Shark APEX Upright Vacuum Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Shark APEX Upright Vacuum  Picture
8.3
Bare Floor
7.4
Low-Pile Carpet
7.0
High-Pile Carpet
7.9
Pets
7.7
Stairs
7.5
Cars
Vacuum Type
Upright/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is a corded upright/handheld vacuum. Although it's fairly heavy to maneuver, you can configure it in three ways to better suit your cleaning needs. It also has settings for different surface types, and it includes a couple of tools and brushes to better catch dust and debris. That being said, it does a great job of cleaning pet hairs as well as small and large debris on bare floors. However, its ability to collect debris on low as well as high-pile carpet decreases, even when the settings match the surface type, which is a bit disappointing. It also has a lot of on-going maintenance needs, and its hose length is fairly short too, so you may not have the most room to maneuver, especially if you're working in hard to reach places.

Our Verdict

8.3 Bare Floor

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is great for bare floors. It has an outstanding performance on its Bare Floor setting. It's able to easily collect small and large debris consistently, even as the dirt compartment fills up. However, its brushrolls require continuous maintenance, which can be a bit of a pain.

Pros
  • Outstanding performance cleaning pet hair as well as small and large debris.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
7.4 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is decent for low-pile carpets. When used on its Low-Pile setting, it does a great job of collecting large debris. However, it struggles a bit more with small debris, and its brushrolls need continuous maintenance.

Pros
  • Does a good job of cleaning large debris.
  • Impressive performance cleaning small and large debris.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
7.0 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is alright for high-pile carpets. It has a decent performance when using its Thick Carpet/Area Rug setting. It's better at picking up large debris over small debris though, but its cleaning ability slightly declines as you fill up its dirt compartment. This vacuum also requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep.

Pros
  • Does a good job of cleaning large debris.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
  • Struggles a bit to capture small debris.
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
7.9 Pets

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is very good for cleaning pet hairs. It's able to capture pet hairs well on both bare floors as well as low-pile carpets. It struggles a little bit on high-pile carpet, but it still does an overall decent job. However, if a lot of hair wraps around the Zero-M brushroll, you'll need to cut it out with scissors.

Pros
  • Can easily capture pet hair on bare floors as well as low-pile carpet.
Cons
  • No pet grooming tool.
7.7 Stairs

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is good for cleaning stairs. While it's a fairly heavy vacuum, it's still somewhat portable enough to use on stairs as you can reconfigure into an above-floor cleaning mode for easier cleaning. Its hose is a little short, though, which could limit your maneuverability. That being said, it performs outstandingly on bare floors, and it does an impressive job on low-pile carpet. If you have thicker carpet, however, you may need a couple of passes to fully clean up small debris.

Pros
  • Two alternative configurations to help clean non-floor areas.
  • Comes with a couple of tools and brushes.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
7.5 Cars

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is good for cleaning cars. While it's fairly heavy, you can reconfigure its design so you can get into more narrow or tight areas in your car. It does an impressive job on low-pile carpet, and it comes with a crevice tool as well as an upholstery tool, which are nice features. However, the hose's length is fairly short, though, which may make it a bit more difficult to maneuver between seats.

Pros
  • Two alternative configurations to help clean non-floor areas.
  • Comes with a couple of tools and brushes.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
  • 8.3 Bare Floor
  • 7.4 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.0 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.9 Pets
  • 7.7 Stairs
  • 7.5 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Shark APEX AZ1002's build quality is okay. This vacuum is mostly made up of hard plastic except for the metal wand tubing. Clear plastic parts such as the turbo brush could crack if dropped, but at least the wand feels sturdy.

Assembling it is easy, though, and despite how many pieces it has, everything fits well together. However, when switching between the handheld and upright configuration, reattaching the canister on the wand section can be a struggle as you won't be able to see either section well enough to realign them.

5.0
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum has demanding maintenance needs. Several parts will need ongoing maintenance throughout its lifespan. Hair wrapped around the Zero-M brushroll, for example, will need to be cut with scissors to clean it out, whereas the softroll can be washed with water. The pre-motor filters will also need to be washed with water every three months while the HEPA filter only needs to be washed once a year. These variances can make it difficult to keep track of what should be cleaned when.

On top of this, it doesn't have the simplest design. While each component is easily accessible overall, they each have a small door and switch. This can become a problem when trying to maintain your vacuum.

8.5
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XFF650
HEPA Filter Part Number
XHF650

While this vacuum doesn't have a bag, you'll need to maintain both pre-motor filters as well as the HEPA filter. Both sets of filters are washable and, when properly taken care of, may only need to be replaced after a couple of years. Consider the Shark ION P50 Upright if you're looking for an upright/handheld vacuum with virtually no recurring costs.

7.2
Design
Storing
Height
45.51 in (115.6 cm)
Width
12.01 in (30.5 cm)
Depth
10.98 in (27.9 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

Storage for this vacuum is okay. While it's quite tall, it still has a fairly small footprint. Unfortunately, the included turbo brush doesn't fit into any of the tool storage spots on the vacuum.

7.8
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.44 gal (1.65 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark APEX's dirt compartment is good. Made of clear, hard plastic, this compartment can hold a lot of dirt and dust. With no bag needed either, you don't have to worry about additional waste as the dirt compartment can be easily emptied, washed, and put back.

Design
In The Box

  • User guide
  • Vacuum head
  • Wand
  • Hose
  • Main body
  • Turbo brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool

6.5
Design
Range
Cord Length
29.53 ft (9.0 m)
Hose Length
4.92 ft (1.50 m)

The range is only okay. While the cord length should easily be enough to vacuum a room without having to change plugs, the hose length itself is fairly short, meaning that you'll have less maneuverability to reach spots with the hose.

6.5
Design
Portability
Total Weight
17.20 lbs (7.80 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.53 lbs (1.60 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

Portability is only alright. It's heavier than the BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet but it does come with a carrying handle that can make transporting this vacuum from room to room easier.

0
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
N/A
Maximum Battery Life
N/A
Recharge Time
N/A
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
No
Removable Batteries
No

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum doesn't use a battery.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
No
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
Yes
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

This vacuum comes with a rotating head, headlights, and an easy on/off button. If you want to change the vacuum's configurations to fit the surface type, you'll need to manually adjust it.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
No
Turbo Brush
Yes
Crevice Tool
Yes
Upholstery Tool
Yes
Soft Bristle Brush
No
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
No
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

It comes with several tools and brushes to make your life easier. The removable soft roll can help catch dust and debris on hard floors, while the crevice and upholstery tools are perfect for detailing the inside of your car.

Design
Alternative Configuration

The Shark APEX can be configured in two alternate ways from its default upright mode. First, the Powered Lift-Away mode configures the vacuum to extend further so you can reach far under drawers, cabinets, and couches. The second mode is above-floor cleaning mode. Useful for areas that aren't at ground level, this mode is good for stairs, windowsills, or car interiors.

Performance
9.8
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
97 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
99 %
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Hard Floor"

Outstanding on bare floors such as hardwood, laminate, and tiles, this vacuum does an excellent job collecting both large and small debris. Even as the dirt compartment fills, the APEX performs consistently and successfully.

8.1
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
92 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
84 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
83 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
83 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
82 %
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
77 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
76 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
74 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
71 %
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Carpet/Low Pile"

The Shark APEX is impressive on low-pile carpet. Performing fairly consistently on the low-pile setting, this vacuum mostly struggles with small debris. When the dirt compartment is just under half full, the APEX's ability to suck up small debris decreases slightly, although this shouldn't be too noticeable. If you want something with much better performance on low-pile carpet, look into the Shark Navigator Lift-Away.

7.3
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
81 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
62 %
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
49 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
48 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
45 %
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
42 %
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Thick Carpet/Area Rug"

Decent on high-pile fabrics such as shag rugs, the APEX is better at capturing large debris like sand and pet hair than small debris like baking soda. When vacuuming fine debris, this vacuum's cleaning ability also slightly declines as the dirt compartment fills. If you're looking for an upright vacuum with a better overall performance on high-pile carpet, check out the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus.

7.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Good
Under Low Table
Ok
On Furniture
Ok
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Ok

The maneuverability of the Shark APEX AZ1002 is fair. Its rotating head navigates well around objects such as coffee tables and walls but its weight might tire your arms if used for a long time. Alternative configurations such as the Powered Lift-Away configuration also allow you to clean hard-to-reach, low places such as beneath the couch. If you've got light rugs at home, however, this vacuum tends to suck up their tassels and move them around, even when using the area rug setting.

While maneuverability was tested with all configuration styles, your mileage may vary depending on how you use this vacuum.

Automation
0
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
No
Schedule Programming
No
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
No App

This vacuum doesn't have any automation features. The APEX also doesn't an app.

Compared to other vacuums

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is a corded upright/handheld vacuum. It's a similarly heavy vacuum to the Dyson Ball Animal 2 or Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind, but it requires more on-going maintenance. It also lacks several useful tools and brushes such as a soft or hard bristle brush as well as an extension wand, which is a little disappointing. 

Dyson V11 Animal

The Dyson V11 Animal is a better overall vacuum than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. Thanks to its stick/handheld design, the Dyson is lighter, slightly more maneuverable, and as it has a cordless design, you don't have to worry about its range. It also does a better job cleaning high-pile carpet. However, the Shark has a much better performance on bare floors, and its dirt compartment can hold more debris before needing to be emptied. 

Dyson V7 Animal

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is better to use on bare floors and the Dyson V7 is better to use on carpet. The Shark vacuums any type of debris on bare floors easily and it also has a bigger dirt compartment. Since it's a corded vacuum, you don't have to worry about its battery life but its cord range is limited. However, the Dyson performs better on carpet and it's more versatile because it's lighter and easier to use in cars or on stairs. 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away is a slightly better performing upright/handheld vacuum than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The Navigator has a much better performance on carpet, it's lighter to hold in your hand, which makes it better-suited for stairs or cleaning cars, and it does a much better job at cleaning hair on any type of surface. On the other hand, the APEX has better overall performance on bare floors, has a better range, is better built, and it's a bit easier to move around. 

Dyson Ball Animal 2

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 is a bit better overall than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The Dyson performs much better on carpet, it's easier to move around, and it's easier to maintain too. The Shark performs better on bare floors, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and since it can also be used as a handheld vacuum, it's better-suited to use on stairs or to vacuum inside cars. 

BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is a better upright vacuum for cleaning bare floors than the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus. If you have mostly hardwood, tile, or laminate in your home, the Shark can easily clean all pet hair and debris, whether large or small, from these floors. It also has a slightly higher range, a larger dirt compartment, and its recurring costs are less overall. You can even turn it into a handheld vacuum, which is good if you want to clean your car. That being said, if your home has mostly carpet in it, the BISSELL does a better job on low and high-pile carpet. It's also slightly lighter.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is better overall than the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright vacuum. While the APEX performs similarly to the Rotator on carpet, it has a significantly better performance on bare floors. The APEX also has a bigger dirt compartment and a slightly longer hose length. On the other hand, the Rotator is easier to maintain.

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light are similarly performing vacuums. The APEX Upright feels slightly better built, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it comes with a turbo brush for helping you clean fabric-covered furniture. On the other hand, the Rocket Ultra-Light is weighs less, it's easier to maintain, and it has less recurring costs. However, its cable is a little bit shorter than the APEX Upright.

Shark ION P50 Upright

The Shark ION P50 Upright is a better upright/handheld vacuum for most uses than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The cordless P50 is easier and cheaper to maintain, far more effective at sucking up debris on carpeted surfaces, and can be easily carried around. However, the corded APEX features a much longer runtime courtesy of its wired connection and performs better on bare floors.

Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine

The Miele Dynamic U1 PowerLine is more effective on most surfaces than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. It does a better job of clearing debris on carpeted floors, is easier to maintain, much more solid feeling, and has a longer power cord. However, the Shark can be used as a handheld vacuum, so it can clean harder-to-reach spots and stairs more easily than the Miele. It's also much more cost-effective to maintain and has slightly better performance on bare floors.

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is better upright vacuum overall than the Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind. The Shark has much better performance on bare floors and carpets and it has better maneuverability too. The Shark also has a bigger dirt compartment, but the Hoover is easier to maintain and it has a longer range. 

BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet

The BISSELL Adapt Ion Pet is a better vacuum for cleaning pet hair than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The BISSELL has no problem picking up pet hair from any surface type, and it can be reconfigured into a smaller, lightweight handheld vacuum for cleaning harder-to-reach places. It's easier to maintain and has virtually no recurring costs. It also has an unlimited range, and its maneuverability is better too. That said, the Shark is better if you clean up a lot of non-pet hair debris, especially as it has a better overall performance on all surface types when compared to the BISSELL. Some users may even prefer its corded design as it means you don't have to worry about battery life. Unlike the BISSELL, it also comes with a turbo brush.

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