If you are looking for a quality vacuum that isn’t going to cost a small fortune, but one that is actually going to provide a deep clean every time you run it, you’ll want to take a closer look at the shark NV42 and all it has to offer.
Throughout this detailed Shark NV42 review, we are going to shine a light on everything that this solid vacuum cleaner does better than the competition, highlighting how it really does stand head and shoulders apart from the rest of the pack in a lot of ways.
We’ll tell you why we love the Shark vacuum so much, what makes it is capabilities so spectacular, and why we feel so many people continue to buy this vacuum time and time again – even though there are plenty of other options out there to pick and choose from.
At the same time, we also share in this Shark NV42 review what we aren’t crazy about when it comes to this appliance.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this vacuum cleaner that you’ll want to be well aware of before you pull the trigger on this purchase, and we aren’t shy about highlighting those issues, either.
So if you’re ready to find out what the real deal is when it comes to this Shark vacuum cleaner let’s dig right in!
A Deep Dive Into the Shark NV42
Not quite a Dyson but definitely not a knockoff brand or “also-ran” vacuum option on the market today, the Shark vacuum lineup has been a bestseller ever since its first model was released more than a dozen years ago – and the brand only continues to become more and more popular every day.
The thing we really like about the NV42 (especially right out of the gate) is how lightweight and yet how powerful it is.
This combination produces a real “one-two punch” of power and performance mixed with portability that allows you to quickly clean your home, apartment, or office with little headache or hassle.
Sure, as we highlighted a moment ago this isn’t exactly a Dyson – but it doesn’t carry a Dyson price tag, either.
At the same time, this is very much a well-engineered, smartly designed, and obviously high-quality vacuum cleaner that you won’t want to sleep on.
Below we are really going to get deeper into the specific ins and outs of why we feel this vacuum is so special, but right now you should know that this is definitely going to be a pretty positive Shark NV42 review.
And the vacuum cleaner deserves it!
Who’s It For?
We think a couple of people are really going to like all that the Shark NV42 has to offer.
For starters, those looking to get their first vacuum cleaner is going to be overjoyed at all of the bells and whistles, features, and performance benefits this vacuum offers – without a sky high price tag attached.
The affordability of these vacuum cleaners has always been a big part of the Shark marketing push, a major piece of their success puzzle. People recognize a great value when they see one, and all Shark vacuums (with a couple of exceptions) deliver in this department.
Secondly, people that are dissatisfied with their “entry-level” vacuum cleaner (maybe the first vacuum cleaner they ever bought) but aren’t quite ready yet to dive headfirst into the world of Dyson or other luxury-level vacuums are going to find a happy medium with this Shark.
Yes, some of the bells and whistles or engineering marvels you’ll find on a truly top-tier vacuum cleaner are going to be missing here.
But, if we are being honest, the overwhelming majority of people never use all of those bells and whistles in the first place!
Most of the time those special features are little more than marketing components to get people interested in vacuum cleaners they probably wouldn’t have purchased otherwise.
Finally, anyone with a relatively small home, multiple levels, and pets are going to want to take a closer look at the Shark NV42 for sure.
This is a lightweight, portable, and easy to move around home vacuum cleaner that does a great job at sucking up pet hair, dust, and dander.
What We Like About the Shark NV42
There are a lot of things to get excited about when it comes to the Shark NV42, though we take the time to break down the most impressive features and aspects of this vacuum cleaner below.
Believe us, though, when we say that this is nowhere near the complete list of reasons we love this vacuum cleaner. This is a very well-made, very effective, and very affordable piece of technology that you’ll be able to reliably use to clean your home for years and years to come.
Let’s get into it.
Next-Gen Suction Tech
To kick things off, the proprietary “Never Lose Suction” technology pioneered by Shark is on full display here.
Taking traditional backless vacuum suction technology to the next level, a number of very violent vacuum cyclones are created inside of the Shark NV42 to literally pull and draw dirt, dust, dander (and more) from your floor surfaces.
The amount of suction you’re able to generate here is spectacular, and the consistency of the suction is even more impressive.
At the end of the day, you’ll be blown away by just how easily this vacuum sucks up fine particles as well as bigger “blobs” that you want to vacuum off of your floors.
Carpet Performance is Solid
Of course, great suction capabilities on hard floor surfaces (wood, tile, stone, etc.) doesn’t necessarily equate to top-tier suction and cleaning performance when you move to soft floor surfaces like carpets and rugs.
In fact, a lot of other really good vacuum cleaners do wonders with hard surfaces and then fall apart completely when you start to vacuum up the cracks, creases, and crevices inside of carpets and rugs.
This will never be a problem with the Shark NV42.
Instead, you’ll be able to pull dirt, dust, and debris from all different kinds of floor surfaces (including high pile carpets) in a way that few other vacuums are capable of.
The cleaning performance here is off the charts.
Great with Pet Hair
A big reason that people invest in upright vacuum cleaners, to begin with (especially bag free options like this one) is that they have pets and no other vacuum style is as well-designed to get rid of pet hair, dust, and dander.
This canister style vacuum cleaner was not engineered specifically to be a pet hair vacuum the way that some of the other top options out there are – but it still gets the job done (and very impressively, we may add).
The suction is strong and consistent enough to pull up thin, light hair off of all kinds of services – including carpet and upholstery.
Combine that with a motorized brush attachment (included with this purchase) and you’ll be able to effortlessly remove all kinds of dirt, debris, and pet dander that would have otherwise worked its way into your couch, sofa, or carpeted floors.
Sure, you’ll have to empty out the dustbin collection of this vacuum cleaner with little more frequency when vacuuming up pet hair. But other than that, you’ll be good to go!
Oversized Dust Canister
In a bit of a departure from most other canister style vacuum cleaners available today (including much more expensive options), Shark has opted to include an oversized capacity canister with this model.
Measuring in at north of 3 quarts, this dust canister is actually 2 to 3 times as large as the canister that you’re going to find with other Shark vacuums – and even larger compared to vacuum cleaners from different brands.
All of this increases the capacity of this vacuum cleaner in a big way, allowing you to vacuum and clean for longer durations before you have to head over to a garbage bin and deposit everything this vacuum worked hard to clean away.
That oversized capacity, though, does eliminate the inclusion of the standard “Lift-Away” Shark proprietary dustbin disconnection set up.
Instead, you’ll have to manually unlatch this canister and then bring it over to the garbage bin for removal. It’s an extra step to be sure but isn’t too much of a headache or hassle once you get used to things.
Solid Filtration System
No, the Shark NV42 does not include HEPA filtration units – which looks like a bit of a bummer on the surface but isn’t as bad of an issue as some people might make it out to be.
After all, the filtration units in this vacuum cleaner are just barely beneath HEPA filtration units as far as overall specifications and capabilities are concerned. Unless you suffer from severe (and we mean SEVERE) allergies the odds are good that you won’t be able to tell the difference.
Of course, the removable, washable, and replaceable nature of the filtration system in the Shark NV42 means that there are HEPA filters available as accessories.
If you absolutely, positively MUST have HEPA filters attached to your vacuum cleaner there’s a way to make that possible with the NV42 from Shark.
Relatively Lightweight and Portable
All in all, the Shark NV42 is going to weigh around 15 pounds (and that’s before you start to vacuum things up).
Some people feel that this makes the NV42 from Shark one of the lightest weight options money can buy, but compared to truly portable and truly lightweight configurations this is going to feel like a yacht anchor.
It’s all perspective – but if you are looking at things holistically, the Shark is certainly towards the lighter side of the industry than the heavier side.
Put it this way:
You won’t have any trouble wheeling this vacuum cleaner around your home, up and downstairs, or even into the basement with any real difficulty whatsoever.
Plenty of Attachments and Accessories
Shark has a whole range of proprietary and OEM accessories and attachments that you can use to improve the capabilities of your vacuum cleaner, totally transform the results, and getting the deeper clean that you are after – for a price, of course.
Some of these accessories are available in the box (we highlight those in a moment), but most are going to have purchased separately.
Because Shark vacuums are so popular, though, there are a lot of third-party manufacturers out there offering these kinds of accessories, too.
It doesn’t take much to track down and find a great batch of accessories (OEM or otherwise) to overhaul and improve the performance of this already impressive vacuum cleaner.
Long Term Warranty
The five-year warranty from Shark helps to put this vacuum cleaner right up amongst the most protected small appliances in this industry.
That will certainly give you the peace of mind you need to relax, to know that your appliance is protected, and to have full confidence that you won’t be out-of-pocket if your Shark NV42 starts to misbehave.
Combine that with legendary Shark customer service (and a reputation for taking care of problems even outside the five-year warranty window) and this vacuum cleaner quickly becomes a no-brainer.
What We Don’t Like About the Shark NV42
All that said, there are certainly some things that we don’t like when it comes to the NV42 from Shark.
For starters, because this unit is so tall (and it is ready tall) it has a much higher center of gravity the and you are probably used to.
This means it doesn’t take much to tip this vacuum cleaner over, even if you are only tugging on the vacuum cleaning hose or the electrical cord to plug the unit in.
Your vacuum cleaner falling over all the time can become a real annoyance in a hurry.
Lacks a Swivel Feature
The lack of an articulating vacuum head upfront is pretty glaring, especially in 2020 when almost every other manufacturer includes this feature standard on their vacuum cleaners.
Some people are going to really point out that there isn’t a swivel feature. Others aren’t going to notice at all, but most are probably going to be situated somewhere in the middle.
All the same, it would have been nicer to see a little more versatility and mobility with the inclusion of a swivel feature.
Lack of Storage for Attachments
Lastly, there’s a real lack of storage on the vacuum cleaner itself when it comes to different attachments.
Nobody wants to have to break out a duffel bag or plastic tote filled with vacuum cleaner accessories every time they tackle this chore.
That’s unfortunately exactly what has to happen when you start to spring for extra accessories, though.
A couple of storage spaces on the vacuum cleaner itself declutter things a little bit. But there are nowhere near enough of things storage compartments, compartments, and mounting points for all the accessories most owners would like to have.
- 3 Quart dust container capacity
- Extra-long 12-foot vacuum hose
- Pet hair power brush works wonders to get rid of here, dust, and dander on floors and carpets
- The very affordable price point
- Generation suction technology that works just as well on hard surface floors as it does on soft floors
- Can accommodate HEPA filtration capsules if you want to make this upgrade
- Decently long 25-foot power cord keeps you untethered and free to move (for the most part)
- The five-year warranty is very generous
- A little big, a little bulky, and a little cumbersome – especially for people with smaller statures, larger homes, and multilevel spaces
- Generally high center of gravity means this vacuum cleaner comes unbalanced every now and again
- The lack of swivel steering upfront is immediately noticeable
- Almost total lack of onboard storage for accessories is inexcusable these days
In the box, you are going to get everything you need to start using this amazing vacuum from Shark, including:
- The actual Shark NV42 vacuum cleaner itself
- A 12-foot vacuum cleaner hose
- Built-in filtration units that can be upgraded to HEPA systems
- A 25-foot power cord
- Half a dozen core accessories
- Powered pet hair cleaning brush
- Instructional manual
- Warranty information
Overview of Features
- Generation and proprietary “Never Loose Suction” technology from Shark
- 3 Quart XL dust container
- Includes six different useful OEM attachments from Shark
- 120 W motor
- 12-foot stretch hose for your vacuum arm
- 25-foot power cord
- Built-in filters with HEPA compatibility
All in all, we hope that this Shark NV42 review has shined a light on one of the most impressive (and affordable) upright vacuum cleaner options money can buy today.
Well-designed, well-engineered, and well-executed, almost everything about this vacuum cleaner is remarkable and rock solid.
There are some negatives to using this vacuum cleaner to be sure, and this review highlighted them earlier.
Truth be told, though, though shortcomings are nowhere near deal-breakers and should not turn off from taking advantage of the Shark NV42 as your next vacuum when you get the chance.
Check out the Shark NV42 vacuum today!
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I’m Jason Moe Roberts, an appliances expert and blogger. I’ve worked at Walmart for more than 15 years, in the house appliance department. I love to use home equipment and I spend a lot of time testing the best products and reviewing them. My family and friends also recommend me as a caring person, a great dad and a loving husband.