The Shark ION F80 is a very good stick vacuum that can be used in a handheld configuration. It's fairly light to carry around and since it has a battery, you're not limited by the range of a cord. It comes with two decent batteries and it's better suited for quick cleaning sessions or for vacuuming small rooms with bare floors. It sucks up any type of debris on bare floors without many issues but struggles with cleaning small debris on carpet. There are a few parts that you need to clean often, such as the two brushrolls and three separate filters, but luckily, there aren't many recurring costs as you only need to replace the post-motor filter every six months. Lastly, the wand can bend 90 degrees, making it easier to clean under tables or furniture.
The Shark ION F80 is excellent to use on bare floors. It cleans up any type of debris quite easily and it has great maneuverability. Since it's a cordless vacuum you can take it with you wherever you need, as long as it still has battery life left. It's okay to maintain but there are two brushrolls and two filters that you need to clean often.
Decent for low-pile carpet. The Shark ION F80 sucks up a great amount of hair and large debris like sand on low-pile carpet but it struggles a bit with smaller debris like baking soda. You can take this vacuum wherever you need and it has great maneuverability. Unfortunately, it has a small dirt compartment and it has a few parts that need maintenance.
The Shark ION F80 is good to use on high-pile carpet. It cleans almost all hair and a decent amount of large debris like sand on high-pile carpet. Sadly, it struggles to clean finer debris like baking soda. On the upside, it has great maneuverability and even though there are quite a few parts that need maintenance, there aren't many recurring costs.
The Shark ION F80 is good to use if you have pets. It cleans most hair on any type of surface and it performs best on bare floors. It doesn't have any pet-specific tools like a turbo brush or pet grooming tool but it has great maneuverability if you need to clean in hard-to-reach places.
Excellent for stair use. The Shark ION F80 can be used as a handheld vacuum and even if you use it as a stick vacuum on stairs, it's easy to move around and fairly light to hold. It's a cordless vacuum so it's easy to bring up and down stairs and it performs best on bare floors.
The Shark ION F80 is a very good vacuum to clean cars with. It can be used as a handheld vacuum and it comes with a crevice tool. It has decent performance on low-pile carpet but it struggles a bit with really small debris. On the upside, it's fairly light to hold.
The Shark ION F80 has a decent build quality and it's better built than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. It's mostly made out of hard plastic, except for the wand, which is made with lightweight metal on the outside, and there's a flexible hose inside. The dirt compartment is a transparent plastic container attached to the handle. Like most vacuums, the dirt compartment feels like it could break if dropped. The vacuum is easy to put together and all the tools are easy to put on/remove from the wand. Unfortunately, you can't take the main hard brushroll off from the head, but you can remove the soft brushroll. There's also rubber on the handle to help with your grip.
The ION F80 is okay to maintain. There are quite a few parts that need maintenance, but each part is easy to access.
You must air dry any part that's washed with water for 24 hours before using it again.
This vacuum has minimal recurring costs. If the pre-motor filters are well-maintained, they shouldn't need to be replaced. Shark suggests replacing the post-motor filter every six months.
Okay storing capabilities. This vacuum has a unique design that can fold in half with the press of a button on the wand, making it easier to store. You use the same button to put the wand back in an upright position. Although there's no space for on-board tool storage, there's a charging dock where you can store the second battery.
The dirt compartment is small and needs frequent changing. There's a white line indicating when the compartment is full.
Unlike the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light, this vacuum is cordless so it can go wherever you like, as long as it still has battery life left.
The ION F80 has good portability as it doesn't feel extremely heavy when holding it with the handle.
The vacuum has decent battery life. There are two batteries with similar battery life, so these results are the combined battery life when swapping the batteries in the middle of a cleaning session. There are two power settings. 'ION Power' is the default setting and on this setting without the wand or crevice tool attached, it lasts over an hour. The 'ION Boost' mode increases the power for one minute and can be used at any time. If you repeatedly use this mode, with the head attached to the wand, the battery lasts nearly half an hour. There are indicator lights on the batteries too. It's full when there are three lights, each light gradually turns off as it loses power, and the last light flashes before it stops working.
There are a few extra features on the F80. The hose can be bent to use as a 90-degree wand. There are two floor type settings: the 'Floor' setting and 'Carpet' setting. The main head and wand need to be attached to use the settings.
There are also two power settings. 'ION Power' is the default mode while 'ION Boost' is the more powerful mode and is on for one minute at time, which isn't very useful if you need to vacuum a carpeted room. You can change these power settings at any time, even if you're using the vacuum has a handheld.
The ION F80, model numbers IF281C, only comes with a few tools. The main brushroll can't be removed but the soft brushroll can. However, other variants come with more tools.
This vacuum has remarkable performance on bare floors. It has no trouble cleaning any type of debris and it remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills. However, some hair gets stuck around the soft brushroll and it gets wrapped inside the dirt compartment too, as you can see in this photo.
Decent performance on low-pile carpet. It sucks up a good amount of large debris like sand but struggles a bit more with small debris like baking soda.
Good performance on high-pile carpet. It performs similarly as on low-pile carpet since it's better with large debris than small debris. During testing, sand got stuck to the top of the vacuum head after it was sucked up, likely due to static.
This vacuum has great maneuverability. The handle has a rubber grip, making it easier to hold even though the vacuum feels a bit heavy. The 90-degree wand is very useful to reach under tables and couches, so you don't have to bend down as much as other upright or stick vacuums. The upholstery tool is useful to clean furniture, but since the vacuum doesn't have many tools, it's harder to clean a couch. It struggles on rugs as it gets stuck and you have to turn it off and remove it before using it again.
We tested the Shark ION F80 (IF281C) with a gold wand, and there are similar variants with different included parts, which are listed below. It seems that the model number changes depending on the retailer, but we don't know this for sure. We expect our results to be valid for the different variants.
|Model Number||Wand Color||Included Brushes and Tools||Notes|
|IF281||Gold||Upholstery tool, crevice tool|
|IF281C||Gold||Upholstery tool, crevice tool||Sold in Canada only|
|IF282||Gold||Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting tool|
|IF285||Blue||Upholstery tool, crevice tool, dusting tool|
|UF280||Blue||Upholstery tool, soft bristle brush, crevice tool|
Note that the IF281, IF281C, and IF282 are called the Shark ION F80, while the IF285 and UF280 are named the IONFlex 2X DuoClean. If someone comes across an ION F80 that's different from ours, let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.
The Shark ION F80 is a good overall vacuuming that performs best on bare floors. It has a bit of trouble cleaning carpets, so there are better stick vacuums for carpet cleaning, such as the Dyson V11 Animal. However, the Shark has a better battery life than its competitors.
The Dyson V11 Animal is better than the Shark ION F80 for most uses. It performs better on carpet as it sucks up a decent amount of debris on both low-pile and high-pile carpet. This means it's also better-suited to clean cars and it comes with more tools too. The ION F80 has a wand that can bend 90 degrees so it has better maneuverability and the batteries on the Shark are also better.
The Shark ION F80 is better overall than the Dyson V7. The Shark has much better performance on bare floors as it doesn't have trouble cleaning any type of debris. It also has better maneuverability and the batteries are much better too. On the other hand, the Dyson has more included tools, it's lighter to hold, and it performs better on carpet, so it's a better choice to use in cars.
The Shark APEX UpLight is slightly better than the Shark ION F80. They're both outstanding vacuums on bare floors and perform well on high-pile carpet, and the APEX is much better on low-pile carpet. The APEX also has a bigger dirt compartment and there are no recurring costs. The ION is a cordless vacuum so it has an unlimited range, it has a decent battery, and it has great maneuverability too.
The Shark ION F80 is better than the Shark Navigator Lift-Away on bare floors and stairs, while the Navigator is better-suited to clean carpets. The ION F80 is a cordless stick vacuum so it has great maneuverability and as long as there's still battery life left in it, you don't need to worry about its range. It also has excellent performance on bare floors. The Navigator picks up much more debris on carpet than the ION F80, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it has no recurring costs.
The Shark ION F80 is a better overall vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. As a cordless vacuum, the ION F80 has an unlimited range and it's only just a bit heavier than the Rocket Ultra-Light. It also feels slightly better built, and there are even variants of this vacuum with more included tools, which is nice too. However, you'll need to replace its post-motor filter every six months. The Rocket Ultra-Light, on the other hand, has a better performance on low-pile carpet, especially with large debris, and its dirt compartment is slightly larger.