Thread Number: 11040
Kirby vs. Royal
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Post# 119252   12/25/2010 at 22:43 (3,445 days old) by electroluxkirby ()        

Just curious as to what everyone has to say. I really like the look of Kirby and Royal uprights, so I'm thinking of adding a couple (or maybe more) Royal uprights to my little but growing collection of vacs.

Any particular Royal model that you would recommend?

Post# 119264 , Reply# 1   12/26/2010 at 01:25 (3,445 days old) by joe22 ()        

look for a classic 880, awesome vac and the commercial basics 1028 or 1030

Post# 119281 , Reply# 2   12/26/2010 at 13:48 (3,444 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
My Royal Recommendations for You ...

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
... are models 880, 881, 886, 887, 992, 994 or 996 for household use and models 360, 380, 611, 618, 660, 670, 680 or 690 for commercial use.

~Ben (KirbyClassicIII)

Post# 119312 , Reply# 3   12/26/2010 at 22:16 (3,444 days old) by electroluxkirby ()        

Thanks guys, let the hunting begin, LOL.

Post# 119393 , Reply# 4   12/27/2010 at 18:25 (3,443 days old) by truckerx (Palm Springs, CA)        
Royals are so much lighter than Kirbys

truckerx's profile picture
...and clean just as well. A very simple machine. I like the metal uprights with the quick height adjuster. I had a beautiful upright with full attachments that I gifted to Filterqueen83. He may even still have it.

Post# 119397 , Reply# 5   12/27/2010 at 18:52 (3,443 days old) by joe22 ()        
metal fan

royals STILL have metal fans !!!

Post# 119443 , Reply# 6   12/28/2010 at 03:37 (3,443 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Yes!!! thats whats nice about Royal-the METAL fan.Some years ago when there was a real active Royal dealer here in my town-was at the shop when the Royal rep came by and showed us some things-First off he took a Metal commercial Royal upright-put the hose adpator on it-and allowed it to suck several pennies from his hand-Both Bill and I commented"That would have DESTROYED a Kirby plastic fan."The fellow then showed how easy it was to open the fan compartment and the fan only had a couple nicks in it and a slightly bent blade.the Royal fact rep went to comment that the Commercial and Residentual machines used the same fans.Many of the Koblentz uprights use metal fans.And there are metal replacement(aftermarket)fans and metal fan housing liners for Sanitaires.Would like to see Sanitaire go to a metal body and fan model like Koblentz.

Post# 119522 , Reply# 7   12/28/2010 at 20:29 (3,442 days old) by kenkart ()        
801 Royal..

To me the 801 is easier to handle,the Royals clean as good as the Kirbys, with less racket.

Post# 119533 , Reply# 8   12/28/2010 at 23:05 (3,442 days old) by uprightman ()        
Yeah, but....

Has anyone noticed that the Kirby nozzle raises higher than the Royal (880)?

This seems to make a difference on my LUSH 1980's brrrrooowwwwnnn carpet in the basement.

With the Kirby (G4, Classic Omega, or Classic III), I can hear the brush roll "hit" the carpet, and feel the suction "connection".

The Royal, I can never really tell - my 880 has the height adjustment knob in the rear; and the ADJUST-O-RITE knob on the front. I can lower that nozzle until the screw is tight, but the A-O-R knob never moves in.

If I use the Royal upstairs on the lower knapped carpeting, I can set it just fine at the beginning (the A-O-R knob moves in right nice), but once you get to the places "more traveled", I seem to lose that suction feeling. Of course, one can always just re-adjust the height control knob, but with the Kirby, it's easier with the toe-control height adjuster (although I rarely, if ever, have to re-adjust the Kirby).

So, yeah, I really like my Royal (good above floor suction when using the attachments), but it seems to be a little fussier to use than my Kirby's.

Post# 119540 , Reply# 9   12/29/2010 at 00:44 (3,442 days old) by hygiene903 (Galion, OH)        
I Like Them Both

hygiene903's profile picture
But I agree that Royals are lighter, easier to maneuver, and clean just as well as a Kirby. And I would agree on the models too. The 801 and 880 are both good choices as are most of the models Ben mentioned, but the main thing is to try to get one made before 1995, as the newer they get, the louder they get, and the brand new ones are real screamers!
Also, you might want to consider an Electro-Hygiene. Built by Royal and every bit as good, if not better. Here's a pic of one of my 903 Electro-Hygienes with my Royal 880.

Post# 260539 , Reply# 10   12/23/2013 at 18:10 (2,351 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        
Amodel fans are much stronger than metal fans!

sptyks's profile picture
I did some research on this and what I found is very interesting.

The fans that are installed in the newest Kirby's from the G5 through Sentria II are made from Amodel, NOT Kevlar as almost everyone on here has thought.

For a while Kirby used Lexan, which was discontinued when the switch to superior Amodel was made in the G5. Amodel is widely used in the Aerospace industry so Kirby designed the new fan with the aid of NASA so that it would be the most durable and produce maximum airflow(CFM).Many folks on here, confused Lexan and Kevlar with Amodel. There were some problems with the Lexan fans after a few years of use. They would suffer stress fractures and would break apart if hit by any foreign object (not regular dirt).

Amodel is a new type of polymer that is several times stronger than either Aluminum, which is used in the Royal metal upright vacuums, or Kevlar which was NEVER used in any Kirby vacuum. The Amodel fan is tougher than metal and believe it or not, will almost always outlast Lexan and metal fans.

A few years ago, Kirby did a demonstration for some VCCC members during a tour of the factory where they used a Kirby vacuum with Amodel fan to suck up a bowlful of large nuts, bolts, marbles and pebbles. After disassembly, the fan had only a couple of very small nicks on it and deemed fully serviceable.

The Kirby Sentria with it's higher speed motor, and NASA designed Amodel fan, produces more airflow (115 CFM) than any previous Kirby model.

Here is a statement which you can lookup on the internet from Solvay Advanced Polymers who is the manufacturer of AMODEL:

" About AMODEL Polyphthalamide--

With a heat deflection temperature of 536 degrees Fahrenheit (280 degrees
Celsius) and continuous use temperature of 338 degrees Fahrenheit (170 degrees
Celsius), AMODEL PPA retains its exceptional mechanical properties --
strength, stiffness, fatigue and creep resistance -- over a broad range and in
high humidity environments. This versatile family of high-temperature nylons
can give you the strength of aluminum, the stiffness of steel, and the impact
and ductility of hard rubber --"

I hope you all enjoyed the fruits of my research of AMODEL.


Post# 278722 , Reply# 11   4/30/2014 at 03:09 (2,224 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture
Royal 880 designs over the years:

From 1966 to 1976, the front and back wheels were much smaller than they were in years subsequent to 1976 and 1985 respectively. Originally, the front wheels were assigned part no. 1-285705-000, while the smaller rear ones were assigned part no. 1-285007-000.

From 1976 to 1985, the front wheels got larger (part no. 1-880705-000) but the back ones remained small (part no. 1-285007-000) until April 1985, being replaced by the same intermediate-sized wheels (part no. 1-285705-000) used for the front axle on pre-1976 models. As a result, I would say the '76-'85 880s (my Stark-branded one built 2/1985 is one of these) had the most uneven of height distribution with the new-gen front wheels and old-gen rear wheels.


Post# 278728 , Reply# 12   4/30/2014 at 05:01 (2,224 days old) by ornery (Northeast Ohio)        
I Concur

ornery's profile picture
Damn Ben, how do you know all this stuff? What's your secret? There's one more factoid that didn't make it into the book.

I've found I have to adjust the height of my 1982 880 to the extreme, to engage the no pile/ commercial carpet in our kitchen and porch. I added an acorn nut to the end of the height adjust screw to give it a little more adjustment. Larger rear wheels would eliminate the need for that. Did they change the Rear Wheel Fork/Axle Assembly when they added the larger rear wheels?

Post# 278731 , Reply# 13   4/30/2014 at 08:33 (2,223 days old) by talkytina ()        

I particularly like my Royal 996, since at 7.0 amps it has lots of pull but is relatively lightweight. My newer 2025 weighs a ton and it maneuvers like a Mack truck sans power steering. I've owned Royals since the 1980s and have found them to be as durable as Kirbys but easier to use. Good luck to you!

Post# 278752 , Reply# 14   4/30/2014 at 14:33 (2,223 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Not to the best of my knowledge. It was the same (part no. 4-028505-000 w/wheels; and 2-028574-000 w/o wheels) throughout production, although the axle studs for the front wheels did change with the wheel sizes (part no. 1-285101-000 before 1976, part no. 1-611101-000 after 1976).

For its replacement, models 886/887 (887 same as 886 but with 303 attachment kit included), all four wheels were of the wide design (part no. 1-880705-000) and the rear wheel assembly was part no. 2-061805-000.


Post# 278811 , Reply# 15   4/30/2014 at 19:46 (2,223 days old) by ornery (Northeast Ohio)        
Are These The Correct Wheels?

ornery's profile picture
I'm looking at a Model 880 on Ebay. Serial Number 67K C 111820. The wheels on it aren't as large as the front, but larger than wheels from Model 880s that came later. That's a strange transition, unless this is a replacement set on this older machine.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO ornery's LINK on eBay

Post# 278816 , Reply# 16   4/30/2014 at 20:28 (2,223 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Do the back wheels on my 1985 880 look original?


Post# 278817 , Reply# 17   4/30/2014 at 20:29 (2,223 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

I wonder if you've any interest in this Royal model 680 wide-track commercial vacuum?


Post# 278820 , Reply# 18   4/30/2014 at 21:03 (2,223 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        
1980 Royal 801 Wheels

kirbyclassiciii's profile picture

Here's a later-period 801 (built October 1980) that has the mix of front and back wheels not of the same size. It is clear both these sets of wheels originally dated back to 1955, when the Electro-Hygiene 285 upright was first produced.

Again, between 1966 and 1976, all model 880s had both these sets of wheels before using the larger front ones new to that model (and the 888, and Electro-Hygiene models 903 and 980).

Starting with type E (manufactured April-May 1985) the 880's rear wheels will be the same size as the (pre-1976) front wheels.

So, this period of wheel changing for the 880 is an interesting one.


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