Shark Vacuum Summary
It can be incredibly confusing trying to decipher which Shark vacuum is right for you. Especially if you’re not familiar with their technologies and naming conventions.
Shark makes 4 different types of vacuums:
- Corded Stick
- Cordless Stick
They have a huge selection of uprights and its one of their largest product categories. No surprise there since uprights have been around much longer than the newer and more compact vacuum types.
Shark’s uprights are unique in that all of them have the Lift-Away feature. You’re basically able to transform the upright into a canister vacuum where you hold the canister in one hand while pushing around the cleaner head with the other.
We think this feature is excellent and it gets the bulky canister out of the way if you need to vacuum under a bed or other furniture. Vacuuming stairs are also much more comfortable in Lift-Away form.
The real advantage comes from being able to have the power and capacity of an upright and make it just as maneuverable and easy-to-use as their corded stick vacuums.
Using the vacuum’s cleaner head in Lift-Away mode requires having the “Powered Lift-Away” feature, instead of simply “Lift-Away.” Powered means you can power the cleaner head motor with the handle and hose, while the plain Lift-Away can only transform into the canister and be used with non-powered attachments, such as a dusting brush or crevice tool.
What about the corded stick vacuums?
This type of vacuum isn’t too common, but if you like the form factor of the Shark ION or Dyson cordless stick vacuums, then imagine that but never having to worry about the battery dying or needing to charge it.
With the cordless stick vacuums from Shark, you can expect to get about 20 to 30 minutes of runtime from a single battery pack. The two models we’ve recommended below come with two battery packs. For most people, this is enough time to vacuum majority of their home or at least hit all the high traffic areas.
The dustbin capacity on the corded stick vacuums is generally larger than the cordless models, but it’s not a huge difference unless you opt for one of the higher-capacity corded models. Either way, you will most likely need to empty the dustbin before depleting both batteries, and with the cordless models you will need to keep an eye on the dustbin.
Shark Vacuum Technologies & Design
Right now, it’s all about the DuoClean and Zero-M features. Here’s an example of the combination cleaner head with Zero-M and DuoClean brushrolls.
The paint-roller-like DuoClean brushroll grabs larger debris and brushes off the fine dust from bare floors and pulls it into the suction area. This works really well. You can watch this video below to see the Shark APEX AZ1002 in action.
The Zero-M comb and brush guard does a great job of keeping hair off the brushroll. It’s not perfect, but it’s way ahead of the competition.
In addition to these brushrolls, the overall design of the new cleaner heads seems to provide better suction ability despite some of the newer vacuums having less power than their predecessors.
We suspect one factor in this improvement is the row of bristles that surrounded the cleaner head opening. It helps keep debris from getting thrown behind the brushroll and limits airflow from this area, which in turn concentrates the suction towards the front of the vacuum.
This is just speculation, but the demonstration in the video above shows this in action.