Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but Top Ten Reviews is no longer updating this product’s information.
The Oreck XL Classic is a straightforward vacuum cleaner. It has strong suction power, and it vacuums most types of flooring really well. However, this rather pricey upright vacuum cannot clean furniture, curtains, crevices, or links between carpeting and harder floors nor can it be used to reach those dusty spots high up on your tall bookshelves. This vacuum comes with virtually no tools, so you cannot make use of hoses, wands, furniture and stair cleaning tools, or anything else – it simply vacuums floors.
Still, it does that pretty well. When we tested the Oreck on carpeting, it pulled up spilled cereal and pet hair fairly quickly, and it didn’t kick anything back or blow it around. The Oreck also did a good job cleaning flour spilled on both carpeting and hardwood.
This vacuum got our test floors really clean but at a price. The Oreck XL Classic was quite stiff and awkward when we switched from vacuuming in a back-and-forth manner and tried to maneuver turns. It does not turn easily. However, it is featherlight – at 9 pounds, it's the lightest vacuum on our lineup. One of this model’s benefits is you can make it lie quite close to ground, so you can vacuum under furniture as long as the chairs or tables are not especially low to the floor.
Assembling this vacuum was a breeze – it only took us 2.5 minutes to put together. You need a screwdriver, either a Phillips head or a flat head will do, for two screws that attach the handle to the base, but it is a simple and quick task.
Unlike a bagless upright vacuum, the Oreck has an enclosed bag contained in a zipped area. Because the bag is enclosed, you aren’t exposed to dust or potential allergens. It also has a strong, thick electrical cord, which will no doubt be quite durable. However, it is on the short side at 25 inches. In addition, you don’t have to bend over to turn the vacuum on or off since you can use your foot to press a button on the base.
The Oreck XL Classic does a fine job cleaning floors in a traditional back-and-forth motion, but its difficulty turning and lack of other cleaning tools keep it from ranking higher. It isn’t versatile enough to clean curtains, upholstery and stairs like the best vacuum cleaners.