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Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus Review

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Avg. consumer rating = 89/100 

In this review we look at the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus cordless handheld vacuum, model CH951. This lithium-ion battery powered vacuum is touted as a lightweight machine for cleaning the home, office, boat or car as well as homes with pets. It includes a motorized tool with a self-cleaning brushroll that is designed to pick up pet hair without tangling. We walk through all the vacuum features and test both the motorized and non-motorized tools on a host of different debris and surfaces.

 

 

Green Check Mark s Easy to empty   Red Cross s Suction is average
Green Check Mark s Lightweight & comfortable to use   Red Cross s Not for deep cleaning
Green Check Mark s Pet hair pickup is good   Red Cross s Motorized tool not great on car mats
Green Check Mark s Good for small/med debris on carpet   Red Cross s Not good on large debris (like cheerios)
Green Check Mark s Good for small/med debris on hard floor   Red Cross s Shorter run time than expected
Green Check Mark s Entire dust canister can be cleaned   Red Cross s Long recharge time
      Red Cross s No charging cradle
      Red Cross s Battery is not "click-in"
 
Quick Specs
Type Handheld
Bagged/Bagless Bagless
Best for... Hard Floors & Carpet
Pet Hair Features Yes
Approx. Weight 2.24 lbs
HEPA Level Filtration No
Power Cord Length Cordless
Motor Driven Brushbar Yes
Warranty 2-years

 

CONSUMER RATINGS
Over 5000 owner ratings were found on a host of retail sites and they are recorded in the table below. When a weighted average is applied to these ratings we get an overall score for the vacuum of 89.1 out of 100. This is a reasonable score. You can compare it to the scores of other vacuums in our Vacuum Cleaner Finder application.

Source
Consumer Rating
# Ratings
Amazon 4.5 stars out of 5 4171
Bed, Bath & Beyond 4.1 stars out of 5 277
Best Buy 4.5 stars out of 5 377
Home Depot 4.2 stars out of 5 250
Target 4.2 stars out of 5 127

 

WHAT"S IN THE BOX?
You can see what came with our Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus in the image below:

Whats in the box - Shark UltraCyclone

This is a fairly sparse package. We got the handheld vacuum, a charger, and three tools. There was nothing else. No manual or quick start guide either. Fortunately you can download the manual online. We have read comments from some owners who report receiving a manual in the box – so perhaps ours was just missing. At any rate, it’s not hard to find a manual online and we also have it at the bottom of this review. Note that we frequently place downloadable manuals at the bottom of our reviews so if you need a manual then search for the review on our site and scroll down to the bottom.

You may want to check out UltraCyclone owner comments and reviews on Amazon.

TOOLS
Three tools are provided with the Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

Shark UltraCyclone Tools

The box contains a crevice tool, a scrubbing brush, and a self-cleaning pet powerbrush. The crevice tool and scrubbing brush are pretty straightforward. They are small but they work, although we think the crevice tool is a bit short and won’t really allow you to get far under a low appliance like a stove or fridge.

The self-cleaning pet powerbrush is more interesting. It is motorized and has a spinning brushroll with fins instead of bristles (see underside of tool in image below). Shark states that this is a “self-cleaning brushroll that eliminates hair wrap”. We test this tool further down in the review (and provide a video).

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Powerbrush

RUN TIMES - TESTED
We ran run time tests with both the powered and non-powered tools.

NON-POWERED TOOLS:
For this test we simply attached the brush tool to the end of the vacuum and turned it on. The vacuum was fully charged and we used a stopwatch to record the run time.
11 minutes and 25 seconds

POWERED TOOL (on carpet):
We used the Pet Powerbrush for this test and placed it on medium pile carpet (the head of the tool was flush with the carpet so the brushroll was spinning directly on the carpet). We ensured the battery was fully charged and turned on the vacuum. The time before the vacuum stopped was recorded with a stopwatch.
12 minutes 42 seconds

We were expecting the non-motorized tool to give us a longer run time than the motorized tool but these were the test results. It is also a little disappointing to find that independent of the tools used we did not get over 13 minutes of run time. The run time for this vacuum is a bit short in our opinion.

Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus

BATTERY & CHARGING
The vacuum uses a lithium-ion battery that is built-in. This battery is not swappable – meaning it cannot quickly be detached/re-attached.

Battery recharge time is a full 6 hours which is quite long, especially given the short run times found in our tests.

Battery charging is straightforward. The vacuum comes with a charger that you plug into the wall and the other end plugs into the back of the handheld. A bright blue light will pulse on top of the vacuum while the vacuum is charging. When charging is finished the light will turn off.

CLEANING TESTS

HARD FLOOR - LARGE DEBRIS
We tested the vacuum on large, medium, and small size debris on our tile floor. The large debris was fruit loops. The vacuum and tools did a poor job picking up the fruit loops. They were too large and/or too heavy.

HARD FLOOR - MEDIUM DEBRIS
We then moved to medium-size debris (split green peas and kernels of corn). The brush tool did not work well on this but the crevice tool did. The concentrated suction of the crevice tool's narrower opening was necessary here.

HARD FLOOR- SMALL DEBRIS
We tackled small size debris (flax seeds and black rice) with the crevice tool as well. It did a good job.

Note that we did try the motorized tool on the tile floor but it resulted in too much scatter. It's not a great tool for pickup on hard flooring. It is better on carpet.

CARPET
The best tool on carpet was the motorized tool. We ran it on small and medium size debris and it did a good job.

PET HAIR TEST
We placed short white pet hair and long black human hair on medium pile carpet and ground it in. We used the motorized tool and it performed well. All of the hair was picked up and deposited in the dust canister for disposal. Also there was no hair wrap on the brushroll, so, at least in this test, the self-cleaning brushroll worked.

CAR FLOOR MAT
Many owners talk about using this in their vehicle so we decided to test how well it worked on one of our car mats. We pulversized fruit loops into a powder and ground them into the car mat. Pickup with the brush tool was average (about the same with the crevice tool). Surprisingly pickup with the motorized tool was poor. It mostly glided over the mat and did not do a good job of pickup. Perhaps a bristled brushroll would have worked better in this test.  The fins seem to glide over the mat.

DUST CANISTER
The UltraCyclone is advertized as having an extra large dust canister. It has a capacity of 0.43 liters. In our opinion this is actually an average size dust canister for a handheld. But for a machine with a 10-12 minute run time it is probably large enough.

The dust canister is very easy to empty. You simply push a bright yellow button near the front of the dust canister and the bottom door falls open.

Shark UltraCyclone Dust Cup 

Also, the entire dust canister assembly can be detached from the vacuums and rinsed in water. They do sometimes get pretty dirty. When drying leave the dust canister door open.

FILTRATION
There are two filters – one thin felt filter and one larger foam filter. They can be accessed by first removing the dust canister assembly from the handheld. Then the filters can be pulled out of the back of the assembly. They can also be rinsed in water and reused which is a great feature. However, we did notice that the manual still says that for best results you should replace the filter every 6-9 months.

Shark UltraCyclone Filters

Ensure you only rinse these by hand (not washing machines of any kind) and only use cold water. Let them dry for approximately 24 hours before placing them back in the vacuum.

NOISE
We tested the noise level of the vacuum (peak decibels over a 10 second period) by placing a digital noise level meter 3 feet in front of the vacuum (with different tools attached). We tested with a non-motorized tool and with a motorized tool.

NON MOTORIZED TOOL = 69.3 dB
MOTORIZED TOOL = 71.3 dB

The vacuum isn’t quiet but it’s also not too loud. The noise is a tolerable level. However, it does have a high pitched whine that can get a little annoying after a while.

WEGHT & ERGONOMICS
The UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus weighs 2.24 lbs with one of the non-motorized tools attached, and 2.68 lbs with the motorized pet tool attached. All-in-all this is a fairly lightweight handheld vacuum. Most of the handhelds we’ve tested are over 3 lbs.

The handle is comfortable (it’s just hard plastic but it feels ok) and there are only a few controls. There is one large on/off button that you can easily reach with your thumb, there is a dust canister bottom door release button, and underneath the vacuum there is another button to release the entire dust canister assembly. All of these are intuitive and easy to use.

Shark UltraCyclone Power Button

WARRANTY
The vacuum carries a 2-year limited warranty.

VERDICT
If you have carpet and/or hard flooring, small to medium size debris and some pet hair to deal with, then you will probably be relatively happy with the UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus. If you have larger debris, vehicles to clean, or jobs that require lots of suction, then you probably won’t be happy.

An alternative might be something like a Shark 2-in-1 stick vacuum – the Shark Rocket Pro for instance. These are, of course, a little more expensive but they are both a stick vacuum and a handheld vacuum. They require more power to operate so they generally have a larger battery and longer run times. The only downside would be that the handheld can be a little heavier and some don’t include a small motorized tool for dealing with pet hair on upholstery.

MANUAL
The manual is short and to the point. It doesn’t provide much detail but the basics are there. You can see a copy of it here: Shark UltraCyclone Pet Pro Plus Manual

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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.