Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaners


“Versatility is the name of the game!”


When I first saw the Dyson Ball vacuum cleaner commercial on TV, I thought nothing could be better and more innovative than that. But after a short while a humble “shark” swam out of the ocean replicating the Dyson Ball’s “swivel technique”, but without using a Ball.

“Often imitated, never duplicated”! That is the slogan of the Shark Company. Shark did not duplicate a Dyson Ball, but instead it replicated swivel steering technology and did it very well. It created an ease of maneuverability vacuum cleaner, which literally glides like butter across any type of floor and swivels like a bee.

Shark advanced its swivel steering by introducing “Enhanced swivel” which is used in its Rotator model. This Enhanced swivel technology provides better maneuverability around furniture and tight corners. Shark advanced this technology even further with its Dynamic power steering that provides excellent control of the vacuum cleaner when maneuvering around furniture. The fact that the floor brush is not too wide is of benefit as it contributes to the enhanced maneuverability and provides easy reach in tight corners.

Most vacuum cleaners clog as soon as you turn them on and they lose their suction. Dyson claims they solved these problems with their “no loss of suction” technology. But these solutions come at a cost of nearly 700 dollars to the consumer. Shark has also solved these problems but for a fraction of the cost of a Dyson. Shark developed “Never Loses Suction” technology. This function is attained through the use of cyclonic technology which separates fine dirt from the air. This prevents the filters from clogging and the vacuum’s suction never dies away. It gives the Shark vacuum cleaner consistent suction power all the time.

For Shark – The Sky Is The Limit!

Ambitious Shark did not stop here. It came up with the brilliant idea of combining two vacuums in one (2-in-1). By separating the canister (dust cup) from the base and detaching it with just a snap-click, allowing the canister to “lift-away” for total portable cleaning. This smart technology justly termed “Lift-away”. I was truly sold on this feature. With the press of a button the entire canister lifts off the base of the vacuum cleaner, allowing you to walk anywhere you like to vacuum. This in my opinion is truly genius and this one feature alone makes this Shark vacuum worth every penny. Up till now Shark vacuum cleaner remains the only vacuum cleaner that lifts the canister away. That was a revolution in the vacuum cleaners industry. Shark itself claims it is the greatest breakthrough in the past 20 years.

Again Shark did not stop here. It placed a lift-away canister on a pod equipped with wheels and turned the upright vacuum into a canister vacuum. That simple idea realized and the all- inclusive 3-in-1 cleaning machine was born. A canister caddy turns your upright vacuum cleaner into a canister vacuum. Some people prefer upright vacuum cleaners, while others prefer a canister model. Now you can have both for the price of one. Simply pop the canister of the Shark Lift-Away off the base and snap it down on the caddy. The 360 degree rotating wheels on the caddy allow it to turn in even the tightest of spaces. It’s very appealing to do all cleaning jobs with just one vacuum cleaner.

As soon as you think you saw it all, Shark creates another 3-in-1 vacuum cleaner –“Powered Lift Away”. Powered lift-away extends the reach of the motorized cleaning head to get all the way in, around, behind, and under every tough-to-reach area. Three vacuum cleaners in one: classic upright, stick, and handheld. You can remove the canister out of the way, leaving just the wand and base. The base can be tilted all the way down converting the upright into a stick vacuum cleaner. You can also place the canister on the wheels using an optional caddy and now get a 4-in-1 vacuum cleaner (upright, canister, stick and handheld).  Someone called this vacuum cleaner a “chameleon”. If you are looking for a vacuum to end all vacuums – this is it!

But wait! There is a 5-in-1 vacuum cleaner! Shark came up with another genius idea – the attachment called the Hard-Floor Genie or Dust-Away Floor Attachment, which turns the upright into a sweeper. A vacuum cleaner is supposed to remove all particles from hard floors not just big items. Suction alone rarely gets 100% of micro particles, because micro particles stick to the floor due to electrostatic. It is a brilliantly designed device that you will absolutely love. This Hard-Floor Genie or Dust-Away Floor Attachment comes in very handy. The attachment comes with one or two washable microfiber pads and a vacuum turns into a sweeper. Now your upright is 5-in-1: upright, canister, sweeper, stick and handheld.

Many critics are missing the point on the versatility aspect of the “Lift-away”, treating it as a plain upright. The Versatility of these vacuums is a game changer when talking in terms of convenience. From this moment on, those tedious vacuuming jobs seem almost enjoyable.

Shark’s Innovative Technologies

The sky is the limit for Shark. Shark is an originator of “Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology”. For years the vacuum industry has claimed that having a HEPA filter was the best way to trap dust and allergens. The truth is, if your vacuum does not have a system that is completely sealed, the dust and allergens that you vacuum escape back into the air before they even reach the HEPA filter. All Shark models are equipped with this “Complete Seal Technology”. Shark’s Complete Seal technology with HEPA filtration reduces dust and allergens by trapping them inside the vacuum. It traps almost 100% (99.9%) of dust and other potentially allergic substances, thus preventing development of allergies and asthma. There are also no vacuum odors. The Shark vacuum is actually filtering the air in your home while you are vacuuming!

Another technology used in all Shark uprights is the dual-motor system. Instead of a single-motor system the cleaning head and pet brush have their own motor – they are both motorized and are electrically powered instead of air powered like most other vacuum cleaners.

Another feature of Shark vacuum cleaners is Zero maintenance costs. The Shark intelligent electronic system will shut the motor off if the brush is blocked with a large object. It means that the belt will never wear out. There is no belt to change as it is sealed. Life-time filters do not need to be replaced. Simply wash them once every 3 months or so. If anything clogs the wand and the motor starts to get hot, the vacuum will shut down the motor to save it.

Even with all their might Shark vacuum cleaners are still lightweight, weighting under 15 pounds. Most Shark vacuum cleaners are equipped with headlights, which is another little advantage. You might not think that a headlight could make much of a difference, since this may seem like a small thing. But trust me- it makes a huge difference! It is a nice little touch! Shark not only has one headlight – it has four. And they are LED lights! Fingertip control – there is no fumbling around trying to find buttons on different areas of the vacuum cleaner. The noise level on Shark vacuum cleaners is lower than many vacuums you have previously owned. It is reasonably quiet. Edge cleaning technology – Shark cleans edges of your room superb, there is nost need dto use a wand or attachments.

Shark vacuum cleaners are packed with new technology. They are so well made and so popular that they are literally flying off the shelves. Many vendors have difficulty keeping them in stock.

Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner Features

  • All Shark upright vacuum cleaners are bagless with a canister onboard. On all models the canister is released with a push of a button.
  • Power head/brush roll detaches from the canister, but re-attaches to the wand.
  • All Shark vacuum cleaners have a generous 25 – 30 feet long power cord which allows vacuuming an entire 1,100 sq. feet apartment from just one electrical outlet.
  • The Shark vacuum cleaners are quiet, they buzz like a bee (dB level is between 65 and 70).
  • The dust cup opens from the bottom – no fuss, no muss. In some models it opens from the top as well.
  • Cleaning out foam filters is wonderful. Take off the dust canister and under it, is the foam filter. Take it out, rinse it, slide it back on and that’s it. So simple!
  • All Sharks come with a 5 year manufacturer’s warranty and the latest models with a 7 year’s warranty.

“A proof is in the dust cup”

The fact that Shark vacuum cleaners are always being compared with other much more expensive vacuums like Dyson speaks volumes. Shark is doing an outstanding job in all cleaning tasks without that expensive price tag. It cleans edges perfectly even without any attachment. Dyson is lagging behind Shark in terms of suction and airflow. Numerous amateur YouTube videos demonstrate how much cleaning power Shark has in comparison with Dyson. Shark almost matches commercial vacuum cleaners in terms of performance. Although powerful Shark vacuum cleaners have just the right amount of suction as too much suction power can actually damage carpets. Shark’s suction is that good that you are going to be overwhelmed at how much dirt comes out of the carpet. This thing has some serious suction power.

The engineers at Shark have done their homework since then and have spent considerable time back at the drawing board. With the release of the new rotator Lift Away, they have just claimed the rights to being the best vacuum cleaner on the market. Clearly Dyson is a very good vacuum yet Shark outperforms it in every test to date. Dyson just simply cannot make that claim anymore. Sorry Mr. Dyson!

It makes me smile when I read reviews where people complain on how often they have to empty the dust cup. This means that this vacuum is actually cleaning the dirt out of your carpet. Its benefits far outweigh its small shortfalls. “A proof is in the cup”.

These vacuums are extremely well constructed out of good durable materials. The pieces fit together really snugly, which reaffirms the fact that no air or dust is going to “leak” out while vacuuming. There is a lot to like about this odd-looking funky little machine!

Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner Attachments

Shark’s attachments are one of a kind. More attachments mean more types of surfaces to clean. More attachments also come with more costs. Shark markets its vacuum cleaners based on what set of attachments they come with. The people at Shark did not skimp on accessories like some of the other manufacturers. There are many attachments which come with this vacuum and each piece has a very solid feel to it.  You can get:

  • Dust-away hard floor attachment or Hard-Floor genie: comes with a washable microfiber pad. Your vacuum turns into a sweeper. Not only will it pick up visible debris, but it will also pick up the tiniest particles that are almost impossible to see.
  • Edge cleaning tool : this is a motorized side brush that cleans along walls otherwise known on precious models as the Wall-hugging accessory (for Shark Rotators)
  • Multi-angle dusting brush: a 3 position soft dusting brush for cleaning blinds, walls, ceiling lights and the tops of furniture.
  • Under-appliance wand: this tool adds an extension to clean underneath those “hard-to-move” appliances and furniture.
  • Flexi crevice tools: a crevice tool with flexible tips which extends to access corners, baseboards and other tight spaces
  • Caddy on wheels: converts an upright into a canister vacuum.
  • Multi Tool or Dusting Genie: a unique dusting brush and crevice tool in one.

All attachments are available from the manufacturer’s website

Specially for Pet Owners

Pet Friendly vacuumsShark thinks a lot about pet owners. It developed a series of efficient pet tools including

  • True pet mini motorized brush – a mini motorized brush which picks up pet hair and loose debris.
  • Pet Power Hair Brush – This has dual felt strips along the cleaning surface that are designed for heavy-duty pet hair removal.

Shark Upright Vacuum Cleaner Configurations

For many years Shark vacuum cleaners have become synonymous with quality. The company has released several models under the Navigator and Rotator line (see Shark Navigators and “Shark Rotators). These 2 product lines share some common features but they also have features unique only to themselves.

  1. Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology is standard on both lines and therefore prevents dirt and debris from escaping out of the canister and transferring back into the air.
  2. Both have a dual-motor system which was first implemented with the original Navigator model NV22.
  3. The “Never Loses Suction” technology is utilized on both Navigator and Rotator series and was also first implemented in the Navigator model NV22.
  4. Both Navigator and Rotator have patented Lift Away features with the exception of the original Navigator NV22 series and the original Rotator model NV400 series (Shark Rotator NV450 includes the lift-away feature).
  5. Swivel steering technology,  which was first introduced with the Navigator Swivel model NV26, is included in both model lines.
  6. Both work well on hard floors and carpets with superb suction.
  7. These vacuums have the same basic set of attachments – a dusting brush, crevice tool and a pet tool.
  8.  HEPA filters which you can wash and reuse are equipped on both the Navigator and Rotator lines

The Navigator and Rotator lines are also unique in their own:

  1. The Shark Rotator series has “enhanced “suction power
  2. The Shark Rotator has stronger input power than Navigator 1200W vs. 1100W.
  3. The Rotator series has better maneuverability overall compared to the Navigator series.
  4. The Shark Rotator comes in 3-in-1 configuration, Navigator only 2-in-1 configuration.
  5. The Navigator is priced lower, but the Rotator line has several extra features.
  6. The Rotator models have a wider cleaning path – 14” vs. 9.25”, along with a longer electrical cord- 30 ft. vs.25 ft., and a larger dust capacity 1.3 vs. 1.2 qt.
  7. Rotators are a little bit heavier than Navigators – 15 lbs. vs. 12.lbs. This small weight increase comes due to the slightly larger dust bin installed on the Rotator models.
  8. Some Navigators have cyclonic filtration, some utilize traditional filters, and there are even some with electric filtration.

See Shark Navigators Comparison Chart and Shark Rotators Comparison Chart.

In my view, both the Navigator and Rotator are excellent choices for an everyday use type of vacuum cleaner. They are both built sturdily and can handle the job at hand. The Rotator line is the “crème de la crème” of Shark vacuums available today. My husband refers to our Rotator as my Cadillac…and I don’t even drive!

Shark Navigator Series                                       Shark  Rotator Series

Original Navigators: Navigator NV22                              Rotator Professional 400 series

Navigator Swivel NV26                                                           Rotator 450 series

Navigator Swivel N27                                                              Rotator Slim Lift-Away 341 series

Navigator NV42 Deluxe                                                         Rotator Lift-Away 500 series

Navigator NV70  and NV71 Deluxe                                   Rotator Powered Lift-Away 600

Navigator NV100 and NV105 Light                                   Rotator Powered Lift-Away 700

Navigator Lift-Away  300 series:

Navigator NV350, NV351, NV360                                      Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed680

Navigator Powered Lift-Away NV581 and NV583