Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501 Review

The biggest downside of buying an upright is mobility. Even with a hose, most uprights lack reach.

It is still challenging to move around when you want to clean upholstery or stairs.

For the latter, it is challenging, almost impossible if you are cleaning a tall flight.

Enter the Rotator Lift-Away from Shark; this vacuum allows you to “lift away” the body away from the floor nozzle and carry it around, thus reducing the weight you’ll need to lug around.

A Versatile Upright That is Less Expensive Than a Dyson

Shark Rotator NV501

The Shark Rotator NV-501 is a versatile upright that can substitute the function of a canister vacuum thanks to the Lift-Away system. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a newer Shark upright like an APEX, but it’s not as expensive. When it comes to power, it has decent and will do well at cleaning carpets and hard surfaces. The sealed system helps keep allergens inside the bin, plus it has attachments to clean areas above the floors.

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Related: 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.

This isn’t the first Lift-Away model, but it is the best so far because Shark added a caddy with wheels, so in essence, this upright converts to a canister, pretty neat.

Also, the caddy acts as the storage for the different accessories this machine has.

A quick look at the features

  • The body is capable of being lifted away from the floor nozzle and attached on a canister caddy, so in essence, this is a canister and upright vacuum in one.
  • Uses cyclonic technology to maintain performance even as the vacuum gets filled up.
  • Main floor tool swivels for optimum maneuverability, and it has a brush roll that can be turned on or off – great for carpet or hardwood.
  • It comes with a separate hard floor attachment that you can attach to the extension wand.
  • It has these other attachments and tools – premium pet power brush, crevice tool, dusting brush, canister caddy, and a multi-angle dusting brush.
  • There’s a caddy for attachment storage.
  • Has HEPA filtration that prevents allergens sucked in from coming back out.
  • Five-year warranty.


  • Even though it is an upright, the lift away features and caddy turns this to a canister vacuum which makes it easier to move around
  • The extended flexible hose and wand plus the ability to separate the body from the floor nozzle makes this easy to use on stairs
  • Excellent cleaning performance on both carpet and bare floor
  • Swivel feature makes it easy to maneuver on carpet
  • HEPA filtration prevents allergens from coming back out
  • Reasonably light and easy to carry minus the carpet floor tool
  • Long five-year warranty
  • Not difficult to move around
  • Consumers say it is quiet


  • No switch on the handle
  • If you’re cleaning large debris like cheerios, there will be a slight plowing effect
  • If you pull too hard, caddy may topple
  • Some questions with the durability of the plastic parts

What to expect from the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501?

This upright has to be up there right now when it comes to value for money. Just look at the features.

Not only will you get an upright that you can use on floors.

It morphs into a canister vacuum when you push a release lever, plus it has a caddy to make it easy to maneuver.

So you have a lot of mobility when you want to clean different parts of your home, aside from the carpet.


The canister caddy has a unique feature that prevents it from tipping over if you pull to hard.

Speaking of the hose, it looks like it has excellent reach, though Shark did not specify how long it is.

Combine that with the extension wand, and you can pretty much clean any part of your home with one machine.

Attachments and Accessories

According to Amazon, it comes with 5 – a dusting brush, 12″ crevice tool, large turbo brush, multi-angle brush, straight suction nozzle, and the canister caddy.

Here’s how these attachments look.

Take note that in this particular model, the detail kit is not included.

Cord Length

The cord is around 30 feet long. It does not have any cord rewind, so you’ll have to wrap the wire after using it manually.

Filter Clean up

There are two filters to clean. The primary foam filter located in the middle needs cleaning every three months (recommended by Shark).

The post-motor HEPA filter is located in front of the vacuum and has a cleaning interval of 12 months.


It comes with a lengthy 5-year warranty.

See it in Action

VacBin demonstrates the different features and how they performed on carpets.

Joy Koola shares his take on this.

Bare floor performance

Cleaning performance on bare floors is excellent, and the great thing is you have a myriad of options.

First, you can turn off the motorized brush in the main floor nozzle for smaller pieces of debris.

There is an extra hard floor tool that does not have any motorized brush that you can also use.

The extra floor tool can be attached to the extension wand if you want to use this in canister mode.

It also comes with a crevice tool and a dusting brush should you decide to clean tight spaces or the stairs, or you just need to pick up significant bits of dirt that are difficult to clean with the floor nozzle.

Carpet performance

It has excellent suction and has a motorized brush, so carpet cleaning should not be a problem. The bristles on the brush roll are stiff so that it can agitate thick pile carpet and deep clean.

Here’s a demo on a big pile of dirt (mostly dust bunnies).

Take note that there is a plowing effect when cleaning stuff like cheerios. So you may want to use the extension wand for more significant bits of dirt as such in small areas.

Here’s what I mean

The other vacuum is the Bissell CleanView OnePass.

Upholstery performance

It comes with a bevy of tools that can clean different types of upholstery.

The primary tool you will use if you have fabric upholstery would be the turbo brush, which is simply like the floor tool (only smaller) with a motorized brush.

For leather furniture, you can use the dusting brush or the crevice tool.

Here’s how you use the dusting brush for dusting and upholstery.

Pet hair removal

Cleaning pet hair should not be a problem on upholstery and the carpet. On upholstery, you can use the turbo brush to tackle pet hair, it won’t be as good as Dyson’s, but it is close.

On carpet, use it in upright mode to utilize the still motorized brush and pick up pet hair even on thick carpet.

Product specifications

FeaturesShark Rotator Professional Lift-Away NV501
AttachmentsDusting Brush

12" Crevice Tool

Large Turbo Brush

Multi Angle Dusting Brush

Straight Suction Nozzle

Canister Caddy
Cord Length30 feet
Auto Cord RewindNo
Motorized brushYes
Brush on/off switchYes
Filter clogged indicatorNo
Full bin indicatorNo
Self propelledNo
Net weight15.6 pounds
Shipping weight24.8 pounds
Hose lengthNot Specified
Cleaning Path11.5 "
Overall length45.7"
Dirt capacityN/A
Filter typeHEPA + Washable foam filter
Power1200 watts
Voltage120 volts
Manufactured inUSA
Warranty5 years

What do consumers say?

A lot of people have bought this vacuum and have well over a thousand reviews in Amazon, Walmart, and other shopping sites.

Consumers agree that performance-wise, this cleaner will hold its own even against the Dyson DC41 – its main competitor.

A few consumers even said that it was even better than the DC41 in terms of suction performance, but build quality wasn’t as good as the latter.

Suction was good even if the dust bin is full.

In one review, a consumer mentioned that after eight months, the plastic parts started to squeak.

The caddy which transforms this into a canister vacuum may topple over if you pull too hard on the hose.

That may be because the hose isn’t “stretchable” enough.

There are also complaints about poor build quality, particularly the plastics that will tend to break after a few months.

Also, I noticed complaints about poor suction after several months because of clogging inside the hose.

Here’s a short video on how to self-check.

What the video is saying is that you have to regularly check the hoses and filters for clogging, especially if you are in a dusty area and clean a lot of dust bunnies or hair that can easily clog.

Overall this is an excellent multipurpose vacuum that can clean carpet, bare floor, upholstery, basically every part of your home.

Because of the caddy, you can use it to clean your car’s interior.

Where can I buy this?

You can buy this versatile upright in Amazon, and it’ll be eligible for their free 2-day shipping if you join Prime. They also sell extended warranties of up to 3 years if you want that extra peace of mind.

Take note that if you buy through the link above, I’ll earn a commission, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us.

To wrap up

This vacuum would be great for people who live in medium to large homes that have a mix of carpet and hard floors.

The versatility of the professional lift-away will shine in homes such as these. It will do well not only on carpet but also on hard floors.

Stair cleaning won’t be a problem since you can just lift the canister and carry it as you go through each step.

The 30-foot power cord gives you excellent reach though it does not have any cord rewind, so you’ll have to tidy it up manually.

It has several tools that will allow you to clean other parts of your home like upholstery, blinds, side tables, keyboards, etc.

It’s an all in one vacuum that will save you money because you don’t need to buy a handheld.

And the best part, it’s around half the price of a Dyson DC41 with almost the same performance and features.

If a Dyson is too expensive, then this will be a great alternative.

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