Shark Navigator Lift-Away Vacuum: Our In-depth Test (With Pictures)

By
Jeneva Aaron
Jeneva has over years of passion for home decorating and cleaning. She is the founder and CEO of thehousewire.com where she provides honest and objective reviews on home and cleaning products.
Learn more about The Housewire’s Editorial Process
Updated May 18, 2022

Look no further than the Shark Navigator Lift Away for a powerful, all-round vacuum cleaner

Look no further than the Shark Navigator Lift Away for a powerful, all-round vacuum cleaner

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We’ve bought the Shark NV352 Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum so that we could put this vacuum cleaner through our own rigorous tests. Read on to see our full review.

The Shark Navigator Lift Away Upright Vacuum is a versatile vacuum. Built as an upright, you can detach the canister to use it as a handheld to clean tight spaces. It’s also one of the most affordable of all the Shark models.

Plus, it works just as well on carpet as on hardwood floors. It also comes with anti allergen complete seal and a HEPA filter making it a good fit for allergy sufferers.

We’ve purchased the Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum and tested it ourselves to see how it performs on our household. Here we’ll cover everything you need to know before purchasing this model.

A Powerful All-Round Vacuum Cleaner
Shark Navigator Lift-Away

PROS Of Shark Navigator Lift-Away
  • Effective cleaning on all surface types
  • Powerful suction and good at removing pet hair
  • Accessories allow you to clean upholstery, stairs, and other hard to reach areas
  • Washable HEPA filter included
CONS Of Shark Navigator Lift-Away
  • Cord is on the short side and not in the best position
  • Dust bin capacity might not be suitable for larger homes
The Shark Navigator Lift Away model is a powerful, well-designed upright vacuum that’s ideal for cleaning both carpet and bare floors. With handy accessories and the lift away mode, you can use it for cleaning your whole house.

What’s in the Box

Inside the box for the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, you get:

  • Cord and body
  • Dirt canister
  • Wand
  • Brushroll head
  • Crevice tool with soft and hard bristle head
  • Upholstery tool
  • HEPA filter
  • 2 motor filters
  • User guide
Shark Navigator Lift Away In The Box 1

1: Cord and body 2: Dirt canister 3: Wand 4: Brushroll head 5: Crevice tool with soft and hard bristle head 6: Upholstery tool 7: HEPA filter 8: 2 motor filters

Solid Design with a Few Flaws

4
Once out of the box, I found that it didn’t take very long to put this vacuum cleaner together. The whole assembly took only a few minutes or so. And it was really easy.

When using the Shark Navigator, the machine feels sturdy and well-made. I’m confident that it’s durable and will last me a good few years of regular vacuuming.

But, there are a few small flaws worth pointing out about the design. One is the rather bulky cleaning head, which is common in upright vacuums. This, plus the hose on the floor nozzle, prevent the head from cleaning under furniture.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Bulky Head
Another is that this Shark vac seems to be a bit top-heavy. It didn’t topple over much while I was vacuuming – but it came close a couple of times, especially when I was using the vacuum hose.

Finally, due to where the power cord is positioned (at the very bottom of the vacuum), it tends to get in your way.
Shark Navigator Lift Away General Design

Versatile and Easy Maneuverability

4.5
Shark Navigator Lift Away Maneuverability 1
The Shark Navigator Lift Away vacuum is easy to move around the house. You can basically use it for all of your cleaning chores.

For an upright vacuum, I found it felt more lightweight than other vacuums of this type. So if you’re worried about weight, this Shark model would be a good pick.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Maneuverability 2
The swivel steering also works really well. I could maneuver the cleaning head into tight spaces and around furniture.

As I said above, the bulkier cleaning head isn’t ideal for smaller spaces or for reaching underneath low-lying tables or couches.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Lift Away Feature
But, because this Shark Navigator vacuum has the lift away feature, you can easily clean these areas in this mode. With just the push of a button, the detachable canister transforms easily this upright into a handheld for portable cleaning power.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Detachable Canister
Plus, it’s even lighter – about 7.5 pounds – as a lift away model, so moving it around to clean your stairs is effortless.

Powerful Performance, Ideal for Multi-Surfaces

4.4
Shark Navigator Lift Away On Carpet
This Shark Lift Away upright vacuum has powerful suction.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Suction Power
During my test, I used the vacuum on different surfaces, both carpeted and bare floors. There are 2 settings on the vac for these different floor types: position I for bare floors and position II for carpets.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Hard Floor Setting
First, it felt a little heavier pushing the vacuum over carpets and area rugs. But, I didn’t mind this as it did such a good job at cleaning them.

The brushroll works hard to pick up even embedded dust and dirt from your carpet. And it even leaves higher pile carpets looking clean after use. And once you put it in the hard floor setting, the brushroll shuts off so you don’t need to worry about damaging your hardwood or laminate.

Shark Navigator Lift Away On Surfaces

Shark Navigator Lift Away on: vinyl, tile, hardwood floors and laminate.

I also tested it on high traffic areas, mostly the living room and the kitchen where dirt and debris accumulate – where there are bare floors. And it did an excellent job. I was impressed with how the high-traffic areas were left looking clean and debris-free.
Shark Navigator Lift Away Cleaning Upholstery
I then detached the canister to clean other types of surfaces. I used the upholstery tool on my couch. And the crevice tool in my entry closet. Both did an excellent job at picking small dirt particles.

One slight downside is that in the lift away mode, you only have the bare floor setting. So if you use this for under furniture, it might not clean carpeted areas as well.

Not the Longest Cord

2.5
Shark Navigator Lift Away Long Cord
The power cord is probably one of the most disappointing aspects of the Shark Navigator Lift Away. At 25 feet, it just doesn’t seem long enough. But means that you have to do a lot of plugging and unplugging if cleaning your whole house in one go.

It’s frustrating because most Shark models have a 30 feet long cord. And I think that extra length would make this vacuum even more appealing.

Plus, as I mentioned above, the positioning of the cord isn’t great. You have to move it around quite a bit to avoid stepping on it or vacuuming over it.

At least it does have space on the back of the main body for you to wrap and store the cord.

Adequate Dirt Collection Capacity

3.6
Shark Navigator Lift Away Dust Bin
There’s no bag in this upright vacuum. Here, all the dust and debris you suck up is taken straight to the dust bin.

The dust cup capacity is adequate at 1.2 dry quarts. I found that for quick clean-ups and lightly soiled areas, I didn’t have to empty it that often.

But if you have a larger, busy household, you might find yourself having to empty the dust bin fairly often. However, this is an easy task – simply press the unlock button.

So even if you do have to empty it a few times while cleaning, it won’t add much time on to your cleaning tasks.

And, because the dust canister is clear, you can see how full it is and when you need to empty it.

Low Maintenance

4
Shark Navigator Lift Away In The Box 2
The manual provided by Shark is very detailed and tells you how to clean the filters and brushes, and how to check for blockages. Parts are easy to remove and re-attach, although the brushroll doesn’t come out easily (you need to remove some screws first).

The filters are easy to access, washable in only water, and don’t need replacing that often.

Easy Storage

3.8
Shark Navigator Lift Away Storage
You’ll need a decently sized cupboard to store the Shark Navigator lift away in. But this is true for any upright vacuum so I wouldn’t say that this is an issue.

This vacuum cleaner stands up on its own, so you don’t need to support it during storage. Plus, there is an onboard mount for storing the smaller crevice tool and upholstery brush.

However, it’s a little frustrating that you can’t store all the included accessories on this – the longer crevice tool and pet upholstery tool won’t fit on here and need to be stored separately.

Handy Accessories and Easy-to-Source Replacement Parts

4.2
Shark Navigator Lift Away Accessories
The 2 cleaning tools that come with this Shark Navigator Lift Away vacuum are all useful and will help you to do different cleaning jobs around your house.

I liked the upholstery dusting brush which can even be used on lampshades and curtains. The upholstery tool is great for picking up pet hair and debris from all types of furniture.

It’s also great for cleaning those hard to reach areas, such as on top of door frames and the corners of the ceiling. Or you can use it to reach under tables and couches, or even clean your car.

However it doesn’t come with any particular pet hair attachment.
Plus, if you need to order any of these replacement parts, the Shark manual handily tells you the exact code needed to order each accessory.

Just like many Shark vacuums, it comes with an anti allergen complete seal. Shark vacuums equipped with this completely sealed system technology trap dust and seal it inside.

The HEPA filter means that 99.9% of the tiniest particles will be captured while you’re vacuuming. So this accessory makes the Shark Navigator Lift Away a great option for those households that include allergy sufferers.

Finally, the filter can be washed regularly in plain, lukewarm water. You only need to replace the filter about once a year, depending on how much you use your vacuum cleaner.

Alternatives

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean AZ1002

This Shark vacuum model also has the lift away mode, but with an added double brushroll for even more picking-up power. And you’ll also get a self cleaning pet power brush.

The APEX model also has LED lights and noise reduction technology. But it’s a bit heavier than our reviewed model, and more expensive.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum NV356E

This professional version of the Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum has an impressive 2.2 quarts dust cup capacity. So if you’ve got a larger home, it could be worth investing a bit more in this model.

It’s also got powerful suction and great swivel steering. Plus the cord is 30 feet long, which we think is an improvement on the shorter length of our reviewed product.

Our Final Verdict onShark Navigator Lift-Away

Maneuverability
9
This vacuum is so easy to move around your home, especially for an upright vacuum. And the lift away option offers great versatility for cleaning awkward spaces, stairs, and even your car.
Accessories
8
These are useful and enhance the versatility of this vacuum cleaner. You can use the tools for your upholstery, curtains, top of doors, and much more!
Performance
9
The Shark Navigator Lift Away upright vacuum has great suction power. Plus, it works particularly well at cleaning up pet hair and dander.
Surfaces
9
I liked how this vacuum worked just as effectively on both hard floors and carpet. All floor surfaces looked clean after use, and it picked up a lot of debris!

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