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Shark APEX Upright Vacuum Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v1.0
Updated Jan 14, 2022 at 09:24 am
Shark APEX Upright Vacuum  Picture
8.0
Bare Floor
7.7
Low-Pile Carpet
7.5
High-Pile Carpet
7.8
Pets
7.9
Stairs
7.5
Cars
6.3
Workshop
Vacuum Type
Upright/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes
Wet Compatible
No

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is a bagless upright vacuum cleaner. Its 'Lift-Away' design lets you pick up and carry its canister independently of its upright body. It performs exceptionally well on bare floors, does a good job of cleaning pet hair on a wide variety of surface types, and also has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. However, it has many parts that need regular cleaning and struggles with fine debris on carpeted floors, even when using the dedicated surface settings for its floorhead.

Our Verdict

8.0 Bare Floor

The Shark APEX DuoClean is great for bare floors. It does an outstanding job clearing pet hair and small or bulky debris on this surface type with no significant loss in suction performance, even as the dirt compartment fills up. However, it has many parts that need periodic cleaning.

Pros
  • Superb bare floor performance.
  • Easily clears pet hair.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
7.7 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark APEX DuoClean is a satisfactory option for low-pile carpets. When used on its 'Low-Pile' surface-type setting, it has very little trouble clearing pet hair as well as larger debris, but it struggles somewhat with finer debris. It also has many parts that need regular cleaning. However, it struggles more with small debris, and since it doesn't have a brushroll on/off switch, its floorhead can get stuck on loose obstructions like rug tassels.

Pros
  • Does a good job cleaning large debris.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
  • No brushroll on/off switch.
7.5 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark APEX DuoClean is decent for dealing with debris on high-pile carpets. It cleans a good amount of pet hair and large debris on this surface type when using its 'Thick Carpet/Area Rug' surface type setting, but you might need to make an extra pass to fully clear finer debris. While its bagless design and washable filters keep recurring costs to a minimum, it does have many parts that need regular cleaning.

Pros
  • Does a good job cleaning large debris.
  • Good sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Demanding maintenance needs.
  • No brushroll on/off switch.
7.8 Pets

The Shark APEX DuoClean is very good for dealing with pet hairs. It does a fantastic job of clearing this kind of debris on bare floors and low-pile carpets, but you might still need to make another pass to clear all of it on high-pile carpet. It also has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is good if you have a pet that sheds heavily. Its DuoClean floorhead uses two brushrolls, one of which isn't removable but uses Shark's proprietary 'Zero-M' self-cleaning design to reduce the risk of hair getting tangled inside the machine.

Pros
  • Easily clears pet hair.
  • On-board HEPA filter.
Cons
  • No pet grooming tool.
7.9 Stairs

The Shark APEX DuoClean is good for cleaning stairs. It performs outstandingly on bare floors and does an impressive job on low-pile carpet. If you have thicker carpet on your stairs, you may need a couple of passes to fully clean up finer debris. While it's a fairly heavy vacuum, its 'Lift-Away' design allows you to pick up and carry its canister body in a semi-handheld configuration while cleaning with its hose. That said, its hose is a little short, which could limit your maneuverability.

Pros
  • More portable alternative configuration.
  • Comes with a couple of tools and brushes.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
7.5 Cars

The Shark APEX DuoClean is good for cleaning cars. Its 'Lift-Away' design allows you to pick up and carry its canister body with one hand while cleaning with its hose, making it easier to clean tight areas in your car, though it's worth noting that the hose is short. It does an impressive job on low-pile carpet, and it comes with a crevice tool as well as an upholstery tool to clear debris on seats and floor mats.

Pros
  • More portable alternative configuration.
  • Comes with a couple of tools and brushes.
Cons
  • Short hose can limit your range and maneuverability.
  • 8.0 Bare Floor
  • 7.7 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.5 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.8 Pets
  • 7.9 Stairs
  • 7.5 Cars
  • 6.3 Workshop
  1. Updated Mar 22, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  2. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Review published.

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. Most clear plastic components, like its dustbin, feel quite fragile, but the rest of the vacuum feels sturdy.

Out-the-box assembly is easy even though there are quite a few parts that need to be put together. However, it can be hard to realign the canister to the wand when switching back to the vacuum's upright configuration.

6.5
Design
User Maintenance

The Shark APEX AZ1002 has demanding maintenance needs. That said, it's still quite easy to access most of the parts that need regular cleaning.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment can be removed by pressing a release button on its handle and pulled upwards. You should empty it once it reaches the max fill line. You can also lift the top cover to clean the lint screen when needed.
  • Zero-M Brushroll: The Zero-M brushroll can be accessed by removing the brushroll cover. However, this brushroll isn't removable. While it's designed to be self-cleaning, you should still remove any tangled hair wraps with scissors or by hand.
  • Soft Roller: You can access the soft roller by removing the brushroll cover and then pulling the part free of its housing. It should be washed under cold water if you notice an accumulation of debris.
  • Pre-motor filters: Both pre-motor filters can be quickly accessed and taken out after you remove the dirt compartment. You should wash them with water every three months.
  • Post-motor HEPA filter: The HEPA filter can be found behind a door located under the dirt compartment. You should wash this part under cold water once a year.

All parts that you can wash under water should be left to dry completely before reinstalling them in the vacuum.

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

This vacuum incurs very low recurring costs.

  • Pre-motor filters: The pre-motor filters shouldn't need replacing if you clean it according to manufacturer recommendation. That said, if you do replace them, they're sold as a single kit on Shark's website.
  • Post-motor HEPA filter: The HEPA filter also shouldn't need replacing if you clean it regularly. Still, you can purchase replacements on the manufacturer's website.

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

This vacuum is decent to store. While it's 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
Volume
0.44 gal (1.65 L)
Full Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark APEX's dirt compartment is good. It's larger than the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV's dustbin and is made of clear, hard plastic, so you can gauge how full it is with a single glance.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark APEX AZ1002 vacuum body
  • Vacuum head
  • Wand
  • Hose
  • Turbo brush
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • User guide

7.5
Design
Range
Cord Length
29.53 ft (9.0 m)
Hose Length
4.92 ft (1.50 m)
Minimum Wand Length
1.18 ft (0.36 m)
Maximum Wand Length
3.38 ft (1.03 m)
Total Range
32.91 ft (10.03 m)

This vacuum has an okay range. While the cord length should easily be enough to vacuum a room without having to change plugs, the hose is fairly short, making it hard to clean hard-to-reach areas in its semi-handheld alternative configuration.

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

The Shark APEX DuoClean has okay portability. It's slightly heavier than other comparable uprights, like the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright. Thankfully, it has a carrying handle that makes 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
Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
No
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
Yes
Easy On/Off
Yes
Head Surface Type Adjustment
Manual

This vacuum has a couple of quality-of-life features. Its floorhead pivots for better overall maneuverability and has an integrated headlight to help you see what you're cleaning in shadowed areas. There are also dedicated surface-type settings for bare floors, low-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet, which is great if you're having trouble pushing the vacuum around on some carpets.

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

This vacuum comes with several tools and brushes. It has a miniature turbo brush to clean fabric surfaces and dedicated upholstery and crevice tools. However, unlike the Kenmore Intuition Bagged, it doesn't come with a soft-bristle dusting brush to help clean delicate surfaces.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Blower Mode
No

The Shark APEX can be configured in two alternate ways from its default upright mode by detaching its canister from its upright chassis. Its 'Powered Lift-Away Mode' allows you to clean under tables and chairs with its wand and powered floorhead. When using the 'Above-Floor Mode', you can clean on top of counters and other furniture.

Performance
9.8
Performance
Bare Floor Performance (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Setting Used "Hard Floor"
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

This vacuum delivers outstanding performance on bare floors. It easily collects pet hair and bulky and small debris, with minimal loss in suction performance as its dustbin fills up.

8.1
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "Carpet/Low Pile"
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

The Shark APEX is impressive on low-pile carpet. It easily cleans pet hair as well as larger debris, though you might still need to make an extra pass to clear very fine debris. If you want something with better performance on low-pile carpet, look into the Shark Navigator Lift-Away.

7.2
Performance
High-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "Thick Carpet/Area Rug"
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

The Shark APEX delivers satisfactory performance on high-pile carpet. It does a very good job dealing with pet hair and larger debris, but it struggles slightly when dealing with very fine material. If you're looking for an upright vacuum with better overall performance on high-pile carpet, check out the BISSELL Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus.

9.0
Performance
Pet Hair Floor Performance
Bare Floor
97%
Low-Pile Carpet
92%
High-Pile Carpet
81%
6.7
Performance
Suction
Maximum Suction
2.9 inH₂O (0.71 kPa)
Setting Used For Maximum "Hard Floor"
Normal Suction
2.9 inH₂O (0.71 kPa)
Setting Used For Normal "Hard Floor"
Hose Diameter
1.6" (4.0 cm)
8.1
Performance
Noise
Bare Floor
75.0 dBA
Low-Pile Carpet
75.3 dBA
7.0
Performance
Maneuverability

The Shark APEX AZ1002 has decent maneuverability. Its rotating head navigates well around objects like coffee tables and walls, but its weight might cause fatigue during extended cleaning sessions. Using it in its 'Powered Lift-Away' configuration allows you to clean hard-to-reach, low places like beneath the couch. If you've got light rugs at home, this vacuum tends to suck up their tassels and move them around, even when using the area rug setting, since there isn't a brushroll on/off switch.

While we tested maneuverability in all configuration styles, your experience may vary depending on how you use this vacuum.

9.0
Performance
Pet Hair Furniture Performance
Sofa Pickup Post Test
Performance
Air Quality
8.5
Performance
Cracks
Wood Cracks Post Test
1.0
Performance
Stains
Stain Pickup Post Test

This vacuum delivers poor stain-clearing performance. Unlike the BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro, it lacks any sort of mopping capability that would allow it to soak and lift away stains.

0
Performance
Water
Water Pickup Post Test
Automation
0
Automation
Physical Automation
Automatic Recharging
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Pathing Algorithm
No Pathing Algorithm
Physical Boundary Markers
No
Scheduled Start Buttons
No
Cycle Control Buttons
No
Navigation Control Buttons
No
0
Automation
Companion App Automation
App Name
No App
iOS Availability
No
Android Availability
No
Software Boundary Markers (No Go Zones)
No
App Scheduled Start
No
App Cycle Control
No
Navigation Control within App
No

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark APEX AZ1002 is only currently available in one color variant: 'Espresso'. A similar variant, referred to as the AZ1000W, differs only in terms of included attachments, as it lacks the AZ1002's turbo brush tool.

Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark APEX Powered Lift-Away is a corded upright/handheld vacuum. It's similar in design to other Shark Vacuums like the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV but has a slightly more maneuverable design, a larger dustbin, and a longer hose, though it's heavier and has more parts that need regular cleaning.

If you're looking for an alternative, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best upright vacuums, the best bagless vacuums, and the best vacuums for tile floors.

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. 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is better than Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360. The APEX feels better-built, has a bigger dustbin, uses a longer power cord and hose, comes with a turbo brush, is easier to maneuver, and performs better on bare floors. Meanwhile, the Navigator incurs virtually no recurring costs, has fewer parts that require regular maintenance, is a little lighter, and performs better on high-pile carpet.

Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and the Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded are differently-designed vacuums intended for different use cases. The APEX is an upright/handheld vacuum with a much larger dirt compartment. It's also equipped with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean and delivers better performance on low-pile carpet and bare floors. The Vertex is a corded stick/handheld vacuum that's considerably smaller and lighter, consequently making it easier to maneuver and store. It also has fewer parts that require regular maintenance, and it performs better on high-pile carpet.

Shark Vertex Pro

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and Shark Vertex Pro are differently-designed vacuums that serve different purposes. The APEX is a corded upright vacuum with a virtually indefinite runtime and superior performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the Vertex Pro is a cordless stick/handheld vacuum that's much easier to maneuver in tight spaces and can be used to clean areas far from any electrical outlets. It also clears more debris on high-pile carpet.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is better overall than the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum. The Rotator has fewer maintenance needs, a lighter construction, and better performance on bare floors and high-pile carpet. Unlike the APEX Upright, it also comes with a hard-bristle brush and an extension wand. However, the APEX Upright has superior performance on low-pile carpet and is slightly more maneuverable.

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.

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. 

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, and it's lighter to hold in your hand, which makes it better-suited for stairs or cleaning cars. It also does a much better job at picking up pet hair on any type of surface. However, the APEX has a better performance on bare floors, a longer range, and a better build quality.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and  Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H are differently-designed vacuums with different intended use cases. The APEX is a bulkier upright vacuum with a larger dustbin and a turbo brush included in-the-box. Meanwhile, the Rocket is a far more maneuverable cordless stick/handheld vacuum that has fewer parts needing to be cleaned regularly and offers superior performance on low and high-pile carpet.

Shark APEX UpLight

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and Shark APEX UpLight are differently-designed vacuums with different intended use cases. The UpLight is a more portable, maneuverable corded stick/handheld vacuum with fewer parts that need to be cleaned regularly, not to mention slightly better performance on carpeted floors. Meanwhile, the Upright has a larger dustbin that doesn't need to be emptied quite as often.

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.

BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum and BISSELL CrossWave Pet Pro are differently-designed vacuums for differing uses. The Shark is a conventional upright vacuum that isn't wet-compatible. It incurs lower recurring costs, has a larger dirt compartment, a longer range, and sucks up more debris on bare and carpeted floors. You can also use it in a handheld configuration to clean debris on furniture or other hard-to-reach places. Conversely, the BISSELL is a hybrid mop vacuum that is far more effective in cleaning stains thanks to its detergent and water-spraying features, though it lacks any floorhead height or suction power adjustment capability.

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 weighs less, it's easier to maintain, and it has fewer recurring costs. However, its cable is a little bit shorter than the APEX Upright.

Dyson V7 Animal

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is better to use on bare floors and the Dyson V7 Animal 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. 

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.

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.

Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is somewhat better than the Eureka FloorRover Elite NEU630. It's more effective than the Eureka on bare floors and low-pile carpet but doesn't perform as well on high-pile carpet. It also feels a little better built and is a bit more maneuverable. On the other hand, the Eureka is easier to maintain and comes with more tools and accessories.

Hoover WindTunnel 2 Whole House Rewind

The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum is a 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. 

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Discussions