Shark might feel like it hit a jackpot with its Lift-Away upright vacuum cleaner – it is one of the best sellers day-in and day-out in recent years. The “lift-away” is actually quite simple, but clever way to clean hard to reach places like upholstery, stairs and ceiling corners. All it means is that you can lift the body of the vacuum cleaner from its bulky and heavy bottom and use it as a portable canister vacuum for easier cleaning. Car cleaning is a breeze too with the lift-away.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Review
The NV352 version of the Shark Lift-Away range is the very first edition. There are a few more Sharks with the lift-away tech like the Rotator NV501 and the much more expensive NV800. The main difference between the NV352 and the NV501 is in the cannister caddy that is used to hold all the attachments around the canister. The NV352 doesn’t have it and it is reflected in the price, of course. The power cord is shorter too and the Navigator is missing the LED headlights of the 501 model as well. The features are not really a deal-breaker, but a lot of people asked what are the differences between the two models so I figured I’ll point them out.
Design And FeaturesThe Navigator NV352 is not a looker by any means. It is a pretty basic looking vacuum but it works very well. It picks up dirt and debris with ease. The most important feature, of course, is the Lift-Away feature, of course. It allows you, as I mentioned above, to separate the canister and the hose from the heavy floor base and use it around the house like a semi-portable canister hoover.
The Shark comes with four attachments altogether – a 24″ and 5.5″ crevice tools, dusting brush and a pet hair brush. They all are very convenient but there is no caddy to hold the tools together with the way the Shark Rotator (NV501) does. There is an upside, though – the motorized brush can be turned off in order to prevent
It uses HEPA filtration, much like Dyson uprights, and the system is sealed to allergens and other irritants are safely kept inside the vacuum. It really helps to keep allergies and allergens away from you.
The Shark NV352 power is relatively moderate – only 1200 watts. Don’t let that fool you – it has more than enough cleaning power. The 1200W only represent the strength of the electric motor but not the actual suction power produced by the vacuum itself.
Let’s take a look at the most important specs this vacuum cleaner possesses:
- Power – 1200W
- Cleaning Radius – 11.2 meters (Around 35 feet)
- Cable Length – 7.6 meters (25ft)
- Weight – 12.5 Lb
- Canister Volume – 3 Quarts Max (3.5l)
- Warranty – 5 years
Let’s take a look at the cleaning performance of the Navigator when cleaning different surfaces – carpets, wood floors, upholstery and pet hair, of course.
Hardwood And Bare Floors
The hardwood and stone floors performance is excellent. It picks up even larger debris and it doesn’t shy away from dust either. Here is a little video from QVC that demonstrates the cleaning capabilities of the NV352:
As you can see above, the Navigator NV352 does marvelously on hardwood and other bare floors. It doesn’t usually scratch wood but it might be good to know that the motorized brush can be switched off the prevent even the tiniest swirls and scratches. It’s good the know that Shark has taken care of scratches and swirls on the precious hardwood.
The carpet cleaning performance of the Shark Navigator is outstanding. It cleans with easy and more often than not you’ll only have to go over an area just once – no need for going back to the same area since the NV352 usually picks everything up on one go, unlike the recent review of Dyson Cyclone V10.
Larger debris like pet food or crushed cereal are no issue either – it sucks them up just perfect. There is just enough clearance between the cleaner and the carpet to pick them up but sometimes it tends to dig into the carpet. It depends on your technique and pressure you put on the vacuum, of course. It is on par with the Dyson DC41 as you can see from the video below. The main benefit, of course, is the price – it costs significantly less than the Dyson alternative.
Upholstery cleaning is a breeze with the Shark Lift Away feature. As we mentioned a few times above, with Lift Away you can just lift the canister away from the floor base and carry it around. That way you can use it almost as a cordless hoover and easily clean hard to reach places.
The two crevice attachments, the 5.5″ and the 24″, are very useful for upholstery cleaning as well. They are easily the connect and disconnect and are very useful when cleaning spillet rubbish on sofas and couches.
The Shark cleans up pet hair from carpets with a relative ease. The carpet base does really well with it but the motorized attachment is a real treat. It works fantastically with pet hair and it doesn’t tangle all over the place. It is very useful for upholstery and stairs too – it picks pet hair with ease.
Filter And Bin Capacity
The NV352 has two separate filters – a basic foam filter for general trash and another for HEPA filtration. The main foam filter is washable and it usually lasts a few months before it needs a wash. It can be cleaned by dumping it into a washing machine and let it go through the cycles. The HEPA filter is another story – it is more sensitive and it can get damaged by a washing machine. Shark recommends to wash it under running water and that should be all it needs.
Verdict And Score –The Shark Navigator Lift Away is a fantastic budget cleaner for people who want a reliable all-around solution. It offers good hardwood and other bare floors cleaning power for a very reasonable price. It is not too shabby on carpet either but it has a tendency to dig into more high rise carpets. It all depends on your cleaning technique though – it is not a big deal for most people.
It offers a great pet hair cleaning performance as well and the Lift Away function can really help when cleaning cat fur from hard to reach places – the ones that they really like getting into. The motorized cleaning tool picks up pet hair with ease from carpeted stairs and other surfaces.
The price is excellent as well. It is almost twice cheaper than its direct competitor from Dyson – the DC41 Animal/Multi Floor. It offers similar suction power as the Dyson but it doesn’t have the slick looks of the Dyson vacuums. It offers a solid warranty too – it is covered by a 5 years manufacturers warranty from Shark.
Overall, it is a very good purchase and it gets the “recommended” seal of approval from Hoover Vacuums.