Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M Review
Pros: Fantastic cleaning performance, excellent at picking up pet hair
Cons: Not the best with stairs, reach is a little short
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Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M
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|Pros||Fantastic cleaning performance, excellent at picking up pet hair||Great at pet hair, excellent cleaning abilities, easy to use||Good price, cleans carpet very well, picks up pet hair with ease||Inexpensive, easy to clean with, good cleaning performance on hard floors||Inexpensive, great for pet hair, solid carpet cleaning|
|Cons||Not the best with stairs, reach is a little short||Pricey||Not particularly impressive at cleaning hard floors||Struggles with pet hair, mediocre on soft floors||Lackluster at cleaning hard floors, so-so ease of use|
|Bottom Line||Easily finishing near the top, this is one of our favorite vacuums we have tested over the years||If you are looking for something that sweeps the rest of the competition under the rug, this is our current favorite vacuum||If you are searching for a new vacuum on a budget, then this is a great bet||We think this canister vacuum is one of the best options if you are shopping on a slim budget||If you are shopping on a particularly tight budget for a new vacuum, this is a good option|
|Rating Categories||Shark APEX DuoClean...||Shark Vertex||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka Mighty Mite||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Carpet Cleaning (35%)|
|Ease of Use (25%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (10%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||Shark APEX DuoClean...||Shark Vertex||Shark Navigator Lif...||Eureka Mighty Mite||Eureka PowerSpeed|
|Model Number||AZ10002 40||AZ2000W||NV356E||3670G||NEU182A|
|Cleaning Path Width||11.75"||12"||11.25"||10.5"||13.25"|
|Measured Brush Width||9"||10"||9"||N/A||10.5"|
|Measured Weight||16.9 lbs||16.3 lbs||14.4 lbs||10.3 lbs||10.1 lbs|
|Variable Suction Control||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Brush On/Off Switch||Slow||Slow||Yes||N/A||No|
|Measured Maximum Reach||32'||32' - 40'+||31'||30'||25'|
|Measured Power Cord Length||30'||30'||30'||18.5'||24'|
|Automatic Cord Rewind||No||No||No||No||No|
|Measured Noise||72 dBa||75 dBa||73 dBa||74.5 dBa||76 dBa|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The APEX DuoClean finished near the top of our group, excelling at picking up pet hair and cleaning carpets.
Comprised of our most important set of assessments, our carpet cleaning metric accounts for 35% of the final score for each vacuum. We used four different types of messes — rice, oats, Cheerios, and flour — to score the cleaning performance of each vacuum, testing them out on both flat, low-pile carpet and on the fluffier, medium-pile carpet. The Shark APEX delivered a stellar performance.
The APEX did an absolutely phenomenal job with the rice on low-pile carpet, getting the majority of the rice with a single pass and getting the remainder on the second, leaving absolutely nothing behind. However, it did a little worse on fluffier carpet, taking three passes to suitably clean it and we still found a few grains lodged deep with the carpet fibers. It performed very similarly in our flour test, getting practically all of it with two passes over the low-pile carpet and only leaving trace amounts behind on the fluffy carpet.
The APEX finished out this metric with two more stellar results. It did a great job sucking up Cheerios from both types of carpet, leaving none behind largely due to its front roller. It did almost as well cleaning oats from a low-pile carpet, although it did leave a few fragments behind. The APEX cleaned about the same on a medium-pile carpet, though it took a few more passes to get to the same point.
Ease of Use
Next, we moved on to comparing and scoring how easy it was to use each of vacuum. Responsible for a quarter of the overall score, we focused in particular on how easy it was to clean under furniture, along the walls and in the corners of a room, and the maximum reach of each appliance. Additionally, we also measured the noise level and compared how easy it was to switch the vacuum between different floor types, such as low-pile carpet, medium-pile carpet, and hard floors.
There is a slider switch right on the handle that lets you switch between flat, fluffy, and hard floors. The rotating brush doesn't stop completely on the hard floor setting, but it does rotate much slower.
The APEX does an excellent job at cleaning right up to an edge, but it does struggle a bit in corners. It would usually leave behind a handful of rice right in front of the vacuum when it approached head-on.
However, its Lift-Away feature makes it exceptionally easy to clean under furniture, earning it top marks in that test. This vacuum reached slightly farther than average under our simulated sofa without using the Lift-Away feature and went well past it when we did use it.
The APEX is also relatively quiet for an upright vacuum, earning it a few extra points, but it only has an average maximum reach from an outlet, measuring in at 32'.
In this round of tests, we ranked and scored each vacuum on how easy it was to push or pull the device, as well as how maneuverable it was and the amount of effort required to clean a flight of stairs. This trio of evaluations accounted for 20% of the final score.
The APEX weights in at just under 17 pounds — about average for an upright vacuum cleaner. This makes it fairly easy to clean a flight of stairs, helped by the fact that you can usually reach 6-7 steps with the hose. Additionally, you can always use the vacuum in Lift-Away mode, which makes it even easier. The APEX also has a swivel head that makes it highly maneuverable, gliding over carpet and hard floors with little to no effort at all.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Similar to our carpet cleaning metric, we used the same four types of messes in our hard floor cleaning metric — rice, oats, flour, and cereal. These four tests accounted for 10% of the overall score, with the APEX delivering a fantastic set of results.
This vacuum did an essentially perfect job when it came to cleaning flour and rice off of our sample of laminate flooring. It didn't fling the rice around at all and even cleaned flour out of the tiny cracks between boards. It continued its perfect performance into our cereal and oatmeal tests, collecting all of the Cheerios and oats without any issues at all.
For the remaining 10% of the final score, we evaluated how well each vacuum did at cleaning up pet hair. We distributed five grams of pet hair on a section of medium-pile carpet, then scored each vacuum on the percentage of hair successfully picked up. The APEX finished with another phenomenal performance, collecting 97% of the hair we laid out.
While this vacuum might not be the best option if you are shopping on a tight budget, it is an excellent appliance and, in our opinion, still retails at a fairly reasonable price for what you get.
Delivering top-notch cleaning performance with all kinds of messes in an extremely convenient and easy-to-use package, it is easy to see why the Shark APEX DuoClean finished so well in our review. This is among our all-time favorite vacuum cleaners that we have tested and we highly recommend it.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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