Thread Number: 34103  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Shark Rotator vs Kirby Gsix What went wrong?
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Post# 369569   3/30/2017 at 11:55 (389 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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So I compared these two vacuums picking up saw dust. Shark was slightly better. I know this is not very accurate test, but anyway I am VERY confused.
Kirby has new belt, brushroll, hepa bag, airflow meter shows full 10. Was the head set to too high?
Any idea what went wrong?

Post# 369571 , Reply# 1   3/30/2017 at 12:09 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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That is confusing 🤔

Did you adjust the floorhead on the Kirby till you heard a change in the motor pitch then down one more notch?

Is the brushroll adjusted properly for wear?

Post# 369572 , Reply# 2   3/30/2017 at 12:18 (389 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
Another possibility

Since the Kirby is a direct air machine, the large amount of saw dust is being pulled past the belt in a very short amount of time.  The saw dust may temporarily slow or stop the brush roll causing a reduction in results.


In contrast the Shark is a clean air machine where the belt is out of the air stream. 

Post# 369573 , Reply# 3   3/30/2017 at 12:27 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Didn't think of that 👏

Post# 369575 , Reply# 4   3/30/2017 at 12:32 (389 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I might have lower the head one step down and maybe I went too fast. Is it possible that large amount of sawdust going through the fan slowed the airflow?

Post# 369576 , Reply# 5   3/30/2017 at 12:37 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Could be what Harley said all the sawdust at once jamming the belt. With a 2 inch intake hole I'd be surprised if it was blocked. The shark would be more likely to get blocked I'd think. But there's people on hear that know a lot more than I do 😌

Post# 369577 , Reply# 6   3/30/2017 at 12:46 (389 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        

I just thought of the belt, because I had it happen last night.  I sucked up a cotton ball with Odorific in the Heritage II and the cotton ball wrapped around the motor shaft and stopped the belt. 


Have also see this happen when someone uses carpet powder,  it will cause the belt to slow or stop when it coats the belt and shaft as it  follows the air path.

Post# 369578 , Reply# 7   3/30/2017 at 12:46 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Oh here*

Post# 369580 , Reply# 8   3/30/2017 at 13:21 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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What I will say is for a cleaner with supposedly low airflow the Shark does a very good job as I've found with my powered lift away.

Post# 369585 , Reply# 9   3/30/2017 at 14:19 (389 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Shark vs Kirby

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I agree that Shark cleans well.One thing why might be the well designed nozzle/brushroll. One exception is my brown low pile carpet.
Some time ago I posted video to the VL (Shark vs Kirby) where the Kirby absolutely destroyed the Shark on that brown carpet. Only thing what beats it is the Wessel Werk EBK340 powerhead with the high airflow/suction canister like Lux or Nilfisk.
But back to the main subject. I think that I would have heard the brushroll slowing down in the Kirby. Genuine belt has grooves in it and it takes a lot to slow it down. I also saw visual agitation in front of the Kirby which is impressive on the shag. But of course it is possible that brushroll slowed down.

Post# 369587 , Reply# 10   3/30/2017 at 14:35 (389 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Can it possibly be that the Shark gives the Kirby a run for the money?

Is the difference in cleaning ability between a direct air motor and a clean air motor exaggerated?

Post# 369591 , Reply# 11   3/30/2017 at 16:29 (389 days old) by wyaple (Pickerington, OH)        

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Based on what I saw in your video, your G6 was slightly better per stroke. The Shark did a poor job at the edges of the nozzle.

That being said, sawdust is a very easy test and most vacuums have an easy time picking it up, especially since it is more or less "on top of" the carpet rather than buried deep into the pile.

I just tried a test of flour and oatmeal flakes sitting on my medium pile test carpet. Using my G6 with the newer oblique #152502 (not the older chevron) brush roll, I did not make the infamous Kirby "seal". I was 1 notch above that position. And guess what? The G6 sucked up the flour and oatmeal completely in just one full pass. I could have gotten the same results with the brush roll turned completely off.

The short answer is there is no way a 75 CFM Shark deep cleans as well as a 120 CFM G6. You may want to try a "flour/sawdust under the carpet" test using a carpet that doesn't have a rubber backing and video those results.


Post# 369606 , Reply# 12   3/30/2017 at 22:31 (388 days old) by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

You might want to tape off the rug to make a more narrow test strip to better control the area being tested. I may be wrong, but the path you vacuumed with the Kirby seemed to be more narrow than the path you cleaned when you followed up with the Shark. The Kirby never had the opportunity to clean up some of that sawdust.

Nice job on the video.

Post# 369617 , Reply# 13   3/31/2017 at 04:46 (388 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I want to revisit this test at some point.
I went faster with the Kirby, head wasn't lowered enough, large amount of sawdust slowed the brushroll slightly. Those might be the key factors to the result.
Picture of the carpet what allows full airflow trough it.
Kirby win, Shark fail.

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Post# 369618 , Reply# 14   3/31/2017 at 05:00 (388 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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So I decided to do my own test comparing my Sentria 2 with the Shark Powered lift away.

I put some powder under my carpet.
First to go was the Sentria 2.

I did a few passes then looked under the carpet. The Sentria picked up the vast majority.

Then repeated the same test with the Shark.
Powder under the carpet, a few passes then looked under the carpet.
The Shark had picked up Sweet Fanny Adams!

This proves to me that the Kirby with the direct air motor produces more airflow and deeper cleans carpets.

Post# 369620 , Reply# 15   3/31/2017 at 05:54 (388 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Very nice!
Another proof that airflow is needed. Actually it's a common sense, that pulling large amount of air cleans well.
Airflow + agitation. Can't beat that :)

Post# 369621 , Reply# 16   3/31/2017 at 06:09 (388 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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You can't 😁

Post# 369678 , Reply# 17   3/31/2017 at 16:23 (388 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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I watched the beginning of the video three times. How many clicks did you lower the Kirby nozzle? It looks and sounds like you only lowered the Kirby's head only 2 clicks which would not normally be low enough to form a seal on that type of carpet.



Post# 369694 , Reply# 18   3/31/2017 at 19:47 (388 days old) by wyaple (Pickerington, OH)        

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Never be afraid to experiment with the height adjustment. Different dirt and carpet types may require 1 click higher or lower than standard.

BUT, what's so cool about manual height adjustment is that the user has a choice. Many vacuums today merely float over the carpet at whatever height seems best, which may or may not be optimal.


Post# 369736 , Reply# 19   4/1/2017 at 12:58 (387 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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I agree with Bill 100% on the above post.



Post# 369737 , Reply# 20   4/1/2017 at 13:13 (387 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
height setting

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I have watched the video multiple times and my conclusion is that I didn't lower the head far enough. I don't remember what height setting I used.
Manual height adjustment is almost necessary for this carpet. Vacuums with the "floating" head are very hard to push on this carpet.
I feel that I really should remake this video, because of the too high Kirby head height.
I also wan't to try different height settings and see what each leave behind. Just to make sure that Kirby works with it's peak performance.

Post# 369809 , Reply# 21   4/2/2017 at 14:59 (386 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Test redone

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Now I did this test again and Kirby did better this time, but Shark was still a bit better.
I did my best with this test so i guess Shark just works well on this Shag carpet.
I would still choose Kirby to vacuum this carpet, because it is much easier to push and pull thanks to techdrive. With Shark it's workout.



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Post# 369813 , Reply# 22   4/2/2017 at 15:08 (386 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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I think the Shark has a slightly more aggressive brushroll at least it does on my powered lift away. But for deep down cleaning the Kirby will definitely come out on top.

The Shark is great value for money and is better made than some people think.

Post# 369817 , Reply# 23   4/2/2017 at 15:31 (386 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Shark indeed has a very aggressive brushroll. I mean stiff bristles and they stick out a lot from the soleplate. On lower pile carpets it almost escapes when you turn the brushroll on. Build quality is far from the Kirby, but better than I was expecting when I got it.

On carpets what can let through air Kirby wins hands down because of the huge airflow.

Post# 369856 , Reply# 24   4/2/2017 at 23:19 (385 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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Hi Mike

I would suggest you look at the Kirby Brush Roll part number 152505, which at a glance looks the same as the 152502 (the brush roll you have in your G6), but with a critical difference: the 152505 has stiffer bristles!

Notice that the 152505 (left) has bristles which are more tightly packed together (stiffer) than the 152502 (right), whose bristles are more flared out at the ends (softer). The 152502 has bristles which are the same softness as the original brushroll for the G6. In fact, you will notice it is close to the original G6 brush roll, except the rows are staggered by 90 halfway down each chevron. The 152505 has the firmer bristles, and is the original brush roll that was used from the Ultimate G through the current Avalir. Another way you can tell the difference between the two brush rolls is that the rows of bristles change direction half-way down the brush roll of the 152502, pointing towards the center of the nozzle much like those on the original chevron style G6 brush roll. On the other hand, the rows of bristles on the 152505 all angle the same direction: away from the LED indicator magnet.

When I got my G6 2000, I made the mistake of replacing the original brushroll with the 152502. I just felt it wasn't agitating any better like I was expecting. Then I discovered I bought it when I intended to buy the 152505.

Let me tell you, it made a huge difference for me. Finally, with the 152505, my Kirby was agitating like I wanted, vibrating the carpet much more vigorously and now making the famous carpet "buzz" that the Sentria and other newer Kirbys make. I now use this brush in my G5, G6 2000, and G6 2001 and am much more pleased with these cleaners now.

Good Luck!

PS I enjoy your YouTube videos. Keep up the good work!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO broomvac's LINK on eBay

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Post# 369872 , Reply# 25   4/3/2017 at 06:38 (385 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Wow I didn't know that. I thought that my new brushroll is the stiff one. It is indeed the 152502.
Is it bad for my Kirby if I lower the brushroll one notch? I mean rotating the end caps to show 2? I did it with my old brushroll and it seemed to work. Although my old brushroll (top of the picture) was softer.
Thank you about the information!

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Post# 369880 , Reply# 26   4/3/2017 at 09:28 (385 days old) by pr-21 (Middletown, OH)        

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I have always turned the one in the picture to 2 for a better brushing action up through the Gsix. With that said, the newer ones for the Sentria's and Avalir's, they have yet another stiffer brush roll with longer bristles, I put them on one as I feel setting them to the second notch is too aggressive. After putting it in the 2nd position, turn the nozzle over and you will see on the newer stiffer brushes, it extends too far.....Just my experience. I only have medium plush carpets in my home the type of carpets you have will need to be concidered for what setting you place your brush roll in. Just test it in the different positions and you will be able to tell if you need to back off.

Bud Mattingly

Post# 369892 , Reply# 27   4/3/2017 at 11:31 (385 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Brushroll height setting

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Now I tried the brushroll height setting from 1 to 2. It sure made a difference. I vacuumed my whole carpet and I could physically feel the agitation and even see it like in this video.
Note that my cheap brushroll don't light up the green light.
I still need to try different head height settings to find the right one.
Oh man I enjoy this Kirby a lot :)

Post# 369900 , Reply# 28   4/3/2017 at 12:39 (385 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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I always adjust the brush rolls on my Kirby Heritage and Kirby Heritage II so the bristles extend exactly 1/16 inch beyond the sole plate. This is the specification the owners manuals for those machines give for bristle height.

Although none of the manuals for the G-series or later give any brush height specification, I follow the same spec given by the Heritage/Heritage II manuals : 1/16 inch. I just pick whichever setting is closest without actually being less than 1/16 inch. This has given me good results.

Get a stiff cardstock or cardboard piece and mark the desired bristle height the appropriate distance from the card's edge. Then place it across the rug plate and compare to the brush height. Do this with the nozzle on the machine and the belt engaged since the belt's tension can change the bristle height slightly (brush roll might flex a bit).

Extending the bristles too far can be counter productive, pushing the carpet too far away from the nozzle or, conceivably, bending the bristles too much. Unless you go severely overboard (setting 3 on a brand new brush roll, for example), I don't think extending the bristles further would permanently damage anything, but you may see a drop in performance or shortened belt life.

For a new 152505, I start off on setting 1. As stated in a post above, that is plenty!

For a new 152502, I think either 1 or 2 would be ok. 2 will obviously give more aggressive agitation, but still not as much as the 152505 will. You won't hurt anything using a new 152502 on setting 2 shouldn't hurt anything.

Just experiment and use your best judgement!

Good luck!

Post# 369902 , Reply# 29   4/3/2017 at 12:42 (385 days old) by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

I'm debating whether it is fair to use the Shark to "determine" the winner in the end, given that the Shark was also being tested.

Post# 369903 , Reply# 30   4/3/2017 at 13:05 (385 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I think that the Kirby dirt meter would be the best for testing what each vacuum left behind.

Post# 369905 , Reply# 31   4/3/2017 at 13:09 (385 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I will definitely get the 152505 at some point. It would be nice to see how much better it works.

Post# 369911 , Reply# 32   4/3/2017 at 14:20 (385 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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So I couldn't help myself and I tested the agitation. Not the best carpet for that. Height adjustment can't be too low or it will cut the airflow down. I think it worked quite well.

Post# 369919 , Reply# 33   4/3/2017 at 17:48 (385 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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Great video Mike.


Just a note: I always set my brushroll to #2 or approx. 1/8 inch past the rugplate. This works best on my medium pile carpet.


Note #2: I own a Kirby Dirtmeter and I have found it to be a wonderful tool to help determine how much dirt is left behind by any vacuum cleaner. Here is a link to the same company you got your Baird meter from:


When I got mine they threw in a pack of 50 black and 50 white test pads. You can also use coffee filters but they clog up faster than the actual test pads do.


This ebay site has a better deal on test pads:




Post# 369967 , Reply# 34   4/4/2017 at 07:17 (384 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Those dirt meters aren't too expensive at all. More reliable way to tell how much dirt there still is. My current way with the bagless vacuum isn't the best. Problem is that the dirt gets jammed in different places in the bin. Also static charge makes the dirt to get caught in the bin.

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