpet fibers too.


Post# 369004 , Reply# 23   3/23/2017 at 15:16 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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There's a first time for everything :-)

Post# 369036 , Reply# 24   3/23/2017 at 20:46 by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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First off, The Royal is significantly lighter than Kirby G series machines.


Second, If the Adjust-O-Rite button sucks in, there must be some type of seal going on, otherwise the button wouldn't move. This button is connected to a metal diaphragm inside the AOR cap. There needs to be some type of seal in order for there to be enough vacuum to move the diaphragm 1/2 inch.


Third, Bill how are you adjusting the height of the Sentria nozzle? Are you going the one click after the brushes contact the carpet, or are you going lower? In order for my Sentria to suck down to the carpet so tight that it is very hard to move, I need to go two clicks past the brushes making contact for it to be difficult to move.


Lastly, You NEED to try a 10amp Royal in order to experience what a powerful machine it truly is. I tried removing the belt from the motor shaft. When I did that the Royal was very difficult to move. After putting the belt back on I performed the following agitation test: I sprinkled a handful of oatmeal on the carpet then I slowly approached the oatmeal with both machines, When I did that with the Sentria the oatmeal started bouncing around when the nozzle was about 3 inches away. When I approached the oatmeal with my Royal it started to bounce around when the nozzle was 10-12 inches away. There are videos on YouTube that demonstrate this. That's where I got the idea to see if my Royal could do this and it does.


Final thought: What this really all boils down to is not how much of a seal each machine has, but which machine is the better carpet cleaner! Bill, I hope you can get our hands  on a 10 amp Royal so you can do measurements and .get to experience it for yourself.


Post# 369044 , Reply# 25   3/23/2017 at 22:09 by wyaple (Ohio, USA)        

I'd love to get my hands on a newer Royal...haven't seen any around my neck of the woods in years though, but I'm always on the lookout!

And I adjust all my Kirbys exactly as the factory recommends them. :)

That's a lot of agitation from your Royal. Bouncing a whole foot away is tremendous! BUT, I'm not very impressed in how well surface litter is picked up, only how deep ground in sand and dust can be picked up from the very bottom of the carpet. I've tested all my machines and the Sentria II has so much airflow that flour sprinkled UNDER the carpet (brand new Mohawk medium pile) gets sucked right up in a couple of passes.

You know, it's too bad that 99% of the world won't know or care about high CFM machines. The vast majority seem relatively happy with their 80" water lift, 70 CFM sub-$100 plastic bag less vacs. :(


Post# 369051 , Reply# 26   3/24/2017 at 00:12 by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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The beater bar action of the brushroll stiffeners prevent the royal from making a tight seal to the carpet. The cleaner will move forward on its own that proves it's not making a tight seal. It's has better agitation but because the Kirby has a better seal at the floorhead it will suck in more dirt.

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