Shark Rotator NV501 product review

Shark is known for being very inexpensive when compared to its direct market competitors (such as Dyson, Hoover, or Electrolux), without sacrificing performance. In terms of upright vacuum cleaners, they offer a wide range of options, among which Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away Upright Vacuum NV501 is one of the most acquired.

Shark Rotator NV501 product review 5This vacuum is described as an ultra-quiet, lightweight 3-in-1 vacuum, which can be used in upright, lift-away and above-floor modes. Some users say it’s the best model of this kind, having powerful suction force and effective multi-surface cleaning options. Let’s look at some of its features and the users’ opinions.

Technical specifications and general features of NV501

  • Dimensions (when assembled): 13.4 (wide) x 12.2 (deep) x 45.7 (high) inches
  • Voltage: 120V, 60Hz
  • Watts: 1200W
  • Amps: 10A
  • Weight (full upright): 15.5 lbs.
  • Weight (lift-away pod): 8.4 lbs.
  • Corded (cord length: 30 ft)
  • Lift-Away Technology
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology
  • Sealed system and HEPA filter
  • Rotator Technology Advanced Swivel Steering
  • LED headlights
  • Detachable canister
  • XL-capacity dust cup
  • 3 modes of utilization (upright, lift-away, above-floor)
  • Wide variety of cleaning accessories
  • High suction power
  • Bagless
  • 5-year warranty

What Do The Reviews Of The NV501 Say?

According to hundreds of available reviews, this product seems to be well accepted by the buyer audience, with a few cons also being reported.


  • Good price/quality relationship.

This is the most prominent feature of this product and is also the reason why it sells so much. When compared to its direct market competitors, it costs much less, while maintaining an acceptable quality in performance.

  • Shark offers a 5-year warranty.

Although it may vary, depending on the seller; we recommend attention to this detail when considering buying the product.

  • It’s easily assembled.

According to most users, the user guide included in the product package is very clear, and contains simple and illustrative schematics.

  • It’s quiet.

According to hundreds of reviews, it’s quieter than other vacuums.

  • It’s reported to be lightweight.

There are some mixed reviews on this topic (we recommend looking at the weight, described above in the technical specifications, before deciding to buy the product).

  • It seems to be effective in cleaning multiple types of surfaces.

Users describe its effectiveness in cleaning all types of surfaces and materials, like hardwood, carpets, rugs, vinyl, tiles, leather, drapes, window sills, furniture tops, bookcases, and even stairs and high ceilings. Its performance in cleaning under furniture has mixed reviews; some users report it as effective in cleaning under furniture, while others say its design makes the task difficult.

  • It’s reported as very effective in cleaning pet hair from multiple types of surfaces.

Users who own pets are usually very satisfied with this product. This model is reported to be extremely effective in cleaning pet hair from all types of surfaces, including rugs and carpets.

  • It’s posture-friendly.

This is a feature much desired in customers who buy upright vacuums, and users report this product is easy to maneuver and doesn’t require much bending over or back effort. In terms of design, the fact that it has a handle and several buttons which are relatively easy to reach are reportedly desired features which help in terms of maintaining a healthy posture while vacuuming.

  • It has good suction power.

Also, it includes a feature which allows the user to control how much suction power they use.

  • It’s reported to keep the air clean while being used.

Users report it doesn’t release dust and particles back into the air. This is probably due to its completely sealed system and filters.

  • It has several different attachments for each type of surface or task.

Also, several users consider they are easy and intuitive to change.

It doesn’t tip over when using attachments (although some users report it may tip over when using the lift-away feature).

  • The dust bin has a large capacity.

This allows the user to vacuum more areas before needing to empty the bin. Also, the bin is transparent, making it easier to see when it needs emptying.

  • It has a long cord (30 ft).

According to some users, this facilitates the cleaning of larger areas, without having to constantly unplug/plug the vacuum in order to move around (although other users report that, due to the cord’s length, it might get in the way of the vacuuming head, and therefore they need to pick up and hold the cord while vacuuming).

  • It has onboard LED headlights.

They make it easier for the users to see the vacuumed path, especially in poorly lighted areas or at night. The LEDs will turn on and remain on as long as the power’s on and, according to Shark, they are designed to last the lifetime of the vacuum.

  • It’s bagless.

There’s no need to constantly buy and replace bags.

  • It has washable filters.

This eliminates the need to constantly buy and replace new filters (although it’s always advisable to replace the filters from time to time).

  • Some users report the product is easy to clean and maintain.
  • There are reviews reporting that, when the brush attachment is engaged, the product becomes highly mobile and maneuverable, being almost self-propelled.


  • Shark describes this product as being lightweight, but some customers report it’s heavier than expected.

Therefore, for weaker or older users, it might be difficult to maneuver (we recommend looking at the weight, described above in the technical specifications, before deciding to buy the product).

  • Some users report that, since the switches are not located on the handle, it’s not as intuitive or easy to use as expected.
  • There are several reviews and buyer complaints about defective products or poor customer support.

We recommend procuring a reliable supplier to buy this product from. Also, not all sellers offer the 5-year warranty marketed by Shark, so extra attention is recommended in this matter.

  • Some users also alert to the fact that the plastic parts are not as durable as expected.

Moreover, a few sellers alert to the fact that there are lead components in this vacuum, advising the users to wash their hands after handling the product.

  • There’s the possibility of damaging wooden floors, if not handled correctly or if the product is somehow defected.
  • In order to maintain the vacuum’s integrity and suction power, there’s the need to keep the filters clean and check for hose clogs.

Some users report situations when the hose clogs very often, and the vacuum loses suction power or sometimes turns off automatically.

  • Some reviewers alert to the fact that cleaning the bin might not be as simple as expected, and there might be some dust spills that will needing cleaning afterwards.
  • All filters need to be washed by hand, and some users report they clog faster than expected, so it’s advisable to do regular checks on the integrity of the filters.
  • This vacuum doesn’t have an automatic cord retraction system.
  • Some users report that, due to the length of the cord, it sometimes might get in the way of the vacuuming path, requiring the user to pick it up and hold it while vacuuming.
  • There are reports that the vacuum may tip over when used on lift-away mode.
  • Some reviews refer that the cleaning head is smaller than expected, so it might take more time to clean large rooms, when compared to other vacuums.
  • Customers report that replacement accessories, parts, and filters might be somewhat hard to find and acquire.
  • Some users address the fact that the hose isn’t long enough.
  • Due to its design, some reports suggest it might be difficult to use when vacuuming under furniture, but users’ opinions are variable in this matter.
  • There are a few complaints about the height of the brush head not being adjustable.

Shark Rotator NV501 product review 6Final remarks

Comparing to other Shark Professional Lift-Away upright models, in terms of dimensions, weight, and cord length, all Shark lift-away models are similar. What differs most are the accessories that come with every vacuum package. Not all models include the same accessories in their packages, but according to Shark you can acquire more cleaning accessories if needed. According to Shark’s website, the NV501 model is compatible with the following Shark accessories: canister caddy, multi-tool, 18” & 24” flexi crevice tools, power brush, multi-angle dusting brush, wide upholstery tool, mini dusting brush, mini pet tool, universal dusting brush, mini blinds tool, backsaver wand, appliance wand, straight suction nozzle, home & car detail kit, and accessory storage bag.

Comparing to other brands of similar upright vacuum models available in the market, this Shark model mostly stands out for being cheaper, while maintaining considerable quality. Most users say its performance is comparable to Dyson’s, while the plastic parts might not be as durable. In general conclusion, if you are looking for inexpensive vacuums that also have a good performance, Shark’s NV501 might be a good option. We recommend you consider factors like performance, product durability, design, and your own budget, in order to make an informed decision on what product to acquire.