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Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum review: Plenty of oomph, too much weight

Designed with extra powerful suction to get rid of both pet and human hairs, we put its big claims to the test

Emma Henderson
Friday 03 September 2021 16:40
<p>We looked for good suction, maneuverability and a decent run time</p>

We looked for good suction, maneuverability and a decent run time

Cleaning is serious business. As we’ve all spent way more time at home than ever before, keeping our humble abodes looking sparkling has moved much higher up our priority lists.

And if you’ve got a little furry four-legged friend, you’ll know the struggle to do this is real and vacuuming most days is a necessity in your home.

I do have a little furry friend, in the form of a cat, so I know how hard it is to keep the floors (and sofas) fluff free. I’ve had a cordless Dyson for more than two years and I can firmly say I’d never go back to corded nor bagged vacuums.

Corded and bagged machines are both cumbersome, tiresome to use and take up lots of room when storing. Plus, who wants to deal with emptying bags any more? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way when it comes to design and usability, and I’m here for it.

And it’s not just pets’ hair that’s often an issue when it comes to vacuuming either, as anyone with longish hair will know how easily this can get tangled in the motorised head of your machine.

Does Shark’s offering live up to its anti-wrap claims? Read our in-depth review to find out.

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How we tested

When testing Shark’s anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with reflexology and true-pet with triple battery (and breathe), I was looking for good suction, maneuverability, whether the design stopped hair wrapping and a decent run time. It was tested on carpets, hardwood flooring, tiles and stone flooring over a number of weeks, while clearing up after my moulting cat.

Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet: £429.99, Sharkclean.co.uk

  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Dimensions: H:118cm x W: 26cm x D:24.5cm
  • Capacity: 70cl
  • Charge time: 3.5 hours
  • Run time: 120 minutes (between three batteries)
  • Tools and accessories: Motorised pet tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, upholstery tool, 3 x lithium-ion battery, power pack charger and dual charging dock

Features

One of the best features of this machine is what the brand calls the “twin tech floorhead” – essentially it means there’s no changing heads when going between carpets or hardwood floors, as it’s been designed to be used on both. Anything that doesn’t slow me down while cleaning is a win in my book. The only thing you need to do is slide the switch at the top of the handle to either “carpet” or “bare floor” – there’s no need to hold any buttons down, which is easier to use than the trigger design that Dyson machines feature. Underneath the slide switch, there’s also a boost trigger for max power for when there are bigger bit of debris to suck up.

On to the battery, where Shark claims this has an impressive 120-minute run. Now, it’s important to note that this is across three separate battery packs. Per pack, each runs for about 40 minutes, and did around that during testing. It may seem like overkill to have three, but I really liked this feature, so if you’re mid vacuuming and suddenly it runs out, you can easily swap it and continue the job at hand. At the size of a large hand, the battery easily slides on and then clicks into place underneath the handle.

If you’re organised enough to put one battery on charge as soon as one runs out, you’d effectively never feel like you’re out of juice as you have three to swap between. So you should be able to properly vacuum a large space without being interrupted, which is certainly one of the most impressive features with this model, as cordless and stick vacuums have traditionally struggled to compete against their corded counterparts.

Read more: Shark 2021 – the best deals on the most popular vacuums

Shark is best known for its anti-wrap design, which uses a bristle guard to stop long and short hairs getting tangled up. But here, disappointingly, I still found there was a decent amount of long hair wrapped up across the entire width of the head. It was easy enough to pull off while there was only a small amount there, but also, it’s not what it says on the tin.

Design

Many of the latest models from the top vacuuming brands are turning things up a notch by introducing lights and lasers to the front of the heads. This one has an LED light on the head, which allows for better visibility of what is lurking in hard to reach and see areas. The light stays on the whole time, is clear (not coloured) so it really helps seeing what you’re doing if it’s a darker corner of the house – and you’ll be as surprised as me how dusty it is.

What also sets this model apart from its competition is that it has a flexible stick, which allows more movement at the top and bottom of the main shaft. Just above the head it can flex to fit underneath sofas and other furniture, which is certainly useful for picking up dust and cat hair that just seems to get everywhere. At the top, it folds over onto itself for better storage, just by clicking a button at the back. It still takes up a lot of room in my (admittedly, rather slim) cupboard compared with other stick vacuums.

Although the stick and motorised head stand up by themselves, you have to remove the main body, or lie the whole machine down if you want to pause while using it, as the main compartment is too heavy for the entire vacuum to stand up on its own. The stand-up feature is useful when you want to empty the bin. though, so you don’t have to lie the rest of the machine down or against a wall.

Read more: Hoover H-Free 300 pets cordless vacuum review

The major downside here when it comes to the design, is that this machine is not light. The large cleaning head certainly adds to the overall bulkiness, as does the large bin capacity, and at 4.1kg it’s one of the heaviest cordless vacuums on the market, as most sit around the 2.6kg-3.1kg.

Performance

It has powerful suction, and didn’t struggle to pick up hair – cat or human – nor other, larger, particles too, so I didn’t feel like I had to constantly go over the same area to ensure it was clean. Its performance didn’t seem to differ between the different types of flooring, either.

It certainly delivers an impressive clean, picking up debris of all sizes that I could see, so I know my carpets and hard floors are getting a good clean, even with minimal effort. Plenty of cat hair was sucked up in all the usual areas, and the LED light really showed this up on my dark fireplace too, meaning I got a more thorough clean. And my hair was removed from the carpets, too. But, despite the good suction, when emptying the bin I found that hair in particular wraps around the filter too, so I did often have to get my hand in to pull out the dust and hair from around it.

For me, the weight is a bit of a sticking point. I don’t have back issues, but I imagine for someone who does (or who is older) this may be off-putting. But for what it loses in points for weight, it makes up for with its little oomph from the motor when you’re pushing away from yourself, so there’s a little help there while hoovering, which makes the “push” part of vacuuming feel less of an effort.

The verdict: Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner

The Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick with flexology, tru-pet and triple battery is a well-designed machine with a spacious bin capacity, great charge and the welcome addition of a light of the head, which helps no end with really thoroughly cleaning your home. However, it’s a large machine and is heavier to carry than other leading models, and although the stick part of it is able to bend for storage, it still takes up quite a lot of space in the cupboard.

Lastly, we found it didn’t quite live up to its anti-wrap claims compared with other similar models. Despite that, it gives a good thorough clean of all floors – just be mindful if there’s lots of people with long hair in your household, as you’ll likely have to do a bit of untangling yourself.

Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner with flexology and truepet

The verdict: Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick vacuum cleaner

The Shark anti hair wrap cordless stick with flexology, true-pet and triple battery is a well-designed machine with a spacious bin capacity, great charge and the welcome addition of a light of the head, which helps no end with really thoroughly cleaning your home. However, it’s a large machine and is heavier to carry than other leading models, and although the stick part of it is able to bend for storage, it still takes up quite a lot of space in the cupboard.

Lastly, we found it didn’t quite live up to its anti-wrap claims compared with other similar models. Despite that, it gives a good thorough clean of all floors – just be mindful if there’s lots of people with long hair in your household, as you’ll likely have to do a bit of untangling yourself.

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For more vacuum recommendations, read our guide to the best upright models that tackle large areas with ease

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