The Lift-Away is a smart concept by Shark wherein you could “lift away” the body of the vacuum from its heavy floor base and use it as a canister vacuum to clean areas above the floor like stairs and upholstery.
An Excellent, Inexpensive Upright Vacuum Option for Homes
Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352 Review
Folks looking for an inexpensive upright vacuum that performs well on hard floors and carpet should consider the Shark Navigator NV352 Lift-Away. It’s one of the best options below the $200 mark and one of the few with a fully sealed system. Since this is an older model, it does not have the latest features that other Shark vacuums have, such as the Powered Lift-Away, Duo Clean, and Zero-M, but it is much, much cheaper. This upright is also one of Shark’s lightest options, weighing just 12.5 pounds.
The most significant difference between the NV 352 and the newer NV501 is this does not come with a canister caddy that holds the canister and attachments in place.
It also does not have LED headlights and has a shorter power cord.
Let see how this vacuum performs and what features to expect.
A quick look at the features
- Has lift-away functionality that separates the canister body from the floor base
- Uses cyclonic technology or the so-called “never loses suction” technology
- Utilizes a HEPA filter and a washable foam filter
- Swivel steering
- Brush on/off switch makes it usable on bare floors
- Dust cup will hold up to 1.2 dry quarts (up to the fill line), but Shark claims it has a real-world capacity of 3.0 dry quarts
- 1,200-watt motor
- 25-foot power cord
- Weighs 13 pounds
- Utilizes HEPA filtration and a sealed system to block allergens and keep it inside the vacuum
- It has a decent-sized dust cup
- Lift-away functionality adds more versatility to it – allows it to clean above the floor areas
- Relatively lightweight for an upright
- Comes with a tool that cleans pet hair off upholstery and stairs
- You can turn off the motorized brush – this prevents it from scratching hard floor surfaces
- Long 5-year warranty
- Isn’t as noisy as other upright vacuums
- Even though it swivels, it does not turn as smoothly as other brands like a Dyson
- Does have a slight snow plowing effect when cleaning larger bits of debris like cheerios
- No LED headlight
- No controls on the handle
What to expect from the Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352?
This upright vacuum can double as a canister because of the lift-away function that allows users to separate the dust bin from the floor base.
This simple hack allows it to be used in more areas aside from the floors. And make this an excellent option for people looking to get more out of their dollar spent on a vacuum.
It doesn’t have the caddy that the newer Shark NV501 has. But it still is a great feature to have when you want to clean stairs or upholstery.
If you tried cleaning stairs with a full-sized upright or even a stick vacuum, it could be tricky to balance.
Attachments and Accessories
This Shark upright comes with four attachments that will help you clean different areas.
- 5-inch crevice tool
- 24-inch crevice tool
- Brush tool
- Pet hair power brush
The extended 24-inch crevice tool is an excellent addition because it extends the reach of the extension wand by two feet and will reach most homes’ ceilings – a tough area to clean.
The power cord is 25 feet, but it does not have any cord rewind, so you’ll have to wrap the wire around cord hooks after every cleaning session.
Filter Clean up
It comes with two filters, a foam filter, and a HEPA filter. The foam filter is washable (wash it every 2 to 3 months).
Check it at least once a month to see how dirty it is. The HEPA filter, according to comments, is also washable but only use running water, don’t throw it into a washing machine.
Here are some more maintenance and troubleshooting tips.
See it in Action
QVC demonstrates the above the floor cleaning features, bare floor, and carpet cleaning. It also gets what you get in the package.
Shark backs this up with a generous 5-year warranty, which is the same as a Dyson upright.
This upright will do well on bare floors because the motorized brush can be turned off, which prevents scratches and allows it to pick up larger bits of dirt (again) like cheerios or crackers. When the motorized brush is on, it tends to fling these all over the place.
Based on reviews, both written and video this will perform well on carpet, on one pass it will pick up most of the dirt though it does have a slight plowing effect (which you’ll see later in the video) when you clean larger debris like crushed chips or cereal.
It does an excellent job of dirt trapped underneath thicker pile carpet, so it has deep cleaning capabilities, which is an essential factor when choosing an upright vacuum.
Vacbin compares the Navigator Lift-Away and the Bissell Wind Tunnel.
This time vs. the DC41 Animal
While this has a swivel feature, it is not as smooth as other brands like a Dyson, but you’ll have to pay a few hundred dollars more for the later. The lift-away though, is lighter, so this also helps in maneuverability.
When you take off the canister from the floor base, this converts into a canister vacuum and will clean areas like upholstery thoroughly. It has a crevice and brush tool that allows you to clean loose dirt and dust on upholstery.
On carpet, it will work great in picking up pet hair, as you’ve seen in the two videos above it does pick a whole lot of stuff up. On upholstery, it also comes with a mini pet hair tool for picking up pet hair on upholstery or stairs. This is a complete cleaning system in a lightweight package.
|Attachments||5" crevice tool
24" crevice tool
Pet hair power brush
|Height adjustment settings||N/A|
|Cord Length||25 feet|
|Auto Cord Rewind||No|
|Brush on/off switch||Yes|
|Filter clogged indicator||No|
|Full bin indicator||Yes|
|Net weight||13 pounds|
|Shipping weight||19.4 pounds|
|Overall reach||Approx. 37 feet|
|Dirt capacity||1.2 dry quarts (up to fill line)
3.0 dry quarts (max)
|Filter type||Foam filter
Sealed with HEPA Filtration
Nearly all the consumers who purchased this say that it is a great performer on bare floor and carpet.
Suction was tremendous, and the beater bar does its job in deep cleaning carpet and picking up dust, sand, pet hair, and all the nasty stuff that gets trapped under all that strand of carpet fiber.
Better than a Dyson?
One consumer, in particular, compared with the Dyson DC33 and said that it had similar if not higher suction power.
What swayed him to give this a better rating than the Dyson is the attachments that come along with it. It had more and was more usable. The best part is not paying $400++ for a premium brand.
Great for cleaning pet litter
Pet owners also loved this because of the amount of pet hair; it is capable of picking up.
To maintain performance, you’ll have to remove pet hair that gets wrapped around the motorized brush at least once a month.
The lift-away feature is also popular among consumers because it allows them to clean “above the floor” areas that most uprights can’t. The pet hair brush tool will enable people to clean carpeted stairs as well.
Here are some images from consumers.
There were some negative reviews, and most of them were fit and finish issues that could be from lemon units.
Some potential issues
These complaints include plastic parts breaking prematurely, the motorized brush that has stopped working, lack of suction and vacuum that tips over easily.
You have to remember that most of the vacuums will have their share of similar complaints. And it shouldn’t be a cause for concern because it does come with a 5-year warranty.
This is great for an upright that’s below $200. One consumer was able to return his Shark lift-away to Amazon even after seven months.
Does the Shark Navigator NV352 offer good value?
When you look at its performance to price ratio, the Navigator NV352 brings a lot to the table. It may not have the latest features that other Shark upright vacuums have, but what it offers is excellent cleaning performance on hard floors and carpet. The lack of the Duo Clean brush means that it cleans carpet better than hard surfaces.
If you live in a home with lots of carpets, then the NV352 is an excellent choice for budget-conscious individuals
It’s one of the cheapest options that has a fully sealed system, which means most of the allergens will stay inside the dust cup and not seep through the exhaust.
The lift-away system offers some versatility, but compared to the newer models such as the ZU62 or the ZU561, it isn’t as good at cleaning hair since it lacks the Zero-M technology. This version also doesn’t have the Duo Clean system so that it won’t clean large piles of dirt as well.
Regardless of the limitations, the most significant factor why I’m recommending this upright is the price. If you’re looking for a workhorse that will clean floors, then give the NV352 a look.
This upright vacuum is an excellent option for folks looking for a lightweight upright that will clean floors thoroughly. The lift-away system gives it some versatility in that it also clean upholstery. It’s got a flexible hose and interchangeable tools for such. It won’t match a Dyson V10 or V11 with portability, but it’s a whole lot cheaper.
To summarize here are 5 reasons why you should buy the Shark Navigator NV352:
- Excellent value: It’s not the cheapest upright, but considering the quality and cleaning performance, it’s one of the best bargains available.
- Sealed system: This upright is one of the cheapest options you can buy that has a sealed system, which means it’s got proper filtration that keeps allergens inside the dust cup.
- Great for cleaning floors: The design of the cleaning head, agitation, and power enable this upright to clean a variety of surfaces such as carpet, hardwood, tile, etc.
- Parts availability: You won’t have any issues with regards to parts such as the filter and belts as these are widely available in Amazon or direct from the Shark website.
- Warranty: The 5-year warranty is the icing of the cake of this budget upright as it has the same length as a Dyson that costs hundreds more.