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I have been using a Dyson for the last 2 years and despite my ex raving about how good they are I have to say I wasn't impressed. Growing up my Mum always had a Kirby vacuum, she purchased the Legend back in 1989 and it is still going now it has been passed onto my grandmother and as long as a Kirby vacuum is serviced and maintained they last a long time averaging 25+ years. The initial model my Mum had was in ET (the film) and was called a Kirby Legend.
My mother got this particular model about 10 years ago and she has now passed it onto me in favour of a newer model for herself.
I can't remember exactly how much my Mum paid for this but it was around the £600 mark. Now that is expensive for a vacuum but when you take into account the fact that these machines go on forever then annually if you work it out it isn't that big an expense. You normally get a Kirby through an authorised dealer and my Mum got hers from a dealer in Cardiff who also carries out the annual servicing.
The model I have is a G series but mine is the diamond edition.
The vacuum I find is heavier than newer models, I think this is mainly because the suction part is metal and very solid whereas most modern cleaners are made of lightweight plastic. The model is bulky and it does take up a fair bit of space in my cleaning cupboard, I would say it is double the size of a Dyson. The vacuum as I said above is mainly aluminium the handle is plastic and the bag is made from material which is grey in colour and has various patterns on it. The cord wraps around the right hand side of the vacuum as you are looking at it and the plug has a plastic clip to stop it from unwrapping. The front of the cleaner has a light and a plastic piece which swivels to remove the upright part in order to attach the hose. The hoover has adjusting height levels which go from 0-5 and one press of the button with your foot clicks the upright down one level so it can be adjusted for different surfaces. At the back of the hoover is a level which is grey one side and yellow the other. This has the letters N for normal on the one side and D for delicate on the other. I will explain about this later on.
The hoover comes with various attachments in a plastic grey box with the word Kirby on it, this can be fixed to the wall. The attachments you get include a hose with various end pieces including my favourite a slim piece which I use for getting in awkward spaces in my car, brushes for upholstery and other surfaces that gather dust as well as normal pipe attachments.
The main features of this vacuum are the HEPA filtration which removes 99.9% of allergens from the carpet, height adjustment (as stated earlier), drive tech assist and a normal delicate switch.
Above I mentioned the switch at the back with D and N printed on it, this is the normal and delicate switch it allows you to turn the power of the vacuum down for delicate items so if you are hoovering a sofa or some delicate fabric. This mode uses only half of the power so it doesn't damage delicate surfaces.
The best feature I think of this vacuum is the drive tech assist, this pulls the vacuum along the carpet making hoovering a whole lot easier, in fact if you leave the vacuum stood on the carpet switched on it slowly pulls itself along the carpet. When my nan does my hoovering on occasion she finds this a lot easier for her as the model is quite bulky and can be difficult to push along. This is a relatively new feature to Kirby vacuums and I think useful.
You can also use this vacuum to clean your carpets and there is attachments and foam included to do this, I have to be honest I have never used this feature as the vacuum doesn't suck up the water in the way a carpet cleaner does so I have a separate carpet cleaner.
In terms of actual vacuuming this is far superior to any other cleaner I have used, I have had various models and I find that this removes a lot more dust and dirt than the Dyson I had. The hoover is easy to adjust and so you can move the brushes up and down this is ideal for me as we have an open plan kitchen living room so it goes from carpet to tiles, the tiles need the vacuum to be on the lowest level so the brushes touch the floor whereas the carpet is ok on level 2. My carpet is a deep pile and sometimes bits seem to get deeply embedded in the pile, this vacuum lifts them away with ease.
The best example for me at how good this is for cleaning is in my car, I find that no matter how many times I hoover it I get a lot of bits stuck in the carpets and also in the mats and it never looks completely clean particularly after a trip to the beach or a muddy park. This hoover as an attachment that can be used in the car, this enables you to get right into the nooks and crannies and remove a great deal of dirt. The hoover has a brilliant suction, it is really powerful. When hoovering the car you have to be careful as if you drop the hose outside the car it hoovers up the stones on my drive.
Unlike most modern vacuums Kirby hoovers use bags, which can be purchased from a main dealer or electrical shops. The are expensive at £8.50 for 20, but then they do last about 2 months in my house and that is with daily hoovering. The bags are made from a strong paper and they have a hole which is coated in rubber to hold them to the hose and finally there is a tie to clip it to the bag holder inside the vacuum.
In terms of noise this hoover is quite loud, but hoovering only takes me about 15 minutes so it is not something that is a real negative. My neighbours certainly haven't mentioned the noise so perhaps it seems louder to me than it is.
The final point in my review is about the servicing, the price of this varies dependent on where you live and the last service I had cost me £70. This involved changing some of the brushes and replacing some worn parts. I would recommend a service if you do have a Kirby as it keeps it working as good as new.
Overall I think this is a fantastic hoover, I am so grateful I got it for free as I couldn't have possibly paid for this myself. I am confident that this will give me years of good service it is robust and well made and I would recommend it highly.
I think the Kirby is the best vacuum ever. It is the only vacuum I know that can have an annual service, like a car, and get all the worn out bits replaced. It may seem a bit complicated but the suction is brilliant and the whole thing is built to last for years. I have had mine now for about 16 years at a guess and it is still as good as new. In addition to vacuuming it will also deep clean carpets with shampoo. It converts to a hand held for doing stairs. mattresses etc (it is a little heavy but as it is quick to do, it is bearable). I know someone who has gone through at least three other sorts of vacuums in the time that I have had this one - it just doesn't wear out. There should be a Kirby appreciation society - I would join!
I have owned a Kirby for the past 15 years and have never had a day's trouble from it. It has an annual service, paid for monthly- which I admit probably costs the amount of a small vaccuum cleaner- and every year the service engineer makes the machine look as if it's brand new again.
We have a three storey house with carpets throughout, apart from the hallways, so the amount of vacuuming I do is considerable.
What I like most about it is it's a really solid machine, but when it's kicked into 'drive' (yes this is a vacuum cleaner with gears) it is easy to handle.
What my husband likes most about it is all the gadgets and gizmos that come with it. You can attach a carpet shampooer easily and it even comes with a dedicated floor sander for when you need to sand down your wooden floors.
There's a tool for everything. I find spring cleaning with the Kirby a breeze, because I can get into every nook and cranny imaginable with all the attachments.
It has a headlight so you can see where you are cleaning, it gets right to the edge of the carpet unlike any other machine I've ever known and you can lower the brushes according to the thickness of the carpet.
As an asthma sufferer, this machine has been a Godsend as I know that when I clean a room, I won't be wheezing 24 hours later. You can also change it's structure and use it as a hand-held bed cleaner, positively crucifying those dust mights. I've never known a more powerful cleaner.
I wouldn't be without my Kirby. I bought it when my mum bought one and I could see the difference it made with her carpets and the improvement in my dad's breathing, especially at night.
Overall, a legend in the living room!
I have had a kirby for 5 months and they seem great on the outset. One day my kirby decides to have asurge in power and pulls up an eighteen inch thread from a flat carpet and threadbares my carpet completly.
Being a large company you think I would have been treated fairly but no. I send e mail to explain my problem and I am ignored, I send a second and i am told a representative will contact be shortly to look at the Problem , un-beknown by this kind soul at head office I have already had the franchise who sell your kirby knock my door , puff his chest out and act intimidating as I have "missed a payment" and was going to " take my kirby away from me" Funny that already paid over 400 pounds and yet he can waltz in and take my property away without a question , so much for compnay integrity. Once the gentleman had realsied ther was in fact a bigger problem he took some pictures and muttered that some one would be in contact. ... No you guessed it No one was.
So I had to contact again this time explaining I would go to a solicitors and a kind man at Kirby headquarters tells me that he will sort it out and someone will contact me. No one called. So I spoke again and eventually an apologetic man takes my kirby away for tests and i will be contacted the next day to let know how it is progressing.NO CALL.
I wait a week NO CALL I speak to the kind man at Kirby who assures me he will sort it and he will call back and the franchise will call NO CALL.
I call the franchise and am told by the manager has been in interviews all day and will call me back and NO CALL.
This is another week since and you see a pattern here... NO CALLS NO NOTHING NO KIRBY. So I writing this and will be seeing a solictor as I have been treated badly , I have had the run around, had bully boy tactics, have no hoover , am hundreds of pounds owed and HAVE A RUINED CARPET. All I wanted was a nice house not a headache I would have bought Anadin who by the way i do endorse.
Update spoke to consumer Kirby AGIAIN to a dappy woman in reception who doesnt know what time or even if her boss is coming in but has my number on her desk and knows it ...FUNNY NO ONE RINGS IT