Thread Number: 15902
New TRISTAR vs CXL TRISTAR - which to buy
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Post# 169532   2/14/2012 at 15:40 (3,406 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

I have never seen or used a new model TRISTAR but have a chance to buy a new machine in box sight unseen, at a good price from a dealer out of my area. I have an older CXL which needs lots of repair as many parts are worn and costly, and I have also thought about buying another used CXL used in better condition than mine as well, but don't want to end up with someone else's headache, or parts that are needing repair (as has happened to me in the past buying used parts from ebay to try and replace worn parts on my machine). The CXL has been around for years, so any machine I buy used will have those years of wear and tear on the motor and parts. My thought was if I buy new, I know the machine will be well maintained, however not sure the new machine cleans as well as the CXL. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated!

Post# 169535 , Reply# 1   2/14/2012 at 16:10 (3,406 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

The new generation of Tristars have weaker motors, courtesy of Aerus, than the likes of the CXL, though as discussed in a recent thread, the modern Tristars can be upgraded with the better 2-stage motors, but the power nozzles are not as good as the CXL's, and I'm unsure if you can replace those with the CXL type PN, so, I'd say go with the original than try and turn a later model into the CXL... :)

Post# 169548 , Reply# 2   2/14/2012 at 17:06 (3,406 days old) by sarasvacshack ()        
I love them!

The newer Tristar units are one of my favorite vacuums. Super service friendly too. Yes, the parts are a bit more costly than the CXL style units, but they are well made. The body parts and nozzle of the new Tristars are super durable, but light. There is a definite problem with the early production MG2 canisters, as the VM3 motors, like those used in the Lux cans, did not hold up well. Love the power of the units, ease of use, and unlike the previous poster, I believe the new power nozzles are much better than the CXL nozzle, being easier to move with a wider cleaning path. Brush roll and belt are very cost effective too, and the Envirocare microlined bags do a great job and an inexpensive price. I would jump on the opportunity to snag the newer model Tristar if the price is right and the attachments are all there. My .02


Post# 169556 , Reply# 3   2/14/2012 at 17:53 (3,406 days old) by danemodsandy ()        
My Vote:

Fix the CXL. Not only are there some problems with certain of the new TriStars, as other posters have mentioned, a unit purchased from any source besides an authorized TriStar distributor will not have its warranty honored. Make SURE the source you're buying from is an authorized TriStar distributor.

My own CXL had a lot of problems when I got it, and fixing them took some time and some money. I now have a perfect machine, with every correct part it should have, and I have about $400 tied up in it. That's a lot of money, but it's much less than a new TriStar.

Unless you are getting a screaming deal and don't mind the lack of a warranty from an unauthorized source (if that's the case), putting the CXL back in primo condition makes more sense to me. AND you'll have a collectible machine when you're through - the newer TriStars are just new vacs.

P.S.: If the seller is not an authorized TriStar distributor, DO NOT fall for any promises such as "We'll take care of you." The TriStar Website has a very clear consumer warning on its home page which says that eBay and other sources are not authorized distributors, and that they will NOT honor warranty on such units. A link to that warning is below:

CLICK HERE TO GO TO danemodsandy's LINK

Post# 169558 , Reply# 4   2/14/2012 at 17:58 (3,406 days old) by danemodsandy ()        


Your post says the source is a "dealer." Make sure he's an authorized TRISTAR distributor, not just a dealer of vacs in general. That little bit of difference in the wording is what could make the difference between having a warranty and not having one. Check with TriStar if you have any doubt whatsoever. I personally know of a case where someone bought an MG2 online, had trouble, and was told, "Too bad, so sad" by TriStar. And when the guy called his lawyer, the lawyer backed TriStar up.

Post# 169560 , Reply# 5   2/14/2012 at 18:19 (3,406 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

Thanks for all the information! Yes the person who quoted me the new Tristar price is an authorized dealer through Tristar, and I would be filling out the papers to register as an original buyer from Tristar, and yes the price quoted is better than any I have seen, and I probably would never be able to find someone to give me that price deal again. That being said, you all gave me lots to think about in reference to the CXL which has been a great machine, very powerful, and very much liked as a daily driver in my household. I also happen to like the 'look' of the CXL much better (being a vac enthusiast those things do matter to me too), thought there is some similarity in the new machine, the CXL to me has character (I know that does not matter as for cleaning). The price to fix up my current machine has been estimated at between 300 and 400 if I go with new hose, power brush, cord, bag, etc. I bought my current one used off ebay, and it was not in the greatest of shape but has still given good service. The price quoted for a new one is more than double of fixing the current one, or I could try and get another CXL off ebay that seems in better shape probably for less than fixing up my current machine. All your comments are greatly appreciated!

Post# 169567 , Reply# 6   2/14/2012 at 18:42 (3,406 days old) by danemodsandy ()        

If this is an authorized TriStar dealer, and the price is good, then you might consider it, but you're right, a new MG series machine will never have the character of the older ones.

Below is a photo of my CXL after restoration, just to give you a look at all that beige-and-black CXL goodness at its best. An MG series machine is a nice vac, but it ain't a CXL....

Post# 169576 , Reply# 7   2/14/2012 at 20:32 (3,406 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
MG motors

blackheart's profile picture
What's this about upgrading to a dual stage motor? I did a search but couldn't find the thread that mentions this.

Post# 169579 , Reply# 8   2/14/2012 at 21:21 (3,406 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

It was mentioned here in reference to different sized filters for the MGx series motors compared to the older models:


Post# 169621 , Reply# 9   2/15/2012 at 10:54 (3,405 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
Thank you!

blackheart's profile picture
i would to give my MG2 more airflow but i've never switched out a motor before what should i look for to make sure the motor would fit correctly?

Back on topic though go with the older model i have a CXL and an MG2 in terms of airflow it's no contest the MG2 pulls a 1.5/10 on my baird meter and if i recall my tristar pulls about a 5.5/10.

The power nozzle on the MG2 i feel cleans a bit better however i like to pair mine with a Eureka VG3 or Wessell Werk nozzle then the MG2 cannot touch it.

I would just go with the older model the tools are much better, the machine itself is less problematic and packs more of a punch

Post# 169854 , Reply# 10   2/17/2012 at 07:33 (3,404 days old) by thermokid (Casper, Wyoming)        

I have both CXL and MG2 models and I like them both. I think they are both very powerfull machines....But do like the attachments and wands on the CXL model better then the MG2 model better..... Dan

Post# 169915 , Reply# 11   2/17/2012 at 19:26 (3,403 days old) by ryanm (New York )        

Thanks again to everyone who responded, I think based on what I read here, I should fix the CXL and stick with it, especially because I like the suction and the tools, and even the Tristar dealer told me the new machine has about 10 percent less suction than the CXL. I would rather have the power. I'm not sure WHY they would now have a motor with less power than the CXL, just does not make sense, and too bad they don't boost it up.

Post# 169924 , Reply# 12   2/17/2012 at 20:45 (3,403 days old) by twocvbloke ()        

There's so little to go wrong on a CXL, or DXL, or any of the preceding models, it's just a shell, motor and a little wiring, anyone with a screwdriver and basic electrical knowledge can repair them in little time, if they even need to be repaired as they're so reliable... :)

Post# 169927 , Reply# 13   2/17/2012 at 20:51 (3,403 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
Baird airflow meter test

Did you test the TriStar vacs with new paper bag, clean cloth bag & filter(s) or did you test the TriStar vacs with some dirt in the bag & filter(s)?

As far as old vs. new TriStars, I only own a 1964 23rd Anniversary Edition Compact & a 1985 TriStar CXL 2-speed, but I don't currently own the new style EXL or MG Series TriStar vacs.

It's ridiculous that the new TriStar has LESS suction than the older ones like the CXL, DXL, EX-20 & old Compacts.

I vacuumed the ENTIRE house using other brands' vacs, then used the TriStar & the TriStar pulled MORE dirt from the carpets. Then I vacuum again using Kirby, Eureka F & G, Electrolux, & I was surprised there was no more dirt picked up because the TriStar picked up what everyone else left behind. Same thing when I vacuumed the car with the TriStar CXL & Lux SideKick and/or Wessel Werk HEB160.

The old Compact/TriStar vacs can't be beat! :P

CLICK HERE TO GO TO floor-a-matic's LINK

Post# 169931 , Reply# 14   2/17/2012 at 20:55 (3,403 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        

btw, I am the original owner of the TriStar CXL 2-speed; my parents bought it back in 1985.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO floor-a-matic's LINK

Post# 170637 , Reply# 15   2/23/2012 at 15:09 (3,397 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
1985 TriStar CXL vac

Here's a better pic of my TriStar that my parents bought new. Now I have a better camera to take good pics instead of the cell phone's camera, which its pics are too small or blurry.

Post# 170837 , Reply# 16   2/24/2012 at 20:58 (3,396 days old) by floor-a-matic (somewhere)        
TriStar MGx tools vs. Electrolux Epic 6500 tools

Will the Electrolux Epic/Guardian/Lux Legacy (current model) tools fit the TriStar EXL, A101, & MG Series or the TriStar EXL/A101/MGx style tools fit the Lux Epic 6500/Guardian/Legacy? I asked just in case I DO buy the newer TriStar vac & the Electrolux Epic style combo rug/floor tool to use on the TriStar MG Series.

Post# 170852 , Reply# 17   2/24/2012 at 22:06 (3,396 days old) by kirbyloverdan (Egg Harbor Twp . NJ aka HOOVERLOVERDAN ❤️)        
No they are

kirbyloverdan's profile picture
not interchangable . The newest Aerus Guardian Ultra attachments will fit Tristar .

I own a Tristar MG2 and I think it is very well made and powerful . I own a NIB

DXL with the newer black plastic power nozzzle . I prefer the MG2`s power nozzle

over the DXL`s . The plastic wands are wider and allow more airflow which we all

know what that transfers to .

Post# 439731 , Reply# 18   3/12/2021 at 23:27 by ridgidwd0670 (se wood co ohio)        

ridgidwd0670's profile picture
I have both a Compact C9 & a TriStar CS; but I use the CS more because it's more user friendly

I had the CS motor upgraded to the Ametek 115923 high-performance motor & the CS outcleaned the C9 Compact

However I still use the Electrolux 2100 more because the PN 1692 has headlight; & I've put axles on the rear wheels to disable the 'floating' feature, so it'll groom the carpet better

The CS gets used on the main level; & the C9 gets used on the upstairs

But I use the 2100 on both levels

Post# 439752 , Reply# 19   3/13/2021 at 20:42 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst Canada NB)        

thevacomaticiec's profile picture
just do your self a favor and get the Tristar cxl i have one that i got for freebe 0$ and all i did was fix the pn on her and new motor filter .the newer tristar have a smlaller motor and dont use standardise size tool limits you in my opinion . The older try and true tested to last cxl is a work horse of a beast you wotn regret it .Thatsh why i gota c9 compa ct anda cxl both beats o matic .

Post# 439984 , Reply# 20   3/18/2021 at 21:52 by ridgidwd0670 (se wood co ohio)        

ridgidwd0670's profile picture
Using a A101 TriStar is a combination of using a Aerus/Electrolux & Compact/TriStar (TriStar A101 tools, wands & PN compatible with the Epic 6500 & vice-versa)

Post# 440002 , Reply# 21   3/19/2021 at 14:02 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

lesinutah's profile picture
I wonder why it outperformed with a high performance motor. The original motors were crap. If you try to order one it's not oem it's a replacement because basically the motor had issues.
Stock vs stock there is no contest. The do sell oem stock replacement motors for compacts. If you put a high performance motor in a compact with a wessell werk ebk 360 with hose of your choice(since we're modding vacuums), it will beat exl every day of the week and twice on Sunday.
The best it every day comment is if you add 25 percent more powerful motors in both is the backing up my statement without sounding like an idiot.
I'll engage you but other homer posters are just trolling.

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