How are Kirby vacuum cleaner models different?

We will discuss the Kirby vacuum cleaner models that have been released since 1990. That was the year Kirby released the “Generation 3” model, which was very different from anything Kirby had produced up to that time. The Kirby vacuum cleaner G3 was very advanced and probably years ahead of any vacuum cleaner on sale at the time. Although Kirby is notorious for its rudest and most aggressive sales tactics in door-to-door sales, almost everyone who has seen the Kirby vacuum cleaner has to admit that it is a good appliance.

Kirby vacuum cleaner models

There are still some things that could be improved (starting with the assembly and disassembly of the wide beater nozzle or the outside bag safety switch) problems that have not been addressed by the company in over 20 years. This will likely be due to a very large financial outlay required to make changes to the original design. Also, Kirby seems to be cutting corners by introducing more and more plastic parts into the system. However, we have to give Kirby credit that the price of the Kirby vacuum cleaner has not increased significantly, even though the cost of materials and manufacturing is increasing at an accelerating rate (especially in the last few years). With the manufacture of more and more plastic parts, however, there is a risk of losing the customer base with a “metal is better” perception. Kirby vacuum cleaner models

So if you are such a customer, remember that in some cases plastic is no worse than metal. In fact – it may even be better. Keep in mind that plastic allows the company to keep system costs low for the distributor, so he/she can sell at a lower price. If you are not very good at haggling the price with a salesperson and you still paid a lot of money for the Kirby vacuum cleaner – blame yourself (or not – we leave it up to you to decide). Why should you buy a newer model? – Just like you would trade in a car with more miles for a new one or maybe you just like a different color better.

Kirby G3

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 1990 to 1993

Kirby introduces a new Kirby vacuum cleaner design. Redesigned from the ground up. The biggest innovation – Tech-Drive. Mini transmission that uses the momentum of the motor to turn the rear wheels to move the vacuum over the surface so you don’t have to. All the user has to do is push gently on the handle. A vee loaded pivot and lever engages one of the 2 clutch mechanisms (one for forward and one for backward motion) in the transmission. The wheels begin to turn and the vacuum goes. The engine is also all new. Kirby vacuum cleaner models

The dual speed switch is also a safety switch that will not let the vacuum cleaner operate if the bag is not installed over the outlet. Like a few previous models, the switch has a safety feature that will not let the vacuum cleaner operate if the wide beater nozzle or hose is not attached to the front of the unit, preventing someone from sticking his/her fingers into the spinning rotor blade. Just a note – old-style outer bags with reinforced top and the words “Generation 3” are no longer made. The original Kirby outer bags have no reinforcement on the top and there is no longer a model name on them.

Kirby G4

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 1993 to 1997.

The color Dark gray is changed to Light gray. Plastic trim, hubcaps, storage box and belt lifter change color. All attachments remain the same, but also have a new light gray color. One improvement – the spring loaded pivot point that straightens the handle when released has been redesigned. This seems to be a good change as the newer design holds up better. One cost-saving change – the outer fabric top of the bag is no longer reinforced. For years, the top of the bag had a wire or brace that helped the fabric hold its shape.

Since the G4 model, the top of the bag is covered with a vinyl layer about 2 cm deep, but when the belt stretches over time and the bag is consistently overloaded with dirt – the bag sags and the top of the bag pulls loose from the vinyl and does not look good. This is the year Kirby introduced a new type of disposable bags – Micron Magic – it is an improvement and the filtration is better.

Kirby G5

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 1997 to 1999.

The new color is burgundy. For some reason, the brush indicator light is now on the other side of the wide beater nozzle. I am not sure what the reason was, but now parts stores and vacuum cleaner stores have to stock up on another type of brush roll (maybe that was the reason). The hood and lens of the headlight are bent a bit more. The bottom plate of the floor nozzle becomes plastic (the G3 and G4 models had a metal chromed bottom plate).

Also minor change in the design of the shampoo tank. A small strainer mounted on the shampoo container is now mounted as a stopper rather than a cap. It was intended to make it less likely to get stuck in the short shampoo hose when pulled from the shampoo container, but it is still a problem. This stopper/sieve just won’t stay in the neck. Belt lift lever/knob on the sprayer now has a lever that allows you to twist the knob.

Kirby G6

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 1999 to 2002.

The new Color goes from burgundy to black, but otherwise the model is the same as G5. Nothing has been changed. It may have been the model in which Kirby company experimented with a different ratio of primary gears used to transfer momentum from motor to transmission. This was probably done to solve the vacuum jump problem. Because the Kirby wide beater nozzle gets so close to the carpet, it sometimes vibrates when it hits the fiber, which does not feel good.

But this is still a problem and it may be impossible to solve because there are many different carpets with different length and density of fibers and what works on one carpet may not necessarily work on another. And another small change is the Miniemptor – the plastic base of the outer bag that attaches to the vacuum cleaner. The older design broke relatively often, and the new design is a bit stronger. If you buy a new Miniemptor for G3; G4 or G5 Kirby vacuum cleaner, it will also be made using a new design mold.

The filling hose (hose that connects the miniemptor to the bag connector to which the dust bag is attached) is just a plastic tube, while the old one was reinforced with a metal coil. In 2000 and 2001, some Kirby vacuum cleaners were sold with labels on the front of the handle that read “2000 Limited Edition” and “2001 Limited Edition.” This must have been a marketing stunt, because apart from the labels, they were no different. Kirby vacuum cleaner models

Kirby Ultimate

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 2003 through 2006.

Speckled design elements changed to diamond shapes, but keeping the same Ultimate G color scheme. One major difference is that two speed switches have been added. It is just a small circuit board attached to the bottom of the motor and a switch mounted on the side of the aluminum shell on the unit. Now it is technically possible to run Kirby at 4 speeds. For years (even before Kirby G3 model vacuum cleaner), the manufacturer designed a vacuum cleaner that ran at 2 different speeds.

High – full throttle when the hose is installed and you are using the vacuum as a cantilever vacuum. When the wide beater nozzle is installed, pressing another lever switches the motor to a lower mode. So with the additional control, no matter what speed the motor is set to by installing the hose or nozzle, the speed of the motor is approximately halved. So you can have – normal speed with nozzle installed, same speed halved with the switch; high speed with hose, same hose speed but adjusted with the switch.

Kirby Sentria

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 2006 to 2012

More cosmetic changes – the upright handle and the entire handle are now redesigned. These changes have no effect on performance. The strain relief for the electrical cord is now attached directly to the aluminum housing with two screws. This prevents the cord from being bent at sharp corners, thus extending the life of the cord. New “Style F” type bags were introduced in 2009. All the filtration materials used in making the bags are the same, but the assembly is different.

Not better, not worse – just different and the bags are not interchangeable with the old ones. In 2009, Kirby begins making vacuum cleaners without lubricating the handle slide mechanism and the gears in the transmission. It also omits a small plastic wedge that holds the slide mechanism together. Thousands of vacuum cleaners are made that way, but around March 2011 they switch back to the old way of vacuuming. This “experiment” led to many service calls where the handles got stuck in one position or the entire handle slide (the piece that holds the handle and the rest of the vacuum together)

loosened and the vacuum became unusable (read more about it here). The nozzle bumper now covers more metal on the edges of the nozzle, so more protection for your furniture. Redesigned miniemptor. Some plastic has been removed so less plastic is needed to fabricate the part. LED headlight is installed instead of a headlight with a regular bulb. A few years later, Kirby redesigned the circuit board 2010 the entire base/pan that everything is mounted on becomes plastic. The motor loses the ground wire because there is nothing to ground it to (the base is plastic). In the first years of making the Sentria model, Kirby had marketed a Handi-Butler rotary attachment, only to discontinue it a few years later.Kirby vacuum cleaner models

So today (November 2011) it is the same G3 from 1990 with a few minor changes and some more plastic parts in a new color. Kirby is still one of the most powerful and versatile vacuum cleaners on the market, but it is a bit behind consumer expectations and many distributors are not even waiting for a new model because it will probably be the same vacuum cleaner, just with a different color bag and more plastic.

Kirby Sentria II

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 2012 to 2014.

This model is long overdue. Usually Kirby Company comes out with a new model every 2-3 years, but this time it took six years.

What’s new? – NOTHING. Long awaited major improvements and radical changes are once again pushed forward a few years. In a few years Kirby will turn 100, so it seems inconceivable today that it wouldn’t be a totally new design, yet once again we can all be proven wrong. This time it’s just the usual new pattern on the outer fabric pocket and a new color scheme – nothing more.

Kirby still remains one of the most powerful and durable systems, but its lack of versatility is partly to blame for it being one of the most complicated vacuums to use. Therefore, we think there is definitely room for improvement.

Kirby 100ste verjaardag Kirby Avalir

This Kirby vacuum cleaner was made from 2014 through 2018

This is Kirby’s 100th anniversary vacuum cleaner, the brand new Kirby Avalir.

There are a number of new changes to this vacuum cleaner, although the motor and main system seem to remain the same.

The biggest change is the shampoo system that can now be used on carpet and hard floors, making it more versatile in a whole-house cleaning machine.

There are new brush rollers for the Kirby Avalir, it seems that there are 4 new brush rollers for floors, carpets, tiles, etc.

The handle style has changed a bit, a new design and with the 100th anniversary and Kirby Avalir logos.

Kirby still remains one of the most powerful and durable systems, but its lack of versatility is partly to blame for it being one of the most complicated vacuums to use. Therefore, we think there is definitely room for improvement.