Earning an admirable overall score after our rigorous testing, the Shark Rocket DuoClean is our favorite corded model to date. This high-powered stick vacuum has the cleaning prowess to rival some upright vacuums, all while being maneuverable, easy to use, and convenient. It's a bit heavy, and the price creeps into a higher tier, but if you are looking for a stick vacuum to tackle heavier messes, this corded model is absolutely one to consider.
Shark Rocket DuoClean Review
Pros: Fantastic cleaning power, versatile, easy to use
Cons: Heavy, loud
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Rocket DuoClean took home a high score and an award due to its exceptional performance cleaning hard floors and being supremely easy to use. This model is intended for much deeper cleaning than other stick vacuums and could supplant your traditional upright to keep your home almost, if not equivalently, clean.
Earning the highest weight out of all our metrics, convenience accounts for 35% of the total score for each vacuum — understandable, as it is somewhat the hallmark for this product category. We based the score for this metric on how well each product could clean non-floor surfaces, whether it was corded or cordless, cord reach or battery life, weight, and how it could be stored.
The DuoClean lost a few points for being a corded stick vacuum but earned some back by having the longest reach out of any of the corded models we tested. This vacuum also has swivel steering, making it highly maneuverable and agile, allowing you to clean in and around the tightest places on your floor with minimal effort. The DuoClean can be stored with the included wall mount bracket, or the heavier top part of the vacuum can be detached and hung lower down on the vacuum to give it the stability to stand upright. That said, this model is on the heavier side, weighing in at 10 pounds, the heaviest in our review.
The DuoClean is very handy for cleaning non-floor surfaces as well. It includes a decent number of attachments and accessories for all of your cleaning needs.
Additionally, it's supremely easy to swap between attachments, with either a locking button or locking foot pedal to press to release the previous attachment and the new one simply clicking into place.
Hard Surface Cleaning
Next came our hard surface metric, taking credit for 30% of the final score. To test this, we spread out flour, oats, Cheerios, pet hair, and rice on a section of hard floor and then assessed how well each product did at cleaning up each type of debris. This metric is where the Rocket DuoClean truly shines, earning a top-tier score.
This model did an excellent job at collecting rice, only taking a single pass to remove all the debris. We used the bare floor cleaning mode, and it was by far the easiest of the entire group to pick up the rice with. A solid performance was then carried over to our flour collection test, only taking two passes and even pulling flour out of the cracks between boards — no matter if the vacuum was run parallel or perpendicular to the crack direction. This is something many vacuums struggle with, but the DuoClean took it all in stride.
As expected, the DuoClean continued its stellar performance into our Cheerio and oat collection tests. It only took a single pass to collect everything, once again leading the group with its fantastic performance. Pet hair was similarly no match for this vacuum.
Ease of Use
This metric consisted of evaluating each vacuum on the number of different cleaning modes available, whether you could turn the rotating brush off (if there was one), how well the vacuum could clean in close to the edge of a room or under furniture, maneuverability, and noise level.
The Rocket DuoClean has both a low-power and high-power cleaning mode, as well as a bare floor mode where the rotating brush will spin at a slower speed. A switch activates this right on the handle. For our edging test, the DuoClean was among the best of the group, leaving a negligible amount of rice behind. It would occasionally struggle with a few grains directly in front of it when cleaning a tight corner, but this was relatively infrequent.
This product continued its excellent performance into our furniture test, reaching almost the entire way under our simulated sofa, close to 37". The extractor head never came off the ground throughout this test, unlike with other models, with the handle being the only part of the vacuum that limited its reach.
This vacuum can hold two of its attachments on itself, with a bag provided for storing additional accessories. It has a swivel head, allowing it to be very maneuverable and agile, though the device is a bit on the loud side, among the loudest of the bunch.
Like our tests for hard surface cleaning, we once again used the same set of debris for carpet: Cheerios, pet hair, oats, rice, and flour. The DuoClean did quite well at collecting rice on both low and medium-pile carpet. On the low pile carpet it sometimes left a bit of residual dust behind and on medium pile it flung a few grains off to the side, but overall it still performed decently and — with an extra pass or two — collected all the debris.
The DuoClean also did well cleaning up flour and oats, but it was with cereal collection that it did the best, no matter the carpet depth. From there, it collected most of the pet hair we put in its path, but the front rotating brush was a little prone to inadvertently collecting the pet hair instead of sucking it up into the canister.
Should You Buy the Shark Rocket DuoClean?
If you are looking for a super cleaning machine and you don't mind being tethered with a cord, then this powerful sucker is the one for you. This stick option earned an impressive rank with one of the better overall scores in the bunch. It had no trouble in our tests for hard surfaces (earning the higher score here) or carpets and we think most people will be happy with its features and performance.
What Other Stick Vacuum Should You Consider?
If you were hoping for a cordless option, then the DuoClean isn't the one for you. The Shark Rocket Pet Pro might be a better choice. With a better overall score, similar cleaning ability test results, and lower price on average, the Pet Pro might be a better fit depending on your vacuuming goals and why you are considering a stick product.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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