Shark ION W1 Handheld Pros & Cons

Shark ION W1 Handheld Pros & Cons
The Shark ION W1 Handheld vacuum cleaner is cordless, stylish and lightweight.  It is designed for quick pick-ups and can be placed within easy reach on a counter-top, shelf or floor.  This is a powerful little unit that charges quickly and also includes 2 tools.  However it does have some issues.  In this article we highlight the good and the bad.  We also provide videos.
What do you get with your Shark ION W1?
- Shark ION W1 handheld vacuum
- Filter (inside vacuum)
- ION Charging Dock
- Crevice Tool
- Multi-Surface Tool
- Operating manuals (English, French, Spanish)
Attractive vacuum
This is a sleek and attractive vacuum.  It’s good-looking enough that you don’t mind having it on a shelf or countertop in full view.  The fact that it can be placed in an area of prominence makes it that much easier to quickly grab when you need it. 
Includes 2 tools
It comes with 2 tools that fit rather seamlessly into the ION charging dock (where the vacuum also resides).  This makes the tools just as easy to access as the vacuum, and it also provides a storage space for the tools.  Tools without a storage space sometimes get lost.
Fast charging
To charge a fully depleted battery takes only 2.5 hours.  This is quite reasonable as many of the handhelds we own take 3.5 to 5 hours to recharge.  Placing the vacuum back in the charging cradle after every cleaning session is a good idea as it keeps the charge up.
Filter is rinsable
The filter is very easy to access and it is also rinsable in water.  You do not have to buy a new filter when this one is dirty.
Dust canister is easy to empty
The dust canister is very easy to empty.  You simply press one button and the dust canister opens.  It is also very easy to detach the dust canister from the vacuum and do a thorough cleaning.  The dust canister can be washed in warm water and soap.  When it is dry it takes seconds to reattach.
Effective on small to medium sized debris
The ION Handheld does a respectable job of picking up small to medium sized debris on carpet and smooth flooring. We feel this is due to the strong suction generated by the vacuum (the suction is strong given the diminutive size of the vacuum).
Not bad on pet hair
The vacuum does not come with a brushroll or a tool with a brushroll.  One might expect that this would result in poor performance on pet hair.  However we were pleasantly surprised at pet hair pickup using the multi-surface tool.  It is perhaps not as good as a powered tool with a brushroll but that is to be expected.
A great machine for vehicle interiors
The ION Handheld W1 generates good suction and it also has a very narrow profile.  This makes it rather adept at cleaning vehicle interiors.  You can extend the reach even more using the included crevice tool.  Of course, the vacuum is useful in tight/cramped areas in the home as well.
Lightweight and ergonomic
This is the lightest handheld vacuum we own.  It is substantially lighter than most handhelds and has a weight of only 1.4 lbs.  The vacuum controls are also very easy to use and are conveniently located where they can be accessed with your thumb while you are holding the vacuum.
Run time
In our opinion run time is neither a pro nor a con but you should know what it is.  In our tests we found that the vacuum ran for 9 minutes and 52 seconds on a full battery charge.  If you are doing smallish cleaning jobs now and then, this should be ok.  It is a good idea to always place the unit back in the charging cradle as this will keep it charged.
The following video walks through many of the PROS listed above:

A bit loud
The ION Handheld is rather loud for its size.  We tested it against a few Dyson handhelds and found that it was louder than both of them. 
Shark ION: 75.9 dB
Dyson V6: 73.7 dB
Dyson V7: 69.3 dB (low power), 73.8 dB (max power)
No HEPA filter
Households who have folks suffering from asthma or allergies often like a vacuum with a HEPA filter.  This kind of filter removes allergens from the air.  However the ION Handheld does not come with one.  It is perhaps not too big a deal for a handheld (more important in a machine you use for house-wide cleaning) but it is nice to have.
Dust canister “springs” open
The dust canister is easy to open, however it kind of springs open and if you are not careful it can fling debris around.  You need to empty it inside a dustbin or even inside a bag.  If you empty it too far above the dustbin you will get dust/debris scattering.
Dust canister is very small
At 0.08 quarts this is a very small dust canister.  Granted that this is also a very small vacuum, but should you try to tackle lots of debris you will find yourself having to empty the canister frequently.
Does not have a brushroll
The vacuum does not have a built-in brushroll and it does not have a tool with a brushroll.  Brushrolls are very handy for deeper cleaning of carpet, for pet hair removal, and for dealing with upholstery. 
Struggles with large debris
We found that larger debris (like large or stuck-together fruit loops) sometimes get stuck in the vacuum nozzle. They will not pass through and into the dust canister.  The vacuum definitely has the power to pick these up but they are simply too large to get through the nozzle.
No wall mount
The vacuum comes with the ION charging dock where the vacuum and the tools are also stored. But there is no option for mounting it on a wall.  It would have been nice if there was a simple wall mount. Sometimes counter space is at a premium.  Again, this is a nice-to-have but hardly critical.
A few owner comments
Some owners have highlighted that the vacuum grip can be is too large for small hands.  We did not find this.  We also gave the vacuum to someone in our household with small hands.  They did not have any issue with the grip either.  In addition, we read from one source that the grip can get hot when running the vacuum for a long time.  We ran the vacuum for over 9 minutes straight and the vacuum grip was warm at best – not at all uncomfortable.  We have highlighted these two points simply because some owners have felt them worthy of comment.  They were not issues for us but it doesn’t hurt to know about them.
The following video walks through many of the CONS listed above:


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About Me


I'm Nigel Russco, a 50 year old professional engineer who loves to review vacuums, and I’ve been doing just that since 2008.  

I strive to write unbiased, intelligent vacuum cleaner reviews and I provide a score for each and every vacuum I investigate.  My goal is to help you find the best vacuum for your cleaning needs.

Also, watch my video reviews on the Vacuum Cleaner Advisor YouTube Channel.