Shark Vertex Review
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|Pros||Great at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to use||Nearly perfect hard surface cleaning, excellent carpet cleaning performance, good handling, lift-away feature||Easy to push and pull, lift away feature||Good price, cleans carpet well, picks up pet hair with ease||Inexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning|
|Cons||Pricey||Extra pass needed for low pile test||Struggles with cracks||Not impressive at cleaning hard floors||Insufficient on hard floors, so-so ease of us|
|Bottom Line||This model removes most stubborn debris in just one pass and beats out most competition||Wonderful handling and superior performance make this a great vacuum for anyone||This affordable and easy to use vacuum makes you feel like you can clean for hours||If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great bet||If you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option|
|Rating Categories||Shark Vertex||Shark Stratos||Shark Navigator Lif...||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Carpet Cleaning (35%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Hard Surface (10%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Shark Vertex||Shark Stratos||Shark Navigator Lif...||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Water Suction Gauge||86 inches||94 inches||72 inches||72 inches||48 inches|
|Model Number||AZ2000W||AZ3000W||NV352||NV356E S2||NEU182A|
|Vacuum Head Width||12"||12"||11.25"||11.25"||13.25"|
|Measured Brush Width||10"||9.5"||9"||9"||10.5"|
|Measured Weight||16.8 lbs||16.8 lbs||13.6 lbs||14.8 lbs||10.5 lbs|
|Variable Suction Control||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Brush On/Off Switch||Slow||Slow||Yes||Yes||No|
|Measured Power Cord Length||29.5'||29.5'||24.75'||26'||23.75'|
|Measured Noise at Arms Length||75 dBa||75 dBa||73 dBa||73 dBa||76 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
This exceptional vacuum comes with a variety of different attachments, as well as a Lift-Away feature that makes it more like a canister vacuum than a typical upright. It also incorporates Shark's incredible dual brush technology, which does a great job of cleaning almost any surface.
We began our testing process for the Vertex and all of the other vacuums in our lineup by ranking and scoring their effectiveness at cleaning various carpets. For this metric, we used a variety of different types of messes on both low and medium-pile carpets, comparing the results side-by-side to determine the scores. The Vertex did very well, earning high marks.
The Vertex got off to a great start in our rice test, cleaning up all of our spilled rice from a flat carpet with only two passes. It did similarly well with fluffier carpet, though we were able to find a few grains and fragments that had escaped when we looked deep into the piles.
This upright vacuum delivered the same phenomenal results in our cereal test, collecting all of the Cheerios from both low and high-pile carpets. It only took two passes for the dual-brush technology to collect a full cup of the cereal, leaving a clean carpet behind. This top-tier performance continued with oats, with the full cup collected from the flat carpet after two passes. It was the same with the medium-pile carpet, though a few tiny fragments remained behind.
The Vertex finished our carpet cleaning tests with an excellent final performance that we found to be particularly impressive — flour. Given how much other vacuums have struggled with the flour cleaning challenge, the performance by the Vertex was particularly notable.
It took about six passes for this vacuum to completely clean up the flour from both types of carpet, with negligible amounts remaining. Its performance on flour was exceptional and is the gold standard to which all other models should strive.
Ease of Use
Our next set of tests rated and ranked how convenient and easy the Vertex was to operate. We looked at how each vacuum in our lineup cleaned along edges and corners, how far we could clean under furniture, the reach of each vacuum, noise levels, and how easy it was to transition from cleaning hard floors to carpet or vice-versa.
This vacuum has a slide switch on the handle that makes it nearly effortless to swap between cleaning hard and soft floors and is perfect for houses with a variety of different flooring.
This vacuum can also reach quite far under most pieces of furniture, able to clean up to an already incredible 11 inches under our simulated sofa with a 5.5-inch gap in the standard configuration and up to a whopping 44.5 inches when the Lift-Away mode is activated.
This vacuum does a good job cleaning along the edges of a room but can struggle just a bit when cleaning corners. It has an excellent reach with its 29.5-foot cord, and the Lift-Away feature provides another 10 feet or so to work with. It also isn't overly loud compared to the other models we tested. Our meter registered between 74-76 dBa, which is on par for a high-performance upright vacuum. We appreciated that there weren't any particularly grating whines or other tones during our testing experience.
Our next set of evaluations looked at how maneuverable and easy to push and pull each vacuum is, as well as how versatile and easy to handle they are when attempting to clean the more difficult areas of your home. Unsurprisingly, the Vertex continued to dominate most other models, again earning one of the better performances in its class.
This vacuum makes cleaning a flight of stairs easy, with the hose and longer wand reaching between eight and nine steps in most cases. It also isn't exceptionally heavy, tipping the scales at around 17 pounds, although there are lighter options.
You can also use the Lift-Away mode to reduce the weight and carry it like a canister vacuum, making cleaning longer sets of stairs even easier. This vacuum also uses a swivel design, is quite agile, and doesn't put up too much resistance to pushing or pulling on most types of floors. However, we did notice some increased resistance when pulling the vacuum backward on the carpet. It wasn't too significant an amount of resistance but noticeable compared to pushing forward or when used on hard floors.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Hard floors were the focus of our second to last metric. We used the same four types of material from our carpet cleaning tests, rice, flour, cereal, and oatmeal. We used before and after photos to compare the results. As you might have guessed by now, the Vertex again did extremely well, claiming another one of the best performances we have seen.
This vacuum easily cleaned up all of the rice, oats, and Cheerios that we laid out within two passes. We used the hard floor option for the Vertex for these tests on a section of laminate wood floor.
Even more impressive was the very incredible performance in cleaning up flour, which is usually one of the more challenging tests for models, as it can get into the cracks between boards.
This vacuum cleaned everything in two passes, including the majority of residue in tiny gaps between boards, as long as we ran the vacuum parallel to the gaps. It did leave a minuscule amount behind if we vacuumed perpendicular to the gaps but still exhibited incredible performance compared to the majority of the test group.
For our final metric, we rated and scored how each vacuum did at mitigating hairy situations. For this test, we spread out a measured amount of pet hair onto a medium-pile carpet, rolled it into the carpet piling, then based scores on the percentage of the pet hair collected. This vacuum finished out our tests with a strong showing, extracting 99.8% of the hair.
We were pleasantly surprised at this performance, given the newer flap design on the extractor, as we weren't quite sure how it would do compared to the previous iterations of Shark vacuums.
Should You Buy the Shark Vertex?
If you have a large carpeted home, then the Shark Vertex is probably the best vacuum cleaner for you. It offers a better carpet cleaning experience with a slightly larger brush head and canister and a better all-around performance.
What Other Upright Vacuums Should You Consider?
For the premium performance, we recommend the Shark Stratos. While you won't get the same premium level of performance, a more budget-friendly option worth considering is the Shark Navigator Lift Away.
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