Thread Number: 38372  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Bye Bye Royal metal vacuums
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Post# 408376   4/20/2019 at 18:50 (352 days old) by bikerray (Middle Earth)        

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I was talking with a dealer I know who told me that Royal will discontinue the metal body Royal upright along with parts for it.

Wondering if anyone else has heard anything on this.

Post# 408377 , Reply# 1   4/20/2019 at 19:29 (352 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I'd better go to Stark's soon and get a bunch of type B disposable bags and belts!


Post# 408381 , Reply# 2   4/20/2019 at 20:34 (352 days old) by Blackheart (North Dakota)        
I hope not!

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Those are some of the best carpet cleaning vacuums available! I suppose we'll still have Kirby and (hopefully) the traditional Sanitaires.

Post# 408389 , Reply# 3   4/20/2019 at 23:40 (351 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Glad I have MSANY Royal metal uprights!!!!What a STUPID move by Royal TTI!!!!!!The person(s) who made this decision should be------FIRED!!!!!

Post# 408393 , Reply# 4   4/21/2019 at 10:12 (351 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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That stinks. I have to admit I didn't really give much thought to the metal Royals, but I should have paid more attention to them. It's always bad when a classic gets discontinued.

Post# 408394 , Reply# 5   4/21/2019 at 11:10 (351 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Hopefully tti goes belly up. Sears went you never know. Sad news.

Post# 408409 , Reply# 6   4/21/2019 at 18:39 (351 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        
old news.

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I had mentioned this about a year ago or so when first happened and nobody wanted to believe me.
Now I get to say "I told you so. "

Post# 408410 , Reply# 7   4/21/2019 at 19:13 (351 days old) by fairfaxclass (Tillamook, Oregon)        

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I think it would be good if Kirby bought the rights, designs, etc. and produced them for the commercial market.


I'm glad that I bought the two for my parish when I did.  The cleaning crews are really liking them.

Post# 408412 , Reply# 8   4/21/2019 at 19:56 (351 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

This would be sad, but predictable in the world of product cheapening.
Anyone have any more details on this? Links? Press releases? News from Royal itself?

Post# 408415 , Reply# 9   4/21/2019 at 21:48 (351 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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@texaskirbyguy When they discontinued at the beginning of 2018 the verbal news we got from TTI as dealers if they just weren't selling. I can confirm that you'll be lucky to move one or two units a year in a retail store. But it seemed at the vdta that they were just giving the Royal line the complete axe. ESSCO is now the exclusive distributor for Oreck/Hoover. This might have something to do with their business deal.
I will say I saw some amazing prototypes from TTI I think we'll see some cool stuff coming this year.

Post# 408419 , Reply# 10   4/21/2019 at 23:57 (350 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

Wonder if dealers weren't properly PROMOTING those machines-if not --THE DEALERS are the problem not TTI.

Post# 408422 , Reply# 11   4/22/2019 at 04:56 (350 days old) by electromatik (Taylorsville, North Carolina, U.S.A.)        

I think the primary culprit behind this is the general public. People today are just not interested in these "old-fashioned" machines that aren't totally automatic. They probably consider them too heavy and too cumbersome also, if they encounter them at all. I doubt most people even know about Royal vacuums anymore. Royal didn't sell door-to-door so they didn't stay in the public mind like Kirby and Rainbow did.

The public just seems to want to steer toward cheap plastic vacuums so they don't have to maintain them and throw them away quickly.

Post# 408434 , Reply# 12   4/22/2019 at 10:15 (350 days old) by sptyks (Skowhegan, Maine)        

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This is sad news indeed!


I've owned a Royal Everlast 8300 for about 5 years now and it is a fantastic cleaning machine. It is as good or better than my Kirby Sentria at deep cleaning carpets.


I hope that spare parts will continue to be available.



Post# 408436 , Reply# 13   4/22/2019 at 10:35 (350 days old) by Vacfan1982 (Cardiff)        

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Won't be long now till it's bye bye Kirby 🖐️

Post# 408437 , Reply# 14   4/22/2019 at 10:55 (350 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        
Hate to say this but...

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It is true. Where I've worked at, we haven't sold a metal Royal upright in YEARS. We are aware that they are perhaps the best deep cleaning vacuum on the market when it comes to carpets. But, consumers most of the time who would walk in not only want a vacuum that does excellent on carpets but also something that does well on bare floors, has on-board attachments, and something with better filtration for their allergies. That's why we favor Tandem Air uprights over metal Royals. I knew Royal went downhill anyways when they cheapened some of their vacuums and replaced them with other rebadged TTI products besides Dirt Devil.

Post# 408477 , Reply# 15   4/22/2019 at 20:24 (350 days old) by texaskirbyguy (Plano, TX)        

Tolivac, you are thinking about the same way I am, which is why I am looking for confirmations from other sources. The metal Royals are still on their website, more for the pro and commercial users. Heck, shakeout bags are still an option!
I have seen where some dealers will ‘unpromote’ some brands/types/models in order to sell other more expensive/profitable ones. An older and wiser (the latter now questionable) lady that I had worked with in 2004 called her usual plumber about her water heater tank leaking. He responded that tank type heaters we obsolete, being discontinued, and tankless is the wave of the future. Therefore he said he could only install tankless. So she believed it and had it done or several thousand, including the special high-current wiring and service contract for routine descaling. I told her she was crazy but she insisted on believing him because they knew each other a long time. Just last year I had my tank-type heater replaced with another tank of same size. My plumber said they were not going away anytime soon and I had choices of many brands and sizes. Got a Bradford White 50 gallon gas unit for just under 1k.

Unfortunately, companies do well at brainwashing their customers, from automobiles to vacuums. The younger generation may not readily know that these old style metal vacuums could last for decades, clean very well and be very efficient. Most now accept the short life of appliances or else they would be buying vintage or high end. People are suckers for ‘high tech’ whether it works or not; the coolness factor always seems to win these days. I am one of the few who can see through the corporate BS and stick to what works best for me.

I do question how long Kirby will survive. They make a wonderful, reliable, tough machine, but the high prices, undesirable door to door marketing, weight, and dated looks are against them. However, it is hard to mess with something that has been proven for next to a century. I can only assume that most of their customers are in the higher working classes or the caretakers of large estates. They count on selling less units for more $. I bet if they move production out of the USA, they would soon sink.

Regardless, the 6 Kirbys I have will take great care of my property until I die. After then they will be sold to clean someone else’s homes.

Post# 408478 , Reply# 16   4/22/2019 at 21:03 (350 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Has anyone heard of berkshire Hathaway. I don't know maybe Warren Buffett the best businessman America may have ever seen. They are worth $300 billion with all their companies. TTI may be big but Mr. Buffett is not going anywhere.
I'd love to see Kirby buy royal vacuum and keep metal upright commercial vacuum cleaner in USA permanently.

Post# 408481 , Reply# 17   4/22/2019 at 21:20 (350 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
Warren Buffett

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And Kirby have no need for Royal, a company that they spent many years sueing for Patten infringement, that would cannibalize Kirby's sales.

Post# 408483 , Reply# 18   4/22/2019 at 21:26 (350 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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There is no other US based vacuum company worth anything. It was a thought nobody else has capacity.

Post# 408496 , Reply# 19   4/22/2019 at 23:30 (349 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Sadly, it doesn't seem like Royal was trying very hard. It may be a good vac, but it's based on a design that's almost 100 years old. Consumers don't want to buy old stuff. And if they do, they'll buy actually old stuff. It's that simple. I suppose it is still a little surprising as I would have thought they still marketed/sold them for janitorial work. If they did, they should have plenty of business... but idk.

If you ask me, they were trying to milk the metal uprights for as much profit in sales and as little investment in development as possible, until they couldn't sell any more of them.

Post# 408501 , Reply# 20   4/22/2019 at 23:54 (349 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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The public just seems to want to steer toward cheap plastic vacuums so they don't have to maintain them and throw them away quickly. "

@electromatik 100% What happened !

Post# 408503 , Reply# 21   4/23/2019 at 00:15 (349 days old) by broomvac (N/A)        

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I’ll second that. New Royals look old coming out of the box. They are great vacuums, but non-enthusiasts are likely to think they are antiquated. In a way, they are.

When I was wheeling my cart carrying my 1998 1020Z to the counter at the Goodwill recycling center, an employee in probably his early twenties, like me, came up and excitedly remarked “Hey! You got a real old one. They don’t make those any more. Right on!”

To someone who probably doesn’t know anything about vacuums, the Royal seemed like a relic.

Post# 408506 , Reply# 22   4/23/2019 at 01:04 (349 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

"Old","Antiquated" This is where the Royal dealer needs to DEMENSTRATE to the prospect why the "old school" design is BETTER.Remember a YouTube video that demonstrates this VERY well.Its again the DEALER needs to do his job in promoting and demo'ing these machines to customers.If the customer SEES the Royal doing a better job than the WalMart or whatever plastivac-MAYBE-just MAYBE the customer will buy the Royal machine.DEALERS---DO YOUR JOBS!!!!!!Than MAYBE the metal Royal uprights could get a reprieve-And yes--despite their old school looks and such Kirby is still going to survive-think the DTD is whats helping them survive.Customers can SEE the Kirby picking up stuff rather than just seeing the machine sitting on a shelf at a box store and can't try it.Remember a vacuum cleaner is a tool YOU have to try it like other tools.Like the tool displays at Lowes-you can see the machines---but can't TRY them!

Post# 408508 , Reply# 23   4/23/2019 at 06:06 (349 days old) by rodknock95 (Salem, Missouri)        
No wonder

I cannot even search for a dealer on their website because of some error or billing issue. If they want to up sales then they should at least start taking care if the basics

Post# 408511 , Reply# 24   4/23/2019 at 08:25 (349 days old) by Johnsmith96 (East Coast)        
Glad I bought mine

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I got my lightly used on eBay. It is sad but I think it's just because of their styling. We all like modernized products, even decor. It's a niche market for those of us who would care about how well something performs. Most people don't shop at vacuum stores anymore, not mention would the seriously consider touching a royal in a store. I DO understand why they are on their way out the door because everything about them is "classic". Plus if someone did find them to be a neat gadget, they would probably be put off by the belt changes and noise. However I do love mine, glad I got one. The noise is t really bad for me because my house is smaller. It grooms well but the wheels ruin my beautiful carpet lines.

Post# 408513 , Reply# 25   4/23/2019 at 08:55 (349 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

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Damn! Just as I was warming up to them too!

Post# 408530 , Reply# 26   4/23/2019 at 13:44 (349 days old) by KirbyClassicIII (Milwaukie, Oregon)        

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I would not agree about this unless there are proven facts.


Post# 408531 , Reply# 27   4/23/2019 at 13:57 (349 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Stark museum I called asked on royal inventory and he said the only inventory was new inventory. The old manuals were thrown out and no records kept. This was in January.

Post# 408541 , Reply# 28   4/23/2019 at 17:57 (349 days old) by Superocd (PNW US)        

I didn't know a whole lot about Royal and had never used one before either. Well, back in January I bought one -- a 1988 884 -- from a thrift store. I almost walked away from it as I had already found a Kirby Sentria a couple of weeks before, plus there was a Kirby Heritage II Legend sitting right next to it that I put into my cart. I didn't want to go down the rabbit hole of collecting a whole bunch of stuff, so I passed on it -- almost. I was taking the Heritage II up to the front to pay for it when I stopped right back around and came back for the Royal. I'm glad that I did.

I'm glad I bought mine. It's a great little machine and seems like it is just as reliable and sturdy as Kirby. It's very quiet, it's simple in design and it does a really good job.

I shudder to think about what plans Bissell has for the Sanitaire brand, since their main machines are based off of something from the 50's (40's?). I mean, commercial users don't care about flash and pizzazz like consumers do, but maybe Bissell will assume that commercial users want a rebadged PowerForce bagless. The cost of production for the Sanitaire F&G must be very low as the tooling had paid for itself a hundredfold, but maybe the material and component cost -- the steel handles and brushrolls, the cloth bag and a motor that's not the usual Ametek-style tank/bypass style -- may encourage them to just rebadge one of their consumer uprights.

It's scary to think about what may come of Kirby once Mr. Buffett passes and somebody else takes the reins of Berkshire Hathaway. Will they well off Kirby/Scott Fetzer? Will they decide to move production to China? Will they make radical decisions to get rid of the iconic cast aluminum design and plasticize the entire machine? I am looking forward to see what comes after the long run of G-series machines but am kind of concerned as well. I think that it would be wise for Kirby to look in to dealer networks, kind of like Electrolux, Miele and so on, while keeping their D2D sales network and putting more effort into cracking down on and wedding out dishonest distributors and growing and investing in productive and honest distributors. They could possibly look into having their machines sold at upscale/high end department stores with in-store demos, and if it works, maybe expand into midrange stores like Macy and Sears (if Sears is able to climb out of their problems).

Post# 408550 , Reply# 29   4/23/2019 at 21:03 (349 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Honestly I think what the other said about plastic machines that are throw away is part of it.

Even most commercial places I see these days, are not using the commercial vacuums. They are using bagless Bissells and other machines that are not even the commercial version of the household units. No commercial Hoovers, no Royals, no Windsors, no Sanitaires. I knew a hotel that had great Sanitaires. A few years later I see they are vacuuming with crappy BOL Bissell Powerforce bagless uprights. It's the norm these days.

I also think with the younger generations, they don't give a crap about vacuums. If they are they just want tech and flash factor, and that's what the Roombas, Dyson stick vacs, etc give them. They're not interested in performance, they don't want or need a Kirby, a full size upright, a canister or any of that. They don't have interest in deep cleaning. And a lot of young people are poor and live in small apartments so there's no need for a full size vacuum anyway.

Maybe as they start to have more income and possibly move into larger places, a full size, and maybe higher end, better quality vacuum will be what they're looking for. IDK. But I think it'll be a while before they're looking for a Kirby or anything besides what you can get at the local Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond.

Post# 408567 , Reply# 30   4/23/2019 at 23:51 (348 days old) by Superocd (PNW US)        
I'm 26...

and I tend to like things that may look outdated, but are proven and time-tested rather than things that are flashy and tech-laden. My wife is the opposite but that's OK.

One exception is that my wife and I both wanted to replace the ca. 2004 kitchen original to our house (white Frigidaire appliances) with stainless. I was hard-set on Whirlpool (or KitchenAid if I could get a good deal on them), she was drawn to the LG and Samsung packages, despite my warnings. I figured that the Whirlpool appliances would last longer and be easier to fix and get parts for, plus they were made in America, something that's important to me. The best thing was that the Whirlpool package that we bought was cheaper than the comparative LG or Samsung packages. No problems with any of the appliances so far. Not sure what would have happened if we bought Samsung or LG.

In 2015, I did slip up and bought a made-in-China Kenmore (LG) front load machine, on impulse and replaced my perfectly fine ca. 2004 Kenmore 90 Series (Whirlpool direct drive) washer (which, rest assured, I donated to ReStore). I only did it because Sears had quite the deal going for their rewards members. It was normally $800 at its lowest, but I walked out with that (and a BOL Kenmore dryer) for $550 total including tax. I really wanted a Speed Queen front load machine but that was a little steep at $2k. It's been four years since we've had this washer and we've had no problems at all, but if/when it gets replaced, I will buy a Speed Queen FL (I was thinking about buying a Whirlpool FL but the guys over at actually say that LG builds a better front loader. Imagine that...).

Other than that, I use an ancient (in phone years) Samsung Galaxy phone (and it's not even the higher end ones) but it serves my purposes well. My laptop is an off-lease ThinkPad that I bought off eBay, which was cheaper to buy than even some of the cheap, disposable new consumer grade laptops sold in the stores. Our TV in the living room is just a plain 42-incher 1080p from Walmart, it's only "smart" because that's all they sell now, but we've never connected it to the Internet. Instead, I built a HTPC for it since it offers more flexibility and doesn't have any of the spyware that smart TVs are known for. Our kitchen appliances are nice but nothing special, just a basic Oster blender, a basic KitchenAid stand mixer, a no-frills Kenmore toaster and a cheap but reliable Mr. Coffee coffeemaker (for me. My wife has Starbucks every morning), and other like items.

Oh, and vacuums, the subject matter at hand! After we started out with a Bissell PowerForce, I bought a Sanitaire SC886, even though my wife wanted a Dyson rather than that "old thing" (even though it was BRAND NEW in the box). A few years passed with just the Sanitaire and then the rest was history since January of this year when I randomly walked into a Goodwill and came out with a Sentria, with all attachments, for virtually nothing. In addition to that, I ordered my wife a Dyson Animal 2 that I gifted to her for her birthday, plus I have a Royal 884, a Hoover Convertible, a Kirby Avalir, Heritage II Legend (and soon, a Dual Sanitronic 50, which I will have on display in our foyer) in addition to my Rug Doctor X3. My wife loves the look of her Dyson but contends that MY vacuums seem (and sound) more powerful. However, since she was nice enough to let me have this "odd" hobby of buying thrift-store vacs and refurbishing them, I bought her what she wanted.

Post# 408652 , Reply# 31   4/25/2019 at 21:11 (347 days old) by kirby519 (Wisconsin)        

Well built vacuums like the Royal and or Kirby are a thing of the past in the commercial market. With all the clean air standards manufacturers have their focus on hepa filtration. Sound levels and on board tools are a big thing as well as back pac vacuums. In addition manufactures don't want commercial company's to purchase equipment that can be kept long term with minimal repair needs or replacement.

In the commercial market a vacuum is designed to last 1 to 5 years. Well taken care of many of the vacuums can out live that usable life expectancy. This is a disposable world we are now living in. Nothing will last forever any more.

Post# 408661 , Reply# 32   4/25/2019 at 23:15 (346 days old) by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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If you bulked up the royal and use about 1/2inch to 1 inch think sound dampeners and a amodel fan the royal would be quiet and out perform anything on the market currently. The sanitairre line is good but a royal with adaptations would be slightly better. Sanitairre is pretty close to commercial gold standard. Saying there a thing of the past is true but small change it would outperform any commercial vacuum. The bag unit they could use a bag setup like sanitairre quick clean. I'd maybe give metal brush roll too and have bristle inserts like vibrate groom brushes.
I know it won't happen but noise dampeners amodel fan metal brush roll quick clean bag system it would be the gold standard.
It's being bastardized like an oreck and a hoover the changes I mentioned would keep it quality and not a freaking oreck or Hoover. There is nothing against Hoover but current lineup is pure turds.

Post# 408740 , Reply# 33   4/27/2019 at 01:47 (345 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

At this stage will hang onto ALL of the Royal uprights I have and try to stock up on parts and bags,brushrolls for them.

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