Shark Rotator Lift-Away Speed with DuoClean Review
Shark built the Swiss Army knife of vacuum cleaners
Like other Shark Lift-Away vacuums the all-new Shark Rotator NV800 Power Lift-Away Speed with DuoClean (MSRP $299.70) converts from an upright to a pseudo-canister. But it also adds a powered DuoClean brush for carpet cleaning, like the Shark Rocket.
By combining these two features, Shark created a vacuum that can clean both hardwood floors and deep-pile carpets without changing attachments—a major plus for anyone short on storage space who has lots of different floor types. However, our tests show that this Shark lags behind the competition in build quality and dirt pickup. It's also heavier than previous Lift-Away models.
What we like
Thanks to its soft, plush DuoClean brush, the NV800 excels at picking up debris off of bare floors without scratching them. But our tests showed it was easy to seamlessly switch from cleaning bare floors to deep-pile carpets without skipping a beat—or switching attachments.
In fact, on thicker carpets, the Shark with DuoClean picked up 15 percent more dirt than previous Shark models we tested, and 13 percent more than the $500 Dyson Big Ball. It also aced our kitchen floor test, picking up every bit of spilled crumbs and food debris we dropped, with built-in LEDs lighting the way.
Even better, the NV800 has a seven-year warranty—two more than the standard Shark warranty. It also comes with useful attachments like a small pet hair brush for getting fur off upholstery.
What's not great
But in the end, the Lift-Away DuoClean suffers from the same issues as other Shark vacuums. The biggest problem is fit and finish. Its plastic parts creak when gripped tightly, and attachments don't click as securely as we expect from a $300 vacuum. A similarly priced Kenmore might require more storage space, but it just feels better.
The Lift-Away feature is still cool, and allows you to convert the upright into a canister vacuum at the touch of a button. But the canister's lack of wheels means you'll need two hands to vacuum. As an upright, we found the weight distribution uneven, and didn't like where the handles were placed.
That's important, because The NV800 tips the scales at 15.2 pounds, half-a-pound heavier than the NV682. At first glance, that might not sound like a lot, but it'll grate on you if you have to lug it up and down a few flights of stairs.
Buy or skip?
Despite its many features and convertible setup, the Shark Lift-Away Speed with DuoClean can't be all things to all people. We weren't thrilled with build quality, and $300 is a lot for a bagless upright—no matter how versatile it is. But it did a good job picking up dirt, dust, and debris off bare floors, and we can't argue with how easily it switched to cleaning carpet.
This Shark is a good deal for anyone who lacks storage space, but still wants to clean wood and carpet with a single vacuum. For anyone else, other vacuums cost less and clean just as well.
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