Shark Vacuum Cleaner Review

Review of Shark Canister Vacuum

Choosing the best Shark vacuum cleaner; canister or upright?

You’ve probably seen commercials or infomercials for Shark handheld vacuum cleaners.

They are made by a company called Euro-Pro. Euro-Pro used to make its own line of vacuum cleaners, but now it sells them under the Shark or Fantom vacuum cleaner brand.

You might have heard of Euro-Pro, as they make other appliances, including sewing machines, food processors, and toaster ovens. Shark vacuum cleaners are most well known for their compact handheld vacuum cleaners, but they also make a line of upright and canister vacuums.

The best thing about Shark vacuum cleaners is the tremendous suction. In all tests and consumer reviews, almost everyone raved about the suction of these vacuum cleaners.

Then people tend to part ways.

People who use Shark handheld vacuum cleaners and stick vacuums and sweepers are generally happy. Consumers who buy Shark uprights and canisters tend to be either thrilled or completely disappointed. Sadly, there seem to be more disappointed than thrilled.

Shark Canister Vacuum Features:

Four widely available lines of Shark canister vacuums include Shark Pursuit HEPA Bagless Canister Vacuum, Shark HEPA Compact Canister Vacuum, Shark Roadster Bagless Canister Vacuum, and Shark Professional Stainless Steel Canister Vacuum. The majority of customer reviews on all models are not good.

Luckily, upright Shark vacuum cleaner owners are (in general) much happier than canister Shark vacuum cleaner owners. There were several who mentioned that they had their vacuum cleaners for more than one year and were entirely happy. Shark offers both bagged and bagless models in their upright Vacuum cleaner line.

The bagged model was said to be very quiet and powerful. It did well in tests on both carpets and bare floors. The bags are a bit difficult to find. They aren’t available at most stores and they can be difficult to find online. Some customers complained of excessive delivery time for bags and poor customer service. The biggest complaint from most customers is that the belts break easily and have to be replaced often. These, also, are not widely available. Even from the company’s website, you can’t simply buy a belt. There is a package deal with 4 belts and 4 bags. From this, we have to assume that Euro-Pro expects belts to need replacing as often as the bags, which is unusual.

The bagless Shark vacuum cleaner models are more expensive and not as good as the bagged vacuums. They are powerful, but the container is very small and has to be dumped often. It’s messy and difficult to clean the container, and it often takes more time than it does to change the bag. There is an exhaust vent in the front of these vacuums that often blows debris (especially pet hair) before you can pick it up, which is poor design. As with the bagged vacuums, belts are a problem. They are difficult to find and can only be purchased as a package deal with air filters from the company’s web site.

Shark makes powerful handheld corded (the rechargeable units are not recommended) vacuum cleaners and light sweepers, but for the money (usually $70-$100), there are much better upright and canister vacuums to be found.

Shark Canister Pros:

  • Good on bare floors.
  • Several models come with a push-button cord winder that makes picking up the power cord a breeze.
  • The Roadster comes with a rotating brush attachment that works well.
  • The Compact Canister comes with a shoulder strap for cleaning draperies and stairs.
  • Some models have filters that the company claims don’t need to be replaced, only easily “tapped” clean.

Shark Canister Cons:

  • All of the canister vacuums were terrible on carpets, even on visible dirt particles. The rotating brushes for carpet attachments don’t even reach the carpet and sometimes don’t spin. Even if you only have a little carpet in your home, you should not rely on these vacuums for cleaning carpeted areas.
  • The power cord being way too short is a common complaint. Many customers found that they had to use an extension cord or constantly move to closer outlets while vacuuming.
  • The filters require very frequent cleaning, and they aren’t likely to get completely clean by “tapping” them. The suction suffers when they get dirty, which seems to be often. They also have to be replaced often. What about the “lifetime filters?” The manual that comes with them suggests replacing the filters at least twice a year for optimal performance. Hmm.
  • Many owners have reported overheating problems. At the least, they report a bad smell while cleaning. At worst, they report the unit becoming so hot that it shuts off.
  • The actual head of the vacuums are smaller than most, requiring more cleaning time.
  • The vacuum brush heads clog quickly. To clean them, you have to completely take apart the head, which takes quite a bit of time and effort.
  • The bagless units have small containers that fill up quickly and need to be changed often.
  • The bags for the vacuum cleaners that use them are difficult to find and customers have complained about the time it takes to receive them after ordering online.
  • Many customers complained about the hose becoming clogged easily and often.
  • The units tend toward breaking, which requires a lot of troubleshooting. You have to figure out if the container/bag is full, the filter is dirty, the head is jammed, the hose is clogged, or the motor is overheating.
  • Several customers reported finding it difficult to find replacement parts, even from the company’s website.
  • Many unhappy customers reported constant busy signals when calling customer service and no answers to their website complaints.