Lightweight Vacuum for mother.

wolfc70April 1, 2009

I am shopping for a lightweight vacuum for my arthritic mother. She currently has a Panasonic upright with on board tools that works just fine, but it is kind of heavy. The local vac store has a few options. The Riccar Supralite models, a few different Oreck models and the new Hoover Platinum Upright. I was leaning towards the Riccar RSL5 model. I liked the lifetime belt (with hall sensor), steel brushroll and the two speeds. The new Hoover looks promising, but I can not find any reviews on it. The sales lady steered me away from the Oreck models, citing a few niggling quirks. Any other vacs I should consider? Anyone here have a Supralite model with feedback? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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I have an Oreck that is about ten years old. Very lightweight and still works great.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2009 at 11:06PM
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The Riccar RSL5 is a somewhat new model. It is their TOL in that series. It has alot of good features. One great feature is the longlife belt. You will not have to change the belt for years.

With the problems your mother is having, the looped handle will make pushing/pulling the vacuum much easier, because she will not have to grab the handle so tightly.

Also, these Riccars can use the microlined vacuum cleaner bags or the super filtration bags. It all depends on how bad your mother's allergies are, if any.

The Riccar will clean carpeting very well with its aggressive brushroll. It actually cleans better than the Oreck.

The Hoover Platinum lightweight upright is very new, so you will not find too much on it. Hoover's new line has just recently come out in stores like Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc. This upright will clean well and also comes with a looped handle. Filtration is excellant, as well as the long warranty(6 years). What I do not like is the cost of the 2pk. of "hepa" bags. They will run alot more than the "hepa" bags for the Riccar upright. The belt will also need to be changed, unlike the Riccar.

Feel free to visit a vac shop that sells Simplicity. This is Tacony's sister brand to the Riccar. They perform the same, but have slight cosmetic differences.

You cannot go wrong with Riccar/Simplicity.

Here is a link that might be useful: Simplicity Freedom F3700

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 4:47AM
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The issue my mother has is that her wrists hurt after vacuuming, which is why I thought a lighter vac would put less strain on her wrists.

I know Simplicity is a sister brand to Riccar, unfortunately, there are no Simplicity dealers within a 150 miles.

The new Hoover looks good, but it is the same price as the Riccar RSL5, and the Riccar has a proven track record.

My concern is the durability of the lightweight units. My mom has a dog and a long haired cat, so she vacuums a lot. Will the Riccar RSL units stand up to 30 minute run times multiple times a week?

My personal vacuum is a Sanitaire System Pro upright. I love the way it cleans and how durable it is, but it is not a svelte vacuum by any measure.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:56AM
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I pushed both the SL5 and the SL3 in a vacuum shop a couple of months ago. While the SL3 pushes easier, the SL5 might be the better choice since it has the metal brush roll and will probably handle the hair better. Both are easier to push than the Oreck and they seem to be more powerful as well. The SL5 will do a better job on hard surfaces as well

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 12:35PM
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The Riccars are durable vacuum cleaners that will stand up to your mother's cleaning.

If you were trying to decide between the Riccar and the Hoover, look at cost of use. The Hoover may be the same price and have a longer warranty, but the bags and belts will cost your mother more in the longrun.

duajones, the SL3 & SL5 will handle pet hair just the same. The metal brushroll has nothing to do with pet hair. The bristles are what makes the difference. Like I said above, "The Riccar will clean carpeting very well with its aggressive brushroll." Eventhough the rubber strip on the Riccar is used to better dirt pick up on floors, it tends to cause slight drag on carpeting.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 5:49PM
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I stopped back at the vac store after work today. I tried out the models again. The new Hoover is nice, but feels very cheap and fragile compared to the Riccar RSL5. The Hoover bags cost more than the Riccar bags. The Oreck I just do not like for some reason. It just does not seem as thought out as the Riccar.
So I think I will get the RSL5 for my mom. The sales lady said they will be having a sale sometime around Mother's Day, so I can get an additional 20% off the Riccar.

I also played around with the Riccar Premium Radiance. WOW! Now that is a vacuum! Heavy, but has so much power and a very solid, sturdy feel. It is expensive, but it is impressive enough to make me think of selling my Sanitaire and getting the Premium Radiance.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:01PM
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The brushroller in the SL3 is wooden with plastic ends. The reason I mention that is hair can and will eventually get in the ends and freeze the bearing which will result in a melted plastic end. With the metal roller that is in the SL5, you could just change the bearing instead of the whole roller. I didnt mean that it would make any difference in cleaning ability, just that it would be rebuildable versus replacement. JMO

    Bookmark   April 2, 2009 at 6:47PM
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I bought the Riccar RSL5. My mom loves it. It cleans carpets much better than I was expecting a small vacuum to do. It is loud, but not much than her Panasonic. I also looked at the Dyson Ball thinking it would be easier to manuver. It just felt cheap, really cheap. And the Dyson cost $120 more than the Riccar RSL5. And considering the amount of plastic used, it is pretty heavy. I still do not see the advantage of a bagless vac, the filters cost more than a years worth of HEPA bags. Thanks to everyone here for helping with the decision. The Riccar RSL vacs seem like the way to go for a lightweight vac for carpets. Highly recommended.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:18PM
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I am glad that you chose the Supralite upright, because it is a very good vacuum cleaner. It will clean carpeting very well.

It is louder than Panasonics, because their way of picking up the dirt is different. Panasonics have a larger motor that pulls one or two fans. These fans are behind the bag, so rocks and coins will not damage the fan(s). The Riccar Supralite has a smaller motor that must move the fan faster. Dirt goes in the air/dirt path and also passes through the fan. It is important to not pick up small objects like coins and rocks, since their is the possibility to damage the fan.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 3:09AM
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I am aware of the direct air design. Just like my Sanitaire, rocks and coins can damage the fan. The sales lady said the Riccar RSL units are very easy to service, and the fan is only $12 or so to buy, and replacing it takes 15 min to do. I like the effecient design of the Riccar, it moves a lot of air, but only uses 5.5 amps. The Riccar RSL5 is a very impressive vacuum, cleans very well. The fact that it happens to be so easy to use is just a huge bonus.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 8:04AM
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"I still do not see the advantage of a bagless vac, the filters cost more than a years worth of HEPA bags"...

Dyson DC25 filters do not need to be replaced. Just rinse out every 3 months, let dry and reinsert. I do not like the dirt to stay in my vacuum week after week and with the bags I did not replace them after each vacuuming. Now that I see what gets picked up with the Dyson, the thought of that c##p sitting in my vacuum gives me the creeps.
I guess there are pros and cons for everybody.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 5:28PM
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Dysons are known for not loosing suction, which is good sice most have very low CFM ratings to begin with. Most newer Dysons are rated at 58-65 CFM. A Miele canister has 120 CFM at the end of it's hose. My Santaire is rated at 145 CFM. The Riccar RSL5 has 112 CFM. These machines will remove more dirt quickly than a lower CFM machine. Vacuums don't loose suction, they loose air flow as filters get dirty. I'm glad you like your Dyson. Some people love them, other (like me) found them just ho hum. Nice design and all, but marginal on the performance. If James Dyson can get his machines to have closer to 100 CFM (and cost less than $500), then he may have a winner on his hands.

    Bookmark   May 7, 2009 at 8:23AM
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Does the Riccar RSL5 that you gave your mom have the option to shut off the brush roller for hardwood floors?
How does it do on hard floors?

I'm looking for a similar upright, lightweight unit that goes from rugs to hardwood. But, I'd like the option of turning of the roller brush to protect the hardwood floors.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 7:01AM
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No, the Riccar RSL series you can not turn the brush roll off. This was not a concern for me as my mothers house is 3/4 carpets. As far as I know, none of the light weigth uprights have a brush roll stop option. They are mainly designed to clean carpets with a quick linoleum/tile vacuum if needed. I would not use one on hard wood floors. If you have mostly hard floors, I would look at getting a light weight canister vac. Then you can go from the hard surface to carpet pretty easily. The Miele S5281 Callisto has an electric powerbrush that can be turned off right at the handle. So does the Riccar Pizzazz Compact, and both of these units are in the $500-$600 range. The Riccar Supra Quick is just a small canister with a floor brush. It even has a shoulder strap to help carry it.

I would go down to your local vacuum store and try out a few models. Go with what will be easiest to manuver and use. A caniter can be bulky, but there is very little strain on wrists while vacuuming.

    Bookmark   May 20, 2009 at 8:06AM
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The SL5 doesnt have the brush turn off feature but it is 2 speed. High speed for carpet, low speed for flooring or maybe a throw rug. I pushed one awhile back and it did a good job of picking up sand off of a tile floor in the low speed. Didnt scatter any of the sand and didnt miss any either. Nice feature

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 11:33AM
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