Kirby -VS- Dyson

justjustinJanuary 2, 2007

Firstly, I have a Rainbow E2 Series which I love. My problem is my DP will not use it. Loves the way it works and says it gives an amazing clean but he doesn't like using a canister vacuum.

Basically, when it comes to giving the deep cleaning that I want (DP does most of the vacuuming) I've narrowed down my choices to a new Kirby (or maybe a very new pre-owned one from E-Bay) and a new Dyson.

If you were given the choice and money weren't an object, which one would you choose?


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No contest. The Dyson out performs the Kirby by a mile. It is also lighter (although it is heavier than many vacs) and also easier to use, empty etc. Kirby's is very old fashioned and does not take advantage of increased knowledge and technology.
No relationship to any vac company.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2007 at 4:06PM
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I agree with hamptonmeadow. I've owned a Rainbow, Kirby, and a Dyson. The Dyson out performs the Kirby. - Grainlady

    Bookmark   January 6, 2007 at 3:52PM
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Having owned both, and many others - Dyson by far. I'm usually grossed out after cleaning, when I see how much dirt it picks up from what "looks" to be a fairly clean room.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2007 at 8:31AM
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I bought a Kirby about 14 years ago. The demonstration the seller did for us made me feel certain that we were getting the best vacuum out there for the money.

Eleven years ago we bought a brand new house. Brand new house means brand new carpet so I was happy that I had the Kirby feeling certain that I'd always have the cleanest carpet out there. For the first 5 years we lived here we had a Norwegian Elkhound. Then she passed away and we had no indoor pets since.

We had the Kirby rebuilt 2 years ago (I believe that cost 200+ dollars) because the brushes were getting a bit worn and the cord had a small split in it. I assumed that this meant that my Kirby was in tip toe shape. A year ago when we had our carpets cleaned I happened to get a good look at the water that was being sucked out of my was FILTHY. Not just dirty...but disgustingly filthy. I was astonished and decided that maybe the Kirby wasn't getting the job done after all.

I tried a friends Dyson (DC7) that she'd had for a few years and raved about. I was stunned at how much yuck was sucked up from my living room carpet! Hubby and I went out and bought the new DC17 right before Christmas.

I've run this vacuum all over my house, top to bottom several times now. I continue to be amazed at the volume of dust and dirt that comes up. The amount has slowed considerably the last couple of times the Dyson has been used and I've even noticed that a couple of stains are no longer present in the dining room carpet. My hubby says he thinks the air smells cleaner since using the Dyson.

My old Kirby got kicked to the curb. The Dyson is the best money I've spent in a long time and I highly recommend it.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:33PM
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While I do REALLY appreciate the advice I must say I went over to the darkside and had a demonstration for the new Kirby Sentria. My plan was to look it over good before I decided between it and the Dyson, as I had tried a Dyson out at Sears and liked the way it worked, just felt it was a little to "plasticky".

I now own a Kirby, and it sure as heck isn't made of plastic. And I sure as heck ain't brave enough to try to clean my staircase with it. SOO glad I have a housekeeper (who will shoot me when she see's I've bought more "toys" for her to clean with).

What can I say, I never could resist a good sales pitch.


    Bookmark   January 20, 2007 at 10:54PM
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That's a pretty and great quality vacuum as are all Kirbys. Dysons are convenient (but messy because of the bagless factor... yes I know they have a bottom release trap door... ask ANY vac shop owner what he thinks of bagless vacs!). Dysons are also very plastic and while they are efficient, there have been people with problems. Some say the brushroll isn't aggressive enough for American carpets. Some have longevity issues (ask a vac shop owner if you don't believe me!)! I admire both machines... I sold Dysons at Sears for a couple years, and Kirbys door to door for about 3 days! Of course the attachments are snap with the Dyson, but I think the Kirby will last longer. Please enjoy your beautiful new machine, and congratulations!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 12:20AM
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I absolutely love my Dyson. The best feature, to me, is that when my kids get it clogged (I tell them and tell them not to vacuum up pens and pencils, but they do it anyway!) I can very easily take it apart and un-clog it. The pieces clip apart and clip back together without tools. And I am VERY un-mechanically inclined.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2007 at 6:10PM
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We have had a Kirby for about 7 years. It's the first vacuum we have had that didn't break in a year or 2. It IS heavy: but I can always use the attachments to not have to push the big monster around. I have not tried the Dyson. I am not a clean freak, just want a vacuum that will work when I want it to, and not break with a little abuse.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 1:06PM
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If money were no object I'd get the Kirby because they will last forever. The Dyson is just a trendy $500 plastic vac that while it may work well it isn't a star performer.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2007 at 7:12PM
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12 years ago I told my brother in Law to get my sister a Kirby Vac, he didn't listen. So far he has bought & replaced a Black Wind Tunnel Vac, A yellow Hoover, A Clean Machine, A Sears Kenmore and an Oreck. Meanwhile I still have the same Kirby Legend 5 (burgundy) That I have replaced 2 brushes and 2 belts ($75) and I have a Vacuum that is also a Carpet Shampoo machine, Dirt Devil (with collapse handle) Matress cleaner,Paint Sprayer, Matress inflator. Upholstery cleaner & has a STEEL IMPELLER that doesn't break when you suck up marbles,nails,screws or glass !!! Plus I like the Microfilter Vacuum bags cause we have allergies; they really put a stop to sneezing in the house.
The real important thing if you have spouse with long hair or a long haired pet is that this thing will get most of that hair stuck on the brush roller or on the impeller every week & you must take a knife to cut that hair ball off. That is the only negative thing I have to say about the Kirby; you must clean that part every two weeks or it will impede the suction of the machine. But at least it is getting that up off the carpets & the floors. Have had mine 12 years and haven't had a lick of problems with it & will get the machine rebuild when I need to get it done. With the new transmissions in these units that help to push it along no one need ever say again that it is a pain to push over carpets. My BNL told me that his next Vacuum will be a Kirby...(smile). He has paid 1 1/2 times the amount of "other" plastic trendy vacuums) than what I paid for mine,twelve years ago. Your never too old to learn. Kirby is a company owned by the parent company Berkshire Hathaway run by Warren Buffet.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2007 at 9:31PM
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I've never even tried the Dyson because I fear I will fall in love with it and it is so far out of my price range, a purchase would be impossible. BUT, about 6 years ago, I purchased a Kirby. I loved it for the first 2 months - then all of a sudden, it wouldn't "go" together correctly. There is a LOT of work involved when changing the Kirby from an upright to the canister version. Frankly, any vacuum that required a 25 page manual and a 30 minute training video is just too much for me. I wish I'd never spend $1200 for it. I've trashed it - I couldn't even GIVE it away... I now use a different brand, love it, but know it would NEVER compete with a Dyson. Good Luck!! (No matter which one all of us use, isn't it amazing to see just what comes out of our carpets? And they actually look clean...until you pull out the vacuum. Scary. VERY Scary. I won't even tell you what happened when I vacuumed my mattress...

Barb from OHIO

    Bookmark   January 28, 2007 at 12:32PM
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The video is optional Barb, its for people who don't read manuals. BTW the unit comes with a 3 year warranty. So if you loved it for 2 months and then couldn't get it to go, why didn't you contact the dealer? Like others have said you can get the unit rebuilt for only $200. which is cheaper than the cost of a new Vac. Next time you want to give one away, six year old Kirby's go for around $300 on Ebay . About converting it to a canister vacuum. It requires the pushing of two buttons. One to disconnect the bag & the second to disconnect the handle to switch to the smaller handle. Sounds like you didn't read the manual or watch the video.....

    Bookmark   January 30, 2007 at 12:06AM
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Consumer Reports Mar 07 issue rated vacuums again. The Kirby at $1,350 ranked 9th and the Dyson at $570 ranked 16th. They aren't saying these don't do a decent job, they are just scoring them on things like how well they do carpet, bare floor, the airflow thru the tools , how they pick up pet hair. The scores tell you that while your vacuum may do ok another model does better. The real eyeopener is that the Dyson Animal flunked the pet hair pick up test.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 8:24AM
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I've tried them both and wouldn't want either of them if you gave them to me for free. Too heavy to lift and move around. I've tried Kirby, Dyson, Electrolux (used to be great, no more), Sears, Oreck (good but hate the fact that you have two parts), Dirt Devil, Miele (great if you get the expensive model with the motorized head, otherwise will not work on all carpets). I have done some research and now own a Sebo ($900.00). If I had bought this 10 years ago I'd still have it and would have saved all the money I spent on the other ones. You get what you pay for. I learned the hard way. I love my Sebo. It's easy to use, lightweight and powerful. Love it. Did I say that already?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2007 at 10:21PM
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This review helped me make my decision.

DYSON OR KIRBY VACUUM- Which is the best vacuum?
by: great-vacs( 5455)
316 out of 323 people found this guide helpful.
Guide viewed: 6982 times Tags: Dyson : Kirby : Dyson vacuum : Kirby Vacuum : Best Vacuum


For years the Kirby vacuum has been king of the vacuums. As far as cleaning power and durability goes they could not be beat. But now their is a new kid in town...the Dyson vacuum. Dysons only been around for a few years but making a big splash and lots of people have been buying them. But are they as good as all the hype? Hi my name is Dustin Chaffin, General Manager of Great-Vacs. We have sold over 10,000 vacuum cleaners online and we know vacuums. I get tons of emails saying 'which is better the Kirby or the Dyson'. I am excited to write this guide and answer this question once and for all. So lets get right to it. For our tests we used the high end Dyson DC14 Animal that was about 1 year old. For our Kirby Test we used a 2004 Kirby Diamond (3 years old).

This guide was so detailed that it turned out to be very long. It actually turned out to be over 35,000 letters and ebay only allows 20,000 So I will have to take out a lot of information and just sum it up. If you would like the detailed test just email me and I can email it to you. So if you dont want to go over all the details (there is tons of good information though) scroll to the bottom and read my Conclusion where I sum up all the details.

Test #1 - Best Vacuum not to CLOG
What causes clogs is small suction tubes and corners Below is a picture of a Dyson tube next to a Kirby tube.
As you can see from the pictures the Kirby suction tube is almost twice the size as the dyson one. The Dyson one also has a sharp corner in some of its tubing.

Fact  The very first used Dyson we got traded in was clogged.
Fact - If you read other reviews on the internet they say people have had a problem with the Dyson Clogging with long pet hair.
Fact  There is no vacuum that is impossible to clog. We have sold over 4000 kirbys and from normal vacuuming conditions have never seen a kirby clog.

Test #2 - Most Airflow and Vacuum power

So this is one of the most important tests after all no matter how cool a vacuum looks, we buy a vacuum to pick up the dirt. Kirby Motor Size is 7 amps and Dyson is 12 amps. For this test we are going to use a Airflow Indicator meter tool made by Baird. This tool is desiged to test power and airflow (see pictures below).

This tool is a tube with a ball attached to a spring. I has a rating of 0 to 10. You hook it up to a vacuum and turn on the vacuum to test the vacuum power and airflow. The higher the suction the further up the scale the the meter will read. 0 is really bad and 10 is amazing suction. For our first test we will test the power by hooking it up to the hose. Each hose it tested at the same length away from the vacuum.

After we tested the Dyson the Power Meter read = a 1 out of 10 (see picture)

After we tested the Kirby the Suction Meter read = a 7 out of 10 (see picture)

Now we are going to test the power hooked up to the vacuum itself. You are about to learn a new principle here. ItÂs a fact that the longer the hose the more suction you loose. Hooked up to the vacuum on the Dyson the Power Meter read = a 2.8 out of 10 (see picture)
On the Kirby it read = a 10 out of 10 (see picture)

Fact  The motor size in amps does not mean a vacuum is more powerful
Fact  The kirby had over 3 times the power and airflow as the dyson when testing it with the airflow meter.

Test #3 Â Most Suction Full of Dirt
The other Dysons promise is that it is Guaranteed not to loose airflow as the vacuum fills us so lets check it out.

Dyson  So we grabbed 3 Dysons. One was our tester Dyson that was cleaned and had no dirt in it, one was 1/3 full of dirt and one was ¾ full of dirt.

On the Power Meter they all pulled the same = 2.8

Kirby  We grabbed a full Kirby bag and put it inside our kirby. We tested it with the full bag and the Power Meter read a 10 out of 10 (the meter only goes to 10). So then with the full bag still in it I hooked up the 9 foot hose to the vacuum and tested it and the meter read = a 5.9 So hooked up to the hose it with a empty bag the kirby had a 7.0 and with a full bag it read a 5.9

Fact  James Dyson is correct the Dyson did not loose power as it filled with dirt.
Fact  As a vacuum bag fills up airflow and power does decrease.
Fact  Even with a full bag the Kirby had over DOUBLE the airflow and power as the Dyson as measured by our Air Flow Meter.
Fact  Dyson claims to be the first vacuum not to loose suction as it fills with dirt. This is not true. I can personally think of 5 other vacuumÂs that donÂt loose suction.

Test #4 - Cleaning and Vacuums up better

This is the most important test. Which vacuum actually vacuums the most dirt. What I did here was I went and got a large piece of brand new carpet (so our results would not be tainted)

I then took a piece of tape and marked off the carpet. On the left side of the tape is where we are going to vacuum with the Dyson and on the right side of the tape we are going to vacuum with the Kirby. Then I took 2 cups and went outside and filled them up with normal dirt and sand. Just like would be tracked into your house. I then measured the 2 cups (see picture) so they had the exact amount of dirt in them  1 pound and .2 of one ounce in each cup. What I was planning on doing was I weighed the dirt that is now in the carpet and I am going to weigh the dirt that comes out of the carpet. Now the kirby is not bagless so we have to use a tester with filter pads to show the dirt that is picked up. I am afraid this test was a little harder on the kirby because every time I changed the pads (lots of times) dust would escape from the tester. To be fair after I put the kirby tester on the kirby I tested the power again with the hose. With the tester on it read a 6.5 on the airflow meter, it had read a 7 when the bag was on (bag has more surface area for air to push through). Before I started the test I decided that the vacuum that pulled the most dirt I would go and vacuum another 50 strokes in the vacuumÂs area that pulled the least dirt.

Dyson Results - We put the dirt down and vacuumed 50 strokes on each side. We put 1 lb of dirt down and was able to pick up 6.5 oz's of dirt from the Dyson vacuum (see picture) or 40 % of the dirt was picked up.

Kirby Results - We put the dirt down and vacuumed 50 strokes on its side. We put 1 lb of dirt down and (after subtracting the dirt meter filter pads wieght) was able to pick up 12.1 oz's of dirt from the kirby or 75 % of the dirt was picked up.
(see picture)
Then since the Dysons had the least amount of dirt was picked up and it was the looser we vacuumed in the Dysons area with the Kirby. The picture below is how much dirt and sand that we pulled out. I was able to pull out 44 pads of dirt that the Dyson left behind. In fact I was still pulling out dirt when I ran out of pads. (see picture). I wish you could have seen this in person. I had no idea that the kirby would pick up that much extra dirt behind the Dyson. Picture below is how many dirt pads were vacuumed up by the Kirby that the Dyson left behind.

Fact  Sand ruins carpet. If its not picked up by the vacuum it gets down deep and cuts your carpet fibers and creates 'trails' as the carpet fibers get vacuumed up and there is less carpet fibers and the carpet starts laying down.

Test #5 Â Durability

The Kirby is made of a light weight metal and is one of the most durable vacuums made. In fact 'Kirby home care systems are rated #1 in reliability by a popular consumer products magazine.' We have noticed a average life span of 25 years for the kirby vacuum.

The Dyson vacuum is made from a low grade plastic. Just because a vacuum is made from plastic does not necessarily mean that it is not durable. A perfect example of this is the Aerus Vacuum (used to be Electrolux).

Fact  When packing the Kirby Vacuum we wrap it in ½ of bubble with no breakage.
Fact  When packing the Dyson vacuum to avoid breakage we have to pack it in 2 inches of bubble. Because of this fact we have to use a extra large box to hold the Dyson and all the extra bubble they require and it costs more to ship than a Kirby.

Test #6 - Weight & Ease of Vacuuming.

For the first test on this one I got out our shipping scales and weighed each vacuum. The Kirby weighed 23 lbs and 14 oz. and the Dyson weighed 18 lbs 10 oz.Âs. The second test was ease of vacuuming. Both seemed easy to vacuum with but the Kirby seemed better because of its self propelled transmission. With Ease of Vacuuming we also have to consider how easy it is to use your tools. Now the Dyson has on board tools (very nice) and the Kirby does not. So you have to have your kirby tools somewhere else (most likely your closet

So for this test I timed myself. Going from vacuum mode to putting on the duster tool (in this example) how long does it take?

The Dyson took 19 seconds

The Kirby took me 25 seconds to go from vacuuming, shut off the vacuum, casually stroll to my pretend closet grab the hose and duster tool go to the vacuum, take off the power nozzle and put on the hose and duster tool.

Test #7 - Tools and Accessories

Depending on the Dyson Model the Dyson comes with 5 tools (3 of which are on board)and the Zorb Accessory.

The Kirby standard tools include 14 tools, the caddy and the hose.
The Kirby also has several additional accessories that you can use on it.

1. The Kirby carpet shampoo system.
2. Floor Care system
3. Turbo Accessory System.
4. Zipp Brush.

Test #8 Â Filtration

The Kirby vacuum can filter as small as .1 of a micron. To be considered a HEPA filter you have to filter at least .3 of one micron.

The Dyson was rated at .1 of 1 micron.

So as far as published Filtration it is a tie between the two vacuums.

The bad news is that on the Dyson vacuum I counted 7 different seals. 7 seals is a lot of places for air and dirt to blow out.

Test #9 - Marketing & Cool Factor

The Kirby is not sold in stores or retail. In fact you cant get a new one except from a authorized Kirby dealer. There are some dealers who take the risk of trying to sell some new ones on ebay. But Kirby is usually pretty proactive about finding out who is doing that and shutting them down. So aside from that if you want to buy a new Kirby with the Kirby warranty you will have to buy from a Kirby Salesman direct. He will come to your home and demonstrate the vacuum for you. Usually they will charge from 1300 to 1700 for a new one (from what I have seen).

In other words the Kirby is an awesome product but because of how its marketed its really limited to a lot of people.

The Dyson on the other hand is everywhere. It is in most independent vacuum shops, it is most big box stores, it is on the internet and it is even on ebay. So just about everyone has access to buy a Dyson vacuum. With the Dyson where it is for sale most of the time it cant be demonstrated so James Dyson had to make it visually appealing to get the extra money out of it. He must have known most people would buy them at a super store or on the internet and only have looks to go on their purchasing decision.

Dyson and Marketing. Lets review some of there marketing strategies.

1. Guaranteed not to clog.
2. 'The first vacuum cleaner that doesnÂt loose suction
3. 100 times the force of Gravity

So Dyson has done a AWESOME job at marketing. They continue to add models and different Dysons (like the canister Dyson or the light weight Dyson) and make improvements to there image and there product.


A nice buffed out Kirby that looks all chrome is very nice and is very cool
The Dyson has this new bagless system like no other vacuum. It looks very modern and very new age.

Test #10 Â Suction & Vacuum Seal
Aside from the test vacuuming up the dirt I think this was the most important test. I kept it to the very last because I had to order in some special equipment for this test.

For this I used a suction plate and then I attached a set of scales that measures resistance (see picture). This test actually measures Suction. Remember we already tested airflow so the other test to see how good a vacuum tests is Suction. This will determine if the vacuum actually seals down on the carpet and gets the deep down dirt or if the vacuum is essentially a 'good sweeper' with a some suction.

So the suction plate represents your carpet. So what I did was to put it on the Dyson and Kirby vacuum (shut off the brushroll so it does not knock off the plate) and then when it seals to the powerhead I am going to put the pull scales on the suction plate and see at how many lbs of pulling before the suction plate comes off. The higher the # of lbs to pull off the suction plate the more suction the vacuum has and the better the Deep Cleaner it is. This tension scale is harder to pull than you think I pulled on it as hard as I could and could only get it up to about 35 lbs.

The Dyson vacuum had 1.5 lbs of pressure on it before it came off.
The Kirby vacuum had 12 lbs of pressure on it and it was very hard to pull off by hand.


1. Winner of the Test #1 Best Vacuum not to Clog - KIRBY VACUUM

The Kirby vacuum had almost twice the size of suction piping (see pictures in test #1). The Dyson tubing at its smallest point measures right at 1 3/8 inches, the Kirby tubing at its smallest point measured 2 1/4 inches nearly a inch larger.

2. The winner Test #2 The most Airflow and Vacuum Power is = KIRBY VACUUM

The Kirby had over 3 times the power and airflow as the Dyson when testing it with the airflow meter.

3. Winner of Test #3 Â Most Power full of dirt = KIRBY VACUUM
Full of dirt on the dirt meter the Dyson pulled a 2.8 and the Kirby pulled a 5.9 with a bag full of dirt. The Kirby did loose power full of dirt (pulled a 7 with a empty bag) but was still almost twice as powerful full of dirt. The Dyson pulled a 2.8 empty and a 2.8 full so Dyson was right it did not loose any power as it filled with dirt.

4. Winner of Test #4 Â Best Cleaner = KIRBY VACUUM

In our dirt test Kirby dominated. It pulled up almost double of the dirt that the Dyson did. The Dyson pulled up 40% of its dirt in this test and the Kirby pulled up 75% of its dirt in the same test.

5. Winner of Test #5 Â Reliability = KIRBY VACUUM

The Dyson made of plastic and the Kirby made of metal. We have personally seen a 25 year average lifespan with a Kirby. We have to pack the Dysons with much more bubble than Kirbys when shipping to avoid breakage. According to ' a leading consumer products magazine' the Kirby ranked #1 in reliability and with the least amount of repairs needed. The ranked it based upon 134,000 reader responses and ranked it based upon a point system. The lower the points the more reliable. The Kirby was #1 with only 4 points while the average vacuum they tested got a 10.25 So the Kirby was not only #1 but much more reliable than the average vacuum tested.

6. Winner of Test #6 - Weight & Ease of Vacuuming = DYSON VACUUM

The Dyson was a little over 5 lbs lighter than the Kirby when we weighted them on our shipping scales. Ease of vacuum the Kirby was better but with on board tools and lower carrying weight the Dyson won this contest. When we tested how long it took to use the tools it took the Dyson 19 seconds and the Kirby 25 seconds when we tested it.

7. Winner of Test #7 Â Tools and Accessories = KIRBY VACUUM

The Kirby won this contest because it had about 3 times the tools and accessories as the Dyson.

8. Winner of Test #8 Â Filtration = KIRBY VACUUM

Test #8 was very close. They actually said they had the same filtration .1 of a micron. However the concern we had with the Dyson is it had 7 different seals (they were not very tight seals) that air and dirt could possibly leak out. Kirby had 2 seals but were very tight. When 'a leading Consumer Products Magazine' tested emissions (filtration) they ranked them the same rating.

9. Test # 9 Marketing and Cool Factor = DYSON VACUUM

The Dyson dominated this test. IMHO Dyson is genius when it comes to marketing. I personally feel that Dyson did not create the best vacuum but they created a vacuum that would lead us to believe it was the best vacuum. Visually it seems to do a very good job and looks very cool.

10. Winner of Test #10 Â Suction and Vacuum Seal = KIRBY VACUUM

The Kirby dominated the Suction test. The Dyson only had 1.5 lbs of pull before the seal was broken and the Kirby had 12 lbs of pull before the seal was broken. The air coming into the vacuum on the Dyson appeared to come from on top of the carpet. Where on the Kirby the air coming to the vacuum appeared to be coming from under the carpet. Also the Dyson had great suction on one side of the power nozzle and no suction on the other side while the Kirby had suction all the way across.


I have tried keeping my thoughts to a minimum in all the tests we did. Here is where I get a chance to give my thoughts. Out of 10 tests the Dyson won 2 and the Kirby won 8. The Dyson won the most user friendly and best marketing and Kirby basically won all the performance tests.

In Dysons defense they are only a few years old (unlike the Kirby who has had decades to make the perfect vacuum) and hopefully will make improvements.

As it stands right now the Kirby and Dyson are not even in the same playing field. In these tests we performed the Kirby handled the Dyson and just blew it away. In the performance tests it seemed to do 2 to 3 times better. Of course for new vacuums the Kirby asks 2 to 3 times the price as well.

I have to say I was a little disappointed with this test. Before I started this guide I really thought it was going to be close. I had seen and heard so many good things. I was fully expecting the Dyson to do a lot better than it did. Remember how above I said 'I personally feel that Dyson did not create the best vacuum but they created a vacuum that would lead us to believe it was the best vacuum.'

Sorry Dyson loversÂ..The King of Vacuums is the THE KIRBY

A LEADING CONSUMER MAGAZINE tested over 65 Vacuums. Between our two vacuums of our test it had the following information.

What was different about this edition vs. previous editions was they did a Pet-Hair Test. What was Ironic was 'the DC14 was one of seven uprights (out of 40 uprights) in this report to score only fair or poor at removing hair from carpets' According to their scores on Pet Hair the Dyson DC 14Âs scored a FAIR, the Dyson DC15Âs scored a POOR and the Dyson DC07Âs scored a FAIR.
On the Pet Hair Test the Kirby scored a VERY GOOD on Pet Hair.

The Kirby Vacuum ranked #1 in the 'Brand Repair Test' and had the fewest repairs of any vacuum tested. However because of its weight they gave it a POOR score in 'handling' and dropped its ranking to #9 out of 65 vacuums. It scored 3 EXCELLENT's in The Carpet Vacuum test, The Bare Floor test, and The Emissions test (filtration). It also scored 2 VERY GOODS in the Tool Airflow tests and the Pet Hair Test. In fact of all the 65 vacuums tested there was only 1 vacuum that rated better with 4 EXCELLENT's and one VERY GOOD (vs. the Kirbys 3 EXCELLENT's and 2 VERY GOOD's).

The Dyson DC14 ranked #16, the DC15 the Ball ranked #17 and the DCO7 ranked #24. It had two Excellent Rating in The Bare Floor test and The Emissions test. It had no VERY GOOD ratings as the rest of the ratings where GOOD and FAIR.

My Thoughts - Even though they did not do as many tests as me or test the deep cleaning as much as me I could probably have saved a week of my time by reading this article first (I read it after I was all done with my tests). I usually dont put much faith in their reports because they should be testing these models used not new and some of the vacuums they say are good perform totally different used, but this article was interesting. The data they pulled was very similar to what I found. The Kirby is the most dependable and least likely to break. As far as all the performance tests the Kirby was quite a bit better. As far as User Friendly (lighter, on board tools) the Dyson was better. They tied when it came to filtration. Of course the main reason we vacuum is to get the dirt out of the floor and out of our house. The Dyson is easier to use but when it comes to vacuuming power the Kirby is better by far.

I spent a lot of time on this guide and tried to be very fair and thorough. If you found this guide beneficial would you take the time to vote on it?

As ebays largest high end vacuum sellers we know vacuums. If you are still confused by the exact vacuum that is best for your needs drop us an email. So drop us an email and tell us things like how much carpet you have, stairs, allergies, kids, pets, bad back etc and we can make a suggestion for the perfect vacuum for you.

Thank You,

Dustin Chaffin
Great-Vacs Manager

    Bookmark   October 23, 2007 at 12:37PM
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go to the sebo america web site than go to allergy buyers web site even epinions etc.
Do the research!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 2:54PM
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I have the Kirby, and am glad it did well in the tests, but because it is so heavy to carry downstairs I vaccuum less than I would if it was easier to manage.

Maybe I will like it more knowing that it is worth it's weight in cleaning power. Thanks for the information Dustin.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2007 at 6:52PM
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Well, I have the Dyson, my H brought it home. Normally I would never spend so much on a vacuum. But, I do LOVE this vac. Yes, it is plastic, but I have lower back problems, and I have had Kirby, they are so heavy, it is like lugging around some type of army tank! I love the bagless feature, and the ease of cleaning.

Dyson is the vac for me, no lugging around canisters either, been there, done that!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 11:05PM
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FINALLY A PERSON THAT HAS CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS. Not to poke fun at any of the other posts. BUT everyone just had anecdotal stories of why the dyson was better, BUT had no proof. Stating a story about carpets that were filthy after using a kirby for so long and then getting their carpets steam cleaned and saying they were filthy, doesnt make any critical sense. Because you did not have a second test group that would be able to test it against. Who is to say that during the same time frame you used a dyson and had the same filthy water that you had with the Kirby. Another point is that just because the Kirby doesnt have a clear bag doesnt mean it is not picking anything up. The reason why some of the other vacuums have a clear opening is to give you the illusion that they are working better. But being able to see it work doesnt mean that it is working better, it just means you can see it. The point is; is that there is NO vacuum that will get 100% of all dirt out of your carpet, not even a Kirby..... That being said I would rather have a vacuum that gets 70% dirt out than one that gets 40% dirt out. So THANK you Mr. Chaffin for being thorough with your test because no one has done it that way before that I have seen and has done it that FAIRLY before. Now for people think I am biased. I would like to say vehemently that I am not bias. Dont you think I would rather spend $500 for a better vac if I could instead of paying $1300 for one that isnt as good? "OF Course". NOW If some one would like to do a more thorough test than the one listed above; and it shows that the Dyson is better AND those results are reproducible; then with FACT in hand I would be able to change my mind and go get a dyson. I am just a critical thinker and like to deal with facts not anecdotal evidence.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 8:00PM
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As far as testing goes then CR is about the only source that does a credible job and publishes the report.
It isn't rocket science to test one vac against another as they show.
You/they weigh a piece of test carpet then pour a measured amount of "dirt" on it and weigh it again. Then they vacuum over it with the subject vacuum cleaner and re-weigh the carpet to see how much less it now weighs. That tells you how much dirt was removed from the carpet by the test vacuum.
Repeat the test with each vacuum and you have your answer as to which one picked up the most dirt, Simple, straightforward, repeatable.
Of course ergonomics and dust-spewing play into it as well and they also test that in an air tight chamber for scientific results.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2007 at 10:30PM
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Just an aside, but I am always suspicious when a first time poster cuts and pastes a lengthy article from some expert touting the superiority of a product, especially when it is followed by another first time poster applauding the brilliance of the other poster (in caps, no less). And especially when the product being touted is sold in a manner that the Kirby is sold. The internet is rife with reports of abusive sales tactics of Kirby sellers, just do a search with the words kirby sales tactics.

As for that expert's lengthy report, my first thought was to challenge his opening line: that "for years the Kirby vacuum has been king of the vacuums." It has only been the king in terms of cost, not performance, if you believe Consumer Reports, which rated it slightly lower than the best performing Kenmore and five other vacuums tested.

What I didn't see in that expert's report was any mention of the feature that caused me to buy my Dyson - that it is bagless and it has an easy empty cannister. Do you have any idea how many vacuum cleaner bags someone with a dog can fill in a month?

Some of this comes down to a male vs. female viewpoint. I suspect that women do most of the vacuuming and make most of the decisions with regard to what vacuum cleaner to buy. Performance of the machine is important, but it is equally or more important that we are happy with the features and ease of use. Even the expert admitted that the Dyson is easier to use than a Kirby. Do you realize how critical a point that is? I don't dispute that the Dyson is deficient in some areas - notably the lack of height adjustment - but my critical thinking skills brought me to the decision to buy a Dyson based on my needs, and I have been happy with this "cheap plastic" machine for almost five years now.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 8:16AM
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Dyson is deficient as a Carpet cleaner.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 6:24PM
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well in my opinion. Dyson will not out perform the Kirby. The kirby is to powerful more than Dyson. If your basing on price and weight. well obviously you dont understand consumers report. Consumers report is "does it get the job done" or "does it do what its supost to do".

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 4:48PM
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Chiddy... this forum is all about anecdotal evidence. That is the reason people ask for personal experiences!

That being said, there are TONS of stories proving just the opposite of lemon_poppy's. Many people have their carpet pulled and after years of using a Kirby, it is very clean underneath.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:23PM
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el vago - I see you just registered today. Welcome to these forums.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2007 at 5:47PM
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Since I started this thread I thought I would come back and share some insight seeing as I now own both a brand new Kirby and a new Dyson.

Hands down the Dyson wins. The Kirby is awkward to carry upstairs, performs poorly on our travertine and wood floors and is a PITA to convert to use attachments. Also worthy of mention is the great effort required to push the Kirby, albeit self propelled.

Save some money and get yourself a Dyson. I think my carpet looks better after vacuuming with it and without a doubt it is MUCH easier to use.


    Bookmark   December 1, 2007 at 3:35PM
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Kirby is one of the most repaired vacuums. Ask any vacuum repair person. Good in theory, with a decently powerful motor, but horrible construction and design. The average lifespan on them now is less than 5 years. I have two in my closet that I never use. They were given to me as gifts. The Kirby simply doesn't perform well.

The Dyson, I cannot personally account for. I have heard a lot of good things. The only bad things I've noticed is little pieces breaking off due to it's strictly plastic design.

If you want a good vacuum, you need to look either into the Lindhaus 2 motor designs which are alike the older Electrolux, which is now Aerus. Do NOT purchase an Electrolux from Lowe's, it's nothing but a Eureka that bought the name!! The original is now Aerus.

If you purchased a Kirby, kindly do yourself a favor and return it. That is, unless you just like spending and wasting money. Which, if that's the case, nevermind.

In my years of cleaning and dealing with products, you're really better off buying yourself a $120 vac from Wal-Mart over the Kirby.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2007 at 8:54AM
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Just a little bit more anecdotal evidence
Last week I allowed a shifty Kirby salesman into my house with the promise of a rug shampooing. I knew it was a sales ploy but I figured if nothing else, it would be entertaining. He proceeded to demonstrate the new Kirby Sentra, leaving those coffee filter like "test pads" everywhere, which collect the dirt over a few square inches of filter for demonstration. Then came the head to head comparison where he wanted to go up against my year old Dyson DC15. He took the cap off my saltshaker and spread a line of salt over the carpet. I watched my wife cringe as he rubbed the salt in with his foot as he said "if I cant get this up, Ill eat it." I watched him as he went back and forth with my Dyson in a straight line, not covering the whole area. "Now lets see what your Dyson missed," he says as he uses the Kirby over the whole area. Amazingly, he found salt! The little filter paper is full of it. Rather than point out the obvious trick he is playing, I ask if I can Dyson the area again to "see what his Kirby missed." He quietly agrees. I empty the Dyson of all dirt and vacuum the area like normal. Several tablespoons of salt covered the floor of my Dysons dirt bin, to which he didnt know what to say. He sure didnt offer to eat it.

I dont appreciate the high pressure and shady methods employed by the Kirby distributors. Looking at the clogged "coffee filters" around the house, Im glad I have a vacuum that doesnt lose suction.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 6:38PM
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I got the Dyson Slim a couple weeks ago and was rather hesitant to spend $400.00 on a lightweight vacuum. I have never had a lightweight vacuum that I actually liked. But I got it at Linens and Things knowing I could return it if I did not like it. Well, I love it. It is by far the best vacuum, and easiest to use vacuum, I have ever owned. It is so light I can carry it up and down the stairs with ease. It does a great job on both carpet and bare floors. It even does a great job on my throw rugs without mangling them. And it is so nice to be able to vacuum the entire staircase without having to unplug the vacuum and carry it upstairs after vacuuming half the staircase. I'm sure my personal experience is not very scientific, but I feel like the $400.00 were well spent. I even use the vacuum a lot more often than before. It is just as easy to vacuum the hard floors with the Slim as it is to sweep. I never did that with my old vacuum. It was too clunky, and it blew the dust all over the floor instead of picking it up.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2007 at 11:55PM
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Thing about the Dyson, for me, is convenience and ease of use. It's not perfect...doesn't do a great job on wood floors and the whole thing gets really dirty, and one of the attachments broke...but since it's really easy to move around, change to the wand, and disassemble for cleaning, I vacuum more often.

As for durability, I used it to suction up construction debris while we were renovating our last apartment. (I now have a shop vac!) I don't paricularly like vacuuming (my wife won't do it), and I hate having to buy bags.

I'd say that what Dyson has done best is to make vacuuming sort of cool and trendy. I'm a sucker for good marketing, too! I did consider Kirby and Miele, but if you think $400 is expensive...

    Bookmark   December 31, 2007 at 10:57PM
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We went with the Dyson Animal shortly after moving into our new house. I vacuumed two days before we bought it with our top of the line Electolux. I was floored by how much dirt the Dyson picked up that the Electrolux left behind. Since we own two dogs, we get a lot of hair and the Dyson does an outstanding job of getting it all picked up. I also love the stretch hose which lets me vacuum the entire stairway without having to lug the vacuum up after cleaning only half the stair case.

I'm always a bit skeptical about the "tests" Consumer Reports, etc., use. A small vacuum cleaner owner I consulted before making my purchase, said he's gotten more of the "recommended" cleaners to fix versus those that weren't rated as high on the lists.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 10:15AM
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To add to the madness I've just ordered a new Dyson DC21 Cansiter vacuum. I will report back as soon as it comes in on how well it does. If it works half as well as its upright cousins, I know I'll be impressed!


    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 6:03PM
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I've had a Dyson canister vac for a couple years. It isn't nearly as good as the uprights on carpeting, but it's a nice little machine to have around.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2008 at 6:24PM
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I hope this machine is an improvement over the older machines as it has a motorized powerbrush, as opposed to the older models which used an air turbine driven brush. It should be here via UPS either today or tomorrow so I'll know more then. Meanwhile I sit anxiously awaiting it's arrivial. Is it odd that we all get so excited about getting new cleaning appliances? =]


    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 3:19PM
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My test results are in. The Dyson Caniser ROCKS! I think my Rainbow will slide quitely back in to the closet to collect dust, to be removed by, you guessed it, the Dyson!

It really is a great cleaner. My partner who is compltely cleaning clueless was even impressed.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2008 at 3:49PM
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Okay,I'm about to get blasted by ,well ,Dyson and Kirby lovers alike.I clean two accounts a day seven days a week.I've used countless vaccuums over the years.Started with Seaers Kenmore Progresive cannister vac.Consumer report rates it consistently as one of the best.It is a caddilac cleaner in my opinion.On board tools make it a snap to change chores.The problem is that I cannot continue to move a 26 to 34 pound vaccuum in and out of my car without injuring myself because I am undersized.Also,the working life is about six months before repairs,and Sears warrenty I tried a huge range of other vaccuums which I may someday detail in my soon to be written book "Vaccuums Rated",and finally settled on a cheap ten pound Eureka called "Optima",all the while lusting for the heavily promoted Dyson.My Optima had a serious shortcoming.The finest engine ,body and efficient design has been married to the cheapest sleeziest wheels and wheel housings around.My precious Optima is only good for about five or six weeks of my excessive use.Kirby is a dinosaur of a vaccuum.My biggest issue is that they are too difficult for anyone in the 100 pound range to easily use.Most of the models I've used are ancient ,a testimony to either their longitivity or their ability to hang out in the closet without being used.Suddenly,the Dyson was everywhere and I had free choice.Use their new Dyson or my Optima.I tried the Dyson,didn't understand it,went to a couple of Dyson sales seminars at Linens & Things,and tried them out in several homes.My stupid Optima is easier to use on upholstered furniture.The Dyson just does not pick up dirt from bare floors as well as the Optima,and I can't even tell you how many houses the wheels have died on my vaccuum,and I've whipped out their Dyson only to shove the wheels back on my vaccuum five minutes later.I have concluded that the Dyson is a dog.It does not pick up as well as the Progressive or Optima (did I mention that eurekas Optima retails in a variety of places for between 40 and 60 bucks)?It doesn't begin to address animal hair the way it is supposed to,and the dirt gets stuck in the cup and nearly always needs a hand shoved in before all the dirt empties.Since I am allergic to dust,This is not conveniant.I really wish this fellow Dyson would run over to Eureka and teach them how to make wheels so I wouldn't have to replace my vaccuum so frequently!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2008 at 12:13AM
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I have been reading this thread for some time and thought I would add my 2 cents.

cupajoe. I run a cleaning service and I do agree about the "Sears" canister. It works great before the switch control in the hose burns out or the bottom plastic case breaks around the front caster underneath the hose connection. You have no suction and the bottom is $178.00 to replace. I always purchased the extended service contract. After dropping a a few of these in the Chicago winters I threw all of them out. I now use "Tri-Stars'" and have used them for years. You are unable to kill them. The canister is made of metal and it will never crack. I do have custom made 10 foot hoses for them as I can just place the vac on a landing and then place the vac on the first floor to clean the rest of the stairs. I just don't have to move the canister as much and it is not knocking me in my shins. Years ago they used to be called "Compact" and they used to give them away on "Queen for a Day." You might be too young to remember that show! LOL

As to the "Kirby" they are great vacs as I have a G-4 and G-5, one for each floor. I only use them for the carpet and don't bother with the hose and all of the junk. I have central vac and do all of the detail cleaning with the CV. The problem with people who own the "Kirby" is that they never change the belt or they have removed the rug cleaning head without using the belt lifter and just detach it from the housing and loose the belt. Husbands don't read the book and threaten their wives and the hose is never tried again. I sold "Lux" in the "1205" days as well in the "Super J" days. They were great vacs.

Now as to the "Dyson?" My question to all of you who have them is what type of carpet are you cleaning? I purchased the "Yellow" one when they first were sold at "Sears." I was unable to push it unless I kicked it with my foot. There was no height adjustmet and it would make this racheting sound and I returned it. I also had a empty dirt canister so I didn't think it was that great. I have yet to figure what the big deal is?!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2008 at 6:49PM
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My slim has no height adjustment and it moves really easy. I have deep pile carpet, Berber, linoleum, and ceramic tile and it works great on all of them. I shut the roller bar off for the hard surfaces and turn it on for the carpet. I did notice when I was vacuuming the kitchen one day that I was having a hard time with the throw rug, then I realized I had forgotten to turn on the roller bar. So if the roller bar is off it is really hard to move on plush carpet. As for the canister, I showed my husband what was in it the other day and he said "don't you think you should empty that more often?" and I had to tell him that I had emptied it the last time I vacuumed, yuck. I wish my husband would take his shoes off when he comes in!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 8:32AM
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Don't get too excited by the amount of dirt/debris in a bagless container. Your house is not as dirty as it may appear. LOL. The debris is fluffed up by air, similar to a milkshake. If you were to vacuum the same amount, as your Dyson was when full, with a bagged style vacuum, your bag would be virtually flat.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 5:27PM
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Thanks for the reply.

The Yellow thing did not work on my carpet and there was nothing in the dirt canister. It took a nose-dive when ever I tried to push it forward. I just took it back to Sears as it was too much work.

Now as to the lack of the height adjustment. Unless you have air flow you are not going to clean anything. When I sold "Lux," everyone had all of their vacs set to the lowest pile setting. It brushed the carpet well and never removed the dirt. With the suction of the "Dyson" if you could get a air bleeder on the brush roll you would have a great cleaning vac.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 6:21PM
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More about my Dyson canister:

I am almost inclined to believe that the canister cleans a bit better than the upright. Normally my cleaning ladies empty the Dyson upright ONCE during the weekly cleaning but this week when they used the canister they had to empty it not once, not twice but THREE TIMES! I know we didn't suddenly get dirtier (though the cats could be shedding, that's not my department). Maybe the canister is smaller? All I know is it seemed like they got up more dirt.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2008 at 11:48PM
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I noticed the same thing - my canister version seems to fill faster than the upright. The upright's canister appears to be larger.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 10:48AM
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I've been reading the vacuum posts for months trying to decide on a new one. I do agree the Kirby has great suction, but I am an attachment lady. I have a Kenmore Progressive right now (fairly new) and am whipping on those attachments right and left. Main problem with the Kirby, it is a NIGHTMARE to hook them on. I borrowed my sister's, who swears by it, and I basically have to vacuum the whole house and then hook up the attachments and go back and do it again. It takes twice as long. And, while the Kenmore always beats Dyson in Consumer Reports, no way does it have the suction. I just got my Dyson today and vacuumed very carefully first with the Kenmore and then went back. I have enough cat hair for another cat now in the garbage. And the fine dirt, ugh! And, while it probably is fluffed up by air, even if I would smash the hair down it is ALOT. I told myself if I wasn't absolutely thrilled with it I was taking it back. It's staying.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 6:41PM
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Thing is, had you vacuumed first with your Dyson and then gone over it again with your Kenmore with a clean new bag you'd have found dirt in your Kenmore. It works both ways. You can clean with any vacuum then go over it with any other semi-decent or better vacuum and the second vac will always pick up some dirt the first one didn't get. That's an old trick to sell people on a new vacuum cleaner to make them think that theirs isn't very good.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2008 at 9:44PM
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I did know this so had I picked up just a small amount of dirt I would not have been impressed. You can't imagine how much I got up. But, to be sure, ran over to my moms today with both vacs. Did 1/2 the room with the Dyson and 1/2 with the Kenmore. Changed the bag and switched. No comparision. And for all who may say the dirt in the Dyson is fluffed - I weighed it. Dyson won. And, on a side note, my son just stopped by and, after hanging out a while, asked if I got the carpets cleaned.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 5:11PM
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Ettienne,What the heck is a tri star and where can I try one?

    Bookmark   January 25, 2008 at 7:06PM
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This is a vac which is sold door to door. Don't ever have a demo as they have worse sales tactics than Kirby and Rainbow combined! You are able to read about their tactics online.

This company has been in business since 1937 or 1946. I can't remember the year. They were sold door to door like Electrolux back in the day under the name of Compact. You were able to purchase them in the various vac and sew shops under the name Revelation. They changed the name to Tri-Star. I don't remeber the year. The design has been the same until 2001 when the company was taken over by Aerus. (That is the new name for the former Electrolux company which sold door to door.) The Electorlux you see in Sears and Lowes is nothing but a rebadged Eureka. The new series starts with M and that is made by Aerus. The vacs I use are either EXL or CXL I don't remember and don't have one in front of me. That series was in production from 1993 to 1998. As you can see I have had these a long time and with the exception of a new cord they have been poblem free. I don't care for the M series as they have a gas pump handle and it is really too big to get into tight places.

Check out Click on about us and they have pics of all their vacs from the beginning when the company was started. The one I use it the one from 1993-1998. Also check out This site is for the Patriot/Air Storm vac. It will go into detail about the way the Tri-Star maintains it's suction. The Tri-Star site does not go into that much detail. They copied Tri-Star in the design.

You might be able to try one out at an independent vac shop. I buy mine on Ebay for around $239 and they were NIB. When you have a demo they start out with a price of $2,800 or something crazy. They also have them on craigslist. I also like the fact that they have an open mouth bag should you suck something up that didn't sound right going up the hose. You never know if it was an earing, penney, or what ever. You just pop the lid and fish around until you find it. You don't have to rip a bag apart trying to find out what you picked up.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:16PM
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I can't believe all the people foolish enough to fall for Dysons marketing hype. .

Vacuums are all about physics and airflow and the physics involved have not changed in the last 100 years or so.

The Kriby is the king and has been constantly proven to be a far superior vacuum then the Dyson.

For example when it comes to fluid dynamics the Dyson is very poorly designed. Anyone who knows anything about airflow knows that you avoid right angles and small apertures at all costs. For efficiency you always use the largest aperture you can yet The Dyson has these tiny suction tubes about 1.3 inches compared to Kirbys 2.25 inch tubes and airflow passages.

Not only that the Dyson has right angles in the suction tubes, these right angles greatly reduce flow and facilitate clogging, By the way the number one repair that that service people see with Dysons is clogging and leaking seals. Then we have the off balance suction, All of Dysons suction power is on one side unlike Kirbys centered and balanced powerhead. The Dyson is pretty and looks cool but compared to a Kirby you might as well be using a broom.

Now lets look at some scientific comparisons
that were done comparing the Dyson to a Kirby

On a calibrated air flow meter that reads a scale of 1 to 10 the Dyson scored a pathetic 2.8 on the scale

The Kirby on the other hand scored off the scale well above 10. So the testers added 10 extra feet of hose to the Kirby to lower the reading so it would show in the scale.

Now get this Even sucking though 10 extra feet of hose the kirby still produced 3 times as much airflow while consuming 66 percent less power.

The final results were Kirby wins
Kirby 7.8 sucking through 10 extra feet of hose
Dysons a pathetic 2.8 with no extra hose while consuming 66 percent more power

Now on to the suction test. The dyson managed a pathetic 1.2 pounds of suction at the powerhead. The Kirby on the other hand produced an unbelievable Dyson shattering 12 pounds of suction, whats that like a 1000 percent more suction power all while consuming 66 percent less power....

Yes the Kirby literally obliterated the Dyson in every single scientific comparison ever conducted except for one. the coolness factor.

So if you want the latest cool looking toy and don't care about performance then buy a Dyson. Keep in mind though, even with a full bag a 20 year old Kirby has over 3 times the cleaning power and uses 66 percent less electricity.

Like I said the Dyson is pretty and looks cool but compared to a Kirby you might as well be using a broom.

If you don't believe me review some of the tests that Greatvacs did

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 5:55AM
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Kirby wins hands down !!!!

I almost forgot to post the results of these two important tests. As could be expected, Kirby obliterated Dyson in these tests as well.

Winner of Test #3 - Most Power full of dirt = KIRBY

Full of dirt on the dirt meter the Dyson pulled a 2.8 and the Kirby pulled a 5.9 with a bag full of dirt. The Kirby did loose power full of dirt (pulled a 7 with a empty bag) but was still almost twice as powerful full of dirt.

The Dyson pulled a 2.8 empty and a 2.8 full so Dyson was right it did not loose any power as it filled with dirt.

Winner of Test #4 - Best Cleaner = KIRBY

In our dirt test Kirby dominated. It pulled up almost double of the dirt that the Dyson did. The Dyson pulled up 40% of its dirt in this test and the Kirby pulled up 75% of its dirt in the same test.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 6:03AM
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You know what I can't believe? I can't believe how the word Kirby in the title causes people to resurrect an 18 month old thread.

And why are posts about the Kirby vacuums the first and only ones from these people?

Sniff, sniff - is that spam that I am smelling?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:50AM
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You know, a few other people on here have stated that its more obvious to do home challenges than trust in the science bit. Having used two of these machines, both Kirby and Dyson models I'd say Dyson everytime. As a homeowner in a large house, my Dyson runs rings around Kirby and after trialling the Kirby from a salesman who wanted an astronomical amount of money for the Kirby, I stuck to the Dyson. Dysons may well be plasticky but they can be replaced easily FIVE TIMES LESS at cost than Kirby. Also, had a look at a You Tube video which easily shows up what Kirby are bad at doing.

Unless you can get yourself a real life comparison of a Kirby vacuum and A Dyson then be prepared to be shocked. Yes, whilst Kirby are all metal in their construction, in the UK at least unless you have a larger home or mansion they are really too big, noisy, far too heavy and at cost price not worth considering. Dyson may offer 5 less years with a guarantee but they are far more versatile to use without being too much of a struggle.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2009 at 10:55AM
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"Also, had a look at a You Tube video which easily shows up what Kirby are bad at doing"
One of these days I'm going to go through all the trouble of doing my test over again simply so I can Video tape it and post it on Youtube.

All the Comparisons on Youtube comparing the Dyson with the Kirby are a joke. I have seen high school science classes come up with more convincingly accurate tests.

These Youtube videos are always the same.

Some dingbat throws down a hand full of dirt and then sweeps it once or twice with Kirby. Then they grab a Dyson and sweep the same area like 10 times and amazingly enough the Dyson actually picks up dirt. Whats amazing is that people actually use these tests as a way of trying to prove that one vacuum is better then another. You would have to be an utter moron to fall for this kind of scam.

Of course the Dyson is going to pick up dirt that the Kirby left behind you didn't honestly believe the Kirby would pick up all the dirt in one or two passes did you.

We could easily reverse that test and I would be willing to bet one of my homes that the Kirby would pick up a bunch of dirt the Dyson left behind.

Those types of tests are really nothing more the con job a sales pitches intended to sell housewives something they already want. They are not accurate scientific evaluation. Thank god those of us who work at NASA are a bit more thorough then that otherwise we would have a bunch of dead astronauts

Why is it people fall for this type of crap. For example the tempurpedic memory foam mattress who claims it is, that it was designed by NASA for astronauts. Okay did anyone actually think about this before buying one of these sweat boxs.(foam is an insulator and I like a mattress that breathes) Anyhow exactly why would an astronaut need a high tech memory foam mattress to sleep on while in orbit. I'll give you a hint it's a (weightless orbit) they couldn't lie down on a mattress if they wanted to.

Okay back to the Kirby vs Dyson
The test I preformed was considerably more scientific. It was very accurate and the test results are repeatable and predictable.

You don't have to take my word for it try the test yourself you will be amazed at how much better a Kirby is. The Dyson is nothing but snake oil.

Heres what you will need

2 brand new 3x6 foot sections of a thick shag carpet, thats 2sq yards each just in case you can't measure and they need to be BRAND NEW!!!.
You will need an accurate digital scale
1 Kirby vacuum
1 brand new Kirby bag
1 Dyson Vacuum freshly cleaned
2 coffee cans
Exactly 2 pounds of dirt measured on the digital scale.

Step one.
Weigh the empty Kirby bag and note it.

Step 2
Place a coffee can on the digital scale and hit tar
now add dirt to the can until you get exactly 1 pound. Repeat this step once more so you have two cans with exactly one pound of dirt in each can.

Step 3
Carefully spread each can onto one of the two sections of carpet and then lightly pat the carpet so the dirt settles into the fibers.

Please note each vacuum is assigned to only one section of carpet.
Step 4
Vacuum each test section, (one test section of carpet per vacuum) In my test I did 25 strokes which is probably close to what someone would do if they spilled something on their carpet .

Step 5
Carefully remove the bag from the Kirby and weigh the bag subtracting the weight of the empty bag we noted earlier.

Step 5
Place an empty coffee can on the scale and hit tar now empty the dyson container and weigh the contents..

When I did my test the Dyson managed to pull up 4oz of dirt. or about 25 percent of the dirt that was spilled onto the carpet (one pound = 16 oz)

The Kirby picked up a Dyson shattering 14 oz of dirt or 87 percent of the dirt that was spilled on the test section.

Once again the results are hard to argue with
Dyson picked up 4 of 16 oz
Kirby picked up 14 of 16 oz

This is how an accurate comparison is done and in this test the Kirby demonstrated an astonishing 350 times more cleaning power then the Dyson.

Don't believe me? Well I'm not asking you to. Give it a try yourself the results are hard to argue with when you see it first hand.

Now I wouldn't go through all the trouble of typing this up if Dyson owners would just be honest and quit bragging about how much better they want to believe a Dyson is. It would be a lot easer to take them seriously if they simply admitted that they bought their Dyson simply because it was the new cool product to own and they wanted it because the "In crowd" owns them. Some of us are more interested in performance not vanity and when it comes to performance the Kirby obliterated the Dyson in every scientific test ever preformed! it did it every time, hands down! end of story.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 5:06AM
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I bought my Dyson because I wanted a bagless vacuum that emptied easily. A Kirby wasn't even in the running because it did not meet my criteria. It is as simple as that. I don't get why that is so difficult for all you Kirby dealers to comprehend.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 9:56AM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

I have both - and use both!
I had the Dyson first, but my black rug (NEVER buy a black rug!) was not getting clean. So, I bought a Kirby and it does the job wonderfully. I use the Kirby exclusively on my carpets now. So why do I need the Dyson?
Well, I use the Dyson for my hardwoods, tile, and for getting cobwebs out of the corners, etc. because I hate to change the Kirby attachment. (just lazy, I guess) I do make myself put the attachment on when vacuuming the furniture because we have a horrible cat hair problem!
So, the Dyson wins for ease of use, but the Kirby still out-cleans the Dyson (that black rug is a great test as everything shows on that thing!).

    Bookmark   July 1, 2009 at 1:56PM
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Ive been coming to this site for a while mostly for lawn care tips. You folks are very helpful! However, I recently purchased a Dyson DC-25 animal after doing a great deal of research on the subject so this forum topic peaked my interest. Ive never posted here, but Ive received so much help with my lawn from the members here I thought should give something back. Im not a salesman or a vacuum cleaner expert, but I am a licensed professional engineer so I was also intrigued by the "scientific" arguments in this post as well.

One of the things I noticed during the course of my web research is that when you use the common search engines for reviews or comparisons of Dyson to other high end vacuums that the top 3 or 4 search results on Google are reviews done marketers and salesmen (e.g the greatvacs guy above). All of these reviews rave about how Kirby, Filter Queen, Rainbow, etc. crushes the Dyson in every category. If I were a vacuum salesman, it would be in my best interest to reach the same conclusion as well.

Thanks to the wonderful world of the internet you can easily find that a Kirby costs the dealer around $900, and they sell for between $1400 and $2000, depending on how well you negotiate. Kirbys are sold door to door and the huge mark-up goes up the sales chain in commissions. The salesman that comes to demo the machine at your door probably only gets around $100 for each sale. The other high end machines are about the same price and use the same sales methods and commission structure. Salesmen also claim that the models with bags are much cleaner because you dont get the puff of dust when you empty the canister. I dont think this is a valid argument. Ive changed lots of vacuum bags in my day and you get the same puff of dirt you get with a bag-less. In any case, its in the salesmens interest to sell you a model that uses bags because they sell bags. Honestly, Im all for capitalism, but I also dont like wasting money.

I bought the Dyson DC-25 Animal at Kohls for $550. Again, a little internet research reveals that typical retail appliance mark-ups are 10-25%. Im sure the nice sales girl at Kohls didnt get any commission, but the store made a tidy $100, or maybe a little more, from my purchase. Kohls will not be making any money from me on belts or bags because the Dyson has neither.

Now on to the science part:

The tests being cited in favor of Kirby in the previous posts completely miss the point and arent exactly done by independent professionals (in my estimation). The question should be: Which vacuum best meets the objective of cleaning floors and / or furniture in an efficient manner? Other objectives should look at: How hard is it to use? What does the machine weigh? Are the attachments easy to use? Do I need special tools? For me it was very important to be able to clean the roller bar easily as my wife has very long hair.
You cant measure these things scientifically. I love how the "greatvacs guy" timed himself walking to a pretend closet to get his Kirby attachments.

Really the only science that applies is the suction power. At least Dyson tells you in airwatts what the power is rather then using some hokey ball meter that measures from 1 to 10 or proving it has no power by vacuuming over the same spot. The model I purchased is rated at 220 airwatts. This is more than enough to thoroughly clean my thick pile carpets and pick up all the hair. I was going to go on and pick apart the experiments cited above but I think Ive made my case.
In short, the best reviews of appliances tend to be in forums like this or on amazon where people who use all the features share their experiences. There are very few unhappy Dyson customers out there (unless you ask a Kirby salesman).

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 6:03PM
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Ok, just exactly what are air watts? Show proof of air watts on both the dyson and the kirby and how it relates to good carpet cleaning with a vacuum cleaner. What is suction power? Are you talking inches of water lift? Air flow is what matters most on carpet and the Dyson isnt in the same league as the kirby in that area. Thick pile carpets are where the Dyson struggles the most. Anyone who believes otherwise is only kidding themselves

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 8:22PM
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Its a unit to actually measure the power of the suction. It has real engineering units unlike a spring ball that reads 1 to 10 of some unknown value.

Air flow is not what matters most. Its a combination of flow and differential pressure. In any case 220 airwatts gets my carpet plenty clean. I don't think I'm kidding myself...I don't see any dirt. I get down real real close with a magnifying glass. Nope still no dirt.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 9:59PM
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    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 9:47AM
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Here is an up to date review done by a mom who doesn't make $500 to $1000 per Kirby that she sells. It is not a scientific review, but it is an honest review that covers all aspects of both vacuums in typical home use.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 12:46PM
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That video has several flaws. Look at the Kirby bag when she turns it on, you dont see the bag inflate indicating either a real full bag or a partial clog. Secondly, notice where she has the height adjustment set on the Kirby. Down to its lowest setting which robs it of its airflow. She obviously doesnt even know how to use the machine properly. I will go with the above posters test where the Kirby outperformed the Dyson in picking up the pound of dirt. 14 percent versus 87 percent. Pretty much sums up the comparison for me. Of course everyone will believe what they choose, fact or not

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 6:49PM
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I guess I havent explained myself very well and this whole thing got way off track. My entire point is that there is much more than suction power to accomplishing the mission of cleaning a carpet. Kirby does one thing draws a very nice suction. In fact, in the link I posted above, she reaches the same conclusion. My opinion is that if I can get my carpet clean with 220 airwatts, why do I need 500 or 10,000 airwatts?

The Kirby designers really miss the boat when it comes to practical every day use. They have designed a behemoth that is hard to maneuver (self propelled yes, but its hard to steer around tight corners), hard to maintain (bags and belts, it takes a lot of effort to clean the roller bar if its all haired up), hard to move up and down stairs (heavy / bulky), hard to connect attachments (you have to fetch them from the closet and go through several steps to hook things up), etc, etc. Factoring all this in with the ridiculous sales commissions makes it very hard to make a case as to why a Kirby is better overall. Does the Kirby pull more suction? It probably does, but if I have a clean carpet and floors at the end of the job and I accomplished this quickly without frustration I dont care which one has more suction.

I could design a vacuum that uses a jet engine and post all kinds of experiments that show how my jet outperforms everyone elses vacuum, it would be kind of loud and hard to push around and require maintenance crews, suck up pets, need jet fuel etc. My jet vacuum would have superior suction power by far and I would make sure I get $10,000 commission on every one I sell. Does that make it better for the job?

In my opinion, if you have want to spend a lot of money on a sweeper look at Miele, Dyson, Panasonic, or Sebo. My preference is Dyson because it doesnt have belts or bags to deal with. However, the others get excellent real reviews from real users and appear to be great machines. Stay away from sweepers that require a second mortgage and dont fall for gimmicky sales demonstrations that use "science". Look for reviews by users that discuss practical every day use of the machine.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 1:10PM
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You mention not having bags or belts to deal with and so does the mom who rated the machines in the link you provided. The Dyson DC25 does have a belt, part number 914006-01 available from No bags but it does have 2 filters, one prefilter and one hepa post filter.
I dont think the Kirby is a user friendly vacuum at all. I just believe that it will clean circles around any Dyson on Carpet,period.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 1:49PM
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Ah good point. There is a little belt from the small motor in the brush head to the roller. I'm not trying to mislead anyone. Its just not the typical big fat belt that drives everything and smokes up the house with burnt rubber smell like my old Hoover Wind Tunnel.

As far as the filters they are reusable and you need to rinse them under a faucet every 3 months. Not too much effort.

Thanks for the lively debate!

    Bookmark   August 7, 2009 at 3:54PM
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I appreciate the lively debate as well. Most Hepa filters that are washable are also restrictive as well, again hurting air flow. Air flow is the most important factor in Carpet cleaning, less important in bare floor cleaning and attachment use where water lift and air watts may mean more. I personally wouldnt own either but if I were to choose just one to keep my carpet the cleanest, it would be the Kirby hands down. Used model at hundreds less than the door to door asking price but at the same price as a new Dyson, still a better overall carpet cleaner. If I have nothing but hard flooring or tile and a couple of area rugs I may choose the Dyson but again a used one as they are high priced for what they offer cleaning wise and most importantly durability wise. The brushroll or roller on some of the Dyson models is the cheesiest that I have seen, comparable to 49 dollar closeout models offered at discount stores. Dyson vacuums are comparable to the Fantom vacuums of old which went out of business. Dyson has a much better advertising program but the actual machines arent much better. For you folks that love them, wait until you really need some type of service, Dyson doesnt care about the service end of things, they only care about selling machines. A local repair shop that is very reputable was dropped by Dyson because they couldnt sell 30 machines a month. Now in my area, if you need warranty work you have to ship your Dyson to New York or somewhere to get the work done. Everyone has their choice of vacuum and their reason why they like the machine. Give it a couple of years and more and more people will have bad things to say about the Dyson because they dont give a darn about service and with their advertising budget and the current economy things will only get worse. I am not a Kirby dealer but I would buy a used American made Kirby over a new Dyson everyday of the week. Dysons are made in Maylasia I think. The Dyson is a fad machine that isnt very well made and overly advertised to make people think it is the best thing since sliced bread. It is a poor vacuum at best. Now I will shut up and let you folks get on with your arguments about which is better and why. Buy American, we as a nation need that right now

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 12:14AM
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Sorry, but "buy American" is a p!ss poor reason to buy a machine that is too heavy for the average American woman to lift. You men just don't get it.

For you folks that love them, wait until you really need some type of service . . .

Yes, I am still waiting for the chance to see how Dyson handles repairs. I bought my Dyson in February 2003. It is now August 2009 and I haven't needed service, belts, or replacement bags.

Meanwhile, 6.5 years of Kirby bags, bought in bulk at $2 each and changed once a month would have cost $156.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2009 at 9:38PM
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No belt change yet? Interesting because your machine uses regular rubber belts that stretch out without even being used. With 6 yrs of use I can guarantee your belts need changing on a DC07 if that is indeed what you have. And if the Hepa filter is 6 yrs old it should have been changed several times by now. If one were using that machine regularly on carpet the bristles on the brushroll would be pretty worn by now as well. And if one were regularly using the dusting brush with the flimsly nylon bristles that would be pretty worn by now as well. Add those items up and there is your $156 dollars plus. A 6 and a half year old Dyson that has never had the filter changed or the belts changed is not working "properly", Might as well be using a 50 dollar throw away vac as it would outperform the Dyson at that point. In all honesty you should check into having the belts replaced and find out what the cost is or if you can find someone who will do it, then report back. Your machine will perform much better with the proper maintenance,Dyson or not. I would love to hear what you are quoted for the belt change on your DC07. I have re read through many posts concerning the Dyson and I find it hard to believe that none of the Dyson owners that post here have not had a belt or brush roller problem. I saw 6 of them in the local repair shop at the same time. They all had the same thing in common. Belt and or clutch or brushroll problems.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 12:55PM
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As far as the belts or clutch goes on the DC07 and 14 models, here is a video for the do it yourselfer that some might find helpful. I did this on a friends 07 before this video was out. It took me around an hour and a half because I wasnt familiar with the job. This video would have helped but you would still need to purchase the belt lifter kit and the torx screwdriver if you dont have one already. The belt lifter tool looks like it would help make things easier on the job as I used large screwdrivers to lift the belt over the roller and it wasnt easy

    Bookmark   August 9, 2009 at 9:36PM
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I heartily disagree that maintenance concerns warrants the purchase of a new Kirby over a Dyson or Miele, or a Panasonic. A new Kirby has a lifetime warranty that is non-transferable, so if you buy a used one you are paying out of pocket (according to the Kirby website). What the Kirby warranty covers Im not sure. If the lifetime warranty is such a great selling point why not advertise the details? In any case, a new Dyson has a 5 year parts and labor warranty and clearly state the terms on their website.

So lets assume I get a new Kirby for a great price and I talk the salesman down to a mere $1,400. A new, almost top of the line, Dyson costs $500 (which, by the way, is the sales commission you just paid for the $1,400 Kirby). Does the extra $900 make up for any repair costs I might incur after the 5 year warranty is up? Suppose I throw my Dyson in the trash at the end of the 5-year warranty period just because I never want to pay out of pocket for repairs. I could purchase another at 5 years and another 10 years down the road before Ive caught up to the original Kirby price. If you throw in the price of the Kirby repairs, belts, and bags over 15 years you could easily cover the cost of a 4th Dyson to get you to the 20 year mark.

Carpets may clean themselves with nanobots by them. Something Im working on.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 3:39PM
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Dyson wont replace the filter because it is supposedly lifetime. Locally you have to ship your Dyson at your cost to Dyson to have it fixed. I have heard of people being without their machine for over a month. Hopefully those of you that do have Dysons will also have a local Dyson warranty facility to help you with any problems that may occur.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2009 at 6:03PM
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Here is over 50 pages of reviews from real people about what you can expect when dealing with Kirby.

You can see that the reviews come from just about every state in the country so these aren't isolated incidents. I know first hand that Filter Queen uses similar sales practices.

My question is if Kirby's are such great sweepers why take advantage of people using high pressure sales, misleading demonstrations, and ridiculous high interest financing? Put your product on display next to the others at Kohl's and Target and let people inform themselves and choose on their own.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2009 at 9:06AM
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Kirby is way too expensive, but I bought one. The guy kept coming down and when he wouldn't come down anymore, I told him I would take the vacuum for that price, only if I could keep my Dyson. (He had a $59 trade figured in, and the Dyson was too new.)

I wasn't overly impressed with the Kirby until the guy did my stairs. I have lived here for a year and three months. I bought the Dyson when I moved in. The last guy had a dog and I could smell it, so I used this stuff called Dyson "Zorb It." I put it down pretty much everywhere, and have vacuumed a lot in the last year. In fact, on the stairs, I sometimes used the Dyson tools, but sometimes I would be in a hurry and would hold the whole vacuum over the steps and use the base of the vacuum to clean. I just used my hands around the base, NOT by the handle. I would be on the lower steps, and would use it at head level. I am sure that the suction was better from the base than through the tools, with the only difference being that the base probably doesn't get into the corners.

The obnoxious Kirby salesman used the body of his also, no tools. But he picked up TONS of crap. He didn't know what it was, and I didn't tell him, but I knew it was the "Zorb It" that I had put down over a year ago. So if you can afford it (and can keep saying "NO,") see how far the guy will come down. It might never be worth it, since the Kirby is expensive, but it does pick up better.

As to the person who didn't like the "cut and paste" review, I saw that on the original site. I find it consistent and the testing methodology to be better than most of the STORIES I read. In my case, Dyson had a year to get that cr@p off of my steps....

If you see this review elsewhere, I am posting it in more than a couple of places. This is just my experience with the two sweepers...

    Bookmark   January 2, 2011 at 10:34AM
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Welcome to GardenWeb, Brian N.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 8:31AM
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I have never owned a Kirby, but my grandmother did. It was "okay" but that is all I can say for it. She did not even have any shag to her carpet, and it still did not do that great of a job. I now own the Dyson pet vac, and love, love, love it. I read a lot of people saying they are plasticy. I do not really get that feel from it when using it. I am a total clean freak, and will not switch to using any other vacuum. I even had a Rainbow salesperson come over to show off her demonstration of how great her vacuum was, and what it would get out of my floors. I am proud to say, she got basically NOTHING. She even said, "What you have does seem to work really well... but look what else my vacuum can do!"

    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 5:15PM
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I bought a Kirby 15 years ago. The only things that have ever broke or needed replacing was the belt and hoses. The powerhead, or motor, simply never quits!! Never have I complained about the suction but for fifteen years now, I have beeen complaining about the inconvenience of having to switch between the powerhead and the hose every time I vacuum! After hearing so many positive reviews about the Dyson, I decided to forgo suction for convenience and buy one (as I firmly believed nothing cleans better than a Kirby.) I am a mom with no pets but several children, which i figure equals a pet. :-) So I bought a Dyson DC25 animal upright. I was so excited to be getting this machine! Well, I've been using it for three months now and am so extremely disappointed with it. I'm not understanding at all how people think it has good suction! It barely sucks up a gum wrapper on the carpet or the hardwood!Sure, it's probably getting dirt and dust and hair, but anything slightly bigger, it just leaves behind or drags along, and when you have kids, 'slightly bigger things' are all over!! And the hose doesn't pick up anything at all without an attatchment on it! So much for convenience! My Kirby ends up being better than the Dyson after all, and I'm sad about it. I was so hoping for something better. My conclusion is that there needs to be an engineer out there that can design a vacuum that has really powerful suction along with convenience!! We moms need it!!

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 1:13PM
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Welcome to Gardenweb, Cari (

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Who cares Tristar kills both of them...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 1:01AM
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I would take a Miele over both of them any day of the week.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2011 at 11:55AM
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Personally I would have nothing put an electrolux. That is the original electrolux sold under the name aerus lux now..
There is not a bagless vacuum on the market that half the dust just ends up back in your homes air that you breath..So Kirby would be your best bet if you want an upright.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2011 at 4:06PM
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Welcome to Gardenweb, msi9670.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 10:17AM
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Can anyone here tell me what kind of vacuum cleaner works well on a deep high pile carpet? Please don't tell me Dyson.
It doesn't work. It gets "stuck" and I can't push it without possible harm to my new carpet. It doesn't have a manual height adjustment. Anyone know of a good quality vacuum for high pile?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 7:15AM
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TriStar wins hands down for lush pile carpet.
I have a Dyson and a TriStar. I use the Dyson for daily cleaning and once a week I drag out the Tristar to vacuum thoroughly. TriStar lifts the pile and keeps the traffic areas like new.
I bought my TriStar used and have never looked back.
Dyson is good for quick pick ups.
I also have 2 Kirbys sitting in the back of the garage. Too heavy!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:14AM
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That lic. P.E. is defending his decision in buying a Dyson. What a maroon. How can anyone say that the greatvacs test wasn't the most subjective test of power, pull, and suction? It doesn't take a genius to know that pulling twice as much dirt over a piece of new carpet is much better than any anecdotal evidence we see on videos and reviews by "moms".

I don't own either. I have hardwood floors for a reason, and that's because I don't trust vacuums to get the floors clean enough. However, I do use a dirt devil with a hose attachment to suck up hair and junk on the floors. I would love to see how a dyson and kirby performs in this regard.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 5:21PM
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I have two Kirbys. One I bought secondhand for $500,the other came with the house when we bought it. I have never used a Dyson so I cannot compare. Yes, the Kirby is a heavy machine. I no longer have two floors and it does the job for me. In the last house we had hardwood and the Kirby did great. I would either use it with the brushroll unhooked or attach the hose and use the wands tonget under the sofa. I did not and do not find switching back and forth to be an inconvenience at all. The Kirby has so much suck power that it actually lifts the carpet as you vaccuum. No other vaccuum I've owned has done this. The Kirby got the dead fly out of our honeycomb shades. Our previous vaccuum couldn't do that. The zipbrush has been great for cleaning pet hair and dusty dirt from the upholstery both in the house and the car. Using this vaccuum is not rocket science and despite what someone stated earlier, the repair frequency on the Kirby is very low.
I am happy with it.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 8:18PM
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Stay away from anything bagless, Half the dirt just gets put back in the air..

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:38PM
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I've been around Kirby Vacuums most of my life. Some of my kinfolk had a Heritage 2 for a long time while I've used a rebuilt Tradition since 1997. Although the newer Kirby vacs have improved, I still like the 35 yr old machine I have. I've also converted my machine to use HEPA bags since I have pets and the carpet shampooer does a hell of a job not just with carpets but clearly visible pet stains as well. If anyone still thinks their Dysons, Rainbows, Patriots, Mieles, etc does a better job than the still American made Kirby, you should have introduced me and my family to whatever it is you've got 20+ years ago.
the Buckeye Buckaroo

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 7:01PM
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I own a Kirby G5D; bought it in the Fall of 1998 for $1800. It has been a great vacuum all these years. My son has Asthma and we have no pets. We have hard wood floors with area rugs downstairs and carpet upstairs. I clean vents and ceiling fans fairly often. So I have used it on all the different surfaces carrying it up and down all these years. In the early years I even used the shampooing attachments; but no one eats up stairs and no pets - so what's the need?

I found this thread because my Kirby recently broke. The 800 Kirby number sent me to a questionable "authorized repair" place. It was very spooky with no signage on the "office" and it was very dirty inside. Their condition on giving me an estimate was to do yet another sells spill. So the guy comes to my home and goes through the cleaning "filters" and starts to shampoo a section of my area rug. Going through this a second time is like watching a magic show for a second time. Boy did he put a lot of soap in the tank! That wasn't dirt from the bed, it was lint. Either way I stuck to my guns about repair (transmission at $215) and not buying another. He offers $1200 trade in and financing $1000. You know you really have to question such a steep discount. When I still say as I did when bringing the vac to their location that no matter what I was not spending that kind of money on another one. Well he dumped the "dirt" on my floor and left stating that he knew I could afford it. Well I picked up my broken one the next day with no repair done.
This experience has me looking at other brands. It's just the transmission on my old Kirby (it's stuck in drive). I like it that much. I may just buy some small stick for the hard surfaces downstairs.
One thing to note about Kirby - they are a company that preys on new homeowners and housewives. They get you in your home with what you will see as a bargain that you can't let walk out your door. They now go for $2200 and like another said you'll spend that in replacing the plastic bag less models every few years - so it is a wash.

If I stopped using my Kirby today; $1800/13 years is a cost of about $138 per year. A three pack of bags off Amazon runs you about $8 and those three last me about a year & half. I don't have to worry about dust and dirt blowing back up and out of the trash and I can clean under my king sized bed.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2012 at 6:28PM
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I have had a Kirby and Dyson! I am happy with the Dyson, glad I donated my kirby to the thrift store!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2012 at 8:03AM
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I hate mydyson with a passion...

    Bookmark   February 13, 2012 at 10:02PM
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Just found this site, and want to talk about my 13 yr old Kirby G5. I recently got it back (wife had it across the country since 2004) I wiped it down, put a new Micron Magic bag in it, checked the belt and vacuumed our floor.. it performed as good as the day we bought it new back in 1999. I'll compare it to my sisters Dyson and put a comparison on here in the future....

    Bookmark   May 1, 2012 at 1:56AM
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Circus Peanut

I'm with badgergrrl and msi:
Best vacuums I've ever used: Miele canisters, any model. Always.
Second-best: a vintage Electrolux with sleds instead of wheels. Yes, that old, and still beat the pants off a modern Kirby or Dyson in terms of sheer sucking power. Kirby seems really heavy and Dyson seems really flimsy in comparison to my 3 Mieles (which are made in Germany by those earning a decent living wage. Another consideration to keep in mind perhaps?)

Others may differ, but the SOLE goal in my vacuuming is to suck as much crud off the floor/out of the carpet as possible in every pass. :-)

    Bookmark   May 10, 2012 at 12:57AM
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