What a great looking old machine! Welcome to the site.
How do old machines like that turn out the laundry compared to newer ones?
Hi and thank you!
These old ones do a much better job than a modern one in my opinion. It actually uses water unlike some you see nowadays that use what seems like the equivalent of a jug of water. The only downside to that would be if you were on a water meter but if you have a hot water tank then you'll be saving money there since this is a traditional hot & cold fill machine.
The Keymatic was the only washing machine ever to have two wash actions, normal tumbling and a secondary pulsator (spinning disk) at the back of the drum that was engaged during cotton programmes to give a vigorous wash action. The pulsator was a feature borrowed from the famous Hoovermatic twin tubs and this was often seen as an attempt by Hoover to "hold on" to their trademark wash action even though the currents created by the standard tumbling was good on its own. Hoover over-engineered this first Keymatic through the addition of the pulsator and ultimately it came back to bite them when many customers complained about their machines not working like they should. The problem was with the spring clutch that both drove and disengaged the pulsator depending on the direction the motor was running. Some customers went with the option to disengage the pulsator altogether meaning that some preserved machines don't have this unique wash action - luckily, mine does.
The capacity of this machine is half of what a modern machine is now, but since it takes approx. 40 minutes do a standard 40°c wash I'd STILL able to get through as much washing a modern machine would in LESS TIME!
The spin speed is 750 rpm which appears to be a low number but speed isn't everything just like motor wattage isn't everything in a vacuum cleaner.
The drum in this machine has a unique shape that maximises the water extraction efficiency. In my opinion this machine would have the same water extraction efficiency as a 1000 rpm machine. Also, 750 rpm was an extremely good spin speed for a washing machine in 1961 when the few automatics that were on the market had spin speeds of anything between 200 and 600 rpm.
Overall, it's a brilliant and functional machine.