Shark Rocket Review

This vacuum promises a great deal of things both in the advertisements and even on the box of the product itself. It claims to have more power than a Dyson DC40 upright vacuum cleaner. Shark then goes further and shows the Rocket next to various upright vacuums in their advertisements. Shark markets the machine as a replacement for an upright vacuum. Unfortunately the Rocket simply lacks the performance to compete with an upright vacuum, and has other flaws that prevent me from recommending the Shark Rocket to most people in the market for a vacuum. Read on for more information about why I can’t recommend the vacuum.

Carpet

The Shark Rocket is quite easy to push on carpet, at most times feeling almost self-propelled due to its light weight and fast brushroll. That said, the ease of use is negated as you will be spending a great deal of time going over the same spot multiple times if you want to actually clean your carpets. Unfortunately, the Rocket seems to lack much weight on the cleaning head, as such the brush cannot dig deep into the pile and get out any dirt. Furthermore, the dirt that is on top of the carpet is often either pushed forward (this is called “snowplowing” by the vacuum industry) or shot out the front as the suction is too weak.

The Rocket was also bad at pet hair pickup, leaving most of the dog hair on the floor rather than in the bin. In addition, the Shark doesn’t have a HEPA filter or a sealed bin (more on this in the Design Flaws section below), which caused me to launch into a sneezing fit after using in (in fact, it took 3 takes to get the Carpet section of the video review because I kept sneezing). This means that the dust and dirt that you just spend time picking up will be blown out the exhaust and land on your floor again. Overall, the carpet cleaning experience is inexcusably bad, and a sick joke for a machine claiming to “Out clean full-sized vacuums” (Shark’s website and the Rocket box).

Hard Floors

The Shark Rocket has two ways of cleaning hard floors: the Dust-Away attachment, or the standard cleaning head with the brushroll. Both of these methods have their problems, and neither will do a great job at getting your floor clean. To start, let’s talk about the standard head. First, the head sits low to the floor and will not suck up large particles, instead pushing them along. Second, you cannot turn off the brushroll, only turn it to low speed, which will still kick the dirt that enters the head out. Third, the suction is too weak, and as such dirt won’t get picked up.

Shark Rocket Dust-Away Tool
Shark Rocket Dust-Away Tool

On the Dust-Away side, things aren’t much better. First, the suction channel is raised too high for the weak suction to be used effectively. This means that most dirt and dust will not get picked up by the Rocket.  You can see this in the review video as the honey nut scooters were pushed across the floor and not picked up. Second, the vacuum will not stand up by itself and will fall over quite easily when in this mode, even when leaned against something like a wall or a chair. Third, the pad tends to simply push most of the dirt along the front edge, which can end up scratching your floors.

Attachments

The one area where the Shark Rocket does well would be attachment usage. The Rocket’s light weight allows you maneuver it into tight spaces and get the dirt. The Rocket comes with three attachments in the box: a wide dusting tool, a combo brush, and a crevice tool. All three tools are good quality and do a good job at getting dirt and cleaning most items. Once again the lack of good filtration is a problem as the dirt that you just collected is being blown out the exhaust.

Shark Rocket Dusting Brush
Shark Rocket Dusting Brush
Shark Rocket Crevice Tool
Shark Rocket Crevice Tool
Shark Rocket Combination Brush Tool
Shark Rocket Combination Brush Tool

 

 

Design Flaws

Due to the sheer number, I simply put my findings into a bullet pointed list.

  • No HEPA filtration
  • Bin leaks dirt due to lack of a seal
  • Cord attached and bin not removable (when you want to empty the small bin, you must take the cord with you as the bin is attached and not removable)
  • Does not stand up in any mode
  • Weak suction
  • Filters get dirty fast
  • Snowplowing is a problem on carpet
  • No option to turn off brush
  • Small bin
  • Cord hook not ergonomic at all
Shark Rocket in storage mode, look at the cord has to be wrapped
Shark Rocket in storage mode, look at the way the cord has to be wrapped

These are just the flaws I found in the short amount of testing I have done with the Rocket.

Conclusion

Overall the Shark Rocket is a very disappointing machine, because it promises so much, yet delivers so little. Overall, I cannot recommend the Shark Rocket in good faith as the machine does not perform anywhere near as well as it should, especially for its price ($150-250 depending on package). Perhaps Shark will fix these flaws and release the Shark Rocket 2, but until then, I would stay away from the Shark Rocket.

Score: 4/10

 

Still want one?

 

(more…)

Shark Rocket News

Update 10/13/12

The full written review has been uploaded, CLICK HERE to read the SHARK ROCKET REVIEW

Update 10/12/13

The videos are now being uploaded for the Shark Rocket, here are the videos that are currently online:

Unboxing and First Look

Watch below or CLICK HERE to watch in in a large player on YouTube (Recommended)

Review and Test

Watch below or CLICK HERE to watch in in a large player on YouTube (Recommended)

Update 10/11/13:

VacBin now has a Shark Rocket vacuum and will be posting an unboxing soon. The review will be up shortly, along with more info! In the mean time, Here are some pictures of the box:

Shark Rocket Box Top ViewTop view of the box

Shark Rocket Box  SIDE1

One side of the box

Shark Rocket Box  SIDE2

Another side of the box

Original Info:

As many of you know the Shark Rocket vacuum was recently unveiled and put on sale by Shark. Shark is now using the Rocket branding on two machines, the Shark Rocket PRO vacuum, which is just a Shark Rotator in a new color scheme (you can even see the Rotator label on the front) that machine can be seen in the picture below.

rocket

The other machine is called the Shark Rocket, and this is a brand new machine. The new machine looks a lot like the Dyson Digital Slim vacuum and many people are looking for a comparison of the Shark Rocket VS the Dyson Digital Slim. The simple truth is that they are two very different machines with different purposes. The Shark Rocket is designed to be an upright replacement whereas the Dyson Digital Slim is designed to be a quick pickup machine.

Shark Sonic Duo Review

This machine was one of the hardest machines I have ever had to review, It has so many functions, and does so many things right, yet at the same time fails at the thing it promises to do so well at. This machine will always have a place in my closet, and hopefully shark will learn from the failures of this model and craft a model to correct these problems.

In addition if you haven’t read my pre-review blogging of my experiences I would HIGHLY recommend you do that. It contains results from some of the tests I did with the sonic duo on many types of floors and in various situations. It can be found HERE.

Formula and Pads

At the heart of the Sonic Duo cleaning system is the Shark solutions and pads that are made for the machine. These formulas are concentrated (more on that later) and work with the reusable pads (that come with the refill formula). The system (at the time of writing) has four pads that can be used with it: Carpet, Carpet Stain, Hard Floor, and Polish. Each pad is unique and the pads are color coded to prevent confusion.

Here are the various pads that can be used with the machine:

Hard Floor Cleaning:

Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Solution and Concentrate
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Solution and Concentrate

 

Hard Floor Polishing:

Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polishing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polishing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polish
Shark Sonic Duo Hard Floor Polish

 

Carpet Cleaning:

Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Scrubbing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Scrubbing Pad
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Solution, Concentrate and Activator Spray
Shark Sonic Duo Carpet Solution, Concentrate and Activator Spray

 

Carpet Cleaning Performance:

When it comes to carpet performance this machine promises the moon, claiming to get your carpets “1.5 times brighter” and to remove ground in dirt from below the surface. When I first heard these claims I was quite skeptical as they sounded far too good to be true, but their “demonstration photos” showed a very large amount of improvement, so I gave Shark the benefit of the doubt, thinking of all of their previous success and hoping that they once again hit it out of the park. I eagerly got the floor vacuumed, the solution prepared and the pad attached, going slowly to let the machine try and get anything it could, waiting to see the carpets become bright and clean again, but the brightening never happened. Although I was disappointed by the lack of  carpet brightening I was very pleased to see that some of the tough stains that have been in the carpet for a great deal of time (and resisted many attempts to remove them) have vanished.

Overall I have changed my ideas on how the machine works, thinking of it as a machine that removes stains as opposed to a machine that can be used for maintenance cleaning and brightening. In this regard the machine is significantly worse than a Hot Water Extraction machine or HWE, which never fail to brighten my carpets, AND remove all the stains. To sum it up carpet performance is my only complaint about the machine, and I think there will be many others in the same boat with me, having complaints about the Sonic Duo on carpet.

For carpet cleaning I cannot recommend this machine, which is a disappointment.

If you are looking for a carpet cleaner check out the Hoover SteamVac

Hard Floor Cleaning:

On hard floors this machine kicks butt! The Sonic Duo is almost magic when it comes to cleaning hard floors, the dual heads vibrating their way to a clean floor. This system works by first spraying solution out onto the floor which loosens the dirt and acts as a suspension buffer to get the dirt off of the floor and into the pad. The pads are designed with three different sections on them, a smooth and soft section to absorb and buff, a scrubby section to scrub tough dirt and spots off of the floor, and a noodle section to get into all of the nooks and crannies while mopping up the dirt and solution mixture. The pad works quite well and is always dirty after I am done cleaning a floor with the Sonic Duo, leaving the pad dirty and the floor shiny and clean. Every floor I have thrown the Sonic Duo at has seen great results, with the lone exception being the granite, however the granite is almost impossible to clean.

The Sonic Duo makes the task of cleaning a hard floor very easy, allowing you to get the job done quite quickly and leave the floors absolutely spotless. The machine lives up to the claim of getting the job done in half the time of a mop and bucket. the results are also better than a mop and bucket, as the sonic duo does not spread dirty water over the floor, instead spreading new solution over the floor before picking up the dirty solution in its absorbent pad.

Hard Floor Polishing:

If the Sonic Duo mad my hard floors shiny after they were cleaned, the polish makes them sparkle, after applying the polish my hardwood floors shined like they were brand new. This is a shine that they haven’t had for many years, but the Sonic Duo was able to do it. The polishing process starts by first going through the hard floor cleaning process and waiting 5 minutes for the floor to dry. After the floor is clean and dry the polishing pad is attached to the Sonic Duo and the polishing process begins. Polish is squirted onto the floor and the sonic duo rubs and buffs the polish onto the surface of the floor, making it shine and truly sparkle. Once you are done with the polishing process an hour should be given to let the polish dry before walking on the floor again.

Conclusion:

The Shark Sonic Duo is a great machine on hard floors, but overall it just falls flat when it comes to carpeting, getting the stains out, but not doing much more than that. I will be keeping the sonic duo in my closet, as it is an amazing hard floor cleaning and polishing machine, but will not be asking any more from it in terms of carpeted performance.

Overall, if you are looking for carpet cleaning, keep looking. If you are looking for hard floor cleaning and the occasional carpet spot removal the Sonic Duo is the machine for you.

Carpet Score: 4/10

Hard Floor Score: 10/10

Overall Score: 7.5/10

Want One?

 

(more…)

Shark Sonic Duo Pre-Review

Please note: This is NOT a review, I am blogging about my experiences with the Sonic Duo around the house before I write a formal review.

 

Updated 5-14 for Stone Cleaning

Updated 5-16 for Hard Floor Polishing

Carpet Performance:

When it came to carpet performance I was not sure what to think. The Sonic duo made very large claims about its performance in it’s ads. When I tried it out on my carpet I found that although it had good performance at removing stains, it lacks performance in revitalizing the carpet and removing dirt. It did an exemplary job at removing stains that were set in for multiple months, however it failed to brighten the carpet as it claimed it would. The machine was easy to use, and very easy to push, however it did not do a very good job. There were still some stains that were in the carpet, and the carpet failed to get any brighter after the Sonic Duo was used as directed.

Here is a video of using the Sonic Duo:

Here is a video of the results after I used the Sonic Duo:

Hardwood Performance:

On hard floors, such as hardwood the sonic duo excelled and did an amazing job cleaning, requiring very little effort to do an amazing job at making the floors shiny and removing spots. The floors looked almost polished after I was finished, and only used the hard floor cleaner that came inside the box. The Sonic Duo required very little effort to use, allowing itself to be pushed along the floor using its Airglide technology without any real effort at all.

Here is a video of the Sonic Duo on hardwood:

Tile Performance:

On tile the Sonic duo does a great job of scrubbing away tough stains, using its weight, cleaning formula and fast moving heads together to form a great cleaning combination. The three all work together to power away most stains and dirt on the floor with just one or two passes. Some stubborn stains required a little more, and for those I just turned the speed up and held the Sonic Duo over the spot for a few seconds. When I did that almost every time the Sonic Duo would get the spot off of the floor.

Here is a video of the Sonic Duo on Tile:

Stone and Granite Performance

On stone and granite the Sonic Duo is quite good with the scrubby strip on the hard floor pad loosening the dirt and the noodle part of the pad getting into all of the nooks and crannies. Here is a picture of the Hard floor pad where you can see all three parts of the pad, soft, scrubby, and noodle:

The three work quite well and get a LOT of dirt out of the floor, which can make the pad quite dirty very quickly but gets the floor SPOTLESS! The stone was amazingly clean after I finished cleaning it. The granite on the other hand got streaky after I used the formula, however I do not blame the Sonic Duo as the water is quite hard here, and the granite gets streaky with almost anything.

Here is a video of the Sonic Duo cleaning stone:

 

Hard floor polishing performance:

Although the sonic duo does a good job already on hard floors and gets them quite shiny, Shark sells a polish that can be used on the floors to make them shine even further. I picked some up (my Sonic Duo didn’t come with any) and got to work. The Sonic Duo does a great job at doing all of the work for you, and allowing the floors to get out their true beauty. The process is very easy, makes the floor spotless, and does not make the floor slippery, like some waxes and polishes. The polish is a great value, and I highly recommend picking some up if you have a Sonic Duo.

Here is a video of me polishing the floor with the Sonic Duo:

Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro Review

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro is Shark’s latest vacuum cleaner, and in our tests the best one from shark to date. The original Shark Navigator was a smashing success, not in cleaning power (It was good but a bit lacking compared to the competition) but in performance to price ratio. The next versions of the navigator always found places to improve or innovate on the original but none like this. This was clearly a redesign from the ground up, and the fact that the name “Navigator” is not on the machine demonstrates that clearly. The engineers at Shark really pushed the limits of what they could do with the old ideas of the navigator, and this is a whole new paradigm. They took the best from the old series and combined it with new innovation to create an amazing machine for most users.

One thing that was a huge innovation on the old machines was the lift-away function, and it comes back better than ever on this machine. The new design is not without flaws though, with the base occasionally sticking to the motor unit when the lift-away mechanism is activated. This is a rare problem, but unfortunately must be mentioned, as in our tests (as well as everyday use) the machine will fail to lift away, and must be shaken to detach properly. When this bug does not appear (about 85% of the time) the lift-away function works wonderfully. The machine is quite easy to carry in lift-away mode, and the many attachments work quite well. In addition the lift-away caddy is another great new feature, allowing the machine to be pulled behind you as you clean. The attachments on this model are also quite robust, comprising of a: wand, crevice tool, dusting brush, turbo brush, and a bare floor tool. These all are easy to use and have a storage place, either on the machine or on the caddy.

The cleaning power on the floor is also improved over previous models, with a new extra-large floor head compared to previous models. This new floor head has the signature strong shark brushroll, and a new feature to the shark brand, Headlights! This floor head is also quite large and features the swivel steering controls like previous lift-away vacuums. The swivel steering makes it easy to move around and keep control of the vacuum, while allowing you to still get into tight places. The strong suction provided by the motor unit also allows the vacuum to keep up with the brushrolls ability to dislodge dirt from the carpet fibers. This new floor head also seals to the floor like the Dyson DC41, which allows for very strong pickup performance on carpet. Like older shark brushrolls this machine still has overload protection, and the brushroll will stop when jammed before damage is caused to the floor, the machine or the item caught in the brush.

Overall this vacuum is a strong upgrade from previous Shark Navigators, and a very strong machine on its own. This machine has been redesigned to be more user friendly while having greater performance in all areas.

See our video review here:

Score: 9/10

Want one?

(more…)

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro review

Navigator Lift-Away Pro Review

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro vacuum is a great machine for most homes and needs. This machine is designed to be lightweight when you need to carry it, and get a deep down clean at the same time. One of the ways the machine stays light is by allowing itself to “Lift-Away” from the base, by that I mean push a button on the side and it pops off the floor head, becoming a handheld canister. This is great when you need to use the attachments as the machine is a bit top heavy and can tip over when used with the floor head. The attachments that come with the machine are quite robust, with the key that sets this model apart is the Dust-Away attachment, which is best described as a vacuum nozzle with a cloth behind it (think Swiffer but washable). This attachment allows one pass cleaning on hard surfaces, with the vacuum getting the larger particles, and the washable pad getting the fine dust from your hard floors. There are also other attachments in the box like the Turbo brush, dusting brush and a crevice tool.

When used with carpet this machine does a great job, picking up a great amount of dirt and making cleaning quick with it’s wide floor head. This floor head has stiff bristles that are designed to get into the carpet fibers and extract lots of dirt. This action, combined with the powerful suction allows the machine to extract lots of dirt, dust and even pet hair. In our tests the machine did an excellent job on short and medium pile carpet. The floor head also will automatically adjust between different floor types to keep the cleaning power maximized and the head sealed to the floor.

Overall this vacuum has great performance and is highly recommended, the only negative about it is it’s somewhat heavy weight. The bin on this vacuum is also very large, and the cord is quite long, allowing you to clean your entire home without stopping to empty the bin. the HEPA filtration will even keep dust in the vacuum and out of the air that you will breathe.

Check out our video review here:

Score: 9/10

Want One?

(more…)

Shark Navigator Review

Shark Navigator

This vacuum is very well known and most people have strong opinions on it. On one hand, it claims to do all that a Dyson can and 1/3 the price and on the other, it has a radically different design and is not HEPA rated. No matter what your opinion on the vacuum is, the facts are that it does clean very well for the price, about as well as the Dyson DC33 in our tests. It does lack a few things that the Dyson has like auto-emptying top cyclones (more on this later) and a HEPA filter. It has some things that some Dyson models lack like a separate brushroll motor and not being forced to use the wand for attachments. The Shark Navigator is also must cheaper and comes with more attachments.

The brushes on the Shark really groom the nap of the carpet and allow the powerful suction to reach deep and remove all the ground in dirt. This means the bin will fill quickly which is a problem due to the fact that the bin is quite small compared to most vacuums. This vacuum is cyclonic which means that the vacuum will not lose suction over time as you clean your living space. The vacuum houses 21 cyclones in the top portion of the bin which you have to manually empty about every 5 uses or the suction power will decrease. This is something that is nice about the Dyson which automatically empties the upper cyclones.

Check out our video review for more info:

Score:7/10 (more…)