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Shark Wandvac Review

This expensive handheld vacuum is a bit of a disappointment across the board
Shark Wandvac
Credit: Jenna Ammerman
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Price:   $140 List | $99.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Compact, does a decent job at cleaning tight areas
Cons:  Expensive, terrible battery life, mediocre at cleaning
Manufacturer:   Shark
By Austin Palmer and David Wise  ⋅  Jan 11, 2022
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 8
  • Dust & Dirt - 20% 6.0
  • Tough Messes - 20% 4.0
  • Hard-to-Reach Areas - 20% 7.0
  • Battery Life - 15% 4.0
  • Convenience - 15% 6.0
  • Pet Hair - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Shark Wandvac performed poorly across most of our tests and is not a product that we would recommend. It is one of the more expensive handheld vacuums we have encountered yet exceptionally lackluster when it comes to cleaning. It isn't amazingly convenient to use and has a terrible battery life, though its compact form allows it to do a decent job reaching into confined areas. Regardless, it's hard to make a case for the Wandvac when there are other significantly better performing vacuuming products for a whole lot less.

Editor's Note: We updated this gear review on January 11, 2022, to include additional details and new sections to assist your decision-making process.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Shark Wandvac
This Product
Shark Wandvac
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award 
Price $140 List
$99.99 at Amazon
$125 List
$115.65 at Amazon
$73 List
$72.09 at Amazon
$50 List
$47.99 at Amazon
$42 List
$41.19 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
55
74
72
61
59
Star Rating
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Pros Compact, does a decent job at cleaning tight areasGreat for getting those hard-to-clean areas, good valueFantastic at picking up pet hair, great valueGreat for tough messes, inexpensiveVery compact, inexpensive
Cons Expensive, terrible battery life, mediocre at cleaningLackluster battery life, takes two hands to operate, loudNot the best for tight spaces, can't clean small gaps or cornersNot great with pet hairStruggles with tough messes and pet hair
Bottom Line This expensive handheld vacuum is a bit of a disappointment across the boardA great all-around vacuum that excels at cleaning hard-to-reach areas and pet hairThis vac excels at picking up pet dander and is a great choice for those that don't want to spend a tonThis vacuum is impressive with tougher messes and won't break the bank, though it has a few shortcomingsWe think this is a great choice if you are looking for a highly portable or compact option for cleaning up light messes
Rating Categories Shark Wandvac Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Bissell AeroSlim
Dust & Dirt (20%)
6.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
8.0
Tough Messes (20%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
4.0
Hard-to-Reach Areas (20%)
7.0
9.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
Battery Life (15%)
4.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
Convenience (15%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
6.0
Pet Hair (10%)
6.0
8.0
9.0
3.0
3.0
Specs Shark Wandvac Black+Decker Flex V... Bissell Pet Hair Er... Black+Decker HHVI32... Bissell AeroSlim
Model Tested WV201 BDH2020FL 2390A HHVI320JR02 29869
Measured Weight (no tool) 1.3 lbs 3 lbs 2.6 lbs 2.4 lbs 1.2 lbs
Measured Weight (with heaviest tool) 1.4 lbs 3.1 lbs 3 lbs N/A 1.3 lbs
Usage Type Dry Dry Dry Dry Dry
Dust Capacity 0.076 L 0.5 L 0.73 L 0.61 L 0.1 L
Wet Capacity N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Measured Runtime 9 min 45 sec 15 min Without motorized brush: 20 min 42 sec
With motorized brush: 17 min
15 min 24 sec 15 min 23 sec
Charge Time 2.5 hours 4 hours 8 hours 13.5 hours 2.75 hours
Charging Indicator? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Washable Filter? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Measured Noise (at arm's length) 75.6 dBa 82.5 dBa 71.4 dBa 83 dBa 74 dBa

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Wandvac finished at the back of our test group. While it does clean difficult-to-access areas and picks up pet hair a bit better than some, it simply costs too much for us to be able to recommend.

Performance Comparison


Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the shark wandvac.
The Shark Wandvac.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Dust & Dirt


We began by comparing and scoring how well each portable handheld vacuum picked up the most common household messes: dust and dirt. The Wandvac was an average performer but below many others in our lineup.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac picks up dirt just fine.
The Wandvac picks up dirt just fine.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac took a bit longer than average to clean up flour from a plastic sheet in our dusting test, hampered by its small brush. This brush also leaves streaks while dusting, requiring multiple passes over this area.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac has a brush that flips out of the crevice tool.
The Wandvac has a brush that flips out of the crevice tool.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The soft bristles on this brush struggled to clean dirt or dried mud, with this vacuum doing one of the worst jobs at cleaning mud from linoleum in our test. However, the soft bristles allow you to easily clean corners or on small ledges.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac feels more like a light duty hand vacuum.
The Wandvac feels more like a light duty hand vacuum.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Tough Messes


Next, we continued our evaluation of the Wandvac by seeing how it did with some tougher messes, as well as the amount of air its motor can move. This vacuum could suck up Mini-Wheats cereal without any tools attached, which is about the biggest particle type it can handle, but that's average for this vacuum category.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - it doesn't take long to fill up the small bin on the wandvac.
It doesn't take long to fill up the small bin on the Wandvac.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac performed slightly above average when we challenged it to remove flour from a low-pile automotive-style carpet section. It vacuumed a decent amount of flour with either the bristle or crevice attachment, but it left leftover remnants in the fibers unless we scrubbed with the bristle brush and did a ton of passes.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac (ion w1) struggled some in the flour test.
The Wandvac (ION W1) struggled some in the flour test.
Credit: Austin Palmer

It struggled a bit more at removing crushed-up oats from the same type of carpet or a couch cushion. The Wandvac kept sucking down to the couch cushion and left plenty of oat fragments and dust behind. It also left plenty of oats behind on the carpet, even flinging some to the side while cleaning, creating a bigger mess.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac didn't do so well with crushed oats.
The Wandvac didn't do so well with crushed oats.
Credit: Austin Palmer

We then measured the airspeed of each vacuum by attaching it to our sealed wind tunnel with an anemometer to compare airflow. The Wandvac did quite poorly, only registering an airspeed of about 827 feet per minute (fpm), which is very low compared to the group's average measurement of 1300 fpm.

Hard-to-Reach Areas


It's helpful to know how a contender performs in hard-to-reach areas, such as under common household appliances. Compared to others, the Wandvac did a little better in this metric, based on how well it cleaned out a sliding window track and on how far it could reach into a 1.25" and 3" gap — similar to what you would encounter cleaning under a piece of furniture or between the seat of your car and the center console.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the shark doesn't do much well, but it is quite good at dusting...
The Shark doesn't do much well, but it is quite good at dusting cracks and crevices.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

The Wandvac is great for cleaning loose debris out of the narrow slot of a sliding window, quickly and easily sucking up all of the oats. It also has a decent reach, cleaning 13" into a 3" tall slot, which is quite far for these products, and 4" into a 1.25" space.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares...
The Shark has a surprisingly long reach in larger gaps, but fares poorly in smaller ones.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Battery Life


These handheld vacuums are all battery-powered, so our next metric compared each product's maximum runtime. Contenders with a longer battery life scored and ranked higher than those with short runtimes. Unfortunately, the Wandvac didn't impress us in this metric. It didn't even last for 10 minutes, dying after 9 minutes and 45 seconds. However, it does recharge quite fast, only taking 2.5 hours.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac has spots on its charging base to store attachments.
The Wandvac has spots on its charging base to store attachments.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Convenience


This metric looked at the ease of organizing and storing all the different tools and attachments, each vacuum's sound and noise level, and the ease of emptying the collection bin. The Wandvac earned a mediocre score, even though it earned some points for being lightweight, weighing about half as much as most other products.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the wandvac has a sleek look.
The Wandvac has a sleek look.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Surprisingly, this device isn't that much quieter than some of the other larger products in the competition, and it has a higher-pitched whine that can be irritating. The different tools also aren't integrated, so you must exercise caution not to lose them. The dust bin is straightforward to empty, popping open as soon as you hit the switch. We consider this a positive, but the dust bin's extremely tiny size was a disappointment, so get ready to empty it often.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the bin on the wandvac handily flips open helping to keep your hands...
The bin on the Wandvac handily flips open helping to keep your hands clean.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Pet Hair


Our final tests focused on how easily the vacuums could clean up after our furry friends. We spread out donated pet hair on a couch cushion and a carpet sample to assess how much each contender picked up. The Wandvac vacuumed 99% of the hair from the cushion using its upholstery brush — we found this to be far more effective than its standard brush — and the vast majority of it made it into the collection bin without becoming tangled up on the brush head. It did almost as well on the carpet, but it left behind a bit more, and a decent amount remained trapped on the brush head rather than making it into the collection bin.

Shark Wandvac handheld vacuum - the shark did decently well with pet hair.
The Shark did decently well with pet hair.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Should You Buy the Shark Wandvac?


It's tough for us to recommend the Shark Wandvac when almost every other product is far cheaper and performs better. Based on our testing, we can say this option pairs poor performance with a very high price tag. With higher-scoring contenders in our review and other floor cleaning champs out there, we think it's worth considering a different device for your cleaning needs.

What Other Handheld Vacuums Should You Consider?


For us, it's a no-brainer question; we think the award-winning Black+Decker Flex Vac BDH2020FL is worth serious consideration. Compared to the Shark Wandvac, it's less money yet offers a significant step up in performance. With that said, if the Wandvac's slim design is what initially caught your attention, perhaps you need a compact handheld vacuum to clean light messes in small areas, the Bissell AeroSlim might meet your needs.

Austin Palmer and David Wise

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