Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet HZ500UKT review: A corded stick vacuum cleaner to free you from battery charging
If you like the idea of a stick vacuum cleaner but don’t want to worry about battery life and charging, then the Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet is a solid corded alternative. It has all the features you’d expect to find on a Shark cordless, but without the battery. Instead, it comes with a cord that needs plugging into a wall socket, like a traditional upright vacuum cleaner.
The motorised floor head incorporates Shark’s DuoClean technology, with both a soft roller and a carpet brush, so it’s capable on both hard floor and carpet without having to switch rollers or floor heads. As the name implies, it also uses Shark’s effective Anti Hair Wrap to avoid getting tangled with hair, and the Flexology part of the name means that you can bend the extension wand to push under low furniture and fold it unit up for easier storage.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet HZ500UKT review: What do you get for the money?
The Shark corded stick is available in two versions: a basic purple model with a list price of £250 (HZ500UK); or the Rose Gold TruePet model with a list price of £270 (HZ500UKT). We tested the TruePet model, which is essentially the same device but adds an additional pet hair removal tool.
There isn’t a great deal of competition in this category. Bissell has the Featherweight, a £45 corded handheld that converts up to a stick but it doesn’t have a motorised floor head, so doesn’t offer the heavy-duty whole-house cleaning power that the Shark does. You’ll find a few models similar to Bissell’s from manufacturers such as Oneday and Jajibot on Amazon, but the biggest names in vacuuming, such as Dyson, tend to lean towards offering either uprights or cordless sticks, with nothing in between.
As with a cordless stick vacuum cleaner, the main suction unit can be separated from the floor head to make a handheld, either with or without the wand attached. It’s less convenient than a cordless stick, though, because you also have to manage the cable, which is probably wrapped around the storage hooks located on the base and the wand, effectively tying them together. This takes away the convenience of a cordless’s handheld mode, which you can just grab and use.
In its handheld mode, it can accept any of the supplied accessories, which include a crevice tool, a multi-surface tool (an upholstery nozzle with a clip-on brush) and, in the TruePet version, the pet hair tool. This latter device is motorised by using a turbine, powered by the suction of air through the vacuum, rather than using its own electric-powered motor. Its rotating ‘brush’ uses rubber flaps instead of bristles, to help reduce hair tangle.
When in full stick-cleaning mode, the vacuum weighs 5.25kg, so is at the heavier end of the stick spectrum, with the weight of the 10m cable weighing more than the battery does on most cordless sticks. However, you’ll only notice this when you’re carrying it from one area to another, since it doesn’t add to the weight of the vacuum when it’s unravelled and lying on the floor.
When in use, the vacuum is 260 x 410 x 1,180mm (WDH), although the handle can be folded down to a height of 680mm for storage when not in use. It can stand self-supported in this configuration and should be small enough to fit into most under-stair cubby holes. You can also use this flexible joint to send the floor head under low-lying furniture without having to bend over.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet HZ500UKT review: What’s it like to use?
The Shark HZ500UKT is simple to operate with only two buttons on the top – which you operate with your thumb – an on/off button, and a second button that’s used to select between carpet and hard-floor modes when the main motorised head is attached. The hard floor mode spins the rollers more slowly, so the brush is less likely to damage the surface of the floor, while in carpet mode it gets much faster to ensure the carpet is fully agitated.
When the motorised head is on the unit, it’s reasonably slick on hard floor but gets a bit bogged down on carpet. This makes the vacuum feel stiff when you’re pushing it around, which in turn makes it feel heavier than it actually is.
Although it’s more maneuverable than most uprights, its design doesn’t let it keep up with the agility of smaller, lighter cordless sticks, such as theor the . It doesn’t have the lightness of touch that these vacuum cleaners have, and it’s much harder work to change direction and push around.
The 300ml collection bin is surprisingly small, too, even by most stick standards, particularly on a device that can cover a decent amount of floor space without other interruptions. It’s easy to remove and empty, though, with a one-handed operation to remove the bin from the stick, and a lid on the top that can be opened to tip the contents into a dustbin. The bin capacity is a bit of a mystery, especially since Shark’s similarly sized and specced cordless model, the, has a collection capacity of 700ml, which this model could definitely benefit from sharing.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet HZ500UKT review: How well does it clean?
Where this Shark corded vacuum cleaner comes into its own is when performing its core duty of sucking up dirt. As we do with all our vacuum cleaner reviews, I threw measured portions of Cheerios and flour into its path, on both short-pile carpet and hard floor, to establish how good a job it could do of picking it up again.
On carpet, all 26g of my Cheerio spillage was picked up on the first pass. I could still see a little crushed Cheerio residue left behind, though it was less than 1g, and was nothing that a subsequent pass of the Shark would leave behind. Flour proved slightly tougher on carpet, with 46g of a 50g spill collected on the first pass. This only increased by another 2g with subsequent passes, although the carpet looked clean – I suspect the remaining dust was deposited in nooks and crannies on the vacuum itself.
Hard floor cleaning was a similar story, though fewer Cheerios were collected on the first pass, with only 24 of 26g showing up in the collection bin. The missing Cheerios appeared as I reassembled the device, having got caught up on something internally, though again it was nothing that a subsequent pass couldn’t gobble up. Flour on hard flooring fared better than carpet, collecting 49 of 50g on the first pass. The rest fell into crevices between floor tiles that most vacuums struggle with, without resorting to handheld tools.
This is exceptional cleaning prowess, and performs better than Shark’s similar cordless. To reproduce this kind of cleaning ability in a device of this stick configuration, we’d be looking at the latest cordless models from Dyson, though they’re significantly more expensive.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap with Flexology and TruePet HZ500UKT review: Should I buy it?
There are two sides to this Shark corded stick vacuum cleaner. There’s no denying that it’s a capable cleaner and it excelled in our tests, gathering up more dirt than most sticks can manage, particularly those available at this kind of price. To get similar cleaning performance across both carpet and hard floor, you have to look to Dyson’s V11 range and beyond, and expect to pay around £500.
However, despite its stick form and Shark doing many things right, it doesn’t quite carry off the magic you get from a cordless. The cable, while long, is still limiting, even if you’re in a relatively small house where its 10m reach can access most corners without too much unplugging. You may not have to worry about batteries but you will get the cord wrapped around chair legs and caught up in occasional tables.
If you’re not being released from that, perhaps it might be worth investigating full upright alternatives, which often have larger motorised floor heads and greater capacities, such as the Shark DuoClean withor the Dyson Small Ball Allergy.