Product: Shark DuoClean Cordless Lift-Away Upright Vacuum
Rating: ★★★★ (5/5)
Price: RRP: £479.99 (but available for £379.99 as part of a sale offer at the time of writing)
What they say:
‘Combines the versatility of an upright vacuum with the freedom of cordless technology. Up to 50 minutes run-time from a single charge of the Lithium Ion battery – which can easily be removed and charged either on or off the vacuum, wherever is most convenient.’
What we say:
There’s a lot to like about the Shark DuoClean. It’s easy and intuitive to assemble, surprisingly lightweight and easy to carry, it feels durable and hard-wearing, and to these eyes it’s attractive, too, with an anodised finish to its metal components.
In its all-parts together, upright form, the powered roller-base has a multi-directional hinge above it, so you can easily ‘steer’ it around corners and along skirting boards, with the control buttons at your thumb-tip on the handle. The flexible base also makes it easy to reach underneath tables and obstacles without lifting them up out of the way.
The base includes in-built lights, which sweep around the room like a car’s headlights and help highlight items in the shadows you might have missed – so you’re less likely to accidentally hoover something up that you didn’t intend to.
If you do, the dust container is easy to open and to detach, as are all the Shark’s components. If you need to vacuum the stairs, for example, you can quickly pop the battery and dustbucket off the main wand and carry them in one hand, while guiding the roller in the other. The DuoClean’s compact size and very light weight come into their own here.
Another bonus is how quiet the Shark is; you can easily have a conversation while using it without needing to shout. Touch the ‘Turbo’ control and its pick-up power temporarily increases, although the battery will run down a touch quicker if you continuously use this mode.
Pull another quick-release control and you can remove the wand/roller and take the Shark outside to clean your car, for example, using the various nozzle attachments that come with the cleaner. One is the ‘TruePet’ attachment, designed to recover as much of your furry friends’ hair as possible from sofas and curtains, for instance – handy if you have any allergy-suffering houseguests.
Charging the battery is easy, too. Plug it into the charging cradle (or in situ on the vacuum body) and a neat light system lets you know how much charge it has remaining.
We tested the DuoClean back-to-back with an older, corded Shark upright model and the older mains-powered machine did pick up dust and crumbs more effectively. But what the battery-powered model ostensibly lacks in overall pick-up power, it gains in versatility and ease of use.
While a dedicated upright, corded vacuum cleaner might ultimately be more powerful for regular heavy-duty use, the Shark DuoClean’s handiness for cleaning the lounge carpet one moment, the hard-tiled kitchen another, and the car the next is hard to beat.
The fact that there’s no loss in power whether used as an upright or in hand-held mode is a real bonus, and in the latter it’s easy to clean under furniture and along stairs, for example.
One of the brush guide elements on the floorhead has come loose on occasion, but has been easy to slide back into place and overall the Shark feels robust.
It’s lightweight, easy to assemble, dismantle and clean, and cleverly designed. Perhaps ideally you’d own both a corded upright and the cordless DuoClean, but as one machine to do it all, this can do the job as a sole household vacuum cleaner.
Battery life is 50 minutes from a full charge.
The DuoClean is so-called because its floorhead uses two motorised brush rolls, the better to pick up large and small debris, and fine dust from different floor surfaces.
The same floorhead is designed to work on both carpets and hard floors, with the brushes movements changed by a toggle switch next to the power button above the handle.
Shark claims the DuoClean is allergy-friendly as its designed to hold ‘99.9% of dust and allergens’ inside the vacuum rather than releasing them back into the air.