What the Shark NZ850UK upright vacuum cleaner lacks in beauty in makes up for in cleaning power
For a versatile, 2-in-1 cleaner that can easily handle both hardwood flooring, carpets and anything else for that matter, the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away NZ850UK – to give it its full name – is a winner. If you can overlook its lacklustre appearance and heavy weight, this Shark vac is a top performer that’s excellent value for money.
2-in-1 ‘lift-away’ design
Compact to store away
On the heavy side
Tricky to manoeuvre around corners
By Cynthia Lawrence Last updated 2021-11-01T13:18:20.997Z
Here’s a Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away NZ850UK review that is only slightly longer than the full official name of the product: this upright, corded vac is a flagship Shark vacuum cleaner and among the very best on the market.
This reliable, upright corded vacuum cleaner is a massive seller in the UK – possibly THE biggest seller in fact – and there is much more to it than meets the eye. Shark makes a number of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, and this upright is perhaps the cream of their crop. As its name suggests, it deals admirably with long hairs, and it also has an interesting ‘lift-away’ feature that lets you use it as a kind of cylinder vac, as well as its more usual upright duties.
None of that would count for much if the cleaning power was lacking, but I found the NZ850UK to be a formidable performer on hard floors and carpets alike. While it may not win awards for being the most stylish of vacs, Shark’s cleaning range certainly earns its stipes for practicality and performance. The best cordless vacuum cleaners – including the best Dyson vacuum cleaners – may be more chic and modern but a lot of people still want the power and performance of a plug-in vac.
If you’re able to put substance over style – just this once – this Shark is also one of the more affordable upright vacuum cleaners, especially when compared to its premium-rate competitors.
I called the latest version of the Shark DuoClean Anti Hair Wrap NZ850UK in for review, and here’s what I thought of it. But first, let’s talk RRP – today’s best prices should be displaying above and are usually somewhat less than the RRP, but there we go.
This Shark vac boasts a DuoClean head with Anti Hair Wrap tech. It has a free 5-year warranty once registered with Shark.
Capacity 1.3 litres
Power / Wattage 800 watts
Noise Level 80 dB
Weight 6.6 kg
The Shark DuoClean Anti Hair Wrap NZ850UK is priced at a reasonable £249 reduced from £349, and available in the UK from Amazon, John Lewis and Very.
This precise model is unavailable in both the US and Australia as you would expect from the fact that it ends in ‘UK’. However the good news is that there are several very similar models with slightly different names available in each country.
• Shop Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away models in the USA from $150
• Shop Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum Cleaner with Powered Lift-Away models in Australia from AU$300
One of the key features is ‘powered lift-away’, which makes Shark’s vac more versatile
The Shark NZ850UK was very straightforward to assemble, and easy to fit into place with a simple click or release. Unlike some other vacuum cleaners, I didn’t need to peek at the manual or faff around with complex attachments or gizmos.
There are several features that make this Shark NZ850UK stand out. First, its practical, 2-in-1 ‘Lift-away’ cylinder that clips off to transform into a convenient handheld, or the easy use the wand to tackle those overhead places. The second is its DuoClean functionality that has the power to tackle both hardwood floors and carpets with ease. Finally, there is the convenient, anti-hair wrap brush technology, which essentially means no more hair getting caught in the roller – great news for non-bald people and anyone with pets.
Granted, it’s not the most attractive of vacuum cleaners, and the design looks pretty basic with plastic buttons. However, its blue metallic trim, and settings light is a good attempt at giving it a contemporary update. It has three settings – hardwood, low-pile and deep-pile or rug mode, and comes with a 1.3 litre dust cylinder. This isn’t quite as large as others, so may require a few trips to empty out in the bin.
In addition, the Shark NZ850UK is equipped with bright LED headlights on the motor head which is always handy when cleaning under low furniture or in dark, pokey corners of the room. It also comes with handy attachments such as a crevice tool, multi-surface tool and an anti-hair wrap, pet power brush to store on the base of the cleaner.
The good thing is, it’s neat and compact enough to fit nicely into a storage cupboard, especially if you lack space. It’s also equipped with an 8 metre-long cord, which is sufficient enough to vacuum an entire floor. Having said that, I do miss the convenience that an instant, retractable cord brings.
The NZ850UK will clean high and low
The Shark NZ850UK is very easy to use. You simply push down at the base for an upright sweep. It’s noticeably heavy to lift and carry around at 6.8kg, so may be an issue if you need to go up and down stairs. Nevertheless, the suction power is pretty impressive. The Hardwood Flooring setting quickly got to work on sucking up crumbs, debris and surface dust in mere seconds.
The Shark NZ850UK particularly excelled on low-pile carpets, doing a grand job in removing dirt, dust balls and hair strands. Despite not being able to adjust the power, I was impressed by its performance, which gave a little suction pull on the carpet at times. Compared to other upright vacs, it does have a smaller motor brush, but the anti-hair wrap feature works wonders.
To deep clean my stairs, I simply detached the canister and used the pet power brush tool to get to grips with my beige carpet. Carrying this up and down the stairs was a breeze, and the brush tool was ideal to lift up ingrained hair and surface dust in no time.
Emptying the cylinder was quick and easy by simply sliding down the eject button, although it may take a couple of trips to empty if you are deep cleaning the whole house. What’s more, it’s incredibly quiet, which is always a bonus if you don’t want to disturb your neighbours in the morning!
On the debit side, it was slightly awkward to manoeuvre into corners at times, possibly down to its heavier weight. The weight and lack of wheels when in ‘Lift-away’ mode can also lead to arm ache, despite the way that all Shark’s promotional photos show people holding it in one hand while vacuuming with the other.
These are fairly minor negatives for most people and can easily be overlooked by its versatility, impressive power and superior results. However it means this would not be my top recommendation for anyone who is elderly, frail or who just prefers a nice, light vacuum cleaner.
If you’re after a high-performance upright vac that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, the Shark DuoClean Anti Hair Wrap NZ850UK offers great value.
It may not look overly appealing or ‘sexy’, but it does a fantastic cleaning job that I simply can’t fault. From hardwood floors to low-pile carpets, the Shark NZ850UK delivers spotless results. Best of all, no more tangled hair in the brush roller to fight with! The 2-in-1, handheld function is convenient and makes cleaning stairs a breeze.
Perhaps the only downside is it’s a little on the heavy side to carry around. However, if you make use of the detachable cylinder often, this shouldn’t be a major issue. Overall, an impressive, little upright vacuum that doesn’t disappoint.
Cynthia Lawrence is a freelance lifestyle journalist and digital editor for national publications. She also has a rather unhealthy obsession for Homes & Interiors, and loves a good bargain.
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