Shark’s vacuum lineup is exhausting to review. Not just because they produce a ton of different vacuums with minimal variations between models. They also have incredibly long names that make it difficult to decide if one vacuum is “better” than another.
It’s overwhelming. That’s why we’ve explained all the naming conventions for the Shark Rotator Series below. Additionally, you can use our diagram to decide which Shark vacuum is right for you.
The Shark Rotator vacuums are starting to show their age. Our top pick Rotator model, the NV752, is the only one that we recommend, but there are better options available from Shark that include the most up-to-date features and technology.
In the section below, we’ve outlined our recommended Shark vacuums that are upgrades to the Shark Rotator Series.
We do not recommend the Shark Rotator Series if you need to vacuum a lot of hardwood, tile, or other hard flooring. Shark has better, newer options. Any Shark vacuum with the DuoClean feature is going to outperform any Rotator vacuum on hard flooring. Click here if you want to read our overview of all Shark vacuums.
If you have a large family and have pets that produce tons of hair, then consider the vacuums with the Zero-M cleaner head. It removes hair from the brushroll so that you don’t have to pull out your scissors and do it yourself.
Out With the Old, In With the New
Currently, the Shark Rotator Series doesn’t have many of the new features found in the latest Shark vacuums. So, we’ve put together some recommendations below to point you toward the Shark vacuums that we think are upgrades to the various Rotator models.
Follow the links in the Contents section to see our recommended Shark vacuums in each section.
What are the features that the Shark Rotator vacuums lack?
- DuoClean – Vacuums with the DuoClean feature have two brushrolls: a bristle brush to deep clean carpet and a soft brushroll that has full contact with your hard floors to leave them dust free. The soft brushroll also helps pull large debris into the vacuum instead of throwing it around the floor.
- Zero-M – Using a combination of bristle guards and a comb, hair is removed from the brushroll as you use the vacuum. Once hair is removed it makes its way to the dustbin. This doesn’t happen immediately, so if you notice hair on the brushroll just let the vacuum run in carpet mode on hard flooring.
Can a vacuum have both DuoClean and Zero-M features?
Yes, some of the new Shark vacuums have both features. This makes them an excellent option for large families with pets that produce a ton of hair.
We all know the struggle with hair tangled around a vacuum’s brushroll. The Zero-M is one of the best self-cleaning brushrolls available.
The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M Lift-Away (Model AZ1002) is one of our recommended models that has both features.
The Rotator Series is made up of full-size uprights, except the Shark Rotator Freestyle Stick vacuum that’s also cordless.
- Best Shark Rotator Vacuum
- Shark Rotator Vacuum Names – What do they mean?
- Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away (NV752 and Related Models)
- Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV601 and NV680-683 Models)
- Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away XL (NV755 and UV795 Models)
- Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV500-560 Models)
- Shark Rotator Freestyle Cordless (SV1112)
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)
The NV752 includes all the essential attachments that let you take full advantage of the Lift-Away feature. The TruePet Mini Motorized Brush is handy even if you don’t have pets. The Anti-Allergen Seal and HEPA Filter effectively clean the vacuums exhaust, so that you’re lungs don’t have to.Check Amazon Price
- Hard Floor Hero
- TruePet Motorized Brush
- Pet Multi Tool
- Crevice Tool
- Yearly Expenses: $0 to $20
- At 15.6 lbs, the weight is typical for a full-size upright. If this seems high, then you should consider a stick vacuum.
- Have a pet hair problem? Go for the XL Capacity model to avoid frequently emptying the dustbin.
What About the Yearly Expenses?
If you read the FAQ section of the NV752 product page on the Shark website, linked here, you’ll find that they claim Shark vacuums have zero maintenance costs.
That’s mostly true, but over time the filters will show signs of wear. Eventually, you may need to replace them, but this really depends on how often you use your vacuum.
You’ll want to wash your foam and felt filters at least monthly, but you can go up to a year without cleaning the HEPA filter. You should get years of use out of your filters. The most important thing is to keep the filters clean and if you notice poor suction, then consider replacing or checking for blockage.
Continuing to run the vacuum with a blockage or saturated filters may damage your vacuum motor.
Emptying the dustbin once it reaches the maximum fill line is extremely important, as this is another way the vacuum’s motor can be strained. An overfilled dustbin will make the motor have to work harder to move air.
At the end of the day, it’s up to your vacuuming habits and needs as to whether or not the filters need to be replaced frequently. Keep them clean as best you can and use common sense. I believe most people could go an entire year only washing the HEPA and foam filters with no problems.
You can find complaints about anything in product reviews. Weight comes up often, and for the NV752 we think it’s as light as you can reasonably expect for a full-size upright. To illustrate this, we picked out some of the popular uprights from Dyson along with the big Kenmore Elite. As you can see, the Shark NV752 is on the lower end of the weight spectrum.
|Kenmore Elite 31150||Dyson Ball Multi-Floor 2||Dyson Ball Animal Upright||Dyson Cinetic Big Ball||Shark Rotator NV752|
|20 lbs||15.6 lbs||17.35 lbs||19.18 lbs||15.4 lbs|
If you think the NV752 might be too heavy for you, then consider getting a stick vacuum. In fact, with the latest Shark Rocket stick vacuums you don’t even have to sacrifice much of the dustbin capacity to get a lighter, more maneuverable vacuum.
The Shark Flex DuoClean HV391 is just shy of 10 lbs and is easier to swivel than the full-size NV752. The weight distribution is one reason we think some people find full-size uprights to “feel” heavy. The Shark Flex stick vacuum has most of its weight concentrated near your hands and it seems easier to swivel since you’re not having to swivel with the full weight of the vacuum near the vacuum head.
Check out our review of the Shark Rocket Stick Vacuums. They’re not cordless, but they’re a great option if you don’t want to deal with a battery and like the smaller form factor.
Shark Rotator Vacuum Names
Shark tends to string together trademarked names that correspond to features that each vacuum includes. Got a Pet Upholstery Tool? Tack on “TruePet” to the name. Does it convert to a canister vacuum? Add “Lift-Away” to the name. You get the picture, but don’t forget to take a breath when saying a Shark vacuum’s name aloud.
So, below we’ve summarized all the different names that Shark adds on to the Rotator Series. Just about every Rotator vacuum has the Lift-Away feature, but the others are additional features or attachments that add versatility.
Meaning: Convert the upright vacuum into a more maneuverable canister vacuum.
The vacuum pod, the part containing the motor and other essential components, detaches from the handle and cleaner head. This turns the vacuum into a canister that you can carry around or attach to a rolling caddy.
Stairs, vehicle interiors, and anything above the floor can easily be vacuumed in canister mode. In canister mode, you can take advantage of all the attachments that come along with your Shark vacuum.
Shark describes vacuums with the Lift-Away feature as being “2-in-1” or “3-in-1.” The Lift-Away vacuums can be used as an upright, detach and carried in your hand, or detached and seated in the canister caddy. A 2-in-1 can be used as an upright or carried in your hand. A 3-in-1 simply includes the caddy and can be used in any of the three ways.
Meaning: Includes attachment(s) for vacuuming pet hair.
There are several different versions of the Mini Motorized Brush for pet hair, stairs, and upholstery. The one pictured above is compatible with the popular NV752 model.
The motorized brush is excellent for agitating dirt or hair off of carpet or upholstery. Along with the Lift-Away feature, you can use this mini brush on stairs. So much easier than trying to drag the entire vacuum up each step. The Mini Motorized Brush will likely be your most used attachment.
Meaning: Lightweight and Compact.
The Speed name signifies that this is a more compact and lightweight version of the Shark Rotator. These models have the same power and performance but are in a smaller body. That also means you get a smaller dustbin.
Meaning: Extra Capacity
As you might expect, this is added onto the names of Shark Rotator vacuums with a larger dustbin capacity.
How much larger?
The popular Shark Rotator NV752 has a 1.5 dry quart capacity dustbin, up to the fill line. The Shark Rotator XL NV755 has a 2.3 dry quart capacity dustbin, up to the fill line. Underwhelming, for sure.
Meaning: Extra Attachments
For the Shark Rotator Series, the Professional name is added to the models that have unique attachments. These include the Car and Detail Kit, Under-Appliance Wand, and Extra-Wide Upholstery Tool. There are a few others, but these are the most unique.
There are a few attachments that are slight upgrades to their standard issue counterparts, such as the 12″ Crevice Tool or Multi-Angle Dusting Brush. The Crevice Tool is 1-inch wider than the 11″ Tool included with the other models, and the Multi-Angle Dusting Brush is more easily maneuvered.
Shark Rotator Cordless?
If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum, the Shark Rotator Series only has one. The Shark Rotator Freestyle.
The Rotator Freestyle is now outgunned by Shark’s latest, more feature-packed cordless vacuums. The Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Ultra-Light is an excellent choice if you’re looking for floor-to-ceiling versatility and want the DuoClean feature.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away (NV752 and Related Models)
The NV752 is the most popular model from the Shark Rotator Series and seems to be the model that Shark considers most “current.” On SharkClean.com, when you select a vacuum model, such as the NV650, they say “Model NV752 is available for sale on sharkclean.com” instead of just suggesting you buy the NV650. Not only that, but many of the variations of the NV700 and NV600 Series vacuums simply aren’t available at most online retailers. They primarily sell the NV752.
The Shark Rotator NV752 is the model you should be considering if you want a full-size upright with the Lift-Away feature, and the Mini Motorized Brush attachment.
In case you missed it, we do not recommend the Shark Rotator if you need to vacuum a lot of hardwood, tile, or other bare flooring. Shark has better options. Any Shark vacuum with the DuoClean feature is going to outperform the Rotator on bare flooring. There are full-size upright options available, not just compact models. Click here if you’re interested in the Shark DuoClean Vacuums.
Here’s a comparison table. You’ll find more analysis of this set of vacuums below.
More Details on the NV750 Series
First off, the NV752, our recommended model, doesn’t include the canister caddy. For most people, it’s just not necessary. However, it might be helpful for some people.
The canister caddy lets you pull around the vacuum body while only having to hold onto the handle and push around the cleaner head. If you have dexterity problems with your hands, and carrying around the Lift-Away pod doesn’t work for you, then the canister caddy can be a huge help. At that point, all you have to hold is the handle and cleaner head.
There are some issues with using the canister caddy.
- The Lift-Away pod sitting on the canister caddy is top heavy.
- The hose is shorter than a typical canister vacuum.
Canister vacuums are often made with a low profile body that doesn’t tip over easily. Miele bag canister vacuums seem to hug the floor and have no problems with tipping. Dyson bagless canisters are a little more top heavy than Miele, but Dyson has made their most recent canister vacuums with the ability to self-right in the event they tip over.
You should opt for a Rotator model that includes the canister caddy if you think it’s something you would use regularly.
Next up, we’re looking at the attachments that come with the NV752 and other similar Rotator models.
Hard Floor Hero
Turning off your vacuum’s brushroll helps keep it from throwing debris around your hardwood floors, but then how do you agitate stuck-on dust and debris? That’s where the Hard Floor Hero comes in. It brings the suction power closer to the floor and gently picks up debris that the standard cleaner head can’t.
Compatible With: HV300, HV320, HV321, HV322, NV355, NV356E, NV370, NV601, NV650, NV681, NV751, NV752
TruePet Mini Motorized Brush
Hair, dust, and other debris cling to carpet and upholstered furniture. It’s not practical to use the big cleaner head to clean these surfaces, so using the TruePet Mini Motorized Brush lets you clean those surfaces that other attachments just can’t handle.
Compatible With: NV650, NV650W, NV652, NV752, NV753, NV755, UV795
Duster Crevice Tool
The Duster Crevice tool combines the dusting brush and crevice tool into a single attachment. Dusting off shelves or hard-to-reach places is simple with this tool.
The Crevice Tool isn’t long enough or skinny enough to fit under some appliances. Enter the Under-Appliance Wand. You can vacuum under many large appliances without having to bend over or move them out of the way.
Compatible With: NR96, NV341, NV650, NV650W, NV651, NV652, NV750W, NV751, NV752, UV795
With the Rotator Series, for some models two attachments are included exclusively for hard floor cleaning. The Hard Floor Hero and the Dust-Away Hard Floor Attachment. Using these attachments requires you to remove the vacuum head and snap on the hard floor attachment.
This works fine, but wouldn’t you rather just not have to deal with a separate attachment for hard floors?
That’s why we recommend Shark vacuums with the DuoClean feature. Read our review of the Shark DuoClean vacuums for more a up-to-date vacuum selection.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV601 and NV680-683 Models)
As of 2018, we can’t recommend these Shark Rotator Speed models as they are not the best that Shark has to offer in the small and lightweight category.
The older NV680-NV683 models have a dustbin capacity of 0.82 dry quarts and weigh 13.3 lbs. The latest Shark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed weighs 13.4 lbs and have a dustbin capacity of 2.2 dry quarts.
It seems strange to have a vacuum with the “Speed” name win both the lightweight and high-capacity categories, but that’s just how strange Shark’s vacuum lineup is.
You can read our review of the latest Shark Navigator Speed Vacuums for the most up-to-date recommendations.
We also have some more suggestions below the Comparison Table.
These are the lighter Shark models that come with a variety of attachments for vacuuming vehicles, upholstery, stairs, and hard-to-reach places. At 13.3 lbs, they’re a little more than 2 pounds lighter than the standard models.
You’re likely to see some unrealistic prices in our product tables if there is a low supply from Amazon. The prices you see are pulled from Amazon at the time you view this page, but items with low stock might have outrageous prices from some resellers.
More Lightweight Options
Above we recommended the Shark Navigator Speed ZU561, but keep in mind this model doesn’t have the DuoClean cleaner head.
Our second choice, if you’re interested in the DuoClean feature, is the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Speed NV803.
The Shark Navigator and DuoClean Series are ahead of the Rotator series regarding new features. It’s not clear if Shark will continue to release another iteration of the Rotator series with the Zero-M or DuoClean features. It does seem redundant if they do, but Shark’s no stranger to variety, that’s for sure.
Here’s a table to summarize these 2 vacuums.
|Shark Navigator Speed ZU561||Shark DuoClean Speed NV803|
|Weight||13.4 lbs||15 lbs|
|Capacity||2.2 dry quarts||0.9 dry quarts|
|Price||$178.00 at Amazon|
Check Price at Best Buy
|$250.00 at Amazon
Check Price at Best Buy
What’s the Zero-M feature?
The Zero-M cleaner head removes hair tangled around the brushroll automatically.
They’ve built a bristle guard and comb that remove the hair from the brushroll as you vacuum and this allows it to be suctioned into the dustbin.
This process takes time to complete and the longer you run the vacuum, the more it will remove from the brushroll. The best way to clean the brushroll is to move the vacuum to a bare floor, like hardwood or tile and set the vacuum on Carpet/Low Pile mode. The brushroll will continue spinning and removing hair.
The reason you move the brushroll off the carpet is so that the brushroll can spin more freely. You can do this at the end of your vacuuming session to avoid having to cut out any hair yourself!
It’s not going to get 100% of the hair, but it’s an incredible improvement over traditional cleaner heads. If you have a large family with pets, then you know the struggle with hair. Zero-M is a great feature for you, and there are several other vacuum models with this feature that you might be interested in. Check out our Shark APEX vacuums review if you’re interested in more uprights with this feature, or our Shark IONFlex
None of the Shark Rotator vacuums have the Zero-M cleaner head, that’s why we’re pointing you to the Navigator Series if you like this feature.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away XL (NV755 and UV795 Models)
As of 2018, we can’t recommend these Shark Rotator XL vacuums. There are more up-to-date models from Shark available that have better features and similar, or larger, dustbin capacity.
The Shark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed ZU561 is not only lightweight, but also has a large 2.2 dry quart dustbin capacity. The ZU561 has the Zero-M cleaner head that removes tangled hair from the brushroll but doesn’t have the DuoClean feature that specializes in cleaning hard flooring.
If you want both the DuoClean, Zero-M, and good dustbin capacity, then check out the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M Lift-Away AZ1002. It weighs 16 lbs and has a 1.5 dry quart dustbin capacity.
The XL versions of the Shark Rotator have a modestly larger dustbin capacity than the base model. The included accessories are similar to the base model and include the Mini Motorized Brush for cleaning upholstery or stairs.
As you might expect, these larger vacuums are about 2 lbs heavier than the NV752 for a total of about 17 pounds.
The prices in our tables are pulled directly from Amazon at the time you view this page. When stock is low, you may see unreasonable prices.
Check out this comparison table to see what the Shark Rotator XL models have to offer, but we’ve got some more information below the table if you’re looking for a high capacity upright vacuum.
More High-Capacity Shark Vacuums
The Shark Rotator XL vacuum’s selling point is the higher capacity dustbin. Now, these vacuums have some age, and there are better options available from Shark.
You may notice in our comparison table we have the dustbin capacity as about 3.5 dry quarts. This is based on information from Shark’s website, but they don’t state whether or not this number is the capacity up to the Max Fill line.
If we had purchased one of these XL models for this review then we could say with certainty, but we didn’t. You will also notice completely different numbers being thrown around on various retail websites that are lower than the 3.5 dry quart number. Customer reviews tell us that the actual usable volume of the dustbin for the UV795 model is about 2.2 dry quarts.
Part of our review process is to buy the vacuum from a particular series that is representative of the features included in most of the other vacuums. There aren’t any significant design differences between the NV752 and NV755, other than the higher capacity and accessories included. Buying every single Rotator vacuum wouldn’t give us any more information.
Now, what is the new Shark vacuum model that has a dustbin capacity around 2.2 dry quarts?
That’s the Shark Navigator Zero-M Lift-Away Speed Upright.
We’ve seen that the Speed versions of Shark vacuums tend to be smaller, so it’s surprising that this model is their current front-runner for dustbin capacity. This is likely due to them still in the process of updating their product line.
Keep in mind, the NV70 does not have the new Zero-M cleaner head or Lift-Away canister features, but it can hold a ton of dirt.
Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV500-560 Models)
The Rotator Professional models come standard with accessories than the other models do not include.
Some of these attachments include:
- Car & Detail Kit
- 12″ Crevice Tool
- Under-Appliance Wand
- Wide Pet Upholstery Tool
- Multi-Angle Dusting Brush
Are these accessories worth it?
Are their newer models with similar attachments?
With new features like the Zero-M cleaner head and DuoClean, are these Rotator Professional vacuums even worth considering?
Let’s get started.
The purpose of all these different attachments is to allow you to vacuum hard-to-reach areas. That’s really all there is to it. The 12″ crevice tool isn’t remarkably better than an 11″ crevice tool that included with the base model. The Multi-Angle Dusting Brush is helpful for cleaning the top of door casings or shelving that you can’t get a good angle on yourself.
The Home & Car Detail Kit includes a flexible hose extension, instead of just a rigid pipe. That’s handy. It also includes micro-sized versions of the dusting brush and crevice tool for reaching between seats and console crevices.
Are these tools a good reason to buy the Shark Rotator Professional? We don’t think so.
These attachments aren’t unique, and you can purchase them for just about any upright vacuum. The age of the current iteration of Shark Rotator Professional vacuums is showing, and the performance of the vacuum itself is lacking compared to newer Shark models.
If you want a good vacuum for cleaning your vehicle, then consider the Shark ION W1 Handheld.
It’s not bulky, and you don’t have to string together several hoses and attachments.
Handheld vacuums take care of small messes where pulling your full-size upright out of the closet seems like a daunting task. Lately, stick vacuums have been filling the gap between full-size uprights and handhelds by offering handheld-like usability while retaining much of the cleaning power of an upright.
Shark Rotator Freestyle Cordless (SV1112)
At this point, it’s hard to recommend the Rotator Freestyle with so many other more up-to-date options available.
We highly recommend you check out the Shark ION cordless vacuums. They have the latest DuoClean feature and longer runtimes than the Shark Rotator Freestyle.
Once we’ve completed our review for the Shark ION cordless stick vacuums, we will include a link here.