Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away NR96 Review: Shark’s Only Canister

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Over the past few months I’ve written a lot about Shark upright vacuums. And some have the “Lift Away” feature that turns these uprights into canister vacuums.

Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away Canister NR96

I didn’t know that Shark also had a canister vacuum that also had the same “Lift-Away” feature.

The Powered Lift-Away NR96 is the only canister in the Shark product line.

It’s great for small to medium-sized homes that put a premium on versatility and space.

If your home has carpet, you’d have to put this on your shortlist because it’s got a motorized brush.

The “anti-allergen” complete seal technology makes this a great option for folks who have asthma.

Has interchangeable tools

It has a fully interchangeable toolset that makes this as versatile as a Dyson V8 but much cheaper.

The 23-foot power cord is longer than the normal canister so you’ll be able to use it on borderline large homes.

Scroll down to see the features, performance plus more bits of information that’ll help you know more about this product.

Features at a glance

  • The anti-allergen complete seal keeps microscopic dust in the bin (between 0.3 and 0.5 microns)
  • Powered motorized brush make this usable on carpet flooring and stairs
  • Has interchangeable tools that work on the wand or handle
  • 1150 watt motor
  • 23-foot power cord (retractable)
  • Has the “lift away” feature that makes it even lighter
  • Main motorized floor nozzle has LED headlights to help visibility
  • 5-year warranty

Pros

  • Lightweight and versatile thanks to the interchangeable tools and “lift away” feature
  • Decently long power cord
  • Great suction
  • Strong motor
  • Long 5-year warranty
  • LED headlights help with visibility
  • Onboard storage for tools
  • Has swivel steering

Cons

  • Small dirt bin
  • There is exposure to dust and allergens because it’s bagless
  • Some say this is heavy even without the caddy

What to expect from this Shark canister vacuum?

Two things make this product standout – lightweight and versatile.

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away has some neat features not found in other canisters.

Yes, even a Dyson. That’s right and you don’t have to pay $400 for this.

To get a glimpse of what you’ll get please watch this video from Ibaisaic…

Remember that the product you see in the video is the production model, only a prototype. But based on what I’ve seen this canister has lots of goodies in store.

Lift-Away

What I like about Shark vacuums is the “lift away” that separates the body from the caddy where the wheels are.

This removes extra founds off the already lightweight frame and makes it even more portable.

Older folks will appreciate how light this product is and how easy it is to move up and down a flight of stairs.

With the caddy on this weighs just a little over 10 pounds. Without it, it’ll be below 10 pounds.

According to Shark pod weighs around 8 pounds so it’s really easy to move around.

You don’t have this feature in the Dyson and a big reason why I like this brand.

Interchangeable Tools

In total, the NR96 has 5 attachments along with the extension wand that’s fully adjustable.

These attachments include:

  • Dusting brush
  • A small pet power brush
  • Straight suction nozzle
  • 5-inch crevice tool
  • Main motorized cleaning nozzle

These tools are usable on the wand or handle which gives it a lot of flexibility.

The small pet power brush does not have its own motor but only relies on hair for the brush to spin so it won’t be as effective picking up pet hair.

But the main cleaning nozzle has its own motor and agitation is pretty good. And since you can attach it direct to the handle, stair cleaning won’t be an issue.

Dirt Bin

In typical Shark fashion the dirt bin in the NR96 has a cyclonic filtration system that helps keep the filter longer. It won’t match a Dyson in terms of efficiency so you’ll have to clean the filters more often.

On board storage

Storing some of these tools isn’t a problem thanks to the onboard storage that’s under the dirt bin. But it’ll only store the brush and crevice tool. You’ll have to store the rest of the tools in a separate storage bag also provided by Shark.

LED headlights

The main floor nozzle has LED headlights that help you track down dust and pet hair in low lighted areas under furniture.

Advanced Swivel Steering

It also comes with swivel steering that makes it easier to maneuver around furniture.

Fingertip controls

To transition from carpet to hard floor, Shark added fingertip controls on the handle so you don’t have to bend just to turn the brush roll on or off.

Cord Rewind and Length

Like most canisters, the NR96 has cord rewind. And the 23 foot power cord is pretty generous for a canister vacuum.

HEPA filtration

Pet owners looking for a versatile canister should have this in their shortlist because it has what Shark calls the “anti-allergen complete seal technology” that will block allergens up to 0.3 microns.

The HEPA filter is at the back of the motor…

It won’t block as fine dirt as a bagged vacuum but 0.3 microns is pretty good. To put that in perspective, a Dyson filter will block around 0.5 microns.

Since this is a bagless vacuum there is still exposure to dust and allergens. If you suffer some sort of allergy or really allergic to dust then go with a bagged canister like a Bissell Zing or Miele Compact C1.

Cleaning Performance

You can use this vacuum on both hard floor and carpet because it has a brush roll on/off feature.

The fingertip controls I mentioned earlier will make it easy to turn it on so transitioning wouldn’t from one surface to another will be easy.

Check out this video to see how this vacuum does on carpet…

For the cleaning test Logan spread a good amount of oats and cheerios.

After a few passes, it was able to pick up most of the debris scattered.

Don’t expect this to be a deep cleaning tool like an upright but it makes an everyday cleaning tool that’ll keep dirt from piling up.

If a cordless vacuum is too limiting inside your home then this is a good alternative despite the cord.

Bare floor

On hard floors, it will go a decent job because it has decent suction. The lack of the duo clean head somewhat limits its capability and will not do as good a job at the large bits of dirt. It does have a funnel in the middle of the main nozzle to bigger piles of dirt but expect some snowplowing.

Throw Rugs

This canister might have a little too much power to clean light rugs. But it does have suction control so you can lessen suction to allow it to clean such.

Upholstery

It also comes with a mini turbo brush that will allow it to clean upholstery. However, this tool does not have its own motor to drive the brush so agitation won’t be as good. Also, it does not swivel so it’ll be harder to move back and forth.

Warranty

Shark backs this up with a 5-year warranty when you buy it brand new. Used units will have a shorter warranty

Product Specifications

AttachmentsDusting brush

Small pet power brush

Straight suction nozzle

5 inch crevice tool

Main cleaning head

Adjustable extension wand
Brush roll on/offYes
Cord Length23 feet
Above floor reachN/A
Net weight10.3 pounds
Shipping weight29.1 pounds
Cleaning pathapprox. 14"
Overall length32.7"
Filter typeWashable
Dust capacityN/A
Power1,150 watts
Warranty5 years (brand new)

What consumers say

Consumers really liked how this vacuum performed. They said that it has very good power and performed really well on carpet and hard floors.

Ergonomics is also a strong point with both power and cord rewind buttons on the body for easy access.

Fingertip controls on the handle make it easy to turn the brush roll on or off.

The “Lift Away” feature is a nice addition because it frees up weight brought upon by the caddy. And without the caddy the body is around 8 pounds but some consumers still find this still too heavy.

Interchangeable tools make this machine versatile. And build quality is excellent with all the tools locking securely when attached with a “click”.

Pet owners loved this vacuum even if it was noisy because it kept their floors clean. But long hair will wrap around the brush. It has deep grooves on the brush roll to help you cut hair off.

The small power brush didn’t perform as well as the main cleaning head because it did not have any motor. Filters also clog up pretty quickly and you’ll need to clean it often.

It also has a narrower cleaning path (according to some consumers) compared to a Dyson and Hoover. So it’ll take more passes to clean the same area.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this canister vacuum for just under $240 in Amazon and it is eligible for the free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. Amazon also offers extended warranties of up to 3 years if you think the 5-year warranty is insufficient.

To Wrap Up

This product is great inside small to medium sized homes thanks to its compact design and versatility. The “lift away” feature lightens up the weight by a few pounds and makes it more usable in areas such as stairs.

It’s got a 1,150-watt motor that packs a punch and will do well on both carpet and hard floor. Upholstery cleaning shouldn’t be a problem with the pet turbo attachment. But it lacks a motor so agitation will be an issue and it won’t deep clean as well.

You can buy this used for just a little over $200 or spend around $300 to get a brand new unit. It’s still cheaper than a Dyson canister but still has a motorized main cleaning head which makes it a better option on carpet.

Less Expensive Canister Option That's Decent On Carpet and Bare Floor
  • Ergonomics - 93%
    93%
  • Surface Cleaning - 92%
    92%
  • Quality - 91%
    91%
  • Design - 89%
    89%
  • Value - 89%
    89%
91%

Summary

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away NR96 is a good alternative to the Dyson Canister vacuum that costs hundreds more. One advantage this vacuum has is it equipped with a motorized brush, so it will do better on carpet. Unfortunately, Shark no longer makes this product as they are more focused with their upright and stick vacuums that have the same functionality as this canister vacuum.

3 thoughts on “Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away NR96 Review: Shark’s Only Canister”

  1. I have a NR 96 and the brush roll part does not work. I CALLED SHARK and they sent me a replacement brush roller but it still does not work. What should I do now? Thank You.

  2. Love this vacuum. But I’m sad because something became lodged in the hose and won’t go through😪😪😪😪 now I have to find a new hose or buy a new vac.

  3. I ordered a “wide upholstery tool” to vacuum the couch and chairs etc. It was delivered yesterday and was going to use it today and it doesn’t fit on the handle end where attachments are suppose to go. I called Sharkninja.com and all they said was that it is the right part for the NR96 model. How can it be the right part when it doesn’t fit? It will go on maybe 1/8 of an inch. It is made to slide on 3 1/2 inches. So I can return it free of charge or I can keep it. The two attachments that came with the vacuum fit fine so I really don’t understand why this one doesn’t. I find it hard to believe that I am the only one that this has had this problem.

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