Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Dec 02, 2020 at 08:24 am
Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV Picture
8.5
Bare Floor
7.3
Low-Pile Carpet
7.7
High-Pile Carpet
7.8
Pets
7.8
Stairs
7.8
Cars
Vacuum Type
Upright/Handheld
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
No
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is a corded upright/handheld vacuum. It delivers superb bare-floor cleaning performance and should clear most kinds of debris on both low and high-pile carpet. It's also fairly configurable to suit different cleaning requirements, with two different suction levels, two floor settings, and a decently wide assortment of tools and brushes. Unfortunately, it's quite heavy, and its short vacuum hose makes cleaning high-placed areas and furniture a little tricky in its semi-handheld 'Lift-Away' mode. There are quite a few parts that require routine maintenance, but for the most part, they're easy to access. Overall, if you're looking for a versatile upright vacuum, this is a solid option.

Our Verdict

8.5 Bare Floor

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is excellent for bare floors. It does an outstanding job of cleaning pet hair as well as small and large debris like rice or cereal, with virtually no decrease in suction performance as its dirt compartment fills up. It's decently well-built and fairly easy to maintain, though many parts require routine maintenance. Thankfully, it's bagless design and washable, reusable filters keep recurring costs low.

Pros
  • Superb performance on bare floors.
  • Low recurring costs.
  • Consistent suction performance.
  • Long power cord.
Cons
  • Heavy, somewhat bulky design.
  • Has many parts that require routine maintenance.
  • Can get stuck on rug tassels.
7.3 Low-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is decent for low-pile carpet. It clears pet hair and coarse debris like sand without too much of an issue, but it may take a couple of passes to fully clear fine material like baking soda. Thanks to its swiveling head and easily reconfigurable design, it's fairly maneuverable, but its heavy weight can make it a little tricky to carry around. While many parts need to be regularly cleaned and maintained, you shouldn't need to replace any components as long as they're well taken care of.

Pros
  • Low recurring costs.
  • Consistent suction performance.
  • Long power cord.
Cons
  • Heavy, somewhat bulky design.
  • Has many parts that require routine maintenance.
7.7 High-Pile Carpet

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is a good option for high-pile carpet. It offers great performance on this kind of surface, clearing most pet hair as well as fine and coarse material like baking soda. Its adjustable surface setting and suction control features help maintain performance on this kind of surface. It's also reasonably easy to maintain and incurs very few recurring costs as long as you clean its components as per the manufacturer's recommendation.

Pros
  • Low recurring costs.
  • Consistent suction performance.
  • Long power cord.
Cons
  • Heavy, somewhat bulky design.
  • Has many parts that require routine maintenance.
7.8 Pets

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is very good for dealing with pet hair. It does an impressive job of cleaning pet hair on a wide variety of surfaces. It also has a HEPA filter that should prevent allergens from spreading as you clean. While you can't remove its brushroll to clear any stuck-on debris, this component is advertised as being able to detangle hair wraps by itself. It also comes with a turbo brush, which makes it easier to clean pet hair from delicate surfaces.

Pros
  • Clears most pet hair.
  • Equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
  • Low recurring costs.
Cons
  • Has many parts that require routine maintenance.
7.8 Stairs

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is very good for cleaning stairs. It's easy to reconfigure it into a semi-handheld vacuum, and it feels sturdy enough to deal with a couple of minor drops and bumps. While it performs best on bare floors, it still does a very good job of clearing debris on both low and high-pile carpet. Unfortunately, it's a little on the heavy side, and its short vacuum hose can be a bit of a nuisance.

Pros
  • Superb performance on bare floors.
  • Low recurring costs.
  • Long power cord.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • Heavy, somewhat bulky design.
7.8 Cars

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is good for cleaning the inside of your car. It can be quickly reconfigured into a semi-handheld vacuum, and it comes with a crevice cleaner and an upholstery tool to help you deal with messes in tight corners or on fabric surfaces. While its power cord is long enough to help you reach a car parked outdoors, you may find its short vacuum hose to be a significant hindrance.

Pros
  • Low recurring costs.
  • Long power cord.
Cons
  • Short vacuum hose.
  • 8.5 Bare Floor
  • 7.3 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.7 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.8 Pets
  • 7.8 Stairs
  • 7.8 Cars

Check Price

Silver Rotator Lift-Away ADV
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.0
Design
Build Quality

The Shark LA502 is decently well-built. It's mostly made of plastic, though it has a metal wand tube and rubber drive wheel treads, not to mention a clear rubber bumper on the front of the head. Unfortunately, you need to bend down to switch power modes, and its short hose makes it somewhat unstable when positioned upright. Thankfully, the vacuum itself is intuitively designed, with parts that clip together easily, so routine maintenance and swapping tools are simple processes.

6.5
Design
User Maintenance

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is fairly easy to maintain, though there are a couple of parts that need regular servicing.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment can be removed by pressing a release button on its handle and pulled upwards. It should be emptied once the max fill line is reached. You can also lift the top cover to clean the lint screen when needed.
  • Brushroll: The brushroll isn't removable. To access it, you need to remove 12 screws. Thankfully, it's designed to be self-cleaning, but you can remove any tangled hair wraps with scissors or by hand. You can also remove two separate plastic screws with a coin to remove the hatch cover to the brushroll intake compartment to clear any trapped debris.
  • Soft Roller: The soft roller can be accessed by pressing the access button on the side of the vacuum head. It should be washed under cold water if you notice an accumulation of debris.
  • Pre-motor filters: The foam and felt pre-motor filters are located under the dust cup. They should be cleaned under cold water once a month.
  • Post-motor HEPA filter: You can access the HEPA filter via a tab on the filter door and then pulling it out sideways. This part should be washed under cold water once a year.

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

8.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
XFFK320
HEPA Filter Part Number
XHF320

This vacuum has virtually no recurring costs as long as it's properly maintained, as the manufacturer specifies that these components shouldn't need to be replaced as long as they're properly taken care of.

  • Pre-motor filters: The foam and felt pre-motor filters are sold as a single kit on Shark's website. The filters in comparable Shark vacuums have an estimated service of roughly two and a half years.
  • Post-motor HEPA filter: Replacements can be purchased on the manufacturer's website, and the HEPA in similar Shark vacuums have an estimated service life of three years.

7.2
Design
Storing
Height
45.28 in (115.0 cm)
Width
12.01 in (30.5 cm)
Depth
11.81 in (30.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Manual
On-Board Tool Storage
Yes
Vacuum Rack/Station
No

The Shark LA502 has decent storing capabilities. It's somewhat bulky, but its power cord wraps around the back of its body, and there's onboard storage for both its crevice cleaner and pet multi-tool. Unfortunately, there's no space for its Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush.

7.2
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.18 gal (0.70 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Shark LA502 has a decent dirt compartment. It's fairly spacious and has a max fill line to clearly indicate when it has reached maximum capacity.

Design
In The Box

  • Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV vacuum body
  • Hose
  • Wand
  • Handle
  • Dirt compartment
  • Crevice tool
  • Pet multi-tool head
  • Pet multi-tool bristle brush attachment
  • Soft brush
  • Self-cleaning Pet Power brush
  • Head/floor nozzle
  • Pre-motor filters
  • Post-motor filter
  • User guide

6.1
Design
Range
Cord Length
29.53 ft (9.0 m)
Hose Length
3.97 ft (1.21 m)

The Shark LA502 has a mediocre overall range. Its power cord is fairly long, allowing you to clean large or far-off areas without swapping outlets. Unfortunately, its hose is very short, which is an inconvenience when cleaning high-placed shelves or tight spots in your car.

7.0
Design
Portability
Total Weight
14.93 lbs (6.77 kg)
Weight In Hand
2.69 lbs (1.22 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

The Shark LA502 has satisfactory portability. It's quite heavy but feels quite lightweight in your hand, and the carrying handle makes it a little easier to bring from room to room.

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 LA502 doesn't have 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

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV has a couple of quality of life features. There's a vacuum head-mounted light to illuminate dark spots and a two-level suction adjustment switch on its handle. This allows you to swap between 'MIN', which lowers suction to improve maneuverability on carpets, and 'MAX', which increases suction and is intended for use on bare floors. There are also three surface settings; '0 Power Off', 'I Hard Floor', which is best suited for bare floors and low-pile area rugs, and 'II Carpet', intended for medium and high-pile carpet.

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

This vacuum comes with a couple of tools and brushes. There's a turbo brush to deal with stuck-on dirt and a crevice tool to tackle debris in tight corners. There's also the Pet Multi-Tool, which serves as an all-in-one hard bristle brush/upholstery cleaner to clear debris on furniture or dislodge stubborn debris.

Design
Alternative Configuration

The Shark LA502 can be used in a semi-handheld configuration to deal with messes on furniture, elevated areas, or inside your car.

Performance
9.9
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
97 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
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 "I Hard Floor", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark LA502 offers superb performance on bare floors. It easily clears debris like rice and cereal and doesn't struggle at all with pet hair, though some can get stuck in its hose instead of being transferred directly to the dust bin. Performance remains very consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, which is good if you have several large messes to deal with.

7.6
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
86 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
88 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
86 %
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)
56 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
58 %
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 "II Carpet", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark LA502's performance on low-pile carpet is good. It clears most pet hair and coarse debris like sand without much of an issue but struggles a little more with finer debris such as baking soda. Thankfully, its suction performance remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills up.

8.3
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
85 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
73 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
63 %
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)
73 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
71 %
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 "II Carpet", Suction Control on "Max"

The Shark LA502 does a great job of cleaning high-pile carpet. It sucks up an impressive amount of pet hair, not to mention fine and coarse material like baking soda or sand.

6.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Ok
Under Low Table
Ok
On Furniture
Good
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Ok

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV has okay maneuverability. Its swiveling head improves its maneuverability in tight, cramped rooms, and its 'Lift Away' semi-handheld configuration makes cleaning hard-to-reach areas and furniture a little bit easier, though its short vacuum hose can complicate this by forcing you to carry its main body closer to where you're cleaning. Its brushroll can also get tangled in rug tassels, and its bulky front-mounted dirt compartment makes it difficult to clean under tables and couches.

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 LA502 doesn't have any automation features.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV, model number LA502, only has one color, 'Silver'; you can see its label here. If someone comes across a differently-equipped variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is an upright/handheld vacuum. It outperforms the similar Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright on bare floors, but doesn't do quite as well on low-pile carpet. Reconfiguring it into its semi-handheld 'Lift-Away' form factor is a quick and simple process, and it comes with a wide variety of tools and accessories to help you clean a mix of surface types. Unfortunately, it's quite bulky and has many parts that require routine maintenance. If you're looking for alternatives, consider our list of recommendations of the best upright vacuums, the best bagless vacuums, and the best hardwood vacuums.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV have different advantages, and you may prefer one over the other depending on your needs. The Navigator has a bigger dirt compartment, a lighter construction, and superior performance on low and high-pile carpet, especially when cleaning fine debris like baking soda. That said, the Rotator is better-built, easier to maintain, and has a longer power cord and vacuum hose. It also clears more debris on bare floors.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright

The Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV is more versatile than the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Upright. The ADV has fewer maintenance requirements, a longer power cord, a lighter construction, better maneuverability, and superior performance on bare floors, especially in regards to pet hair. However, unlike the Upright, you can't turn off its brushroll. The Upright also outperforms the ADV on low-pile carpet and has a bigger dirt compartment.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum

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 APEX UpLight

The Shark APEX UpLight is a little more versatile than the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV. The APEX UpLight is lighter, far more maneuverable, and cleans more debris on low-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the Rotator is more effective on bare floors and high-pile carpet and comes with an upholstery tool to deal with messes on furniture.

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