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Shark ION F80 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Shark ION F80 Picture
8.7
Bare Floor
7.4
Low-Pile Carpet
7.6
High-Pile Carpet
7.5
Pets
8.7
Stairs
7.9
Cars
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No

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.

Our Verdict

8.7 Bare Floor

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.

Pros
  • Flexible wand offers great maneuverability.
  • Easily cleans any type of debris on bare floors.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Hair gets wrapped inside the dirt compartment.
7.4 Low-Pile Carpet

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.

Pros
  • Flexible wand offers great maneuverability.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has difficulty with small debris on carpet.
  • Hair gets wrapped inside the dirt compartment.
7.6 High-Pile Carpet

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.

Pros
  • Flexible wand offers great maneuverability.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has difficulty with small debris on carpet.
  • Hair gets wrapped inside the dirt compartment.
7.5 Pets

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.

Pros
  • Easily cleans any type of debris on bare floors.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Limited tools.
  • Hair gets wrapped inside the dirt compartment.
8.7 Stairs

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.

Pros
  • Flexible wand offers great maneuverability.
  • Can be used as a handheld vacuum.
  • Easily cleans any type of debris on bare floors.
Cons
  • Limited tools.
7.9 Cars

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.

Pros
  • Can be used as a handheld vacuum.
  • Decent build quality.
Cons
  • Has difficulty with small debris on carpet.
  • Limited tools.
  • 8.7 Bare Floor
  • 7.4 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.6 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.5 Pets
  • 8.7 Stairs
  • 7.9 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
Build Quality

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.

6.5
Design
User Maintenance

The ION F80 is okay to maintain. There are quite a few parts that need maintenance, but each part is easy to access.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment is small and needs frequent emptying. You need to remove it from the wand before emptying it, which isn't convenient at times.
  • Hard brushroll: The hard brushroll can't be removed from the head but it's still fairly easy to clean. You need to take off the cover on the head to clean it. The cover is transparent so you can see if there are any tangled hairs in the brushroll.
  • Soft brushroll: The soft brushroll can be removed from the head and cleaned with water.
  • Pre-motor filter: There are two pre-motor filters, a black piece and a white foam cylinder. They're easily accessible by removing the cover at the top of the vacuum and you should clean them both with water once a month.
  • Post-motor filter: The post-motor filter is the flat, white filter in the picture above. The manufacturer doesn't have a set time frame for when it should be cleaned, but you can also clean it with water.

You must air dry any part that's washed with water for 24 hours before using it again.

9.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XPREMF100/ XPSTMF100
HEPA Filter Part Number
No HEPA Filter

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.

6.6
Design
Storing
Height
28.54 in (72.5 cm)
Width
10.24 in (26.0 cm)
Depth
10.83 in (27.5 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
No
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

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.

6.5
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.07 gal (0.28 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The dirt compartment is small and needs frequent changing. There's a white line indicating when the compartment is full. If you want a stick/handheld vacuum with a much bigger dirt compartment, look into the Shark APEX UpLight.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark ION F80
  • Main head with hard brushroll
  • Head/brushroll cover
  • Soft brushroll
  • Flexible wand
  • Crevice tool
  • Upholstery tool
  • Pre-motor filters (white and black cylinder, already together)
  • Pre-motor filter cover
  • Post-motor filter, inside cover
  • User guide
  • Battery charging dock
  • Power cable

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

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.

7.7
Design
Portability
Total Weight
8.38 lbs (3.80 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.70 lbs (1.68 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

The ION F80 has good portability as it doesn't feel extremely heavy when holding it with the handle.

7.2
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
25 min.
Maximum Battery Life
77 min.
Recharge Time
420 min.
Recharge Dock
No
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

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.

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

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.

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

This variant of the Shark ION F80 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.

Design
Alternative Configuration

The F80 can be used as an handheld vacuum too.

Performance
9.8
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
96 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
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)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION POWER", Mode "FLOOR"

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.

7.3
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
80 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
77 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
75 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
68 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
61 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION BOOST", Mode "CARPET"

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. If you're looking for a stick/handheld vacuum with a better performance on low-pile carpet, check out the Shark Rocket Pet Pro.

7.7
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
92 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
66 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
60 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
58 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
45 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "ION BOOST", Mode "CARPET"

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. If performance on high-pile carpet is important to you, check out the Dyson V7 Animal.

8.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Excellent
Under Low Table
Excellent
On Furniture
Ok
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Excellent

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.

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

The Shark ION F80 doesn't have any automation features.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

We tested the Shark ION F80 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.

Compared to other vacuums

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. Also see our recommendations for the best vacuums, best vacuums for hardwood floors, and best vacuums for high-pile carpet.

Dyson V11 Animal

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. 

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro is a better stick/handheld vacuum than the Shark ION F80. The Rocket Pet Pro has fewer recurring costs, a shorter charge time, and it has a better performance on all surface types. It also has better maneuverability. However, the ION F80 has a somewhat better performing battery.

Dyson V7 Animal

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. 

Shark ION P50 Upright

The Shark ION P50 Upright and the Shark ION F80 suit different uses, which makes sense given their differing designs. The upright/handheld P50 is more effective when it comes to sucking up debris on carpets, particularly large debris and pet hair. The P50's recurring costs are also lower, and it comes with a larger dirt compartment. On the other hand, the stick/handheld F80 is much lighter and is a bit easier to bring into compact spaces thanks to its flexible wand. The F80 also comes with an additional battery in the box, which can lengthen its overall runtime.

Dyson V8 Animal

The Dyson V8 Animal is a much better stick/handheld vacuum for those with pets than the Shark ION F80. The Dyson has an anti-allergy filter (HEPA), pretty much no recurring costs, it comes with more tools and brushes, and it's lighter. It's able to clean up pet hair on all surface-types too. However, the Shark is more maneuverable, it has better performance overall on bare floors, and it has a significantly better battery performance.

Shark Rocket Ultra-Light

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. 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away

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. 

Shark APEX UpLight

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.

Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is a better vacuum for cleaning carpeted surfaces than the Shark ION F80. The Dyson easily picks up more pet hair as well as small and large debris from low to high-pile carpet. It's lighter, its dirt compartment is slightly larger, and it has virtually no recurring costs. It also comes with a lot more tools and brushes than the Shark. However, the Shark is better at cleaning bare floors, it feels better built, and it's easier to maintain. It's also able to maneuver around a room more easily than the Dyson.

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