Thread Number: 13265
Pushing a Kirby to its limits?
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Post# 141170   6/27/2011 at 21:49 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Okay, so sitting here looking at my 1-CR, what would happen if you absolutely stuffed a Kirby? The bag, emptor, even maybe out intop the fan casing...? Ive heard horror stories on here about people finding Kirbys like this, but I have two questions:

1)If youre just using the vacuum for your weekly vacuuming, how long will it take to do this?

2) What would happen to the machine?


Post# 141172 , Reply# 1   6/27/2011 at 21:51 (4,622 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
Thinking it would just rev since the air would not move. Fan on motor to cool it separately right?

Post# 141174 , Reply# 2   6/27/2011 at 21:54 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

I think youre right. It would run, just it wouldnt pick up. But would it damage the machine? Ill use my 1-CR since its a pretty much lost cause.


Post# 141175 , Reply# 3   6/27/2011 at 21:55 (4,622 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
With its motor cooling fan, I doubt there would be damage.

Post# 141177 , Reply# 4   6/27/2011 at 21:58 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Okay, thanks! I think Im going to start on it this week. Any idea on how long it would take?


Post# 141178 , Reply# 5   6/27/2011 at 21:59 (4,622 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

I have an inlaw that stuffed the bag on a Classic III. Didn't do any damage to the machine as the fan case was not stuffed. I believe that it took about a year and that was with a dog in the house. It took my brother quite a while to clean out that bag. He nearly needed a crow bar. And just about beat her with the handle of the vacuum for not empting the bag regularly and then complaining that the vacuum didn't work.

Post# 141179 , Reply# 6   6/27/2011 at 21:59 (4,622 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

suckolux's profile picture
That would really depend on so many different factors. Sq footage, frequency of cleaning, pets, carpet type. A while I would think, like months.

Post# 141180 , Reply# 7   6/27/2011 at 22:00 (4,622 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

To completely fill it it may take up to around a year or so. Do it with a sanitaire. Would take much less time. :)

Post# 141184 , Reply# 8   6/27/2011 at 22:06 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Im not trying to create a huge debate, but I think Kirby is just as good as Sanitaire, if not better.


Post# 141187 , Reply# 9   6/27/2011 at 22:08 (4,622 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

No need to debate. Different carpets and situations require different machines. It's just what works for the owner is what works best.

Post# 141189 , Reply# 10   6/27/2011 at 22:13 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Ive always been a Kirby guy. And I have wanted to at least use a Sanitaire since I first saw one! From what I have heard they are AWESOME vacuums.

This is what ive always thought:

Sanitaire= Best commercial cleaner
Kirby= Best residential cleaner.


Post# 141191 , Reply# 11   6/27/2011 at 22:15 (4,622 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

Good points. Sanitaire are nice. Not as durable as a Kirby. But price points show why. A Kirby is a more deluxe and higher quality machine than a sanitaire. The brush roll is key too. Kirbys seem to be the most amazing cleaners for dog hair. Sanitaire not so much.

Post# 141195 , Reply# 12   6/27/2011 at 22:31 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

I have been thinking about getting a Sanitaire for the past few months.

I love the look of them. Theyre heavy metal! Literally and figuratively! XD I only own two plastic vacuums and thyere the worst vacuums I have. A DD and an Oreck. Blech. (Well,I actually have four vacuums that are plastic, but the other two are actually good. A Panasonic Performance Plus and a Dial-a-Matic.)

And I'm always partial to Kirbys because I grew up with a Classic III and a G4.


Post# 141197 , Reply# 13   6/27/2011 at 22:38 (4,622 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

Haha good comparison. I used to have that same model sanitaire pictured. The key is to get a 7 amp model with vibra groomed two

I have had 3 sanitaire never had a problem with any. My daily driver is my top of the line s677d with the D loop handle wit switch.

Post# 141199 , Reply# 14   6/27/2011 at 22:41 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Yes, Ive heard that Sanitaires have EXCELLENT motors in them and ive also heard that theyre pretty durable. But could they last as long as a Kirby?


Post# 141202 , Reply# 15   6/27/2011 at 22:51 (4,622 days old) by Brandon_W_T ()        

Well you know that's a good question.

As a collector I think it's hard for any of us to really wear down a machine. I have seen in vac shops in for repairs both sanitaire and Kirby in dire need of lots of work. Sanitaire machines are built to be easily fixed and cheap. Kirbys similarly.

Sanitaire machines do have a considerable amount of plastic compared to a Kirby but it's good to know that their plastic is very thick and durable.

Think of all the kirby vacuums. There are more vintage models out there in good running order than just about any other brand. It says something on their quality for sure.

I think every collection needs a Kirby as well as a sanitaire. They are both classics in the vacuum world.

Post# 141203 , Reply# 16   6/27/2011 at 22:57 (4,622 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

I have a total of 8 Kirbys and sadly 0 Sanitaires. Im hoping to get one before the year ends, so well see what happens.

Well, I think its time I logged off for the night.

G'night, all.


Post# 141204 , Reply# 17   6/27/2011 at 23:01 (4,622 days old) by bagintheback (Flagstaff, Arizona)        

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Sanitaires are made to be repaired, because many of them are abused. That's why they have the Quick-Kleen models. Kirbys are built for the least repairs while maintaining the best carpet cleaning performance. I am very glad Kirby still has no clean-air machines.

Kirbys and Sanitaires are very close in carpet cleaning performance. Kirby has the air-flow and the Sanitaire has agitation, although it really comes down to the carpet. Kirby has the best tool suction for sure.

Post# 141207 , Reply# 18   6/27/2011 at 23:14 (4,622 days old) by whirlsonicmore (South US)        

I use a Sanitaire paper bag/ chrome cover/ wide base model at the one cleaning account we have. There's LOTS of carpet there, but I also use it to clean the outside mats and even part of the sidewalk. It's obviously been through many brushes and fans, but that motor keeps taking it. I won't put a metal fan on it, fearing that it would just transfer the damage to the fan cover. I've seen it happen too often on other units (and sometimes cracked base assemblies).
Fans are still cheaper and it can be replaced in less than 5 minutes.

It's probably the simplest unit to repair in the commercial/ industrial work field.

I nicknamed it "the lawn mower".

Post# 141212 , Reply# 19   6/27/2011 at 23:29 (4,622 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Given that I now have two Sanitaires, I have to say, they work better at carpet cleaning than any of my Kirbys do in this house (commercial grade carpet here in the living room), I love my Kirbys for their engineering and modular capabilities, but, it is a case of "Jack of all trades, master of none", having extras and air-powered tools doesn't make a top notch vacuum cleaner, and not to mention, the Sanitaires here are sharing one motor (cos I haven't another 240v one to hand), which is the 240v equivalent to the 5.5A 120v motor...

As for there being "more plastic" on a Sanitaire, I call bull on that one, add up the plastic parts on a Kirby, and you have about the same (Handle, handle back, scuffplate, trim, wheels, emtor, filltube, headlight, headlight lens, bag hanger, and on Sentrias, the plastic basepan), maybe on the cheaper, less effective blender motor Sanitaires, but not the decent ones with metal hoods...

Also, a Sanitaire in a commercial environment runs for hours every day, yet they keep running requiring only consumables to be changed (bags, belts, brush strips, carbon brushes), I've seen the state of Kirbys used in the same environment, and they don't last as well as the Sanitaire, they're not made for running every day for hours on end, so break down sooner, and of course with all the removable parts, there's more places for them to break...

The cleaning ability of the Sanitaire is also better than a Kirby, and when you compare the two side by side, the Sanitaire wins hands down, and if you "follow in the footsteps" with each vac (cleaning where the 'taire's been with a Kirby and vice versa), the Sanitaire picks up more dirt that the Kirby left behind, and the Kirby comes out with a clean bag, try it for yourself, I have and it shows...

So, in the Sanitaire vs. Kirby debate, the Sanitaire wins, yes you get all the gadgets with a Kirby, and you have hose cleaning tools, but for basic carpet cleaning, the Sanitaire's my daily driver... :)

And believe me, I used to believe there was nothing better than a Kirby until I got my Sanitaire ZC-880, but now, I know better... :)

Post# 141213 , Reply# 20   6/27/2011 at 23:31 (4,622 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Oh, and for hose-cleaning, I use my Tristar CXL... :P

Post# 141215 , Reply# 21   6/27/2011 at 23:45 (4,622 days old) by sanitronic ()        
kirbys and sanitaires.....

not too long ago i found a sanitaire quick kleen widetrack behind a thrift store, she gave it to me for free. i was intending on getting rid of it, but first i tried it out. it works great and at my moms house the carpets are HORRIBLE!!! stained beyond hope before we moved in. when i left to go back to my house i stay durin the summer i told my mom to use the sanitaire because i hate wasting expensive kirby bags on such sorry carpet. when i came back shortly after the switch went out on the sanitaire and now have been using one of my diamond editions and it didnt take long till the bag was full! in my opinion i dont think the sanitaire cleans better than the kirby, mabey close to the same but not better. mabey i will break out one of my dirt meters and see what the sanitaire leaves behind!:P i do love my sanitaire though and i am very happy its part of my fleet.

Post# 141217 , Reply# 22   6/28/2011 at 00:05 (4,622 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

Just as with a Kirby, you have to use the Sanitaire at the right height for the carpet, too low and it bogs down, too hight and it is just breathing air, so if the Sanitaire didn't clean properly, then it wasn't adjusted right...

Only a poor workman blames his tools... ;)

Post# 141220 , Reply# 23   6/28/2011 at 00:33 (4,622 days old) by 1926700 ()        

there are obviously pros and cons with all machines......


but Scooter.....if you want my opinion on Sanitare versus it is.....Kirbys are great machine all around even commercially.....ive used a Classic III in a commercial setting and i was great, and there common enough that i don't feel necessarily bad doing so......and as far as Sanitares go.....the only thing i don't like is a 6 or 7 amp Sanitare has ,dare i say a tad too much power and tends to either throw stuff or have little debris just spin around in the fan case and not go to the bag.....the reason for this is most commercial settings have low pile glue down carpet with no pad.....thus not letting the carpet be air washed and, the vacuum not breath as it should........which will make every machine react differently on commercial on the flip side.....if you use a 5 amp Sanitare light, or a blender motor (4.0 amp), or a older 3.5 amp Eureka that just low enough that it does pick everything up......


and as far as packing your Kirby full.....i agree with the fact that it depends on the level of dirt and how often you vacuum.....and also if you wait longer between vacuuming's it will let more dirt accumulate and the process might go faster.....but if your anything like me who has to vacuum 3 time a day that will be a challenge.....but a challenge of will can only make one stronger and can only be more that just my two cents......use as you wish =)



Post# 141225 , Reply# 24   6/28/2011 at 03:07 (4,622 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

For Kirby Vs Sanitaire-I have found the opposite-the Kirby does BETTER for me-more dirt and debris picked up.And it grooms better than the Sanitiare-but both are durable machines-but Kirbys metal body and fancase hold up better-and some Kirbys ARE used commercially.The University has a fleet of Sanitiares-and they get pretty beat up.Their plastic fancases crack and break all of the time.I don't know who repairs them now-Bill has Died and the Vacuum Cleaner Hospital is no more.Bill used the metal fans and fancase liners in the Sanitares at the owners request.they were even asking him to put the metal fans and fancase liners in new machines.Koblentz makes a metal machine somewhat like the Sanitaire-some of their models have Lexan fans-others the metal fans.and Koblentz has a clear fancase intake cover so you can inspect the fancase and fan.Like the Koblentz machine better.I don't think any "Pancake" head vacuum can match a Kirby or metal Royal.the Royals are more durable still.And present Sanitaires like Koblentz-are made in Mexico.I have some Sanitaires-and use them.their new ST bag system is nice-a BIG improvement over the F&G bag.The ST bagged machine comes closer to the Kirby in performance.

Post# 141239 , Reply# 25   6/28/2011 at 07:04 (4,621 days old) by KirbyLover (Louisville Kentucky )        

My Heritage 84 was packed with dirt and dust in the paper bag as well and the cloth bag (fill tube had cracks) and the motor sounded fine.

Post# 141287 , Reply# 26   6/28/2011 at 12:50 (4,621 days old) by whirlsonicmore (South US)        

I can tell you from experience of using the Sanitaire's commercially; the wide models don't pick up as well as the standard width. I think there's too much displacement provided for airflow, and the cleaning ability is compromised. Maybe if a more aggressive motor was used it could help that issue.

I've actually been looking for a red standard base to put on the one Sani' I work with to make it more usable.

Post# 141305 , Reply# 27   6/28/2011 at 16:00 (4,621 days old) by kittingerhoover ()        
One word of warning on stuffing the machine

If your machine has a plastic fan, it can melt it if you stuff it too much.

Don't want you to have to spend money


Post# 141306 , Reply# 28   6/28/2011 at 16:04 (4,621 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Thanks for the heads up! I was going to either use a G5 or a 1-CR, so I guess I'll use the Classic!


Post# 141405 , Reply# 29   6/29/2011 at 03:13 (4,621 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have a wide nozzle Sanitaire-pretty useless machine.the widesweep Royals are MUCH better.the standard nozzle widdth Sanitaires do work much better than the wide ones.The wide ones need a bigger fan and motor.and larger fill tube for the bag to match.I can agree on packing a machine with a plastic fan--don't push your luck-even a wad of paper can melt and erode a plastic fan.If you are using a plastic fan vacuum and hear something rubbing its fan-a high pitched "WEEEEEE-EEE" sound-stop the machine at once and clear out the fancase .

Post# 141465 , Reply# 30   6/29/2011 at 19:14 (4,620 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

I have used Kirby's commercially and have never had any trouble with them. From 519's to dual sanitronics, Classic, Classic III and Heritage models all held up well. The machines I used personally were run for hours on end. The kirby will pick up much better than the sanitaires. Ice melt and rock salt put out to keep the side walks clear is one area the Kirby and Commercial Royals excel. Sanitaire vaccums do have good suction. I have moved track off mats with them. But they do have trouble with ice melt, staples and paper clips.

Post# 141522 , Reply# 31   6/30/2011 at 04:02 (4,620 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Just for word-salt and ice melt are other things that can be hard on vacuums-plastic or metal.clear those out of fancases and such-or corrosion and pitting(plastic) can happen.

Post# 141678 , Reply# 32   7/1/2011 at 11:13 (4,618 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Pocatello, ID)        

@vac-whisperer, nice comparison between Megadeth and a Sanitaire! A great band, and a great vacuum!

Post# 141679 , Reply# 33   7/1/2011 at 11:20 (4,618 days old) by thevacuumguy96 (Pocatello, ID)        

Also, I have bought a few Kirby's with full bags and have found a large amount of interesting things in each of them. They do pick up alot of things that other vacuums couldn't. For instance, I found over $1.00 in change and an empty .22 bullet shell in my HII, and some change in my H84 as well as a stone that looks like a diamond but I think it's fake. I don't have much experience with Sanitaires, but I have used them and like them alot. I have also heard that Sanitaires are pretty good machines. I have never thought about stuffing a Kirby full but it would be interesting to find out what would happen if I did stuff a Kirby.

Post# 141681 , Reply# 34   7/1/2011 at 11:42 (4,618 days old) by henry200 (Saint Paul MN)        
a peculiar idea

It sounds like a strange proposition if you ask me.  The thought of month after month's worth, or in my case year's worth of dirt stockpiled in the bag until it was packed is disgusting.  The stench alone would be reason enough to not do such a thing.  Plus, as the bag plugged up more and more with fine dust you would be picking up less grit from the carpet.  With the restricted airflow the revolving brush would just be massaging most of it deeper into the carpeting.

Post# 143234 , Reply# 35   7/14/2011 at 20:46 (4,605 days old) by vac_whisperer ()        

Just bumping this topic back up to the top...

@thevacuumguy96: Megadeth... One of my alltime favorite bands!

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