Shark DuoClean Lift-Away NV800UKT Review

What is the Shark NV800UKT?

Shark’s range-topping DuoClean Lift-Away NV800UKT is a multi-purpose stick and cylinder cleaner. With an 850W motor and bagless bin, its twin-brush floorhead tackles any floor covering and the Lift-Away section of this upright is ideal for stairs.

It cleans outstandingly well, is ridiculously versatile and only its small bin and weight in upright configuration count against it. It isn’t a budget option at £370, but regular special offers at around £250 make it something of a bargain all-rounder.

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Shark NV800UKT – Accessories

Shark has yet to disappoint us with its cleaners and the flagship DuoClean Lift-Away NV800UKT is no exception. This model is a full-power upright vacuum cleaner with Lift-Away section for cylinder-cleaner like versatility. The handle attaches directly to tools for detail cleaning, while the tube gives extra reach if required. You can even attach the main floorhead to the tube for stick-cleaner manoeuvrability. Brilliant!

Key to the NV800UKT’s cleaning capabilities is the new DuoClean floorhead. This features two powered brush bars. The first is a soft-flocked roller, ideal for sweeping up fine particles. The second is a traditional stiff-bristle brush for carpet beating and larger debris. The flocked roller runs through a row of cleaning teeth that free dust from the roller into the suction airflow.

The smaller front roller can be removed and washed, while the top panel comes away for access to the main brush bar. Shark even supplies a little on-board tool for detangling hairs from the bar. That’s a great little addition.

The full-tilt and pivot neck offer plenty of manoeuvrability, whether the vac is being used as an upright or in its lightweight stick mode. Two rows of four LEDs light up the path in front of the floorhead either way.

A switch on the handle swaps the head between carpet and hard floor cleaning mode. The brush bars rotate in both modes – slowly on the hard floor mode, and a whole lot quicker on the carpet setting.

A small, air-powered turbo-tool is supplied for lighter cleaning duties. This has no articulation in the neck or floor plate, so keeping it flat to the surface will be a bit of a challenge. Conversely, the upholstery tool has a unique curve to the base that stops it sticking down too much with the suction.

The tool roster is complete with a dual-purpose crevice tool and dusting brush. The crevice tool is a good length and the slide-down brush has super-soft bristles for delicate dusting.

The main cleaner body has a nicely positioned handle on the top, situated beside the main power switch and the Lift-Away release button. There are three filters, leading to a solid A rating for dust emissions. Two internal foam filters and the HEPA exhaust filter are all washable.

The NV800UKT package is topped off with a handy 8m long cable with winder hooks on the body, plus a very flexible, stretchy hose.

Shark NV800UKT – What is it like to use?

Fully assembled as an upright cleaner, the NV800UKT is quite a weighty beast at 6.6kg. If you attach any of the detail tools to its two storage clips, it’s weightier still. It’s up there with some of the heaviest upright cleaners – the Shark is clearly geared up for more robust cleaning duties and larger homes.

In use as an upright cleaner, you do feel that mass too. Having the motor weight higher up in the Lift-Away section puts a little more pressure in the hand. Moreover, the dual rollers rotating in the same direction tend to drive the machine forward. It isn’t too onerous to pull back against this driving force, but, on carpet in particular, it can feel like it wants to take itself off across the room.

No such issue in Lift-Away mode, though. The Lift-Away section is much lighter at just 2.5kg. The hose and handle add a further 1.5kg to that weight but since this is likely to be in your other hand, it creates a nice balance. Without the extra weight of the cleaner body, the driving force of the rollers isn’t as bad in its ‘stick cleaner’-style configuration either.

Unlike a true cylinder cleaner, the Lift-Away section isn’t designed to roll or follow you. It has to be carried, even if you’re using the tube and main floorhead.

Shark is very good at labelling all its switches and clips, and they fit together securely. The hose-to-body connection was rather stiff at first, but it began to ease over time. The main head clips firmly into place onto the handle or tube, while the detail tools simply push-fit into place.

Bin release and emptying worked well, but its capacity is limited. At just 0.5 litres, that’s smaller than some cordless vacs we’ve tried. The Shark’s great cleaning performance means it fills very, very quickly too.

Running noise is a little rowdier than we’re used to in these days of EU noise limits. The Shark measured around 73dB over hard floors and 78dB with the brush bars at full power over carpet. The mini turbo-tool howled like a jet engine, putting our sound pressure meter into the red at 90-91dB. Next year’s Shark models will comply with the latest noise legislation, but will they perform so well? Time and the Trusted Reviews test bench will tell.

Fit, finish and build quality of the NV800UKT is very good throughout. There are plenty of nice detail touches too. We particularly like the supplied brush bar cleaning tool, clip to keep the hose from flapping about while in upright mode, and the well-designed upholstery tool.

Shark NV800UKT – How does it clean carpets and hard floors?

Across all our cleaning tests, the NV800UKT quite literally cleaned up. Solid suction power and that double brush bar floorhead did a great job over hard floors and carpets alike. The soft front roller is adept at picking up the finest particles. It then buffs surfaces spotless, while the main brush bar agitates dirt from carpets with ease.

Our spilled oats on tiles test saw the Shark’s cleaning performance at its very best. That front roller, with its flocked surface, drew in all of the oats and then polished any dust residue from the floor. Good suction ensured everything then ended up in the bin. A perfect result.

Carpet cleaning was a little more challenging due to the dual brush bars pulling the machine forward and adding resistance to the backstroke. It won’t prove overly difficult for most, but it is noticeable. Our Octogenarian tester suggested it was too much for her, but younger users shouldn’t have a problem.

Thankfully, the Shark’s cleaning result makes that extra effort bearable. It did a very good job of cleaning our mix of carpet cleaning powder, talc and baking powder in a single forward sweep. It cleaned deeper into the pile on the backstroke. There were some carpet powder grains left after this two-pass test, but no more so than other cleaners that comply with the new 900Watt EU power limit. Edge-cleaning results were equally impressive, with a clean sweep right up to the skirting.

Good suction power delivered suitably impressive results from the detail tools too. The crevice tool is a little chunky and the dusting brush very soft for our tastes, but your mileage may vary.

The mini-turbo tool works – but not without caveats. The fixed neck and solid floor plate make it more of a challenge to keep flat on a surface. Like most air-powered tools it does slow on denser surfaces, although we didn’t manage to stop it completely – even on the depth of the shaggiest shag pile.

Shark NV800UKT – How easy is it to use on stairs?

The NV800UKT’s Lift-Away body, decent-length cable and mini-turbo tool are close to an ideal package for stairs. You get mains-power suction, lightweight manoeuvrability and good reach. That may well see you clean a complete flight of stairs in one go.

For carpeted stairs, the mini-turbo tool is our tool of choice. However, you’ll need some wrist dexterity to see this tool at its best. You need to get the angle just right to ensure the brush bar stays in contact with the surface. Get that spot on and it cleans very well, and is small enough to get into all but the tightest corners.

Conversely, the tool’s fixed neck makes it even easier to flip the head 90 degrees to clean stair uprights. With a dog that often camps out halfway up our stairs, this proved very handy indeed.

The upholstery tool’s soft pads will allow you to tackle polished wood steps without fear of scratching the surface. Perhaps a larger, stiffer brush than the supplied dust brush would be even better for hard surface steps. But this is being picky on what is, otherwise, stellar stair-cleaning versatility.

Shark NV800UKT – How does it cope with pet hair?

Competing with Dyson’s Fluffy, this Shark’s front roller is every bit as effective at cleaning pet hairs from hard floors. From the finest single pet hairs to big balls of Labrador tumble weed, the head claws in 100% of fluffy debris. Sucked in hairs seem to avoid the secondary bristle brush and end up in the bin too.

The front roller doesn’t work as well over carpet, but this isn’t an issue with the secondary brush bar. Spinning much faster on the carpet setting, it pulled up hairs wound into the pile well. Only some seriously pile-entangled hairs resisted its cleaning power.

For pet beds, the mini-turbo tool works a treat. The spinning brush keeps it from sucking in loose material while simultaneously scraping engrained dirt and hairs from the fibres.

For those with pets that prefer the sofa to their own beds – I’m looking at both our dogs across the office – the upholstery tool is pretty effective too. The red pads do claw hairs well, but that does mean you’ll need to clean the tool every so often to keep it effective.

Why buy the Shark NV800UKT?

Versatile and effective, the NV800UKT offers mains-powered vacuuming as an upright, cylinder and even a stick-style lightweight cleaner. The twin rollers, polishing action of the soft bar, great LED lighting and solid suction get the better of dirt on a wide range of surfaces. The Lift-Away core and detail tools make stair cleaning easy.

Fully assembled it’s quite heavy, the floorhead does tend to drive forward and the bin is rather bijou. But if you can live with those caveats then the Shark Lift-Away DuoClean NV800UKT is a great all-rounder.

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Verdict

Powerful and versatile, Shark’s NV800UKT is a great all-round cleaner – compromised only by its hefty weight and small bin.

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