Oreck Touch Upright Vacuum
Avg. consumer rating = 55/100
Oreck is famous for its simple yet effective bagged vacuum cleaners. The Oreck Touch, however, deviates from this formula as it is bagless. This move is somewhat understandable given the recent popularity of bagless machines. But the move hasn't been particularly successful. The touch has very powerful suction and its large wheels, swivel neck and weight distribution make it highly maneuverable, but a number of owners report that the unit is heavy and the dust canister a little small.
Consumer ratings were found on several sites and are compiled in the table below. When averaged these 235 ratings provide a score of 55 out of 100 (or 2.75 stars out of 5). This is a very low score. You can see how this stacks up against other upright scores here.
|Amazon||2.7 stars out of 5||225|
|Best Buy||4.8 stars out of 5||4|
|Overstock||3.1 stars out of 5||3|
|Sears||4 stars out of 5||1|
|Kmart||4 stars out of 5||1|
|Target||2 stars out of 5||1|
Consumer comments also provide the following vacuum likes and dislikes:
- strong suction at the floor and at the tools
- filters are easy to remove and clean
- low profile nozzle
- easy to maneuver despite its weight
- respectably long power cord
- LED headlight isnt particularly bright
- a bit heavy for some
- dust canister is not very large
- can be expensive
You can view more consumer reviews and comments here on Amazon if you wish.
Upon receiving and unboxing your Touch (model BU10000) you will have to do some assembly. However assembly consists of attaching the top portion of the handle with a single screw rather straightforward. Owners report that putting the machine together is very quick and easy.
The bagless Touch is designed to clean both hard surfaces and carpet. There is no manual height adjustment on this machine and it sports a floating nozzle head. The self adjusting nozzle ensures an optimal cleaning distance between the floor surface and the nozzle/brushbar. So you can move from carpet to bare floors and back without having to make any adjustments.
The nozzle itself is quite flat and this profile enables it to get under low furniture better than many other uprights. In addition, the handle drops almost horizontal to make low access even easier. The nozzle also turns with the twist of the wrist (something Oreck call swivel steering) and this makes the vacuum quite maneuverable a point highlighted by many a consumer. You can see this in operation in the video at the bottom of this article.
Interesting Note: (Aug 2, 2013) Oreck Corporation now has a new owner and it is not the Oreck family (as we previously discussed in our article on the Oreck Magnesium). It is Royal Appliance Mfg. Co. which is part of TTI Floor Care. TTI already owns Hoover and Dirt Devil. Tom Oreck (son of founder David Oreck and former Oreck CEO) isnt quite out the picture however as there are ongoing discussions in which he may stay on as the Oreck Public Spokesman. In addition, he is in discussion with the folks at Royal to buy a number of Oreck factory outlet stores.
The Touch has a 2 motor system and this means there is one motor for the suction and another that drives the units brushbar. The brushbar can be turned on and off via an easily accessible switch on the vacuum handle (located just below the power on/off see image). This feature is helpful for those who like to ensure the brushbar is off when cleaning bare floors some delicate surfaces can actually be scratched by a brushbar.
Given that brushbars are prone to getting tangled with hair the Touch designers added a simple and practical feature. They built grooves into the brushbar to make it easier for scissors access so you can cut the hair/string/thread and clean the brushbar of debris.
The vacuum main motor is 8 amps and some see this as a problem, pointing out that many other uprights have a 12 amp motor. We dont believe this should be a major concern considering that a large number of Touch owners report the machine has more than ample power. The power cannot be varied however and the motor has only one speed. Some vacuums provide variable suction power by changing the speed of the motor the Touch does not.
The BU10000 has cyclonic technology which is used in most bagless vacuums today. This approach rapidly spins the air pulled into the vacuum throwing the dust and debris out of the airpath and into the dust canister (perhaps a simplistic explanation but more or less how it works). This technology helps to keep the filters clean and is also noted for its sustained suction while the dust canister fills.
The dust canister is somewhat innovative and you can see it in operation in the video below. Dubbed a hands-clean canister by Oreck, the bottom opens via a lever near the top of the canister ensuring that you do not have to get your hands close to the opening when emptying. While it may limit exposure to dust, it does not fully solve the problem. There can often be debris left in the canister (especially pet hair) that requires one to reach in and remove it. In addition, the bin itself can get quite dirty on the inside and require cleaning. Fortunately it can be easily removed, disassembled and cleaned. There is a good breakdown of the dust canister in the manual (you will find the link at the bottom of this article).
The size of the dust canister may also be a consideration. There are a number of comments from owners reporting that they have to do frequent emptying of the dust canister because it is rather small. Depending on the size of ones home (or the extent to which you vacuum) this can be an annoyance.
The BU10000 has two filters that require cleaning the dust canister filter and the HEPA filter. These can both be rinsed with water and (when absolutely dry) placed back in the machine. For those not familiar with HEPA filtration this level of filtration will remove the likes of dust mite feces, mold spores, ragweed, pollen, etc. from the vacuum exhausted air. It is very popular with those suffering from allergies or asthma.
One area of contention for some owners is the vacuum weight and the weight distribution. At 16.8 lbs (without the cord) the vacuum isnt particularly light especially for previous Oreck owners who may have experienced a much lighter model (the Oreck 2100RHS for example). With power cord the vacuum weighs a full 18 lbs. There are a number of consumer remarks indicating that the vacuum is rather heavy and moving it up and down stairs is not easy. Also much of the weight of the vacuum rests near the upper end of the handle resulting in a wrist and forearm workout for some folks. The weight distribution does help with nozzle maneuverability, but at a price.
The Touch comes with several tools including the following:
- wand with two extension tubes
- crevice tool
- dusting brush
- stair tool
Many sites claim that all the tools store on-board but owners highlight that only two tools can be attached to the vacuum. Oreck provides an accessory bag to store the remaining tools. Also note that there is no special pet hair attachment. The vacuum itself is quite good at picking up pet hair but for stairs or upholstery a pet tool would have been nice.
The power cord is 30 feet long which in our opinion is an acceptable length. Combined with the wand and hose (which add 11 additional feet of reach) the Touch has a full 41 feet of cleaning reach. The power cord is manual wrap so there is no auto-retract feature (generally the case on most uprights).
The Touch has a 12 inch wide cleaning path. Some consumers feel that this is narrow for a full size upright and indeed this is the case but consider that a narrow nozzle can help with nozzle maneuverability and also allow the machine to get into tighter areas. It does require more passes of the vacuum to clean a large area however.
The Oreck Touch is ETL listed. ETL is a group that performs electrical and reliability tests on products to ensure they meet US product safety standards. They also audit the manufacturing site and require that the applicant agrees to future factory inspections to ensure continued adherence to the standards. In addition, the Touch is on the list of approved vacuums at the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI). The CRI claim approval indicates that 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.
Additional vacuum features include an LED headlight, a lifetime belt, and a bumper around the nozzle to ensure no scuffing/scraping of walls or furniture. The Oreck Touch carries a 5-year limited warranty. You can read more about the Oreck residential warranty here. The manufacturers suggested retail price of $399 may seem a bit steep, however we have found that there are quite a few retail outlets that price the vacuum at under $300 - so shop around.
The manual has good graphics and a breakdown of the canister and its internals. There are also troubleshooting tips and maintenance instructions. View it here.
Video of Press Preview Event showing the Oreck Touch and the Oreck VersaVac.
|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+|