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Dyson V11 vs. Shark Rocket Pet Pro: Two powerful cordless vacuums compared

See how the impressive Dyson V11 stacks up against one of its closest cordless vacuum competitors, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro.

Within the last few years, companies selling cordless vacuums have increased substantially. Even so, one model, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive, stands apart from the crowd. Put simply, the V11 is the best performing stick vac we've tested to date -- but it isn't the only compelling pick in the category.

Enter the Shark Rocket Pet Pro. Available for $330, it delivers cleaning power that closely matches the V11, but it costs much less than Dyson's luxury appliance. How do these two modern vacuum cleaners really measure up against each other? Let's take a deep dive into the particular strengths and weaknesses of each model.

Chris Monroe/CNET

With a steep sticker price of $600, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is one of the most expensive cordless vacuum cleaners on the market. It's also the best performing stick vac we've tested to date. The V11 scoured our lab floors virtually spotless, picking up numerous types of dirt and debris in the process. It's simple to operate, too, and it comes with lots of extra attachments in the box.

Chris Monroe/CNET

At $300, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro sure costs a lot less than Dyson's flagship stick vac. But that doesn't mean it isn't a worthy challenger. In fact, in many areas, the Rocket matched the Dyson V11's uncanny ability to clean our test floors. It's also a breeze to operate, which is yet another reason to consider buying this machine. 

Cleaning power

The primary mission of any vacuum is to remove as much dirt and debris from your floors as possible. In this department, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive does not disappoint. On our most difficult vacuum test -- sand -- the V11 showcased its prowess and picked up the highest percentage of grit we tossed across our test flooring. That covers three types of floor surfaces, too; hardwood (99.59%), low-pile carpet (78.53%) and mid-pile carpet (71.57%).

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro was no slouch here either, vacuuming up almost as much sand from our lab floors as the Dyson V11. It managed 67.59% pickup on low-pile carpeting, which is about 10% less than the V11 -- but on thicker, plushier mid-pile carpeting, it picked up 72.41%, which beats Dyson by a nose.

Both vacuums had little difficulty pulling sand away from hardwood floors, where there aren't any carpet fibers for particles to cling to and hide beneath. The Shark came in at a perfect 100% while the Dyson V11 picked up 99.59% of the debris.

Percentage of sand removed

Dyson V11 Torque Drive
78.43
99.59
71.57
Shark Rocket Pet Pro
67.59
100
72.41

Legend:

Sand from low-pile
Sand from hardwood
Sand from mid-pile

Note:

Results listed are the average percentage of total material removed from test surface

Pet hair isn't a problem either. The V11 removed all traces of dander from mid-pile and low-pile carpets without any issues. On hardwood, however, the Dyson missed a stray clump, and a few stands became wrapped around the brush roll, too.

Meanwhile, the Rocket had no trouble dealing with pet hair on low-pile carpet and hardwood. That said, it did miss a small tuft of fluff during my mid-pile tests.     

Overall, while the Shark Rocket Pet Pro comes very close to matching the Dyson V11's performance, the V11 retains the upper hand. 

Winner: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Design and ease of use

Outfitted with a handy LCD screen, the Dyson V11 displays relevant information such as battery level and its predicted runtime. It's a good design, with the LCD sitting above the handle on the back of the machine, so it's always within sight while you're using it. Emptying the V11's dustbin is a cinch too. Just point the vacuum into the trash, push its release tab away from you, then pull it back. It's the simplest procedure on a stick vac that I've seen.

The Dyson V11 has a handy LCD screen that displays how much vacuum time left in its battery.

Dyson

The Shark Rocket Pet Pro's dustbin system isn't as sophisticated or easy to operate, but it's at least better than most other cordless vacuums. The Hoover BladeMax, for instance, is particularly problematic -- besides being tricky to open, it's often hard to tell if the dustbin is connected properly. The Rocket Pet Pro's dustbin is much better than that, but Dyson's design still takes the win.

Winner: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Extras

With the most cleaning tools in the box, the Dyson V11 Torque Drive is the clear winner in terms of extras. Apart from the main High Torque cleaner head, you get five additional attachments. Here's a quick rundown:

  • Mini motorized tool
  • Combination tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Stubborn dirt brush
  • Mini soft dusting tool

The Rocket Pet Pro ships with just two attachments, a crevice tool and a pet multitool. 

Winner: Dyson V11 Torque Drive

Value

At half the price of the Dyson V11, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro is the hands-down best choice if your objective is to save money. That's not to say you can't snag a refurbished V11 model for a little less -- but even then, the discount comes nowhere near the comparatively modest cost of the Shark Rocket. 

Winner: Shark Rocket Pet Pro   

The winner overall

With a score of 3 to 1, it isn't quite a clean sweep, but the Dyson V11 Torque Drive comes out on top. Ultimately, it's the better overall choice if you value raw performance and lots of included extras. On the other hand, if your goal is to save as much cash as possible without sacrificing too much cleaning ability, the Shark Rocket Pet Pro is a compelling alternative.

Read moreThe best cordless vacuum for 2021: Moosoo, Shark, Dyson, Bissell, Hoover and more