Tristar Compact Vacuum Cleaner Models

Here at Great Vacs we are frequently asked about the age and model sequence of Tristar Vacuum Cleaners. This page is just designed to cover model sequence and some of the differences we have personally seen after servicing and rebuilding hundreds of them.   For further model details, you will need to contact Tristar.  The models we will cover will be the Tristar Compact DXL, EXL, MG1, MG2, and MG3 (A101R) models.

Disclaimer - Great Vacs is not in any way associated with, retained by, contracted by, or remunerated by Tristar or any of its subsidiaries, affiliates, or related companies, nor do we represent the Tristar Company on any level. This information has been gathered for information purposes only. For official and technical information you will have to contact Tristar.  If you have any knowledge or information you would like to share to improve this page, please email us at [email protected].   

About the Tristar Vacuum. Tristar Vacuums is one of the best vacuums made and very popular.   We stand behind them as a quality vacuum as they have been making them since about 1946.   The design from 1946 to 1998 was similar in design with improvements on all the models.    These models were made largely of metal and are sometimes referred to as "Compacts"  The last model made like these is the DXL model made from 1993 to 1998.   This model is where we start today and is still one of our best sellers.    Tristar vacuums have several advantages.   Their vacuums were designed so that as the bag filled with dirt the air flow would not decrease (take that James Dyson).   They are known for high powered air flow (essential for deep cleaning) and they are a quality-made vacuum that lasts for decades.   It is very common to see a 30-year old Tristar working perfectly.   They also have excellent filtration for allergies.

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Tristar DXL Tristar DXL. Many people claim this was the best model.   It is the work horse of Tristars, was made of metal, and very dependable.   The Tristar DXL was made from about 1993 to 1998.   We still sell lots of this model and they are very effective deep cleaning, long-lasting vacuums.
Tristar EXL Vacuum Tristar EXL. Starting with the EXL model, they made lots of good changes that remain constant with the new style of Tristar.   This one seemed to have more plastic on it and also seemed to have a larger motor.   I never verified this, but we had a Tristar dealer tell us of all the newer models of Tristar, the EXL has the most powerful motor.  With the EXL and models thereafter, they made the hoses, tools and wands larger (for increased air flow I believe).  They also introduced the HEPA after filter as well.   The tools and head on the EXL models and MG1, MG2, MG3 will all fit each other, but the tools and electric head on the DXL models and older will not fit.   The Tristar EXL was made from about 1999 to 2001.
Tristar MG1 Vacuum Tristar MG1. This model featured less of the plastic than the EXL had and made the vacuum a lot more lightweight.   It was made of a lightweight metal alloy and easy to use.   The basic look and style of tools, hose, and wands remained the same.    We noticed a problem with the MG1 though.  After a few years, the metal seems to get discolored.   Little black splotches will start to show up.   It does not make anything wrong with the vacuum, it just looks bad.  I had a Tristar dealer tell us thats why they came out with the MG2 which does not have this issue and looks very nice.   However, if you want a new model Tristar, are on a budget, and don't care about the paint job, consider looking at the MG1 as it has the same features as the newer models, but is a lot cheaper.  The Tristar MG1 was made from about 2002 to 2005.  
Tristar MG2 Vacuum

Tristar MG2 This is a very good looking Tristar model with a nice clear coat finish on it.   There may have been some additional changes from the MG1 besides the finish, but we did not see any.    It's the same lightweight, easy to use vacuum with the HEPA filter and same style of tools and wands.   I think they will have a hard time improving on this model.   I dont know the exact years of manufacture, but I think they were made from about 2006 to about 2008 or 2009.  

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Tristar MG3 Vacuum Tristar MG3 or A101R.  As of the writing of this article, this is the newest model.   Besides a slight looks change (color and decal), I don't see many changes between this and the MG2.   I think they may have changed the motor in it as well, but I don't know for sure.   They did seem to add some additional attachments, though.   I noticed they sometimes come into us with a hand held shampooer.   It's basically a spray gun that can be use to shampoo upholstery or spray other cleaners.   
Tristar Tools Tools & Attachments. Tristar does make an Air Purifier called the Purestar, but I don't believe we have ever seen one (they are very rare but we usually have a couple in stock if you want to email us).  They also make the motorized mini head that works on EXL, MG1, MG2, and MG3 models called the Mini Star.   These are very popular, but also very rare.   Standard tools are the crevice tool, upholstery tool, and floor tool.   The hand held shampooer will also work on the recent models as well, but from what I have seen it just recently came out and is not part of the standard tool set that we have seen.   The Tristar bags work on all the models of Tristar Vacuums that we have seen.   Here we sell just about all the recent models of Tristar vacuums reconditioned and with warranties through us.   We also sell parts and supplies for them.  If you are unsure of the right model for you, feel free to contact us with your questions and we would love to help you pick the perfect vacuum for you :)
  As far as recommendations, I would say that age is not a big factor because of how long they last. I would go for model features, looks and what you can fit in your budget. I personally like the MG1 and MG2 as the best buy for your money.

Free Advice - If you are still confused as to the right model or vacuum for your family (everyone's needs differ) then please feel free to email us at [email protected] (or fill out the form below) and tell us about your situation (like how much carpet, hardwood, allergies, pets, kids) and we would be glad to help you get a vacuum that would be perfect for you.

Which vacuum cleaner is the best?   We get asked that question all the time.    The fact is it depends on YOUR needs and YOUR situation.    At GreatVacs we are experts at vacuum cleaners and carry all the best brands.    We have rebuild over 50,000 vacuum cleaners (all models) and we know vacuums.    A FREE service that we offer is tell us about your situation and we would love to suggest something that you will LOVE.    Put our expertise to work for you and get a vacuum or air purifier that is perfect for your needs.    

  • Example: 3 Kids & 2 dogs that shed. 60% carpet and 40% hardwood floors. 2 sets of carpeted stairs.

  • Example: I want my next vacuum to work good on pet hair and be able to vacuum carpet & hardwood. I am tired of throwing my money away and want it to last at least 10 years.

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