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Shark Rocket Corded Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v1.1
Reviewed Jul 06, 2020 at 08:23 am
Shark Rocket Corded Picture
7.8
Bare Floor
7.8
Low-Pile Carpet
7.0
High-Pile Carpet
7.1
Pets
7.4
Stairs
6.9
Cars
4.4
Workshop
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No
Wet Compatible
No

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded handheld vacuum. It has two surface type settings to ensure you have the right speed for bare floors or high-pile carpet, and it comes with several brushes such as a Home & Car Detail kit as well as an upholstery tool, which is nice for more specific tasks. It doesn't weigh too much either, and you can reconfigure it as a handheld vacuum if you need a little more maneuverability. On the downside, the power cable is a bit short, which limits your overall range. It can also be difficult to store as it can fall over if you don't detach the hose from the main compartment.

Our Verdict

7.8 Bare Floor

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is excellent on bare floors. It does an outstanding job of cleaning all debris. On the downside, it has a sub-par build as its plastic elements feel a little fragile. It's reasonably easy to maintain, though, and there are few recurring costs, which is nice.

Pros
  • Outstanding bare floor performance.
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.8 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for low-pile carpet use. It does a great job of tackling any kind of debris. However, if debris gets stuck in its wheels under its main head, then it has a bit more trouble rolling smoothly. On the upside, its overall maneuverability is good and it has few recurring costs.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.0 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is decent for use on high-pile carpet. It has a dedicated setting for high-pile carpets, and it performs well, although it struggles to suck up finer debris like baking soda. That being said, it's still reasonably easy to maintain and it doesn't have many recurring costs, either.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
  • Dedicated high-pile setting.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
  • Struggles a bit more with small debris.
7.1 Pets

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for handling pet hair. It does an alright job of sucking up pet hair on low-pile carpet. However, it does a better job on high-pile carpet as well as bare floors. It also has an indicator light to warn you when your brush head becomes clogged, which can be handy when you have a high-shedding pet. It doesn't have a pet grooming brush, though.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Virtually no recurring costs.
Cons
  • Mediocre build quality.
7.4 Stairs

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for use on stairs. This vacuum is pretty portable, although its power cord has a somewhat disappointing range. Luckily, you can reconfigure it so that it can be used as a handheld vacuum. It also has an outstanding performance on bare floors, which is great if you have hardwood stairs.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Can be configured into handheld vacuum.
Cons
  • Limited cord range.
6.9 Cars

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is good for cleaning cars. It comes with a Home & Car Detail kit so that you can get into most crevices, and you can use it as a handheld vacuum by detaching the extension wand. It has a great performance on low-pile carpet, as it can handle most types of debris, and it's lightweight. However, since it's a corded vacuum, it doesn't have the best range.

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
  • Can be configured into handheld vacuum.
Cons
  • Limited cord range.
4.4 Workshop

Pros
  • Good maneuverability.
Cons
  • 7.8 Bare Floor
  • 7.8 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.0 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.1 Pets
  • 7.4 Stairs
  • 6.9 Cars
  • 4.4 Workshop
  1. Updated Nov 08, 2022: This vacuum's suction force has been retested with a more accurate manometer. The test results for the 'Maximum Suction' and 'Normal Suction' fields have been updated. All relevant scores and text have been updated.
  2. Updated Aug 03, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.1.
  3. Updated Mar 31, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 1.0.
  4. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Updated the scoring for build quality.
  5. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Review published.
  6. Updated Jul 06, 2020: Early access published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is available in a few different models. We reviewed the HV302 with the Home & Car Detail kit, which is the variant that comes with the most accessories. The HV301 is expected to be the same model, just without the Home & Car Detail Kit. There's also the HV300, which comes with even fewer accessories than the HV301, but it's getting harder to find reliably in stock. Note that in some regions, the model names might end in a different combination of letters, like HV302Q or HV301C. The difference between these variants isn't clear, and some people report receiving different accessory kits even when ordering the same model number.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded handheld vacuum. Just like other Shark vacuums such as the Shark ION F80, it's pretty portable, even though it has a power cable. It's one of the most lightweight handheld vacuums we've tested so far too, and it has an excellent performance on bare floors. However, it has an unimpressive build quality to other vacuums in Shark's lineup as it's made up of mostly plastic, and it feels a bit fragile. 

Dyson V8

The Dyson V8 is a better stick/handheld vacuum for cleaning low and high-pile carpet than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. The Dyson has an anti-allergy filter (HEPA), it's easier to store, and it's cordless, so it has an unlimited range as long as it still has battery life left. You can also adjust its power level, which is nice. However, the Shark performs better on bare floors, and it's easier to maintain.

Dyson V11

The Dyson V11 is a better overall vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. The Dyson stores easier, it has a bigger dirt compartment, and it's cordless, so you can go anywhere with it. It can also adjust its power level to better suit the mess, and it comes with several tools that help to clean more specific objects like blinds, which is nice. On the other hand, the Shark is corded, so you never have to worry about running out of battery life or recharging it.

Shark APEX Upright

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

The Dyson V7 is a better handheld vacuum than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. Since the Dyson is a cordless vacuum, it has an unlimited range, making it well-suited for cleaning cars or stairs. It also manages to suck up more pet hair than the Shark. However, its battery life is disappointing and you can't use it while charging either. The Shark, on the other hand, performs better on bare floors.

Shark Rocket Pet Pro

Both the Shark Rocket Pet Pro with MultiFlex IZ163H and Shark Rocket Ultra-Light vacuums have advantages; one may suit you better than the other, depending on your needs. The Pet Pro is a cordless stick vacuum, allowing you to clean far away from any electrical outlets. It's also better-built, easier to store, more maneuverable, and delivers slightly better performance on all surface types. Meanwhile, the Ultra-Light is a corded vacuum with a virtually indefinite runtime and practically no recurring costs. There are also fewer parts that need regular cleaning.

Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded

The Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded and Shark Rocket Ultra-Light have different advantages, so depending on your needs, one might suit you better than the other. The Vertex feels better-built, has a longer overall range, and cleans better on high-pile carpet. It also deals more effectively with pet hair on all surface types, but the Rocket does a better overall job on bare floors and low-pile carpet. The Rocket is also a little bit easier to maintain.

Shark APEX UpLight

The Shark APEX UpLight is better overall than the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light. They both have similar performance, although the APEX is better on low-pile carpet. It also has a better build quality, a bigger dirt compartment, and a longer range. The Rocket instead is easier to maintain and lighter to hold.

Shark ION F80 Cord-Free MultiFLEX

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. 

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
6.0
Design
Build Quality
Vacuum Type
Stick/Handheld

The build quality of the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light is mediocre. While the vacuum itself feels decently sturdy, the plastic used in its build seems quite fragile, like it could crack if dropped. This is especially worrisome since this vacuum doesn't stay upright on its own and is prone to falling over when you try to lean it on something. The wheels under the main head also don't always roll very smoothly. Fortunately, there's an indicator light to let you know if there's a blockage in the brush head or if the vacuum is overheating. If you want a corded stick/handheld vacuum that feels better-built, consider the Shark Vertex UltraLight Corded.

Note that the "Home & Car Detail Kit" of the HV302 model we tested includes a small hose and a few connecting parts. If you lose or damage one of these parts, then some of the detailing accessories are no longer usable.

6.0
Design
User Maintenance

This vacuum is reasonably easy to maintain. The dirt compartment is quite small, so it needs to be emptied frequently, but it's not much of a hassle. The latch that opens the dirt compartment can be a bit tricky to access when the vacuum is upright in stick mode, though.

The filters are very easy to access and wash. Shark suggests you wash both pre-motor filters once a month, and the post-motor filter once a year. However, they may need to be cleaned more frequently depending on your usage.

Unfortunately, it's only possible to access the brushroll by removing the bottom cover of the vacuum head, which makes it a bit of a pain to deal with hair that gets wrapped around the brush head.

10
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number No bag
Filter Part Number XFFV300
HEPA Filter Part Number No HEPA Filter

This vacuum doesn't have many recurring costs, especially since there are no bags to worry about. The manufacturer says the filters should last the lifetime of the vacuum, but we recommend changing them after a few years to maintain performance and extend the lifespan of the vacuum. The filters can be ordered in a bundle from Shark's website.

5.9
Design
Storing
Height
35.83" (91.0 cm)
Width
10.24" (26.0 cm)
Depth
11.42" (29.0 cm)
Cord Storing
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
No
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light's storing capabilities are sub-par. To keep the vacuum upright, you have to detach the main compartment from the wand and rest it on the vacuum head. This helps to keep it from tipping over, but it's not very intuitive and the vacuum still takes up quite a bit of space. You also can't store any of the included brushes or tools on the vacuum, but it does come with a dedicated accessory carrying bag.

7.0
Design
Dirt Compartment
Bagless
Yes
Volume
0.10 gal (0.40 L)
Full Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light's dirt compartment is acceptable. It's quite small, so it needs to be emptied fairly often. Thankfully it's easy to see through the clear plastic, and there's a MAX FILL line to let you know when you need to empty it out.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Rocket Ultra-Light vacuum HV302
  • Main wand
  • Vacuum head
  • Upholstery tool and dusting brush
  • Under-appliance wand
  • Crevice tool
  • Home & Car Detail Kit
    • Narrow hose
    • 3x Small crevice tools
    • 2x Detailing brushes
    • 2x Connecting parts
    • Accessory carrying bag
  • User guide and manual

6.8
Design
Range
Cordless
No
Cord Length
25.03 ft (7.6 m)
Hose Length
2.49 ft (0.76 m)
Minimum Wand Length
1.25 ft (0.38 m)
Maximum Wand Length
3.44 ft (1.05 m)
Total Range
28.48 ft (8.68 m)

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light has a pretty short range. The cord extends up to just over 25 feet, which is pretty decent, but likely isn't long enough for you to go from room-to-room without needing to unplug it. The hose included in the detail kit also only a reach of 2.5 feet, which may not be enough when trying to access hard-to-reach spots in your home or car.

7.8
Design
Portability
Total Weight
8.11 lbs (3.68 kg)
Weight In Hand
3.42 lbs (1.55 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

This vacuum is quite portable. It's not too heavy and has a carrying handle for better portability in both handhelds and upright/stick mode. However, you may want to consider the upright/handheld BISSELL Featherweight Stick if you're looking for something even lighter.

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 Rocket Ultra-Light is a corded vacuum, so it doesn't have a battery. If you're looking for a stick/handheld vacuum that's also cordless, check out the Dyson V8.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
Yes
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
No
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Head Surface Type Adjustment
None

This vacuum has a few additional features to make it easier to use. While you can't adjust the vacuum's power level/amount of suction, there are two surface type settings you can toggle between manually: setting I is for bare floor and area rugs, while setting II is for high-pile carpets. This only changes the brushroll speed, though, not its height.

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
Yes
Extension Wand
Yes
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

The Shark HV302 comes with several different tools, brushes, and accessories. There's a bristled attachment that clips onto the upholstery tool to turn it into a hard bristle brush, and the Home & Car Detail kit provides some smaller brushes and tools for fine detailing. The main crevice tool and under-appliance wand can be used directly with the vacuum or attached to the main wand; however, the tools that come with the Home & Car Detail kit need to be attached to the hose with the right connecting piece first.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Blower Mode
No

You can use the Shark Rocket Ultra-Light as a handheld vacuum by detaching the wand.

Performance
9.6
Performance
Bare Floor Performance (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Setting Used "I. Bare Floor, Area Rugs"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 98%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 97%
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

This vacuum performs outstandingly well on bare floors. It has no issue picking up pet hair or small debris like rice, even with the dust bin over half-full. It struggles a tiny bit more with larger debris like cereal since there are no height adjustment settings for the brushroll, but it still does an excellent job.

8.3
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "II. High Pile Carpets"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 94%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 91%
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) 59%
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

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light does an impressive job on low-pile carpet. It has a harder time with pet hair compared to its performance on bare floors, but it excels at cleaning out sand. It also does a decent job with smaller debris like baking soda. Its performance does degrade a bit more as the dirt compartment fills up, though.

7.1
Performance
High-Pile Carpet Performance
Setting Used "II. High Pile Carpets"
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L) 62%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 62%
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) 45%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L) 41%
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

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light performs well on high-pile carpet. It does an outstanding job at picking up pet hair, and cleans out sand quite well, too. It struggles a lot more with smaller debris like baking soda, though. That said, it still performs fairly consistently regardless of how much debris is in the canister.

9.1
Performance
Pet Hair Floor Performance
Bare Floor
100%
Low-Pile Carpet
82%
High-Pile Carpet
96%
1.7
Performance
Suction
Maximum Suction
0.6 inH₂O (0.15 kPa)
Setting Used For Maximum "II. High Pile Carpets"
Normal Suction
0.4 inH₂O (0.10 kPa)
Setting Used For Normal "I. Bare Floor, Area Rugs"
Hose Diameter
1.6" (4.0 cm)
8.1
Performance
Noise
Bare Floor
74.9 dBA
Low-Pile Carpet
75.3 dBA
7.5
Performance
Maneuverability

This vacuum has good maneuverability. The under-appliance wand makes cleaning underneath couches and low tables a breeze - you don't have to crouch, so you maintain full mobility even when cleaning under very large pieces of furniture. The upholstery tool is also easy to use and maneuver around. This vacuum does tend to suck up the tassels of the area rug, though, and the main head can't make very sharp turns either, so you need to watch out around the legs of chairs or a coat hanger.

8.5
Performance
Pet Hair Furniture Performance
Sofa Pickup Post Test
Performance
Air Quality
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
No
6.0
Performance
Cracks
Wood Cracks Post Test
1.0
Performance
Stains
Stain Pickup Post Test
0
Performance
Water
Wet Compatible
No
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

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light doesn't have any automation features.

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

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