We are not Tri-Star dealers. We do not sell Tri-Star vacuums. This is a pure review.
The Tri-Star is American made and has been since 1937. In our retail store in Wooster Ohio, we see Tri-Star vacuum cleaners come in for service, and customers ask questions about the Tri-Star.
Here are the points, good and bad.
The Tri-Star is about the most durable machine you can buy. The older models have a magnesium-aluminum casing. The newer models use a resin casing that is as durable as a bowling ball.
The older models of Tri-Star have a 7 Amp motor. These motors are large, powerful, and are all metal. We have seen Tri-Star over 30 years old that are running perfectly. Metal motors last a long time. The newest models of Tri-Star have a 12 Amp motor. This is also an all metal motor, but is actually smaller than the older motors. When I asked the company, they said it was to make the machine lighter weight. The machines are actually lighter weight than the older models (by about 5 pounds). But the bigger motors stay cooler longer. My educated guess is that they will last longer.
The big claim to fame with the Tri-Star is that they have a process called “Cyclonic Action” that forces the air to pass over the dirt in the bag. This is really true, and the pag can be 90% full and still have 100% air flow. The Tri-Star has a canvas internal bag and it uses paper liners inside the canvas bag. Some people just use the canvas bag and do not use the liners. Although the machine will still run properly with out the paper liner, the liners make dumping out the dirt a much more sanitary operation. The liners also help keep the canvas bag free of odors that will stay even after you dump out the bag….if you use the canvas bag alone.
The Tri-Star has a HEPA filter on its exhaust that also includes a washable foam filter and a charcoal after filter. There is virtually no dust re-entering the room after it passes into the bag and filters.
The attachments have air vents built into them that allows full airflow at the tools. This is missing in almost every other vacuum cleaner sold. At our store, we will even drill holes in tools to allow freer airflow at the tool. If you cut off the sirat the tool, it cannot carry the dirt to the bag not carry the air back into the room. Air flow is important.
The only two negatives I could find were the cost and availability of service. The Tri-Star retails for more than $2,000. Although it should last you for several decades, the price may prevent you from owning one of these excellent machines. An alternative is to buy a factory rebuilt Tri-Star. You can usually save half the cost, ad you are just about getting the same vacuum cleaner.
Make sure you buy from an authorized dealer. These are usually distributors that come to your home. But I wouldn’t buy one online. I have in the past, and these machines are usually abused.
I hope this helps.