I did a ton of research on a ton of makes and models before making my final decision. I probably read through over a thousand reviews before I was satisfied that I was making the right decision. I picked out a Shark Navigator Lift-Away, found that the cheapest price in town was at Beat Buy, and went to pick one up. My initial impression was less than satisfying. As a matter of fact, before I even purchased it I was wondering what I was getting myself into. I paid for it, carefully tucked away the receipt so I could turn it back in, and went home. It appeared to be a cheap piece of plastic. The dust bin is tiny compared to my old trusty Dyson, and after assembling it and seeing how the different pieces came apart I was worried that there would be no power to it whatsoever. After so many claims that it was just as good as a Dyson I went ahead and tried it out though, just to see. After all, I had two weeks to return it and get my money back.
I turned it on and it was LOUD, at least compared to what I am used to. But, within just a few minutes, the dust bin was full and needed to be emptied. Of course I wish that, the dust bin was larger, but I was quite impressed with how much dust and dirt this baby was picking up! It had been two days since I vacuumed, there was no way that much dust had collected in that short amount of time. There were a few large pieces on the carpet, but the rest was super fine, dirt and dust that my Dyson had left behind. Considering the age of my Dyson, and the abuse that poor thing had gone through over the years, I can’t necessarily say that this vacuum is better than a Dyson, but I can definitely say it is better than my Dyson!
The maneuverability of the Shark is amazing. I can all but turn the vacuum sideways if I want to. It runs against edge walls beautifully and does an amazing job of picking up all those little things that seem to collect near the baseboards. The included pet hair tool works wonders on my stairs, which has always been a pain to keep clean. I also love the ability to lift away a portion of the vacuum and travel around the room dusting and getting cobwebs without dragging the entire vacuum behind me. After awhile the lift away canister can become a bit heavy, and the hose requires a good bit of muscle to stretch out, but I’m sure the hose will give over time, and my biceps could use a work out anyway.
So, here’s my thoughts in a nutshell:
Cleaning ability – while the Shark is better than my really old Dyson,I’m assuming it would be right on par with a brand new one.
Ease of use: the Dyson is all but self propelled and the Shark requires more work. For a young frugal gal the Shark is perfect, if my Grandmother asked though I would highly suggest she chose a Dyson.
Maneuverability: this one is hard for me to judge. I have never tried one of the Dyson balls, but comparing it to a regular head Dyson I highly prefer the maneuverability of the Shark.
Aesthetics: my bright yellow Dyson had this almost futuristic retro rocket like look to it ( does that even make sense, lol), I loved the way it looked and it was just as much a part of my living room as my couches were. The Shark comes in one color scheme, lavender and silver, which is not my style. It also just looks cheap, when anyone comes over I make sure that it is hidden out of sight.
Overall: while the Shark has a few drawbacks, I just don’t believe that the Dyson is worth $400 more, it’s not THAT much better! If you are older or have any kind of health problems that require ease of use to be your number 1 priority choose the Dyson, otherwise, save some cash and get the Shark Navigator!