For nearly one-hundred years, The Kirby Company has manufactured superior, American-made home cleaning systems. Kirby does not sell directly to the public but continues a long tradition of distributing its home cleaning systems through independent distributors, who are responsible for running their own businesses. Over the years, this distribution system has afforded thousands of men and women the opportunity to live the American dream of owning and operating their own businesses.
Experience has taught us that customers prefer to try our premium cleaning systems in their own homes before purchasing. Customer satisfaction is our top priority. If customers have any questions or concerns regarding the in-home demonstrations of Kirby cleaning systems or the cleaning systems themselves, please email us at email@example.com, or call us at 800-494-8586, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., EST.
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First, I'll comment on the salesman experience since that seems to be the main reason Kirby has gotten so many low reviews. Yes, it was very long. I'd say around 4 hours, however, to be fair this vacuum does A LOT so it would be very difficult to see what all it can do in a super short amount of time. The gentleman that did our demonstration was super nice. I'll throw in here that I had 9 kids at the time who were all into the demonstration and he was really cool about it and even let them use it. He was very thorough and in the process vacuumed my sofa, loveseat, walls, curtains, ceiling and mattress as well as cleaned a couple of windows. Even if I hadn't bought it, it was worth the time just to get all that cleaning done for free!
Now, onto what the Kirby can do. What really sold me on it was the fact that I had literally just washed and dried my sofa and loveseat cushion covers and put them back on about 10 minutes before he arrived. The dirt that the Kirby was sucking out when I had just cleaned them really amazed me. It even pulled a tremendous amount of dirt out of the living room area rug I had just bought that day! Besides all that, this vacuum does it all...vacuums, shampoos, air cleaner, inflator, window cleaner, unclogs sinks...you can even paint with it (spray). It has tons of attachments for basically anything you'll ever need to do in the cleaning world. I've kept my vehicle upholstery looking brand new and cleaning curtains while they are still hanging and vacuuming ceilings are a breeze. I have had my Kirby for almost 2 years now and it is by far the smartest purchase I have made for all my cleaning needs.
Hi Rhonda! Thank you so much for your review! We are pleased to hear you had such a positive experience with the independent distributor who demonstrated the Kirby.
Remember family having one that was probably 20 years old when I was 7. They replaced it over something stupid without letting me look at it (I was already repairing lamp cords and other kids toys lol). Found a Heritage II dumped out for the trash 5 years or so ago. This vacuum would have been brand new when I was 7. Couldn’t pass it up. $40 and I did a complete rebuilt including replacing the broken plastic part that connected the bag to the vacuum. This machine blew me away. I have never seen a vacuum work as well as it did. I had a Shark professional that it replaced as a daily cleaner. I had no attachments so I decided to make the plunge and get a new one. Contrary to what rumors spread these can be purchased for a lot less than the price usually seen floating around on reviews.
In comes my Avalir 2. Put it all together and it’s absolutely awesome. It makes a much more stable vacuum when using the hose and not as an upright than the shark. It’s extremely powerful, and even comes with power assist. Using this is nowhere near clunky like a mower. It’s butter smooth requiring you to do absolutely nothing. It has a transmission in it and it senses when you push forward and pull back. It’s literally butter smooth. You don’t know it’s powered. You just click it on and it simple makes the vacuum feel 1/4 the weight it is. The attachments are well thought out and useful rather than some crappy junk thrown together to say it has a bunch of features. The Kirby’s are well designed and useful. I have no problems reaching my 10 foot ceiling without it being uncomfortable. In canister mode it rolls around with me easily I don’t have to constantly pick it up and move it a few feet. The ability to adjust height is great and easy to use.
Needless to say there is no better vacuum made. I’ve seen and or used about all the other so called top of the line ones and they felt cheap and were almost all plastic. When you buy a Kirby, you buy it for life. The maintenance is even simple enough anyone what can change oil would have no trouble at all keeping one going for decades without ever needing serviced at a shop.
Typically I would run my shark over the wood floor and then follow up with a mop. The mop would always be filthy. After a good pas with the Kirby and running the brush quickly around the corners I went back with the mop to shine it and get some stick spots up. The mop was so clean I didn’t have to wash anything off it before putting it up. Basically it just added floor shine and removed some sugary drops that got sticky. I have not received the shampoo, grout and tile, and wood floor cleaning parts, at that point it will replace the old shampooer I have and the little Swiffer like mop. You might think you bought a Cadillac vacuum at 300 bucks, but a Kirby is the Rolls Royce of vacuums, and no you don’t have to pay 3000 dollars for one, you can get one under a grand. They are also extremely nice looking with polished aluminum bodies.
There are two types of people in the world, ones with clean houses and others who don’t yet own a Kirby. It’s worth every cent and it will stay with you for life, and that counts for something today when everything is designed to be disposable. After you buy 2 sharks, you have basically paid for a Kirby. Just get the Kirby.
I cannot rate the salesman service as there weren’t any within 300 miles of me so I had to order it online and assemble it myself, and I don’t get the special Kirby perks. I dont work for Kirby or own Kirby stock. It’s the truth. The Kirby is not all just hype. It’s worth every penny, both my 40 something year old heritage II and the new Avalir 2 both prove it. They are built the same with the same high quality parts. In fact if it wasn’t due to Kirby adding a safety switch on the new model to keep it from turning on the motor without something covering the suction fan all the attachments and heads would be interchangeable. The parts to keep it alive forever are dirt cheap, and easy to change.
Hi Ash, thank you for your review on your Kirby experience! We are pleased to hear you are happy with your new Avalir 2!
I've had my Kirby Sentra for 6 years now. It's the best vacuum cleaner I've ever owned. I've had every other type of big box retail cleaner - Dyson, Shark, Toshiba, Sharp, Bosch, Dirt Devil, Hoover, and every type of shop-vac imaginable - and all have worked fine, however nothing compares to the Kirby. The Kirby is by far, one of the best vacuum cleaners made worldwide.
A few notes; a brand new Kirby is like a brand new Mercedes - they're expensive brand new. If you're looking to buy a Kirby, do what I did and buy a used one from eBay or Amazon. A Kirby is not some Chinese made piece of plastic junk - it'll last a lifetime and there are thousands of testimonials to back that up. It's a solid, heavy duty piece of American made machinery and the company has been in business since 1906. The brand has an international reputation for quality and performance that is over a hundred years old - so for those that don't know the history of the company and product, it's sold on a door-to-door basis, however you can find dealers that repair them and sell used ones.
Many reviewers seem to be in sticker shock at the price of a new Kirby, but put it in perspective. An iPad or tablet computer would set you back the same amount and you'd be lucky if the thing lasted 3 years. Used Kirby's are usually in fantastic shape, however there may be one that was used by some idiot to vacuum gravel driveways, so do your homework just like you would with a used car. Once you've familiarized yourself with your Kirby use it properly - don't lug it up and down the stairs, use the proper disposable cloth bags which do an excellent job of catching dust. The suction power on a Kirby is amazing as well. Once a year, just like your car, take it to a Kirby dealer for a major tune up and cleaning. You'll be glad you did. Your Kirby will last you for much longer than any other vacuum cleaner you've ever bought. I know, because every brand of vacuum cleaner I mentioned above, I don't have anymore. They all broke.
Clearly the reviews other than how Kirby's are sold on here are caused from owner operator. Btw let me begin by saying we had a Dyson, Hoover & Dirt Devil and all are in our dump now. Wife had a Dyson when we married. After owning Kirby of my own for almost 20 years and using my mom's old design in the 60/70's I absolutely know the do/don'ts on them and I'll explain.
If the owners saying they don't have suction would only go to Youtube and watch vids or read how to set the machine upright, maybe even paid attention to the demonstration if they ever had one they'd know it's not set correctly so it will indeed fail to pick up dirt & small particles of paper. Its nozzle has to be set correctly or it will fail because Kirby aren't designed to just skim above carpet like a Dirt Devil, Hoover or Dyson etc.
Kirby are deep cleaning units that "when" set up right actually lift the carpet up off the actual floor in front of the suction head. So' if you don't see it lifting carpet you're not setting it right. Having said this Kirby does miss a serious step when teaching operation and so my own trial and error came into play. Missed step? Oh yes' because if you have small paper/plastic/food pieces lying all over the room then one must start with the Kirby vacuum just above the carpet like a cheap vac runs at first. This is where the above mentioned cheap vacs are set even at their lowest settings and why people "think" they clean so great when they actually miss the deep down dirt/sand that destroys all your carpet fibers over time.
Oh yes cheap vacuumed carpets look clean and you see the dirt in the canister but your deep dirt remains unless a Kirby gets it out. In truth "No" vac built today will get it all out not even built in wall vacs but nothing gets you as close to this as a Kirby. NOTHING! Now after what I call the top skimmer setting is ran, I set my Kirby to its "advertised" normal setting position as shown in the Kirby videos.
The reason for an extra step is there is no room between the roller brush and carpet for the larger pieces so it pushes them around since a Kirby actually lifts the carpet up. It's why it cleans under carpets too and others will not come close to that. So I just set mine exactly how Kirby says but I'll raise it a click or two as I encounter any larger pieces sitting on top of the carpet to allow it to pass between brush/carpet. Nothing hard about that and it makes a world of difference. Kirby must know it & should include it.
So if a Kirby working good/bad is all about the setting folks! Also there are several aftermarket bag companies selling bags too restrictive so buyer beware on your bags. Had some bad ones myself. Heavy? Not at all after learning how to use/pick it up correctly. I have 7 bad discs in my back and it's not an issue. I don't have stairs though but learn on vids how to pick one up right. It's not bad.
It's heavier built to last and have real power. Truth is lightweight electric motors have very little copper windings inside and why they simply wear out after a few yrs. Many today now use junk China copper plated aluminum winding even. This is for any electric motor btw, it need the copper to last. It's why Kirbys are passed down generations but many who inherit them have no idea how they even work and leave bad reviews everywhere and touting Dyson's rule when they don't.
They don't mention how many times the cheap vacs been to a shop or they're on their 3rd unit or motor in ten yrs. Simply stop in and ask any vacuum repair shop to see their back room you'll see what truly keeps them in business. Hoovers & Bissels but mainly Dysons line these shops. WATCH A KIRBY VIDEO OR READ UP ON THEM IF YOURS IS NOT VACUUMING, IT WILL HELP IN OPERATION. I ASSURE YOU... By far Kirby makes the best vacs made in over 100 yrs if you know exactly how to operate one. I can only hope these people never ever inherit bulldozers.
The first Kirby my family ever purchased was back in the early 90's. I remember the vacuum salesman coming in and my dad being a bit annoyed. We had that particular one for about 10 years before he bought a new one around 2002. Fast forward to 2016. I have been through pretty much every cheaper brand of vacuum from Bissell to Hoover to Dirt Devil to Shark. I have used Dyson's at work and they don't last very long. Actually most store bought brands do not last long at all with proper care. I decided I wanted a Kirby like I had growing up. It was always reliable as actually cleaned.
I found a person selling a used one for $50 because they had just bought the newest version. The version I got was the Sentria, so not that old at all. It has been well taken care of. I got home and I vacuumed the whole house. The new bag I had put in ended up getting completely full—that's how dirty our carpet was even though I vacuumed religiously. I've had this vacuum for two years now and today I used the shampooer on a stinky rug that my dog vomited on. It cleaned it well and took the smell out. I want to now list the pros and cons of the system.
PROS: It doesn't just vacuum. You can shampoo, use as an air pump, sand things, and a ton more... Kirby's last forever. They are the Toyota of vacuum cleaners. Changing the bags are easy. Putting on basic attachments and using the regular head is easy. Finding parts is easy since you can find pretty much anything in Amazon. Great suction. Versatile. Durable (I spent the same amount of money in vacuums over a 7 yr period when I could have just bought the Kirby). CONS: It's clunky and heavy. There are tons of parts so reading the manual is a must if you want to do more than basic vacuuming. It's hard to find a system that isn't being sold by a salesman. Sales tactics suck when you come in contact with a salesperson. (JUST BUY USED AND SKIP THE MAN.)
Most of the reviews I read had more to do with the sales tactics than the actual machine. The ones where people had complaints about the machines was because they didn't want to do the work to put the attachments on or didn't read the instructions. You actually don't even have to read now. There's tons of videos on YouTube with how to use the Kirby. Overall, Kirby is a great product. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. It cleans better than store bought vacuums and it lasts forever. I'd recommend buying used or going to a vacuum/sew shop and purchasing—skip the salesman. They are independent sellers and can price things how they want.
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We were approached by a woman at our door claiming that they were opening a store nearby and wanted to “put the word out” about their vacuums. She said very clearly that they were not trying to pressure us into anything and that they simply wanted to clean a room of our house. No catch. Unfortunately we fell for it. We suffered through two hours of an extremely condescending sales pitch and a salesman who wouldn’t leave our house even when we said very clearly that we didn’t want the vacuum. I’m sorry, but the way to sell somebody a product isn’t to lie to them and then proceed to treat the customers like total idiots. Even if the Kirby were reasonably priced (who buys a vacuum for $3,000???) I will never buy the product simply due to their shady and unprofessional sales tactics.
The Kirby G6 vacuum is a real workhorse that comes with a large box of accessories that even includes an attachment for cleaning the carpet. The drive is motorized and when engaged it's very easy to push, which is a good thing because it's mostly solid metal construction and very heavy. That also makes it very durable. I bought mine used and it's been working great for close to 20 years. Suction power is very good due to the head being height adjustable for different surfaces.
Kirby has been on the market for many years. Kirby is quality guaranteed. It's value for money and a definite investment. Clean carpets, tiles, curtains, hardwood and many more. In fact this is a 12 in one machine which make it so unique and way in advance from its competitors. After sales is great and spares available at a store near you, (whereever you are). What's great about this machine is its sleek design and can serve as your helper in and around the house.
Kirby is an old time vacuum that has many attachments and many uses. This vacuum has very good suction and leaves your house fresh and clean. With the attachments you clean a variety of things. Being has many uses you always find something you can clean with Kirby.
I have had my Kirby for 15+ years. My sister-in-law has had hers for going on 25+. The Kirby is a workhorse that no vacuum can beat. There are multiple attachments that make it good for any job big or small, wet or dry.
I have had my Kirby for 20 years. By keeping it maintained, you will be able to keep your Kirby your lifetime. It works amazingly on carpet and hard surface floors. Also has attachments for shampooing as well as stairs and high places.
I have had only minor repairs and it has been a workhorse for 25+ years! The vacuum that I had before broke one day after the warranty. I only would say that I hope they changed the process to put on the attachments. It was expensive at the time but we got a great price. I have saved money and frustrations in the long term.
Although I like my Kirby vacuum, it can be a bit clumsy to use. It's very heavy, making it awkward to move up and down stairs or in tight places. Also, the lack of attachments means I cannot use it for vacuuming stairs, furniture, etc. I like that it's all metal as most vacuums with plastic parts seem to always fail. But the size does make it difficult for everyday use.
A very heavy machine that is hard to transport up and down stairs. Doesn't clean any better than my cheaper Sears model. I cannot recommend this machine to anyone. I have used it for 13 years now. It lasts a long time, but the cleaning ability is not superb.
Had a Kirby for years now. Little maintenance needed and off-brand bags work very well. Heavier than most but with the transmission it moves extremely easily. Pretty much rock solid workhorse. My wife says, "We ain't changing."
About five years ago a door to door Kirby sales guy scammed his way into my house claiming he did carpet cleaning and would do a demo clean for free. I had just bought the house so this was great. Turned out it was a sales pitch. Feel like an idiot but we ended up buying one after he started crying at my kitchen table because we said no. Long story short, this is probably one of the biggest wastes of money. It’s terribly heavy - so heavy my wife will not use it; it’s tedious to change modes - from stairs or furniture to carpet; bags fill up very fast and aren’t cheap, belt slips around sweeper with any resistance and bogs down and makes a burning smell. I’ve changed the belt four times and doesn’t make a difference. Vacuum doesn’t pick stuff up off the surface very well, although it deep cleans pretty well. We got another vacuum about two months after we got this one because it was such a pain. Paid about $1500.
Bought mine in 1986, so going like a champ! Was raised on Kirbys. Mom bought hers in 1940, still chugging along! Breaks down you can get it fixed. My son bought one at Walmart and it quit after a few months. Repair guy said toss it! It was not a Kirby. Love Kirby!
It's an old-fashioned upright, without hoses or attachments. We've had it for over 10 years and it's still going strong. I like the basic nature of it, although it could do better with edge cleaning.
Is a Kirby vacuum bulky and industrial compared to lightweight plastic competitors? Yes it is, however, this vacuum will literally last a lifetime and beyond. Kirby stands by their products and will correct any problems you ever have with the vacuum. As far as usage, this vacuum will pull everything out of what is in your carpets no matter how deep it is. I have been using mine for 15 years and it works like a well oiled machine. Yes you have to periodically maintain this machine but that is a small price to pay for a piece of equipment that works well and is a workhorse. As a comparison, you could easily spend as much on on a nice mattress that would last you five years or so before you need to look into replacing it. Bottom line is if you want to make a sound investment in a tool that will deep clean your house for decades or more, you should seriously consider a Kirby vacuum. They don't have the reputation they have for no reason.
The vacuum does a decent job. It is easy to use but requires numerous stops to change tools to do a decent job. The vacuum needs to be updated to a more modern, more utilitarian look and modernized on what it is able to do. The plastic tools also wear out fairly quick. It is not heavy duty for deep dirt.
I remember my mom using Kirby canister vacuums, and so did my best friends mom. So I started using them and I still love. They are a workhorse! They last forever and they do an excellent job. Great suction power!
I was told that the salesman just wanted to come in because he was working on earning a college scholarship. I did not need to buy anything. Just wanted to demonstrate his vacuum cleaner. He was here for three hours. He wanted to demonstrate his machine on a mattress. I let him use my sons less than one year old mattress and he ripped a hole in it. He told me, “Oh that’s OK. I’ll give you a really good deal in this vacuum. I’ll knock $500 off.” The vacuum cleaner started at 2500. He took $500 Off for the damage that he did to the mattress. I was still not buying the vacuum. He called his boss at one point to come in and try to work me a deal. The boss came and said, “Oh man. He tore a hole in the mattress. You never take the sheet off the mattress.” The Kirby guy said, “Oh I forgot.” So now I just have a hole in my brand new mattress. Thank you Kirby salesman.
I've had my Kirby for more than 15 years and it is still cleaning my carpet and floors. No repairs, just replacement parts. This vacuum cleaner had been worth the money that I paid for it. I've always wanted to own one because I've always heard about the top quality of a Kirby.
Bulky, too difficult to remove parts to put attachments on and off to any pedals, confusing to operate correctly and if you buy the works like the shampoo system good luck. Even with directions I had issues.
Had same experience as one star reviewers. Sales pitch with price starting at $2000 down to $995 before leaving after 1.5 hours. I was impressed by the cleaning but don’t think it’s worth it. I was also told it had a lifetime warranty which also isn’t true after reviewing Kirby’s website.
Hi Jon, thank you for your review. We take all feedback serious and into consideration, so we appreciate your review.
I love my Kirby! I never would thought that I would purchase a vacuum that expensive, but it is built to last. This is the last vacuum I will ever purchase. Not only does it clean wonderfully but has an attachment for everything you could ever want to clean, but it has a 100 year rebuild on it. In other words this vacuum I'll have to put in my will when I die. So if you want a vacuum that's built to last, buy a Kirby.
I love my Kirby, it's great for everything from basic cleaning to deep cleaning. It has amazing attachments so you can clean practically anything. Only downfall is it's very heavy, carpet cleaner is wonderful. Does a awesome job.
The sales people were very pushy and kept lowering the price and offering more and more extras until I caved in and purchased the machine. Although I had a Kirby previously which I really liked, this one is a real hassle. The belt constantly smells like it is burning. The accessories are difficult to use. The shampooer only sprays foam on the carpet or furniture, without any sort of deep cleaning other than just vacuuming the dried foam. I have never used the floor "polisher" because it is too complicated. In fact, I have never used any of the cleaners that came with my vacuum.
Also the "manager" lied to me about opening a Kirby store in a nearby city, and also that I would receive 2 vacuum cleaner bags each year (by mail) as part of the service agreement. I have not received any bags. Another Kirby salesman came by this year, and I asked him about the bags and he said, "Oh, Kirby never offers that! You'll have to buy them." I feel that Kirby needs to do something about their sales people. The "manager" also took my warranty form and said she always turned them in herself for her clients so they would not forget to do so. I don't know if she did or not. I really regret buying this machine. I would seriously tell others not to buy a Kirby from a sales person in their home. Buy it off eBay or second hand from somewhere else. Definitely not worth the price.
Hi Teresa, we are disappointed to read about your overall experience with an independent salesperson. While The Kirby Company is not a party to any agreements between salespersons and distributorships, we take matters like yours very seriously. Please contact us so we can further assist you with your Kirby and gather more information about the distributor who sold you the Kirby. We look forward to hearing from you!
Great performance and lasts a long time. I have 3 Kirby sweepers and they all still run fantastic. Very tough and durable. The only drawback is the price but considering how long they last, they are worth the price. I would not use anything else. Highly recommend a Kirby vacuum.
You get what you pay for. The Kirby's have been around as long as any other and it's because it does a fantastic job cleaning. I'd put it up against ANY other vacuum cleaner. Biggest con... They're very pricey. Look to spend close to $2000 to get the best with great attachments and they'll last a lifetime!
Kirby expert review by ConsumerAffairs
The Kirby Company is a division of the Scott Fetzer Company, which was founded in 1914. It is named after Jim Kirby, who designed the company's early vacuum cleaners.
Scheduled demonstrations: Potential buyers can schedule demonstrations to help them decide whether they want to own Kirby vacuums.
Useful tools: Kirby home care systems have tools that let them convert into everything from air pumps to carpet shampoo systems.
Customer service: Kirby offers a wide range of customer services, including online how-to videos and phone support.
Limited warranty: All Kirby vacuums come with three-year limited warranties.
Maintenance services: Rebuild and maintenance services are available to lengthen the life of Kirby vacuums.
Best for: Kirby's flexible vacuum system makes it useful for homeowners, renters, landlords and drivers.
Kirby Vacuum Cleaners Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- 1920 West 114th Street
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (800) 494-8586