Thread Number: 40858  /  Tag: 80s/90s Vacuum Cleaners
Handvac time
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Post# 434008   10/23/2020 at 09:13 by Kirboover (Watertown South Dakota)        

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I bought a Royal Dirt Devil 103 handvac yesterday for 6.00 at a thrift store and it just sings. It also came with paper bags, which in my opinion is a must have. It didnít come with attachments though.

Post# 434012 , Reply# 1   10/23/2020 at 10:06 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst )        

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can ya post pic ????

Post# 434017 , Reply# 2   10/23/2020 at 11:29 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Their metal-bodied Royal hand vacs are nice. The 100 series of the plastic ones are also great little vacuums. I have a bunch of them.

Post# 434054 , Reply# 3   10/23/2020 at 19:45 by Louvac (A)        
Royal Hand Vacs

IMHO.....the Royal hand vacs and even the Red Dirt Devil hand vacs like the model 103 are fantastic and well made. Though they can appear to be cheaply made perhaps because of their red color, I have found them to be fairly sturdy. And, these little devils (pardon the pun) will surprise you as to what they actually pick up considering they only have a 2.0 amp motor, I believe.

They are great for Mattresses, sofas, car interiors, stairs particularly, and wherever you need "the power of an upright in the palm of your hand" as their tag line went in the 90s. I have many of these as well and they are keepers!

I did a little experiment a while back where I used this little machine to clean a major walkway in my house for several days in a row and surprisingly it picked up a lot of dirt! The paper bag option is the way to go and in my opinion, because these are not high amp machines, the rather cheap quality paper filter bags work well since the there isn't a lot of air pressure generated to force the dirt out through the paper bag. You must however, be conscious that you are using a machine with an inflatable bag that is capable of bursting if you are rough with it. If you are careful and don't use these vacuums like a half track you will be fine and the machine will treat you well, too!

Post# 434056 , Reply# 4   10/23/2020 at 20:09 by kirboover (Watertown South Dakota)        

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Post# 434057 , Reply# 5   10/23/2020 at 20:11 by kirboover (Watertown South Dakota)        

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Post# 434060 , Reply# 6   10/23/2020 at 20:45 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Nice find, I kind of want one and the attachments. But I'd really like the Broom Vac too.

Although, I do have the toy hand vac that runs on batteries.

Post# 434065 , Reply# 7   10/23/2020 at 21:08 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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I have a very nice jade green 2 speed one, with box and attachments if you're interested. I also have an attachment kit with schematics and other paperwork

Post# 434079 , Reply# 8   10/23/2020 at 23:24 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
They were only 20.00 new

So I bought 5 of them and gave to friends and family at Christmas. 5 gifts@20=100.00 That was a no brainer! As far as I know they all still work, as well as my two do. Money well spent.

Post# 434081 , Reply# 9   10/23/2020 at 23:30 by kirboover (Watertown South Dakota)        

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I am interested, how much do you want, or would you accept a tradein?

Post# 434095 , Reply# 10   10/24/2020 at 08:34 by Hoover300 (Central Kentucky)        

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Email sent, don't want to clog the thread up.

Post# 434102 , Reply# 11   10/24/2020 at 09:37 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I love my metal Royal handhelds. Nearly the power of an upright in a handheld unit. It's much easier and more convenient to use than setting up one of my Electrolux canisters with a Sidekick and it beats the heck out of any turbo brush I've ever encountered.

Post# 434149 , Reply# 12   10/24/2020 at 20:18 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
"The power of an upright in the palms of your hands"

That was a great ad slogan. They're great on carpeted stairs and the arms of furniture (upholstered) and chairs. Light weight and 20'cord makes vacuuming pet hair from the stairs so much easier than lugging hoses up with you.

Post# 434150 , Reply# 13   10/24/2020 at 20:59 by RoyalFan103 (Seattle,Washington)        

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I have 5 of them. My first one dates all the way back to 87!

Post# 434151 , Reply# 14   10/24/2020 at 22:39 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        

They made the red plastic dirt devil in '87? I've got two '91's and,wow! Single speed and only 2 amp motor, right?

Post# 434185 , Reply# 15   10/25/2020 at 15:55 by RegularRett69 (San Clemente California, USA)        

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I've been looking for an 80's dirt devil. I've only known them to go back to 1985 and further than that is unknown. There's been talk that the earliest dirt devil was a metal upright, but the first dirt devil ever made was a Hand Vac. The Dirt Devil metal uprights were made around 2002. I love my hand vac, it's not a 100 series. I have one that starts with a 0 and is a 5 or 6 digit model number. It's great for the couch and stairs!


Thanks, Garrett

Post# 434231 , Reply# 16   10/26/2020 at 11:34 by RoyalFan103 (Seattle,Washington)        

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The one from '87 was my 500. The yellow one, my red one is from 1993 or'96. Yes they had 2 amp motors and were single speed when they first came out.

Post# 434236 , Reply# 17   10/26/2020 at 13:33 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Was it just the Prince before that time? I know mine is just one amp.

Post# 434239 , Reply# 18   10/26/2020 at 15:31 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I think the Prince 501 was Royal's sole handheld model before the plastic Dirt Devils came out. It dates back to sometime in the '60s and was discontinued in the late '80s. I have a fairly early one with gray rubber on the handle and a red and gray cloth bag and I have one of the very last ones in light blue with the little guard on the switch.

Post# 434240 , Reply# 19   10/26/2020 at 15:45 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Mine is blue with a print pattern on the bag and a very blue cord

Post# 434251 , Reply# 20   10/26/2020 at 19:08 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
The paper bag/blower kit

I bought one of the kits to use paper dirt bags inside the cloth bag. The exhaust then comes through a round port on the converter and in to the paper bag. Removing the two bags you could use the dirt devil as a hand held blower. I think in later models this feature was built in. I know they moved the hose inlet port from the front of the motor where you access the belt, to the top of the nozzle.

They didn't move the opening where you could access the belt and hook the hose,sorry, they changed the diameter of the hose to a narrower size that fits on top of the nozzle with a narrower hose opening.

By mid nineties they had gone from one speed 2 amp motor to two speeds and a 3 amp motor. The early models came in three colors, red, red, and red.

Post# 434283 , Reply# 21   10/27/2020 at 16:20 by Jo (Dallas,TX)        
Had a black one

I had one that had a black plastic body with a black with red printing bag. I was never a big fan of these. Found they were difficult to use because of their boxy bulky size making it less useful for getting the floorboard of a car clean. Also they donít get close the the edges very well leaving dirt on the stairs near the riser and sides so easier to use something like the Electrolux sidekick where I can tilt it easier to get the edges or pull it off and use the hose end for the tight spots. I guess it depends on what your needs are primarily for something like this. I often thought I would get a little Lux handheld to see if itís a better machine than the dirt devil but due to its bulk as well, just thought it would be a waste since I already have a sidekick which gets everything these can do and also get into tighter spaces more easily. I also had a red one of these...both are gone now as one my niece said burned up on her When she was cleaning the carband I think I sold the other at a garage sale since I didnít need two. I kept the one that had the integrated attachments but my niece threw it away after I provided it to her for the house she rents from me to clean the carpeted stairs. Things I give her seem to mysteriously disappear...I think she takes stuff to the pawn shop to get money. One of the two vacuum cleaners I got her is gone too. It was a recent model Hoover rewind upright with cordwinder. I havenít asked her what happened to it...Iím sure Iíll get some story or she may have given it to her sister who recently moved into an apartment and in that case, thatís ok.


Post# 434291 , Reply# 22   10/27/2020 at 20:04 by luxlife (Under a Pecan Tree)        
Prince 501

I had one in college. Wore that thing out.

Post# 434301 , Reply# 23   10/27/2020 at 23:31 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I have a NIB set

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of tools for those cleaners.
I gave /sold a few of the red machines. I'm sure someone can use these.
I'll be doing a major cleaning out of stuff in the not so distant future.

Post# 434317 , Reply# 24   10/28/2020 at 09:14 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I guess....

I forgot to push the 'POST' button yesterday after previewing my

I agree with Jon, they are a novelty, not to be confused with the cleaning power of the Electrolux Sidekick for like carpeted stairs.

I have a black one that was 12 volts with the checkered bag. It was a pretty good car vac, although the accessory hose set up had serious suction loss. I did put that plastic adapter on so I could blow up air mattresses. But I missed the memo they took paper bags too. Turning the bag inside out and shaking/hitting it had to be done inside a trash can outside or away from the car. I remember one time I didn't calculate the wind flow force and blew that junk back into the car.

I bought a red 120 volt model like the one pictured above. Compared to the 12 volt black one, it was the easy winner.....but still not a serious vac and they were never priced to be serious vacs...the Dirt Devils. I don't know anything about the older, metal Royals.

I still have them both, but haven't seen them since the new house move 4yrs ago. The red one came in it's original box.


Post# 434371 , Reply# 25   10/29/2020 at 23:09 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I was trying.....

to remember this setup;my black 12 volt Dirt Devil had this adapter that fit on the bottom where the roller brush is...I don't remember the purpose? But it also had a hose end with a clip on it that clipped into the port(with the rubber plug), to get suction.


Post# 434375 , Reply# 26   10/30/2020 at 05:26 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
Regardless of which hose setup

I think the clip on was the worst for suction. I bought it for the brush roll cleaning on stairs. Dark green carpets and a Golden Retriever made for a lot of vacuuming! I remember having to stop before I was done to cut a lot of fur that was wrapped around the roller, the ends and the belt pulley. For 20.00 though it was money well spent.It was also good for de-furring the comforter on my bed!

Post# 434378 , Reply# 27   10/30/2020 at 09:15 by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

you put your palm over the hose end, yes, the suction was pathetic but in auto short nap carpeting it seemed to work somehow. Beats dragging over a shop vac or your house

They're saying on YouTube that the black, 12 volt Dirt Devils are rare. I find that hard to believe.


Post# 434395 , Reply# 28   10/30/2020 at 22:29 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
Someone expressed an interest

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in my attachments. I'll have to check them and make sure they are the correct ones.

Post# 434441 , Reply# 29   11/1/2020 at 10:27 by gottahaveahoove (Pittston, Pennsylvania, 18640)        
I'm not sure when or how

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I got them. But, I knew, one day, someone would need/want them.

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