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After bankruptcy, family tries to buy back Oreck vacuum firm

After bankruptcy, family tries to buy back Oreck vacuum firm

The past few years have been tough for fans of Oreck vacuums, air purifiers, and other home cleaning products.The iconic brand that introduced lightweight upright vacuums to the market 50 years ago was not as successful with its newer products and last week the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Now it’s trying to shore up its finances as Thomas Oreck attempts to buy back the company his father founded and revitalize its product line.

Under ownership by two private equity firms, Oreck introduced a line of upright vacuums called the Forever Series. We tested two of them, the Oreck Forever Series Edge, $600, and the Oreck Forever Series Pilot, also $600. The vacuums were good but not great at cleaning carpets and both had limited lifetime warranties. Oreck told us the motors in the Forever models were rated for at least 25 years, presuming 50 hours a year of normal use. But like most products, the warranties covered only defects, which usually show up in the first couple of years after purchase.

Another venture also proved troublesome. Oreck bought the rights to the Halo UVX upright, which claimed to use ultraviolet technology to kill germs. Unfortunately, Halo’s claims had already come to the attention of the Federal Trade Commission. Oreck ended up paying 27,340 checks totaling $698,000 to owners of the Oreck Halo vacuum and the ProShield Plus air purifier, a pair it had called the Flu Fighters in ads the FTC deemed misleading.

While none of the six Oreck vacuums we tested rose to the level of a recommended model, there are plenty of other top vacuum picks to choose from. Our recommended uprights include the Hoover WindTunnel Anniversary Edition U6485-900, $230, and Miele S 7210 Twist, $475, both bagged models, and the bagless LG Kompressor LuV350P, $400. For canisters, consider the bagged Kenmore Progressive 21714 and the bagless LG Kompressor LcV900B, both $400. But before you hit our Ratings of upright and canister vacuums, check out our buying advice. We’re also completing testing of hand and stick vacuums.

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