Shark NV501 Rotator - White/Red - Vacuum Cleaner Reviews
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Shark NV501 Rotator - White/Red - Vacuum Cleaner

36 ratings (8 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Shark-Out-Loud! This is a great Vacuum!!!

Jan 30, 2013 (Updated Mar 26, 2013)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Ease of Cleaning:
  • Style:

Pros:Powerful Suction, 3-in-1, Many Tools included, Quieter, Easy Assembly

Cons:Tips over easily if bumped

The Bottom Line: If you want a vacuum and don't want to spend the money of a Dyson, but want the power. Then this is the vacuum for you!


It's not very often that I go outside of my comfort zone and buy a product from a manufacturer that I'm not all that familiar with. Buying a Shark vacuum was furthest from my mind. My last two Bissell bagless vacuums did not last nearly as long as I'd expect.  So the hunt was on for a new vacuum.

My last vacuum was a Bissell 5770 Bagless Upright Cyclonic Vacuum, which I was quite happy with, at first.  Then after about three years, all of the hoses began getting holes in them.  I didn't feel like buying replacements, so duct-tape became that vacuum's new accessory.  Finally I'd had enough and began my research for a new vacuum for our home.

My SIL had just bought a Dyson, but I couldn't see myself spending that kind of money.  So I thought to myself, "Self, there's got to be a good vacuum out there that won't require me to sell a body part."  Sure enough I was right!  I found the Shark Rotator Professional 3-in-1 vacuum.  And I'm glad I did!  Here's my breakdown of this vacuum.


Putting this vacuum together was so simple. I think it took more time to get all the components out of the box than it did to actually put the vacuum together. All the parts simply click to each other, no tools required!  I loved that about this vacuum.

Sucking Power:

This vacuum flat out SUCKS!!!  I mean that in the best possible way.  The cyclonic power of this vacuum works extremely well. My wife had just steam cleaned our carpets the day I bought this vacuum. After the carpets had dried, I decided to go over where she'd cleaned. In just one room (108 sq. feet), this vacuum was able to suck up a ball of dust and lint the size of my palm, which isn't small. We both couldn't believe it!

Then my Sister borrowed my steam cleaner and cleaned her carpets after vacuuming with her Eureka vacuum. The day after she'd finished (to make sure her carpets were dry) I asked if I could bring over my new Shark Vacuum.  She thought I was nuts, but agreed. I was almost giddy to show her how well this vacuum worked. She soon couldn't believe what she was seeing.  After only vacuuming the hall and front room (135 sq. feet) the canister was at least 1/4 full.  After dumping out the canister she stated, "There's dog hair in there from a dog I haven't had for two years."  Yep, this vacuum is amazing!!!


As mentioned above, the assembly of this vacuum is a breeze.  So taking it apart is equally as easy.  There's so many options with this vacuum it's hard to know where to start.  First the canister detaches with a simple slide of a latch.  Then you can dump the canister either by releasing the latch on the bottom, or you can release the latch on the top of the canister and empty it upside down. I like the added touch of both latches on top and bottom of the canister.

There are four red buttons on the top of the Shark vacuum:

Power Button:  This does as it says, turns the vacuum on and off.

Brush Roll Button:
 Pushing this button will toggle the powered brush. This button also lights up when the powered brush is activated and turns off when not. When the vacuum is in the upright position, the brush will automatically stop.

Wand Button:
Pressing this unlocks the entire wand, which you can then pull out and use as an extension to get to those hard to reach places, like ceiling fan blades, or the top of curtain or high shelves. All attachments are easily inserted into the end of the wand.

LiftAway Button:
This unlocks the body/canister of the vacuum, which you can then lift off of the head of the vacuum. This is handy because you can simply cary the body by the comfortable handle on top of the canister and take it anywhere you're going, or as far as the 30-foot power chord will take you.  This makes vacuuming stairs very easy to do!

At the base of the handle, there's another lever where you can detach the hose from the Wand. This is handy because you can insert any of the attachments for those up-close areas you need to clean, like beneath your couch cushions (which are quite scary in my home!).

Also at the base of the handle is a Variable Suction Ring.  This rotates to uncover small holes. The idea is that these holes will reduce the suction power for when you need to vacuum area rugs or other delicate items. When done, simply rotate the ring until the holes are covered back up.

The dust bin says it is an extra-large capacity.  However, that is a bit misleading, as the bin is really quite thin and has a crescent-moon shape.  Though the bin is deeper than the other Shark Rotator models below it.

This vacuum has Swivel Steering, which is their version of the Dyson "Ball". I love this feature! It makes it so easy to pivot on a dime and go around furniture or going around corners.

To unlock the head of the vacuum, you simply press down on it with your foot until it releases. Also, the vacuum head is only 11 inches wide. I wondered if this was going to be an issue since my Bissel was wider. After using this vacuum, I can assure you that this is not an issue at all. Just the opposite, because of the narrower head, I find I can get between furniture much easier than I ever did with the wider vacuum. The head is very close to the ground and fits beneath most cabinet overhangs. There is no height adjustment on the head.  However, I've vacuumed on very short carpet at my mother's copy/print shop (I clean for her each Saturday), my home's short-pile carpet, and my Sister's medium-pile carpet. I have not noticed any decrease in performance between any of those carpets.

This vacuum has headlights!!!  Yep, headlights.  I don't know that many people who vacuum in the dark, but if they do, they'll be able to get around very easily. These headlights have two bright LED lights on either side of the vacuum and are angled to meet in the middle of the vacuum's head, just like the lights on my car.

Shark claims that this vacuum will block 99.9% of dust and allergens from escaping from the vacuum.  With two filters (1 foam filter and 1 felt filter) on top of a HEPA filter, I believe it!  Factory recommendations for filter cleaning are very long:
- Foam and Felt Filters - Wash every 3 months 
- HEPA Filter - Hand rinse every 12 months

There are two on-board attachment spots on the back of the vacuum which holds the Multi-Brush Tool and 18-Inch Crevice Tool. These tools stay in place very well.  I've yet to have them accidentally fall off the vacuum.

I was able to stretch the hose out to approximately 9 feet, though I had to have someone hold the vacuum in place to do so, because the hose is new and rather tight right now. If you include the Wand, the hose can extend to 11 feet.

As I mentioned earlier, the power chord is 30 feet long, but it is manual. Though I've never had an automatic chorded vacuum, so it's not a big deal for me.


This vacuum also comes with a lot of fun tools:

Cady Tool: This is a four wheeled base with two tool pegs where you can mount any of the attachments. Also, the body of the vacuum can mount to the middle of this cady, which makes cleaning carpets very easy, and practically eliminates the possibility for the vacuum to tip over.

Premium Turbo Brush: This brush screams, literally. When attached to the Wand or Handle, it sounds like a jet plane is about to take off. The great thing is that you can really press this into your carpeted stairs and not have any performance issues since it is operated by the amazing suction power of this vacuum.

18-Inch Crevice Tool: This tool actually adjusts to a maximum of 18 inches. To adjust the length, you simply press on the gray nob in the middle to release it and pull it out until extended. Then press the red nob to detract it.

Multi-Brush Tool: This tool has a brush that can slide off to become a smooth upholstery tool.

Straight Suction Nozel: This nozel attaches to either the Wand or Handle and is designed to pick up large and small debris from all hard floor surfaces and area rugs. It has two heighth adjustments depending on the surface you are going over. 

Home and Car Detail Kit (NV502): This kit has multiple tools to get into those very tight and small crevices, such as, computer keyboards, fridge vents, or inside your PC.


This vacuum weighs in at about 16 pounds. Compared to my last Bissell vacuum, this thing is light! My 8 yr. old son is able to cary this vacuum up and down our stairs with minimal effort.

The power cord is on the side of the body of the vacuum and fairly near the bottom. I do find myself stepping on the chord occasionally. This is a minor nuisance, and only happens if I'm holding the cord in my hand while vacuuming.  Also, this cord is only 30 feet long.  The cord of my last vacuum was 35 feet long.  I do miss the extra 5 feet of cord length.

The hose attaches to the bottom of the vacuum and rotates up and down and swivels, which makes it less likely to tip over as this gives it a lower center of gravity.  However, when the vacuum is fully assembled and chord is wound, it can easily tip over if brushed by someone walking by. This is my wife's largest complaint about this vacuum.

This vacuum is quite a bit quieter than the Bissell vacuum, which I appreciated.  Also, it tends to run cooler than my last vacuum did since the air blowing out isn't nearly as hot.

I'm not a big fan of Red, but the Red accents on this majority white vacuum looks very stylish (at least to my male eye). 

I bought my vacuum (NV502) at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  After using the 20% off discount that comes in the mail, this vacuum was only $200 before tax.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 200

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