Oreck Commercial Upright Vacuum 2100RHS



Avg. consumer rating = 91/100 

The Oreck XL 2100RHS is an upright that is getting good owner reviews and if you like no-frills machines that deliver then this one is worth looking at.  Consumer ratings are excellent and the vacuum is extremely lightweight, easy to maneuver, and it comes with a very long industrial power cord.  We’re not sure how much longer we will see this unit on the market however, as it can no longer be found on the Oreck website – but perhaps appearance on the website is not indicative of product continuity.

Consumer ratings for the 2100RHS are very good and yield an average score of 91 out of 100.   An up-close look at the ratings and comments reveals that most owners love the vacuum but there are some that really dislike it.  As a result most ratings are 4 to 5 stars but there are also a few 1 star ratings.  Disgruntled owners point to issues with the belt, noise, maintenance, etc.  However these kinds of ratings and comments are in the minority.  Owner ratings found on three online retailers are shown in the table below:

 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.5 stars out of 5  81
 Walmart  5 stars out of 5  4
 Home Depot  5 stars out of 5  1


A review of consumer comments provides the following recurrent likes and dislikes.

- Very lightweight
- Long power cord
- Easy to assemble
- Easy to maneuver
- Powerful suction

- Have to clean and dry outside bag occasionally
- Some comments that the belt can slip and be problematic (see video at bottom of article)
- Loud
- No attachments
- Perhaps not the best looking machine on the market

A quick word about Oreck.  The company started about 50 years ago and cut its teeth manufacturing upright vacuums for the hotel industry.  As many commercial vacuums at the time were heavy, their competitive approach was to provide lightweight, powerful and durable machines – which they did fairly successfully.  Oreck commercial uprights continue to be popular with many hotel chains today.  The company now has a wider range of products including air purifiers, steam mops, power scrubbers and orbiters, etc. which are sold in the US, Canada and Europe.  Its main manufacturing facilities are in Tennessee, USA. You can check them out at www.oreck.com if you wish.

Before getting into the nitty-gritty details of the vacuum it is important to point out that it is a no-frills commercial machine.  It does not include attachments or tools nor does it come with much in the way of features.  When you buy this machine you get the vacuum, a manual, your warranty card and a vacuum bag.  That’s it.  For those who simply want a robust lightweight upright to do basic vacuuming this is a contender but if you want special tools for cleaning in tight areas or removing pet hair from the sofa this machine won’t have them.  It also won’t let you turn down the suction so you can clean curtains nor will it tell you when the bag is full.  A close competitor to the Oreck 2100RHS is the Hoover C1404.  This is a similar machine, albeit not as light. 

As per Oreck’s usual design, the 2100RHS is very lightweight at only 8.2 lbs.  It is also a commercial grade machine.  The power on/off switch is conveniently located on the vacuum handle.  The handle itself has been well designed and features a grip that has received an ease-of-use commendation from the Arthritis Foundation.

Like most commercial vacuum cleaners this Oreck is bagged and it uses disposable paper filter dust bags.  The vacuum will start to lose suction power as the bag fills so Oreck highlights that it is very important to replace the bag when it hits the fill line.  In addition to the dust bag the 2100RHS has an outer bag (the large outer bag with the Oreck logo on it).  This bag also must be kept clean in order for the vacuum to work efficiently.  The inside of this bag generally needs to be vacuumed or hand-washed and dried when it is dirty.  It should also be replaced about once a year (according to the manual).  You can see examples of outer bags for sale on Amazon here.  Dust containment is via the vacuum bag and the outer bag – there are no filters.

Oreck literature highlights that there is a very direct path between the nozzle intake and the vacuum bag which increases the efficiency of the machine and results in less stress on the motor.  This efficient design purportedly allows them to use a smaller motor which has helped to keep the overall weight of the vacuum down.  This “direct path” between the nozzle intake and vacuum bag is often found in many bagged vacuums and is a point highlighted when they are compared to bagless machines.  However we are not sure if there is anything particularly special about the 2100RHS that sets in apart from other bagged units in this regard.

While the vacuum is designed to clean both hard floors and carpet it does not have a brushbar that can be turned on and off.  It simply stays on while the vacuum is on.  This could be an issue for some hard floors as a brush can scuff some softer finishes – although we have not seen comments to this effect from owners.  The 2100RHS is sometimes advertised as a machine with two brushes – there are two helix-like brushes on the single brushbar.  It does not have two brushbars.

Like many commercial machines this vacuum has a long power cord (35 feet), and it has as cord guard.  There are some comments however that this heavy duty cord is a bit cumbersome in a residential setting.  It is also bright orange and rather industrial looking, and while some folks report that it detracts from the “look” of the vacuum most don’t feel this is an issue.

The 2100RHS has received a gold seal of approval from the Carpet and Rug institute (CRI).  We know little about this organization but they claim approval indicates the vacuum is a superior cleaning vacuum that has passed stringent testing for soil removal, dust containment and carpet appearance retention. You can read about this group here if you wish.

One cannot manually adjust the height of the nozzle above the floor surface on this vacuum.  The Oreck is marketed as having “automatic height adjustment” which, in this case, means that the unit has a free floating head that moves up or down depending on the surface.

Additional features include non-marring bumpers and wheels, a 12 inch wide cleaning path (not particularly wide for a full size upright), and side brushes for helping clean up tight against baseboards.  It also carries a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

The following video shows how to change the belt on an Oreck vacuum.  Owners find that this needs to be done more often than they expect.

Vacuum Manual
You can find an Oreck XL manual on Home Depot here.

Image Nigel Russco has been writing for Vacuum Cleaner Advisor for years and has a background in business and engineering, as well as a keen interest in anything related to vacuum cleaners. Connect with Nigel on Google+


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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.