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4.0 out of 5 stars
Oreck Graphite Bagged Upright Vacuum, U4300H2BS
Price:$194.43 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 28, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My first impression with this vacuum gave me a sense that this machine was what vacuuming should be - stripped down, no fancy bells and whistles, just solid performance in its singular purpose. I wondered why other vacuums couldn't be this simple, with the dual-speed power switch right at your thumb, automatic brush roll height, and super light weight. In addition, the simple bagged design is convenient. It also has a really smart power cord design. The power cord is actually two pieces, with the first connecting the head unit to the handle of the vacuum. The second is attached near the top of the handle as well. In this way, that longer cord going from the wall to the handle won't drag the floor, so you don't need to hold it or use a little hook like most other vacuums have implemented to avoid that inherent flaw in design. The rubber bumper surrounding every side of the head protects furniture and walls without being so "grippy" that it makes those things difficult to accomplish. The brush roll is made of wood instead of plastic, and the brushes seem to be a more natural fiber rather than plastic.

The more I used it, though, I realized it had many drawbacks that the evolution of vacuums has spoiled us with. Firstly, the witdth of this vacuum is more narrow than most. This can often be an advantage, being able to get between furniture that is closely spaced to the wall or other pieces. Unfortunately, along with this design, the actual brush roll is offset by about 2" on one side and almost 3" on the other. Really - the brushroll seems like it's only around 9-10" long. This means that if you overlap your path not just based on the entire vacuum, but rather the brushroll itself, you'll often find that you're only covering 6-8" per row! Additionally, since neither side of the brushroll is particularly close to the edge of the unit, it is quite poor at picking up anything within 2-3" of a wall, even with the little whiskers it advertises.

The light, like on most vacuums is incandesent and only good if the room is completely dark.

The design allows for two speeds, with the lower being for bare floors - great! Unfortunately, the height of the head of the vacuum plus the design of the bag generally doesn't allow you to get under the toe-space under cabinets very well. While the head is higher than most other vacuums, it can be laid down almost perfectly horizontally and still mantain good contact with the floor. It fits really well under bed frames, ours are about 6" clearance from the floor. The handle is very long, which allows you to get way under things, but this also makes it very difficult to get into tight spaces between beds and walls, for example, because as you back away from the bed, the handle hits the wall. While you can simply lift the handle up higher, it get too high to be usable for most people. Standing at rest, I'd say the handle grip is close to 4' from the ground - chest high for many people.

There's no locking mechanism to keep the vacuum in a storage position - it dosn't need it. Simply hold the head unit under your foot and lean the handle back - done. The disadvantage is that when off, there's no way to wheel it to another room by tilting and pushing it. There's no simple caster wheels at the rear that allow resistance-free rolling. You either need to pick it up and carry, or leave it on and maneuver to the next place. While technically you can turn it off and just push, you're fighting against a non-moving brush roll at that point.

The Oreck's simplicity is one of its virtues, but ensure that you're prepared for this. If you actually need to use a hose for cleaning, this has absolutely no provision for that. There are not attachments, hoses, etc. We found that while not used often, they are necessary, even as a secondary vacuum.

We have pets and noticed that the exterior attracts a lot of hair and dust. It must create static when using it such that the bag and especially the plastic head have hairs and dust stuck all over them. That said, the bag does seem to work well in keeping odors in the bag itself and not causing the whole room to smell like your pet after vacuuming it. And while I always felt that having pets meant a bagless was the way to go, not having to empty the bin (especially from the second floor) is very convenient.

So, while I really appreciate the simplicity and execution, there's enough drawbacks for our particular needs that I wouldn't consider this as a primary vacuum in the future.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I wasn't sure if I would like the Oreck because I have a Dyson and I like all the attachments and the modular way it's put together and transforms from upright to a hose with attachments. However, what I like about the Dyson is the very thing that makes it a pain to own. Because it's hard plastic that chips and breaks--and because of all these parts--it's expensive to repair or buy parts. I've had it awhile, but I've also spent over $150-$200 in parts (no labor included) to keep it.

The Oreck is blissfully lightweight and easy to maneuver at 11 pounds. I love the simplicity of it for a change. It came with minimal assembly and has very few parts. Despite what another review said about not getting under low places, I can get the Oreck under the edge of my bed to clean about 4 inches in and I cannot with my Dyson. It also has a narrower profile so I can get between the bed and the wall without moving the bed.

It's ideal for:

*Someone with physical limitations who cannot lift heavy items or do the push/pull motion with a heavy vac.
*A pro housecleaner -- you can haul this vac and do a lot of carpets all day without hassle or fatigue.
*A home with a lot of carpet and/or stairs.

The downside:

*It came with only one bag, so I have to run out and get bags ASAP. A couple extra bags to start would've been nice.
*No attachments to clean stairs or corners -- but you know this when you buy it, no surprise there.
*It doesn't vac flush with the wall despite have some brush on the outside. I have to with broom out the edges of the carpet or use another vac to get that.

Orecks are known to be a bit pricey, but I think this vac is worth the money to get the job done -- no fuss, no muss. Two thumbs up!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I believe that vacuums should be built to last at least three years. I have had four Hoover vacuums, including a Hoover cordless, and a Dyson Ball over the last five years. I have six pets and lots of carpet so my vacuums are abused on day one. Out of all of the vacuum units I have owned, the Hoover Platinum Collection Lightweight Bagged Upright with Canister, UH30010COM was and continues to be the best vacuum I have used. When provided with the opportunity to try the Oreck Graphite, I knew that it would have to be spectacular to beat the Hoover Platinum. That being said, after using this Oreck for some time, I think that it is a good vacuum but doesn't beat my Hoover Platinum.

Attributes:
Two settings: The vacuum has a low setting and a high setting. I had a runner in my mud room that actually had threads pulled up by the vacuum. So, on the one hand, it is powerful. On the other hand, it is powerfully destructive. I'm trying to only use it on hard surfaces now; it isn't as great with pickup on hard surfaces.

Not ideal for pet owners: While the vacuum pulled up threads on my runner, it is not wonderful for cleaning up hair, which I absolutely has to occur for any vacuum I own.

Small sweeping head: In theory, this allows the user to get around items without moving them. And while this is the case to an extent, the reality is that it takes longer to vacuum.

Requires bags: I am actually very pro vacuum bag and that is because I have only run across one bagless vacuum that doesn't cause a dusty, awful mess. The Oreck requires bags, which keeps the dirt and gunk in a contained place. You can get more bags here: Oreck Sales Llc CCPK8 Residential Vacuum Replacement Bags - Pk/8
Light: The unit is light and easily picked up. While this is a nice feature, it also doesn't come off as particularly durable.

Simple: The unit is very simply designed. It doesn't have attachments. I don't dig attachments because they require storage and always seem to fall off. That isn't to say I don't use them; I do. I have another unit that is for detailing. That being noted, if you are a cleaning junkie that always does a great job detailing each time you sweep, this is probably going to require a secondary detailing unit. Do you want two vacuums?

All in all, I'm now really careful on what types of flooring I use it on. I will be curious to see how well it operates in a few more months as it doesn't seem that durable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've owned the Bissell vacuum that is highly rated by Consumer Reports For many years. It is a great machine, but one I consider "heavy duty", in that it's pretty heavy and not very maneuverable! It's fine for me and my wife, but the kids have the vacuum chore now, and I was looking for a lighter weight alternative with similar performance to the Bissell. This Oreck Graphite fits the bill! I love that is light weight and easy to maneuver. I also love that it has a very powerful motor with incredible suction for such a lightweight machine. It has two speeds, but I chose to use it mostly on high speed. The low speed is good for bare floors. I really appreciate the long handle and extra long cord.

As far as cleaning goes, I thought the Oreck did a good job on most carpeting. Compared to the Bissell on high traffic areas, I would have to choose the Bissell. It excels at deep cleaning, where the Oreck's strength is on lighter traffic
areas, or large area rugs. It is great on the stairs and the kids had no trouble using the machine. The bags are of the hypoallergenic variety, which are desirable. It's a high quality, good cleaning machine that's light weight and easy to handle. I would rank it behind my Bissell, but it's still a good performing vacuum. I would recommend this vacuum!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having once sold Dyson vacuums in a previous life at Best Buy, I always found it difficult to take other vacuums seriously as they lacked the power and versatility of a Dyson… of course, they lacked the heavy price tag as well so I often found myself settling for a cheaper Eureka, Hoover, or Bissell. Once I had the opportunity to try out the Oreck I gotta say I'm pretty impressed even though the Graphite is premium priced.

I've been utilizing the Oreck Graphite primarily on the ground floor of my house, which is a combination of white carpet and hard wood flooring, which provides an interesting challenge for any vacuum as it has to be multi-floor and still be able to work effectively. On top of that, with the kitchen door entering the garage where my roommate parks, we get a LOT of dirt and gravel that gets into the entryway and on the rug in front of it, which requires constant cleaning. In short, we had the perfect testing area for the Graphite and conducted weekly tests for exactly one month.

The graphite was not difficult to assemble as it only took a minute to put the handle on and get the cords ready to go and, like any other Oreck, it's extremely lightweight. While I may be a 6'5 laborer that lifts 25-50lb boxes consistently on a daily basis, nothing is more annoying than a heavy vacuum that turns horribly on carpet and the Graphite did none of that. While there is no turning feature such as a wheel pivot, the Graphite was light enough to move with relative easy. To test it's lightweight nature, I handed it over to my mother, who is 5'4, to see if she appreciated the weight as well; she did. Mum commented on how it didn't feel like she was lugging around a giant canister or top-heavy beast that made the neighbors think a tornado was coming through.

That brings me to the next point, noise. With a smaller engine to reduce weight, the motor has two settings, normal and higher than normal. Truth be told I've never really had a need to go any higher than normal, which is relatively quiet compared to other models but still omnipresent in any house. This is handy since it doesn't blast your ears or those of any unfortunate canine within a 2-block radius.

As for the power itself, it works very well even on a first sweep. I was able to effectively vacuum the carpet in front of the door to the garage and get all the gravel and other crap out effectively without causing the motor to scream in protest. The Graphite, despite a month of sucking of gravel in the kitchen and God knows what on the carpet (I have weird roommates), it is still running strong.

I gotta admit, I was always skeptical about the super lightweight vacuum advertised almost exclusively by an old guy during The Price is RIght but I'm very satisfied with the Graphite and will continue to utilize it till it breaks… whenever in the distant future that may be.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Alas, for some things you do need a vacuum. This review will compare the Oreck Bagged Upright with the much cheaper Bissel brand machines. Here's the breakdown:

SET UP/ASSEMBLY: Moderately easy. The included Quick Start Guide gives you the basics you need; however on our model the "front" sticker was on the back of the vacuum and covering a screw hole. Once we ignored the sticker's instructions we were fine. The Quick Start guide does not show you what to do with the cord--that was in the user guide. I mention this because the type in the user's guide is very small, far too small for my Dad to read. Have your glasses at hand if you need them. Total assembly time: 10 minutes.

APPEARANCE: Not a pretty vacuum, as other reviewers have noted. Worlds less ugly than the version my family had in the 1990's. As also noted, this vacuum is tall. It does not fit in the trunk of my car, for example. It sits 3-4' higher than our other vacuums. I see no reason for the extra height, as it makes handling slightly awkward for anyone under 6'.

USE: The cleaning power of this vacuum is very good, the best in our current vacuum fleet of four. This Oreck would be outstanding for a small commercial shop or for cleaning hotel rooms. The head is able to reach areas our Bissels (Cleanview and ReWind models) cannot. The vacuum is very light; an Oreck trademark (our Bissel CleanView is twice as heavy for roughly the same cleaning power). The bags on this vacuum look half-full when brand new, and will fill quickly. Replacements at current prices will run you approx. $4 per bag. I have no preference between bag and bag-less vacuums; I hate emptying the vacuum and always make someone else do it. Be aware that these bags will nickel-and-dime you somewhat (though the bags are of excellent quality and great for allergy sufferers).

If you have multiple surfaces in your home you will be able to switch between speeds for carpet or hard floors. We were very pleased with how this machine vacuumed our hardwood floors; they looked great. Another nice feature: the brushes are set in wood, not plastic. They look far more durable and I will update this review and let you know if they do indeed hold up better over time.

PRICE: Is this vacuum worth the steep cost? I would say no, unless you absolutely need strong power combined with light weight. This is a great vacuum, but $250 plus worth of great? No. No attachments, no frills, just old-school cleaning with a good brush layout (sideboard cleaning is better than any other brand we own).

We've deducted one star for the too-small instructions, too-tall handle, and too-high price. If you don't care about these issues, the product is five stars.

Quality, functionality, banality. What is that worth to you?

For us, rating:

GRADE: B
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm always looking for a vacuum capable of dealing with the copious amount of pet hair in my house. My newest dog is a sheltie mix that sheds far more than my shelties even do, and is black so her coat on my white-ish carpet requires me to vacuum pretty frequently during shedding season. Amazon Vine has been kind enough to offer me a number of vacuums to review, but invariably they fail from the strain of dealing with the pet hair. Most of the others have been the new bagless models as well, and I've had various issues with those, not the least of which is accidentally spilling them and getting dust and dirt all over while emptying them. I also find they need emptying FAR more frequently than I ever need to change a bag, so my own preference is for this kind of model that keeps all the mess inside a simple, easy to change bag.

This is my first Oreck and so I can't compare to other models, but I definitely LOVE this one. I don't find the handle to be an issue since it lowers to whatever position I find comfortable. The light weight of it is a huge plus for me, having a two-story house and medical issues that make lugging heavy vacuums up and down stairs a real issue. Most of all though, the vacuum does a great job, it gets right up the edges of furniture better than any other vacuum I've used, and fits under my small side tables and other furniture that none of my other vacuums do. Best of all, it not only gets up the pet hair very well, somehow it does this WITHOUT the hair getting completely wrapped around the roller too! I've never seen so little hair after vacuuming, my other vacuum has so much of it from just doing a single room, I often have to clean it off in the middle of the job. The Oreck has done my entire house several times and still has virtually no hair at all on the roller.

While it doesn't have any attachments or other fancy things like a light in front or a full bag indicator (that I've figured out yet at least!) the performance of this vacuum makes it a clear winner for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 1, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
So here's a vacuum that will vacuum your floors. That's it. Oh, and you've got to buy and change its bags. I'm so used to my Dyson, where I can just empty the canister when it fills up, pop off the wand when I want to vacuum a little something in the corner or go up the stairs or tackle the upholstery.

But that's what this vacuum doesn't do. What it does do is vacuum the floor and it does that well. It's got good power for its size and the two settings (regular or strong aka quiet vs loud) are a nice feature. I can see using the regular setting when trying to be quieter or for just tidying up. The strong setting was louder but handled a week's buildup from our pets -- two cats and two dogs -- nicely. The vacuum is lightweight and easy to move around. The strong setting will pull up an untacked rug, but the vacuum worked equally well on wooden floors, shag carpeting and a woven rug. The suction isn't as strong as my Dyson model, but that was actually nice in that it made the vacuum a little easier to maneuver.

But because of our pets, I really need to be able to vacuum upholstery and even areas like the floor molding can collect dust and animal hair. The Dyson, with its wand and no need to buy bags just wins out. On the other hand, the Dyson is more expensive, much more expensive. I could make do with this Oreck upright *alongside* the Oreck Ultimate Handheld Canister Vacuum, which does have a wand attachment (many attachments, actually). These two vacuums together will still be less than a Dyson, but you have to decide if you want two vacuums.

I'm only giving this vacuum three stars because, for me, it requires another vacuum, like the handheld Oreck mentioned above, to meet my vacuuming needs.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've always wanted an Oreck vacuum cleaner but this one may not quite be my dream model. It's very basic and looks a lot like the vacuum my mom had back in the day when I was a kid. However, I must say that although it doesn't look much more evolved than mom's, it actually does have many features that have improved upon hers.

What's good about this Graphite:

1) Relatively lightweight at 9 pounds. I'd like it a little lighter because of joint problems in hands and wrists and issues with my neck but if I were younger and carefree, this model would be perfectly perfect in weight.

2) Does a very good job of cleaning both hard surfaces (at low speed) and carpeting (high speed) and even seems to get to the area close to the baseboards because of its little side brushes.

3) Long, sturdy power cord with a hook on the handle and a hook on the connector to wrap it up.

4) No scratching of my kitchen tiles or laminate because of the side brushes and the way the bottom rollers are set up. My little Bissell Featherweight leaves marks on my kitchen floor which I can only get off with a Magic Eraser so I've put it on standby and am now using the Oreck for my everyday vacuuming.

5) Uses bags so theoretically there should be less dust floating in the air than with a bagless, especially during the emptying process with a bagless vacuum.

Now what I don't like:

1) Rather expensive when you consider it only does floors and carpets and has no attachments.

2) Loud as a jet plane (at least it seems that way to me).

3) Needs a swiveling power head. Sometimes it has its donkey moments for me and I can't maneuver it easily for slight direction changes. In that respect (as in many others) the Oreck Magnesium has it beat. Of course the Magnesium is twice as expensive so I only dream about that one.

4) Needs a lower profile to get under more furniture. Although it does a better job than my Dyson Animal at this, it still leaves something to be desired. Again, the Oreck Magnesium has it beat with a lower profile.

5) I had a problem with one of my area rugs which this Oreck Graphite refused to move over, getting stuck in the pile, only moving over the rug if I turned the vacuum to go the opposite direction, which is exactly the direction that won't catch as much dust or dirt that might have fallen into the pile. I called Oreck Customer Service about this and was told to adjust the brushroll by removing the baseplate (with 5 screws to be removed), removing the belt and the brushroll from the housing, turning the brushroll the opposite direction and reassembling all again. Well, that seems awfully labor intensive for an adjustment that, to my way of thinking, the vacuum itself should do automatically.

6) I miss that bagless vacuum show-and-tell collection of dirt that makes me feel either grossed out or full of accomplishment over all the dirt I have collected vacuuming.

Bottom line: It's a pretty good vacuum but it has its limitations and seems overpriced.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 26, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The first thing that impressed me about this upright was the intelligent shipping protection.
It was well-protected, and secured in its box, so that it would be extremely unlikely that consumers would get a damaged product.
The next positive was that the assembly and maintenance and other directions were also secured in the packaging, so that they were easy to find, immediately upon opening the box.

Another positive is the ease of "assembly:" the only assembly required is attaching the handle with two included screws.
That's it--it's probably impossible to do it wrong, and if the handle had been attached at the factory, it would have presented packaging problems.

Reading the directions, one finds that little if any maintenance is required--bearings are self-contained and self-oiling, and the only real maintenance that would ever seem necessary would be to clean the roller or change the HEPA bag. The zipper for opening the bag compartment is smooth and big enough that getting to the replaceable bag could not be easier.

The biggest positives of this Oreck are how lightweight it is and the amount of power in such a lightweight vacuum.
The handle grip is ergonomic--it just fits the hand very naturally, making work that much easier.

The handle is just the right length for me and my wife, (and we're both under six feet). The power cord is a few feet longer than I expected, but it winds up nicely on the handle, and stays there, and the extra length means I don't have to unplug it and look for another outlet.

Two power choices are also a factor I appreciate. I use the lower speed for bare floors and tile, and the higher speed for carpets.

So, are there any negatives?

Although the handle lets you vacuum under furniture, it doesn't get as low as my canister vacuum. I still like my canister vacuum for getting under beds and dressers, or for vacuuming blinds. But this is an upright--that's not what it's intended for!

For major "spring cleaning," I'll still need my canister, but for year-round cleaning--carpets or bare floor, I'll take the ease of this excellent lightweight upright.
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