Our Verdict: The Shark CH950UKT is one of our favourite handheld vacuums. During testing, we found that it does a brilliant job at cleaning everything from pet hair to larger debris, due to the strong suction and powered brush bar. It also provides great value. We don’t think it’s the best choice for cars or other awkward locations though, due to the long and rigid design.
- Great suction and performance for a handheld vacuum
- Powered brush bar on the pet tool helps improve hair and fluff pickup
- Better at cleaning carpets than most handhelds
- Lightweight and balanced to hold
- Excellent value for money compared with similar handhelds
- Bin emptying system is messy and unsuitable for people with allergies
- Long, rigid design makes it difficult to clean in awkward locations (such as car interiors or around computer monitors)
- No on-board tools or docking station
- Not the easiest vacuum to maintain
Thinking of buying the Shark CH950UKT Handvac? Read our review of this popular handheld vacuum before you make a decision.
The Shark Handvac CH950UKT is a cordless handheld vacuum designed for tackling tougher jobs than most handhelds. It sits at the lower end of the price scale, but comes with a motorised pet tool and two other accessories. Plus, it’s lightweight at just 1.39kg.
We found the CH950UKT provides excellent cleaning performance for a handheld vacuum. It was better at removing pet hair and dirt than most handhelds we’ve tested – even some with a much higher price – due to the powered brush bar and strong suction. It’s also great for cleaning hard floors, sofas, and car seats.
It’s not the most convenient handheld though. This is a no-nonsense handheld vacuum, so it doesn’t come with features like a docking station, battery indicator lights, stylish design, or built-in tools. It’s also relatively big and has a rigid design, making it difficult to use in awkward locations, such as in car interiors.
Who should consider buying the Handvac? And how does it compare to other handheld vacuums? Keep reading our Shark Handvac CH950UKT review to find out.
Overview of the Shark CH950UKT Handvac’s Features
- Lightweight 1.39kg cordless handheld vacuum
- 0.45 litre bagless dust capacity
- Motorised pet tool with bristles for deep cleaning
- Dusting brush and crevice tool
- Up to 10 minutes run time with a 4 hour charge time
- 2-year guarantee when you register your vacuum cleaner with Shark
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Appearance, Features and Design
The Shark CH950UKT is a cordless handheld vacuum that’s designed to complement your corded vacuum cleaner, rather than replace it. We found that it’s a great tool for spot cleaning when you don’t want to get out your full-size vac, but the 10-minute run-time makes it unsuitable for longer cleaning sessions.
As you would expect from a handheld vacuum, the Handvac has a simple design with an easy-grip rear handle. Shark has also kept it lightweight at 1.39kg (similar to the 1.38kg Dyson V7 Trigger,) which means it’s convenient to use and suitable for people with arthritis or hand pain.
We liked the overall design of the CH950UKT, especially as it has an on/off button rather than a trigger system. It’s also easy to empty and comes with washable filters. Let’s take a closer look at this vacuum’s features and how easy it is to use.
Manoeuvrability and Ease of Use
The Shark Handvac only has one power setting, so it’s straightforward to operate. The button for this is easy to reach when holding the cleaner. This is important, as you’ll need to switch it on and off regularly to maximise the short battery run-time.
For a handheld vacuum, it has a reasonable 0.45 litre dust capacity. This may sound small, but it’s not far off the 0.5 litres you get from a Samsung Jet 90 Pet, which is a full-size cordless stick vacuum cleaner. We tend to find that anything above 0.4 litres is plenty for spot cleaning – especially as you’ll probably empty it after each use anyway.
We also liked how painless it is to swap the attachments over. Everything slides onto the main nozzle without any complicated push-button systems, although the pet attachment has some extra pins to power the motorised brush.
One thing to note is that this is a large handheld vacuum. It’s probably the longest we’ve reviewed so far, and it doesn’t fold or collapse to save space when storing it.
Despite the bulky and long design of the CH950UKT, we never felt that it was tiring or uncomfortable to use. For comparison, the vacuum feels much more balanced than smaller models like the Black+Decker Pivot.
The Shark’s filtration system does an acceptable job at preventing dust and dirt from escaping, although it’s not the most effective or hygienic we’ve tested.
There’s no HEPA filter with the Shark Handvac, which is disappointing for a pet vacuum. A HEPA filter is more effective at containing dust and pet dander, so it’s a good choice for people with animals and allergies. The more expensive WV200UK uses this filter.
Instead, the Shark has a 2-part washable filter. While it’s not the best, we found that the filter still does a decent job of preventing particles from escaping. The CH950UKT filters are also easy to clean, although be sure to let both dry naturally for at least 24 hours before you use the vac again.
Emptying and Cleaning
The Shark has a quick and simple emptying system, which is important for a vacuum that’s designed for convenience.
Instead of needing to detach a canister, the CH950UKT uses a one-touch emptying system. There’s a button on the side for opening the dust compartment door. It releases the dirt as soon as you push it, so make sure you do this over a bin (ideally an outdoor bin).
While we like how easy the Shark CH950UKT is to empty, there are several issues with this system.
The main downside is that there’s no internal collar for pushing out clumps of debris that might become stuck inside. If this happens – which it regularly did during our testing – you’ll need to pull the clumps out by hand.
We also found that the flip-down action of the bin system caused a cloud of dust to be released. Most of the debris and dust still ended up in the bin, but it’s certainly not the best choice for people with allergies.
There’s no doubt that the Shark CH950UKT is amongst the best handhelds on the market, but it’s not perfect. One of our biggest complaints is that it’s not as easy to maintain as other handheld options.
For example, the dual foam filters need to be pulled out by hand, rather than removing them using a plastic frame. This means you need to touch the dirty filters, while also disturbing dust into the air, before you can clean them.
You also can’t remove the brush bar from the pet tool, which makes removing hair more difficult. Additionally, there’s no option to remove and replace the battery.
The lack of these convenience features is understandable considering the low price of the vacuum, but they are still something to keep in mind.
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Battery Life
Shark has prioritised suction power over a long battery life. This makes sense, as the CH950UKT is designed for quick cleaning jobs, but it’s important to have realistic expectations of how long the battery lasts.
According to the product specifications, the 10.8V lithium-ion battery powers the Shark Handvac for up to 10 minutes. This is around average for a handheld vacuum, but is only suitable for spot cleaning.
With that said, we tested the Shark CH950UKT and found it lasted around 13 minutes with the motorised pet tool attached (although this is without active cleaning). While this still isn’t enough for a deep clean, it’s perfectly acceptable for the types of cleaning jobs the Shark is designed to handle. The four-hour charge time is also around average for a handheld.
It’s unfortunate that the battery is sealed into the unit on the Shark though. We always prefer it when vacuums provide the option of swapping batteries to extend the run time. There’s not even a lower power setting to extend battery life.
Storing and Charging The CH950UKT
There’s a recent trend of handheld vacuums designed to be displayed on kitchen worksurfaces or lounge sideboards. These usually have sleek, compact designs and a docking station to ensure the vacuum is always ready to go. The CH950UKT is not one of these vacuums – it’s a more powerful handheld, but lacks the convenience and style of models like the Shark WV200UK or Hoover H-Handy.
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Tools and Accessories
Motorised Pet Tool
One of the standout features of the Shark CH950UKT is the mini motorised pet tool that clips onto the main nozzle. This has a rotating bristle brush that’s effective at getting out pet hair from carpets, upholstery, and other soft furnishings.
We found this tool to be effective at cleaning carpets, rugs, mats, and car seats. This is due to the extra agitation, meaning that the vacuum doesn’t need to rely entirely on suction power to remove debris and hair.
Note: If you’ve seen a version with rubber fins, this is the US model. The UK models have bristles.
Other Tools and Accessories
You also get a crevice tool and dusting brush included with the Shark Handvac. These tools are standard, but the crevice tool is somewhat on the short side, so it’s almost useless for getting between car seats. We still found it useful for areas like skirting boards, small gaps, and cobwebs though.
We found all the attachments to be easy to take on and off, but there isn’t a wall mount, docking station, or onboard storage included, so you’ll need to find somewhere else to keep them.
The lack of a docking station also means that you’ll need somewhere to store and charge the vacuum when it’s not in use. As it’s a relatively large handheld, this makes it less convenient than some of the alternatives we’ve mentioned.
Note: Some of the handheld vacuums we’ve reviewed have tools that are built into the vacuum, meaning that they are always easily available. The Shark CH950UKT doesn’t have this feature, which is a shame (although understandable to prevent the vacuum from becoming too bulky).
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Suction Power and Cleaning Performance
Let’s start by clarifying that the Shark Handvac isn’t supposed to replace your main cleaner. It’s intended for short bursts of cleaning, so it doesn’t need the same level of performance as an upright or cordless vacuum.
That said, we found that it offers impressive suction power that can pick up debris of all sizes from a range of surfaces. But you need to make sure you get the angle of the nozzle right, otherwise you lose some of the cleaning power.
It’s not quite the best suction we’ve seen from a handheld, though. We still think the Dyson V7 Trigger has better performance, but it’s considerably more expensive – and there’s not a huge difference in cleaning power.
Around the Home
We think the Shark CH950UKT is an excellent handheld for cleaning around the home. In particular, we found that the pet tool makes it much more effective at cleaning carpets, sofas, and rugs than many other handheld models.
It’s also brilliant for cleaning hard floors. During our testing, it picked up both larger debris and smaller items with ease on hard floors and laminate.
There’s a good mix of tools for picking up spills from all sorts of places, including work surfaces, hard floors, and furniture. The crevice tool can get into drawers and down the sides of furniture without any hassle. We also found the suction power is strong enough to pick up small crumbs, as well as larger debris, like cat litter.
We found the dusting brush useful for more delicate surfaces, although we felt that the fibres were stiffer than we would like. Be careful when using the dusting brush on very delicate surfaces, as the bristles could cause small scratches.
The Shark Handvac is good for these areas of spot cleaning, but thick rugs and carpets will drain the battery life quicker. When it’s already short at 10 minutes, this is a downside.
It’s also a difficult vacuum to use in tight spaces. The rigid design and lack of a hose makes it difficult to clean behind furniture, around PC monitors, and other small locations. But for general spot cleaning it’s hard to beat in this price range.
The Shark CH950UKT has enough power to give your car a quick clean. We found it great to use on car seats, where the motorised brush bar was able to remove both dirt and pet hair. It won’t remove stubborn dirt stuck to car mats, but we’re yet to test a handheld vacuum that can manage this job.
Unfortunately, its car cleaning performance is let down by the lack of a proper crevice tool. The provided tool is too short to get between seats and other awkward locations – especially as the vacuum itself is quite large and rigid – making it difficult to give the car a full clean. And, with only around 10 minutes of run time, you might not get the whole interior cleaned before running out of battery.
For these reasons, we don’t recommend buying the CH950UKT specifically as a car vacuum. It can still be useful for cleaning most of your car interior though.
We found that the combination of lightweight design and mini motorised tool makes the Shark cordless handheld vacuum cleaner excellent for cleaning stairs. The bristles dig into carpet fibres to pull up dust and dirt. The crevice tool is also great for whizzing around the edges.
If you’re looking for a handheld vacuum to clean stairs, then the CH950UKT is one of the very best.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, the Shark Handvac CH950UKT has a mini motorised pet tool with bristles for pulling up hair. This tool is great for agitating fabric surfaces and picking up embedded pet hair, making the CH950UKT an excellent handheld vacuum for pet hair.
You’ll need to regularly cut hair away from the brush bar though. We found that hair quickly becomes caught, which will eventually reduce performance.
As well as the pet tool, the dusting brush is also useful for pet mess. The stiff bristles get muddy paw prints out of the carpet once they’ve dried out. And the portability allows you to clean up hair and dirt from wherever your furry friends like to leave it.
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Price and Value for Money
The Shark Cordless Handvac sits at the lower end of the price range for handheld vacuums. We’re impressed with how much you get for your money when you factor in the suction power and motorised pet tool.
In fact, we think that the CH950UKT is the best handheld in its price range – especially if you need a powerful handheld and don’t mind missing out on convenience features.
Shark Handvac CH950UKT Specification
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2|
|Maximum Run-Time||10 minutes|
Comparison With Other Vacuums
Shark CH950UKT Vs Shark WV200UK
Both of these are handheld vacuum cleaners from Shark, but they are built for very different purposes.
While both vacuums offer around 10 minutes run-time, the WV200UK is a smaller and lighter vacuum. It weighs just 0.6kg and has a tiny 0.25 litre dust capacity to match. The streamlined design is less bulky than the CH950UKT, and it has the added benefits of removable quick-charge batteries and a HEPA filter.
On the other hand, the WV200UK’s pet tool isn’t motorised, unlike the CH950UKT. This makes the CH950UKT a better option for pet hair and stubborn dirt.
We think they’re both great handheld vacuum cleaners. The WV200UK is designed to be kept on display in its docking station for quick clean-ups, while the CH950UKT is less stylish but provides better cleaning performance.
For more info, read our full Shark WV200UK review.
|Ninja Column 1||Vacuum 1||Vacuum 2|
|Shark CH950UKT||Shark WV200UK|
|Around The Home Cleaning Score||4.5/5||4.5/5|
|Car Interiors Cleaning Score||3/5||4/5|
|Pet Hair Cleaning Score||4.5/5||3/5|
|Stairs Cleaning Score||5/5||4/5|
Shark CH950UKT Vs Dyson V7 Trigger
The Dyson V7 Trigger is another handheld vacuum alternative to the Shark CH950UKT. They’re almost identical in weight with the Dyson a fraction lighter at 1.38kg Vs 1.39kg for the Shark. But Dyson has managed to get a larger 0.54 litre dust canister and a bigger, better battery.
The V7 has an impressive 30 minute run time and only takes 3.5 hours to charge. It’s significantly better than the 10 minutes run time and 4 hours charge time for the Shark.
We think the Dyson has more powerful suction and all-round superior cleaning performance. But it’s one of the most expensive handheld cleaners on the market, unlike the budget Shark vac. It’s also bulkier than the CH950UKT.
To help you decide which one’s right for you, why not read our full Dyson V7 Trigger review.
Shark HandVac CH950UKT Verdict
The Shark Handvac CH950UKT is an excellent handheld vacuum cleaner. It doesn’t come with many advanced features and it’s not the most convenient handheld, but when it comes to cleaning performance we think it’s amongst the best around.
For example, the CH950UKT is an excellent vacuum for hard floors and stairs. We also really like that it comes with a motorised pet tool, as this greatly improves the carpet and upholstery cleaning performance compared with most competing vacuums.
So, who should buy this vacuum?
If you need a handheld vacuum for managing pet hair between cleaning sessions with your regular vacuum, the CH950UKT is a great choice. The turbo tool and strong suction mean it can pick up pet hair on almost any surface. We also recommend it if you’re looking for a powerful all-rounder to use around the home that doesn’t cost a fortune.
This vacuum isn’t the best choice if you’re looking for a stylish model you can charge in a docking station between cleans though. The CH950UKT only has a regular charging cable, so you’ll need to remember to charge it after using the vacuum. The long design also makes it awkward to use in tight locations, such as under car seats or around PC monitors.
Even so, it’s a powerful handheld vacuum and definitely one to consider if you want an easier way to clean up after your pets. The Shark Handvac CH950UKT won’t break the bank and is useful for spot cleaning pet hair and dry spills.