Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK review: A superb corded upright vacuum cleaner that makes short work of lots of dirt
Upright vacuum cleaners like the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away are the cornerstone of serious cleaning work. While cordless vacuums have their place for convenience, this powerful machine won’t run out of battery power halfway through your chores, or need emptying every five minutes.
It has a large floor head for covering lots of floor space with every pass and you can separate the collection bin and cleaning apparatus from the floor head for cleaning stairs and other hard to access areas.
As with most Shark vacuum cleaners, the DuoClean floor head has both a soft roller (for hard floors) and a brush roller (for carpets) in the same unit.
Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK review: What do you get for the money?
At the time of writing, the Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK was widely available for £199, a good £100 off the list price of £299. We reviewed the Rose Gold TruePet model, which comes with the standard crevice tool and multi-surface tool (an upholstery tool with a clip-on brush), and Shark’s Pet Power Brush. The latter uses the air flowing through the vacuum to power a rubber-finned roller attachment that’s like a miniature floor head and shouldn’t get clogged up with hair.
The vacuum weighs 5.25kg, which is light for an upright. Most of the weight is in the floor head, with the collection bin and vacuum engine making up the rest of the lower half of the machine. That leaves the extension wand and the handle at the top, so it doesn’t feel like you’re lifting any bulk around as you’re vacuuming.
When standing upright, the Shark measures 285 x 260 x 1180mm (WDH). However, the cable is only 8m long. This will certainly get you all the way around a large room, but it’s not long enough to reach around multiple rooms in a modestly sized house, so you will need to do some socket swapping as you’re cleaning.
If you want to break the Shark down to clean areas other than the floor, the vacuum unit, handle and wand can all be removed from the floor head. This leaves the handle and bin/vacuum connected just by the vacuum hose so you can more easily clean the stairs, furniture or curtains.
Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK review: What is it like to use?
You don’t expect an upright vacuum cleaner to be as nimble as a cordless stick and this model doesn’t bring any surprises. What does surprise, however, is that it’s not particularly heavy to push around, particularly on hard floor, where it has a smooth, gliding action.
On carpet, the action is a whole lot stiffer. The vacuum has a good seal with the floor, which is great for cleaning but makes it harder to move around. It’s not too bad on the forward push, but resists when you pull back. Changes in direction feel fairly cumbersome, too.
The generous 1.1-litre collection bin is very simple to empty. Simply press one button to release the bin, carry it to a dustbin and release a catch on the bottom to empty it out; with gravity and a couple of taps of the finger the muck just drops out.
Although this model has a comb that catches hair from the soft roller, it doesn’t have Shark’s anti-hair wrap silicon fin and comb system on the main brush. Inspection of the floor head during testing revealed some build-up of hair on the main roller, so with nothing in place to stop that happening, you can expect to have to clear the roller of hair fairly regularly.
The device has a couple of main controls. A three-way switch on the top of the collection bin is used to turn the vacuum on and off and you use the same switch to flick between hard floor and carpet modes. With carpet mode selected, the rollers spin faster to agitate the fibres more and clean deeper into the carpet. Should you require more suction, you can switch from Min to Max mode using a switch built into the handle.
Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK review: How well does it clean?
In a word, this Shark NV702UK upright cleans brilliantly. In our tests it gathered 100% of our 26g Cheerio drop tests in a single pass, on both hard floor and carpet.
It had to work harder when it came to collecting flour. However, although it didn’t manage perfection, it performed extremely well. Of our measured 50g spillages, on full power, the vacuum collected 47g on carpet and 49g on hard floor. On the hard floor test we couldn’t tell you where the last 1g was, as it certainly wasn’t on the floor.
There was a little flour dust dotted around the body and tubes of the vacuum, however, which is where it was probably distributed. A second pass on the carpet took the collected weight up to 48g, where the carpet appeared visually free of flour.
These results speak for themselves. If you’re looking for a solid upright vacuum cleaner that can pick up even the tricky spillages without breaking a sweat, this is a fantastic option.
Shark DuoClean with Lift-Away NV702UK review: Should I buy it?
Anyone looking for an upright vacuum cleaner with the power and features to clean challenging messes need look no further. The Shark performed superbly on both hard floor and carpet, gathering up all the test matter I threw in front of it. In general use, it felt like it was working harder and picking up more dirt than I was getting from any cordless alternatives I’ve tested.
The Dyson Small Ball Allergy is heavier but has a larger collection bin and does a brilliant job of filtering even the smallest particles out of the air. If you want more collection capacity, for less maintenance between cleans or because you simply have a lot of space to cover, something more industrious such as the ever-popularmight still serve you better.