Yet another cordless stick vacuum, this one the brand new Shark Cordless Vertex Pro model IZ662H. So new that as of today, it is not yet listed on the company Website and available only from Amazon and Best Buy.
What differentiates this model from the sea of others and what, if any, are standout features?
Dyson, the originator of the high-end cordless stick vacuum category, is the brand that all others emulate and attempt to best. You know their slogan, “Never loses suction.” It’s true, by the way. As a long-time Dyson tester and customer, all vacuums tested here are measured against the high bar set by the Dyson brand. To do otherwise would be foolish. To ignore a comparison would be dishonest. If it looks like a duck . . .
**WHAT’S IN THE BOX**
- Shark Cordless Vertex Pro Stick Vacuum (in pieces)
- Attachments include eight inch crevice tool, pet multi-tool and anti-allergen dusting brush
- Battery charger
The parts assemble easily. Operation can be in upright configuration as well as handheld by removing the extension tube. Accessories fit well and operate as expected. Other than the main brush, none of the accessories are powered. Assembled with the power head, this Shark stick vac weighs in at over 8 pounds.
Once assembled, and once the manual has been studied, it’s time to put it to the test, even before charging. It arrived with a 50% charge.
From the first observation, it is apparent that the manufacturer has substituted a unique outward design with somewhat premium price for excellent engineering. I do not understand why any manufacturer would continue to produce this style of vacuum with filters that require replacement and regular maintenance and, when embedded with schmutz, reduce suction.
Too harsh? Consider this my way of venting.
These observations do not suggest that this stick vac is a bad product, but, rather, not as good as it could be and not what I would have expected in a product with a cost approaching $450. Why, there are Dyson cordless stick vacs for less and several more at greater cost!
The generous dirt bin capacity is admirable and larger than any Dyson of which I am aware.
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**PUT TO THE TEST**
A first observation is that it is noisier than expected. As with any stick vacuum, cleaning a bare floor requires only the lowest suction setting. Featuring “deep-cleaning DuoClean™ PowerFins™ and a self-cleaning brush roll to get rid of hair wrap” it’s time to test this. As can be seen in the photo, there are two as in “Duo” brushes in the business end.
I was pleased with how well it did and how easily the powered business end was able to be cleaned. Very little dirt and only one hair can be seen after cleaning three rooms. The self-cleaning feature appears to work! Dyson has nothing to compare at this price. On the other hand, removing a Dyson brush head’s brush is easy and removing wrapped hair or other strands is easy.
This Shark’s narrow brush head allows it to be steered into places the wider Dyson heads cannot. I like the articulated steering of this Shark. Twisting the Shark right and left from where one would hold it while in use causes the motorized dual brush at the bottom of the tube to steer as the wheels of car turn from rotating the steering wheel. This is not unique to Shark, but it is a good implementation.
Also notice the three circular gray screw heads. With a gentle, tiny turn counterclockwise in the direction shown next to each one, the entire bottom shield comes off for cleaning underneath, including if a clog needs to be cleared. The front brush is removeable with a small button at the right side. Pressing that button ejects the brush for easy cleaning. Returning it to its position, it snaps back in place.
Dysons come apart and reassemble with greater ease and finesse, but there is nothing inherently bad in this Shark take apart and reassembly design.
The Multiflex wand is easily articulated to allow cleaning deep under furniture. It may look odd, but it works well. I have to ask why, however. This one is a head scratcher. It’s just too top heavy to stand upright while unfolded. Other stick vacs are not capable of free standing while upright without a stand or wall hanger. And most others can be laid nearly flat to the floor so the head can operate deep under furniture.
Moving on to low pile rugs, another success and still no mess in the roller assembly.
To recap, the brush head articulates nicely to either side making steering very easy. The head is not too wide, making it easy to steer and navigate into narrower spaces than a traditional upright and many other stick vacs, including Dyson models.
At first look, it was a mystery how stowage would work since it is not supplied with a stand and it is too top heavy to stand upright on its own. After reading the manual, I saw that free standing in an upright position is accomplished only by rotating the handle/motor/bin assembly forward and down after pressing a release button below the dust cup. This lowers the center of gravity so the entire vacuum will remain steady and upright. That’s a smart idea though odd looking. During use it will not stand upright on its own.
There are multiple settings and modes for every surface:
- A hard floor setting in which the Hard Floor icon illuminates and the brush rolls spin slowly to clean bare floors and small rugs.
- A carpet setting in which the Carpet icon illuminates and the brush rolls spin more quickly to pick up dirt down deposited down into the fibers below the carpet’s surface.
- Suction Power Modes vary between ECO, Deep Clean, and Boost Mode.
The Vertex Pro does a good job vacuuming and the articulating accessories make it easy to clean crevices, dust and clean up inside vehicles.
The dust cup has a greater capacity than any other in the category of which I am aware. This is a worthwhile distinction, though I cannot imagine filling it to capacity on one charge. Just how dirty can one’s home be! Still this high capacity is a good thing and just might tip a shopper’s choice towards purchase over others.
On the lowest power and suction setting, this Shark can get up to an hour’s use, and as little as about 8 minutes at full power setting on a single charge of the removable battery. Charging is by a plug-in port near the top when the battery is installed. The battery can also be charged when detached from the vacuum. The vacuum will not operate while charging with the battery installed.
HEPA filtration is said to capture and trap up to 99.9% of dust and allergens down to .3 microns.
The main head is equipped with LED headlights that come on during all modes to not only light the way, but to shed light on dust, dirt and debris at floor level.
The upper part separates from the lower part to become a hefty handheld. The accessories, including the motorized head, all fit and are operable in handheld configuration.
Emptying the dust cup is with a push of the release button. Hold the assembly over a trash bag to minimize the flying dust. Regularly removing and cleaning the dust cup is recommended. This is accomplished by rinsing in the sink. Don’t forget to let it dry thoroughly before reassembly and reuse.
Once again, Dyson stick vacs do not require such regular disassembly and what becomes the need for overnight drying. Deal breaker? You decide.
What about maintenance? Disassembly for clearing a blockage is easy to do with guidance in the Owner’s Guide.
The pre-motor foam filter and the felt filter are my least favorite design that is still used by Shark and some other makers. Through use, dirt clogs the pores and decreases effectiveness. At this price I would have expected a better design that minimizes maintenance requirements. Dyson cordless stick vacs, the brand that popularized the slogan, “never loses suction” have a better design, do a better job and have no such filters to clog. These Shark filters will require inspection after each use in order to determine how often cleaning will be needed. Cleaning consists of rinsing in plain water. I squeeze the water from the foam filter after rinsing to maintain peak performance and then it is important to let them both dry for 24 hours before reassembly.
The post-motor HEPA filter similarly requires regular inspection and cleaning. Dyson’s filters require little attention due to superior engineering.
Its Lithium-ion battery, model XBATR725, is not yet available anywhere, so users cannot order a spare. I expect this to change soon. It is a good feature that the battery may be directly plugged in and charged in place or off the vacuum without an adapter (unlike Dyson models).
I am impressed with its vacuuming performance and general operation as well as its larger than others dirt bin capacity. I can forgive what I criticized as poor filtration design and the odd bend-in-half design that allows for upright stowage. It is not the best I have used at its price point, but there is nothing to specifically recommend against this model. Does the extra generous warranty (see below) tip the scales in favor of this Shark? Readers get to decide.
Buy from Amazon.
Shark Cordless Vertex Pro model IZ662H is covered by the manufacturer’s five year warranty. The Lithium Ion battery is covered by the manufacturer’s two year warranty. Take that, Dyson!