Thread Number: 41942  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
Looking for a canister vac similar to tristar exl
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Post# 442742   6/8/2021 at 14:07 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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So, I've been using a tristar exl vacuum 3-7 days a week for like 20 years. Used to use it exclusively, but in the last 10 years also use a kirby.

I have 7 cats and a dog, all indoor only. My house is 3000 sq ft. All carpeted. Upstairs/downstairs.

Recently my powerhead broke on one of my tristars. it was the wiring fell out of the elbow and i couldnt figure out how to stretch the wire to reattach it to wherever it was supposed to go. I was annoyed but found a replacement used powerhead and threw the old one away. (Probably shouldve learned how to fix the wiring, but i threw it away already so thats that).

Anyway it got me thinking that i should also start looking at backup canisters as well. Looking at mg1, mg2, and the cs, and doing a google search, brought me to these forums. I read that the mg1, mg2, and cs all have crappy motors, and I should also mention that prior to my having my 2 exl tristars, i also had the silver one prior to that. i got it off ebay in great shape, in the late 90's, but the motor burned out after like 2 years of owning it, but i really loved how it cleaned, which is why i bought a new (used) one, but bought the exl instead, because evidently I'm hard on vacuums with all my pets. Although, the older tristars are supposed to last longer than the exl's and have better motors. Im sure if I'd replaced that tristars motor it wouldve probably given me 40 more years, but i threw it away and bought an exl because it was newer, so would have more life left in it. And after that, bought a second one. They've served me very well and still going strong. I love them!!

Now to my question. If i wanted to buy a backup canister, would i be better off buying the older used exl's like i currently have, (which would probably have the same years of use on it that i do) or the mg's? Which would last longer? I realize the exl is better than the mg's, but the exl's would already have 10 years of use put on them, so would the mg be better since its got less usage? Then i also got interested in used older electroluxes. Is any model electrolux better than a tristar? i know the new ones arent built like the old ones, but theyd have less use on them. Would i be better off with a patriot? I guess what im asking, is what USED, OFF EBAY, vacuum is best if im wanting to spend $200 or less? I need lots of power like the tristar, but i want longevity. Im pretty handy though, so if replacing a motor is just a matter of removing/replacing some screws, maybe that'd be best, but I've never worked on one and i dont have a lot of special tools. Also, with staying with tristar, i already feel like im ahead since i already have hoses and powerheads 2 powerheads in use, plus i bought an extra as a backup in case my other powerheads wiring falls out. I wrapped that button on the powerhead elbow with black electrical tape though as a preventative measure. That button somehow fell out and thats how the wiring broke. I must've bumped the powerhead on something for it to fall out and break like that. I can get replacement exl canisters in great shape on ebay for $70 shipped, powerheads also $70 shipped. It's interesting that I've never had to replace my tristar hoses or wands.
Im not in a rush, but i do like setting up ebay watches so that i can really snag a deal. So whats the best canister vacuum, complete with hoses and powerhead that can be had for $200 or less (dont need extra tools, just powerhead only).
Thanks for anyone's help and insight. Is tristar still the best? Its been so long since I've looked at vacuums i really dont know whats out there. Reading on here though, I've set up watches for patriot, miracle mate, but they're not posted very often, and are more expensive. But if they're equivalent to the old tristars, since I'm in no rush, i could wait for a patriot, but they dont fit my hos/wands/powerheads from my tristar, so I'd have to pay a lot more for a new setup rather than just replace the canister for my tristar. I know im rambling but i just want to know which vacuums i should be on the lookout for.

Post# 442745 , Reply# 1   6/8/2021 at 15:53 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst Canada NB)        

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Honestly id gop with a tristar CXL but make sure to use proper bag and filter im suprise it quit after 2 years .......

I have had my c9 since 2011 motor has never gave me an issue .

Post# 442746 , Reply# 2   6/8/2021 at 16:27 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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Maybe the previous owner had been hard on it. I always dumped the contents of the bag in the trash after each use, so the bag was always empty with each use. But my exl's have so far been great. But now they're so old. I really dont want to buy others that are just as old as mine. I would really like to just buy some new exl's, but thats not gonna happen, so i just try to judge by the inside of the canister how well its been taken care of. I make them take a pic of the inside of the canister with no bags, but that's not really always reliable, i dont think, but thats all i have to go by. Maybe my exls will outlive me. Plus, prior to learning that the new ones are inferior, i already bought an mg1, so i do have that one as well. Kinda dont have confidence in the mg1 now though. But it seems to be working ok so far.

Post# 442752 , Reply# 3   6/8/2021 at 21:17 by Thevacomaticiec (Bathurst Canada NB)        

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As long as you use all the filters and a envirocare paper bag you tristar should be working fine for a long time .I sure love my c9 and cxl 50 .

Post# 442759 , Reply# 4   6/9/2021 at 09:11 by dysonman1 (the county)        

A new motor is not all that expensive, certainly less than your $200 limit. A Tri-Star is so easy to work on, simple actually. Be absolutely certain you use a disposable HEPA bag in it, along with the cloth outer bag. You want to keep the dirt out of the motor. My "Tri-Star" was made in 1957. Original motor. If it ever stops, I'll put a new motor in it, since motors only cost $50 at wholesale.

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Post# 442761 , Reply# 5   6/9/2021 at 10:28 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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Yeah, I've always used a paper bag with it, but when i got my new kirby sentria 2, it came with the white hepa bags instead of the paper bags i'd always used with my kirby's, and so i cut one of the bags and stuck it in the cloth bag of the tristar, and just pulled the edges of the hepa bag over the lip of the ring and it fits in there snug and still closes properly. Since it now has a hepa bag as a pre-filter, i took the hepa after filter off, to offset any pressure difference. I dont want to strain the motor with so many filters. I prefer the hepa pre-filter because the cloth bag always got dusty with the regular paper bags.

Post# 442770 , Reply# 6   6/9/2021 at 14:01 by Blackheart (North Dakota)        

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They make a hepa variety of bags under the vacuum america clean brand. These are what Tom was referring to


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Post# 442771 , Reply# 7   6/9/2021 at 14:21 by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

there may be good deals on used Filter Queens on ebay. The potential downside is that they use cones rather than bags, but the canister would seem to hold a large quantity of dirt/hair.

Post# 442772 , Reply# 8   6/9/2021 at 15:03 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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Yeah, i had just bought a bunch of packs of kirby hepa bags already so i just used those. It was 9 bags incl shipping $10 total, and i bought 2 sets, so i already had 18 bags. But thanks for the link on the vac bags, i couldnt find them when i tried, which is why i just cut up one of the kirby bags, but now ive got plenty.

Is filter queen as powerful as the tristar exl, and has the same longevity?

I saw this vac on ebay for an electrolux that i thought was good, but im not sure what the end price would be, or if the motor for it was as strong as a tristar or not. I think it is refurbished by one of the members on here. Heres the link:

I've never used an electrolux so dont know how they compare with my tristar.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO missjenniferd1's LINK on eBay

Post# 442777 , Reply# 9   6/9/2021 at 16:07 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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Yeah, honestly, if the motors on my current vacs are easily replaced, it would seem that i could replace 2 or maybe even 3 motors for the cost of buying an all new setup!! I might see if theres a youtube video of it. If there's no special tools required, i bet i could do it!!

Post# 442779 , Reply# 10   6/9/2021 at 16:22 by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

I keep seeing ads for Filter Queens, so it must be a sign that google thinks it's what is needed. There do seem to be decent prices on these on ebay and facebook marketplace.

Post# 442790 , Reply# 11   6/9/2021 at 21:23 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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Do you have hoses for your TriStar? If you do have a hose and a power. Nozzle I just found a couple patriot air storms under $200.
If you have the nozzle you can just buy a bare machine. There's a couple a red 2 speed TriStar under $200.
Did you post last weekend on Reddit?

Post# 442792 , Reply# 12   6/9/2021 at 22:10 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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the hose/wands that i have are different than the patriot/airstorms though i think.

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Post# 442795 , Reply# 13   6/9/2021 at 22:52 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        

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yeah, that was me, but i didnt get very much helpful info at all on that thread.

Post# 442819 , Reply# 14   6/10/2021 at 18:15 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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That hose will only work on exl and newer TriStar. If you have a compact dxl or older the hose on it works on the patriot vacuums. The patriot is a great vacuum the black wessell werk power nozzle that is black and red patriot insignia I hated.
If you can find a patriot with the white power nozzle it would be ideal. The miracle mate or newer patriot is what I'd recommend. The newer TriStar motors are bad. They burn up twice as fast as other motors.
The TriStars with the power brush power nozzle are very similar to the Patriots. The founder of patriot vacuums left in the early 90's. He took the technology and made patriot vacuums. You could say patriot vacuums are what the newer trimstars should be.
In short get a tristar with power brush power nozzle or go with a patriot or miracle mate.

Post# 442823 , Reply# 15   6/10/2021 at 23:08 by missjenniferd1 (Oak Ridge, TN)        
Thanks les,

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I was wondering if the older tristars were compatible with the patriot. I might be able to find a good price on an older tristar and then buy the patriot canister. The patriot canister by itself shows up quite a bit on ebay and for a good price, but i didnt have a compatible hose or powerhead to go with it. But older tristars show up quite often. Its good to know they can be used with the patriot vacs.

Post# 442851 , Reply# 16   6/11/2021 at 21:11 by Lesinutah (Utah)        

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I have older TriStar and had the p3 airstorm made 20009-2013 and its hose attaches exactly like the patriot.

Post# 442884 , Reply# 17   6/12/2021 at 12:35 by cleanairhybrid (Maryville, IL, USA)        

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I sell Patriots, and have experience with new and used ones.

Your Tristar Hoses Pre EXL will fit the Patriot machines.

As Tom said, get the Hepa bags to update their filtration, and you will have a fantastic machine!


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