Thread Number: 20759
Discontinued Kirby Specialty Tools
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Post# 232417   5/12/2013 at 11:44 (1,961 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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What is it about these discontinued Kirby specialty tools? I mean, what was the reason for their being dropped (other than low sales)?

I know for example the original belt-driven Handi-Butler had been progressively de-emphasized when the Tradition came out in 1979, and it lost the jigsaw accessory (introduced with the prior Classic III 2CB) in mid-1980. The last model the original H-B was available for was the Heritage 1HD. Safety issues also played a part in the eventual discontinuation of the original H-B. During the time of the original Sentria, they briefly brought the H-B back, but it was hose powered.

List of discontinued Kirby devices:
1. Handi Waxer (561 to Tradition 3CB) (wax pouches themselves may still be available)
2. Miracle Waxer (Classic 1CR, Classic Omega 1CB) (wax itself, and possibly the roller, is available)
3. Handi-Butler (original belt-driven model) (510 to Heritage 1HD)
4. Roll-O-Waxer (Dual Sanitronic 50 / 80) (wax itself is available) (superseded by Miracle Waxer when Classic 1CR was introduced)
5. Miracle Head and Rug Renovator (separate nozzle castings) (505 to Tradition 3CB)

And, were any of these long-discontinued specialty tools really any good at the time they were sold?


Post# 232432 , Reply# 1   5/12/2013 at 13:36 (1,961 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

I have always thought a Kirby was a better power tool than it was a vacuum, I have a good friend that restored several cars with a handi butler and a wire brush on a 519!We just got thru sanding our cabinets with a Turbo Sander, the greatest attachment ever!

Post# 232482 , Reply# 2   5/12/2013 at 20:39 (1,961 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

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YES! I have used the Handi Butler on my Classic Omega many many times, especially for polishing and buffing boots and leathers. It really is a handy appliance. Have used the drill chuck a few times, and did use the Saber Saw once. It was kind of awkward to use, but did do the job.

Also discontinued now are the long strait and curved extension wands from the 500 series thru the Legend 2. The carpet/floor nozzle and swivel tube are also discontinued as are all the older style attachments. (Upholstry nozzle, crevice tool, ect. 500 series thru Legend 2 style)

Also discontinued, or at least not part of the Factor Rebuilding Agreement and wont be reissued by the factory in the rebuilding process, is the Turbo Clipper, Floor Buffer Pad (older models,not sure about G series)the Crystalator,older style paint sprayer,and sudzer nozzle, cardboard attachment boxes, and the shoulder strap for the older models. All hose attachments sent in with the rebuilding are now sent back in the G series style in black.

Also all hoses(sent back with Factory Rebuilds)are now sent back all black, as are the end coupling.
The seperate coupling for intake and exhaust on the older 500 series is now discotinued, and are now in the one piece coupling to use on either end of the machine.

Post# 232483 , Reply# 3   5/12/2013 at 20:51 (1,961 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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But I believe it is possible to fit the G-series black attachments onto the current 516-Tradition 3CB hose (#223666)? That way, we're not left without any attachments (wands, surface nozzle, etc.) besides the current iteration of the hose you're speaking of. Speaking of the #223666 hose w/ the universal coupler, the coupler is also available by itself (#211066).

Also, you mentioned that Kirby had recently discontinued the older-style hose (#223662) and the separate motor and Emtor couplings (#2100 and #2120) for models 505-515. I wonder if the coupler to use on those is a version of the 516-3CB universal coupler, but to jibe with the safety switch on the 505 to 515?


This post was last edited 05/12/2013 at 21:16
Post# 232499 , Reply# 4   5/12/2013 at 23:32 (1,961 days old) by kay ()        

Sorry for the long absence, I've been swamped with finals and haven't had much chance to be online. Recently I bought a handi butler for my Sentria, I haven't had a chance to use it yet but it looks like it'll be fun to try out!

Post# 232500 , Reply# 5   5/12/2013 at 23:53 (1,961 days old) by BrianKirbyClass (Eudora Kansas)        

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Ben, yes, of course the current G series tools can be used on the hose end of the older models, its just that the older style attachments are discontinued,,which i prefer the older style to the newer G series style, so i was disapointed to hear this.
I believe the hose that would come with a factory rebuilt 505-515 would come with a universal coupler,,but it would be in black, the same as the hose itself. They also did away with the metal hose ends,,they are now in the cone shape(just like the Legend 2) made of plastic and in black.
Also meant to say the Shag King rake is also discontinued from the factory.

Post# 232507 , Reply# 6   5/13/2013 at 05:16 (1,960 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I like the Kirby as a VACUUM-but the Handi Butler attachmens are neat.The Turbo Sander is good for drywall sanding-Really-Used it on my M1 vacuum-with an adaptor-to do my freinds walls he just drywalled.Was able to use the sander on the extension wands to do high up places.Just make sure the sander is on the wand TIGHT so it doesn't fall.Was part of the remodeling of his basement.Didn't want to expose my G4 to the plaster dust-the NSS cleaned up more easily.
Somewhere in one of the Kirby instructions for a Handi Butler-they show the grinding wheel on a mandrell on the extension shaft.DO NOT DO THIS-DANGEROUS!!the wheel is UNGUARDED-if it blows you could be blinded or even killed.An exploding grinding wheel is no joke.Grinding wheel fragments can have the energy of a .22 bullet.Even seen them embedded in a concrete block wall!The grinding wheel is fine if its in the Handi-Butler unit.There its guarded.If you need to grind with the flex shaft-use a wheel designed for that.Any tool dept has them.I have the Turbo clipper-neat little cutter-even works well,too-Kirbys answer to the FloBee?Like the FloBee the Kirby cutter could collect the hair clippings.Kirby should bring those clippers back.

Post# 232527 , Reply# 7   5/13/2013 at 09:36 (1,960 days old) by jfalberti (Visalia, CA)        
I used to use

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the Handi Butler all the time, and just last week I bought a HB Mark II for my Sanitronic VII off eBay.  I used to use the buffing wheels all the time, and while some people don't think the Handi Butler is powerful enough to polish a tarnished Kirby, I've found that as long as the metal isn't deeply scratched or badly pitted, then the Handi Butler does just fine.  I currently have an all original  Classic Omega that is in need of  buffing, so I plan to take plenty of before, during and after pictures of the machine to show what the Butler can do, if any one is interested.  I just need to get new belts for the Butler because the previous owner stored it with the belt lifter engaged, and it is stretched out and useless now.

Post# 232531 , Reply# 8   5/13/2013 at 09:56 (1,960 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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Until midway through 518 sales, the Handi-Butler shared the same belt as the nozzle brush.


Post# 232539 , Reply# 9   5/13/2013 at 10:48 (1,960 days old) by kirbyguy ()        
Discontinued and why?

I have a feeling these extra accessories were discontinued due to the fact that most people who purchased them ended up not using or rairly used them.

I have several Handi Butler units with all the attachments and I've never usen one of them. As for the floor buffing nozzle, I remember my mother using the Handi paste waxer and then buffing her terrazo tile floors back in the 1950's. Well mom may have had shinny tile floors. However, my footed jammies and her slipery shinny tile floors didn't get along well. I spent more time as a child sitting on my a** on her shinny floors as opposed to walking on them. No doubt the old lady in the commercial saying "help" I've fallin and can't get up, paste waxed & buffed her floors with her Kirby just prior to landing on her a**.

Needless to say, I've never used the Handi paste waxer accessory or buffing nozzle.

Post# 234473 , Reply# 10   5/29/2013 at 14:45 (1,944 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        
Handi Wax

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I was thinking of using the Handi Waxer accessory in my second bedroom that has hardwood floors. Let me echo Bens question "is the handi-wax still available?" If not I can use the roller style wax that came with the poles.

Post# 387117 , Reply# 11   3/3/2018 at 17:36 (205 days old) by Rowdy141 (United Kingdom)        

I heard from a few sources that DOMESTIC Floor Waxes were phased-out (in the UK) because of the high number of accidents ending up in A&E. Too many people slipped on newly-waxed floors, and rugs on polished surfaces. We had a TV Safety-Campaign about this in the 1970's, then the paste waxes became difficult to find - replaced by liquid cleaner/waxes which dry fully in minutes with no need to buff the excess away.
We have the Internet now, so you'll find some somewhere, but shops generally will not stock paste floor waxes at all. These are however still available commercially for professionals with those big polishing machines, but even they have been largely replaced by liquids.
I use my Kirby Floor Polishing Brush 5 minutes before the liquid dries fully.

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