Pros: Never loses suction power; quiet for a vacuum cleaner; thirty foot cord; 3-in One Vacuum.
Cons: No automated cord wind or release; heavier than some others at 15 pounds
With the latest in a long line of vacuum cleaners finally biting the dust, we began yet another search for what we hoped would be a lasting addition to our household. Hoover, Bissell, Eureka, Oreck and even a Dirt Devil model came home with our highest hopes for utilitarian longevity but all failed, some sooner than others. I will admit that our Roomba (model 562) has been around for several years but that is only due to the very short time we use it on a semi-weekly basis.
This tiny family seems to go through vacuum cleaners and microwave ovens faster than most folks go through perishable products. I blame the dog, in this case a Black Russian Terrier named Dali, our shedding champion who might make it into the Guinness World Record books if anyone bothered to measure what covers our floors and furnishings.
As I mentioned in my Oreck review, we compiled a vacuum cleaner wish list consisting of a few line items that would make life easier:
- Brand name
- Sealed bag or bagless system
- Ergonomic handle and general design
- 30-foot cord
- Narrow cleaning path
- Hard wood floor and carpet cleaning without adjustments
- HEPA Filtration System
- Dual sided edge cleaning
- Quiet – noise dampening
- Easy access to tools and accessories
- Easy cord release and cord storage
- Good warranty
Comparatively ticking off the items on our list, with few exceptions, the Shark seemed ideal. Nearly every feature we wanted was available to us on this model. Not advertised as self-propelled, when in carpet cleaning mode, that feature does come to life. That said, our hopes for a vacuum that makes the transition from hard wood to carpet and back were not fulfilled but all that is required to make that switch is a quick tap of the floor/carpet button located near the top of the body.
So Many Models, So Little Time…
The good folks at Euro-Pro offer a number of packages containing different collections of attachments and add-ons. The Shark Rotator Lift-Way Professional 3-in-1 Vacuum Cleaner sells alone or with an optional set of attachments with prices ranging from $180 to $299 plus shipping. Great deals and discounts abound online, do your research and find the best deal for you. The basic model is the NV500 that comes with a scant few basic attachments. Move up to the NV 501, available from a wide variety of merchants, and receive theCar cleaning kit, straight suction nozzle, back-saver wand, premium power brush, 12" crevice tool, multi-tool and canister caddy.
It happened that both the merchants we considered carried the NV502 that comes with the Premium Turbo Brush, 12” Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, Home and Car Detail Kit, Straight Suction Nozzle, Multi-tool, under-appliance flex-wand and canister caddy.
All Shark Rotator 3-in-One vacuums claim:
- Never Loses Suction Technology
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology
- Enhanced Swivel Steering
- 3 Vacuums-in-One: Powerful upright, Lift-Away pod, Convenient canister
- Dual Edge Cleaning
- Lightweight and ultra-quiet
Power: 1200 Watts
Dust Cup Capacity: 3.1 Dry Quarts
Maximum Reach for attachments: 11.8 ft.
Cord Length: 30 ft.
Filtration: Washable HEPA Filter
Cleaning Path: 11.5 inches
Weight: 15.5 pounds
Warranty: 5 Years Limited with Return Shipping Paid by Manufacturer
Time Tested and Hubby Approved…
We purchased this vacuum eight months ago and never considered returning it. I did the out of box experience as a solo player and must admit this is the simplest appliance to snap together, with or without the use of the instruction diagram. The key to getting the Shark up and running has to do with listening for clicks when inserting Part A into Part B, etc… The extension wand fits neatly into the left rear receptacle intended for just that necessary part and a second receptacle accepts several of the other accessories, one at a time. I keep the duster tool clipped into that second holder and it comes in handy every time I vacuum.
Almost all accessories twist or snap onto the eleven foot stretch hose. A quick push of the “Wand” button releases the wand and hose. There is no reason to turn off the vacuum or attach the hose to some port to use the extension wand. I love the fact that I can see something that needs cleaning, grab the wand and clean away and return the wand to its receptacle without any fuss.
While I really wanted a simpler automatic push-button style cord-rewinding situation, I settled for the usual wrap and wind as a compromise. Once the cord is in place, a quick flip of the top clip releases the 30-foot cord and I am in business. Hubby’s vacuuming chores include the carpeted rec room, media room, second kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, office downstairs and the carpeted stairway. My domain consists mostly of hard wood flooring and a couple of room-sized area rugs that somehow seem to collect more dirt and fur than his undemanding responsibility.
Equal Half and I do agree on several things regarding the Shark. First, the vacuum never loses suction even when the canister appears to fill up before we complete our tasks. Second, the vacuum is the simplest to empty with two sealed lids (top and bottom of the canister) to unclip, snap open and dump. Because of the wide openings, the problems I had with other bagless vacuums rarely occurs, there is no poof of dirt flying out of the canister, it simply slides out into the trash can without contaminating the air and floor.
I decided to try to maintain this vacuum with regular HEPA filter cleanings and it seems to make a difference. All I do is remove the filter, rinse it, let it dry and reinsert it behind the canister base. So far, we have not needed to replace belts or clean the roller bar but I do keep a close eye on those areas.
The “Lift-Away” part of the vacuum is one of its best features. A set of “Lift-Away” buttons located on top of the canister allows for a quick release from the vacuum base and lets the vacuum serve as a canister, with or without the additional roller/canister base. That base forces the vacuum to follow the wand and stretch hose, in essence turning the upright into a canister style vacuum. Using the vacuum without any base makes short work of stairways and easy work of ceiling fans and vents.
The two of us share back pain and other health issues so weight and maneuverability were paramount concerns when making this purchase. While the Oreck Axis we returned to QVC was very light (eight pounds) and very easy to drive, it had other issues that earned it a thumbs down in our estimation. The Shark at about fifteen pounds is no lightweight but the rotator feature made it so easy to maneuver, the weight is not as much of an issue as we thought it might be.
The quieter than we expected motor’s power is impressive. We have yet to go over and over a section of flooring as we had to with other vacuums. The process involves running it back and forth once and moving on to the next section. For my bare floor area of the house (roughly half our home), from plug-in to recoiling the cord takes around twelve minutes. Equal Half’s area takes a bit longer but not much.
If you have a similar wish list and are in need of a vacuum cleaner that will not cost you an arm and a leg, consider this Shark Professional Rotator Lift-Away. The price is reasonable, the quality and construction are substantial and it lives up to the hype. Find your best deal and enjoy owning something that will save you time, money and do an excellent job for you.