Riccar Vacuum Cleaners

pjgolden1July 21, 2010

I'm searching for a new vac. I want an upright that uses bags, I don't want bagless.

Has anyone used the Riccar Vacuum cleaners? I have an Oreck that I'll keep for upstairs, but my Hoover that was a highly rated machine on CR is cratering. Plastic is breaking all over and it's out of warranty. I like the thought of a better built machine with more metal than plastic and especially like the thought of one made in the USA.

Anyone here use one?



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I bought my mom the Riccar RSL5 light weight upright. She loves it!!! I like it too, easy to maneuver, powerful, excellent with pet hair, lifetime belt, and the bags are a cinch to change. Highly recommended.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 7:09AM
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I've had one for about eight years and it's fantastic. I love it.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 12:34PM
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I've had my Riccar for at least 12 years and I love it. I also have two other vacuums, one of which is a Dyson. I still prefer my Riccar. One of the main reasons I prefer the Riccar is because it uses paper bags. I remember having to empty the vacuum as a child and how wonderful it was when we got one that used paper bags. For the life of me, I can't see why people want to go back to the old way. It's as bad as having shag carpet come back around.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2010 at 8:04PM
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I have had terrible bad vacuum karma-I was buying a new vacuum every 9 months. The place I took all my different vacuums in to be repaired at, recommended the Riccar-that was 6 years ago, no problems since-I've always had mostly hardwoods & other solid surfaces, very little carpet-although I had pets, I couldn't figure out why my vacuums kept dying. I was skeptical, but figured I was spending so much on vacuums, maybe I should listen...their advice was correct (I haven't been back to that place since I bought my Riccar, I feel guilty)....

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 6:32PM
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I have mostly hardwood floors and want to ditch my canister...and a friend recommended the light-weight Riccar. But, I'm concerned with the brush going on the floors it will eventually scratch/mar the floors --- any comments on my concern? I wish Riccar offered a beater brush off button.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2010 at 9:50PM
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If your main purpose is cleaning your hardwood... a canister with a dedicated floor brush will do the best job over an upright.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2010 at 10:47AM
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dlspellman, you should find that using a canister will clean floors better and easier than pushing and pulling an upright around. Moving the floor brush around is so much lighter. The brush can go under beds, chairs, inbetween furniture and so on. An upright is not going to clean under most beds unless they are set really high off the floor.

I have come to the conclusion, that if people were brought up using an upright, they prefer that style. If they were brought up using a canister, they tend to sway towards it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 1:02AM
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I have owned a Riccar for 9 years. You are correct that one of their claims to fame is metal parts in certain important areas, i.e., the brush roller, the bottom plate, the handle tilt lock, etc.

That is all wonderful, but here is the problem. Those metal parts are attached to plastic components, like the main chassis and other parts. In the model I own, which is supposed to like an entry level commercial model, they did not design the plastic assemblies robustly enough and the pegs that the metal parts attach to break. Following is a list of things I have had to repair since I have owned this machine:

1. I had to replace the power plug (early on).

2. I had to replace the on/off power switch (early on).

3. I had to replace a section of the plastic chassis/housing which broke. My local deal had it in stock for about $25.

4. The plastic pegs that the handle tilt lock mechanism screws into to broke off. The pegs are part of the main chassis, so you have to replace the main chassis of the machine to really do it right. That big ol' square thing that you push around with the "metal" handle--yeah, that. Take out the roller, the motor, the wiring, the light, the wheels, everything--and put it all back into a new chassis.

Fortunately, I have a good, customer oriented, dealer and he told me that all they do is use longer screws and screw the mechanism back into what's left of the broken pegs. This worked and saved me about $45 for the part. But, how long it will hold up before what's left of the pegs breaks off?

5. Would you believe that the metal axle that the wheels attach to broke? Believe it. Yes, a metal axle broke right in half! (And, no, I don't run the machine at the drag strip.) The reason it broke is because the dufusses drilled a hole in the middle of it and screwed it to the chassis. Well, if you take a metal rod, maybe 3/16" thick and drill a hole in it big enough to put a screw through, how much metal do you have left on the outside of the hole? Drrrrrrr! My dealer had that part for about 4 bucks. (And the new model does not have the hole drilled it. They just let it slide.)

Now, this is doing all of the work myself. If I had to pay them to do all of that I probably would have had half the cost of the machine, or more, in labor, and for sure more in parts.

I'm now in the market for a new vac because this Riccar model does not have a sealed system and this is what I now need. Riccar makes them, but I am leery because of my experience. What good are the metal parts if everything around them comes apart? I haven't ruled Riccar out, but I'm leaning toward trying a Miele this time. BTW, in CU's Most/Least Reliable chart, Riccar is dead last, so what does that tell you? And that's with those important "metal parts."

Now, don't even get me started on the Kirby I shelled out big bucks for when my wife and I were first married, which turned out to be a lemon (the Kirby), and the local dealer ripped me off on repairs and never did fix it. We won't get fooled again! (By Kirby.)

You know, it makes me reflect on years gone by when we had those basic Hoovers that just ran and ran and took abuse, and just kept on running. Them's was the days.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2013 at 1:50AM
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I will give you this advice ( its what i do personally when looking to buy something like that ).
Go to a website like amazon (you don't have to actually buy it from there ) or any other site where you can 1. Find the product you are interested in ( assuming you have something in mind already ). and 2. Read all and i mean ALL the reviews from people who already bough it and used it for some time. This should paint a realistic picture of what to expect.

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 3:25PM
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I had a light weight one and I hated it. It did not do a good job, to wobbly and wasn't heavy enough to keep it close to the floor. When I complained about it to the salesman, he said it is to light weight. A vacuum needs to be heavy to do a good job. Just because it is heavy doesn't not mean it is hard to push. I exchanged mine for a Hoover.

Since that experience I have stuck with a Hoover, vacuums are to expensive to try out. I stick with what has always worked for me.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Sat, Aug 31, 13 at 16:26

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 4:24PM
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