Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless Vacuum Review

Shark navigator freestyle front view

The basics…that’s what you’ll find in this vacuum, and it does them well.

The Shark Navigator Freestyle is a bagless, cordless stick vacuum with users report being able to vacuum between 1500 and 2000 square feet on a single charge. Being able to quickly touch up an entire house or apartment is what makes these cordless vacuums convenient.

The main competitor for this vacuum is the Hoover Linx. So what does this Shark stick vacuum bring to the table?

  • A large capacity dustbin
  • About 2 lbs lighter
  • Filter flicker, loosen debris around filter without opening dustbin
  • A shorter warranty (1 year)
  • NiMH battery instead of Lithium Ion
  • 40 minute runtime (roughly twice that of the Hoover Linx)

The big misses here are the warranty and NiMH battery. If those compromises are too much for you, then stop right here.

Now:

Getting 40 minutes of use out of a cordless stick is excellent. Combine that with the larger dustbin and you nearly have a complete corded vacuum replacement.

With that said, why should you be concerned about the NiMH battery?

They take longer to charge than a lithium battery, and they are more temperamental. Read more in the Battery section below.

Here are some more things to think about:

Cordless vacuums, while strong enough to pick up pet hair, will struggle on highly concentrated debris. You will want to vacuum more frequently with a cordless to keep build up of debris to a minimum. Consequently, the cordlessness of a vacuum seems to make people vacuum more often simply because it’s easier.

Cleaning the motorized brush, dust cup, and filter system frequently is extremely important. This vacuum has a rather large dust cup so you will likely only need to empty it once per use. Not cleaning these frequently enough can cause motor failure as clogs put strain on the motor.

FeaturesConcerns
Can vacuum 1500-2000 square feet in a single charge.The battery is not covered under warranty.
Swivel SteeringTwo version of this product; SV1106-N (10.8 Volt battery) and SV1106 (14.4 Volt battery)
Charges in 4-7 hoursReports of weak suction
Filter flickerBrushroll and filtration system clogs easily
Has bare floor settingUses a NiMH battery which is more temperamental then Lithium Ion.
40 minute runtime
The battery is easily replaced by the user.

Recommended For:

  • Low-pile Carpet and Rugs
  • Bare Floors (Hardwood, Vinyl Tile, Ceramic Tile, …)
  • RV’s

Suction

There are two versions of this vacuum, the 10.8V SV1106-N and the 14.4V SV1106. Users report much weaker suction from the SV1106-N, so be careful when buying to avoid having to deal with returns.

You can see in the videos below exactly how this vacuum performs in different scenarios. The suction is adequate for picking up fine dust or larger things like pet food or kitty litter.

For carpets, it is unrealistic to expect this vacuum to 100% replace your corded vacuum. You’re not going to get a deep clean. If you vacuum frequently though, then this vacuum will take care of 90% of your needs. It’s good to do a deep cleaning everyone once in a while with a strong corded vacuum. That’s really what these cordless vacuums are about: make the majority of your vacuuming experience quicker and easier.

Carpet Performance

The motorized brush works on either carpet or bare floors. You can see from this video the brush agitation is great and seems to at least surface clean fairly thick carpet.

Bare Floor Performance

Bare floors require much less effort to clean, so generally with all cordless vacuums you will see better performance. If the high traffic areas of your home have bare floors, then definitely consider a cordless vacuum to handle your day to day cleaning needs. You will be so much more willing to vacuum up messes in these areas with a simple cordless vacuum waiting patitently nearby. This is true for carpet as well!

Battery & Runtime

The NiMH battery is more temperamental about charging and doesn’t last as long as a Lithium-ion battery.

Here are some recommendations from Shark for maximizing the life of the NiMH battery. It is important to note that these recommendations aren’t necessarily for all NiMH batteries, and are dependent on the charging circuitry used.

  1. Charge the battery for 7 hours before initial use. After initial use, each recharge will take 4 to 7 hours.
  2. Leaving the unit in the charger past the complete charge time will NOT harm the batteries. (Not a general rule, this is because the charge controller can handle this.)
  3. The vacuum will shut off when the battery is almost fully discharged. If the vacuum shuts off during use, charge the unit until it has a full charge.
  4. If the vacuum has never been used or has not been used for an extended period of time, it will take 3 to 5 complete charge and run down cycles to realize the full operational time of the vacuum.
  5. It’s best to run the vacuum until it turns off and then completely charge it. This avoids voltage depression.

If the battery needs to be replaced it must be done by a Shark technician as long as it’s under warranty. However, with proper charging habits, the battery will last years.

The battery is user replaceable, so if you’re past the warranty period and it doesn’t keep its original charge then feel free to buy a replacement yourself.

Where is the battery located?

The battery is located in the vacuum head itself(the part that rolls over the floor), so simply flip the bottom over and open the panel to expose the battery.

Attachments

There aren’t any attachments to speak of, as this vacuum is just a stick with no retractable hose.

Stairs

This is not a stair friendly vacuum. It is possible to pick the vacuum up and slide it along a stair, but it’s too awkward to be called a feature of this vacuum.

If stairs are critical for you, and you want something about the same price as the Shark Navigator Freestyle, then check out the Hoover Air Cordless 2-in-1 Deluxe. It doesn’t have the same suction strength, being a 2-in-1, but it is versatile. Make sure you look at the Deluxe version, as it is the one that comes with the mini motorized brush for the handheld.

Filtration

The Shark Navigator Freestyle has a foam filter. It can be washed and eventually replaced if need be.

Allergy & Asthma Friendly Alternatives

These are some suggested vacuums that provide better filtration.

Hoover Presto
2-in-1
BH20090
Electrolux Ergorapido
2-in-1
EL2081A
Form Factor2-in-12-in-1
FilterHEPA, WashableEasy Clean Allergen
CordlessYesYes
BaglessYesYes
Check AmazonCheck Amazon

Pet Hair

Pet hair is no problem for the Shark Navigator Freestyle. The biggest thing to watch out for is clogs. If hair is allowed to build up around the brush roll, it eventually can seize up. Clogs will happen near the entrance to the dustbin and hair will build up around the filter itself. Empty after every use, or if you are vacuuming heavy pet hair, empty when you reach the fill line on the dustbin.

Regular Maintenance & Clog Removal

Preventing clogs is number one priority, especially with bagless systems. Being cordless, it is important to keep a clean airflow system to get the most out of your battery. If a clog occurs that is bad enough to prevent the motor from sucking or the brush roll from rotating, then you may have already damaged the motor. Just don’t let it happen.

Hair, string, and other debris may get lodged in the pipe leading from the motorized brush, in the air inlet of the dustcup, or wrapped around the brush roll. Basically, at each turn in the airflow system you will want to check for blockages building up.

Customer Reviews

Users report the brush roll not working due to hair being wrapped around it, then once it has been cleaned the brush roll doesn’t work as it did before. The problem is if the brush motor has seized and continues to be used then the motor will be ruined. If you aren’t keeping these sorts of clogs in the system under control then even the most expensive vacuum will fail eventually. This is especially true in bagless systems.

Many users complain of weak suction after a few months of use. If you have animals, you problem want to reconsider buying a cordless vacuum. The wear and tear from vacuuming pet hair will catch up with you. If you really have to have the size and convenience of a cordless, just make sure you deep clean all the problem areas where clogs can occur.

Warranty & Customer Service

The Shark Navigator Freestyle comes with a 1-year warranty for defects. You will need to provide proof of the purchase date and the cost to cover shipping it back to Shark if repairs are needed. Go to a local Shark technician if you can.

Attempting to repair the vacuum yourself will void the warranty.

The battery is not covered under the warranty. Unless the battery is just a lemon, if you follow the charging instructions you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Specifications

FeatureDescription
Form FactorStick/Upright
BaglessYes
CordlessYes
Battery TypeNiMH
Multiple Suction ModesYes
Bare-Floor FriendlyYes
Carpet FriendlyYes, Low-pile
Cleaner HeadrMotorized
Weight7.5 lbs
Runtime40 minutes
FilterFoam cylinder
Charge Time4-7 Hours
Warranty1 year
ModelSV1106
Dimensions (HxWxD)10.5 x 9.6 x 46 inches

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