Even though not 100% organized, I pride myself on housekeeping to the point of being accused a time or two of being a wee bit compulsive. This brings me to the matter of vacuum cleaners. I’m particular, if not freakish, about vacuums. There was a time when I wore out vacuums so often that the folks at the Recycling Center knew me by name.
Let me take you back to 2007. I’d just blown out my third Hoover Wind Tunnel, having worn that thing down to its last gasp. I carried it in pieces to the Recycle Center. I was planning to replace it with the latest and greatest from Hoover until I heard about the Shark Navigator.
I wasn’t that impressed as I looked over a new Shark Navigator vacuum at the store. It was on the smallish side, lightweight—certainly not the hefty, beefy Hoover I was used to. But based on a recommendation from a trusted friend, I decided to give it a try, knowing I could return it if this Shark couldn’t live up to my standard.
Oh, my. This might be an excellent place to end this post. What happened next is that embarrassing.
I plugged that puppy in and started to vacuum my family room, carpeted with 100% wool Karastan carpet. Look, I loved this carpet and had babied it from the day it was installed. It looked like new, which you might want to take with a grain of salt because I never wear my glasses when I vacuum. Still, I thought of it as pristine.
Within minutes, that canister filled to the top—a condition I had never witnessed in any vacuum to that day. And I was vacuuming a fairly small area. I was so shocked; disgust hardly describes the feeling. I took the canister out to the trash to dump it, hoping the neighbors wouldn’t be peering over the fence to see what was coming out of my home.
What on earth?!
This room was not small, but not massive, either. I filled that canister four times before I put Sharky away for the day. The next day, I vacuumed the same room a couple more times, and still, I was sucking out who-knows-what from this carpet. Even my husband was shaking his head. I vacuumed again until the canister remained empty. Finally.
I’ll admit to the carpet being ten years old at the time, but it had nearly been vacuumed to death over the decade. And cleaned routinely. All for naught, apparently.
Shark Vacuum: The final verdict
I am still stunned at my Shark vacuum’s power and lightweight feature. But more than that, I am so happy to know that the carpet in my home is really clean. I mean, probably as clean as the day it was installed.
And my bonus? No more pricey, disposable bags!
Since getting my first Shark Navigator, I have updated more than a few times—not because a Shark died, but because I need to do a lot of testing. When I buy a new model, I give away the oldest in my current cadre of vacuums. I am still 100% sold on Shark Navigator Lift-Away—often you’ll find “Professional” in the name depending on the model—which remains our pick for EC Best Inexpensive.
Shark Navigator Lift-Away is far and away the best vacuum I have ever owned, tried, or tested. Shark vacuums across the board are low-cost. At this writing, I own three, one for each floor of my home. The “lift-away” aspect is wonderful as I can lift off part of the vac to make a small portable size to vacuum stairways.
As for longevity, Sharks just don’t wear out as other vacuums are inclined to do. And should there be a problem, Shark’s customer service is remarkably helpful and responsive.
Updated for 2024 on 2-27-24
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