Thread Number: 37878  /  Tag: 50s/60s/70s Vacuum Cleaners
Seeking Kirby advice: Dual Sanitronic 50?
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Post# 403751   1/8/2019 at 02:42 by ABCVacPlacentia (California)        

I fixed vacuum cleaners at a Sew/Vac store when I was in jr. high back in the late '70s. We sold Hoovers and Eurekas, but reconditioned Kirbys were my favorite by far. Now, all these years later, I've been stricken by this vacuum cleaner disease and I'm seeing these damn things everywhere, thinking "maybe I should buy just one." They say that's how it starts.

So, I see this very clean Kirby Dual Sanitronic 50 up for sale locally. It reminds me of the old Kirby's I used to sell, which were probably all Dual Sanitronics or Classics. If you were going to buy one old Kirby as the start of a (hopefully) very tiny collection, would you by a 50? Or is the 80 a much better machine? It's been so long that my Kirby knowledge has become very rusty and I'm ready to be schooled by more accomplished Kirbyologists (or is that Kirbymeisters?).

Post# 403752 , Reply# 1   1/8/2019 at 03:15 by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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The Dual Sanitronic 50 first came out the same year you were born... in 1965.

It was the first Kirby to have a two-speed motor; the second speed was much higher than the first and is only accessible when the hose was installed. This higher speed improved suction with the hose; on previous Kirby models, the hose speed was merely just the carpet brush speed without the load from the brush belt.

It was also the last of three Kirbys to have the coppertone ("sirocco") trim color (these other two being the 562 Sanitronic and the Sanitronic VII; the former was notable for having an off-white cord with coppertone plug ends, while the latter was mostly noted for having a hose with an integrated suction/blower coupler).

I have its successor - the Dual Sanitronic 80.

As to buying it, I would say yes.


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Post# 403757 , Reply# 2   1/8/2019 at 09:57 by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

sptyks's profile picture

Hi Ted,


Welcome to the Vacuumland Forum.


Just wanted to let you know that the D50 and the D80 are identical in every way except for the color scheme and the handle. The D50 has the older tube style handle whereas the D80 has the newer flat style aluminum handle.


They both have the same motor and shakeout bag systems so cleaning performance is the same for both machines.


I have a fully restored D50 which I've owned for several years now. Here are some pictures of it:




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Post# 403764 , Reply# 3   1/8/2019 at 12:06 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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to your question on is this model a good one to start with..... yes.  Many Kirby fans like those models especially, b/c they are the smaller nozzle size (13'' which is 'old school' and useful), have the dual speed motors, are lighter and easily maneurvable(compared to later models), and  are easily serviceable.  You can always ad a later your collection! haha


I have several of both those models (DS50 and DS80), really like them.

Post# 403777 , Reply# 4   1/8/2019 at 15:03 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I would stick to this or d80 just stay best Kirby built machine.

Post# 403793 , Reply# 5   1/8/2019 at 19:59 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

As already stated, the D50 and D80 are the same performance-wise. Just choose the look you like!
Personally I like the D50 more, as the copper-tan color is elegant and timeless, the starburst on the belt lifter is very cool-looking, the silk on the bag topper is eye-catching, and the lit-up logo on the headlight hood is a unique, classy feature not to be found on any other Kirby.
I like these also since they are lightweight and easy to use with the 13" nozzle.

Post# 403797 , Reply# 6   1/8/2019 at 20:48 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Post# 403801 , Reply# 7   1/8/2019 at 21:39 by vaclab (Pickerington, Ohio)        
You Can See A D80 In Action Here

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If you like the green color scheme, you may like this video.

Post# 403802 , Reply# 8   1/8/2019 at 21:53 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I must have not got update I've been waiting for the finish to the d80. Amazing job. I'm now going watch vacclab vacuum his house. A long video of the d80. Thank you vaclab you have the best vacuum videos and now my favorite vacuum. You could get a d50 it's the same as d80 in case you needed suggestions
Off to watch the video. Cheers

Post# 403818 , Reply# 9   1/8/2019 at 23:38 by ABCVacPlacentia (California)        
Beware of Craigslist/Who does the best Kirby reconditioning?

Thanks for the 50 vs 80 advice. I think a 50 is the right one for me. I drove out to see a 50 on Craigslist for $100 that supposedly ran perfect. See the attached pic. What Kirby nut wouldn't jump at this vac for that price?

However, in typical Craigslist fashion, this person (1) was 2.5 hours late and (2) their POS Kirby was most definitely NOT the same one in the pic. Not even close. Not even worth $5. And that was after the fun of stumbling through their hellish white trash trailer park home that looked like it was right out of the TV show Hoarders.

I should have known better. My batting average on Craigslist has to be below .100, which sucks in baseball and online. But now I want that damn vac. Exactly like the one in this pic. And maybe with a Hepa bag conversion to eliminate the emptor. I know I won't find a mint 50 on Craigslist, so I'll probably have to go on Ebay and pay top dollar for a reconditioned one.

Any suggestions? And who does the best Kirby reconditioning? I wasn't sure if I should start a new thread or ask that question here.

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Post# 403836 , Reply# 10   1/9/2019 at 12:53 by bnsd60m9200 (Ponder,TX)        
if you want a restored d50

bnsd60m9200's profile picture
unless you can get a kirby service center to polish a functional one for you, most people who sell restored ones that are all original want $500+. personally i can't justify paying high $ for a machine when i can restore it myself and enjoy knowing i put hard labor into what it looks like, for far less money.

Post# 403853 , Reply# 11   1/9/2019 at 19:44 by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Sorry to hear about the bad luck, but this is fairly common with online selling - been there, too.
How are your mechanical and electrical skills?

I think you know what I am getting at... :o)

If good, then get a good running used one on the cheap and rebuild it yourself!
If you can overhaul a multi-speed bicycle from Walmart, rewire a lamp, and wax your own car, then you can do a Kirby.
I just dove into my first one several years ago and learned as I went. I now have done 6 of them and one more is waiting (ironically a D50...)
There is nothing like being intimate with your machines as well.......

If you want a fully restored one, just keep looking - it will pop up. 2 years ago i saw a nice refurbished D50 on ebay for 200, from a guy who listed several restored machines. I wish I had got it...
The same time I found a hardly used D50 set on CL from an estate sale for 150. It was gone the next day.

Post# 403860 , Reply# 12   1/9/2019 at 21:11 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

rivstg1's profile picture

That sucks!!! I've bought a lot of CL....super thankful I haven't had anything similar to your experience, yikes.   I'll message you privately, I may be willing to part with one of my DS50's to you, was gonna put up on CL for sale, but to a fellow vacuum lander....   one needs more polishing, one is polished


Post# 403861 , Reply# 13   1/9/2019 at 21:18 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Send me $200 I'll send you the shiniest d50. Led headlights and I no shitting patten pending no BS either make a bag system for Kirby's up to g3. The airflow is better and it uses Kirby's newest HEPA bag. If you don't mind a grey hose I put on adaptor for d50 on to new hose and it works like a charm. You think I'm talking smack no sir. Utah vacuum guy. Watch either my d80 video or 561. Les.hanson82@ is you tube channel.
Notice d80 has d50 hood. I may be a smart SS but I'm not a dumb SS. I have custom ideas and very intuitive. Check out history.

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Post# 403863 , Reply# 14   1/9/2019 at 21:26 by rivstg1 (colorado springs)        

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Loved how you added the ds50 lighted hood to that!!! great idea.

Post# 403867 , Reply# 15   1/9/2019 at 22:12 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I know stay with me. A d80 hood. I cut out small oval shape. I put green Lexan ad Kirby lettering melt it or seal it on. Basically make my own headlight in hood d80 style ya think I'm joking. The Kirby logo on belt lifter is exact size of d50. I have the lexan I have template for the hood I know what to use to cut hole in the hood have letters off belt lifter logo printed on peel n stick photo paper. I know how to make it so no rough edges. It's going to happen. The lexan someone used at comi con dressed as master chief attached is pics. So if anyone calls me out for not knowing ish or entitled or Kirby follower I am creative and make what others haven't and are functional as they are radical ideas.
Im odd and funny and one of best of making ideas reality. Like 505 bag. If you don't know don't ask kelton knows.
I'm thinking making Kirby bag black or dark green and have d80 logo embroidered on it. That's customization and makes people green with envy. I have passion thirst for knowledge and innovative mind create lots of things.

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