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Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away review:

Hunt dirt with Shark's powerful and versatile cleaner

And because each piece detaches separately now, getting the vac to switch to any desired mode is almost always as simple as pressing a button. On the old vac, pressing the Lift-Away button would remove the canister with the wand still stuck down its back. Now, the wand stays put in the vacuum head.

It's really awesome how easy it is to transform this vac. You can also stick a pair of attachments onto the back of the main vac or onto the caddy should you want to wheel it as a canister. The NV 752 includes a dusting brush, a dusting genie, a true pet mini-motorized brush, a canister caddy, a pet upholstery tool, and a hard-floor genie with a Swiffer-like pad. It also has a bag to keep things organized.

The benefit of this vac comes from being able to clean anywhere with barely a pause as you go room to room. Clean the floors as an upright, remove the canister to reach under the bed, pull out the wand to get the corners, and move on. It makes it so easy to get the whole job done without stopping that you might almost forget you're doing a chore.

... and now your upright is a stick vac. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That's not to say you'll never get yourself tangled. Holding the canister, the power cord and the wand with whatever attachment you're using requires a bit of dexterity on your part and I'd be lying if I said I never got in my own way while using the vac as a stick. And because you have to hold the canister, it's definitely not as maneuverable as a normal cordless.

However, I got tangled less often than I thought it would. So yes, though you can do almost every task seamlessly, you might have to stop if you need to fetch an accessory since you can only attach two to the body. But this vac comes with an impressive amount of well-implemented features that make the process of vacuuming about as simple as possible.

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away isn't perfectly designed, but goodness, it's close.

The NV752 includes a wide array of attachments. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

You can purchase any model of the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away from Shark's website. It's also available from Walmart, Bed Bath and Beyond and other vacuum retailers. It's not currently available overseas.

Attacking dirt

The Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away can reach, bend and twist to get to just about any surface you need cleaned. Its hard-floor genie even dusts your floors with a Swiffer-like pad while you vacuum hard surfaces. That said, in order for that flexibility to be worthwhile, it has to be powerful enough to actually get those surfaces clean once it reaches them. Thankfully, especially on carpets, it stands with other top full-size uprights in terms of cleaning prowess.

To test our vacuums, we spread pet hair, Fruity Cheerios and sand and task it with picking up each. The first gauges how well vacuums avoid tangles and -- more obviously -- how well it'll clean up after your pet. The second, though a bit of a stress test, does a lot to show how well the vacuum handles large particles and sticky items in particular. Sand gives us a great idea of how well the suction of the vac and the brushroll work together to give your carpets a deep clean.

Pet hair, 0.2 oz. (percentage picked up)

Hoover Linx
100
100
100
Dyson DC65 Animal
100
100
95
Oreck Touch Bagless
100
100
92
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away
98
90
25

Legend:

Mid-pile
Low-pile
Hardwood

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

On pet hair, the Rotator Powered Lift-Away fares quite well, though it finished next to last overall among competent competition because it struggled to suck up hair on hardwood. On carpets, it consistently grabbed everything with only minor tangles, but the lip of the vac was too low to the surface on hardwood, and it ended up pushing around the hair instead of pulling it into the dustbin.

The hard-floor genie helped a lot here, and snagged 99 percent of pet hair. Using that for the averages, the Shark Rotator Power would have finished in fourth, just behind the excellent Oreck Touch . It's a good vac when it comes to cleaning up after your pet. The attachments help here, and I was able to use the extra tools to get hair off of upholstery quickly.

Fruity Cheerios, 1 oz. (percentage picked up)

Hoover Linx
100
100
100
Oreck Touch
97
95
92
Dyson DC65 Animal
100
100
80
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away
100
97
35

Legend:

Mid-pile
Low-pile
Hardwood

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

It again did well with large particles on carpet, but like with pet hair, the overall average suffered because of hardwood. On carpet, it snagged almost every single Cheerio and the sticky cereal didn't clog any opening or slow the suction. On hardwood, the front lip couldn't get over the top of the particles and it struggled as a result.

Even the hard-floor genie couldn't help with Cheerios. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The hard-floor genie didn't help here, as the Cheerios were still too tall for it. If you have toddlers, you'll want to keep the broom and dustpan handy. You won't have to spend long sweeping though, because the Shark will grab all the little stuff for you.

On sand, it aced the test on hardwood, getting 100 percent. Surprisingly, it fared slightly worse with the genie, getting only 95 percent. That elevates its total at small particle cleaning over the Dyson Ball Allergy, and it finishes right in line with the older Shark. The Dyson Cinetic, with its filterless approach designed specifically for fine-particle cleaning, wins this battle.

Sand, 2.5 oz. (percentage picked up)

Oreck Touch
83
91
99
Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away
78
73
100
Hoover Linx
34
48
99

Legend:

Mid-pile
Low-pile
Hardwood

Note:

Longer bars indicate better performance

Shark does well on carpets, getting about three quarters of the sand, and this is designed to be a hard test, so it's certainly more than competent as a deep cleaner. It just didn't quite have the extra oomph of the Dyson Cinetic or the Oreck Touch.

Between the main vac and the attachments, you can suck up just about anything with the Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away. It does well enough on every test to live up to its versatile build. It might not be able to keep up with the Dyson Cinetic at deep cleaning, but it's much more well-rounded.

The verdict

When vacuuming on carpet with the $350 Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away, the rapidly spinning brushrolls actually help propel the vacuum when you push it. It seems to race forward with little to no effort on your part. You almost feel like you could sit back and watch it attack, as though this Shark smelled blood in the water. When it comes time to get under the furniture, the canister pulls free leaving you with the thinness of a stick vac while keeping the power of a full-size upright. Even corners and shelves are no match for the easy-to-use wand and attachments.

Hardwood floors are a little different. You can get fine particles with the normal vacuum and pet hair with the hard-floor genie, but you might want to keep the broom and dustpan around for big particles. If your home is mostly hard floors, you should look for a different machine. For a simple vac that's good on all floor surfaces, check out the $400 Oreck Touch . But this Shark thrives on carpet and does more than that Oreck for $50 less. It's a potent, adaptable predator that leaves dirt nowhere to hide.

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