Why do people choose the Shark brand?
Shark pioneered swivel steering and the lift-away design which revolutionized the world of vacuums and gave birth to canister versions.
Shark brand resonates with people because it has a wide range of innovative models in every type and size, for any cleaning task, and at reasonable pricing. Their vacuums have high suction powers and come with multiple attachments for versatile cleaning of dirt, dust, and debris on any surface, and in any seemingly hard-to-reach crevices.
Features to consider while choosing a vacuum cleaner
Regardless of the vacuum brand you would like to own, the following fundamental features should be taken into consideration when making your decision.
Type of vacuum
What adds to the confusion when shopping for the best Shark vacuum are the seemingly endless types of models available with cleaning tools suited to different kinds of surfaces.
Vacuums are classified in five major categories: upright, handheld, canister, stick, and robotic.
Upright vacuums are the most common. They feature a motor and suction head combined in the same unit while canister models have them located separately. Some upright vacuums, such as Shark Rotator NV501 and Shark Rocket HV302, feature a lift-away design that can morph them into handheld models which you can carry around. Stick vacuums are light and portable for cleaning smaller areas. Robotic vacuums like Shark ION Robot Vacuum RV750 have technological features that can be programmed for automated light cleaning. So which one is right for you?
The area you intend to clean, and the amount of cleaning involved will help you choose the right type. Once you figure out the type you need, it will be easier to narrow down on the model. If you are tired of plugging and unplugging your vacuum repeatedly, you should opt for a cordless vacuum which is powered by a battery. If you prefer a vacuum that you can move around to clean closets, car interior, and spot-clean tight corners and edges, a handheld vacuum would be your best choice. To deep-clean expansive areas such as large carpeted floors, an upright vacuum with a long power cord and wide head would be ideal for you.
Wattage can give us a clue on how powerful the motor of the vacuum is. Although not always the case since a vacuum relies on various cleaning tools, powerful motors generally have more suction strength which yields more thorough cleaning, as evidenced by the Shark Rotator NV501. Ultimately, suction strength is where the real power of the motor lies, not the horsepower, amps or wattage, but the resultant airflow which is indicated in cubic feet per minute. Models like Shark Navigator NV356E allow you to adjust the suction power to suit different types of surfaces. Others have two motors for the vacuum and the brush.
Wattage also helps us to determine how energy-efficient a vacuum is.
Power cord length
A long power cord allows for more maneuverability and lets you cover large areas without having to constantly unplug and plug the unit to switch the power outlets. Generally, upright vacuums feature longer cords that are wound manually. For instance, the Shark Rotator NV501 and the Shark Navigator NV356E both have power cords that are 30-feet long.
Dust cup capacity
When dust cups overfill, they affect suction and the general performance of the vacuum. Dust cups with large size can hold more dust and debris which reduces the number of times they require emptying. This is convenient, especially when cleaning large areas with lots of dirt.
Upright models normally have the largest capacity owing to their overall design. For example, Shark Navigator NV356E has a dust cup with an extra-large capacity of 4.4 dry quarts compared to the 0.3-dry quarts dust cup capacity of the cordless Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean IF251.
As well as capacity, you should also look for dust cups that can be easily detached and emptied. Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean IF251 has a dust cup conveniently positioned at the top of the vacuum, which can be emptied by pressing the release button.
Weight and dimensions
The weight and dimensions of a vacuum dictate its portability, maneuverability and compact storage. The size and weight of the vacuum should be determined by the size of area to be cleaned and the type of surface you’re intending to use it on.
Upright models are bulky due to the powerful motor and multiple cleaning tools included and can weigh as much as 20 pounds, which may not be an issue because their long power cords provide extended cleaning coverage without having to lug them around.
Some like the Shark Rotator NV501 also have gliding wheels for smooth mobility. However, if you want to clean multi-level surfaces and tight spaces with a cordless, canister, or handheld model, the vacuum should be light in order to carry it around without straining your wrists and arms.
Some models (like the Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean IF251) feature detachable heads and wands which can be folded in half for cleaning underneath furniture and other tight places, and for convenient storage.
It is advisable to choose a vacuum with a warranty that can cover you for a long period, in case of malfunctions and other defects. Identify the average industry standard warranty period and compare that with the ones offered by various brands. Upright vacuums offer three years of warranty in average while robotic vacuums feature a standard limited warranty of one year. Most Shark vacuums have a warranty of five years.
Vacuums come with several add-on attachments and accessories which make the cleaning process efficient, convenient and even enjoyable. Below are some of the additional features.
- Lift-Away Capability: A model which can be used as an upright unit or converted to a handheld vacuum provides more cleaning options and improves access to tight spaces.
- Adjustable Suction Power: The brush roll in Shark Rocket HV302 has dual low and high-speed settings that can be customized for any kind of surface, whether carpets, tiles, or hard floor.
- LED Light: The LED indicator light provides information on battery life, maintenance and performance while LED navigation headlights enhance visibility in dark areas.
- Rubberized Wheels: They improve portability, and provide smooth mobility and compact storage.
- Washable Filters: A filter that can be washed and reused will save you a lot of money on a replacement. If possible, go for a washable HEPA filter which eliminates 99.9% of airborne allergens.
- Extension Wand: It increases the length of the hose to clean hard-to-reach areas.
- Wall Mount: This gives you more options for convenient storage. Shark Rocket HV302 is an example of a vacuum with this feature.
- User-Friendly Interface: The best Shark vacuum has simple and accessible controls that are easy to operate and navigate when selecting or switching settings.
- Path Width: Look for a model with a wide cleaning path which cleans more area with fewer passes.
- Accessory Bag with Multiple Cleaning Tools: An accessory bag is used to store the multiple attachments and cleaning tools which include dust brushes; crevice and upholstery extra nozzles for navigating narrow corners and edges and cleaning cushions and sofas; dust away hard floor attachment with reusable microfiber cleaning pad for cleaning finer particles; a pet power brush for cleaning fur and dander; and a car tool kit for automobile cleaning. These attachments make the vacuum versatile for cleaning various types of surfaces and accessing hard-to-reach areas.
How to maintain your Shark vacuum?
Reduction of suction power is usually the primary signal of a vacuum that is due for cleaning, but you should never wait until it gets to that point.
- Keep an eye on the transparent dust cup so you can empty it before it fills up and reduces suction power. Ideally, you should empty it when it is 50% to 75% full.
- It is advisable to wash the dust cup with soap, warm water and a brush at least once a month. Foam and HEPA filters can be washed Avoid washing the felt filter as it might void the warranty. Ensure the dust cup and filters are dry before placing them back in the vacuum.
- Although some rotating brushes self-clean, you should check on them after every few vacuuming sessions to prevent clogging by tangled hair and fabric that may have been trapped.
- Hoses should also be inspected for any objects that could be lodged in them.
Keep your vacuum away from any spilled water and leaking pipes.