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Shark Rotator Review: How Does it Compare vs Navigator?

If you’re looking for a good solid household vacuum that will do every job on your list at an affordable price, the Shark Rotator is a really good option. At a price right around $200, this Rotator Professional Lift Away Upright, as it’s also known, is powerful enough to offer the suction of vacuums that cost much more money. 

Get it on Amazon for about 40% off

Daily Use

You’ll find this 3 in 1 machine will cover a lot of ground when used for regular vacuuming and even smaller cleanup jobs due to its versatility. With a canister vac mounted on the front that you can remove to take care of smaller messes and a handheld feature, this really is three vacuum cleaners combined into one.

It does all of this and more with a total weight of just over 15 pounds, a weight similar to all the other vacuums in our top ten list. Combined with its swivel steering capabilities and overall power, the light weight is a nice added bonus and is very helpful if you’re a little shorter or smaller or are just sick and tired of lugging and fighting with a heavy vacuum.

As for performance, this lightweight machine, according to user reviews, does a good job on even deep pile carpet, and by turning off the brush roll, it does a great job getting up small bits from bare floors as well. While it naturally won’t have the suction of a Dyson, you may not need that, and it does have a great deal of power for an affordable price.

The attachments add to its value and make it even more helpful in cleaning off ceiling fans, in nooks and crannies, exhaust fans (like in the bathroom) and even getting under low furniture so you don’t have to move it.

Carpets vs Hardwood Floors

Surprisingly, this professional vacuum is great on carpet, hardwood, linoleum and other bare floors and does pick up everything without leaving a scratch. You have the option of turning the brush roll on and off as well, so it won’t fling particles around on smooth surfaces (even cat litter).

Pet Hair

In more than one user review, buyers are really satisfied with the ability of this Shark vacuum to pick up lots of pet hair from both hardwood and carpet. The basic machine is great for this, but the attachments make it even better, especially the turbo brush, which works great for getting that sticky dog and cat hair off your furniture’s upholstery.

shark rotator appliance wandRoutine Maintenance

The bagless Rotator, like most similar vacuums, has washable filters. You’ll want to keep these clean to keep the machine’s suction working at its best. As for allergies, this Shark does have a HEPA filter to trap many of those dust, dirt and dander particles, so if anyone in your family suffers with the sneezes, this will help.


As with the Shark Navigator (a slightly lower priced model with a few less whistles and bells), the Rotator models come complete with 6 attachments including a 12” crevice tool, dusting brush, larger turbo brush, straight nozzle and a caddy for all the tools.

shark rotator featuresHow come there are so many different models?

There are several different models available, but it helps to know that they are all the same basic vacuum cleaner. The only difference in the models is which attachments/accessories are included. Note that some models (accessory options) like the NV500, have been discontinued, but there are still plenty of others available for slightly different prices. This is helpful if you’re on a budget and don’t need ALL of the fancy tools.

For instance, the NV400 includes an 18” crevice tool, multi angle brush and dusting brush. The NV501 has these plus a large turbo brush (great for pet hair). The NV552 includes all of those plus an appliance wand and wide upholstery tool, and the NV502 comes with all of the above plus smaller tools that are great for cleaning out your car. Which model you choose really depends on which tools you will actually use.

Is there a cordless option?

Yes! Shark has recently come out with the Shark Rotator Freestyle Cordless Vacuum, SV1107. If you love the idea but don’t want the cord, this is a good one to check out.


  • Power: 10 amps
  • Cleaning path width: 9.5″
  • Power cord length: 30′
  • Dimensions: 47.5″ x 13.4″ x 12.2″
  • Weight: 15.8 pounds
  • Owner’s Manual

shark rotator brushHow is it different from the Shark Navigator Professional Lift Away?

These vacuums are quite similar, but aside from the Navigator being more inexpensive, there are some key differences when you compare them. The size and weight of the machines are very similar, as are the cleaning path widths. Both have a HEPA filter for allergies, and both have a built-in canister vac. Both do a good job of picking up pet hair. User reviews of one vs the other are favorable, and both get 4.5 out of 5 stars in consumer ratings.

Here’s where the difference is when you compare one versus the other: The Rotator has just a few more features including better edge cleaning (It will get closer to your cabinets and baseboards), it does slightly better on the deep cleaning of carpets, and it has headlights.

Both are really good choices and some of the best on the market from a brand with a stellar reputation, and we rate them both very high. The bottom line is if you want the few extra features, go for the Rotator, but if you’re on a budget and need a slightly more cheap option, the Navigator will suit you just fine. Amazon has the Rotator for about 40% off with free shipping right now.

If the Shark Rotator vacuum is just a bit too expensive for your budget, a good alternative is the Shark Navigator. It has the same power but just a few less fun options, and it’s less expensive. Another option is the Hoover Windtunnel 3 Pro Pet, also a good machine with a cheaper price tag.

If you can afford more, you can go with one of the best of the best like the Dyson DC 40 or Dyson DC 65 (much more expensive but worth every penny if its in your budget).