Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away review: A budget vacuum that's full of features
The $200 Shark is the least expensive of the five models and makes pretty lofty performance claims. So, is it really better than a Dyson? Well, yes and no. I would recommend it over either Dyson because it is a more well-rounded machine. It offers good design, usability, and performance, and it has excellent features. Both Dysons struggled in the design department, while the more expensive DC41 outperformed the Shark (on carpet and everywhere else) and the less expensive DC50 performed on par with the Shark.
And in comparison to the Oreck and the Electrolux, it's much more a matter of preference. The Shark is a fantastic budget vacuum that holds its own against these two in usability and features, albeit with slightly lower performance marks. Still, I would highly recommend this vacuum. It offers the best value of any of the models and its multitude of accessories will delight the more thorough cleaners among you.
This is a fine-looking vacuum, but it isn't trying to appear high-end like the other models. It's a glossy white machine with red accents that belie its more modern functionality. Fortunately, its slightly dated design doesn't seem to hurt its construction in the least. It's a solidly built vacuum with strong components.
The wand feels sturdy and secure, the transparent bin isn't flimsy (as was observed in both Dyson models), and the vacuum is comfortable to carry around in canister mode. Just don't expect this $200 budget buy to have the same design features as a more expensive model, and you won't be disappointed. I do kind of wish there was a way to get all of the various Shark attachments and accessories to fit on the vacuum, though. The different parts would likely end up scattered around my house.
I gave the Shark the highest possible rating in this category. You really can't get better than this, especially when you consider price and value. Using it as a upright model, it has a pivoting head and headlights. It also comes with a wand accessory like the other models and suction adjustment like the Electrolux.
To the wand, you can add a flexible crevice tool for vacuuming corners, a multipurpose tool that does well on upholstery and hard surfaces, a straight suction floor nozzle for picking up stuff big and small from bare floors and area rugs, a power brush to take on pet hair and dirt from carpeted stairs and upholstery, a wide upholstery tool for getting pet hair and dust from fabrics, and a dusting brush. It can also switch between an upright and a canister vacuum so you can carry it around while using the cleaning wand, or set it on top of the canister caddy, which rolls around while you're in wand mode. The Dyson DC41 gets the closest to this number of brush accessories, but still can't really compete with the Shark on features.
The Shark gets a very good usability score. Considering the number of accessories offered on this incredibly modular machine, there was a chance that it would seem cumbersome and awkward. However, that just isn't the case. It couldn't be easier to convert the vacuum from upright to canister, set the canister on the caddy, or extend the wand and add various brush attachments. The bin, too, is easy to open and put back in place, although not quite as easy as the Electrolux. Also, its pivoting head makes for one maneuverable model that can go anywhere and do pretty much anything. It's also 15.5 pounds, which is lighter than the 17.2-pound Electrolux model I like so much.
In order to deliver a comprehensive review of this vacuum, I tested it on thin low-pile carpet, thicker midpile carpet, and hardwood. On each surface, I scattered fruity Cheerios, sand and sawdust, pet hair, human hair, and washers, nuts, and bobby pins to test different types of functionality. And I learned that the Shark does very well, although not as well as the Dyson DC41, the Oreck, or the Electrolux. Still, it really impressed me -- it's only $200, folks.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
The Dyson DC41, the Oreck, and the Electrolux all did consistently well on this test, removing 88 percent or more of the Fruity Cheerios from thin carpet, thick carpet, and hardwood. That's good news for parents with young kids or really anyone dealing with larger things that need to be dust-busted. The Shark remained competitive on the carpeted surfaces, but on hardwood, it picked up only 73 percent of the cereal dropped. That's not terrible, but it isn't as good as the other three. The Dyson DC50 performed pretty well on carpets, but didn't collect any Cheerios on the hardwood.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
For this test, I mixed together sand and sawdust and spread it across each floor type. The Shark had some issues with consistency, here. It picked up only 59 percent of the mixture from the low-pile carpet, 86 percent from the midpile and 92 percent from the hardwood. Averaged together, that's a fine score, but what went wrong on the low-pile carpet?
To be fair, the top-performing Dyson DC41 only got 60 percent of the mixture from the low-pile carpet, the Oreck 67 percent, and the Dyson DC50 77 percent. The Electrolux did the best by far, picking up 91 percent of the sand and sawdust. Unfortunately, a lot of people probably need top performance in this category. Low-pile carpets are more common in high-traffic areas where small particles like dirt thrive. Going over the same spot multiple times would take care of this issue. Per our test design, I only rolled over each material twice.
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
CNET's own Katie Pilkington shaved her Labradoodle Lola so we could perform this test. I spread hair clumps of various sizes across both carpets and the hardwood. The Shark picked up 100 percent of Lola's hair from both carpeted surfaces and none from the hardwood. That's because you're supposed to turn off the brush when you're vacuuming on a bare floor. Without that spinning brush to help drive debris inside, you're at a disadvantage. If you decide to be a rebel and use the brush on your hardwood anyway, you run the risk of scratching your floor, but it will pick up everything like it did on the carpets. Say you aren't interested in harming your bare floors -- you might want to opt for one of the Shark's many brush attachments or just use a broom instead.
Nuts, washers, bobby pins
I highly recommend the Shark vacuum to anyone looking for a budget option with very good performance and optimal versatility. It's also a great choice for, how shall I put this, more meticulous cleaners. Since it has so many accessories, you never have to worry about having "that perfect attachment." There's bound to be a brush for nearly every home vacuuming situation. That's quite a feat for a $200 machine. None of the others come close to this level of choice, not even the $649 Dyson DC41 Animal Complete. I think the Shark has earned some bragging rights in that respect.
As nice as that is, I have a feeling that most of those Shark attachments would end up collecting dust in my closet rather than making regular or even semiregular appearances when I'm vacuuming. So, if you too are a more straightforward vacuumer who doesn't want all that extra stuff, the $300 Electrolux Precision Brushroll Clean is also an excellent option. It's a more traditional upright that still offers a wand and a couple of brush attachments to suit various tasks -- and it performed a bit better than the Shark. Still, the Shark is a very good vacuum that stood up to the competition, and when you factor in its $200 price, it's hard not to be impressed.
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum Review
We purchased the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
The Shark Rotator TruePet is specially designed for pet owners that struggle to keep fur and dander under control. It includes a motorized brush and pet multi-tool to target cat and dog fur that’s buried deep in carpets and stuck to upholstered furniture. With a sealed air system and a HEPA filter that traps 99.9 percent of dust and allergens, this is also a great vacuum for allergy sufferers. Since it’s one of the more expensive Shark models on the market, we put the Rotator TruePet through rigorous testing to see if it performs well enough to justify its steep price tag. Read on to find out what we discovered.
Setup Process:A cinch to assemble, but the instructionsare lacking
The Shark Rotator TruePet was extremely easy to assemble; we had the vacuum put together in less than two minutes. This model comes with a great selection of accessories. However, with the exception of the TruePet motorized brush, the instructions don’t explain what each tool is intended for. We were familiar with some of the accessories because we had already tested several other Shark vacuums before this one. However, a first-time user would be at a disadvantage. We had to do some online research to see what each of the tools should be used for.
We had the vacuum put together in less than two minutes.
Performance:A powerful vacuum that really tackles pet hair
The Shark Rotator TruePet worked great on our hardwood floors, easily picking up dust and debris. It also worked really well on our thicker, larger area rugs. However, we thought the suction was a little too powerful on some of our smaller rugs. The vacuum actually sucked up one of the rugs, even on the low-pile carpet setting. Some of the lower-end Shark models have a suction release valve on the handle, allowing you to control the amount of suction you need for a particular job. We would have expected a premium model like this to have the same capability, but the Rotator TruePet does not. Since the suction of this vacuum is extremely powerful, it might be best to keep it in hard floor mode (its least powerful setting) when you’re vacuuming lightweight rugs and carpets.
One thing we loved about the Rotator TruePet is that the floorhead is small enough to go under low furniture. Unlike other some of the other Shark models we tested, this vacuum can maintain all of its suctioning power even when the canister is detached. This gives you the ability to thoroughly clean under furniture and in hard-to-reach places on any floor surface. Lower-end vacuums can only operate in bare floor mode once their canisters are detached, and without the brushroll, their cleaning power is limited. The brushroll on the Rotator TruePet can be activated in any configuration, though.
We were astounded by how much pet hair the Rotator TruePet picked up.
Since the Rotator TruePet is intended to tackle fur, dander, and stuck-in pet hair, we wanted to see how well it lived up to the challenge. We brushed out both of our small dogs and stuck the loose hair on different surfaces throughout our house. The TruePet motorized brush did an excellent job removing the hair from upholstered furniture and area rugs. Though the suction is very powerful, the brush is still gentle enough to use on lighter fabrics.
We then decided to take our testing one step further. Since our house isn’t plagued with problematic pet hair, we brought the vacuum to a friend’s home with wall-to-wall carpeting and two cats that shed like crazy. The dust cup was empty when we started and it was almost full by the time we finished vacuuming the carpet. We were astounded by how much pet hair the Rotator TruePet picked up. The carpet looked cleaner and fluffier than it had in years. We also used the motorized pet brush on a cat tree that was covered with hair and the brush removed all of it.
Design and Accessories: A+
We really liked the fingertip controls on the handle, which light up and let you easily switch between hard floor, carpet/low pile, and thick carpet/area rug settings. Another helpful feature are the LED lights on the nozzle and handle, helping to illuminate dark corners, the spaces under furniture, and poorly lit closets. The canister easily detaches with the push of a button; you can take it around with you as you clean without having to lug around the whole vacuum. The Rotator TruePet has an excellent turning radius thanks to swivel steering and with a 30-foot power cord, you can move around plenty. At 16.7 pounds in its full upright position, it’s standard weight for a higher-end vacuum, but it is on the heavier side.
The motorized pet brush works great on pet hair that’s buried in carpets and stuck on seat cushion
We appreciated the selection of accessories the vacuum came with. The motorized pet brush works great on pet hair that’s buried in carpets and stuck on seat cushions. For more delicate surfaces like drapes, you can use the pet multi-tool to more gently remove hair and lint.
The Hard Floor Hero, an accessory that attaches to the wand in lift-away mode, is specially designed for bare floor cleaning. It can rotate 180 degrees, so it’s perfect for cleaning around baseboards and curved furniture. A crevice tool is also included.
Price:Worth the money if pet hair is a big concern
For combating difficult pet hair and airborne allergens, the Shark Rotator TruePet is certainly worth its steep $400 price tag. If stuck-in pet hair isn’t a problem for you, though, Shark has a suite of less-expensive vacuums that can tackle smaller jobs and everyday messes.
Competition:Cheaper options out there
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E: If you’re looking to save money, the Shark Navigator NV356E packs a powerful punch for a much more reasonable price. Retailing for roughly $200, this vacuum is one of the brand’s most highly-rated mid-range models. The Navigator Lift-Away Professional lacks some of the Rotator TruePet’s advanced cleaning capabilities, though; it can’t get under low furniture or maintain full suction power when its canister is detached. However, it still delivers incredibly powerful suction on hardwood and carpeted floors. It also includes a pet power brush which is very effective at picking up pet hair on various surfaces.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum Review
Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum NV352: Depending on your needs and what features you’re willing to sacrifice, you could go with an even cheaper model. Although we have two dogs, they are hypoallergenic and don’t shed very much. We still find our fair share of pet hair around the house, but we were able to eliminate it just as effectively with this affordably priced model. The Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (NV352) is a powerful cleaning tool that retails for about $140—less than half the price of the Rotator TruePet. Though it lacks some advanced features, it’s still an excellent choice for a more basic cleaning tool. The Navigator NV352 includes a pet upholstery tool that works great on seat cushions and carpeted stairs.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum Review
For pet hair removal, it’s a winner.
If stubborn pet hair is a big problem for you, the Shark Rotator TruePet is certainly worth its steep price tag. With its incredibly powerful suction and motorized pet brush, this vacuum can remove pet hair from practically every surface in your home.
- Product Name Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet Upright Vacuum NV752
- Product Brand Shark
- MPN NV752
- Price $399.99
- Weight 16.7 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 13.2 x 11.9 x 45 in.
- Color Bordeaux
- What’s Included Motorized floor nozzle, wand, handle, pet multi-tool, hard floor hero attachment, TruePet mini motorized brush, crevice tool
- Warranty VIP lifetime service guarantee
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The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 is part of the Vacuum Cleaners test program at Consumer Reports. In our lab tests, Upright Vacuums models like the Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 are rated on multiple criteria, such as those listed below.
Carpet Indicates how much embedded talc and sand a vacuum lifted from a medium-pile carpet.
Bare floors Shows how well a vacuum picked up sand without dispersing it on bare floors.
Hose suction Indicates the strength of airflow through the hose.
Shark® Rotator® Professional Lift-Away® Upright Vacuum
Model # NV501$29999
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Shark® Rotator® Professional Lift-Away® Upright Vacuum
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A lightweight 2-in-1 Lift-Away® upright vacuum with a detachable canister for portable cleaning power. With the push of a button, Lift-Away® technology allows you to lift the canister away and easily clean in hard-to-reach areas. This vacuum's nozzle has LED lights and Advanced Swivel Steering for excellent visibility and control when maneuvering around furniture. It has an XL-capacity dust cup and completely sealed system with a HEPA filter to trap dust and allergens.
- Lift-Away®. Press a button to lift the canister away and easily clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology® + a HEPA filter. Traps 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum.
- Advanced Swivel Steering for excellent control when maneuvering around furniture.
- XL-capacity dust cup. Extended cleaning without interruption.
- LED headlights illuminate hidden debris around the home.
Shark® Rotator® Professional Lift-Away® Upright Vacuum
12" Crevice Tool
Great for cleaning tight spaces, between couch cushions, and in hard-to-reach areas. Crevice tool is 12" long.
Dust and clean a multitude of delicate surfaces. Great for use on fans, blinds, lampshades, and keyboards.
Wide Upholstery Tool
Wide surface area helps remove pet hair and large debris from mattresses, couches, curtains, and other delicate fabrics such as lampshades.
Product weight (lbs.): 15.5
Dust cup capacity (qts.): 0.88
Cleaning path width (in.): 9.5
Filter type: Washable HEPA + Foam and Felt Filters
Cord length (ft.): 25
Hose length (ft.): 8.4
Product dimensions (in.): 12.1 L X 12.2 W X 45.7 H
LED lights: On floor nozzle
Professional shark rotator
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