Oreck Commercial XL Review
Pros: Good at cleaning up pet hair, lightweight
Cons: Mediocre at cleaning hard floors and carpet
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Oreck XL scored below average in both of our floor cleaning metrics, only really doing well at collecting pet hair. This model lacks many of the features and functions of other models and is about as bare-bones as you can get.
For this metric, worth 35% of the total score, we used rice, oats, cereal, and flour to compare and assess the performance of each vacuum cleaner, testing each model on both low-pile and medium-pile carpet. The Oreck delivered an unimpressive performance.
The Oreck did a terrible job at collecting rice on shallow carpet, taking over six passes, and still leaving a ton of residual debris behind. This model tended to suck in the rice, crush it up, then leave it on the carpet, rather than actually collecting it. It did even worse on the fluffy carpet, taking over 10 passes to do a barely passable job. The Oreck did even worse at collecting flour, performing poorly on flat carpet and receiving one of the lowest scores of all our tested models. It didn't improve on fluffy carpet, doing the worst job of the entire group.
For the cereal test, the Oreck also delivered a subpar performance. It did poorly on the first pass, once again crushing up the debris and spitting it out, rather than collecting it. It did about the same on the fluffy carpet, still leaving some residual debris after 14 passes. For the oatmeal test, more of the same subpar results. It took over five passes on both flat and fluffy carpet to get somewhat clean, with plenty of debris left over.
Ease of Use
This metric takes credit for 25% of the total score. The Oreck XL did an alright job in this set of tests, scoring just barely above average. We compared how easy it was for each model to transition between hard and soft floors, clean in close to edges and under a sofa, the maximum reach, and noise level.
The Oreck XL doesn't have any option to adjust for a hard floor, low-pile, or medium-pile carpet, so it lost some points. This model did alright at cleaning in close to edges but faltered in tight corners. It also didn't do the best at getting debris right in front of it.
When cleaning under our simulated sofa, the Oreck did quite well, reaching 11"-12" in our test. This model also has a decently long reach, comparing favorably to others in our lineup at 37 feet. However, it's unfortunately on the loud side, measuring in at 79.5 dBa on our meter.
When it came to maneuvering, this model was quite mediocre. It's light enough to easily push or pull with minimal effort but doesn't swivel like the higher-end models. And, despite a decently light weight, this vacuum doesn't have an accessory hose, making it exceptionally difficult to clean a flight of stairs.
Hard Surface Cleaning
The Oreck XL delivered a somewhat disappointing performance here as well. We again tested with flour, oats, cereal, and rice, but this time used a section of laminate wood flooring as the test surface.
The Oreck did alright collecting rice, getting the vast majority of it with only two passes. However, it flung a little bit of rice too, creating an additional mess. The flour test went a bit better, with it collecting all of the debris on the surface, as well as some of the flour deep in the cracks, as long as it was running parallel to the crack.
This vacuum failed our Cheerio collection challenge, only pushing them around and piling the cereal up, rather than actually collecting it. This model also fared poorly with oats, creating a small disaster by flinging the oats around haphazardly. We felt we would have been better served by a broom.
For our final testing metric, we compared the proficiency of each vacuum at collecting pet hair, donated from a local pet groomer. This metric consisted of a single task: collect 5 grams of hair pressed into a section of medium-pile carpet. The Oreck actually did quite well, collecting 89% of the hair laid out. This wasn't too far behind the top-scoring model which collected 96% of the total hair.
This model isn't a great value, as it's an oddly pricey vacuum that delivers a lackluster performance.
This bare-bones model didn't really excel in our tests and costs the same or more than models that perform significantly better. This makes it hard to recommend the Oreck Commercial XL.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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