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3,592 of 3,692 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasantly surprised
*** 8 Month Update at the bottom of this review ***

First let me start by saying that overall as a brand I strongly dislike Shark. I don't have anything against them personally but the endless annoying and trashy infomercials and the fact that a lot of their older vacuums sucked beyond belief, I honestly am not too thrilled with them as a company.

Published on October 28, 2012 by Michael Flux

524 of 559 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time will tell
Like most, I was reluctant to buy this vacuum due to the Shark brand and how heavily they're pushed on infomercials. But after using the vac there are a lot of things I like about it. However, all the good things that I like are waging a battle in my brain with how damn ugly and cheap this thing looks. The pictures don't translate how bad the shiny red and silver chrome...
Published 17 months ago by DA

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3,592 of 3,692 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very pleasantly surprised, October 28, 2012
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
*** 8 Month Update at the bottom of this review ***

First let me start by saying that overall as a brand I strongly dislike Shark. I don't have anything against them personally but the endless annoying and trashy infomercials and the fact that a lot of their older vacuums sucked beyond belief, I honestly am not too thrilled with them as a company.

A few years ago I got a Bissell Pet Hair Eraser vacuum, model 3920, and very quickly became disappointed with it. It sucked well, but within minutes the plastic piece at the top, the one responsible for making the airflow rotate got clogged up with fur and the suction went down dramatically. Emptying the dust cup was the worst part of it, it made a horrible mess all over the place. I suffered with that vacuum for a couple years and recently decided that my time was worth more than putting up with that crap. I started looking around Amazon for vacuums with the best reviews. Dysons, Hoovers, Eurekas etc, but the vacuum that caught my attention the most was the older white Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away.

What caught my attention was how (extremely surprisingly!) high the reviews were. I was honestly not expecting it, especially after having my thoughts on the brand. I read the reviews, and then read them some more and after about a week I finally decided to give it a shot. Now at this point I have already gone to a store to see the Navigator Pro in person and was honestly not too horribly impressed by how it looked or felt. It looked like it was made out of PVC sewage pipes and it wobbled from side to side as if it was about to fall apart (though I am wondering if that was just because it was a display unit and was dropped one too many times).

Either way, moving on to this Rotator vacuum - about a day before I was planning on going out to buy the Navigator Pro I accidentally stumbled upon this new model thanks to the search suggestions on Amazon. Since Bed Bath and Beyond usually carries all the latest Shark products I drove over to one that was close to me and not surprisingly there it was. Cool thing about the BB&B stores is that the vacuums all have outlets next to them so you can actually plug them in to see how they work. I plugged this one in to play around with it a bit and my surprises started. First, it felt surprisingly very solid - none of that weird wobbling that I experienced with the Navigator Pro. Second, lets be honest here, this thing is damn pretty!

So then, supposed 5 year warranty, plus being able to return it if I didn't like it, plus having a 20% off BB&B coupon (which you can easily get anywhere) - why the hell not! I bought it. With the coupon + taxes it came out to being around $215, not too bad at all.

Also slightly off topic, but while I was playing with this vacuum, I also had a chance to check out Dyson's latest pink-ish purple DC41 Animal Complete and while it is gorgeous, and seems to suck well, I just can't justify the 650 dollar price tag. I'm sure it's good, but I honestly can't imagine it sucks up 3x more crap to justify the 3x higher price!

Of course as soon as I got home and squealing like a little girl I unpacked the vacuum, quickly assembled it (assembly didn't even take a minute) and started vacuuming.


- It sucks up dirt and pet hair amazingly well! We currently have 8 cats (don't worry, 4 of them we're juts temporarily fostering (does anyone want to adopt an annoying Norwegian Forest Cat? (seriously))) and so as you can imagine there is plenty of fur all over the carpets every day. I vacuumed with the old Bisell vacuum just the day before and as soon as I started the Shark completely filled up with dust and hair. wow...

- Even while the dust container is completely packed full, it doesn't seem to loose any suction and keeps on collecting crap and packing it in somehow.

- It is pretty light. I I think if you're upgrading from just about any older vacuum you'll be pretty surprised by how light this one is.

- The Premium Power Brush (more about it in a minute) works amazingly well. Most of our cats sleep in bed with us and so every morning there is a ton of cat hair all over the sheets. I can collect 100% of it within a minute using this brush. Very very happy. The old Bissell came with a similar brush but it didn't work for s*** on the exact same bed/fur.

- When the spinning brush in the base is turned off (love that you can turn it off manually + it turns off automatically when the vacuum is upright) it collects things off of hard floors without much of a problem (ie spilled cat food, litter etc). And the Straight Suction Nozzle that comes along with this vacuum picks everything up even better. We have the litter box in the bathroom and every morning there is a bunch of litter spilled all over the place - I can now collect it all within seconds.

- The vacuum is very quiet compared to my old one. In fact it's so good when it comes to the noise that half of our cats which used to run the moment the old vacuum was turned on in the same room, now half the time don't even bother getting up. One foster cat even chases after it while it's on.

- The car detailing kit that came with the vacuum works very well too.

- The "caddy" works as advertised too. Rolls around right after you essentially turning the vacuum from an upright, into a canister vacuum. It looked quite gimmicky at first but to my surprise I'm using it every single day.

- Like all the Dyson vacuums, emptying this one is wonderful - since you can dump everything right from the bottom of the cup straight to the trash everything around you stays clean.
- The air blowing out of the vacuum seriously smells fresh! This vacuum has 3 filters in it, and it looks like all the visible dust stops at the very first washable foam filter, before the second fabric filter and long before the final HEPA filter. I'm yet to see a spec of dust even on the second filter.


- The vacuum is quite light so when you're using any of the tools when you pull too much on the hose the vacuum can easily topple over. With that said when it's on the caddy it becomes a lot more stable so what I now do is first I vacuum everything for which I would need to tools - ie the bed, bathroom, kitchen floor etc, and then for the rest of the apartment I stick the vacuum back on the base and vacuum all the carpets - and with how well the vacuum sucks the whole apartment takes me barely 15 minutes to vacuum with the floors looking spotless afterwards.

- Maybe it's because both me and my fiancee have relatively long hair, but the spinning brushes in both the base and the power brush get a ton of hair stuck on them. Its not at all hard to remove (takes a few seconds with small pointy scissors) but it is a bit annoying. All I do see is the is our long hair, no cat hair, so I'm assuming if you don't have too long of hair yourself this won't be much a problem.

- The lights on the front of the vacuum could be brighter. Not to say they're overly dim, but I've seen LEDs a hundred times brighter than the ones used. These just look gimmicky and as if they were stuck on last minute ust for the sake of going "LOOK LOOK LOOK it HAS LED LIGHTS!!!!" - i.e. think most new cars these days...

- The flexible hose is honestly pretty stiff and not very stretchy - and this leads to the vacuum tending to topple over at the slightest pull. I really hope it's like this only because it's still new...

- The "rubberised" crevice tool while, like advertised, is pretty flexible (aka the end wobbles from side to side) but I feel like it's more annoying when you're trying to suck up something from a corner and the the tip keeps on getting bent in random directions.

Of course if I notice any more flaws I will keep updating this review. But finally I want to move on to the last very important bit with this vacuum. There is actually 5 different variations of it. The NV500, NV501, NV502, NV503 and NV500W. In all 5 variants the actual vacuum is the same but they come with different accessories.

NV500W - Infomercial/Shark's website - $199
Dusting Brush, 11" Crevice tool, Premium Power Brush, S3251 Steam Mop

NV500 - Walmart - supposed to be $229, but right now it's being sold at $249
Multi Tool, 18" Flexi Crevice tool, Canister Caddy, Straight Suction Nozzle, Standard Power Brush

NV501 - General Distribution - Kohl's, Macy's, Sears, Lowe's etc - $229- $249
Multi Tool, 18" Flexi Crevice, Canister Caddy, Straight Suction Nozzle, Premium Power Brush, Multi-Angle Dusting Brush

NV502 - Bed, Bath and Beyond - $249
Multi Tool, 18" Flexi Crevice, Canister Caddy, Straight Suction Nozzle, Premium Power Brush, Car Detail Kit

NV503 - Target - $219 - This one is supposed to be blue (only the vacuum, accessories are still red) but weirdly I've not once seen one in person and Target itself advertises only the red model. Also from what I've seen in reality Target is selling the NV501 for $249.
Multi Tool, 18" Flexi Crevice, Dust-Away w/pad, Standard Power Brush

My feelings on the different packages are these;

With the NV500W, the only extra you get is the Steam Mop which in all honesty is not even all that good based on a lot of the reviews I have seen. If it's the steam mop you're after with this offer, you can find a much much better one. On top of that the tools included with this model are compete crap.

With the NV500 you get a crappy standard power brush instead of the premium power brush included into the other packages and since in reality it's being sold for 249 instead of the 229 it's supposed to be sold for, this is probably the worst package of all.

The NV503 - Between this package not actually begin found anywhere and Target instead selling the selling the NV501 for $249... yeah...

So your best two options are either the NV501 or the NV502. If you have get the NV502 at Bed Bath and Beyond, you can save $50 dollars using the 20% off (in store) coupons which you can easily find everywhere. With the BBB one you get a car detailing kit which works great, and with the other one you get a dusting brush which people seem to love too.

At the time of writing this review I've been using this vacuum for about a week and I'm quite trilled with it. If you have any questions, please ask and I'll try to answer them.


*** 8 Month Update ***

I've been using this vacuum daily for 8 months now and I think it's a pretty safe to say that I probably put as much usage on it as most people will in 3-4 years.

First, the good stuff; when it comes to the suction, noise, etc, it's still as great as it was on day one. No signs that anything will happen to it any time soon.

Now, a few problems which are forcing me to knock it down to 4 stars from 5.

- In my original review I mentioned that the hose was pretty stiff but that I was hoping it was that way just because it was new... As I said, I've been using the vacuum daily, hose included, and it's still just as stiff as it was. I can't even begin to count how many times I slightly pulled on it only to have the vacuum topple over and hit me on the leg, or on the back if I'm sitting on the floor while vacuuming something with a brush.

- Premium Power Brush. While it collects hair very very well, it gets clogged up way too easily. Unfortunately cleaning it out isn't he easiest nor the quickest task in the world. I spent so much time on cleaning the brush instead of cleaning with the brush that I have all but given up using it resorting to just collecting hair with the multi-tool which works almost as well.

- The flexible piece of plastic on the back of the handle that sat under the hose ended up breaking off. It was flimsy to begin with and all the toppling over dozens of times didn't help it.

- All the plastic parts in the vacuum are starting to squeak quite a bit, just as they were squeaking in the Navigator Pro that had me worried before I bought this one. The vacuum still feels solid, but the plastic squeaking does definitely get very annoying.

So to summarize, it is a good vacuum, it honestly is, but I really don't feel like as much thought and effort went into it as should have. It works well, but it just doesn't have the same level of fit and finish as say a Dyson. Think of it this way, comparing this vacuum to something like a Dyson DC41 AC or DC50, is like comparing a fully loaded Toyota Camry to a similarly equipped BMW 5 Series. Both cars will get you to your destination, both will do a perfectly acceptable job, but at the end of the day, if you can afford it you're just going to feel better in the BMW - it will be more comfortable, it will look nicer, it will drive better etc - but at the same time yes it will cost you 2x more.

If I can't afford it, no, not a chance in hell would I get a Dyson. However you spin it it's stupid to spend 600 dollars on a vacuum if you have to be making payments on it. The Shark may not be as good, but lets be completely honest here, it will do 99% of the job perfectly well and especially if you're upgrading from a crappier older vacuum, one way or another you'll still be thrilled. But if money is not an issue, if I can just pay for it without thinking twice, honestly, chances are I would get a Dyson...

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640 of 668 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best vacuum I've ever had the pleasure of using!, November 10, 2012
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
After reading reviews for the Dyson and Shark Rotator for weeks I went with the Rotator, more specifically the NV502 model found at Bed Bath & Beyond. It was a CINCH to assemble and I was able to use it not more than 5 minutes after opening the box. The suction on this thing is AMAZING, it practically propels itself when on the vacuum base. It's cut my vacuuming time to 1/4 of the time it took with my commercial Royal vacuum! I also own a small cleaning service with a handful of weekly accounts and its made my accounts so much easier to clean, my clients are AMAZED by how much nastiness gets pulled from their carpets (as am I).

So glad I read the review left by Michael Flux as he really did a thorough job explaining all the different models and accessories they include. I have yet to use the car cleaning kit but will soon.

I suggest anyone looking to buy this vacuum to get it at Bed Bath & Beyond, for a couple reasons. One, you get more accessories with the NV502 (sold exclusively at BB&B). Two, should anything go wrong with the vac you can return it directly to the store and avoid any shipping hassles. Finally, three, this is one of the few higher priced items at BB&B that's eligible for the 20% off discount coupons! Another plus, should you have a BB&B 20% off coupon that you'd received in the mail and is expired, you can still use it at any BB&B retail location, no matter how long ago it expired! This does not apply to emailed coupons, coupons with the 10or20% off discounts or the $5 off coupons. Only the regular 20% off coupons may be used after the expiration date. If you have any questions about an expired coupon just call your local BB&B before going and they'll be happy to assist you (& no I don't work there, I just love the store!).

Good luck with whatever vac you decide to purchase and please leave a review so others can learn or benefit from your experience.
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524 of 559 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Time will tell, July 19, 2013
DA (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
Like most, I was reluctant to buy this vacuum due to the Shark brand and how heavily they're pushed on infomercials. But after using the vac there are a lot of things I like about it. However, all the good things that I like are waging a battle in my brain with how damn ugly and cheap this thing looks. The pictures don't translate how bad the shiny red and silver chrome "plating" is. Oh well, at least it performs.

Like a few others, I bought the Dyson DC41 to compare. I bought the Dyson the same day, opened it up and literally used it right next to the Shark. I went around the entire house and did parallel sweeps of all the large areas to get equal samples. I spent the same amount of time and went the same amount of distance with each. I then emptied each bin onto separate paper towels to see which vac picked up the most. Not horribly scientific but it worked. The most shocking thing was how dirty our carpet was. The second most shocking thing was that there was big difference in the piles from each vac. I really, really wanted the Dyson to win. Like I said the Shark is so damn ugly it deserves to lose. Not only does the Dyson look cooler but I was believing the hype about how much engineering went into their vacs. Lots of expensive engineering should win, right? But unfortunately the Shark picked up at least twice as much fuzz and dirt as the Dyson. This is our first bagless vac so just seeing proof that you're pulling stuff out of the carpet that you would ordinarily wouldn't see is kind of satisfying in itself (even though I don't know how anyone can call bagless vacs more hygienic since there's probably a dust storm when you drop your load in the trash)

Our old vac is a Hoover Windtunnel bought thanks to CR's advice. The cord was short and it's very loud. I think it may have vacuumed well but since it's bagged you don't really get the same satisfying feedback and assume it's not picking up much. Plus it was starting to stink. The Hoover would also shoot nuggets all over the place when vacuuming the wood floors since you couldn't turn off the brushroll/bar. This is another thing I tested with both the Dyson and Shark, whether or not they picked up large objects on flat floors. The Shark won again. The Dyson (due its much touted self-adjusting cleaner head) just pushed the bigger stuff around, the Shark got everything. The Shark has a fixed cleaner head height too. The Shark seemed like it did best on the deep pile of our area rug than the relatively short carpet we have but it also passed our hardwood floor test.

-Easy to assemble
-It's relatively quiet, not whisper-quiet but much better than our Hoover
-Brushroll is easy to clean, the hair tends to collect in the center - big points for that
-You can turn off the brushroll
-There's window for the brushroll
-There are 2 light to indicate if the brushroll is on or off, one on the button, one by the brushroll
-Picks up big chunks on hardwood floors and doesn't spit them everywhere
-Filters are easily visible, right in your face when you go to empty the bin, so you know when they need to be cleaned
-Reclines and sits up easily, the Dyson is a b*tch when it comes to this
-There's a crude but effective suction adjustment just below the handle
-There's a "cord hook" on the neck so if you don't want the cord dangling down by the attachment
-Easy to empty
-Cord is long enough, even though the Dyson's was longer by a few feet
-The vacuum is easy enough to maneuver and gets under most of the furniture we have
-You can convert it into 3 different vacuums pretty easily
-When you sit the vac upright the brushroll automagically turns off, making things quieter
-The cleaner head is narrow. This seems both good and bad, good because it concentrates the suction area but bad in that it would take longer to vacuum. The Dyson's is 12", the Shark's 9.5"
-Exhausts the (hot) air out the front, the Dyson sends blazing hot air at your legs. I thought the Shark's air was cool or nonexistant until I stuck my hand in front of the HEPA filter where it is on the warm side
-I don't know what the Complete-Seal is they talk about but the vacuum does have 4 filters (more or less): a dust screen, a foam filter, a felt filter that looks like a thin scrub brush and a HEPA filter that looks like a HEPA filter.

-It's ugly
-It looks cheap
-The cord release seems loose, there's a screw you can turn but it doesn't seem to help
-The lights are poor, they're too focused and bright, not diffused enough
-Not super light-weight, though this may actually be a Pro since more weight on the front probably helps the vac suck better
-Tools are attached by friction. Dyson's for the most part use a locking system
-The Power Brush seems like a weak link. When you use full suction it almost sounds too powerful. When I looked inside it looked a little sketchy, the brushroll in the Power Brush is vacuum/belt driven and difficult to clean hair out of. It seemed to clean pretty well but the belt is tiny and looks fragile and after one set of stairs there was already gunk built up in the vacuum wheel that drives the belt.

If Shark wanted to have a red shiny metal coating on their vacuum they could have at least went with an anodized finish. It probably would make the vacuum cost $15 more and it would get scratched every time you used it but at least it would look better and solve all my gripes about this thing. So far they get plenty of points for engineering and design but almost as many negative points for material selection. There might be other bagless vacs out there that pull more than the Shark but at least I can return the Dyson now and hope the Shark lasts at least to the end of its warranty.

UPDATE 07/31/2013:

The foam filter has started to rip in 2 places. I believe this is the 2nd filter after the dustbin, so right before the HEPA. It's good that the foam filter has been catching a lot of dust and dirt instead that stuff heading straight for the HEPA. Ideally the dust/dirt would have stayed in the dustbin as designed. The manual recommends to tap-clean the filter between washes which should happen every 3 months. Our carpets were very dirty when we bought the vac so we probably put 4-6 weeks worth of vacuuming into 2 weeks, because of this we hand washed the filters with plain cold water 2 times in between vacuuming. The filter seems to get filled up by the finer, heavier dirt. We've been pretty conservative about emptying the dustbin so it's definitely not an overflow problem. I contacted customer service and they said it's $12.95 +S&H/Tax, so probably $20 for a new filter. It's not covered by the warranty since it's considered normal wear and tear. If the hand washing we did was the cause of the two 1" rips then I guess you can expect the filters to tear after 9 months. So far I haven't found them on Amazon or anywhere else online.

Otherwise we like the vacuum. Surprisingly CR's ratings are right on. Except for maybe the pethair since we don't have pets. One of our family members has long hair and as typical it does get wrapped around the brushroll. It's fairly painless to pull out and it doesn't look like it collects anywhere that it can build up and cause a jam in the brushroll. Another surprising thing is that the vac does a pretty good job getting stuff at the edges but at the same time it doesn't suck up random stuff like the cord or clothes lying around, it's crazy.

We lowered our review from 4 stars down to 3 due to the filter.
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434 of 474 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!!!, November 24, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
A little background. I live with two cats. I have both hardwood floors and carpet. My furniture is velour with soft cushions. I use Tidy Cats clumping litter for two litter boxes. Tidy Cats is a round pellet type litter and it gets everywhere. The cats, while short haired, shed quite a lot and I've only just been keeping up with the shed fur with regular vacuuming, grooming and sticky rolls. In short I desperately needed a new vacuum, but which one? I could take out a thirty year mortgage and buy a Dyson, but everything I've read says that there are several very good alternatives available to this. Ok, so once again, which one? After reading Micheal Flux's(thanks Michael!) review and the fact that it's almost less than half the Dyson DC41 Animal Complete I decided to purchase the Shark.

This is going to be in initial review of the machine, I'm hoping to update it as I use it more and more.

First of all, I was surprised at how easy it was to put together. The unpacking took more time than the actual assembly. Second, the tools it came with are not only functional, but easy to maintain. The pet tool for example has an access hatch that allows you to clean or free anything caught on the brush. Lastly, it's lighter than I expected. I know that this may seem like a small thing, but after using it to clean my entire apartment I was glad for the lighter poundage.

Ok, so now it's set up and we're ready to clean. It's very quiet as compared to my other vacuum. The swivel feature takes a little getting used to, but once you do this machine is just fantastic on floors. Cleaning up errant cat litter on hard surfaces or carpet and in between every little nook and cranny this vacuum took it all up and left nothing behind. Now it's not a miracle machine. I did have to go over some of the carpet areas more than once. Next I used the flexible brush wand to "dust" a bit. Window sills, curtains and ceiling corners were all left behind clean. I was impressed. But how well will it perform on my furniture. I eased into using the pet tool by vacuuming my recliner. It's a smoother cloth and the pet tool did remarkably well. No hair left behind. Ok, onto the couch and loveseat. Both collect a ton of pet hair. I put the pet tool to work and got the seat cushions and the arms of the couch. The tool is a bit large and can be tough to negotiate, but the learning curve isn't steep and I was soon cleaning everything well. On the softer back cushions it took several passes, but I expected that seeing as how the cushions are soft like pillows. I very much doubt that even the Dyson could have picked up every hair in one pass. It took a bit of time for me to finish both and as I later looked at them there was still a bit of hair on the back cushions, but I believe that to be my fault and not the vacuums.

I only emptied the canister once and while it was nearly full the vacuum never hinted that it was running out of suction. It was easy to dump and then seal back up.

Ok, now for the super final test. I pulled off my shoes and socks to see if I had missed anything and to see how well my new vacuum had performed. I walked everywhere I vacuumed and didn't step on one loose piece of litter. Wow!! Ok, now I'm impressed. I figured the carpeted areas would be ok, but hard floors can be difficult. I had to use a swiffer dry just to get all of the litter out of the corners when using my old vacuum. I was really impressed with the job it did on my floors.

So, if you're in the market for a powerful versatile vacuum, take a serious look at the Shark.

December 16, 2012 ******UPDATE!!******

So after a few weeks with the Navigator I wanted to give an update. I used it a few times during the week and it gets easier to use and cleans better each time I use it. I thought that the pet brush was going to require a learning curve to use and while it does it's definitely a short one. I have been able to clean my couch, loveseat and recliner in two or three passes at this point. Now I want to give it a real workout. I let the vacuuming go for two weeks. I would dust pan up the loose litter from my cats, but no vacuuming. It was definitely a trial for all of us. At the end of two weeks I had enough shed cat hair on my couch to have made another cat and there was practically no corner of the apartment where there wasn't litter. Ok, this is a definite work out for any vacuum. I figured that there was no way that I was going to get all the cat hair up and have the floors pass my barefoot test. So I set the navigator to the task. I did have to make extra passes on the floor to get up all the litter, but it did get every piece up and the floors did pass my barefoot test. Next onto the furniture. Again extra passes were required to get at all of the cat hair and since I did let it go I had to give them an extra cleaning, but lo and behold everything is once again fur free. I am impressed. At this point I would have to wonder how much better Dyson or Miele would have to clean in order to beat the results I've been getting with the Navigator.
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177 of 192 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm Going to Use the "L" Word!, November 25, 2012
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
It's hard to get over your first love. For me, it was the Fantom Thunder, that amazing sucking machine that beat the fibers right out of your carpet, somehow didn't suck up your area rugs, didn't have beaters that clogged with hair, and had super easy to use tools. Alas, the Fantom did not love me back, and two of them actually caught on fire when the belts slipped and they had to be flung out the door, leaving behind a burnt rubbery smell and a broken heart.

Then my husband bought me a Dyson. I've never been more than lukewarm about it. You know that piece of thread on your carpet that you run over with the vacuum over and over and it doesn't get sucked up, so you pick it up and peer at it and scratch your head and drop it again and you still can't suck it up? My Dyson had some pretty nice accessory tools, but it was a total fail at upright carpet cleaning.

Notice the images on the product page here on Amazon, for the Shark Rotator, how the lady is SMILING while she vacuums?

Now I know why. Do you believe in love at first sight, or will you have to vacuum with this machine twice...nope, I'm guessing love at first sight. Used in the upright mode, this vacuum is able to get right in there and lift the carpet fibers that the Dyson failed to fluff. Tons of dog hair and dust and dander volunteered to jump into the plastic receptacle that eluded my Dyson.

Yes, this setup is a, a LOT tippy if you use the accessories while the vacuum is in upright mode. I only have two carpeted rooms, so I do all the upright vacuuming first, then switch over to the caddy and clean the baseboards, cobwebs, and vacuum the quilt on my bed to remove dog hair. This product has a fantastic little device that helps you control the amount of suction. you simply twist a little perforated ring on the handle, which either seals tight for strong suction or introduces air into the line for weaker suction. Fabulous! Now I can vacuum drapes and bedspreads and small rugs without them being sucked up. The little caddy follows me around like a puppy when I use it with the bare floor tool, and so far I have no problems with it tipping over. For stairs I just take the power unit and attach the multi use tool, and make short work of that job.

I got the 502 from Bed Bath and Beyond because I liked the tool set the best, and I had a 20% off coupon. The detailing kit works great on computers and keyboards, but has a strong rubbery smell.

Today my daughter's Jack Russell Terrier managed to get up on the kitchen counter and she broke a glass bottle on the porcelain tiles of the kitchen floor. After a quick brooming to get up the huge shards, I put the Shark with bare floor accessory to work on the rest of the glass, and it got up olive sized chunks and tiny splinters as well.

Things that I am not too impressed about:

With my Dyson, I can leave a tool attached to the hose and still use the upright vacuuming. Then when I spot the stray cobweb I just pull loose the hose and keep going. With the shark, it is necessary to attach and unattach the accessories each time you want to use them and return to upright vacuuming. Using the vacuum on the caddy helps solve that problem. This was not a surprise to me, having seen the product before I purchased it, just a small inconvenience.

People have complained about using the vacuum upright with the power cord on the right side. I just run the cord up the right side and snap it through the "cord hook", then out the left side. This is fine as long as I am only using the vac in upright mode.

Things I love:

This vacuum is the quietest I have ever had. The carpet pickup is quite good, but not super ferocious to the point that it is stripping the carpets bare like my over-zealous Fantom Thunder did. The swivel feature is great, and the low profile fits under a lot of my furniture. Even the bare floor tool swivels at the end of the hose. It has a low enough profile that I can clean along the edge of the kitchen cabinets without rubbing on them. That tool has very good side edge suction, and decent front edge suction. I really like the suction control feature. I like that there are separate controls for the power, the beaters, and well placed controls to release the locks holding the whole thing together. Emptying the canister is quick and easy. I am a 5 ft no inch tall woman, but I can suck a box elder bug off the ceiling with the attachments. The caddy turns on a dime. It's very easy to push in upright mode. The handle is comfortable.

I think it might be true love.
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232 of 255 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This Vacuum Sucks...In The Good Way...Here's How To Get It CHEAPEST, November 28, 2012
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
So a couple weeks ago I was shopping for a vacuum cleaner and after watching the silly Shark Rotator infomercial (which made the product look like the best thing since sliced bread), I headed to the Internet to get the real, salesman-free scoop on the product. To my surprise, I couldn't find any bad reviews. I even found one glowing review which was kind enough to break down the different variations sold by different outlets (Michael Flux's review here on Amazon). I took the advice in that review and decided to buy at Bed Bath & Beyond.

I went to retailmenot first to get this 20% off coupon that everyone was talking about but there is none. Not only that, but even if it had provided one, the BBnB Web site doesn't offer you the opportunity to put in a promo code when checking out. With that said, here's how to get the "20% off your first purchase" that others have mentioned: 1) you can go to the BBnB Web site and at the very top of the page there is a link for "E-Mail signup" OR 2) you can text the word OFFER to 239663 to sign you up for text alerts. From what I read about the email alerts, it gives you a printable in-store coupon and I was looking to avoid driving out to the store during the holiday season so I chose the text alerts--not to mention the fact that right now there is free shipping on orders over $99 so I would just be paying the item price minus 20% plus tax with no drive to the store. I figured a text alert (as opposed to an e-mailed in-store coupon) would give me some way to apply my 20% off when shopping online even though there didn't appear to be a mechanism for promo codes. It took three days to get my first text alert after signing up. Then, after I got it, the link in the text opened up a Web page that a cashier could scan in-store. So I was a little pissed...It would appear I would have to go to the store anyway. But then I read the fine print and saw that if I enter my mobile number (the one I use to receive my text alerts) when checking out, it would apply my 20% off coupon to my online order. PROBLEM SOLVED; my cell phone number was--in essence--the promo code.

Now, when I started this process, the item was in-stock at BBnB. But by the time I got the promo code 3 days later it was...OUT OF STOCK!!! Damn, this was not going well. Maybe something was telling me not to buy this vacuum. Anyway, when I browsed over to the Web site and saw that it was out of stock, I also saw that the one I placed in my shopping cart a few days back was still in there (usually I'm good about clearing my browser history and cookies, I don't know what happened). Anyway, I figured, let me give checkout a shot. I fully expected at some point during the checkout that it would say, "sorry, this item is out of stock." It didn't. Then after ordering I expected an email within a day or two saying, "sorry this item is out of stock." But the only thing I got in a day or two was my vacuum! Yes, the vacuum came within two days. I ordered at 2AM on Sunday night/Monday morning. As I write this, it's Tuesday, 5PM and I already got it! Wow, I was expecting two weeks or so but I guess technically it was one business day later.

The first thing I noticed was that the parts did not seem as "solid" as everyone led me to believe it would be. The last vacuum I bought (which still works great but is the one I'm replacing) was a Eureka "The Boss". I remember when I got it about ten years ago, it didn't seem all that solid compared to the metal vacuum I had before it. But the performance of "The Boss" compared to the old vacuum was worth losing some durability. As it turned out, "The Boss" was plenty solid and it held up for ten years before attachments and other pieces started to break. And, as I mentioned, the actual vacuuming was still great. Thinking back to that memory I reflected that maybe I was being unfair--perhaps the Shark is less study but better in some other way than "The Boss". Then, I put it together (a quick, easy, no-tool process) and realized it was a lot more solid in one piece than it was in a disassembled state. It still wasn't as sturdy as "The Boss" but it was ABOUT HALF THE WEIGHT! AMAZING! Lightweight is good! When I first got "The Boss" I liked the fact that it was heavy and brick-like, I felt it was good for staying glued to the floor as I zipped back and forth over the rugs, floors and carpets. But whenever I had to reposition (maybe to get a tight corner), it meant lifting it up which even for an athletic, then 20-ish, now 30-ish man was a chore. It was HEAVY! So eventually I came to hate the weight. The Shark does not have that problem. I could pick it up and move it into small areas with ease. To summarize, it's plenty sturdy but not as sturdy as my last vacuum. But it is TONS lighter.

I mentioned that lifting the Shark up to get it into tight spaces would be easy; well, the funny thing is, I don't even need to. It really is navigable (guess that's why it's in the Navigator series, duh). But seriously, my old "The Boss" went back-and-forth, then you would have to turn it to hit the carpet at a different angle and go back and forth again. You know...vacuuming! This thing with the Shark feels like you're steering it with the upright stick. This takes a little getting used to since at first while you vacuum, it feels like the vacuum wants to tip over either to the left or right. But it only takes a few minutes to mentally adjust since what's really happening is not that the vacuum wants to tip over, but that my usual movements pushing against the stick to adjust the angle are oversteering the hypersensitive stick. Bottom line, easy to get around. And it sucks so great on the carpet that (as others mentioned) it feels self-propelled. You only have to pull it back, then it will pull itself forward; repeat, repeat, repeat. Cool.

We had arrived at the moment of truth. I have hard floors but an area rug in the living room. I figured I would start there. It had visible pet hair (one dog, one cat) and presumably lots of dirt. I hit it hard like Mike Tyson. Every angle. Every nook and cranny. Even when it was visibly clean I kept going. When it was all said and done, the rug was SPOTLESS!!! Oh, did I forget to mention that I was using my old vacuum? LOL. I wanted to see (in this first experiment) if the Shark vacuum would pick up anything the old one missed. I figured if I could get a little extra dirt, it's worth it. So now I was ready to test the Shark. Time to see if this "no loss of suction" business was for real...

...if anyone had walked into the room after I was done with the Shark, they would have had me committed. I was just sitting there laughing to myself...alone in a room...staring at a vacuum. Maybe the laughter was incredulity, maybe it was happiness (as an uber-consumer I love nothing more than a deal that has value), or maybe I had really snapped. Anyway, staring back at me in the canister--from the rug I had just vacuumed with my prized "The Boss"--was the cause of my temporary mania...three inches of dirt/dust. THREE INCHES!!! I'm talking, like, a crapload of grimy, nasty, gray dirt that I NEVER would have guessed was in that rug. And there it was, staring back at me. As I write this I keep glancing over there just to make sure I'm not nuts...I'm not. THE DIRT IS REAL AND "THE SHARK" IS THE REAL DEAL. IT REALLY SUCKS (in the good way).

So I haven't done the rest of the house but I feel confident enough about the vacuum to write this review now. I CAN'T WAIT to see how much dirt I get when it's all said and done. You know--while researching, I came across a lot of vacuum reviews online by weird vacuum cleaner-loving nerds. It was informative but kinda' creepy watching these dudes walk around in their socks talking about suction. The point I'm getting to is this...the "Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away" might just turn me (and you) into one of those weirdoes. Is it possible to have feelings for an appliance?

So thanks again to Michael Flux. And thanks to the goofy Shark inventor-dude with the glasses--you are forgiven for the stupid infomercials.

Two final things to mention:

1) My BBnB item said NV501 on the box even though on the Web site it says NV502. At first I was pissed! I had ordered the NV502 after reading the model breakdown by Michael Flux because it was the best bang-for-the-buck and now someone had sent me an NV501. Then I noticed that there was a sticker that said NV502 on it. NV501? NV502? I don't know. I guess the main thing is to make sure it has all the parts you are expecting (please refer to the Michael Flux review) and if it does, it's an NV502. As near as I can figure, the NV502 is just an NV501 with the car detailing kit thrown inside the box and an "NV502" sticker placed on the outside of the box.

2) On the topic of included attachments, my vacuum cleaner came with MORE than expected. I'm not sure if this is because I got an NV501 rebadged as an NV502 or if the attachments are different regionally or if Michael Flux was missing a piece or if I got something extra. But anyway I got the following:

Detailing Kit - XCD350W
18-inch Flexi Crevice Tool - X12FC500
Multi-Tool (brush/furniture) - X10FC500
Straight Suction Floor Nozzle - XSN500
Premium (large) air powered turbo brush - X13FC500

Multi-Angle dusting brush - X15FC500

I was under the impression that the multi-angle dusting tool would not be included but I got it somehow. With regard to that part, I'M GOING TO DISAGREE WITH MICHAEL FLUX ON ONE POINT HERE. He said that the multi-angle dusting brush (in the NV501) was not as favorable as the detailing kit (in the NV502) because the multi-tool can also do the dusting. While I agree with that statement, I would go with the NV501 in the following scenarios 1) you don't own a car (obviously) OR 2) you plan to do most of your dusting with the vacuum OR 3) you have a lot of delicate surfaces that you dust. Let me better explain reasons two and three...

Had I not gotten the multi-angle dusting brush by mistake, I would have been fine with just the multi-tool. The multi-tool seems more-than-capable of dusting most surfaces. But since I got the duster by mistake (?), I can see where it has value. It is at least twice as wide as the multi-tool so you can dust surfaces more quickly; as mentioned, if you use a vacuum for most of your dusting it makes sense. Also, the bristles on the duster are softer than the bristles on the multi-tool so if I have a lot of of knickknacks, bric-a-brac or frames I would prefer the duster as opposed to the detailer. The multi-tool is great on shelves, furniture, etc however the bristles are about the firmness of a soft-bristled toothbrush so I wouldn't (for example) use it on a flat screen TV surface but I would use the multi-angle duster whose bristles are even softer. This might be a bad example since most people (including myself) use a damp cloth to clean their TV surface because they want to remove smudges and fingerprints in addition to dust. But you get the idea...the multi-tool is not abrasive but it's not as soft as the duster.

I still agree with Michael Flux that the NV502 is the best bargain. My personal suggestion if you haven't already bought the vacuum would be to follow his advice and get the NV502 from BBnB, then cross your fingers and hope to get the multi-angle duster included like I did. If you don't, the multi-tool is great and you'll probably never know what you're missing but should you feel like you need a duster that's gentler or wider than the multi-tool, just order part# X15FC500 (multi-angle dusting brush) online somewhere or even the "Universal Dusting Brush" that pivots but doesnt angle. Conversely, if you buy the NV501 (here on Amazon for example) but want to detail your car with your awesome new vacuum, just order part # XCD350W (detailing kit) somewhere online.

So there's my review...the reason I gave this 4-stars instead of 5-stars is because of the durability issue. It's very good but not could be a tad bit better. Also, the "fit and finish" (an automobile term which simply means the way the different parts align and fit together as a working unit) is not's probably 95%. Though 95% is great for whatever overseas sweatshop it was made in. So 5-stars on sucking power, 4-stars on construction, 6-stars on value. GREAT VACUUM!!!

PS. AFTER you get your BBnB code but BEFORE you go to their Web site to purchase, go to your ebates account first to get redirected to BBnB. This will earn you cash back on your purchase (currently only 1% but it's better than nothing). If you don't have an ebates account, sign up for free, they give up to 30% off at online merchants including Amazon; and when they ask who referred you, please use my email: ABANKSNYC AT YAHOO DOT COM.

1) go to retailmenot for a promo code but don't click any links (it will give them a commission instead of you and your ebates account)
2) go to your ebates account and choose the store you plan to shop at, you will be redirected to your shopping site
3) Make your purchase and use your promo code.
4) Save money

I use this method to MURDER KOHL'S when I shop. I always wait for a 30% off coupon at retailmenot (they usually pop up every two months). Then I go to ebates and click through to Kohls (right now they are giving 6% cash back). So it's like saving 36%. For example, if I was going to buy the NV501 vacuum at Kohls that I just reviewed, it is listed at $299 but I would wait for the 30% off promo code and throw in my 6% cash back and SAVE OVER $100 ($299 minus 30% = $209.30 minus 6% cash back through ebates = net cost of $196.74). Ebates rocks. Oh, and Kohls lets you use up to two promo codes at checkout so in addition to the 30% off, I forgot to mention, there is always a free shipping promo always floating around.

But anyway, BUY THIS VACUUM.
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321 of 355 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leonard the SHARKNADO, September 3, 2013
First of all, Dyson is my arch - nemesis. I have four different Dyson models because my husband apparently went through a pretentious phase. As I would complain about one Dyson, he would go buy a different model. Our house is mostly hardwood floors with a very expensive area rug that is a pain to vacuum. When I would break out the Dysons to vacuum this living room rug, my daughter would know to leave the room because colorful language would be coming. The Dysons either would not pick up dirt, just blow it around or the rotator brush would shut off. Annoying! I could go on and on but I won't.
We bought this Shark and are you ready for this? It does what it claims!!! It vacuums the rug. It vacuums the hardwood floor. It gets the parrot's bird feathers. It gets the cat hair. It gets the dog hair. It gets the litter that my naughty cat kicks out of the box. It gets the thick carpet in the bedrooms. It gets those hamster looking fuzz clumps that hide under the couch and in the corners. (Wait was I missing a hamster?)
Because of this we have dubbed this the true SHARKNADO and named it Leonard in honor of the Big Bang Theory. We have introduced Leonard to friends and they have already bought their own. Thank you Shark!!!!!
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179 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe I'm writing a review about a VACUUM CLEANER! (There's a good reason!), November 25, 2013
Some brilliant innovations. Powerful suction. Easy-empty bin. No dust smell whatsoever. Easy to maneuver.

Annoying stretch hose can make it frustrating on small jobs.

Shark has clearly done their homework on this new Lift-Away model. Despite a few flaws, this is one serious vacuum cleaner that beats Dyson hands down!

Never in a million years did I think I'd be writing a review about a vacuum cleaner. Never. Ever! I've never spent one moment of my life worried about whether or not our vacuum cleaner works better than our neighbor's. I plug it in, turn it on, vacuum the carpet, then I get on with my life. If it ain't belching smoke, sounding like it's going to lift off into outer space, or leaving stuff all over my floor, I figure it's working pretty good.

But then along came this Shark Rotator Lift-Away and messed up the whole thing. For crying out loud, now they've even got ME interested in vacuum cleaners!!! The fact that I'm writing a review about one must mean that the end of the world is near! (I just hope none of my buddies ever find out I wrote this review!) I think the thing that got me interested was how everyone has been talking about this vacuum cleaner like it's the Second Coming, for crying out loud. You know, going on and on about what an amazing gadget it is; how they've never used anything like it! Well, I'm a huge gadget freak -- gotta check out the latest and greatest technological marvels and all, so I just couldn't resist trying this thing out for myself.

I had tried one of Shark's earlier models several years ago, and frankly, it just left me feeling embarrassed for it... like watching a blind horse compete in the Kentucky Derby. It felt clumsy and feeble -- not at all ready for prime time. But clearly the folks at Shark have done their homework since then and have spent considerable time back at the drawing board, because with the release of this new Rotator Lift-Away, they have just delivered a deadly bite to Dyson's claims of being the best vacuum cleaner on the market. Mr. Dyson simply cannot say that anymore! Sorry old chap.

There's no doubt that Mr. Dyson broke the mold on vacuum cleaner design and sent the entire industry into a tail spin. But his newer models feel like they're taking steps backwards instead of leaps forward. Recently our fairly new Dyson started having mental lapses -- it just didn't seem to remember that its entire purpose for existing was to suck stuff up off our floors. My wife and I have returned two Dyson vacuums now, and with the second return, I decided to give this new Shark Rotator Lift-Away a shot and see what all the hoopla was about. Man, was I in for a surprise!

First, let me start out with the few things I really dislike about this vacuum cleaner. That way I can end this review on a positive note by telling you what I do like about it.

Call me lazy, but I absolutely despise having to manually wind the entire power cord up out of the way, especially a power cord as long as the one on this Shark Lift-Away. Whatever happened to those awesome automatic power cord "rewinders" on the old canister vacuums? Seriously, that was a fantastic feature... (other than the fact that from time to time the cord would retract at about 180 mph and the tail end would whip around and sever the arteries in your leg. Still, that was a way-cool feature, and I'm willing to live with some scars just to have it.) I just think a machine this advanced should not make me still get down on one knee and manually loop the stinking cord around and around and around two little plastic hooks. Shark has certainly created some great new features, but they missed the ball on this one! Come on guys, bring back the days when I could press a button with my foot and watch the power cord automatically disappear out of site. Bada-bing! Bada-boom!

I cannot begin to tell you how much I hate the extendable hose on this vacuum cleaner. Dyson claims that their hose will extend 17 feet for easy stair cleaning. Um, can we get serious for a moment? The ONLY way the Dyson hose is going to extend 17 feet is if you get a second person to sit on the vacuum cleaner and hold it in place, then get a group of friends to play tug-of-war with the hose and stretch it out all the way. And sadly, the same is true with the hose on this Shark. In fact, these so-called "extendable" hoses are only good for one thing... to stay put in their retracted position. They fight you every inch of the way when you try to stretch them out for cleaning away from the vacuum cleaner itself. This is at least tolerable when using the "wand" to clean your kitchen floor, for example, but it will drive you completely batty if you try to use the hose by itself. Yesterday I attached the small brush directly to the end of the hose so that I could go around my office and vacuum all my bookshelves, computer equipment, etc. This task was a breeze with our old Hoover. It is extremely difficult on these new models because the hose constantly wants to pull out of your hand and fly back towards the vacuum. It's like wrestling a hyperactive python! How in the world this could have been overlooked in product development and testing just boggles the mind. All the new vacuums are going with this type of extendable hose now, but until someone is able to make one that stretches out without such utter resistance, they will remain completely useless in my opinion. For now, we'll just have to attach our old 15-foot extension hose (not "extendable" hose) to the wand on the vacuum like we did on our old Hoover and do it that way. But as I said, this is not an issue only on the Shark... Dyson does the same thing.

And speaking of the hose, this Shark does tend to tip over when using the extendable hose with the wand attachment, for example. They really could have set the wheels a little further back to help prevent this from happening, however, there is a way to cut down on this problem considerably. If you've read other reviews about this model, you've probably heard people talking about how it tips over, but I think they may have missed something I didn't see either my first few times using it. The hose can actually "snap out" from the little bracket that holds it against the back of the canister. It is made this way by design, but it's not evident at first. We have found that if we make sure the hose is simply popped out of this bracket, then the "tension point" where the hose pulls against the upright canister is actually lowered; instead of it being halfway up the vacuum, it now pulls from almost the very bottom of the vacuum, and this was the intended design for using the extendable hose. We have experienced much better results after discovering this.

Okay, enough already! You're probably beginning to think I don't like anything about this vacuum cleaner. Well now, don't be too hasty. I just had to vent all that negative stuff in the hopes that maybe, just maybe, someone from the Shark company would read it and see the error of their ways.

Where do I start? There really is a lot to like about this odd-looking, funky little machine!

First of all -- the price. We paid a small fortune for our Dyson, but compared to this new Shark, it's clear now that the Dyson is way, way overpriced! The price point of this Shark Lift-Away simply cannot be beat, especially considering all you're getting.

It comes very neatly packaged in a huge box... just when you think you've reached the bottom of the box, there are more and more attachments that just keep coming out! And that was really my first good impression -- these folks didn't skimp on accessories like most manufacturers do. There are tons of attachments that come with this vacuum. You get the Premium Turbo Brush, 12" Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, a Car Detail Kit, Straight Suction Nozzle, and the Canister Caddy.

The instruction manual is clear and easy to follow. Each piece has a very, very solid feel to it; not only a substantial weight letting you know it's not made out of cheap plastic, but also how each piece snaps together with a nice, solid, satisfying thud. It is light, but there's no doubt whatsoever when holding this vacuum cleaner in your hands that it is extremely well made out of good, durable materials! The pieces fit together really snugly, which lets you know that no air or dust is going to "leak" out while vacuuming. The attachments snap right onto the vacuum so you don't have to search the house every time you need something.

After unwinding the generously long power cord and plugging it in, I was ready to give this baby a whirl. The four main buttons used to control all the functions of this vacuum cleaner are neatly located together near the top area of the canister, so there's no fumbling around trying to find them on different areas of the vacuum or on the handle or wand. Two of these buttons are power buttons -- one turns on the "vacuum only" for hardwood or tile floors, and a separate one that turns on the "vacuum and the beater bar rollers" for carpets.

The noise level on this vacuum is lower than any vacuum we've ever owned. It is actually MUCH quieter. At first, I was concerned by this, fearful that its suction power could not possibly be as great as our old Hoover or Dyson. Wrong! After placing my hand on the end of the wand and nearly having it sucked inside, it became abundantly clear that this Shark has some extremely powerful suction.

After seeing this, I decided to try a little experiment. I grabbed our old stair cleaning attachment and popped it onto the end of the Shark wand. When I used this with our Hoover and with our Dyson, the motor inside the stair cleaner whirred at a nice, brisk pace, but if I pressed it too hard on the stairs, the brush inside would stop spinning. Well, those days are gone! After hitting the power switch on the Shark, I thought the stair cleaner was going to spin off into orbit. It was rotating at what must have been twice the speed it ever did before, and was whining so high I was afraid it was going to explode! My wife even came into the hallway and said, "What is THAT?" I grinned and said, "THAT is power, baby. Power!" She gave me the look that wives give when their husbands are acting like idiots, and walked back into the kitchen. Yes sir-ee, this thing has some serious suction power! God help you if you accidentally get the end of this wand near your hamster or one of those tiny little froofy dogs! They'll take a trip they will never forget!

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away comes with an excellent filter that apparently stops every single dust particle from getting through, because when you vacuum with it, there is NO dust smell whatsoever in the air. None. This is a very noticeable improvement over all our previous vacuum cleaners.

Maneuvering this vacuum around the room is very convenient thanks to the swivel feature, but it wasn't until I tried the Lift-Away feature that I was truly sold on this unit. With the press of a button, the entire canister lifts off the base of the vacuum cleaner, allowing you to walk anywhere you like to vacuum while only having to hold the light canister in your hand. When I reached our staircase, this feature really made sense! I was able to easily walk up the stairs, vacuuming each one as I went, without having to lug the entire vacuum cleaner with me. This is truly genius, and this one feature alone makes this Shark Lift-Away worth every penny! Trust me, you'll just have to try it to see what I mean. I cannot ever imagine going back to doing stairs the old way. In fact, I found myself walking all over different rooms vacuuming places I hadn't been able to with our Dyson, simply because it was too much trouble to try and push an entire vacuum cleaner to those tiny areas. And the cord on this Shark is so long that I was able to vacuum our entire upstairs hallway before I realized that it was still plugged in downstairs!

This model also comes with something they call a canister caddy. Again, this is a bit confusing at first, but once you use it, you'll totally "get it". In short, it turns your upright vacuum cleaner into... well... a canister vacuum! Some people prefer upright vacuum cleaners, others prefer canister models. Now you can have both for the price of one! Simply pop the canister of this Shark Lift-Away off the base and snap it down onto the caddy. You can then move about the house and the canister caddy will follow you wherever you go. The 360-degree rotating wheels allow it to turn in even the tightest spaces, making it incredibly convenient in any room size. This is also extremely handy when you need to take the vacuum cleaner outside to vacuum out your car. It rolls around the car anywhere you pull it, exactly like a shop vac. This is a fantastic feature that truly adds a lot of extra value to this device!

Finally, let me just say that this Shark has headlights. Can I get a Hallelujah?! Can I get an Amen?!! One of my biggest complaints about the Dyson is that, for the outrageous price they charge for it, they were too cheap to even include a stinking little headlight! You may not think a headlight makes any difference, and I didn't either... that is until we switched from our old Hoover, which had great headlights, to the Dyson, which had none. The difference in some rooms was astounding! I actually found myself going around the rooms turning on extra lamps just so I could see the carpets better. I was thrilled to see that this Shark not only has one headlight -- it has four! And they are LED lights that really do put out a lot of light. This may seem like a small thing, but, trust me, it makes a huge difference!

Well, I've already talked more about this vacuum cleaner than any man ever should. So I'm going to wrap up by saying that if you're looking for a new vacuum, I would highly, highly recommend checking out the Shark Rotator Lift-Away. It is a brilliantly designed device that you will absolutely love. Despite my complaints, its benefits far outweigh its shortfalls. It truly is a great product! If you're even slightly considering purchasing a new vacuum cleaner, do yourself a huge favor and order this one. You'll be glad you did, and like me, you may even enjoy vacuuming again. (Just don't tell my buddies I wrote a review about a vacuum cleaner. I'll never live it down!)
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144 of 167 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it!!, August 31, 2013
A. Holloway (Lecanto, Fl. United States) - See all my reviews
We purchased a new vacuum about 2 years ago. It was a Sanitaire was recommended by the guy who cleaned our rugs. It is a slightly less powerful version of what he used and could be found on a professional vacuum site. In any case we were fairly happy with it. At least until we started seeing a problem with our dachshund. Don't want to be too graphic but (I have shoulder length hair) but we noticed her poopies had red hair in it. My hair !! I was devastated! What if she had gotten the hair off the rug (and she surely had) while what I call carpet surfing, checking for something we might have dropped, etc. I became concerned because what if the hair would get stuck in her intestines? hair balls? caused a blockage? the vet said no way to tell how much might be inside her but we could give her a "cat laxative" (AGHGH) or we could learn to vacuum everyday. So we started vacuuming about every other day and the problem was getting better. But geesh, we camp and fish and being retired have other things to do besides vacuum. So we started looking for a better vacuum. We know we won't go very long without vacuuming but we were not 100% sure our current vacuum was getting everything up (especially human hair). I have been looking for a vacuum everywhere. Every time I would see a great review for one I would see another review saying it was horrible. We came across this vacuum and really started checking it out.

We did get it at Bed Bath and Beyond (though I am an avid Amazon Prime person). But in this case we went on line to sign up for Bed Bath and Beyond e mails and if you do you will get a 20% off coupon. So I got this unit for about $199. Being retired we had to take advantage of this coupon. We brought it home a few hours ago. It was easy to put together. Yep it is "plastic" but so are most other appliances now a days and figured I would give it a chance. It is the model NV 502. This one does not come with the appliance wand or multi position duster brush but we go it anyway. It did come with a regular duster brush as well as the power brush and the automobile cleaning set. I did order these other 2 parts on line as I think they will come in handy especially being able to vacuum under the refrigerator and dryer. So we are spending a bit more for more accessories but we will have all the things we want.

Anyway, we tested it first by vacuuming the living room and sitting area. We had just vacuumed last night, so felt if it got anything else up it would be a fair comparison. We easily went over both areas and we were really amazed at how much dust/dirt came up into the cup ! Perhaps a 3/4 cup grouping of dust/dirt, including human hair. Wow, we had just vacuumed last evening! I practiced uncoupling the lift off and took around to dust the ceiling fans and some baseboards and in the grooves of the sliding glass doors. Ok this went really really well.

Then I went ahead a revacuumed the bedroom. This had also been vacuumed last evening. Now this bedroom is not huge so I did not expect to see too much residuals. I went over the carpet and my husband came in and said "wow the carpet looks clean". I continued to vacuum and looked into the cup. I could not believe my eyes. Honestly, there was a least 1 full cup for dust/dirt !! I had just vacuumed last evening and this is my bedroom !! How could it have gotten that much up? I told my husband that if a salesman had come in my house to do a demo or something and had come up with this much debris I would have honestly thought they were pulling some kind of trick on me.

I really like emptying out the cup. It opens from the bottom (note it can open from the top but I don't recommend doing that it will allow debris to come up while you are carrying it to the trash). We just undid the cup and carried it out to the garage, opened the trash can, opened the bottom of the cup and out the dirt went. No fuss no muss. I probably would not want to empty it in the house though. Better off carrying it to the garage trash or outside trash so not dust can come back into the air. It is sealed unit as I am told and this means as you vacuum no dust or dirt or odors will come back into the house air. I like this as both my husband and myself and our doxie have allergies.

I like the dual headlights on the unit. It does help me see while vacuuming. Good touch. Someone said on another site they did not like where the on button is. Well my other vacuums button was in an odder place so this is a breeze for me. You just touch your foot to the unit to lean it back to start vacuuming. Push either the power button (for hardwood or tile floors) or push both the power and brush button to the the brush going for carpet. I thought the brush was broke because in the upright position the brush wasn't working. Ok stupid me. The brush will not turn on unless you have the unit back into the "vacuuming" position. Solved. Also thought it was a little difficult to push and pull on the carpet but that is before I figured out how to turn on the brush. Again, it was my fault. When you turn the brush on it becomes pretty darned easy to push and pull. A light will come on to let you know when the brush is on. If it changes color it means there might be a blockage. The manual says if there is a blockage there is an easy trap door to get into the area to unblock it and presto, you can start vacuuming again. I haven't had to do this but it seems it might come in handy some day.

It is pretty darned quiet. My other vacuum said it was whisper quiet. Well it wasn't but this sure is closer to quiet than the other. This one didn't spook our doxie when I turned it on so that is a real plus.

I liked being able to "lift off" the portion of the unit and put it on its caddy. Could pull the caddy around easily without tilting or anything. When the full unit is together it is possible for it to tilt over, but when you have the lower portion on the caddy this doesn't happen.

We are really pleased with this unit. My husband and I are still kind of flabbergasted that this unit could get up more dust and dirt that our other vacuum ! It is smaller and lighter than our Sanitaire and obviously vacuums better. I can now go from carpet to hardwood to tile just by turning off the brush and then I can use the unit on its caddy or I can just undo (with a push of another button) have the handle/arm come off, put the duster on and dust the ceiling fans or baseboards without any problem at all. Plastic, yes. A workhorse, yes. A keeper for us, yes. I think our dachshund is going to be much happier too.

And so that folks know, yep the brush can be turned on or off. I use the brush for the carpet but turn it off for the tile and wood floor.

Post Note: It is several hours (same day) after the above vacuuming at submitting the write up. Only out of curiosity I revacuumed again. Just wanted to see what would happen. Out of the bedroom and the living room and sitting room I got another handful and one half of "stuff". I am still mind boggled. My husband and I looked at the stuff that was coming up into the cup. It is definitely dirt, some fuzz, hair, sand, dusty type stuff. Redid it again, much much less the third time. So we don't think it is sucking up the carpet pad, this almost has to be sand, dirt and just planing cleaning the carpet. We do have the doxie as I said and we are in the yard a lot and we do come home from camping etc. Did not think we were tracking in this much dirt BUT it appears we perhaps were. My hubby says it just looks like the carpet is so much "cleaner". Our carpet is a light taupe or gray (very light) that we would never have picked for our lifestyle but it came with the house when we purchased it. It darn near looks as good as when we had it cleaned. There are a few "spots" which frankly are now showing a bit more since the rest of the carpet is so clean. Will be trying out the Shark carpet spot cleaner since I have never been impressed with the spot cleaner the professional cleaner left us last year. We do not have a dirty household, but we do a lot of things. We normally vacuumed once a week until our dog started having some problems and started vacuuming every other day. Even with all this the Shark got this up. It feels really really nice to know I have a pretty darned clean carpet !! Don't know what the future will bring but at this point it is the best $200. we've spent in a long time.

POST POST NOTE: Our neighbors/friends just came over for a little Labor Day get together. The first thing out of their mouths was: Who cleaned our carpets for us.
they do look that good !

Another Post Note: We have since moved to a new house. It is now May 2014 and we still love this vacuum. One of our little headlights went out and I can't figure out how to fix it but then again with moving and such I haven't really tried to do anything bout it. I will, but have other things to deal with. It still is great. Period. The suction is still strong. Cleaning out the "filter" is wonderful. Take off the dirt canister and under it is the foam filter. Take it out, rinse it, slide it back on and that's it. Soooo simple!
Also would like to add. Someone, in another person's post was saying he/or she never heard of someone losing that much hair since the reviewer was talking about how this thing picks up hair. I have to if you read the review. The average woman loses between 50 and 100 hairs a day. My husbands hair is shorter, but everyone has different length hair. My hair is chin length. So depending on long or short hair this can certainly cause problems as I did for my dachshund. She would carpet surf and pick up hairs which caused a problem with her poopies on the way out. You add my husbands hair and mine and the fact that for some time I was being treated for Lyme Disease and had severe hair breakage and loss from that. Anyway, This vacuum has been great during all of that for the hair situation. I have found the hairs in the dirt canister so I know it is getting the hair up. Let me add. While writing this I realized I have never checked the roller brushes in a year ! So I just did. I found a few of my hairs on the roller brushes. I mean perhaps 5 or 6 but they easily came off without having to cut them off like I have with other vacuums. Also I found a piece of elastic wrapped around the brush rolls but it easily came off and had been wrapped around perhaps 7 or 8 times. But that is it after a year. So we are still amazed by this machine. Still happy with this for sure. Oh yes, I am 67 year old disabled female vet. I will, when possible take the easy way to do things because of my disability and perhaps a touch of laziness too (smile) so when something works and makes life easier I am going to stick with it.
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94 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good Vacuum, November 25, 2012
This review is from: Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) (Misc.)
OK I fell victim to the endless commercials and just happened to need a new vacuum at the same time.

First off - I had a Dyson for a couple of years that I did pay close to $500 for. I live in a carpeted studio apartment and the fact that it is small compact and all that was pretty good. However - the "never lose suction" claim they make? Not so much. Honestly when I first got it I was shocked how much dirt and dust it did pick up - but small stuff that sticks to carpet it wouldn't budge. For example - a loose thread on the carpet would just stay there. Ya know that lint that inevitably appears when you take off athletic socks? That lint would just lie there under the Dyson and it would drive me crazy - I would have to pick it up by hand or worse go back over it with a electric sweeper and that $20 piece of garbage would do the job.

OK - so based on the first review here I purchased this through Bed Bath and Beyond.
Because some people complained about the set up, I decided to time it.
It took exactly 7 minutes.
When you take everything out of the box it is no doubt confusing - I looked at it like it was in a foreign language but it still only took minutes to put together. Mine came with a canister set up and some attachments that I still have no idea what they do.

Now to the unit.
IF you have a Dyson - this thing is a monster.
It is bigger, it is bulkier, it is heavier.
Compared to a regular vacuum I suppose it is more compact.

If I were buying this for an elderly person or a person with physical health issues, I probably wouldn't and look for something smaller.

If you are an able bodied normal person it's just fine - and after a few uses you get used to it.

As for operation? AMAZING.
The suction is great = it picks up all those tiny threads and sock lint perfectly.
I have a low lying carpet and with the Dyson I never got those great vacuum lines in the pile and I never walked onto a freshly vacuumed area and saw my footprint in the carpet. With this shark I get all that and more.

Honestly - it was only a few days since my Dyson broke down and I was shocked at how much dirt this thing picked up on the first go round my place. Almost as if the Dyson just left all the deep dirt behind. Also the sweeper part of the unit has more space between it and the dirt holder so it fits under furniture better than the Dyson did.

I would definitely buy this again - or I would go to a store and see all the models to see if others are smaller.

The photos of the Rotator are deceiving.
This unit is bigger than it appears in photographs mostly in the depth of it, the part that is not shown in pictures.

But as far as operation? I couldn't be happier.
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