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Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Review

If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great bet
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional
The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional.
Credit: Shark
Best Buy Award
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Price:   $200 List | $199.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Good price, cleans carpet well, picks up pet hair with ease
Cons:  Not impressive at cleaning hard floors
Manufacturer:   Shark
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Jul 26, 2022
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 10
  • Carpet Cleaning - 35% 8.0
  • Ease of Use - 25% 7.4
  • Handling - 20% 5.7
  • Hard Surface - 10% 7.0
  • Pet Hair - 10% 9.0

Our Verdict

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is one of our all-time favorite vacuums and a great value option. This model does an exceptional job at cleaning up all types of messes from carpets, even easily picking up pet hair. It is particularly easy to use, handles great, and is extremely convenient to clean with, especially due to its Lift-Away feature. The Navigator didn't quite do as well as some of the top models on hard floors but still delivered a solid above-average performance compared to others. All in all, this is an excellent choice if you want a vacuum that does a great job across the board and you're shopping on a budget.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $200 List
$199.99 at Amazon
$399 List
$349.99 at Amazon
$430 List
$379.99 at Amazon
$200 List$88 List
$87.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Good price, cleans carpet well, picks up pet hair with easeFantastic cleaning performance, excellent at picking up pet hairGreat at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to useEasy to push and pull, lift away featureInexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning
Cons Not impressive at cleaning hard floorsNot the best for stairs, slightly short reachPriceyStruggles with cracksInsufficient on hard floors, so-so ease of us
Bottom Line If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great betWonderful handling matched with superior performance makes this a great vacuum for everyoneThis model removes most stubborn debris in just one pass and beats out most competitionThe ease of this machine makes you feel like you can vacuum for hoursIf you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option
Rating Categories Shark Navigator Lif... Shark APEX DuoClean... Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Carpet Cleaning (35%)
8.0
8.1
8.7
6.9
4.5
Ease of Use (25%)
7.4
8.6
8.9
6.7
5.9
Handling (20%)
5.7
8.4
7.6
8.4
5.0
Hard Surface (10%)
7.0
9.8
8.5
6.8
3.8
Pet Hair (10%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Shark Navigator Lif... Shark APEX DuoClean... Shark Vertex Shark Navigator Lif... Eureka PowerSpeed
Water Suction Guage (inches of water) 72" 86" 86" 72" 48"
Model Number NV356E S2 AZ10002 40 AZ2000W NV352 NEU182A
Dirt Collection Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless Bagless
Vacuum Head Width 11.25" 11.75" 12" 11.25" 13.25"
Measured Brush Width 9" 9" 10" 9" 10.5"
Measured Weight 14.8 lbs 16.9 lbs 16.8 lbs 13.6 lbs 10.5 lbs
Variable Suction Control Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Brush On/Off Switch Yes Slow Slow Yes No
Measured Power Cord Length 26.00' 30.00' 29.50' 24.75' 23.75'
Measured Noise 73 dBa 72 dBa 75 dBa 73 dBa 76 dBa
Swivel Head Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Carry Handle Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Soft Bumper No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Navigator Lift-Away Professional does a fantastic job at cleaning messes on various surfaces, including great performance lifting pet hair. It is also above average when it comes to user-friendliness and handles fairly easily. If you are shopping on a budget, but expect good all-around performance, then this is a great option.

Performance Comparison


Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the lift-away professional combines great performance with an...
The Lift-Away Professional combines great performance with an excellent price, making it a fantastic option when shopping on a budget.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman


Carpet Cleaning


This is the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of a vacuum cleaner and is our most heavily weighted metric at 35%. We used a handful of different types of debris — flour, Cheerios, rice, and oats — on both low-pile and medium-pile carpets to test the carpet cleaning competency of each vacuum.


For the first test of the carpet cleaning metric, rice, the Navigator Lift-Away Professional delivered an excellent performance. After four passes, it collected almost all of the rice from the low-pile carpet, including the fragments and dust. However, we noticed that the brush head isn't quite as wide as some of the other models, so it takes slightly longer to clean an entire room. This vacuum also did very well with fluffier carpet and only took three passes to adequately clean all of the rice.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the navigator got most of the rice in a single pass, with only a...
The Navigator got most of the rice in a single pass, with only a light cleanup pass required to get the floor totally clean.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Lift-Away Pro continued its good performance in our flour test. It got the vast majority of the flour from low pile carpet in only four passes, which is better than every other model tested, including much more expensive models. However, it did not do quite as well on high-pile carpets, leaving residual flour in visible streaks, and required a handful more passes to adequately clean the mess.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the navigator left a bit of residual flour behind, even though the...
The Navigator left a bit of residual flour behind, even though the floor looked totally clean.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Navigator Lift-Away Professional exhibited excellent performance in our oatmeal test. It got most of the oatmeal with two passes over the carpet but did require a third pass to get a handful of leftover fragments. It repeated the exceptional performance on fluffier carpet but required additional passes to extract dust.

Unfortunately, it performed a bit worse in our cereal test, although it was well above average compared to the entire test group. It took multiple passes to successfully clean up all of the Cheerios in our cereal test, mainly because it kept pushing them around rather than sucking them up. Ultimately, on both low and high-pile carpet, it proved to do a good job, just not as good as it had done with other types of debris.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the navigator handles most messes on carpet with ease.
The Navigator handles most messes on carpet with ease.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use


Next, we ranked and scored each vacuum on how easy it was to clean under furniture and along the edges of a room. We also assessed maximum reach and noise levels. Additionally, we awarded points if the vacuum had different modes for different types of flooring. The Navigator Lift-Away Professional again delivered a very good performance.


This appliance cleaned very close to the edges and corners of a room, only leaving a tiny bit of debris behind in areas that it couldn't reach. It cleaned decently well under furniture, reaching about 10" under our simulated sofa. The maximum reach is average, limited by a 29-foot cable. The Navigator Lift-Away Professional is also on the quiet side for these products, only registering about 73 dBa on our SPL meter. It didn't emit any particularly high-pitched or other irritating tones.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the selector switch allows you to turn the rotating brush on and off.
The selector switch allows you to turn the rotating brush on and off.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Unfortunately, this vacuum lacks different modes for different types of floors. This is something that most other models have and allows you to select between flat or fluffy carpet and hard floors. However, it does allow you to turn the rotating brush on and off when switching between hard floors and carpet.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the navigator professional is one of the easiest and most convenient...
The Navigator Professional is one of the easiest and most convenient to use vacuums that we have tested.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Handling


For our handling metric, we evaluated how maneuverable each product was and how easy it felt to push and pull. We also looked at how easy it stood to clean a flight of stairs. Together, this trio of tests accounts for 20% of the overall score for each product.


This vacuum has an accessory hose that you can detach and use to clean a flight of stairs long enough to give the operator great reach in difficult places. The Navigator Lift-Away Professional also isn't particularly heavy, weighing in at just 14.4 pounds, which makes it easy enough to lug up and down stairs.


This vacuum is exceptionally maneuverable, utilizing a swivel head design that makes it easy to navigate quickly and easily around obstacles while cleaning. However, it does take more than a mild effort to push and pull, requiring you to work just a little harder to clean your floors, adding a little bit of an unwanted workout.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the swivel head makes the lift-away pro very maneuverable.
The swivel head makes the Lift-Away Pro very maneuverable.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Hard Surface Cleaning


Similar to our carpet cleaning metric, we used a variety of different debris types to quantify the cleaning performance of each product. However, this metric is only worth 10% of the final score, as the vast majority of users will primarily clean carpets with a vacuum. The Navigator Lift-Away Professional again did well, though not quite as well as it did at cleaning carpet.


This vacuum started off with a strong performance in our rice collection test, collecting almost all of the rice in a single pass. We used the bare floor option for all these tests so that the main brush does not spin. It did almost as well at collecting oatmeal, though it required a quick cleanup pass to get a few stragglers. We weren't terribly impressed with the ability of the Navigator Pro to clean up flour from hard floors.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - there was tons of flour left behind after the navigator made its pass.
There was tons of flour left behind after the Navigator made its pass.
Credit: Austin Palmer

It got most of the flour in two passes, but the wheels collected a decent amount of it and tracked it across the floors as we continued to vacuum. It also failed to extract any of the flour that fell in the cracks between boards, even after many passes. This model also struggled to collect the Cheerios, tending to push them around when moving forward and crushing them up when going backward.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the navigator isn't amazing on hard floors, but it still does an...
The Navigator isn't amazing on hard floors, but it still does an above average job.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Pet Hair


For the remaining 10% of the total score, we evaluated and ranked how each vacuum did when tasked with collecting pet hair. We used hair donated by a local groomer and spread out 5 grams of the hair on a section of medium-pile carpet, pressing it in. We then measured how much hair each vacuum collected.


The Navigator Lift-Away Professional did very well, collecting more than 95% of the entire amount — leaving behind nothing more than a few strands of hair.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional upright vacuum - the lift away pro took on the biggest of hairballs in our tests.
The Lift Away Pro took on the biggest of hairballs in our tests.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Should You Buy the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional?


If you are shopping for a great deal, then the Navigator Lift-Away Professional is an excellent all-around vacuum and one of the better values you will find. It doesn't match the premium performance of the best models available, but it does a great job at less than half the price of those more premium models.

What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?


The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a good all-around vacuum and a great value at the price point. In the world of upright vacuums, Shark reigns supreme, and while the Lift-Away Pro is a good value, Shark's Vertex, and APEX DuoClean Zero-M are the best that money can buy. So, if you are willing and able to spend more, consider getting the most premium performance available with either of these two models.

David Wise and Austin Palmer
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