What features make a good upright vacuum?

Curious what features you think a good upright vacuum should have?
Should it have onboard tools or be free of them?
Should it be HEPA filtered?
What else?
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I will be looking into getting a new vacuum before too long. I have the canister type that I have to drag around the house like a dead pig. I want to get an upright, also. I was wondering if anyone out there had experience with the Oreck. That looks appealing to me.

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My main thought is do I want any onboard tools or not?
Or do I want a simple clean upright design with NO onboard anything? And then use a separate small canister vac in addition to the upright?
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On Tue, 10 Oct 2006 16:29:39 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@privacy.net wrote:

This is a complicated question. My upright does not "do it all" and I will often use my shop vac for certain chores. A powerful suction is at the top my list of features. I appreciate onboard tools and prefer the throw-away bags to the bagless types. My upright has three filters in it although none are HEPA. My Panasonic upright is going on its 14th year with only one belt replacement.
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Well this is what I'm doing now...have separate upright with NO tools for carpet and bare floors and a small 2.5 gal shop vac for everything else.
But my upright is SHOT and its dang hard to find one without built-in tools .so wondering if maybe upright with tools would be handy after all?
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I have a Dyson ("the Animal" version). It's pricey, but does a great job of getting up cat hair. I like the pull-out extension for tools, and it is so stable (unlike some others that I had in the past, such as Panasonic) that the vacuum does not fall over even if I pull the extension to its full length. Most tools are on-board, and I really don't make much of use of some of them. I do use the crevice tool, and I have a mini-turbine head that attaches to the extension. It is *great* for cleaning pet hair from furniture. I also like the large wheels because it rolls around and turns easily even though this is a *very* heavy unit. It pushes so easily that the weight does not bother me -- but it would *not* be something that I would need to lift up and down stairs (although the extra-long extension makes it easy to vacuum stairs, as long as you don't expect to need it on another floor of the house).
MaryL
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