What We Like
Easy to assemble
Can go under low furniture
Maintains full suction power in all configurations
What We Don't Like
Steep price tag
On the heavier side
The Shark APEX DuoClean has some unique features that distinguish it from the competition. Equipped with Zero-M Technology, the APEX automatically removes hair from the brushroll as you vacuum. With an advanced anti-allergen seal and HEPA filter, it’s also an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. The APEX is one of the most expensive Shark models on the market, so we wanted to put it to the test in our home. Read on for our thoughts about the vacuum’s design, performance, and price.
Performance: Top of the line
The Shark APEX is an incredibly powerful vacuum with some advanced cleaning features that make it stand out from the rest. We used it throughout our house on various surfaces—hardwood floors, area rugs, and upholstered furniture—and it was equally effective on all of them. First, we used it on the area rugs in our kitchen, where a lot of ground-in food particles and dirt often get trapped. With a few quick swipes, the Apex did an excellent job of removing all deep-seated debris. The vacuum’s DuoClean Technology, which combines a bristle brush and soft roller, is said to deep-clean carpets and leave hardwood floors looking as if they’d just been polished. Our hardwood floors were immaculate after we vacuumed, but we didn’t notice any extra shine, per se.
With a few quick swipes, the Apex did an excellent job of removing all deep-seated debris.
There were two features on the Shark APEX that we found extremely helpful. The vacuum has a very sleek floorhead and, when the canister is detached and the vacuum is powered in lift-away mode, it can get under low furniture for much more thorough cleaning. Unlike other Shark models that we tested, it can operate upright without the canister in all three surface modes. This means that it will maintain strong suctioning power even while cleaning under furniture. The less expensive models can only operate in bare floor mode once the canister is detached, so much of their suctioning power is lost on carpets and area rugs. The APEX has a big edge over the competition as it has consistent, powerful suction on carpeting as well as hardwood flooring in all three configurations.
Design: Easy to assemble and lots of convenient features
The Shark APEX DuoClean could not have been easier to assemble. We had it to put together in less than two minutes. The vacuum has three different surface settings: thick carpet/area rug cleaning, carpet/low pile cleaning, and hard floor cleaning. You can switch between them with the push of a button. It can also be used in three configurations: standard upright position, powered lift-away mode, and above-floor cleaning. When the canister is detached, the reach of the cleaner head is extended considerably, allowing you to really get under furniture with the vacuum. The LED lights on the floor nozzle and handle illuminate dark corners and help you to see better.
We had it to put together in less than two minutes.
Another premium feature that sets the Shark APEX apart is Zero-M Technology, which automatically removes hair from the brushroll as you vacuum. Hair wrap is a common problem in vacuums that often leads to breakages and repairs, so this self-cleaning ability is certainly a big plus.
We loved the convenience of the dust cup, which opens easily with the push of a button. To remove the dust cups on some of the less expensive Shark models, there are latches that need to be snapped in and out, requiring a bit more effort. The one-touch technology on the APEX makes emptying the dust cup a breeze.
Additional accessories also make it easy to clean hard-to-reach areas throughout your home. We used the crevice tool to clean the grooves in our baseboard molding and it worked like a charm. The power pet brush did a great job of removing pet hair from carpeted stairs and seat cushions. For delicate items like lampshades and pillow cushions, the upholstery tool gently removed dirt and lint. All three accessories —the upholstery tool, pet power brush and 12-inch crevice tool—can be stored on the vacuum, saving you space and preventing you from misplacing any loose parts.
We loved the convenience of the dust cup, which opens easily with the push of a button.
Weighing about 16 pounds in full upright position, this vacuum is significantly heavier than some other vacuums on the market. However, it seemed sturdier than other Shark models that we tested. The swivel steering provided excellent maneuverability and it glided smoothly around furniture. When using the vacuum in portable lift-away mode, the canister didn’t wobble at all when it was placed on the floor. A lot of users have complained about unstable canisters on less expensive Shark vacuums, but this particular model is well-built.
Price: Well worth its steep price if certain features are essential
The Shark APEX DuoClean Upright Vacuum has plenty of advanced features to justify its roughly $400 price tag. Of course, if you’re reluctant to shell out that kind of money on a vacuum, there are some great mid-range options—including other models from Shark—that better suit your budget.
Competition: More affordable options if you’re willing to sacrifice features
Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E): Retailing for around $200, the Navigator Lift-Away Professional is a significantly cheaper model that still delivers powerful suction and a decent array of cleaning options. It doesn’t have the APEX’s self-cleaning brushroll technology and it can’t get under low furniture, but it does a great job of deep-cleaning hardwood floors and carpets. It also includes a pet power brush and several other accessories.
The Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum (NV352): Shark’s Navigator Upright Vacuum is a much more basic model, but it still has powerful cleaning chops. Retailing for roughly $140, it’s one of the brand’s more affordable models. Don’t let the low price tag fool you, though. The Navigator NV352 effectively cleans hardwood floors and carpets and it includes a fair amount of accessories. You won’t be able to go under low furniture with this vacuum and you will lose suction power when its canister is detached, but it’s a solid performer and costs just a fraction of the price of the APEX.
Worth the investment if you want/need a high-tech vacuum.
The Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean is a strong performer that is certainly worth its steep price tag. It has advanced technology and certain features that give it an edge over the competition. However, if these extra features aren’t essential to your needs, you might be just as happy with a less expensive model.
- Product Name Shark APEX DuoClean Upright Vacuum
- Product Brand SharkNinja
- MPN AZ1002
- Price $399.99
- Weight 17.1 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 11.2 x 12.2 x 46 in.
- Warranty Five-year limited warranty
- What’s Included Handle, hose, vacuum pod, wand, motorized floor nozzle, upholstery tool, pet power brush, 12-inch crevice tool