Sep 02, 2023
The Shark IZ300UKT Cordless Stick vacuum cleaner is a lightweight vacuuming dream
By Karl Cushing From corded vacuums to fancy robot models there’s a staggering spread of vacuum cleaners on today’s market. That said, in today’s busy, always-on world, the ability to reach for a
By Karl Cushing
From corded vacuums to fancy robot models there’s a staggering spread of vacuum cleaners on today’s market. That said, in today’s busy, always-on world, the ability to reach for a versatile, cordless cleaner that can do everything from spot clean to hoover the entire house remains highly desirable and the Shark IZ300UKT (Black/Red) promises just that, with added pet hair removal powers to boot.
Typically retailing for around £420, its heady mix of lightweight manoeuvrability promises to have you whizzing around the house in a breeze, all while its decidedly fun anodised red-tinged black livery suggestive of a svelte ‘80s supercar. The question is, does it deliver the goods in test? And, crucially, does it deliver enough suction power – an historic weakness of cordless models?
Generally speaking, I’m a big fan of cordless ‘stick’ vacuum cleaners and, out of the box, first impressions of the Shark are good. It’s smart, looks the part and is immensely versatile, with the four different heads clicking into position assuredly, eager to tackle your various household cleaning tasks, and emptying the 0.7L dust canister takes seconds.
For general floor cleaning, attach the chunkier main head and the Shark tops out at just over four and a half kilos, saving yourself some struggles in the lower back department. In this guise, it rolls easily and assuredly over carpets, rugs, and hard floors alike.
In most cleaning situations, the Flexible DuoClean floorhead performs admirably. Its two motorised brush-rolls and ‘powerfins’ are designed to handle both large and small debris, although accidentally sucking up a small screw causes the motorised rollers to seize, its headlights flashing in mad panic till I fish it out.
And while those headlights don’t bring much to the party, I do love the floorhead’s highly manoeuvrable, easy pivoting action. With the Shark effortlessly performing Johann Cruyff-style turns around the furniture, I don’t feel the need to engage the flexible wand function for under furniture cleaning, which is handy as, in my experience, such click mechanisms can wear out easily.
Using the Shark handheld provides many more fun opportunities to clean those pesky areas of your home, particularly when armed with the slim crevice tool, the small, bristled multi-surface option, and ‘motorised pet tool’ head (more on this later). When using either of those first two the Shark now weighs under two kilograms – a massive boon if, like me, you have lots of stairs and high ceiling corners to clean.
Swinging the Shark overhead like a flagpole, I found plenty of joy cleaning up crevices and crannies I’d never considered investigating with my portly old canister model. In fact, I find myself reaching for the Shark for the smallest of spills and spot cleaning, the slimline product neatly folding and stashing away afterwards.
In test, the motorised pet tool makes short work of hair donated by my partner’s freshly summer-shorn Maltese terrier. I also experience no issues with clogged brush heads although I’d take the pet tool’s proud boast of incorporating an ‘Anti Hair Wrap system’ with a very strong pinch of marketing salt.
In use, the Shark proves reasonably quiet and offers a decent, if not mind-blowing, amount of suction for a cordless. Users can toggle between three power settings on the simple, easy-to-read LED display. In reality though, I idled along in Medium, as Low proved too weak for most tasks and the Boost mode draining the battery like, well, a drain, so best reserved for short bursts.
That leads us nicely on to battery life, as indicated in the simple LED display. Shark states a 60-minute runtime but in everyday use a full charge got me 43 minutes of Medium suction use with the main motorised head on.
Living in a two-bed, 800sqft top floor apartment, with mostly hard floors, this is perfectly acceptable for my needs. Jump to my partner’s place though – a mostly carpeted family house on three floors, complete with three kids and a small dog – and the Shark proves a less compelling, albeit still workable proposition. Once drained of juice, the Shark fully charges in around four hours, so we'd advise planning ahead to avoid wasted afternoons watching the football when you should be vacuuming.
Were my home replete with thick carpets and long-haired shedding pets or family members I think I’d rule out the Shark and opt for something more powerful (see our best vacuum cleaners guide). For ‘lighter’ users like myself or those less blessed with square footage, it's supremely convenient, versatile, and practical household gadget that’s well worth the purchase price.
Indeed, reviewing this in the final stages of a property renovation, the Shark proved its weight in dust-busting gold, worthy of four out of five stars, I reckon, a good, general-purpose all-rounder. Nice one Shark.
£419. At sharkclean.co.uk
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