Shark Rocket DuoClean Review
Pros: Fantastic cleaning power, versatile, easy to use
Cons: Heavy, loud
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rocket took home one of the highest overall scores of the group, primarily helped by its exceptional performance when it came to cleaning hard floors and by being supremely easy to use. This model is intended for much deeper cleaning than other stick vacuums, so this might not be the product for you if you want a convenient answer to cleaning a light mess, but this model could very well supplant your traditional upright and keep your home almost, if not equivalently clean.
To see which stick vacuum reigned supreme and sucked up the competition, we took the top models on the market today and put them through a series of head-to-head challenges, ranging from cleaning carpet to comparing convenience factor. These tests were divided among four weighted rating metrics: Convenience, Hard Surface Cleaning, Ease of Use, and Carpet Cleaning.
Earning the highest weight out of all the metrics, Convenience accounts for 35% of the total score — understandable, as it is somewhat the hallmark for this product category. We based the score for this metric on how well each product could clean non-floor surfaces, whether it was corded or cordless, cord reach or battery life, its weight, and how it could be stored. The Rocket did alright in this category, earning a 6 out of 10 for its above average performance.
The Rocket lost a few points for being a corded stick vacuum, but did earn back some points by having the longest reach out of any of the corded models.
The Rocket does have swivel steering, making it highly maneuverable and agile, allowing you to clean in and around the tightest places on your floor with minimal effort. This model can be stored with the included wall mount bracket, or the heavier top part of the vacuum can be detached and hung lower down on the vacuum to give it the stability to stand upright. However, this model is a little on the heavier side, weighing in at 10 lbs, much more than the other vacuums in the test.
This vacuum is very handy for cleaning non-floor surfaces as well. It includes a decent number of attachments and accessories for all of your cleaning needs.
It's supremely easy to swap between attachments, with either a locking button or locking foot pedal to press to release the previous attachment and the new one simply clicking into place.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Next came out Hard Surface Cleaning metric in terms of importance, taking credit for 30% of the final score. To test this, we spread out flour, oats, Cheerios, pet hair, and rice on a section of hard floor and then assessed how well each product did at cleaning up each type of debris. This metric is where the Rocket truly shined, earning a score of 9 out of 10 — the highest of the entire group.
This model did an excellent job at collecting rice, only taking a single pass to collect the debris. We used the bare floor cleaning mode and it was by far the easiest of the entire group to pick up the rice with.
This model carried over its solid performance test to our flour collection test, only taking two passes and even pulling flour out of the cracks between boards — no matter if the vacuum was run parallel or perpendicular to the crack direction.
As expected, the Rocket continued its stellar performance into our Cheerio collection test, once again leading the group. The Rocket did excellent in our oatmeal collection challenge. It only took a single pass, once again leading the group with its fantastic performance.
Finally, the Shark Rocket did a fine job picking up pet hair, collecting all of the hair that we laid out, along with a handful of the other vacuums in the group.
Ease of Use
This metric consisted of evaluating each vacuum on the number of different cleaning modes available, whether you could turn the rotating brush off — if there is one, how well the vacuum could clean in close to the edge of a room or under furniture, how each vacuum handled, as well as the noise level produced. The Shark Rocket earned an 8 out of 10 for its performance, comparing quite favorably with the rest of the group.
The Rocket has both a low-power and high-power cleaning mode, as well as a bare floor mode where the rotating brush will spin at a slower speed. This is activated by a switch right on the handle. Moving on to our edging test, the Rocket did the best job of the group at cleaning in close to an edge, leaving a negligible amount of rice behind. It would occasionally struggle with a few grains directly in front of it when cleaning a tight corner, but this was relatively infrequent.
This product continued its excellent performance into our furniture test, reaching almost the entire way under our simulated sofa, close to 37". The extractor head never came off the ground throughout this test, unlike the Dyson models, with the handle being the only part of the vacuum that limited its reach.
This vacuum can hold two of its attachments on itself, with a bag provided for storing additional accessories. This model has a swivel head, allowing it to be very maneuverable and agile.
However, this vacuum is a little on the loud side.
This vacuum measured in at 77.5 dBa on our SPL meter, making it one of the loudest vacuums of the bunch.
This might be partially due to the fact that the main motor is in the handle, making it much closer to your ear when in use.
Our final metric, Carpet Cleaning, accounts for the residual 15% of the total score for each stick vacuum. Similar to our Hard Surface Cleaning metric, we once again used the same set of debris: Cheerios, pet hair, oats, rice, and flour. The Shark Rocket finished out the test with a decent score, earning a 7 out of 10. This was the second highest score of the entire group.
The Rocket did quite well at collecting rice, only taking two passes to collect the vast majority of the grains from the low-pile carpet. However, it still left some residual dust behind. It continued its great performance on the medium-pile carpet, though it did fling some grains of rice to the side.
The Shark Rocket did a decent job in our flour collection test, getting most of the flour, but failed to match the performance of the Dyson V8 and the V6.
However, the Rocket regained the top spot in our cereal collection test, excelling the most out of every vacuum in the group in both the low-pile and medium-pile carpet test.
The Rocket finished out the Carpet Cleaning metric with a solid performance in the oat collections test and an alright one when it came to collecting pet hair. This vacuum collected all of the oat flakes, but left behind a little more dust than the Dyson V8. It collected most of the pet hair, but the front rotating brush was a little prone to inadvertently collecting pet hair.
The Shark Rocket DuoClean is a great vacuum, but is a little too pricey to be a great value. It's a solid example of you getting what you paid for.
Earning one of the top scores of the entire group, the Shark Rocket DuoClean thoroughly earns the title of Best Corded Stick Vacuum and its Editors' Choice award. This model has the cleaning power to rival some upright models and is the perfect choice for someone who only needs to clean up light to moderate messes and would prefer to not buy a traditional upright vacuum. The Rocket is a fantastic product, a jack-of-all-trades that can handle most messes that you throw at it, even the ones off the floor.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer