Reviews You Can Rely On

Shark Wandvac Review

This expensive handheld vacuum is a bit of a disappointment across the board
Shark Wandvac
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $140 List | $119.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Compact, does a decent job at cleaning tight areas
Cons:  Expensive, terrible battery life, mediocre at cleaning
Manufacturer:   Shark
By Austin Palmer and David Wise  ⋅  Oct 5, 2021
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 8
  • Dust & Dirt - 20% 6
  • Tough Messes - 20% 4
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas - 20% 7
  • Battery Life - 15% 4
  • Convenience - 15% 6
  • Pet Hair - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Shark Wandvac performed quite poorly across most of our tests and is not a product that we would recommend. It is one of the more expensive handheld vacuums we have encountered yet is exceptionally lackluster when it comes to cleaning. It isn't amazingly convenient to use and has a terrible battery life, though its compact form allows it to do a decent job reaching into confined areas. Regardless, it's hard to make a case for the Wandvac when there are so many other significantly better products that cost a whole lot less.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Shark Wandvac
This Product
Shark Wandvac
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $140 List
$119.99 at Amazon
$125 List
$109.00 at Amazon
$73 List
$72.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$33.74 at Amazon
$42 List
$41.19 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
55
74
72
61
59
Star Rating
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Pros Compact, does a decent job at cleaning tight areasGreat for getting those hard-to-clean areas, good valueFantastic at picking up pet hair, great valueGreat for tough messes, inexpensiveVery compact, inexpensive
Cons Expensive, terrible battery life, mediocre at cleaningLackluster battery life, takes two hands to operate, loudNot the best for tight spaces, can't clean small gaps or cornersNot great with pet hairStruggles with tough messes and pet hair
Bottom Line This expensive handheld vacuum is a bit of a disappointment across the boardA great all-around vacuum that excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas and pet hairThis vac excels at picking up pet dander and is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a tonThis vacuum is impressive with tougher messes and won't break the bank, though it has a few shortcomingsWe think this is a great choice if you are looking for a highly portable or compact option for cleaning up light messes
Rating Categories Shark Wandvac Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Bissell AeroSlim
Dust & Dirt (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Tough Messes (20%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Hard To Reach Areas (20%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
Battery Life (15%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Convenience (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Pet Hair (10%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
3.0
Specs Shark Wandvac Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Bissell AeroSlim
Model Tested WV201 BDH2020FL 2390A HHVI320JR02 29869
Measured Weight (no tool) 1.3 lbs 3 lbs 2.6 lbs 2.4 lbs 1.2 lbs
Measured Weight (with heaviest tool) 1.4 lbs 3.1 lbs 3 lbs N/A 1.3 lbs
Usage Type Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Dust Capacity 0.076 L 0.5 L 0.73 L 0.61 L 0.1 L
Wet Capacity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Measured Runtime 9 min 45 sec 15 min Without motorized brush: 20 min 42 sec
With motorized brush: 17 min
15 min 24 sec 15 min 23 sec
Charge Time 2.5 hours 4 hours 8 hours 13.5 hours 2.75 hours
Charging Indicator? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Washable Filter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Noise (at arms length) 75.6 dBa 82.5 dBa 71.4 dBa 83 dBa 74 dBa

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Wandvac finished at the back of our test group. While it does clean difficult-to-access areas and picks up pet hair a bit better than some, it simply costs too much for us to be able to recommend.

Performance Comparison


The Shark Wandvac.
The Shark Wandvac.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Dust & Dirt


Initially, we began by comparing and scoring how well each portable handheld vacuum picked up the most common household messes: dust and dirt. These tests are responsible for one-fifth of the final score, and the Wandvac scored averagely, though below many others in our lineup.

The Wandvac picks up dirt just fine.
The Wandvac picks up dirt just fine.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac took a bit longer than average to clean up flour from a plastic sheet in our dusting test, hampered by its exceptionally small brush. This brush also leaves streaks while dusting, so you have to go over each area multiple times.

The Wandvac has a brush that flips out of the crevice tool.
The Wandvac has a brush that flips out of the crevice tool.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The soft bristles on this brush struggled to clean up dirt or mud that had dried in place, with this vacuum doing one of the worst jobs at cleaning mud from linoleum in our test. However, the soft bristles do let you clean in the corners or on small ledges fairly easily.

The Wandvac feels more like a light duty hand vacuum.
The Wandvac feels more like a light duty hand vacuum.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Tough Messes


Next, we continued our evaluation of the Wandvac by seeing how it did with some even tougher messes, as well as the amount of air its motor can move. This vacuum could suck up mini-wheats cereal without any tools attached, which is about the largest particle type it can handle and is average for these products.

It doesn't take long to fill up the small bin on the Wandvac.
It doesn't take long to fill up the small bin on the Wandvac.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac performed slightly above average when we challenged it to remove flour from a sample piece of low-pile carpet — like the kind you would find in a car. It removed a decent amount of flour with either the bristle or crevice attachment, though it left quite a bit leftover in the fibers unless we really scrubbed with the bristle brush and did a ton of passes.

The Wandvac (ION W1) struggled some in the flour test.
The Wandvac (ION W1) struggled some in the flour test.
Credit: Austin Palmer

It struggled a bit more at removing crushed-up oats from the same type of carpet or a couch cushion. The Wandvac kept sucking down to the couch cushion and left plenty of oat fragments and dust behind. It also left plenty of oats behind on carpet and would even fling some to the side while cleaning, making an even bigger mess.

The Wandvac didn't do so well with crushed oats.
The Wandvac didn't do so well with crushed oats.
Credit: Austin Palmer

We then measured the airspeed of each vacuum by attaching it to our sealed wind tunnel with an anemometer to compare airflow. The Wandvac did quite poorly, only registering an airspeed of about 827 FPM — the lowest of the group.

Hard-to-Reach Areas


The Wandvac did a little better in this metric, based on how well it cleaned out a sliding window track and on how far it could reach into a 1.25" and 3" gap — similar to what you would encounter cleaning under a piece of furniture or between the seat of your car and the center console.

The Shark doesn't do much well, but it is quite good at dusting...
The Shark doesn't do much well, but it is quite good at dusting cracks and crevices.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac is great for cleaning loose debris out of the narrow slot of a sliding window, quickly and easily emptying it of all the oats that we had filled it with. It also has a decent reach, able to effectively clean 13" into a 3" tall slot, which is quite far for these products. Its reach was reduced in a narrower slot, only able to reach 4" into a 1.25" tall gap — typical for these vacuums.

The Shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares...
The Shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares poorly in smaller ones.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life


These handheld vacuums are all battery-powered, so our next metric dealt with the maximum runtime you have to clean with each. We awarded points for how long each vacuum stayed on when starting with a totally charged battery. Unfortunately, the Wandvac didn't really impress here either. It didn't even last for 10 minutes, dying after 9 minutes and 45 seconds. However, it does recharge quite quickly for these products, only taking 2.5 hours.

The Wandvac has spots on its charging base to store attachments.
The Wandvac has spots on its charging base to store attachments.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


This metric looked at the ease of organizing and storing all the different tools and attachments, each vacuum's sound and noise level, and the ease of emptying the collection bin. The Wandvac again earned only a mediocre score, though it earned some points for being particularly lightweight, weighing about half as much as most other products.

The Wandvac has a sleek look.
The Wandvac has a sleek look.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Surprisingly, this device isn't that much quieter than some of the other larger products and has a higher pitched whine that can be quite vexing. The different tools also aren't integrated, so some caution must be exercised not to lose them. The dust bin is very easy to empty, popping open as soon as you hit the switch. This is a good thing, as the dust bin is extremely tiny on this vacuum, so get ready to empty it often.

The bin on the Wandvac handily flips open helping to keep your hands...
The bin on the Wandvac handily flips open helping to keep your hands clean.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Pet Hair


Our final tests focused on how easily the vacuums could clean up after our furry friends. We spread out donated pet hair on a couch cushion and on a carpet and assessed how much each vacuum picked up to determine scores. The Wandvac got 99% of the hair from the cushion using its upholstery brush — we found this to be far more effective than its standard brush — and the vast majority of it made it into the collection bin without becoming tangled up on the brush. It did almost as well on the carpet, but it left behind a bit more, and a decent amount remained trapped on the brush rather than making it into the collection bin.

The Shark did decently well with pet hair.
The Shark did decently well with pet hair.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Value


The Wandvac is a terrible value based on our testing, pairing poor performance with a high price tag.

Conclusion


All in all, it's very hard to recommend the Shark Wandvac ION W1 when almost any other product is far cheaper and performs better.

Austin Palmer and David Wise