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Shark Apex Az1002 Review - Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Test

Nov 19, 2020
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Although Shark has already produced many good vacuums in their Navigator and Rotator lineups, it also has a more high-end series that you may not have heard of - the Shark APEX.

While other models are often reasonably-priced, models in this series like the AZ1002 will cost you significantly more. Can all the included advanced technologies justify its price? Let's find out in this Shark APEX AZ1002 review.

Benefits of Upright Vacuums

Cheaper

Compared to canister vacuums, upright models are usually cheaper. While some premium models with advanced features are very expensive, many upright vacuums cost less than $100.

 

AVERAGE SCORE9.4

Suction power
9.6
Easy to assemble
9.5
For cleaning up hair
9.4
Durability
9
For stairs
9.3

Thanks to their lower prices, upright models are often the first choice of people with small houses or apartments.

Many useful features

Most upright vacuums have motorized brushes nowadays, which are a great addition when dealing with thick rugs or carpets. These brushes are also effective with pet hair, which is a common cause of allergic reactions when you leave it on your carpet.

Remove pet hair with an upright vacuum
Remove pet hair with an upright vacuum Via: Amazon.com

Upright models can handle multiple surfaces easily too as they can cope with the change from hard flooring to carpet without a fuss.

This is possible because manufacturers equip them with a control switch so you can lower or raise the vacuum body with your feet and change the height according to the surface. Many high-end models even offer auto functions. You don't need to do this manually anymore since the machine will detect the flooring type and adjust its height accordingly.

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Wider cleaning path

Upright vacuums also have a wider cleaning path, which is usually between 12 and 14 inches. Meanwhile, the cleaning path of canister models is typically around 10 inches. This is a huge difference and results in less cleaning time, especially when you have a large space.

Easy to use

Anyone with back problems will appreciate the design of an upright vacuum. Except when you use the hose, you don't need to bend down or drag a bulky canister attached to a long hose around your house. Everything is simple: just push and pull.

Some models offer swivel steering, which is designed to make maneuvering around your furniture easier. They can lay flat to help you clean dirt and debris under furniture.

Things You Need to Know When Buying An Upright Vacuum

Vacuum cleaners should not be an impulsive purchase. Think about these aspects of an upright vacuum so you can make an informed decision.

Brand

There are countless companies that make vacuum cleaners in the industry. While Shark, Dyson, and Hoover are some of the household names that you might have heard of, you can find many vacuums from other lesser-known brands on the market.

When it comes to vacuums, we also recommend our readers consider a top brand first. They have a long history with strong records of high-quality products that work reliably. Newer names can sometimes put out decent models too, but then tend to cut corners to lower the price.

Dyson

This is probably the most well-known name in the vacuum industry. Though it doesn't manufacture corded models anymore, you still can find its upright models in your local stores. These machines are among the best vacuums; they work reliably with powerful suction.

The only issue with Dyson products is that you may need to pay a small fortune to own one of those amazing vacuums.

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Shark

While Shark has some expensive series like the Apex lineup, most vacuums from this company are reasonably priced, especially when you compare them to products from Dyson. And to attract more customers, Shark has always tried to introduce more advanced features, like Powered Lift-Away or DuoClean in their vacuums.

Other brands

Eureka, Bissell, Red Devil, Electrolux, and Hoover can all make quality vacuums that are worth your consideration, especially if you have a tight budget.

Flooring

Though all vacuums work on the same principle, you will need different features for carpets and hardwood floors.

If your house has mainly carpeted flooring, your vacuum needs a brush roll that can agitate the carpet properly and remove all the embedded debris.

On the other hand, when the majority of your cleaning involves hard floors, opt for upright models that have strong suction and won't  scatter the debris. And don't forget the accessories if you need to clean stairs and other hard-to-reach areas.

Family members and pets

You need to not only take into account the flooring type but also your house occupants. For example, if you are a pet owner who constantly struggles with fur on furniture, the pet-hair capacity should be one of your top priorities.

Allergie issues are so common these days that manufacturers often need to equip their vacuums with HEPA filters. They can stop and trap up to 99.99% pollutants and allergens in the exhaust air. These results are also enhanced even more when your vacuum has a completely sealed filtration system.

Maintenance

People often forget or even don't know the cost of maintenance and replacement of vacuum parts, which are usually the bags and filters. This cost can add up quickly if you clean a large area regularly with a bagged vacuum.

A vacuum of this design uses bags mainly for debris collection and filtration, requiring you to buy more bags frequently. A bagless model will help you eliminate this cost.

But even users of bagless vacuums also need to deal with filter maintenance and replacement - an essential task to maintain the performance of your vacuum over time. So a model with reusable, washable filters is always a good choice.

Range

No matter how many fancy features a vacuum has, it's still useless if it can't cover all the areas you need. This is why the cleaning range is vital to a vacuum, whether it's a battery-powered or a corded model.

Long battery life or a cord will keep your vacuum running as long as you want. Other accessories are also important when you need to reach your ceiling, windows, and other furniture.

Value

Prices of vacuums on the market have a wide range, making it easier to separate true high-quality models from the rest. Premium models with a high price tag often come with more ergonomic designs, stronger performance, and greater durability.

But this is not always guaranteed. You can sometimes find a budget vacuum that can work as well as, or even better, an expensive model.

Overview

Shark APEX AZ1002
Shark APEX AZ1002 Via: Amazon.com


The AZ1002 is a Shark APEX upright vacuum with DuoClean, designed for the high-end market, representing Shark's next generation of vacuum cleaners.

It is a big machine and comes with many advanced technologies and features like DuoClean, Powered Lift-Away, and Zero-M. Shark also promises a step-up of build quality and general performance compared to its Navigator and Rotator series.

Pros
     ● Great cleaning results in all surfaces
     ● Switch between different floorings easily
     ● Able to transform into a handheld vacuum
     ● Self-cleaning brush roll
     ● Washable and reusable HEPA filter

Cons
     ● Expensive
     ● Heavy and bulky
     ● Average maneuverability

Shark APEX AZ1002 Review

Features

Powered Lift-Away

This is a common feature of many vacuums from Shark, which has received mostly positive feedback from customers. Shark has even upgraded this to a powered mode in many vacuums, including the APEX AZ1002.

Powered Lift-Away can transform your upright vacuum into a handheld-like model for more portability. As a result, you can carry the dust canister and motor in one hand and the tools, wand, and the hose in the other hand.

If you need to clean stairs and furniture often, this feature will make this task easier. You can also benefit from it when you need to carry a vacuum around to clean here and there.

Cleaning furniture with the AZ1002
Cleaning furniture with the AZ1002 Via: Amazon.com

DuoClean Technology

This feature is designed to help you easily switch between different floorings, for example, from low-pile carpets or hardwood floors to high-pile carpets.
Below the power button you will find the flip switch and light indicators for each setting. To turn on the machine, you need to flip this switch to match the floors you want to vacuum first.

DuoClean Technology
DuoClean Technology Via: Amazon.com


With the DuoClean technology, you have two brush rolls on the cleaner head: one soft brush roll which has a tall face and produces a little snow-plowing effect in the front, and a traditional bristled one at the center.

These two brush rolls work together in all settings. The machine just simply changes their speed according to the flooring type you set.

This design is the reason the Shark Apex AZ1002 can pick up large pieces of debris while also cleaning your floors to get rid of stuck debris and dust on hard floors. It's natural to wonder whether this mechanism can result in a detrimental effect on carpets, but fortunately, it's not the case.

Zero-M

Unlike DuoClean or Lift-Away, this is a newer technology that Shark has not provided in many vacuum cleaners. Its purpose is to sort out the problem where hair tangles on the brush rolls.

All Shark DuoClean Zero-M vacuums remove the hair by moving it to the dust canister with the help of a special comb and brush roll arrangement.

It also allows you to remove the top of the cleaning head and access the brush rolls. This handy feature isn't present in most vacuums where you need to up-end the machine instead.

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Filtration system

The APEX AZ1002 utilizes a series of filters in a sealed system to ensure that the vacuum only exhausts clean air into your room.

You can find two pre-motor filters: a felt filter below the canister and a foam filter. If they get dirty, all you need to do is tap off the loose debris and dirt into a dustbin. You can even rinse them in water if they still have a lot of dirt.

Behind the motor is the HEPA filter, which you can easily access from the front of the machine.

Shark recommends that you should rinse this HEPA and the pre-motor filters once a year and every three months, respectively. These washable filters are a great way to save some money when you don't need to buy replacements regularly.

Dust canister

You can detach, empty, and re-attach this dust canister with ease. Just push a button to open the bottom of the canister, and the debris in it will fall out. Since it has a fairly large capacity (0.4 gallons), you actually don't have to do this frequently.

Accessories

This Shark DuoClean APEX comes with a pet-power brush, a crevice tool, an upholstery tool to help you clean from ceiling to floor easier, all with just a single machine.

You can attach the upholstery tool to the wand and vacuum furniture surfaces, such as your couch or chair. The crevice tool extends this ability further to reach behind or under furniture. On top of that, dealing with pet hair in crevices and cracks, where upright vacuums can't normally reach, is made easier with the pet-power brush.

Shark also provides lifetime filters and belts to reduce maintenance costs for you.

Other features and warranty

You can find LED headlights on the cleaner head. This is a handy feature when you need to vacuum on dimly lit floors. There is also another light on the handle, which helps illuminate the area you're cleaning.

The wheels of this upright vacuum also come with a soft rubber strip that gives more grip on hard floors, ensuring that the machine leaves no marring on delicate surfaces.

And the best part about the APEX AZ1002 vacuum is that you can enjoy all those amazing features with a 5-year warranty from Shark.

Cleaning Performance

As a top-of-the-line vacuum, we expect the Shark APEX AZ1002 to perform well in all kinds of flooring. And this model has indeed proved that we were not wrong about this.

The cleaning head
The cleaning head Via: Amazon.com


The results of the AZ1002 are simply among the best we've ever seen. The DuoClean-enabled cleaning head sucks both large small debris while cruising through high-pile or low-pile carpets and hardwoods easily.

Hardwood floors

Large pieces of debris, like cereal, is usually a struggle of most vacuums, especially upright models. But the AZ1002 faced no issue here, removing all cereal we put down for the test.

Carpets

This upright vacuum produced an almost flawless performance with both high-pile and low-pile carpet tests.

Although there was some sugar and kitty litter that the AZ1002 couldn't remove, this amount is so small that even our digital scale couldn't detect.

Noise

The noise the AZ1002 produces is pretty normal for a powerful upright vacuum and changes slightly between cleaning modes

Cleaning reach

With the 30-foot power cord, this Shark APEX vacuum has a decent reach, providing you with the ability to clean a large space without having to find a new power outlet constantly.

However, its hose is quite short. This limits the reach a bit when you need to use tools, ward, or hose.

The Lift-Away feature can help you work around this sometimes, but this is still not an ideal solution since no one wants to carry the canister all the time.

Assembly and Usability

When you purchase the APEX AZ1002, it comes disassembled. But luckily for you, it's not hard to put this machine together. By following instructions Shark has included, you can assemble it by yourself in just a few minutes.

To enable the Powered Lift-Away mode, just push the Lift-Away button, and you can detach and carry the canister right away.

Note that even though Shark provides four attachments in the box, it only allows you to attach two of them directly to the machine at the same time.

But by using some tricks, you can carry all four of them at once: just slide the upholstery tool into the dusting brush and put another tool on the crevice tool.

Maneuverability

As the Shark APEX AZ1002 is quite heavy and bulky, maneuverability is not exactly its strong suit. We think Shark knows this, and it has attempted to improve other components to make this issue less serious.

For example, the canister is fairly light, making it easier to clean stairs as a handheld-like vacuum. And this actually makes up a little for the weight it has. And thanks to the swivel steering feature, moving it around furniture is not that bad.

Its long wand also enables you to clean the baseboard, reach ceiling corners, or behind and under furniture. The fact that you don't need to lift the entire heavy machine every time you need to clean stairs is also a plus.

But overall, it still feels a bit cumbersome and heavy.

The machine turns well in most cases, but you may need to use some wrist strength, thus tiring you out after a long time. All things considered, we can say that the AZ1002 has average maneuverability, not the best, but also not the worst.

Maintenance

This premium upright model lives up to our expectations and doesn't require much maintenance effort from you. The self-cleaning brush rolls can remove hair from itself. The HEPA filter is reusable and washable. You can tap off any loose debris in between cleaning sessions to remove dirt from the foam filters.

Customer Feedback

The AZ1002 scores 4.5/5 on Amazon, one of the best ratings in the vacuum cleaner category. And 73% of customers say they're completely satisfied with the machine.

Final Words

If you consider all things we have mentioned in this Shark APEX AZ1002 review, you can see that this is one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market.

It has a great build quality, amazing features, and performance. You can rely on it to get rid of all the unwanted dirt from your house, including both hardwoods and carpeted flooring. Even though it has a high price tag, we strongly recommend the AZ1002 for anyone in need of a top-class vacuum.

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Shark apex az1002 review

Shark Apex Az1002 Review - Pet Hair Vacuum Cleaner Test