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Shark Rocket Vacuums Review

The DuoClean and Zero-M technology are what makes Shark’s vacuums unique. They’ve been implementing these two features in all their vacuums over the last couple of years.

The Shark Rocket vacuums are corded stick vacuums, instead of the usual cordless. You probably immediately wonder why you would choose the portability of a stick vacuum while keeping the one thing that ties it down: the cord.

Well, for one, keeping the cord allows you to vacuum without worrying about the battery dying. You also get more powerful suction since the design doesn’t need to reduce motor power as a tradeoff for increased battery life.

There are currently 4 different series of Shark Rocket vacuums and the HV380 and ZS350 series’ are the two that have the latest DuoClean and Zero-M features. The HV322 is a slightly older model but is extremely popular as it has a comprehensive array of attachments for dealing with pet hair and above-floor cleaning.

More details below!

Best Shark Rocket for Hard Floors

The soft DuoClean brushroll stays in constant contact with the floor and removes stuck-on dust and large debris with ease. If your home has hardwood, tile, or other bare flooring, then this is a great option for quick cleaning.

If your flooring is mostly hardwood, linoleum, or tile, then you’ll get the best performance from this DuoClean model.

There are a few different versions of this Rocket vacuum, but these are the most popular. The differences are the included attachments and color, but otherwise they’re the same vacuum.

ModelHV380HV381HV382
ColorRedBlueGray
Upholstery Tool
Dusting Brush
Crevice Tool
Pet Multi Tool
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Best Shark Rocket for Carpet

Shark Rocket Zero-M Ultra-Light Stick Vacuum

The Zero-M cleaner head removes hair that gets tangled around the brushroll as you vacuum. It works pretty well and prevents majority of hair from staying on the brushroll, so you don’t have to pull our the scissors and do it yourself. You’ll get great performance on carpet and hard floors, but we prefer the DuoClean for hard floors.

If majority of your flooring is carpet, then we recommend the Zero-M model.

Both models come with an Onboard Clip, Wall Mount, and 30′ Power Cord. The only other difference is the included attachments.

ModelZS351ZS352
Duster Crevice Tool
Pet Multi Tool
Crevice Tool
Precision Duster
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Comparison Table

You can compare our top two models with some of the older Shark Rocket vacuums in the comparison table below. The older models are still good vacuums, for the right price. If you can get the new DuoClean or Zero-M cleaner heads for almost the same price, then why not? However, if you find the older models on discount, then it’s not a bad buy on a budget!

Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-LightShark Rocket Ultra-Light with Zero-MShark Rocket TruePet Ultra-LightShark Rocket Ultra-Light
DuoClean
Zero-M
Onboard Storage
Wall Mount
AttachmentsPet Multi-Tool, 12″ Crevice ToolDuster Crevice Tool, Pet Multi-ToolHard Floor Hero, Pet Multi-Tool, Duster Crevice Tool, Multi-Angle Dusting BrushHard Floor Hero, Home & Car Detail Kit, Dusting Brush, 5″ Crevice Tool, Upholstery Tool
Dustbin Capacity1 Dry Quart0.4 Dry Quarts0.84 Dry Quarts0.4 Dry Quarts
Cord Length30 Feet30 Feet30 Feet30 Feet
Weight10 lbs9 lbs8 lbs8 lbs
Model#HV382ZS351HV322HV302
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Design

As we’ve seen in Shark’s uprights and cordless vacuums, the new Zero-M, and DuoClean technologies are the latest upgrades Shark has made to just about every vacuum series they make.

Zero-M removes hair from the brushroll as you vacuum, while the DuoClean brushroll gently scrubs your bare floors. The DuoClean brushroll looks like it could fit on a paint roller and is covered solidly with brush fibers, whereas most brushrolls just have a few rows of fibers on the rotating cylinder.

Before the DuoClean, your only option on hard flooring was to adjust a setting to turn off, or slow down, the brushroll so that debris wasn’t thrown behind the vacuum. This leads to small particles and dust being left behind and even larger debris getting left on the floor as the suction alone just wasn’t enough to pick it up.

The DuoClean concept isn’t the only implementation of this type of brushroll. We also have seen Dyson include a hard floor cleaner head that can be swapped out with their standard cordless stick vacuum’s cleaner head. Similarly, the brushroll is completely covered with fibers and stays in contact with the floor to help knock dust and debris loose.

shark cleaner head bristle guard

Along with these new brushrolls, another addition to Shark’s new cleaner heads is the row of bristles that go along the back of the cleaner head opening. This seems to help prevent debris from getting thrown behind the cleaner head and helps create a better seal on the floor so that the suction is more focused towards the front and sides of the vacuum.

Whatever Shark is doing it seems to be working, as we’ve seen substantial performance improvements over the older models with the new Zero-M and DuoClean when it comes to vacuuming up small and large debris on carpet and bare flooring. This is true even with the Speed models that have less powerful motors but outperform their predecessors that don’t have Zero-M or DuoClean cleaner heads.

We’ll get more into performance in the next section!

More on the DuoClean and Zero-M Design

shark duoclean cleaner head

The DuoClean cleaner head shown above has two brushrolls, hence the “Duo” in “DuoClean.” You still have the standard vacuum brushroll inside the cleaner head, but you also get the plush DuoClean brushroll in the front that is specifically designed for bare floors.

The convenient thing about most of Shark’s new cleaner heads is that you won’t have to flip over the vacuum to clean the brushroll. You simply hit the lid release buttons, and the top pops off, and you can cut out anything tangled around the brushroll.

shark zero-m cleaner head

Above you can see the teeth that pull off anything that gets tangled around the brushroll. The bristle guards help keep hair pushed up within reach of the comb.

It’s simple and makes a lot of sense.

Usability and Weight

People like stick vacuums because they take up less space and are easy to push around.

You often see complaints about how heavy upright vacuums are, and for some people, they can be uncomfortable to use. Especially if your home has multiple levels and you need to carry your vacuum up and down stairs.

Most stick vacuums are built like miniature uprights with the motor and dustbin housing just above the cleaner head with a handle that extends upward for you to grip. We’ve seen Shark, and Dyson, release the stick vacuums you see today that break that mold and move the dustbin and motor up towards your hand with a hose that extends to the cleaner head on the floor.

vacuum type examples

That change makes a big difference in how the vacuum feels when you maneuver it around.

Cordless stick vacuums, like the Hoover Linx pictured above, are incredibly light and easy to push around. Shark’s corded stick vacuums are more powerful since they don’t rely on a battery, but are a few pounds heavier than cordless models.

Having most of the weight of the vacuum right in your hands makes it easier to swivel the vacuum head around, since you aren’t trying to turn all that weight farther away from your arm.

Shark Rocket DuoClean Ultra-LightShark ION F80 MultiFLEXDyson V10Hoover LinxShark APEX DuoClean Zero-M Powered Lift-AwayShark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed
Corded StickCordless StickCordless StickCordless StickFull-Size UprightCompact Upright
10 lbs8.7 lbs6 lbs7.3 lbs16 lbs13.4 lbs
Model#
HV382
Model#
IF281
Model#
180846-01
Model#
BH50020PC
Model#
AZ1002
Model#
ZU561

The difference between the weight of Shark’s compact upright and the corded stick vacuums is relatively small. Even Shark’s fully-featured APEX upright at 16 lbs is relatively light for a vacuum in its class. However, if you’re used to a cordless stick vacuum then making the jump to a full-size upright might take some adjustment.

That’s where Shark’s corded stick vacuums fill a gap. They don’t rely on a battery and still keep the small form factor while performing well on all floor types.

Performance

We are primarily interested in looking at the performance of the newer HV380 and ZS350 series vacuums, which are the latest Shark Rocket corded stick vacuums with the most up-to-date features.

At this point, they seem to be the best deal concerning price and performance. They stay relatively close in price to the older models, so why not get the latest features?

Shark Rocket with DuoClean (HV382)

Check out this video for a look at the Shark Rocket HV382 with DuoClean. We’ve skipped to the performance section of the video.

Highlights

  • The DuoClean brushroll pulls in larger debris to the suction channel instead of throwing it behind the vacuum on bare flooring.
  • The vacuum performs well on carpet and bare floors and suctions up visible debris in one or two passes.
  • You can not stand the vacuum up on its own. It does have rubber pads on the back of the body for leaning against the wall, or you can use the wall mount. However, the wall mount isn’t going to be around every time you need it.
  • On thicker carpet, the DuoClean brushroll will pull the vacuum forward aggressively. That’s why we prefer the Zero-M model if you primarily have a carpeted home. However, on low-pile carpet, this isn’t very noticeable.
  • The dustbin may require you to dig out debris that gets wrapped around the disc in the bottom of the bin.
  • There’s no Anti-Allergen Sealed Filtration. However, the filters are easy to access and washable.

Majority of homes come with low to medium pile carpet. You can’t adjust the height of the brushrolls on any of the Shark Rocket vacuums. However, you can adjust the speed of the brushroll to a lower setting if you find the brushrolls are grabbing at the carpet too much.

For most people, this won’t be too much of an issue, but if your carpet is on the thicker side we recommend getting the Zero-M model.

How do you measure your carpet thickness?

It’s as easy as getting a toothpick, poking down to the carpet backing, and marking the height. Then measure and compare to the table below.

LowMediumHigh (Plush)Shag
up to 0.25″0.25″ to 0.5″0.5″ to 0.75″More than 0.75″

There are a variety of carpet textures and styles, but this will give you a good indicator as to the relative thickness of your carpet.

Shark Rocket with Zero-M (ZS352)

The Zero-M cleaner head is Shark’s answer to eliminating having to cut out hair tangled around the brushroll. It actually does work well.

The removal process does take some time so you may need to keep the brushroll running even after you’ve finished vacuuming the dirty area of your carpet. If you prioritize your dirty carpet before vacuuming your bare flooring, then the Zero-M comb can do its work while you’re still cleaning. Otherwise, you might just want to let the vacuum run while sitting on your bare flooring just to get the hair removed.

This is so much easier than having to dig it out yourself.

Highlights

  • The Zero-M feature actually does remove a majority of the hair that gets wrapped around the brushroll.
  • Larger debris, such as cereal, can’t be easily picked up on carpet or bare floors. You’ll usually need to pull out the hose. This is one reason we prefer the DuoClean on bare floors.
  • On bare floors, you don’t get any scatter behind the vacuum. The new cleaner head design basically eliminates this problem, even without the DuoClean brushroll.
  • There’s no Anti-Allergen Sealed Filtration. However, the filters are easy to access and washable.

You can also check out the Zero-M cleaner head being used on the Shark Navigator upright below.

The Navigator is a full-size upright, but uses almost the same Zero-M cleaner head as the Shark Rocket ZS352. You can get a good idea of how the Zero-M will perform with large and small debris in the video above.

Attachments

With the Shark Rocket DuoClean and Zero-M models, you don’t get the Motorized Pet Brush. For that, you’ll want to get the Shark Rocket TruePet HV322.

One thing to keep in mind, if you’ve already spoiled yourself with the idea of the Zero-M cleaner head, is that hair will get tangled around the Mini Motorized Brush. If you’re dealing with a lot of hair, then it can get really annoying.

That’s why we think its just as well to use the Pet Multi-Tool that comes with the newer vacuums. It would be nice to see Shark move the Zero-M concept into their Mini Motorized Brushes.

Below is a quick glance at the typical attachments that come with the different variations of the Zero-M and DuoClean Rocket models.

shark duster crevice tool

The Duster Crevice Tool combines the functions of the usual crevice tool and dusting brush into a single attachment. You can keep this attached to the onboard clip so that it’s available when you need it. You’ll probably find its the most commonly used attachment.

shark dusting brush

The Dusting Brush pictured above is a fuller brush than the Duster Crevice Tool and is better for more severe dusting jobs.

shark pet multi tool

The Pet Multi-Tool has rubber teeth that help loosen up pet hair from upholstery. You can pop off the brush to expose the teeth.

Half the battle is getting the hair knocked loose of the fabric fibers, and this tool does a good job.

Maintenance

Shark recommends washing the pre-motor foam and felt filters at least once a month, while the post-motor filter should be cleaned every 12 months.

Naturally, this really depends on how often you use the vacuum. You especially should wash them if you notice reduced suction.

If cleaning the filters doesn’t improve suction, then check for blockages. The Shark Rocket vacuums are really simple, so you can just remove the cleaner head, hose, and dustbin to quickly see any potential clog areas.

Be sure to let the filters dry for at least 24 hours after washing. You do not want to let the water run through your vacuum. You’ll never get rid of the horrible smell.

Is the Shark Rocket a Good Buy?

The Shark Rocket is a hybrid of a compact upright and stick vacuum. It’s more lightweight and easier to maneuver than a typical full-size upright, but it holds less dirt and is less powerful. You just won’t get the same suction power as an upright.

We don’t recommend the Shark Rocket if you have thick shag carpet. You don’t have the freedom to adjust the brushroll height or even turn it off.

If you have several pets and a few humans living in your household, then the small dustbin likely will be annoying if you intend to use the Shark Rocket as your only vacuum. Vacuuming your entire home would require emptying the dustbin multiple times unless you vacuum very frequently and don’t let debris build up on your floor.

These corded stick vacuums are great for maintenance cleaning in between deep cleaning with an upright. If your household is small with maybe one or two people, then these vacuums could easily be used as your primary vacuum.