We are a serious fan of Shark vacuum cleaners here at Home Vacuum Zone. Their vacuums feature in some of our most popular review articles and are also included in our best canister, best upright and best lightweight vacuum reviews. Euro-Pro, the manufacturer behind the Shark brand have gained a huge share of the US vacuum cleaner market in the last 10 years. This is largely due to the popularity of two of their bagless upright vacuums: the Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator. So if you are looking to buy either one you are in good company, but which one is best? Read on for our detailed Shark Rotator vs Navigator comparison to see which model is the one for you.

Shark Rotator vs Navigator Vacuum Models


Did you know there are different types of Shark Rotator and Navigator models? When you are comparing you need to be sure the exact model you are looking at:

OUR TOP PICK

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)

If you are looking for a short cut to the winner of this Shark Rotator vs Navigator contest then here it is.

This Shark Rotator​ is our favourite pick because it's the most powerful 3-in-1 Powered Lift-Away Upright Vacuum. It has the best design features including the lift-away canister and special tools for effectively dealing with pet hair. Its anti-allergy complete seal technology and HEPA filter also means 99.9% of dust and allergens are effectively captured and retained inside the vacuum.

We've previously reviewed the Shark Rotator Powered Lift Away TruePet and compared it against the Dyson Cinetic so we won't review it again here.

Head over to that article here if you want the lowdown, or take our word for it and click the big red button below to get this superb vacuum at a discounted price on Amazon.

Shark Rotator vs Navigator Models Comparison

For our Shark Navigator vs Rotator comparison we have paired up the Professional "Lift-Away" models ​and the rechargeable cordless "Freestyle" models:

  • ​Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV682) vs Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away Deluxe (NV583)
  • Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) vs Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)
  • Shark Rotator Freestyle Pro (SV1112) vs Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless (SV1106)

Shark Rotator vs Navigator Powered Lift-Away Models

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away Speed (NV682)

Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away Deluxe (NV583)

shark rotator vs navigator powered lift away
shark navigator vs rotator

Filtration

Anit-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA (3 Filters)

Anit-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA Filters

Cord Length

30 feet

30 feet

Hose Length

8.4 feet

5 feet

Cleaning Path Width

10.5 inches

9.5 inches

Bin Capacity

0.9 dry quarts

2.2 dry quarts

Weight/ Pod Weight

13.2 pounds; 8.4 pounds

13.7 pounds; 8 pounds

LED Headlights

Yes

No

Price

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)

If our Top Pick is beyond your budget then this great budget vacuum might be for you. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) is actually the predecessor to the Rotator Powered Lift-Away (NV752) but shares many of its features. Many buyers prefer this as it is $100-$150 cheaper and it still offers a lift-away design that allows the user to lift its canister with just a single press of a button when needed.

In addition to that, it is capable of cleaning hard-to-reach areas and various surfaces. For a more convenient cleaning, it is equipped with the advanced swivel steering feature that enables it to be easily maneuvered around. Furthermore, it is sold with a HEPA filter and the anti-allergen complete seal technology that traps up to 99.9% of dust and allergens.

Features

  • Equipped with a detachable canister
  • Features the lift-away mode which enables more convenient cleaning of upholsteries, stairs and other hard to reach areas
  • Has a large dust cup that traps dirt
  • Comes with the enhanced swivel steering for increased maneuverability
  • Equipped with LED headlights that allows the user to see the dust and dirt when cleaning a dark area
  • Sold along with a dusting brush that can remove pet hairs from the upholstery, curtains and delicate fabrics
  • Comes with the above-floor mode that allows it to cover corners, ceilings and crevices
  • You can switch off the brush roll when needed with the push of a button.

Pros

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) is currently among the bestselling vacuums in its class at present. This is because it comes with a very lightweight and portable construction that allows it user to conveniently take the vacuum where it is needed. In addition to that, it is equipped with a detachable canister that makes cleaning of stairs, upholsteries and hard-to-reach areas easier.

Aside from that, it is lauded for its anti-allergen complete seal technology and a HEPA filter which is capable of trapping up to 99.9% of allergens and dust into the vacuum. This can also be used to clean dark areas such as basements and attics since it is equipped with LED lights and an advanced swivel steering feature.

In terms of performance, the Rotator Pro performs exceptionally well, especially considering its price. Although it doesn't perform quite as well overall as its more expensive competitors, including the Powered Lift-Away​, it isn't far away. Indeed, in Cnet tests, the Rotator Pro Lift-Away marginally outperformed the Powered Lift-Away for pet hair pickup.

Cons

Aside from the useful features, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) also comes with a number of downsides.

First, as it has been around for a number of years, it doesn't have the aesthetic and functional improvements made in the more modern Powered Lift-Away. For instance, the power and height control buttons are located on the handle for convenience on the Powered Lift-Away rather than on the body of the vacuum.

Second, it is heavier than the Shark Navigator Pro Lift-Away so if weight is an issue then you might want to consider the Navigator instead. 

Finally, another drawback with this model is that once you detach the canister, you can only use the attachments and not the brushroll. Again, this is where the newer Powered Lift-Away has improved things as you can still use it as an upright when the canister is removed while its as thin as a stick vac.

The below video review courtesy of Cnet gives a fantastic overview of the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away and confirms how well this vacuum performs compared to the more expensive competition.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is presently viewed as one of the bestselling vacuum cleaners in its class. A lot of buyers are buying this product since it is made of durable materials and comes with a very functional design. In addition to that, the vacuum is very lightweight and provides an impressive amount of portable cleaning power. On top of that, it is equipped with a highly-detachable canister for a more convenient cleaning performance and a HEPA filter which allows the device to trap allergens and dust.

Features

  • Comes with a lift-away upright design
  • Equipped with a detachable canister
  • Comes with the Lift-Away technology that allows it to clean even the hard-to-reach areas
  • Equipped with a completely sealed system and a HEPA Filter that traps allergens and dust
  • Has the Brushroll Shutoff button that allows the user to conveniently switch its cleaning mode
  • Comes with the Dust-Away hard floor attachment that enables it to effectively pick up the dust and debris from bare floors
  • Sold along with 2 microfiber pads

Pros

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is considered as a top option among buyers since it is blessed with a lightweight construction and a very portable design. It comes with a detachable canister that can be easily lifted away to conveniently clean the hard-to-reach areas. In addition to that, the product is equipped with a HEPA filter and the anti-allergen complete seal technology responsible for trapping up to 99.9% of allergens and dust.

Aside from that, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is fitted with the Brushroll Shutoff button that makes the switching between bare floor and carpet cleaning very easy. Furthermore, it is sold along with 2 microfiber pads that are washable and allows the vacuum to pick up fine dust and large debris from bare floors. On top of that, it is sold at a decent price.

Cons

Aside from the long list of useful features, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E also comes with a number of downsides. First is offered in relatively limited quantity and this setup makes the product to easily get out of stock. Second, it lacks some of the advanced features that most of its slightly expensive competitors provide. Finally, it is not available for shipping in some countries.

This video from Shark gives a short explanation of the HEPA filter on the Navigator Pro and how when combined with its completely sealed technology it locks in 99.9% of the dust.​

Verdict - shark Rotator vs Navigator Lift-Away Professional Models

Although it has a few known flaws and is now the older Shark on the block, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) remains a preferred option among buyers. It is lightweight, portable and powerful. In addition to that, it is equipped with some of the latest technologies that allow it to provide the best cleaning output. On top of that, it can be used in various surfaces and can be used in dark areas since it comes with LED headlights.

By comparison, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is also still a top pick among buyers. This is because it is decently-priced, bundles a lot of useful features and proven durable. In addition to that, the product is very lightweight and portable.

Shark Rotator vs Navigator Professional Lift-Away Models

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional

shark rotator vs navigator
Shark Navigator vs Rotator

Filtration

Anit-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA (3 Filters)

Anit-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA Filters

Cord Length

30 feet

30 feet

Hose Length

8.4 feet

5 feet

Cleaning Path Width

9.5 inches

9.5 inches

Bin Capacity

1.3 dry quarts

2.2 dry quarts

Weight/ Pod Weight

15.5 pounds; 8.4 pounds

13.7 pounds; 8 pounds

LED Headlights

Yes

No

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)

If our Top Pick is beyond your budget then this great budget vacuum might be for you. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) is actually the predecessor to the Rotator Powered Lift-Away (NV752) but shares many of its features. Many buyers prefer this as it is $100-$150 cheaper and it still offers a lift-away design that allows the user to lift its canister with just a single press of a button when needed.

In addition to that, it is capable of cleaning hard-to-reach areas and various surfaces. For a more convenient cleaning, it is equipped with the advanced swivel steering feature that enables it to be easily maneuvered around. Furthermore, it is sold with a HEPA filter and the anti-allergen complete seal technology that traps up to 99.9% of dust and allergens.

Features

  • Equipped with a detachable canister
  • Features the lift-away mode which enables more convenient cleaning of upholsteries, stairs and other hard to reach areas
  • Has a large dust cup that traps dirt
  • Comes with the enhanced swivel steering for increased maneuverability
  • Equipped with LED headlights that allows the user to see the dust and dirt when cleaning a dark area
  • Sold along with a dusting brush that can remove pet hairs from the upholstery, curtains and delicate fabrics
  • Comes with the above-floor mode that allows it to cover corners, ceilings and crevices
  • You can switch off the brush roll when needed with the push of a button.

Pros

The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) is currently among the bestselling vacuums in its class at present. This is because it comes with a very lightweight and portable construction that allows it user to conveniently take the vacuum where it is needed. In addition to that, it is equipped with a detachable canister that makes cleaning of stairs, upholsteries and hard-to-reach areas easier.

Aside from that, it is lauded for its anti-allergen complete seal technology and a HEPA filter which is capable of trapping up to 99.9% of allergens and dust into the vacuum. This can also be used to clean dark areas such as basements and attics since it is equipped with LED lights and an advanced swivel steering feature.

In terms of performance, the Rotator Pro performs exceptionally well, especially considering its price. Although it doesn't perform quite as well overall as its more expensive competitors, including the Powered Lift-Away​, it isn't far away. Indeed, in Cnet tests, the Rotator Pro Lift-Away marginally outperformed the Powered Lift-Away for pet hair pickup.

Cons

Aside from the useful features, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) also comes with a number of downsides.

First, as it has been around for a number of years, it doesn't have the aesthetic and functional improvements made in the more modern Powered Lift-Away. For instance, the power and height control buttons are located on the handle for convenience on the Powered Lift-Away rather than on the body of the vacuum.

Second, it is heavier than the Shark Navigator Pro Lift-Away so if weight is an issue then you might want to consider the Navigator instead. 

Finally, another drawback with this model is that once you detach the canister, you can only use the attachments and not the brushroll. Again, this is where the newer Powered Lift-Away has improved things as you can still use it as an upright when the canister is removed while its as thin as a stick vac.

The below video review courtesy of Cnet gives a fantastic overview of the Shark Rotator Pro Lift-Away and confirms how well this vacuum performs compared to the more expensive competition.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E)

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is presently viewed as one of the bestselling vacuum cleaners in its class. A lot of buyers are buying this product since it is made of durable materials and comes with a very functional design. In addition to that, the vacuum is very lightweight and provides an impressive amount of portable cleaning power. On top of that, it is equipped with a highly-detachable canister for a more convenient cleaning performance and a HEPA filter which allows the device to trap allergens and dust.

Features

  • Comes with a lift-away upright design
  • Equipped with a detachable canister
  • Comes with the Lift-Away technology that allows it to clean even the hard-to-reach areas
  • Equipped with a completely sealed system and a HEPA Filter that traps allergens and dust
  • Has the Brushroll Shutoff button that allows the user to conveniently switch its cleaning mode
  • Comes with the Dust-Away hard floor attachment that enables it to effectively pick up the dust and debris from bare floors
  • Sold along with 2 microfiber pads

Pros

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is considered as a top option among buyers since it is blessed with a lightweight construction and a very portable design. It comes with a detachable canister that can be easily lifted away to conveniently clean the hard-to-reach areas. In addition to that, the product is equipped with a HEPA filter and the anti-allergen complete seal technology responsible for trapping up to 99.9% of allergens and dust.

Aside from that, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is fitted with the Brushroll Shutoff button that makes the switching between bare floor and carpet cleaning very easy. Furthermore, it is sold along with 2 microfiber pads that are washable and allows the vacuum to pick up fine dust and large debris from bare floors. On top of that, it is sold at a decent price.

Cons

Aside from the long list of useful features, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E also comes with a number of downsides. First is offered in relatively limited quantity and this setup makes the product to easily get out of stock. Second, it lacks some of the advanced features that most of its slightly expensive competitors provide. Finally, it is not available for shipping in some countries.

This video from Shark gives a short explanation of the HEPA filter on the Navigator Pro and how when combined with its completely sealed technology it locks in 99.9% of the dust.​

Verdict - shark Rotator vs Navigator Lift-Away Professional Models

Although it has a few known flaws and is now the older Shark on the block, the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501) remains a preferred option among buyers. It is lightweight, portable and powerful. In addition to that, it is equipped with some of the latest technologies that allow it to provide the best cleaning output. On top of that, it can be used in various surfaces and can be used in dark areas since it comes with LED headlights.

By comparison, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E is also still a top pick among buyers. This is because it is decently-priced, bundles a lot of useful features and proven durable. In addition to that, the product is very lightweight and portable.

Shark Rotator vs Navigator Freestyle Cordless Models

Shark Rotator Freestyle Pro SV1112

Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106

shark rotator freestyle vs navigator freestyle
shark navigator vs rotator

Filtration

Washable Foam Filter

Washable Foam Filter

Charge Time

4 hours

4 hours

Run Time

Up to 24 minutes on bare floors

Average 17 minutes on carpets​

Up to 24 minutes on bare floors

Average 17 minutes on carpets​

Bin Capacity

XL Capacity Dust Cup

XL Capacity Dust Cup

Weight

7.5 pounds

7.5 pounds

LED Headlights

Yes

No

Shark Rotator Freestyle Pro SV1112

For this Shark Rotator vs Navigator comparison we are looking at their cordless models, the SV1112 and SV1106. The Shark Rotator Freestyle SV1112 comes with a 10.8 Volt NiMH battery that charges in only 4 hours and has good battery life to allow you to clean your home.

Features

  • Cordless and bagless vacuum means no cords or bags to deal with.
  • Includes a precision charger that doubles as a storage dock.
  • An indicator light tells you when charging has started and when the cycle is complete.
  • Includes a washable filter meaning low maintenance costs.
  • Features a two-speed brushroll optimized for carpets and bare floors.
  • Shark's swivel steering feature provides for easy maneuvering around furniture.

Pros

The obvious advantages to this vacuum are the fact it is cordless and bagless. As a result it is hassle free. Furthermore, the Shark Rotator Freestyle excels on hardfloors and is reported by users to be great at picking up pet hair. The Shark cordless models are also much quieter than their full powered corded versions.

At under $100, this is a great value cordless vacuum cleaner!

Cons

As with all battery powered vacuums, the drawback is the limited run-time. The Shark Rotator performs fairly well in this regard and the specification states it will last up to 27 minutes on hard floors. The vacuum's battery will run down more quickly on carpets and this again will vary depending on their thickness. In addition, the SV1112 run time depends on which of the two power settings that you are using and also whether you have the LED headlight turned on.

Although the suction on the Shark is adequate, it is not the most powerful cordless model on the market. If you are looking for ultimate suction performance we would suggest considering a Dyson Cordless instead, if your budget allows.​

Check out this QVCtv review of this Shark Cordless for a full preview of its features and performance:​

Shark Navigator Freestyle SV1106

The Shark Navigator Freestyle Cordless vacuum shares many similarities with the Shark Rotator Freestyle. The Navigator Freestyle has all the same features as the Rotator Freestyle minus the LED headlight

Features

  • Lightweight, portable and versatile at just 7.5 pounds.
  • Includes a precision charger that doubles as a storage dock.
  • An indicator light tells you when charging has started and when the cycle is complete.
  • Includes a washable filter meaning low maintenance costs.
  • Features a two-speed brushroll optimized for carpets and bare floors.
  • Shark's swivel steering feature provides for easy maneuvering around furniture.

Pros

The Shark Navigator Freestyle is a great option if you are looking for a lightweight, cordless, bagless vacuum at a budget price. The main benefits in summary are:

  • Lightweight at only 7.5 pounds
  • Cordless convenience via a quick charging battery that has a good run-time
  • Extra Large dirt cup allowing for easy emptying of dirt and no dust bags to purchase.
  • Low maintenance, no bags to replace and only a single washable filter.
  • Good suction power that can easily handle pet hair and excels on hard floors.

Cons

As good as these cordless models from Shark are, they are not full powered vacuums and they have their limits. We recommend they are best suited as a secondary or backup vacuum. For more thorough cleaning jobs and particularly for homes with lots of carpet you will want something more powerful. Take a look at our reviews of the best vacuums for carpet for more powerful options.

Verdict - Shark Rotator vs Navigator Freestyle Cordless

In comparison to the Shark Navigator, the Shark Rotator is actually a very similar vacuum. They are both the same weight and have the same cordless bagless design features including swivel steering. The only notable differences are that the Shark Rotator Freestyle has LED Headlights whilst the Navigator Freestyle does not. 

If we had to choose between the two, we would recommend the Shark Rotator Freestyle. Although the Rotator retails at a higher price than the Navigator, you can often find it discounted to a similar price so keep your eye out for special offers.​