Shark Vertex Cordless Stick Vacuum
Avg. consumer rating = 89/100
The Shark Vertex Cordless stick vacuum is chock full of technology and features. After all, the Vertex vacuums are Shark’s premier machines. The Vertex cordless has two brushrolls (one of which is self-cleaning), a HEPA filter, a sealed system, headlights, a detachable battery, and a flexible wand. We ran the unit through cleaning tests and it did a great job on both carpet and bare floors. Hair pickup was also good while limiting tangle in the brushroll. In addition, the ability to use the unit as a handheld by simply detaching the wand is very handy. However, it is a little hefty for a stick vac and it would have been nice if it came with a second battery.
|Very good on carpet||Edge cleaning is not great|
|Very good on bare floors||Not particularly quiet|
|Brushroll design limits hair wrap||A little heavy (for a stick vac)|
|Removable battery||Only comes with one battery|
|Battery can be charged on or off vacuum|
|Easy to pop dust canister off|
|All filters are rinsable in water|
|Both a stick vac and a handheld|
|Best for...||Hard Floors & Carpet|
|Pet Hair Features||Yes|
|Approx. Weight||9.0 lbs|
|HEPA Level Filtration||Yes|
|Power Cord Length||Cordless|
|Motor Driven Brushbar||Yes|
Disclosure: We approached Shark and requested the Vertex so we could do a review. Shark sent one over. Please note that this in no way affects our review.
Model IZ441H – battery non-removable
Model IZ462H – battery removable
The units with a non-removable battery require you to plug the charger into the port on the back of the handheld unit. The unit with the removable battery allows you to charge the battery when it is attached to the vacuum or when it is detached from the vacuum.
We have model IZ462H with the removable battery. In addition to charging convenience, a removable battery also allows you to double your run time should you buy a second battery (they can quickly and easily be swapped). It is also easier to replace a bad battery if it is removable.
What’s in the Box?
When you buy your Vertex Cordless (IZ462H) you get the following:
- 1 removable battery
- MultiFLEX wand
- Cleaner head
- Crevice tool
- Pet multi-tool
- Anti-allergen brush
- 3 filters (2 pre-motor, 1 post-motor)
- Owner’s manual
|Source||Consumer Rating||# Ratings|
|Kohl's||4.4 stars out of 5||240|
|Walmart||4.7 stars out of 5||102|
|Best Buy||4.4 stars out of 5||89|
|Amazon||4.2 stars out of 5||48|
Note: We have noticed that while most ratings for this vacuum are quite high, there are some low ratings as well. Several of these low ratings are given by owners who found that the unit gives them a shock. We did not run into this during any of our testing. Also, some folks feel that the run time is insufficient. This may, at least in part, be due to the advertising that states 60 minutes of run time. The 60 minutes of run time is in handheld mode and the unit has significantly less run time when using the motorized cleaner head in stick vac mode (see our run time tests below). You may want to check out Vertex owner ratings on Amazon.
The anti-allergen brush is a little different. It has very soft bristles and is designed to remove fine dust and allergen particles from delicate surfaces. This tool also has short soft bristles and felt along the bottom to help pickup dust and to ensure no scraping.
Nothing really stands out here but we like that the tools all click securely into place (no compression fit) and they are functional and do their job. None of the tools are motorized.
There are three lights built into the side of the battery. These indicate the level of charge on the battery as well as provide error codes (depending on which lights illuminate and which ones flash – see codes in manual). While vacuuming or while charging, one light indicates the battery is 1/3 charged, two lights indicates 2/3 charged, and 3 lights indicates fully charged.
The battery on our Vertex (model IZ462H) is removable. Pressing a button on the side of the battery allows you to slide it straight back and off of the handheld component. It is a handy feature but it would really have been great if the vacuum had come with a second battery. This would allow you to remove a depleted battery and slap in a fully charged one so you can keep vacuuming. Having said that, it is possible to purchase a second battery if you really want one.
You might notice that there are no settings in which the brushrolls are off. All of Shark’s DuoClean vacuums operate this way. When the vacuum power is on and the cleaner head engaged, the brushrolls are spinning.
|Standard Power||Boost Power|
|Carpet||23 min||10 min|
|Bare Floor||34 min||10 min|
We wanted to see how close our actual run times would be to the "official" figures, so we ran a series of run time tests on both carpet and bare floors in both power modes. Results were as follows:
|Standard Power||Boost Power|
|Carpet||20 min 0 sec||14 min 19 sec|
|Bare Floor||36 min 40 sec||17 min 55 sec|
In our carpet tests we used medium pile carpet. It may be that we would’ve seen longer run times if we used shorter pile carpet (less resistance). As it was, the tested carpet run time in standard power mode was 3 minutes short of the official time, but still not too bad at 20 minutes.
We were impressed with the run time on our tile floor and our tested run time (36 min 40 sec) in standard power mode was longer than the official time by 2 min and 40 seconds.
The official figures in boost power mode are 10 minutes on both carpet and bare floors. It was apparent in our tests that this power mode sapped power rapidly on both surfaces, reducing run time on carpet by 28.4% and on our tile floor by a whopping 51.1%.
In our opinion run times for this vacuum are reasonable. They are perhaps not as long as some of the other units we’ve looked at but they are acceptable numbers for more compact homes. It should also be pointed out that some manufacturers are able to report extremely long run times by operating their vacuums at very low power (low suction). While this approach may result in impressive run time figures, it can hamper the cleaning capabilities of the vacuum. This is one reason why we place an emphasis on actual cleaning tests.
|See GREAT DEALS at Shark.com|
Shark calls this a “DuoClean Powerfins vacuum”. Meaning the cleaner head has DuoClean Technology (2 brushrolls) and one of them uses powerfins. See image below.
The soft brushroll at the front of the cleaner head is covered in very soft fibers. It is useful on hard surfaces and it picks up stuck on dust and buffs the floor. It is also good at picking up larger debris – the debris doesn’t get snowplowed in front of the cleaner head but is pulled under by the soft brushroll.
When we first looked at a DuoClean vacuum we thought that perhaps the soft brushroll would be a hindrance on carpet but to our surprise our tests showed that this wasn’t the case. It actually helps with large debris on carpet as well as bare floors.
The main brushroll with powerfins is also rather different. It has a combination of short bristles and rubber coated fins. We’ve tested a few of these finned brushroll machines before and they have performed well. This unit is also designed to limit hair wrap. We do some cleaning tests further down in the review where you can see carpet, bare floor, hair, and edge cleaning tests.
The cleaner head has been designed so that brushroll maintenance is reasonably easy. The soft brushroll can be removed for cleaning by simply pulling a tab to the side of the brushroll. It also snaps easily back into place. The main brushroll cannot be removed but you can get better access (should you need it) by opening up the bottom of the cleaner head - using a coin you can open three locks on the underside of the cleaner head and remove the cover.
We have read that the Vertex has a cleaning path width of about 10.5 inches but if you measure the opening on the bottom of the cleaner head it is about 8 inches wide. This is rather narrow. A narrow cleaner head is advantageous as it allows you to get into tight areas, however it requires more passes of the vacuum to cover open areas.
The cleaner head has a fairly low profile – we’ve measured it at about 3 inches high – which helps when trying to get under very low furniture.
Finally, there are LED headlights on the front of the cleaner head. These lights are ON whenever the vacuum is ON (you cannot turn them OFF when the vacuum is ON). They are designed to last the lifetime of the vacuum and are quite handy when you are vacuuming in dimly light areas or behind/under furniture.
Maneuverability and Weight
The Vertex cordless weighs in at 9.0 lbs. It is a little hefty compared to some of the other stick vacuums out there. We’ve provided some of our stick vac weights in the table below for comparison purposes.
|Stick Vac Model||Weight (lbs)|
|Dyson V7 (motorhead)||5.5|
|LG CordZero A9||6.0|
|Tineco Pure One S12||6.6|
|Shark Rocket Pro||7.3|
|Shark IONFlex / ION F80||8.7|
|Shark Vertex Cordless||9.0|
Note: Unlike several of the machines in the table above, the Vertex does not include a wall mount or a stand. The unit is perhaps a little too heavy or large for these storage options.
The Vertex cordless stands a little tall. For example it is 3-4 inches taller than the Dyson V10/V11 to the handle. But we did not find this an issue as the vacuum extends at an angle out in front of you as you vacuum. Manueverability on carpet is good but not exceptional. The dual rollers do pull the vacuum forward some and it almost feels self-propelled. As a result you can sometimes feel it fight against you as you pull back but the effect isn’t problematic. The head swivels well and the large wheels on the back make turning the unit quite easy.
Like many vacuums, movement on hard surfaces is better than on carpet. The large wheels on the back of the cleaner head and the two small wheels on the front underside of the cleaner head allow it to roll along very easily and it turns at the twist of the wrist. However it does not turn as tight or as easily as some of the lighter stick vacuums we have tested.
We first saw this technology a few years ago on the Shark IONFlex and we found it was not something that we used much. However we have since read that quite a few people find the feature quite useful. I also recall someone who was wheelchair bound telling me that the MultiFLEX Technology made it so much easier to vacuum.
An additional benefit of MultiFLEX technology is that it provides a storage option other than leaning the unit against a wall. If you bend the wand a full 180 degrees the Vertex can be stored in the upright position and it doesn’t require a stand or a wall mount.
Quite a few stick vacs today can also be used as handheld vacuums and the Vertex is no exception. Removing the wand and cleaner head allows you to use the handheld unit on its own. Tools can be attached directly to the handheld.
Should you want additional reach, you can attach the wand to the handheld unit and tools to the end of the wand. This configuration is great for getting into cramped areas and also for overhead cleaning.
The Vertex handheld has a nice grip and having the power slider and Boost trigger easily accesible is handy. We weighed the handheld component and it came in at 3.71 lbs. Following are the handheld weights of a few other popular stick vacs we have:
|Stick Vac Model||Weight (lbs)|
|Dyson V7 (motorhead)||3.07|
|Shark IONFlex / ION F80||3.43|
|Shark Rocket Pro||3.44|
|LG CordZero A9||3.49|
|Tineco Pure One S12||3.69|
|Shark Vertex Cordless||3.71|
|Dyson V11 Outsize||5.36|
Despite the overall weight of the Vertex stick vacuum you can see that the Vertex handheld component is actually not too heavy (similar in weight to the Dyson V10 or Tineco S12). We didn't find using it to be particularly taxing on the arm or wrist.
Shark states that with typical vacuuming you should clean the pre-motor filters about once per month and the HEPA filter about once per year. Sometimes you can just tap off loose dirt and they may not need a rinsing.
It is very easy to empty. You have to first remove the wand, then you push down a slider on the side of the handheld unit which opens the dust canister door. Debris simply falls out. Like many bagless machines you may have to dig out some hair/dust-bunnies /debris that gets stuck inside the canister.
Shark has also made it possible to remove the entire dust canister at the push of a button. This is a great feature that enables you to easily clean the dust canister when it gets really dirty. It is also a snap to re-attach it.
Noise Level Test
Our noise test involves placing the vacuum with brushrolls spinning on low pile carpet and capturing the noise level in decibels from 3 feet away with a digital noise level meter.
The Vertex is loudest on carpet as the brushrolls are spinning much faster. The finned brushroll almost makes a buzzing sound. On bare floors, where the brushrolls spin much slower, the buzzing mostly goes away.
In our opinion the Vertex is perhaps a little on the loud side but it is very tolerable and nowehere near as loud as some of the full size uprights we've tested over the years. Following are the noise level tests with a few other stick vacs thrown in for comparison purposes.
|Stick Vac Model||Low Power (dB)||Max Power (dB)|
|Tineco Pure One S12||61.1||66.7|
|LG CordZero A9||63.0||74.4|
|Shark IONFlex / ION F80||69.4||71.4|
|Shark Vertex Cordless||72.9||72.9|
|Shark Rocket Pro||74.2||75.1|
Note - there was no measurable difference in the noise level of the Vertex in Low Power and in Max Power modes (on carpet).
We also ran a separate noise test for the Vertex as some may want to know how loud the unit is on hard flooring.
As you can see the unit is quieter on hard flooring than it is on carpet. This is most likely due to the fact that the brushrolls are spinning much slower in hard floor mode.
DuoClean Technology vacuum cleaners have always performed well in our carpet and bare floor tests. The Vertex Cordless was no exception. We laid down a debris field of split greens peas, chili flakes, flax seeds and ground cheerios on low pile carpet and ran the machine over it in about a 10 second pass. We performed this test three times and in each instance there was pretty much nothing visible left behind. Upon weighing the debris collected by the vacuum we were getting something in the neighborhood of 99.5%. This is an excellent result.
We ran a similar test in the past with the Dyson V10 Absolute and we've added it to the video clip below. You can visually see that the Dyson did not pick up the same amount of debris in the single pass as the Shark did.
We also ran the Vertex over some fruit loops to see how well it handled larger debris on carpet. The soft roller brush on a DuoClean machine is known to have good large debris pickup. We compared it to our Dyson V10 Absolute. The Vertex fared well - better than the Dyson which had a tendency to snowplow some of the fruit loops. You can see the tests in the clip below.
We performed the same test (same as the carpet test) on our tile floor. Vertex pickup was again very good at 99.4% - almost the same pickup percentage as carpet. The soft brushroll is what really helps on hard flooring. Some stick vacuums come with a separate cleaner head that has a soft brushroll but you need to change cleaner heads when transitioning between carpet and bare floors. With a DuoClean machine this is not necessary.
In a previous review we ran a similar bare floor test with the Dyson V10 Absolute (medium power mode) and we only got 90.3% pickup - substantially less than the Vertex. We've added this clip to the video below. In our experience the Dyson stick vacs are only average on bare flooring. If you want better bare floor pickup with your Dyson stick vac you need to use the Dyson soft roller cleaner head (it only comes with the more expensive Absolute versions) which does a very good job (99.5+%).
The Vertex main brushroll is designed to limit hair wrap. We placed short white pet hair and long black human hair on our carpet and performed a hair wrap test. We also compared the Vertex in this test to one of the Dyson cordless machines (the V7 Motorhead).
As you can see in the video, the hair warp on the Vertex was limited and it was more dramatic on the Dyson. It should be noted in our test (and we performed this one twice) that the hair wrap on the Vertex was not totally eliminated, but removing what remained by hand was quick and easy.
The edge cleaning test involves placing chili flakes up tight against our baseboards and running the vacuum along the edge to see how good pickup is. The Vertex did not fare particularly well in this test. It’s not unusual for a stick vacuum to struggle on this test but some do a better job than others. We’ve seen a few uprights that do a great job at edge cleaning, the Vertex upright for example (see the Vertex upright edge cleaning test near the bottom of our Shark Vertex Upright Review).
The vacuum is also very effective at pet hair pickup and keeping most of it off the brushroll. Coupled with a sealed body and a HEPA filter this cordless stick vacuum is a great choice for homes with pets (or those suffering from asthma or allergies).
Ergonomics are fair but not fantastic. The unit is a little tall, a little heavy, and movement, while pretty good, isn’t as easy as some of the lighter stick vacs on the market. Although it should be noted that some of these other stick vacs have a higher price point than the Shark. We did like the placement and ease-of-use of the Vertex controls.
Run times are reasonable and the removable battery opens up the possibility of utilizing two batteries to double your run time. However only one model currently comes with the removable battery and the package only includes one battery – if you want two you’ll have to buy another.