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Oreck XL Canister Vacuum

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Avg. consumer rating = 82/100 

The Oreck Commercial BB900DGR XL Pro 5 is a compact, bagged canister vacuum that is meant to be carried.  The machine is well liked for its over-the-shoulder carry strap, light weight, host of cleaning tools, lengthy cleaning reach, and solid suction.  However, some folks have issues with the unit’s short, somewhat inflexible hose and the loose fit between the hose and the extension wand.  Some owners really love this vacuum while others are not impressed.  Overall consumer ratings are fairly average.

 

 

Quick Specs
Type Canister
Bagged/Bagless Bagged
Best for... Bare Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features No
Approx. Weight 5 lbs
HEPA Filter No
Power Cord Length 30 feet
Motor Driven Brushbar No
Warranty 1 Year

 

Consumer Ratings
Over 400 consumer ratings were found for the Oreck XL Pro from 3 quality sources.  You can see these in the table below.  When averaged these ratings result in a score of 82.2 out of a possible 100 (or about 4.1 stars out of 5).  This is marginally higher than the average of canister vacuums on our site which is 80.8.  You may wish to view our canister vacuum ratings table, or check out all of our vacuum ratings in the vacuum cleaner finder.

Source Consumer Ratings #Ratings
Amazon 4.1 stars out of 5 368
Walmart 4.2 stars out of 5 25
Home Depot 4.3 stars out of 5 10

 

Consumer Insights
A thorough review of owner comments has provided the following vacuum pros and cons:

PROS
- Handy for overhead cleaning and stairs
- Long power cord
- Fairly lightweight
- Comes with quite a few tools
- Most owners feel it has strong suction

CONS
- Hose is a little short and stiff
- Extension wand frequently falls off while vacuuming
- Floor tool is not particularly good
- Tools easily knocked off storage unit on vacuum
- Not designed for deep pile carpet

We’ve tried over the years to get a demo machine from Oreck to review but all to no avail.  As such, we’ve analyzed hundreds of owner comments to get a solid picture of consumer sentiment when it comes to the XL Pro.

So What Are Owners Saying?
Probably the biggest complaint about this vacuum is that the hose is inflexible and too short.  As a result some folks say it can be a bit difficult to use on the floor – the hose just doesn’t extend that well and it persists at staying tightly coiled.  

Another significant issue is that of the extension wand falling off while vacuuming.  The end of the hose and the extension wand do not “click-fit” together but are joined by friction (or what some people refer to as “compression fit”).  This occurrence is quite common and several people have resorted to duct taping the two pieces together.  In addition, a few folks have pushed the wand onto the end of the hose so hard (in order to make it stay attached) that the wand has cracked.

Several owners feel the attachments are not particularly durable and that the floor tool is not very good (one owner reports that it scratched his hardwood floors).  The attachments also often fall off of the vacuum where they are stored.  The tool caddy mounts on the back of the vacuum but the power cord passes through the caddy so if you are moving around, the cord will frequently dislodge tools or the tool caddy.  This is something of an annoyance to quite a few people.

Other issues reported by more than one owner include:
- the strap is not well made and sometimes breaks
- partially filled bag can sometimes make vacuum loud
- not good on deeper pile carpet

Finally, we have noticed several complaints about Oreck customer service.  They have been slow to return calls, slow to ship out replacement parts, etc.  Some people say they just don’t like dealing with the company.


Aside: According to the Oreck website “the Oreck XL Pro 5 Canister was proudly made in the U.S.A with U.S. and globally sourced components.”  

We have also read the following statements from other sources (we cannot attest to their accuracy):
"Oreck Commercial is assembled in the USA from globally made components."
“Oreck machines are manufactured in China with final assembly in the United States, or imported fully assembled.”  

So it is not clear to us exactly what is manufactured/assembled where.  We do know that Oreck Corporation is no longer owned by the Oreck family as it was purchased in 2013 by TTI (Techtronic Industries), a large investment holding company based in Hong Kong.


On the positive side most (but not all) owners report that the unit has good suction.  There is some grumbling that the vacuum likely won’t pick up a 16 lb bowling ball – as one of the Oreck advertisements suggests – but, for the most part, owners feel that the vacuum generates pretty good suction.

Also, most owners are pleased with the lightweight nature of the XL Pro.  It is easy to lift and carry from room to room or up and down stairs.  It comes with a built-in handle (as can be seen on top of the canister body) and a carry strap that can be worn over the shoulder.  

It is popular to use the Oreck XL Pro for vacuuming in tight, hard to access areas, doing stairs, overhead cleaning, and even vehicle interiors.  Owners also praise the unit's cleaning reach due to the lengthy power cord.

In addition, the number of attachments/tools provided is quite good and there is a tool for doing most kinds of cleaning.

Oreck Xl Pro 5 with all attachments

It seems many new buyers are previous Oreck compact canister vacuum owners and they understandably compare this new Oreck compact canister to their older one.  The new machine has a few pluses over the old one and a few minuses.  One of the good things is that many of the tools and attachments seem interchangeable between the units.

You can see more XL Pro owner comments on Amazon if you wish.

Details & Specifications
This is a bagged canister vacuum cleaner.  It uses pkbb12dw bags which you can see in the image to the right.  These are triple-layer disposable bags and they are hypoallergenic which helps to minimize airborne allergens.  They are also quite reasonably priced compared to some of the other bags we have seen online.  

The filter on the XL Pro is not washable so when it is dirty it must be replaced.  Fortunately Oreck often provides a filter when you buy a package of bags (as is the case with the product to the right).  This is not a HEPA filter.

According to Oreck, the XL Pro is designed for cleaning carpets and bare floors, as well as the likes of stairs, furniture, molding, bookshelves, curtains, drapes, light fixtures, ceiling fans, etc.  As such it comes with a host of tools:

1) Telescopic extension wand
2) Dusting brush
3) Upholstery tool
4) Crevice tool
5) Floor tool (carpet and bare floor settings)

You will often see all sorts of different numbers with respect to how many tools this machine has (sometimes 7, sometimes 8, sometimes 11, etc.), but these figures include other items that come with the vacuum that we wouldn’t traditionally consider a tool, such as:

- Hose
- On-board tool caddy
- Adapter tube (this allows you to place a tool directly on the end of the vacuum without using the hose – see drawing below).  The vacuum can then be operated more like a handheld.
- Air exhaust deflector (shown in second drawing below)

XL Pro 5 Adapter Tube

XL Pro 5 Exhaust Deflector

In order to get the tool count up to 11 this may even include items like the bag and the strap.  But we would consider that this vacuum comes with five tools – those listed 1 through 5 above.  There is an accessory parts list with drawings and descriptions on pg 3 of the vacuum manual provided at the bottom of this article if you want to review.

The floor tool has rocker switches on the top that can be moved with your foot (or your hands).  These switches extend and retract a set of brushes which allow the tool to be used both on carpet and bare floors.

Oreck bb900 Floor Tool

The XL Pro weighs only 5 lbs so it is rather lightweight.  One should consider however, that 5 lbs is without hose or attachments, so the machine will be a little heavier when you are using it.  It has a built-in carry handle visible along the top of the canister and also a shoulder strap.  Cleaning reach is quite respectable given the lengthy 30 foot power cord. This cord has a manual wrap on the back of the canister.

Oreck Commercial XL Canister Cord Wrap

The cleaning reach is further extended via hose and tools but the hose itself is a little on the short side at about 4 feet.  There seems to be some disagreement with respect to the hose length between most retail outlets and Oreck.  Oreck reports a 5 ft hose while most outlets state 4 feet.  This is a stretch hose so perhaps one is measured with the hose fully extended while the other is not.  The hose is 2 inches in diameter.

The vacuum is powered by a reasonably quiet 4-amp, two-stage bypass motor, and it carries a 1-year commercial warranty

Just an fyi - one of the XL's main competitors is the Hoover Portapower which is similar in many ways.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
The Oreck XL Pro 5 manual is probably one of the least informative we have run across.  Granted the vacuum is quite straightforward but the manual is 6 pages in length and has fairly amateur drawings.  The information is useful to some degree as there is little else available. See the manual here: Oreck XL Pro 5 Manual

 

 

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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

I also like to help when I can so feel free to send comments.


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