Shark Apex Upright Tested & Reviewed

If the term “best vacuum cleaner around” were to be described in only one word, it would be Shark. This brand is highly renowned for producing only quality-driven vacuums with impeccable cleaning results, capable of wiping and eliminating dust, grime, and other types of debris from any surface and corner imaginable. This static is reinforced with the release of the Apex Duoclean Zero-M AZ 1002, which is a powerhouse, to say the least.

The Apex Duoclean Zero-M is considered to be one of Shark’s most powerful upright vacuum cleaners and one of the most powerful bagless vacuum cleaners available today. It boasts an impressive suction capability at 101 inches of water lift, and an incredible airflow of 90 CFM. These are some of the handful of the most attractive features that we’ll elaborate on in our extensive review write-up for this product.

Our Hands-on Analysis and Results

When it comes to cleaning, the Shark Apex Duoclean Zero-M even bests its predecessor, the Shark Rotator with Duoclean when it comes to picking a pet hair and cleaning out carpets. It comes with a fantastic lift away technology and features a large capacity, allowing users to vacuum anything from stairs, drapes, furniture, cars, ceiling fans, and upholstery in one fell swoop.

The AZ 1002 comes with a variety of intrinsic cleaning technologies and other features that aid in making any space in our house not only spic and span but also safer and breathable:

Duoclean Technology

The AZ 1002 comes with a primary cleaning nozzle as well as two separate brush rolls – a standard roller and a basic brush roller – that offer the most efficient cleaning results possible.

The first brush roll is very soft and is adept in cleaning up both big and small particles from carpeted and bare floors. But for more thorough cleaning results, the vacuum can also effectively polish bare floors.

The second brush roll comes with bristles that deeply penetrate into carpets to remove the most stubborn dirt, human and pet hair. And for those who are severely allergic or have chronic respiratory symptoms, you’ll be happy to know that the Apex Duoclean Zero-M also features Advanced Anti Allergen Complete Seal Technology, meaning that all manner of dirt and allergens are sealed away tightly in the appliance’s canister for better concealment until you’re ready to empty it.

Powered Lift-Away Technology

Shark Apex Upright Tested & Reviewed 5One of the reasons that make the AZ 1002 an exemplary multipurpose cleaner is its Powered Lift-Away Technology. This feature allows the vacuum to transform directly from a sturdy upright vacuum to a lightweight stick vacuum.

Weighing at 17.1 lb, the vacuum is not convenient when it comes to portability. That’s why the Lift-Away Pod or canister offers better convenience and cleaning in tight or hard to reach corners. Now you can get the dirt underneath deep furniture without much of a struggle.

The lift-away pod can be used alongside the main floor nozzle and also for cleaning with several cleaning tools available. This kind of versatility makes cleaning around several areas in the house, including the garage, the car and more, a breeze.

Zero-M Technology

If hair getting tangled up in vacuum cleaner brush rolls has been an issue for you for quite some time, then this technology is a godsend from Shark. The Zero-M Technology smartly maneuvers any type of hair from the brush roll straight into the dust canister. This is accomplished by a special brush roll and comb arrangement that gets rid of the hair from the brush roll while you vacuum.

Excellent Filtration System

The AZ 1002 uses a sealed system and a variety of filters to basically guarantee that only clean air comes out of the machine as exhaust. In the vacuum, there are 2 pre-filter motors – a felt filter, which is right underneath the dust canister, and a foam filter. When any of these filters get dirty, simply tap off the loose debris/dirt over a dustbin. You can rinse the filters using lukewarm water.

It even consists of a post-motor filter, also known as a HEPA filter. This filter is located and can be accessed right behind a panel that’s located right in front of the vacuum. And like the other filters, You can simply top the debris/dust off when it’s dirty and then rinse it with water.

The brand recommends having the pre-motor filters rinsed once every 3 months and the HEPA filter once a year. And since they’re rinsable, there’s less of a need to replace them, allowing you to save more on replacement filters.

Less Noise

Apex vacuum cleaners have another kind of technology that reduces sound. When in use, we found that the vacuum’s noise levels measured somewhere between 72 and 76 decibels. That’s actually great considering the size of the motor of this vacuum. This is a great feature to have especially if you have people who are sleeping or prefer a noise-free environment.

Cleaning Reach

The Duoclean comes with a 30-foot power cord, giving it a pretty good reach. This way, you can cover up a large area for cleaning without constantly having to look for a power socket.

On the other hand, the device comes with a short hose, reducing your reach when using other tools, wands, or hoses. Fortunately, this is taken care of thanks to the lift away feature, but you don’t always need to detach the lift away pod.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean for Carpet and HardFloor Cleaning, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap, & Powered Lift-Away with Hand Vacuum (AZ1002), Espresso
  • Dust cup capacity 1.5 quarts; Shark's ultimate cleaning experience; Featuring Shark DuoClean, Powered lift away, and zero M technologies
  • DuoClean technology: Dual brushroll system deep cleans carpets and directly engages floors for a polished look
  • Powered lift away: The canister detaches to extend the reach of the cleaner head, including under furniture
  • The vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. The zero M self-cleaning brushroll delivers nonstop hair removal. Cleaning path width-11 inch
  • Advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology plus HEPA filter

Accessories and Tools

Upholstery Tool

As its name implies, the upholstery tool is specially designed for cleaning upholstery, bed, furniture, stairs, sofas, mattresses, and more.

12-inch Crevice Tool

This crevice tool is narrow and long and is built especially for cleaning out edges, gaps, and corners. Because of its subtle profile, it can reach and clean areas that larger cleaning tools cannot.

Anti-Allergen Dust Brush

The anti-allergen dust brush, as its name suggests, is made especially for dusting finer particles and delicate objects from narrow spaces. The brush contains gentle bristles that smoothly glide across the surface and stir the dirt that is then sucked into the vacuum thanks to its strong suction ability.

Self-Cleaning Pet Power Brush

Pet owners are going to adore this feature as much as they do their furry little friends. This brush can be used to clean above-floor surfaces like pet beds, upholstery, stairs, and other similar places.

This power brush includes a small brush roll with a cleaning capability that’s similar to the main floor nozzle and is powered by an air turbine. The technology does as it has been created for, but just because it’s self-cleaning, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s free of any maintenance. It’s up to the users from when they prefer to clean it, although it doesn’t require that much maintenance compared to other cleaning tools like it.

Canister Caddy

This tool is designed to receive the Lift-Away Pod, which allows users to operate the AZ 1002 like a canister vacuum.

Dust Canister

The dust canister is fairly easy to detach from the main unit and empty as well. Besides that, it is also pretty simple to reattach. The bottom of the canister is empty, so you can empty it with ease by depressing a button, and let the bottom of the canister throw out all the dirt and debris. The canister can contain up to 0.4 gallons of dirt/debris, which means that you won’t find yourself emptying it too often.

Multiplex Under-Appliance Wand

As the title suggests, the multiplex under appliance wand allows users to clean under furniture, house appliances, and objects. This wand comes with a bendable elbow and a narrow profile, giving users better flexibility when cleaning those tight areas.

LED Headlights

The cleaning head includes two rows of LED headlights that aid users’ invisibility, especially when it comes to cleaning out darker areas or at night.

Shark Apex Upright Tested & Reviewed 6Cleaning Performance

Given the reputation of Shark, we obviously expected the AZ 1002 to perform really well and it did not only do just that but it also exceeded our expectations.

Based on our experience, the Duoclean brilliantly took care of debris both small and large, and smoothly glossed over high and low pile carpets and hardwood flooring.

Hardwood Flooring

Some of the most common issues that people have with their vacuum cleaners, especially upright models are taking care of large debris. But with the Apex Duoclean, some of the most frustrating common types of large debris never stood a chance against this behemoth, whether it was kitty litter, cereal, sugar, or rice. If spotless results were what you were looking for, then the Duoclean is at your service.

Carpet Cleaning

In order to test the Duoclean’s cleaning feat, we put the equipment to the test against four different kinds of debris: oats, rice, flour, and Cheerios. This debris laid down on the most common types of carpeting, including flat, fluffy, low pile, medium pile, and high pile carpeting. From the results we got, we can’t recommend the Duoclean enough.

When it came to the rice on the low pile carpet, the vacuum did an exceptional job as it got most of the mess in a single pass and the rest of it in the second. However, when it came to the fluffier carpet, it did relatively worse as it took three passes to give a suitable clean, despite the fact that we still found some grains on the fibers of the carpet. In the flour test on low pile carpet, it performed impeccably, getting rid of all of the debris in two passes.

The Apex Duoclean also did splendidly pulling up Cheerios from both carpet types, mainly due to its front roller and leaving virtually no traces behind. It even did well picking up oats from low pile carpet, just by leaving a couple of fragments behind. The same results followed up on medium pile carpets, albeit with a few more passes.

Maneuverability

Given the relatively heavyweight of the device, it can be pretty hard to maneuver it around when it’s in its upright form. However, this is canceled out when the vacuum is turned into a lightweight pod. As such, this brings an added convenience that we’ve never seen in other Shark models.

Interestingly though, despite the heavier side of the vacuum, we didn’t really find it to be challenging in maneuverability. That’s because the center of gravity is low to the ground and the wheels are quite good, allowing it to glide and turn with ease.

The long wand attachment enables the Shark Apex Duoclean to comfortably get under or even behind furniture, clean out baseboards, and also allow us to get to those hard-to-reach ceiling corners too. This while not lifting the upright cleaner when cleaning the stairs is an incredible bonus.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean for Carpet and HardFloor Cleaning, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap, & Powered Lift-Away with Hand Vacuum (AZ1002), Espresso
  • Dust cup capacity 1.5 quarts; Shark's ultimate cleaning experience; Featuring Shark DuoClean, Powered lift away, and zero M technologies
  • DuoClean technology: Dual brushroll system deep cleans carpets and directly engages floors for a polished look
  • Powered lift away: The canister detaches to extend the reach of the cleaner head, including under furniture
  • The vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. The zero M self-cleaning brushroll delivers nonstop hair removal. Cleaning path width-11 inch
  • Advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology plus HEPA filter

Provides More Value for Your Money

Does the Apex Duoclean offer more value for your money as the years go by? Yes, it certainly does and for a number of really good reasons at that. Some of those reasons include:

1.   Fantastic Performance

After everything we’ve covered in this article, it pretty much goes without saying that the Apex Duoclean is one of the best vacuums that the world has ever known. This is especially when you look at the device’s performance on hardwood flooring, high-pile, and fluffy carpets. It even surpasses the cleaning abilities of the more well-known names including Dyson and Miele.

2.   Cleans Efficiently Under Furniture

Only is select few upright vacuum cleaners have the ability to perform a deep clean under furniture or tight corners in the same vein as the Apex Duoclean does. With a bendable elbow and a detachable canister that turns into a lightweight pod, if the Duoclean doesn’t take away the crown for “best vacuum cleaner to date,” there is seriously something wrong with the world.

3.   Completely Sealed System

The Apex Duoclean is one of the most affordable upright vacuum cleaners available with a completely sealed system. Other known models such as the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser may feature HEPA filtration, but the allergens are known for leaking out.

4.   Versatility

The Lift-Away feature of the AZ 1002 allows the appliance to transition from an upright vacuum cleaner to that of a lightweight canister.

5.   Top-Quality Build

From what we’ve seen, Shark has made massive improvements on the quality of plastic that they use for the hose. Besides that, the tools and other accessories easily attach onto the vacuum cleaner, while also ensuring the build remains sturdy.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean for Carpet and HardFloor Cleaning, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap, & Powered Lift-Away with Hand Vacuum (AZ1002), Espresso
  • Dust cup capacity 1.5 quarts; Shark's ultimate cleaning experience; Featuring Shark DuoClean, Powered lift away, and zero M technologies
  • DuoClean technology: Dual brushroll system deep cleans carpets and directly engages floors for a polished look
  • Powered lift away: The canister detaches to extend the reach of the cleaner head, including under furniture
  • The vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. The zero M self-cleaning brushroll delivers nonstop hair removal. Cleaning path width-11 inch
  • Advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology plus HEPA filter

Maintenance

The Zero-M technology of the Apex Duoclean truly honors its name in that users will not have to pay for maintenance costs with this model.

  • The basic brush roll that comes with a vacuum utilizes a self-cleaning technology that allows it to automatically remove any hair that the roller picks up.
  • The HEPA filter which also includes a foam insert is washable as well as reusable. All you have to do is simply wash it using water and then let it dry before installing it again.
  • During cleanings, you just need to tap on the foam filters to loosen up some of the dirt that it’s clinging on. That way, you won’t lose any suction power.

Dust Cup

The canister’s dust cup is capable of holding 1.5 quarts/0.37 gallons/1.42 liters of dust and dirt.

Once you’re set to remove the dust from the dust cup, just press the button to remove the cup. Then hold the cup above the trash bin and switch the tab in front of the vacuum to drop the filthy contents into the bin.

We really appreciate the way the canister opens from underneath so that you don’t get dust or anywhere else but the trash can.

Who needs the Shark Apex Duoclean?

Being an all-round vacuum cleaner, do you believe that the Apex Duoclean Zero-M is the vacuum cleaner you’ve been looking for all along? For clarity, let’s go over the types of scenarios that you’ll be using the vacuum cleaner in.

  1. Big houses that have fluffy carpets, rugs, and hardwood flooring. When it comes to cleaning services, there is virtually nothing that the Apex Duoclean can’t handle. There’s no need for extra tools to give you a hand in your cleaning operation.
  2. The vacuum cleaner in a business setting. Some, if not most companies use this vacuum cleaner to clean their offices as it does so very well. After all, an efficient workplace needs an efficient vacuum cleaner for the job
  3. Pet owners. The Zero-M technology is the very thing that attracts pet/animal lovers as the vacuum cleaner’s brush rolls effectively clean out any kind of pet or human hair that it picks up.
  4. It cleans a vast range of surfaces. Thanks to its Lift-Away feature, the Apex Duoclean allows users to clean just about anything or everything around their households, including cars, vents, stairs, upholstery, and more.

We reviewed a handful of other incredible and renowned vacuum cleaning brands like Bissell and Dyson, but Shark still continues to amaze us with its slew of smart innovations and features especially with what it’s done with the Apex Duoclean Zero-M AZ 1002. A vacuum cleaner that does at all that self-maintains is pretty affordable despite its quality build, and spares you of all the frustrating maintenance costs is a winner in just about anyone’s book.

Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean for Carpet and HardFloor Cleaning, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap, & Powered Lift-Away with Hand Vacuum (AZ1002), Espresso
  • Dust cup capacity 1.5 quarts; Shark's ultimate cleaning experience; Featuring Shark DuoClean, Powered lift away, and zero M technologies
  • DuoClean technology: Dual brushroll system deep cleans carpets and directly engages floors for a polished look
  • Powered lift away: The canister detaches to extend the reach of the cleaner head, including under furniture
  • The vacuum that deep cleans now cleans itself. The zero M self-cleaning brushroll delivers nonstop hair removal. Cleaning path width-11 inch
  • Advanced anti-allergen complete seal technology plus HEPA filter