Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner 2020
Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus AZ910UK review
If you want the power of an upright with the convenience of a handheld, then the Shark AZ910UK vacuum cleaner is a really good choice. It’s excellent on all surfaces and the Anti-Hair Wrap feature is a useful touch that most will appreciate.
- Great cord reach
- Easy to attach and remove tools
- No need to switch heads between floor types
- Extremely effective on both hard floors and carpets
- Great on pet hair
- Grippy handles (on main wand and Lift-Away)
- Lift-Away is unsteady – it tends to fall over when stood upright
- Only one filter provided, which could be inconvenient if you vacuum every day
- A bit on the heavy side
- Handy on-board tools – two-in-one crevice tool and dusting brush, and upholstery nozzle
- DuoClean floor head with two motorised brush-rolls to tackle both hard floors and carpet
- Anti-Hair Wrap technology separates and removes hair so it doesn’t wrap around the roller
- Portable Lift-Away – simply lift the main unit away from the wand for more versatile cleaning
- LED headlights
- Anti-Allergen Complete Seal to trap dust and allergens
- 360-degree hose rotation
- Type: Corded upright (can also be used as a handheld)
- Weight: 6.7kg
- Capacity: 0.84l
- Cleaning reach: 8m
- Power: 750W
- Dimensions: 118 × 30 × 27cm
- Warranty: Five years
- RRP: £349.99
What’s in the box?
- Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away upright vacuum cleaner
- DuoClean floor head
- Dusting brush
- Two-in-one duster crevice tool
- Upholstery brush
"Easy to use and the suction is unbelievable. The rug that I was going to get rid of because it was beyond saving now looks new!"
How easy is the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti Hair Wrap Plus to assemble?
Shark's Anti-Hair Wrap Plus is one of the easiest vacuum cleaners to unpack and assemble. Once out of the box, it's a simple one-step process – all you need to do is click the hose and handle into place.
There are clear instructions on how to do this, which meant that our tester, Alison, had the vacuum set up and ready to go within two minutes.
The Shark also comes with three additional tools – a dusting brush for places that need a more delicate clean (such as blinds), a crevice tool to tackle harder-to-reach places (such as skirting boards), and an upholstery brush for furniture.
If you need any extra support, there's plenty of information on Shark's website, including customer service contact details. It also comes with an impressive five-year warranty.
What's the Shark Anti-Hair Wrap Plus like to use day-to-day?
The Shark AZ910UK is the new and improved version of the popular Shark AZ950UKT. It has a different filter and is lighter in weight, so Alison found it a dream to use day-to-day.
Before you begin, you’ll need to slide the button on the handle to adjust the DuoClean floor head to suit the specific floor type you’re vacuuming.
There are three settings – one with a soft roller for hard floors, another for low-pile carpets, and another with thick bristles for cleaning thick carpets and rugs.
This is easy to accomplish as you switch between rooms and means that you'll be able to move seamlessly from floor type to floor type without changing heads.
A brush-roll indicator on the left side of the DuoClean floor head will tell you if the brush-rolls are spinning as they should. Green is good while red indicates a jam.
If you need to swap the main head for one of the tools, they can be attached and removed with ease. Just pull them on and off as required.
The accompanying dusting brush, crevice tool and upholstery brush mean you can complete any cleaning task you can possibly think of, whether that's floors, skirting boards, rugs, upholstery, ceilings, light fittings or curtain poles. You name it, you can reach it and clean it, which makes the Shark much more versatile than a lot of upright vacuum cleaners we tested.
When used as an upright, the ergonomic handle, steerable swivel head and large wheels makes going round corners and under furniture really easy.
The powerful LED lights also illuminate all the dust and dirt under furniture so you know exactly where to target. Plus, with an eight-metre cord and hose extension that can be stretched up to 1.6 metres, the Shark's cleaning reach is another huge selling point.
The Lift-Away simply adds extra versatility so that the vacuum can also be used as a handheld, which is especially useful for multi-storey houses with large staircases – the Shark was tested in a house with a total of 10 rooms over two storeys.
Do be aware though that the Lift-Away can be a bit unstable when left to stand up by itself and it does occasionally topple over. However, Alison also found that other vacuums she tested with a lift-away function – the Hoover H-Lift 700 and the Vax Air-Lift Steerable Pet Max – also had this problem.
The other issue you might find with this vacuum cleaner is that the power button is on the Lift-Away, which sits just above the main floor head when attached to the wand – logical and necessary, mind you, but this will mean having to bend down to switch the machine on.
The cord also needs to be wound manually when you’ve finished vacuuming (we would have preferred an automatic cord), but this was the case with all the upright vacuums we tested.
You’ll also need the space to store this vacuum cleaner when not in use, which is something to consider if you have a smaller house or a lack of storage space.
Uprights tend to be bigger than other types of vacuum cleaner, which meant that Alison had to store the Shark in her utility room. It will, however, also fit in an average-sized under-stairs cupboard.
Does the Shark Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus boast any other features?
The Shark's DuoClean floor head has two motorised brush-rolls that work together to remove large and small debris. These brushes also tackle ingrained dirt in carpet fibres and on hard floors, leaving all surfaces really clean.
Added to this is the Shark's Anti-Hair Wrap, a no-tangle, self-clean technology that separates and removes hair using a bristle-guard and comb. Instead of the hair wrapping around the roller, it’s sucked up straight into the dust bin. Genius.
You can use the floor head when using the Lift-Away. The vacuum motor is 750W and is fitted with Powered Lift-Away Technology, which means the suction power always remains the same.
As as result, there’s no loss of suction whether using the vacuum as a traditional upright or as a portable, something that really impressed us in testing.
How well does the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus vacuum carpets?
For a big and rather bulky upright (weighing in at just under 7kg), the Shark gets really close to edges and performs exceptionally well on carpets.
Large and small debris, such as spilled cereal, rice, sugar, washing powder and tea leaves, were all gone in just a couple of sweeps and any remaining debris was easily tackled using the crevice tool.
This meant that the Shark gave a much better performance than the similarly-designed Vax Air-Lift Steerable Pet Max, which left smaller debris embedded in carpet fibres.
Unlike the heavy-duty (and more expensive) SEBO X7 ePower, for example, the Shark's suction power also wasn't so overwhelming as to pull rugs or mats up with it. This is due to the carpet setting itself, which maintains the brush bar speed and overall power of the vacuum cleaner, while venting some of the suction away through an opening in the handle. As such, both were left looking spotless after cleaning.
How well does the Shark AZ910UK vacuum hard floors?
During testing, the Shark performed very well on hard floors, including tiles, wooden flooring and lino.
It worked equally well on small and large debris, which meant that everything was gone in almost one sweep.
As with carpets, it also tackled edges with no fuss at all, and the dusting brush and crevice tool proved useful and effective when it came to cleaning skirting boards.
How does the Shark AZ910UK cope with pet hair?
The Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus is excellent at removing pet hair from upholstery and pet bedding.
With three dogs and a cat, Alison knows all too well how troublesome pet hair and can be and relies heavily on vacuum cleaners that can handle all manner of pet-induced grime.
As such, the Shark more than exceeded expectation, removing everything from dog hair to sand (Alison lives near the beach) on pet bedding, hard floors and carpets.
Part of the reason for this is the machine's Anti-Hair Wrap technology, which sucked hair straight into the bin (missing the rollers entirely!), making this vacuum cleaner a great option if you’re a pet owner.
How does the Shark Anti-Hair Wrap Plus manage on stairs?
This is where the Lift-Away feature really comes in handy. You can lift the cylinder part from the main body to use the Shark as a handheld vacuum cleaner, giving you much-needed flexibility to tackle even the largest of staircases.
The Lift-Away part can either be positioned on the stairs (or the floor, if you’re vacuuming upholstery, for example) or held using its integrated carry handle.
While the Lift-Away makes the Shark lighter than other, more traditional, uprights that don't have this feature, it's still fairly heavy to move around, which means that it could be quite tiring to hold for long periods of time.
Alison also felt it wasn't very stable when balanced as, when she pulled too hard on the hose to reach a corner or crevice, the Lift-Away had a tendency to fall over.
In terms of tools, the nozzle and upholstery brush are very effective on stairs and get right into corners. With up to 1.6 metres of hose reach, the Shark made it easy for Alison to get all the way up the staircase – no mean feat considering her house has 16 stairs with a deep quarter turn.
Do be aware, though, that the cord can sometimes get in the way. Alison did manage to catch the Lift-Away on the cord which meant it then fell down a couple of stairs.
How loud is the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus?
The Shark is a powerful vacuum cleaner so that naturally does increase its volume.
That said, Alison didn’t find the noise a particular issue and it didn’t worry her dogs either, one of which is a very nervous rescue.
How easy is the Shark AZ910UK to keep clean?
The Shark is very easy to empty and dirt comes out of its bagless bin with no mess or fuss. Squeeze two buttons to disengage the dust bin from the main body, then hold it over a waste bin and press a third button to empty.
As with all bagless upright vacuum cleaners though (and the fact that the Shark AZ910UK is lighter than the AZ950UKT), its bin capacity is relatively small – smaller too than our Best Upright Vacuum Cleaner 2018 winner, the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away NV801UK.
This meant that Alison needed to empty the vacuum after three rounds, on average, of vacuuming the entire house.
When it comes to the HEPA filter, you'll need to wash it in cold water and leave to air dry every three months – inconvenient if you need to vacuum every day, but unfortunately a common issue with many vacuum cleaners.
The filter is, however, easy to get to and to replace, and because it can trap a large number of very small particles, the Shark is the ideal vacuum cleaner for allergy sufferers.
If you suffer from allergies, not only is the mess-free emptying a bonus, but Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal apparently captures and traps 99.9% of dust and allergens.
The Anti-Hair Wrap technology also means you can avoid that awful job of cleaning the brush bar after every use.
Is the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus good value for money?
With an RRP of £349.99, there are cheaper vacuum cleaners out there, but taking into account the performance and versatility of this upright vacuum cleaner, we think it represents great value for money.
If you're lucky, you might also be able to snag a free update to the 'pet' version which comes complete with a dedicated pet tool that removes pet hair with a specially-designed bristle brush.
If not, then the Shark DuoClean Powered Lift-Away Anti-Hair Wrap Plus is still worth some serious consideration. It's a powerful, effective and innovative vacuum cleaner that does everything you need it to do and more.
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