Shark Powered Lift-Away NZ801UKT With Anti Hair Wrap Review – The New King of Upright Vacuums?

Written by James Hall | 0 Comments | Last Updated: October 26, 2020

Shark NZ801UKT

8.6

Value

8.0/10

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Cleaning Power

8.0/10

Features

10.0/10

Accessories

8.0/10

Pros

  • Versatile vacuum with a lift-away design
  • Great at cleaning hard floors and pet hair
  • Includes a pet hair tool
  • Anti hair tangling feature
  • Excellent DuoClean floorhead

Cons

  • Only an 8 metre cord
  • Average carpet performance
  • Small dust capacity

The Shark NZ801UKT True Pet has quickly become one of the UK’s most popular upright vacuum cleaners. It includes a range of features, such as Shark’s Anti-Hair Wrap technology, powered lift-away design, and pet hair tool. It’s also designed to be a versatile vacuum that’s as effective at cleaning carpets, hard floors, and pet hair.

How does the Shark compare with other upright vacuums though? And is it worth the price? Read our in-depth Shark NZ801UKT review to find out.

Overview of the Shark NZ801UKT

  • Versatile upright vacuum that can handle any type of floor
  • Pet tool for removing hair and dander
  • DuoClean floorhead that’s great for removing both large and small debris
  • Powered lift-away design for convenient cleaning on stairs or in cars
  • Anti-hair wrap technology to prevent tangles around the brush bar
  • 5-year extended warranty

In-Depth Look at the NZ801UKT Features

The vacuum design

The Shark NZ801UKT is a powerful upright vacuum that’s designed to handle everything from small dust particles to pet hair. It’s a corded model, so it provides consistent suction, while the lift-away design provides more mobility when cleaning awkward locations.

This is the “True Pet” version of the NZ801UKT series, which means the vacuum comes with a dedicated pet tool. Let’s take a closer look at this vacuum’s features to find our whether it’s worthy of a place on our list of the best upright vacuums.

Appearance & Design

The NZ801UKT is a stylish vacuum cleaner with a host of interesting features. Shark has become known for their innovations, and the NZ801UKT is built with nearly all of their best technologies – including the excellent powered lift-away design and new anti tangle feature.

Powered Lift-Away Design

Lift-away design

One of the key features of the NZ801UKT is its powered lift-away design. By detaching the canister from the wand and floorhead, you can clean stairs or other awkward locations much more conveniently. Crucially, the brush bar remains powered when in lift-away mode, so you don’t lose any cleaning performance.

It’s hard to overstate how much more convenient the lift-away design is compared to a traditional upright vacuum. Cleaning stairs and cars, in particular, becomes safer and easier, as you can hold the canister in one hand while cleaning with the other. In fact, the lift-away option makes the Shark a middle ground between the convenience of a cordless and the power of traditional upright, which is one of the reasons it’s such an excellent vacuum.

There are a few drawbacks to this design though. The lift-away canister still weighs 2.5kg, so some people may struggle to hold it in one hand for a long cleaning session. You can always place the canister on the floor, although this limits where you can clean. It’s also not as convenient as a cordless vacuum, as it’s heavier and you’ll still need a nearby plug socket.

On the upside, the Shark is great for above floor cleaning, such as furniture, curtains, or spiderwebs. A button at the back of the vac allows you to detach the wand from the floorhead, which can either be used as a hose or with an attached tool.

Manoeuvrability and Ease of Use

With a weight of 6.5kg, the Shark isn’t the lightest vacuum on the market, but it’s not too heavy either. It handles well and is easy to manoeuvre around furniture, although it can’t match the Dyson Ball technology when it comes to steering.

The handle is comfortable to hold, even during long cleaning sessions. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to adjust the height of the grip. This could be an issue if you’re taller or shorter than average, although for most people we think the handle is at a suitable position.

Putting the vacuum together is straightforward. The wand forms the backbone of the vacuum, with the canister, floorhead and hose all attaching to various sections. Everything clips together easily and quickly – there’s no lengthy setup process before you can start vacuuming.

Other Design Features

Like many Shark vacuums, the NZ801UKT has headlights to illuminate the floor. While many people assume this is a gimmick, these lights really do make it easier to spot dust and hair that might otherwise be missed.

A minor complaint is the eight metre power cord. This isn’t the shortest we’ve seen, but is considerably shorter than models like the Dyson Ball Animal 2. If you want to clean multiple rooms without changing plug socket, this may be an annoyance.

The 0.8 litre dust capacity is also relatively small. For comparison, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a 1.8 litre capacity, while the Shark NV601UKT provides 1.65 litres. The easy-to-empty design makes this less of an issue, but be prepared to empty the NZ801UKT regularly when cleaning your home.

Tools & Accessories

Shark floorhead

The Shark doesn’t come with a huge array of tools, but it has everything you would expect from an upright vacuum cleaner. The tools are also well-made and easy to attach/detach, which isn’t always the case for upright vacs.

DuoClean Floorhead

The NZ801UKT is part of Shark’s DuoClean range. This refers to the floorhead, which has two motorised brush rolls. The first is a softer brush roll that’s designed for hard floors, while the bristle brush is excellent for digging deeper into carpets.

We really like the DuoClean floorhead. It makes transitioning between carpets and hard floors more convenient, as you don’t need to change floor heads (you’ll need to switch modes though.) It also does a great job of picking up both large debris and small dust particles.

Other Tools and Accessories

The Shark NZ801UKT comes with an upholstery brush, 2-in-1 crevice tool, and a pet tool. While it doesn’t include advanced tools, such as an “up top” tool or dedicated hard floor tool, it still provides everything you need for most cleaning tasks.

It’s worth noting that the pet tool’s brush bar is powered by suction, rather than a separate motor. This makes it a bit less effective than the tool included with Dyson models, but it’s still great for cleaning furniture and stairs.

A bonus is that the 2-in-1 tool and upholstery brush have on-board storage, which ensures they’re always available and less likely to get lost.

Note: Shark also sells a car kit for the NZ801UKT, but this must be purchased separately. 

Suction Power & Cleaning Performance

Shark uses a 750W motor for most of their vacuum cleaners. While it’s not the most powerful on the market, it’s no slouch and provides strong suction power. The corded design also means the vacuum can provide stronger and more consistent suction than cordless vacs.

As mentioned earlier, the NZ801UKT comes with Shark’s DuoClean floorhead. Aside from having two brush bars, there’s the option of switching between carpet and hard floor modes, which affects the speed of the rotating bars.

There’s no option to adjust the suction power though. This is a shame, as having multiple suction settings can be useful when switching surfaces. Let’s take a look at how the vacuum performs on various types of floor.

Carpets

With great suction and a highly effective floor head, it’s no surprise that the Shark NZ801UKT provides strong carpet cleaning performance. This model makes quick work of both small particles and larger debris on carpet, so it’s a good choice for many homes.

The floorhead also provides decent edge performance, although you’ll still need to use a crevice tool for cleaning right up to walls.

We don’t, however, think it provides the deepest clean when it comes to carpets. While it does an all-round decent job, the raw cleaning performance isn’t quite as good as the top carpet vacuums.

The strong suction can also be an issue when cleaning thick pile carpets or rugs. It can sometimes be difficult to push the vac, especially as there’s no option to reduce the suction. Shark has included a release vent for when it becomes too difficult though, which provides welcome relief at times!

A minor downside is the bulky dust canister on the front of the machine. When you’re not in lift-away mode, this can make it difficult to clean under furniture.

Hard Floors

The NZ801UKT  is great for cleaning hard floors. Unlike carpets, where it’s not quite as effective as the top competing models, we think the NZ801UKT is a match for any vacuum on tiles or floorboards.

An advantage of the DuoClean brush bar is that the softer front brush roll is great for cleaning hard floors without scattering larger debris. The vacuum also has ample suction power, which is important for cleaning the cracks between tiles and floorboards.

Make sure you put it in hard floor mode for maximum performance though. This slows down the brush bars, which reduces the chances of scattering.

Stairs

The combination of powered lift-away design and pet tool makes cleaning stairs a breeze. This is one area where the Shark really stands out compared to competing upright vacuums, as it provides full power with the convenience of a lift-away dust canister.

Pet Hair

Pet hair is another area where the NZ801UKT excels. Many vacuums struggle with fur, but the DuoClean floorhead is brilliant at removing hair from carpets, while the turbo pet tool is just as effective at cleaning stairs or sofas.

Not needing to manually remove tangled hair from the brush bar is also a bonus!

A drawback is that the pet turbo tool is surprisingly loud. This is probably because it’s powered by airflow, rather than an electric motor.

Filtration

While the Shark NZ801UKT doesn’t have a HEPA filter, it’s built with the company’s anti-allergen complete seal. According to Shark, this traps 99.9% of all allergens and dust, so they can’t be released back into the air.

This design feature is a welcome addition, but it can’t match a HEPA filter for filtration. If you have a dust or pet allergy, look for a vacuum with a HEPA filter and a bagged design.

For non-allergy sufferers, however, the NZ801UKT does a good enough job at retaining dust and other particles.

Emptying & Cleaning

The canister is easy to detach from the wand, so you can hold it over a bin before opening the hatch to empty the vacuum. This is a simple system, but relies on gravity to remove dust and dirt, which can sometimes allow clumps to get stuck.

If you have someone with long hair in the house (human or animal!), then the anti hair-wrap technology could save you a lot of time. Both the pet tool and the main floorhead have a built-in hair guard, which separates hair and removes it, helping to keep the brush bar free from tangles.

The effectiveness of this feature is still up for debate though. While we think it does a decent job, and for many people it works well, we’ve also read reports of hair failing to be removed by the mechanism. This is probably due to differences in hair types. It seems the anti-wrap feature works best for short or medium length hair, such as from a dog, but for long or thick hair it struggles.

Fortunately, it’s still easy to cut any remaining hair in the traditional way, and there’s no doubt that the anti tangle feature reduces the quantity of hair caught in the brush bar.

Price & Competitor Comparison

With an RRP of £350, the Shark is quite pricey for an upright vacuum. We still think it’s a fair price considering the powered lift-away design and other features though.

The good news is that you can often find the NZ801UKT for sale at a price that’s less than the RRP. For this reason, we think it provides excellent value for money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Shark NZ801UKT vs NZ801UK – What Are The Differences?

These two models are almost identical. The only real difference is that the NZ801UKT is the “True Pet” version, so it comes with the pet turbo tool.

Where Can I Find The Best Price for This Vacuum?

The Shark NZ801UKT upright vacuum cleaner can be found at many online retailers, including Amazon, John Lewis, and various others. You’ll need to shop around for the best price, as prices change regularly depending on which deals and offers are running.

Verdict

We think the Shark NZ801UKT is one of the best upright vacuum cleaners on the market. It’s a versatile and convenient choice, due to the powered lift-away design and DuoClean floor tool. The anti hair wrap feature is a useful bonus, although it’s not always 100% effective. It’s also a brilliant vacuum for cleaning pet hair on any surface.

There are some downsides though. While it provides decent performance on carpets, it can’t match the best models for deep cleaning. There’s also no option to adjust the suction power and the eight metre power cord is more restrictive than other models.

Even so, the Shark is still an excellent option and one of our top picks. It’s a true all-rounder that’s brilliant at cleaning pet hair, convenient to use around the home, and packed with useful features. So, while it doesn’t excel on carpets, it makes up for it in other areas.

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