Shark cleverly suggests dominance over the vacuum cleaner market with their last product, the Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away. It as about time to have complete upright in the Duo Clean line, as the Duo Clean Speed was a series meant for small and mid-sized homes. The Apex comes with all the bells and whistles of a traditional upright. While it lacks the handiness of a cordless which you’ll find in the latest IonFlex line (which I’ll cover in the near future), it does have the versatility to tackle everything from dirty carpets to hairballs underneath the furniture. Priced at around $400, it’s definitely not the cheapest Shark upright model out there; in fact, I might even venture to say it’s the most expensive. But does it have the chops to justify its sticker price? Let’s find out.
In the following lines, you’ll see:
- what are the real features of the Shark Apex Powered Lift-Away
- how it compares with previous models
- which are the small differences among the models AX950, AX951 and AX952
- where it’s on sale for a discounted price
The following infographic speaks for itself:
The AX950 and AX951 models are green, whereas the AX952 is blue. For more pics and videos, also check out the producer’s website. My video review is coming soon.
As always, Shark does not reveal the suction figures of the unit. When it comes to the specific air watt of this model, I’m empirically rating it at 270-300 AW. We do know that the Shark Apex is powered by a 1350 watt motor. For the sake of comparison, it’s significantly more powerful than the 1200 watt motor of the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal. SharkClean is not shy to talk about this directly on the box of the product, as you can see in the right image.
Apart from the bigger motor, the Shark has another ace up its sleeve. The DuoClean technology, which is a fancy name for the Shark’s beater brush setup. The combination of the dual motorized brushes and its 1350 watt heart allows you to deal with anything from fine dust to spilled cereal.
Like we mentioned before the Shark is powered by a 1350 watt motor. Specifically targeting the US markets, the Shark is a 120 volt, 60 Hz unit that consumes 11.3 amps of electricity. This, of course, is a corded model and thus there is no question of batteries. Be prepared to reschedule your cleaning plans if there is a power outage. However, without being battery dependent, you can use the Shark to clean up the entire house in one go.
One of the primary reasons people prefer corded vacuums over cordless models is because they can hold in more dirt. The higher dust capacity allows you to clean the entire house without stopping to clear out the container. The Shark DuoClean is a bag-less model, which eliminates the recurring cost of buying disposable bags. The transparent dust collector box fits snugly into the body of the main unit and it can hold in 1.5 dry quarts or 1652 ml of dirt and debris. While the 1.5 dry quarts of dust space is pretty good, it falls a bit short when compared to its competitor the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. The Dyson is fitted with a 0.5 gal or 1893 ml dust box. However, the slightly smaller dust capacity should definitely not be a deal breaker. Mainly because the 1652 ml dust tank is good enough to say the least. The dust capacity should never be a bother even if you live in a big house with multiple pets.
The Apex series is in fact the answer to critics who complained about the DuoClean Speed’s small bin. There you go, this problem is solved now.
Shark really outdone themselves at this chapter. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend a codless to an allergic person. This upright almost makes me question this decision. The Apex makes use of three filters and all of them are washable and reusable. It is fitted with foam and felt filters, which take care of the pre-motor air filtration. The Shark also gets a washable HEPA filter, which filters the air flowing out. While other Shark models have something called the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal, this particular top-of-the-line model comes with an advanced version of it. Shark thus aptly calls it the Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal. This is a sealing mechanism that ensures the mixture of dirt and air flowing inside the cleaner does not escape back into the environment. Shark claims that their filtration system can trap 99.9% of dust particles measuring as low as 0.3 microns.
Weight and Dimensions
This is a full size model and is thus bigger and heavier than the compact AX912 (the new Speed stick). For the bigger size, you get a more powerful motor and a much bigger dust tank. Considering both of these are big factors, trading up from the compact AX912, which is 1.5 lbs lighter than the full size Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away vacuum makes much sense. The Shark weighs in at 16.3 lbs which makes it about 300 g heavier than the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball. Earning its name as an upright cleaner, the Shark takes up more vertical space than horizontal. This trait makes it perfect for storing it in tight closet spaces and storage rooms. The Shark Apex DuoClean sits 46.5 inches tall and measures 12 inches at its widest point. This means it only needs one square foot of floor space for storage.
Here’s what the box contains for each different model:
- AX952: Motorized Pet Tool, Pet Tool, 2-in-1 Duster Crevice Tool, Dust Brush, Accessory Bag
- AX951: Dust Brush, 2-in-1 Duster Crevice Tool, Pet Tool, Multi-Flex Extension Wand, Accessory Bag
- AX950: Dust Brush, Pet Tool, Duster Crevice Tool
Now we are going to talk about the accessories provided and how each of them impacts the cleaning experience. This is a comprehensive list of all accessories included in the Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away series. The accessories you actually get in the box depend on the model you buy.
- Deep Cleaning Motorized Pet Tool: This attachment is powered by a motor and has a specialized design to pick up hair from carpets, upholstery as well as hardwood floors. If you have multiple pets, then you need to make sure you order the AX952 model, which includes this attachment.
- Pet Multi-Tool: The Pet Multi-Tool combines the power of two cleaning tools in one. It includes a hard-bristled brush that dislodges stubborn hair from surfaces. If you detach the hard brush, out comes an upholstery tool that sucks in the pet hair. This attachment is part of the standard kit and is available with all Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away models.
- Multi-Flex Extension Wand: The Multi-Flex Under-Appliance tool comes only with the AX951 model. This extension wand comes with a flexible joint that allows you to clean underneath furniture and appliances without straining your back.
- Anti-Allergen Dust Brush: This is a specialized tool for cleaning delicate items. Its soft cleaning surface is perfect for picking up fine dust particles. This is a great tool to clean dusty keyboards, monitors, and other electronics. This is a standard accessory that comes with all the three models.
- Duster Crevice Tool: Like its name suggests, this attachment combines the cleaning convenience of a crevice tool and a duster. The tool has a bristled brush that extends your reach and enables you to clean hard to reach places. Once you are done with the brush you can slide it back to reveal the crevice tool. The two-in-one functionality saves both effort and time. This is a standard attachment and thus available with all three models.
- Accessory Bag: All the attachments can be stored away neatly using Shark Accessory Bag. The bag comes with the AX951 and AX952.
The Apex DuoClean currently is the best corded vacuum Shark has to offer. It ticks almost all the boxes in the features list. To help you make sense of it all, we listed down all the special features of the Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away and explained them individually.
- Fingertip Controls: To make sure you don’t have to bend your back or use your free arm to switch the different floor type modes, Shark includes the smart Fingertip Controls. This feature allows you to seamlessly change the floor modes from hard floor to carpet using just your thumb. All the buttons are ergonomically placed and easy to reach.
- LED Lights: Much like other Shark models, this one comes with dual LED headlamps, which are fitted near the dual brush rolls. This allows you to clean poorly lit areas. Now, because this is a top-of-the-line model, this one comes with an additional LED light. Fitted near the grasp handle, this light comes handy when not using the floor cleaning attachment.
- Powered Lift-Away Mode: Using this feature, you can detach the canister and use the wand to clean areas that are above the floor. The reason it’s called the ‘powered’ lift-away is that even after detaching the canister from the wand the unit sends power to the dual brush rolls.
- Active Glide: This is just a fancy name for a self-propelling wheel setup. The wheels allow smooth movement and swiveling function. The result is a smooth glide over different types of floor surfaces.
- Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal: As mentioned before, the Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal is an upgraded version of the Anti-Allergen Complete Seal technology. This technology stops microscopic allergens and dust particles from escaping back into the environment.
- DuoClean Technology: The dual brush rolls have been a major selling point of Shark products. This is a proven technology that combines the effect to two brushes. The first one is a soft brush that picks up dirt and simultaneously buffs hardwood floors. The second brush is a bristled brush that picks up stubborn dust and hair from carpets and floors.
Shark definitely thought about the little things to improve the usability of this product. For starters, the unit comes with a 30 feet power cord. This extends the reach of the unit and makes it perfect for cleaning big houses and halls. Shark also worked on softening the pitch of the noise output. The lowered decibel levels will allow you to launch a midnight cleaning mission without waking up the neighbors. Another great usability feature is the wide cleaning path of 11.9 inches, which allows you to clean a bigger floor space in lesser time. The standard dual headlamps illuminate the cleaning path and make cleaning dark spaces an absolute breeze. We also appreciate how easy it is to clean the dual brush rolls. People with pets in their home know how difficult it is to clean the beater brush. When using the Shark you can easily detach the brush rolls and clean them using the provided cleaning tool.
When it comes to warranty Shark beats the Dyson hands down. The Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away comes with a 7-year limited warranty. That’s 2 years of additional coverage compared to the Dyson, which comes with only a 5-year warranty. However, you should know that this is a limited warranty. Which means damages caused by misuse will not be covered. If the unit arrives defective then Shark will provide free repair or replacement. Parts that need to be replaced from time to time, such as brushes and filters are not covered under the warranty. Although the Sharks are all made in China, the construction features a quality hard plastic, metal and rubber parts. All look good a fit well.
You can choose to buy this vacuum cleaner directly from Shark’s website. An arguably better option would be to take advantage of this offer.
A brief comparison among the Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away models – AX950 vs AX951 vs AX952
The decision to buy any particular Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away model really comes down to individual need. We listed down all the three models to help you decide which one is suited for your requirements.
The AX950 is kind of like the base model and it includes fewer accessories than the AX952 and AX951. It’s ideal for people who just want the main unit without the Multi-Flex wand or the motorized pet tool. Even though it lacks a few attachments, the AX950 includes all the basics. The duster crevice tool is versatile enough to take on a range of different cleaning chores. The accessory kit also includes the Anti-Allergen brush, which is great for cleaning delicate surfaces. The included Pet Multi-Tool is an added bonus for pet owners. However, if you have multiple pets, then we suggest getting the AX952, which comes with the motorized deep cleaning pet tool.
If you have a lot of furniture in your home, then it’s hard to argue the convenience of the AX951. Armed with the Multi-Flex wand, it’s a capable machine capable of cleaning areas underneath furniture and appliances. This model also comes with an accessory bag, which makes storing the attachments all the more easier. Apart from these, the AX951 includes all the standard accessories that are part of the AX950’s kit.
The AX951 ditches the Multi-Flex wand of the AX951 and instead includes a motorized pet tool. It also includes the accessory bag and all the standard accessories of the AX950. The AX952 is definitely a choice for pet owners.
- Capable Yet Handy: The Powered Lift-Away technology works in making the cleaner handy.
- Superior Dust Pick-up Capability: The combination of powerful motor and DuoClean technology grants the unit amazing dust-sucking capability.
- Noise Reduction: Shark manages to dull pitch of the output noise, which allows for hours of cleaning without straining those eardrums.
- Easy Navigation: The intuitive swiveling action combined with the Active Glide technology makes it extremely easy to work the machine around tight corners and spaces.
- Expensive: It’s the most expensive Shark vacuum.
There is not much that goes wrong with this product. Shark employs a list of proven technologies such as the DuoClean and the Powered Lift-Away to bring you probably the best upright vacuum cleaner available today. Priced around $400, there are more than a few cheaper uprights available in the market. However, if you are looking for the ultimate home cleaning experience, there is no denying the competence of the Shark Apex DuoClean Powered Lift-Away. That being said, here’s the VGM for this product:
VGM table for Shark Apex Duo Clean Powered Lift-Away
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What do you think about the Shark Apex? I’m eager to read your comments.