Thread Number: 38863  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
The two motor upright trend of the 1990s-today
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Post# 412752   8/14/2019 at 22:04 (325 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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I know Windsor, Sebo, Riccar, Tacony, etc all use the two motor system.

But in the 1990s there was a time when the majority of the brand sold in stores got on the two motor system bandwagon. Eureka had their Excalibur and the Sanitaire version, Bissell had their Plus, Panasonic/Kenmore had the higher end Proformance uprights. I believe the Dirt Devil MVP were two motor as well. Are there any I'm forgetting? Perhaps overseas it was more common to see in vacuums offered there.

I always liked the idea of this as a kid as to me the best uprights could have their brushroll shut off for hard floor cleaning, and this setup allowed that, as well as the ability to shut the brushroll off when using tools, so it wouldn't be running over the same place for a period of time.

I do wonder though why this didn't seem to catch on. I know Bissell has continued to offer two motors in their bagless successors to the Plus. Kenmore still offers the two motor system, with more recent versions being belteless. I don't believe Eureka or Dirt Devil continued any though.

And why didn't Hoover seem to jump on the bandwagon at the time. If I am correct their first two motor upright was the Windtunnel 2, although the current React line, similar to the Shark uprights is a two motor system.

It seems to me that Whirlpool was the first to offer a two motor design, at least in the US, with the Kenmore DuoPower. Then Panasonic likely got the design when they took over manufacture.

I seem to recall Consumer Reports didn't rate some of these very highly in cleaning ability. In fact I think the Excalibur was not rated highly for carpet cleaning.

Post# 412762 , Reply# 1   8/15/2019 at 01:16 (325 days old) by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Well at some point it became cheaper to make a motor, and suddenly there wasn't any reason NOT to have 2 motors.

I suppose there also came a point when it was so cheap to manufacture a vacuum cleaner that a motor became an expensive component again, relatively.

Post# 412781 , Reply# 2   8/15/2019 at 09:39 (324 days old) by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        
The 2 motor trend started in the 70's.............

It started with commercial machines of the late 60's and early 70's, ranging in size from the Vorwerk to the Advance Carpet Twin. The Windsor Versa-Matic came about in the late 70's and is probably one of the oldest running 2 motor models still in production. 


I'm not aware of a Kenmore Duo Power model that used 2 motors. I understood the Duo Power name to refer to its ability to accept a hose in the same manner as a Dial-A-Matic. But then again, I'm no expert. 

Post# 412782 , Reply# 3   8/15/2019 at 10:11 (324 days old) by rugsucker (Elizabethton TN)        
"The 2 motor trend started in the 70's--"

Or was it the 30's with AirWay???

Post# 412783 , Reply# 4   8/15/2019 at 10:38 (324 days old) by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        

This post has been removed by the member who posted it.

This post was last edited 08/15/2019 at 10:59
Post# 412788 , Reply# 5   8/15/2019 at 11:09 (324 days old) by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        

Shame on me for forgetting about Air-Way!
That was definitely the Granddaddy of 2 motor uprights. I always forget about this one because Iíve never seen one before.

Post# 412804 , Reply# 6   8/15/2019 at 18:42 (324 days old) by eurekaprince (Montreal, Canada)        

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Unfortunately, the Eureka Excalibur was very short lived due to some bizarre flaw in the electrical engineering of the power switches: it seemed that the switch could not handle the power load of both motors and caused lots of repair problems. Not sure if any fires or burnt Excalibur switches were reported.

I think the best two-motor upright ever developed was the Panasonic/Kenmore beltless upright (Icon in the UK). To me it was genius to invent a motor that can fit inside the brushroll which can also be turned off when not needed.

Post# 412883 , Reply# 7   8/18/2019 at 12:12 (321 days old) by panasonicvac (Northern Utah)        

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There was also Electrolux, Lindhaus, and the Healthmor Princess 2000 upright made by Fakir in Germany.

Post# 412886 , Reply# 8   8/18/2019 at 13:32 (321 days old) by Ctvacman (CT)        
Two motor Duo power

I thought all Kenmore DuoPower uprights were single motors

Post# 412903 , Reply# 9   8/18/2019 at 22:04 (321 days old) by vacuumdevil (Vacuum Hell )        

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O the Excalibur, what an overpriced machine.
I'd love to have one in a box though
Eureka did offer to motor sanitaires for a while.

The WindTunnel 2 was a single motor unit. Except for the bagless machine having a separate motor for the filter. There was also the dual v/ savvy that were two motors. I believe when Hoover collapsed one of the first things TTI did was try to make cost-effective machines.

The two motor PanasonicKenmores of the 90s 00s was quite the beast.

Post# 412904 , Reply# 10   8/18/2019 at 22:15 (321 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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You're right the Duo Power was single motor. I was confusing that with another machine I think.

I must have been thinking of the Savvy 2. Lots of misinformation in my post.

Yes the two motor Kenmores were great machines. I have a late 2000s Progressive Direct Drive that I acquired for $10 last summer. Awesome machine. They still are great even now as the Elite models, though they are now made by Cleva, but no different than the Panasonic made ones.

Post# 412905 , Reply# 11   8/18/2019 at 22:17 (321 days old) by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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We could probably count some of the cute little Eureka uprights such as the Boss Super Lite and Optima as well as the Sanitaire spin offs in this too.

Post# 412907 , Reply# 12   8/19/2019 at 00:27 (321 days old) by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        
Before it was called the Healthmor Princess 2000....

It was the Clarke Combi-Vac. I had one and LOVED IT because it was German made with quiet motors. It had great suction and was probably an experiment for Clarke because of all the other machines they had in common with the Fakir name.

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