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Oreck's Canister Vac Gets A New Design But Little Improvement
on October 22, 2012
Oreck's latest compact canister vacuum finally comes in a new design which would appear to distinguish it from the awkward elongated form of the previous shoulder-strap models, yet I'm finding I have nearly all of the same problems with it. I have a house cleaning business, so I've used both quite a bit. I'll give it credit where it's due, but that shouldn't take long.
Hindrances, annoyances and bafflements -
1. First of all, Oreck seems to be the only vacuum company still resisting the move to bagless models as standard. I suspect this may correlate somehow with the fact that their vacuum bags are incredibly expensive. Plan on buying bags in bulk if you're going to be using this vac often, since the bags are only about as big as your fist. Also, as I said in my review of the Oreck upright XL, NEVER BUY THEM OR ANY OTHER ORECK PRODUCT FROM THE ORECK STORE UNLESS YOU HAVE TO. It's like taking your car to the dealer for repairs. They will overcharge you for everything: parts, labor and accessories. It's all cheaper on Amazon and most of it you can do yourself easily.
2. The shoulder strap was one of the most irritating things about the older models and it's just as irritating on this one. They've added a little padding so it doesn't dig into your shoulder as much, but it still slips off constantly if you are moving at all and it's awkward and uncomfortable even when it doesn't. The strap is too short for you to put your head through so you're stuck pulling it back up onto your shoulder constantly.
3. My biggest issue is the suction power. It's really lousy. This vacuum retails at Oreck for $150! I can barely feel the suction with my hand an inch and a half from the hose! Ridiculous. If you're using it without the extensions it's passable, but with the floor brush and the extension pole on it's completely unsatisfactory.
4. The new way of winding the cord around the narrower portion of the base of the vacuum is awful. No matter how tightly you wind it, the cord soon falls back off, making the attempt to store this vacuum an activity akin to battling an octopus.
5. Lastly, it's annoying that one should even need this product. Unlike Oreck's standard line, most other upright vacuums have a hose. Oreck has done a nice job here of turning one product into two.
1. The new design does seem lighter than the old one; the vacuum isn't heavy.
2. It does come with plenty of attachments to get you started.
3. The filter seems to work well. As far as I can tell, it doesn't blow out dust. This actually is a big improvement from their old canister models, which blew so forcefully out the back of the vacuum that one usually had to dust again when the vacuuming was done.
Overall, I'm obviously pretty dissatisfied with this product. I haven't tested enough similar vacuums by competing brands to tell you if they are any better, but for the money, they couldn't be much worse. Once I've owned this a bit longer I will edit my review to reflect long term maintenance and durability.
EDIT - After about 6 months normal use, both of the flimsy metal hooks that attach the shoulder strap have snapped. I'm going to have to hit the hardware store, where I expect I'll find replacements cheaply enough, but it's pretty irritating. The metal they were made with bends easily in my hand, leaving me to wonder who could have possibly thought this was an acceptable material. I'm pretty surprised at the low quality of this product. Oreck vacs usually have their issues, but this is the kind of thing I'd expect from an off brand.