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Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro (NV356E)

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Avg. consumer rating = 92/100 

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro (NV356E) is getting top notch reviews.  As a matter of fact, over 5000 consumers on Amazon - at the time of this writing - have so far given this vacuum 4.6 stars out of 5.  This machine is similar to the Shark Navigator Lift Away (NV350) but it comes with a special professional dusting bare floor tool, and there are a few other differences as well.  Most owners praise this unit for its strong suction, light weight, maneuverability, large dirt canister and Lift-Away feature.

The Shark Navigator Lift Away NV350 and the Shark Navigator Lift Away Pro NV356E are similar machines but the two can quickly and easily be differentiated by their color.  The NV350 is lavender in color while the NV356E is white and silver.  The “Pro” is also a little heavier at about 14 lbs compared to 12.8 lbs for the NV350, and the “Pro” dirt canister is larger with a capacity (to the fill line) of 0.55 gallons while the NV350 dirt canister capacity (to the fill line) is 0.3 gallons.  It should be noted that the canisters on both units can actually hold more but the recommended capacity before emptying is as stated above. There are a few other differences as well, such as vacuum dimensions.

As this machine is rather new there is limited owner input at this time but we still managed to find several consumer ratings.  As can be seen in the table below ratings are very, very good.

Ratings Updated February 2016
 Source  Consumer Ratings  #Ratings
 Amazon  4.6 stars out of 5  5808
 Walmart  4.6 stars out of 5  192
 Consumer Reports  3 stars out of 5  3
 Bed, Bath & Beyond  4.5 stars out of 5  277
 Office Depot  4.8 stars out of 5  12
 Staples  4.7 stars out of 5  3
 Viewpoints  4.8 stars out of 5  97
 Overstock  4.6 stars out of 5  37
 Best Buy  4.7 stars out of 5  44

You can read more Lift-Away Pro customer reviews on Amazon if you wish. 

A review of the consumer comments yielded the following likes and dislikes:

PROS
- Lightweight
- Strong suction
- Very maneuverable
- Lift-Away feature works well
- Seems durable
- Easy to assemble
- Suction can be lowered for more delicate vacuuming
- Performs well, especially for the cost

CONS
- Lots of plastic used in the vacuum construction
- Small crevice tool sometimes falls off vacuum
- Hose isn’t very long and can pull vacuum over if you pull on it too hard when using attachments

The NV356E is a bagless upright vacuum cleaner that uses cyclonic suction.  Cyclonic suction was made famous by Dyson for “never losing suction”.  This technology essentially spins air at very high speeds and uses centrifugal force to remove the dust and dirt from the airflow.  Cyclonic suction also helps keep much of the debris away from the filters thereby ensuring that they stay cleaner longer.

The Lift-Away Pro is powered by a 10 amp motor.  Many full size vacuums use a 12 amp motor these days but we see absolutely no consumer concerns related to this machines power and most owners are pleased with the amount of suction generated.

The Navigator Lift-Away Pro is built with sealed system construction, termed Complete Seal™ Technology by Euro-Pro.  This ensures more efficient air filtration because unfiltered air cannot leak out through the vacuum casing – the casing is “sealed”.  The Lift-Away Pro also includes HEPA filtration. HEPA filtration removes very small particles such as dust mites, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, etc from the air.  This combination of a sealed system and HEPA filtration is popular with individuals suffering from asthma or allergies.  In addition, the HEPA filter included with the vacuum is lifetime washable.

Lift Away Feature
Lift Away Feature

The dirt canister along with motor, hose and wand on the NV356E can be detached from the main vacuum offering a portable vacuuming unit.  This is the “Lift-Away” feature and owners like it (see image).  The canister is easy to carry and makes vacuuming stairs and other hard to reach areas much easier.  See video at the bottom of the article to learn how to use the Lift Away canister.

The dirt canister itself is bottom empty and consumers report that emptying it is quite simple.  It is also fairly large and will hold 0.55 US gallons of debris before emptying is necessary.
 

Several tools are provided with the Lift-Away Pro and include:
- An extra long crevice tool (24 inches)
- A smaller crevice tool
- A small dust brush
- Pet hair power brush (air turbine tool for pulling up pet hair)
- Dust-Away hard floor attachment

The small dust brush and crevice tool are stored on-board the vacuum although some consumers note that the crevice tool can sometimes fall off.  We have also read that all of the above tools are not always included with the vacuum and it can depend on which retailer the vacuum is purchased from.  As a result it may be a good idea to check before buying.

lift-away on/off switch
on/off switch

The brushbar can be turned on and off via the power switch (see image above).  The brushbar is generally off when vacuuming bare floors and for above-floor cleaning using the hose, wand and attachments.  When cleaning carpet the brushbar is usually turned on.  This unit has no carpet height adjustment. 

One can also use the Dust-Away hard floor attachment for cleaning bare floors, and this tool is used in conjunction with the Lift-Away feature.  This is a specialized tool that sucks up larger dirt particles while the micro fibre pad on the attachment traps fine dust. You can also clean bare floors without this attachment (simply vacuum with the brushbar off) but it is useful when a superior bare floor cleaning is desired. It is shown on the end of the hose in the short video at the bottom of the article.

The Navigator Lift Away Pro also has nozzle motor overload protection which will shut off the nozzle motor should the brushbar be slowed or stopped by an obstruction.  This will help save the motor and also limit any damage to the vacuum belt. 

The cleaning path width on the vacuum is quite narrow at 9.25 inches.  Most uprights have a cleaning path width several inches wider and while a narrower vacuum head will limit the amount of area cleaned by each pass of the vacuum, there are a number of positive consumer comments that this narrow nozzle enables the vacuum to easily get under and around furniture.

Lift Away Pro Suction Collar
Lift Away Pro Suction Collar

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro sports a 30 foot power cord which wraps along the side of the vacuum – this vacuum does not have auto-cord rewind.  The machine also has a 6.3 foot long hose and suction control which is adjusted via a rotating collar on the vacuum handle (see image).  The NV356E carries a respectably long 5-year warranty.

Note: The Lift Away Pro is an ETL listed vacuum cleaner.  ETL is a group that performs electrical and reliability tests on products to ensure they meet US product safety standards. They also audit the manufacturing site and require that the applicant agrees to future factory inspections to ensure continued adherence to the standards.

Vacuum Cleaner Video
This very short video shows how the Lift-Away feature works.

Vacuum Cleaner Manual
To learn more about the Shark NV356E (assembly, maintenance, features, etc.) you may wish to check out the vacuum cleaner manual here.

 

 

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Comments  

0 # John R. 2011-12-03 10:37
This is a fine vacuum and well worth the money. Note that in the review above it does not mention that the canister has two ways to empty - there exist both top and bottom lids. This is handy as pet hair can sometimes wrap around the left support brace.

Our Hoover wind tunnel has served us well but the rug pile was not rising and we always found embedded hair when we carpet cleaned - no doubt because we have two dogs and two cats!

The Shark raises the rug pile and extracts two inches of hair and grime AFTER using the Hoover. We are sold and now recommend it to anyone looking for a Dyson clone that is better because of the Lift-Away feature.
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0 # Erin 2012-01-01 23:32
initial post day 1 - seriously it is so good out of the box i am excited to relay the news =)

we have a crappy vacuum that we were going to replace with a dyson, bad allergies and asthma issues with my son and myself so getting a good one this time was important. we read a lot of reviews. i had seen the shark in costco and a couple other places... so after reading a few disheartening reviews on the dyson i could (barely) afford (as a refurbished purchase) i looked into the shark, because buying a new machine with original warranty seemed like a better idea.

my boyfriend put it together (pretty quick and painless) and started vacuuming after we had vacuumed earlier in the day with the crappy one. UNBELIEVABLE what the shark pulled up ... really gross to think that before when we thought we were cleaning and would be on our floor that it was still that dirty.

I am looking forward to getting my house that much cleaner with a great and affordable vacuum.
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0 # Steve 2012-01-09 10:01
When watching the tests on this vacuum I was questioning the show. So I bought the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro.

I already own a Dyson Roller ball and when the Shark arrived I put it through my test. I vacuumed the whole house (3800 sqft)with the Dyson. Then I went over it again with the Shark. I have to say that I had to empty the canister 4 times. The carpet pile popped up as though I had just had then steamed cleaned. When the wife saw them she asked who came and cleaned the carpets.

I told her that the Shark had come and I wanted totest it out. Needless to say I have not used the Dyson since getting this awsome machine.
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-1 # Steve K 2014-02-05 17:38
I was extremely disappointed in the vacuum. It is very cheaply constructed for the money ($200 plus) you pay. The brush motor burned out in less than 3 weeks of general house vacuuming. With no support or service dept. for them the only option was to throw it away or return it and hope you can get your money back. Buy a $99 cheap vacuum, it usually lasts 3 0- 4 years, not the 3 weeks this piece of plastic lasted.
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About Me

Hello!

I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer originally from the west coast of Canada.  I love to review vacuums and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I make every effort to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide average consumer ratings for each and every vacuum cleaner I investigate.  My ultimate goal is to ensure you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.  

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