by Garrick Dee
Updated December 5th, 2018
In my opinion, Shark and Dyson are two of the most innovative brands right now when it comes to product design.
Dyson pioneered the bagless system that basically disrupted how other manufacturers created their products.
And Shark is one of the by-products of that disruption.
- You can also find the best Dyson deals here to get the best price possible on various Dyson products.
- Please check out my in-depth guide on the best Shark vacuums and find out which Shark cleaner would be best suited for your needs.
There is no doubt in my mind that Shark got their inspiration from Dyson when designing the Rocket series.
Shark is an innovator in their own right. One of their more innovative products would be the “Lift Away” series that morphs an upright into a canister type vacuum with a push of a lever.
Both these products have the same design principle.
That is having interchangeable tools with a removable wand for it to work on floors and above it.
Both have powered tools for upholstery and floors.
The V8 is slightly longer than the Shark by around 3 inches so it is slightly better reach.
One of them is cordless and another has a cord. But which one is better.
Let’s go through their features one by one and break everything down.
That is to use a compact motor stuffed in a small case that also includes the bin. Without the long tube attached, you’d think that these products are handhelds.
With the tube attached, it becomes a stick vacuum that you can use on floors.
But unlike other stick vacs these machines have real power.
Here’s the great part, you can attach other tools to the wand can clean areas high above your head.
All these tools can be used with or without the wand.
So versatility is the name of the game for these two. Using a smaller motor negatively affects power but you get a lot of maneuverability with these two products.
Dyson was the pioneer of this design and Shark was one of the first to copy and integrate into their Rocket product line.
You can say that the Rocket is the corded version of a Dyson cordless.
Yes, they copied the design but so far Dyson hasn’t sued them for it and I don’t think they will use up resources for R&D just to bring rivals to court though they’ve done it in the past.
To me this is a good thing because we consumers are winners. Innovation starts when two competing brands try to outdo each other and that’s what we’re seeing here.
Out of the box, the Dyson V8 provides a couple of tools for the task – the direct drive cleaning and soft roller cleaner brush.
The Dyson V6 was the first to use this tool set.
Dyson says that these tools have 150% more agitation compared to the V6 Cord-Free.
If you’re not familiar the direct drive head is works best on carpet and the soft roller head on bare floor.
Here’s a short demo of the soft roller cleaner head…
And here’s the direct driver cleaner head…
Shark has taken that idea and combined it into one. Instead of just copying Dyson, it innovated and created something unique – they call it the DUO CLEAN technology.
It combines a soft brush roll and bristle brush that work together to pick up small to large debris.
With the soft brush roll placed up front, it all but eliminates the plowing effect that plague traditionally designed stick and even upright vacuums.
That’s because this part “pulls” dirt and shoves toward the inlet where suction takes over.
You’ll notice the floor tool isn’t low profile like those in other stick vacuums. Shark exposed a lot of the roller. This is by design for maximum pick up and agitation.
See the Duo Clean in action…
The second video is an advert from Shark. But you’ve got to admit, it’s pretty impressive with the range of dirt can clean.
One feature that the Shark has over Dyson is the presence of LED lights. This helps in terms of visibility on low light areas and tracking dust.
The V8 Absolute has two filters inside – one main filter and a post motor HEPA filter. Both of these are washable.
Dyson says that their two tier radial cyclone combine with the two filters capture particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Shark on the other hand does not have HEPA filtration. It uses two washable foam filters, one stacked over another.
Filtration isn’t as good so if you have an allergic condition you may want to go with the Dyson.
Shark can hold almost twice as much dirt as a Dyson. It can hold around 0.25 gallons of dry dirt, that’s around 1 quart. The V8 can only hold around 0.14 gallons.
Both brands utilize a similar principle in terms of design. Each use a single trap door design at the bottom and rely primarily on gravity for the dirt to come out. But Dyson has improved upon its original design.
The new design actually has a mechanism that helps push dirt down. This lessens the need to use your fingers to dislodge statically charged dirt like dust trapped inside.
Winner: Shark Duo Clean
Dyson comes with a total of 6 attachments. These include the soft roller cleaner head, direct drive cleaner head, mini motorized tool, combination tool, crevice tool and soft dusting brush.
Shark comes with a tiny bit more in terms of tools. Out of the box you’ll get the dusting brush, duster crevice, upholstery tool, under appliance wand, True Pet mini motorized brush and the Duo Clean tool.
In terms of agitation it’s hard to beat what the Dyson brings to the table with the direct drive and soft roller head. The devil is in the details as they say.
When you look closely at Dyson’s bristled tool, you’ll notice that it has two types of brushes – stiff nylon bristles and softer carbon fiber filaments for ground in dirt and dust.
The soft roller bar is the biggest innovation in the last 5 years by Dyson.
This tool is washable and easy to maintain.
For the Shark, I like how they include the under appliance wand. Cleaning areas under low profile furniture is a pain and having a tool like this will save you time from having to pick up that furniture and putting it back into place just to clean it.
Despite having this, I still like the cleaning tools Dyson has to offer but the Duo Clean tool from Shark is a huge step forward for them. If they can improve upon the bristled part of this tool they’d have a legitimate shot at surpassing Dyson.
Winner: Dyson but not by much
Shark says this vacuum has a 600 watt motor.
Dyson uses a different form of measurement called air watts. The V8 has 100 air watts of power when you engage the max mode.
If you’re not familiar with air watts – it is power at the suction port where dirt goes in. To put it in perspective, it’s similar to wheel horse power or power at the wheels where it matters most.
Even if Shark has a cord, the power difference is negligible. That is when Dyson has the max turned on.
But in normal mode, Shark will have slight edge.
Remember that suction alone does not make a vacuum cleaner perform well. You’ll have to look at how much agitation it has and that’s where the motorized brush comes in.
And in my opinion, Dyson still has an edge over Shark because it will better agitation on bare floor and carpet.
At first glance you’d think that both of these vacuums have the same balance when working above the floor.
With the motorized tool and extension wand attached, Shark is heavier than the Dyson.
But without it that number drops down to just 4.6 pounds.
One thing I about the Shark is that it uses a slide switch instead of a trigger as the power button. This lessens the strain on the arms and wrist especially when cleaning above floors.
Shark does not need to use a trigger because it has a constant power source. You can just leave the vacuum on and not worry about it running out of juice.
The Dyson V8 weighs just 5.75 pounds and since it does not have any cord, you don’t have to worry about finding an outlet when cleaning areas like the attic or even inside the garage.
Shark backs up the Rocket with a VIP Lifetime warranty. Make sure to read the fine print and I’ll paraphrase what it says. Unfortunately only non-wear components are part of the warranty.
All Dyson cordless vacuums come with a 2 year warranty on the whole machine.
|Shark Rocket with Duo Clean||Dyson V8 Absolute|
|Power||600 watts||100 Aw (max)|
30 foot power cord
|Lithium Ion battery|
25 - 40 min run time
|Weight||9.9 pounds (with floor tool and wand)|
4.6 pounds (hand vac weight)
|Tools included||Dusting brush|
Under appliance wand
True Pet mini motorized brush
Duo clean tool
|Soft roller cleaner head|
Direct drive cleaner head
Mini motorized tool
Soft dusting brush
|Warranty||VIP Lifetime||2 years|
I love the innovation brought to the table by Shark and Dyson.
Obviously the Dyson is the king when it comes to cordless vacuums and the V8 is arguably the best with two motorized tools at your disposable for bare floor and carpet.
It does not have any cord so Dyson wins in terms of maneuverability and portability because you don’t have to worry about it getting in the way.
You’ll get around 90% of the performance at more than half less the cost. Shark came up with a nifty solution for cleaning bare floor and carpet by combining the soft roller and bristled brush into very decent cleaning tool for multiple surfaces.
But I don’t think it can beat Dyson in terms of agitation especially on carpet or bare floor because the latter has a larger diameter beater bar that spins faster.
Now remember that the Rocket Duo Clean has a 30 foot cord that you’ll have to tidy up after every cleaning session but if you don’t mind this then I won’t blame you for picking a Shark.