There are so many SharkNinja vacuums on the market that it can be hard to determine which one is the right one. As for myself, I purchased the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional (NV356E) on Prime Day in 2016, and have since then tested and reviewed two more. This Rocket DuoClean makes my forth SharkNinja vacuum. Unlike the other three, this one isn’t a standard upright vacuum, in fact, it can’t stand upright on its own at all.
The motor and dust cup are too heavy at the top of the handle for the base to support it. If you need to change outlets or reach for a new accessory, you’ll have to lay it down. That said, thankfully, SharkNinja was smart enough to include a hanger bracket for storing. But of course, that means drilling into your wall. Ultimately, this Rocket DuoClean relates more to the Dyson Absolute Cord-Free Vacuum than the Shark Navigator. Yet there’s one huge difference between this and the Dyson. The cord. Personally, I’d have liked to see this unit without a cord as well — if only for the ease of maneuverability — but at half the price of the Dyson, there is some room for forgiveness.
Other than having the cord in the way when vacuuming, it’s also annoying having to completely unwind it from the shaft before you can separate any of the parts. What I mean is — for example — if you want to remove the handheld vacuum from the wand (leaving the floor nozzle attached to the wand), you’ll have to unravel the cord first. The cord wraps and holds all the pieces together, which makes quick release a bit slower. One thing you do gain by the cord is more power. The Shark Rocket DuoClean has 600 Watts while the Dyson V8 Absolute Cord-Free only has 115 Watts. Another thing you gain is the absence of typical battery issues, such as it not having enough charge when you need it most, or wearing out over time.
Keep in mind that this vacuum is a compact solution. The motorized floor nozzle is about 2” shorter in width than the upright Shark Rotator Lift-Away Speed (NV601). You can clean your entire house with the Rocket DuoClean, but I don’t recommend it; will take you much longer. (Not to mention the small dust cup fills up fast.) I find it’s best for cleaning up quick messes. I also find it’s awesome to use on stairs. While the NV601 detaches for easy stair cleaning, you still have to lug around the base (which can be awkward and in the way). With the Rocket DuoClean, the base is part of the handle so it’s not in the way; thus makes cleaning stairs twice as fast — and because the floor nozzle is smaller, it’s just the right size for each step.
There is also an interesting arsenal of accessories you won’t find on the uprights.
From the Under-Appliance Wand to the Hair-Removal Tool. While the latter is really a simple hooked razor blade, it’s conveniently located just above the brushroll (I find I take it out to use on my other vacuums; works better than a scissors). And while the Under-Appliance Wand was too thick to fit under my stove and washing machine, it can get into tough places that other tools cannot. I also like the TruePet Mini Motorized Brush; it can be used on furniture and does a great job of reaching into my dog’s kennel; can clean pet hair out of the pad without having to remove it.
I found that the floor nozzle works decent on non-carpeted surfaces, such as tile, but not quite as well as Shark’s Dust-Away Hard Floor Attachment found on other models. It’ll pick up most things on the hard surface, but might kick a few things up too. The nice part is that the light in the front makes locating small debris easier.
There are two brush speeds for the motorized floor nozzle. The first has a soft spin and the second a much faster one. When the faster mode is on, I find that I have to fight the vacuum a bit. It pulls and tugs my arm, trying to move forward more quickly than I want it to. But at the same time, it’s doing a mean job at beating debris out of the carpet. So it’s effective.
Another nice use of this vacuum is that you can turn it into a small handheld vac. Makes cleaning tight and confined places a simple task, such as the seats of your car.
Overall, I do like this vacuum. Personally, for a compact solution I’d have preferred no cord, but it does work well, especially for cleaning up small messes and stairs.
Note on support: On one of my SharkNinja vacuums (not this one), it arrived with a broken dust cup. I called Shark’s support number and the rep was able to send me a replacement dust cup free of charge. It took maybe 20 minutes over the phone, providing serial number (located on the plug) and order details, but overall I was happy with their service (7 days later the replacement part arrived in the mail).