Shark Rocket PowerHead Review
If you look at traditional upright vacuum designs you’ll notice that most of them are designed the same way – the motor is located somewhere at the body and suction goes through a series of hoses before reaching the main floor head while the motorized brush is either air powered or is driven by a belt.
Shark has taken a different approach and moved the motor all the way down where the cleaning head is along with that it also has moved the dirt bin right beside it. Shark calls this technology the “PowerHead”.
They have two reasons for doing this. First is to reduce the path that dirt travels thus improving the efficiency of the motor because dirt does not have to travel through a maze of hoses.
Second reason is to shift the weight from the handle down to the floor. This was one of the biggest complaints consumers had with another Shark Rocket product – the TruePet HV322 which is the weight of the handle that makes it hard to move around.
This product reminds me of the GTech AirRam that uses the same design principle – motor and dust bin at the base to improve efficiency and cleaning performance but this one comes equipped with a cord thus it has more power and agitation compared to the AirRam.
While it works great in theory, there are a few things that hold this back from being a true upright vacuum. The biggest being the size of the dirt bin which is very small to say the least but it makes up for it in terms of weight and maneuverability.
It also comes with a pair of brushes designed for both carpet and bare floor.
Pet Hair Removal
Ease of Use
Features at a glance:
- Comes with two brushes – a stiff bristled brush for carpet and a soft bristled for bare floor, Shark calls this the “gentle hard floor brushroll”
- Dust cup (that pops up) is located on the main floor head
- Telescopic handle
- Has fingertip controls on the handle
- Swivel steering makes moving around furniture easy (it folds flat so you will have an easier time going under furniture
- 25 foot power cord
- 5 year warranty
- Lightweight at just 9 pounds (probably the lightest corded upright you’ll find in the market)
- Swivel steering make this very maneuverable
- Finger controls means you don’t have to bend down just to turn this vacuum on or off
- Vacuuming weight in hand is only one pound – this simply means you don’t have to exert too much force when moving this around because majority of the weight is located on the main cleaning head
- Has specially designed brushes for carpet and bare floor – this means better cleaning performance
- Easy to remove dirt cup and brushes
- Comes with a storage for the extra brush so you don’t misplace it
- Has a very small dirt cup for an upright that fills up very quickly
- Weaker agitation compared to larger uprights like the Dyson Cinetic
- Poor post motor filtration (no HEPA filtration) – this may not be for allergy sufferers
What to expect from this lightweight upright
While the concept isn’t original Shark has taken this blueprint and improved upon it. The Gtech AirRam was the first product I saw with this design but it had weak suction and relied heavily on agitation to clean so it was not able to deep clean as well as I’d hoped so bare floor cleaning suffered a bit.
Shark improved on this limitation by added a cord which means it has more suction and the specially designed brush for bare floor means better performance on surfaces like hardwood or linoleum.
If a heavyweight 16 pound upright is not an option, this would be a great alternative because it weighs just 9 pounds and since most of that weight is concentrated on the main floor cleaning tool, moving this around is not very difficult.
The swivel steering also improves maneuverability and it since it has a low profile, you will be able to reach areas under dining tables or beds and clean up these hard to reach areas using this nimble tool.
But that nimbleness comes at a price – a very small dust bin. If you have a large home with lots of carpet in it, you may need to empty this 3 or 4 times depending on how much dirt you’re cleaning. The good news though is that dirt cup is easy to remove and emptying it should not be an issue as long as you are prepared for it (you’ll see what I mean in the videos I’ll show you below).
This isn’t equipped with a HEPA filter though so you might smell the stench of the dirt you are cleaning. If it’s pet hair, you’ll smell remnants of it coming from the exhaust. If that’s an issue, then you may want to consider its primary competitor the Dyson Cinetic as an alternative or the Shark Navigator.
Here’s a brief preview and an unboxing video from Kode1996…
If you noticed right at the end of the video, the reviewer mentioned that it does have a post motor filter but it is very thin and porous which means it will not filter out microscopic allergens and odor out.
Here’s another unboxing video courtesy of VacBin.
Logan gives us a brief history lesson here, he mentions that this design is similar to the early sweepers that the Shark company manufactured when they were primarily producing sweepers so this is an old school design and Gtech isn’t the first in using this layout.
If you look at Amazon there are two variants the AH401 (that comes in green) and AH452 (in blue). The green one is cheaper by around $50 (a heads up wink, wink)…
Take note that this is a totally different product than the Shark Rocket HV series that has gotten its inspiration from the Dyson DC series cordless vacuums.
Bare Floor Performance
Unlike Dyson uprights that relies on pure suction to pick up dirt the PowerHead uses a combination of suction and a soft bristled brush they call the “gentle hard floor brushroll” to pick up not just dirt but also tiny dust particles that are almost invisible to the naked eye.
While it performs well in picking up dirt and dust directly on flat surfaces, it does struggle a bit sucking up dirt that’s hidden in between cracks and crevices particularly on old types of hardwood surfaces with lots of cracks in-between…
It has pretty good edge cleaning but it only has edge cleaning on the right side of the cleaner head.
As I’ve said, it has difficulty cleaning dirt in between cracks and crevices so if you have a similar type hardwood surface at home, you may be better off with an upright with stronger suction like the Dyson Ball.
Between bare floor and carpet, the Shark Rocket Powerhead really excels in cleaning carpet. I’ll spare you all the talk but I’ll show you a demo.
To give you a real life example on how this vacuum performs how about a torture or a “big mess” test courtesy of Kode1996. Sit back and relax as these videos are close to an hour long.
The dirt being cleaned up is a mix of sand, pet hair, paper, small pebbles and other nasty pet litter.
Most of you will not have to clean a mess this big but it is good to know that this vacuum is capable of cleaning these type of mess – the downside is you have to empty the dirt bin a lot.
This upright is strictly a floor cleaner. It does not have any attachments that will help you clean upholstery.
Pet Hair Removal
As you’ve seen in the big mess video I featured earlier, this vacuum is capable of cleaning even piles of pet hair on bare floor and carpet. However it is only limited to cleaning flat surfaces, it is not capable of cleaning pet hair on upholstery.
Attachments and Accessories
It only comes with an extra hard floor brush roll and that’s about it.
Cord is around 25 feet long and it does not have any cord rewind.
Filter Clean up
There are a total of three filters. Two of them are located on top of the dirt bin and can be accessed by removing the dirt bin…
After emptying the dirt cup the next step is to open the top part by pushing a lever to access the two foam filters.
These two filters are washable but before placing them back inside make sure it is dry.
The third filter is located at the exhaust vent of the motor. It isn’t particularly thick (it is made from felt) so it will not filter out allergens so allergy sufferers may want to opt for an upright with HEPA filtration.
Shark backs this upright with a 5 year warranty.
|Adjustable handle height|
|Cord Length||25 feet|
|Auto Cord Rewind|
It comes with two
|Brush on/off switch|
|Filter clogged indicator|
|Full bin indicator|
|Net weight||9 pounds|
|Shipping weight||14.6 pounds|
|Hose length||No hose|
This is a new product so it does not have too much in terms of reviews in Amazon but for the folks who’ve purchased it they pretty much liked what they go out of this product.
In terms of performance consumers liked how this performed in both hardwood and carpet. One consumer in particular liked how this product cleaned their “soft” carpet. It did not have too much suction that it wasn’t hard to push but it just had enough to clean it well.
As you’ve seen in the big mess test above, most of the carpet being cleaned is low or medium pile carpeting so expect this product to perform at its best in those surfaces.
One hardwood, the reviews were mixed, some consumers say it performed well thanks to the motorized brush specifically designed for bare floor while another consumer did not like how it performed on hardwood saying it lacked suction.
Consumers also compared this to the Shark Rocket True Pet and while the True Pet is a little more versatile, the PowerHead provides better cleaning power on both carpet and bare floors.
The low profile cleaning head and swivel steering make this idea for cleaning underneath furniture but the large heavy cleaning head make it hard for this to be used on stairs.
Aside from the lack of suction power to clean dirt off cracks, the small dirt cup will require you to empty this several times when you clean a large room.
The filtration also isn’t great because it does not have any HEPA filters and it does not have a cyclonic system that keeps dirt from clogging it.
There are two variants you’ll see in Amazon – the Blue and Green. The blue variant is around $50 more expensive than the green one.
This vacuum is a great lightweight option for people looking for a nimble piece of cleaning equipment capable of cleaning bare floor and carpet. While it has enough suction to pick up surface dirt on most bare floor surfaces, it lacks suction and will not pick up dirt in between cracks and crevices.
On carpet, it is capable of pick up a variety of debris including pet hair, pet litter, sand and other types of debris commonly found in carpet. In terms of deep cleaning capabilities, it still lacks the true deep cleaning performance of a Rainbow Vacuum or a Dyson Cinetic but the mobility you get makes up for it.
You can use this as an in-between cleaner if a cordless stick vacuum does not cut it for you.
The technology looks promising but it still has room for improvement in terms of filtration, size of the dirt bin and possibly adding a cyclonic system to further improve performance. A post motor HEPA filter would also be a great addition to future models.