Pros: Amazingly diverse uses
Cons: heavy, expensive as hell
Oh Kirby, let me count the ways that my G5 has saved my a**!
First off, my wife and I bought our Kirby from a cheese-laden salesman when we were newlyweds (almost 10 yrs ago...)and we were VERY naive. (It was also before the advent of Ebay, which, by the way is THE place to buy a used Kirby now.....) So, anyway, the car salesman....000ps, I mean Kirby salesman came to our door and offered to clean our living room carpet just to try to make his pitch. Well, we had a greasy, flea-bitten hound that had made our carpet, well, a little ecosystem all its own, so complete it had it's own weather pattern. Anyway, we took him up on it and were very impressed. It really did get the carpet amazingly clean.
So, we were suckered in, bought way too high, BUT have spent the last 9 years earning the value back. Here's what we have done REGULARLY with our Kirby:
Carpet Cleaning (I clean our carpets once/yr)
Blowup mattress filling
Kid's Blowup pool filling
There are a bunch of other things the Kirby can do, but I'm not into trying to lug it around to spray paint, etc.....
-Very efficient vacuum, does an amazing job of pulling stuff out of the carpet, corners, etc.
-Has a lot of attachments to get into the weirdest of locations.
-VERY strong pull
-Self propelled, which at first I thought was excessive, but found that it's actually pretty darn nice.....
-30 YR WARRANTY!!! (You may not get that on Ebay, so there!)
-Blows a large kid's pool up in about 2 minutes. Air Mattress in about 45 seconds.
-Cleans carpets quite well. No, it's not a professional job, but if you want to pay $200, go ahead.
-If you buy from a salesman, you'll pay too much (over $1,000)
-Heavy, but they do have the self propelling and a handy handle for carrying
-Bags are a little expensive
-Ugly, unless you're a 50's retro sorta person
-Not always convenient to get parts, bags, etc. I have to go about 30 min from where I live to get this stuff.
And the conclusion:
I must share my last night's experience, which is why I'm writing this in the first place- INSPIRATION!!! My son tipped over a full gallon of latex paint on our carpet. Nice. Light orange on green. Nice. Technically it was my fault for leaving out the paint. Nice.
It took me 2.5 hrs of seemingly endless cleaning with the Kirby and 9 tanks of soapy water, but I did it! My carpet looks awesome and at first, it was looking GRIM. We are in the midst of a remodel and the last thing we needed was another line item on the budget (more friggin carpet). Elbow grease, time and the Kirby came together to produce a clean carpet and a happy guy.
Although the Kirby is not the easiest vacuum to use, it is such an awesome piece of equipment. I highly recommend getting one and if you can get it for under $500, that is perfect.
It WILL pay for itself with a little care and work on your part.