Vacuum Cleaners

Review Shark Rotator Professional Lift-away Upright Vacuum, Red (Nv501)

Jeffrey McCarty
Written by Jeffrey McCarty

Shark is not a new brand on the market, but has brought a fresh air in the industry with its new line of vacuum cleaners. People love Shark vacuums thanks to their durability, design and performances. The Rotator Professional Lift-Away upright is a commercial vac which appeared in 2012. The $199.00 price tag places it in the mid-range area, although its features recommend it as a top notch product. If you decide to continue to read my review, you’ll learn:

  • Why you should buy the fShark Rotator Professional Lift-Away
  • Why it is in my top 5 vacuum cleaners of 2014
  • How to spend less on it, by getting the best online deals

One of the key features of this vacuum cleaner is the 3-in-1 mode. The vacuum can be used as an upright, its canister can be lifted away (this is where it gets its name) and used separately for more portability and vacuuming tasks above the floor, or the canister can be placed on a mobile base (optional caddy) for longer vacuuming sessions which require wheel transportation. The Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away comes with a wide variety of accessories that offer flexibility and versatility.

Positive reviews from customers who already bought the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away

  • I really love this vac, I’ve never seen such a powerful suction and such maneuverability. Emptying the dust cup is easy!
  • The headlights are great. I don’t understand why other producers such as Dyson or Hoover don’t incorporate this feature; for the price they ask, they should install lasers!
  • It’s fairly light, so my wife uses it with pleasure. Great set of accessories… fantastic suction and filtration…
  • The price is half of what I would have paid for a similar Dyson.
  • Long cord, aggressive brushroll, flexible hose, these are all the things I enjoy in a vacuum cleaner. It does the job and more.
  • Call me Mr. Obvious, but this vacuum is perfect for virtually any cleaning task in the house. The only thing left for me now it to also buy a steam mop, to sanitize everything.
  • Great to pet hair. I have it for 1 year and it never clogged.
  • … got a great deal at Costco for this vac… bought it for $260…

Negative reviews from customers who already bought the Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away

  • … the stretch hose is not recommended for small cleaning jobs, as it gets in the way…
  • It would really use to have an automatically cord rewind feature.
  • … the caddy is heavy…
  • The attachments from my old Shark don’t fit with this one.


This is a fine-looking vacuum, but it isn’t trying to appear high-end like the other models. It’s a glossy white machine with red accents that belie its more modern functionality. Fortunately, its slightly dated design doesn’t seem to hurt its construction in the least. It’s a solidly built vacuum with strong components.

The wand feels sturdy and secure, the transparent bin isn’t flimsy (as was observed in both Dyson models), and the vacuum is comfortable to carry around in canister mode. Just don’t expect this $200 budget buy to have the same design features as a more expensive model, and you won’t be disappointed. I do kind of wish there was a way to get all of the various Shark attachments and accessories to fit on the vacuum, though. The different parts would likely end up scattered around my house.


I gave the Shark the highest possible rating in this category. You really can’t get better than this, especially when you consider price and value. Using it as a upright model, it has a pivoting head and headlights. It also comes with a wand accessory like the other models and suction adjustment like the Electrolux.To the wand, you can add a flexible crevice tool for vacuuming corners, a multipurpose tool that does well on upholstery and hard surfaces, a straight suction floor nozzle for picking up stuff big and small from bare floors and area rugs, a power brush to take on pet hair and dirt from carpeted stairs and upholstery, a wide upholstery tool for getting pet hair and dust from fabrics, and a dusting brush. It can also switch between an upright and a canister vacuum so you can carry it around while using the cleaning wand, or set it on top of the canister caddy, which rolls around while you’re in wand mode. The Dyson DC41 gets the closest to this number of brush accessories, but still can’t really compete with the Shark on features.


The Shark gets a very good usability score. Considering the number of accessories offered on this incredibly modular machine, there was a chance that it would seem cumbersome and awkward. However, that just isn’t the case. It couldn’t be easier to convert the vacuum from upright to canister, set the canister on the caddy, or extend the wand and add various brush attachments. The bin, too, is easy to open and put back in place, although not quite as easy as the Electrolux. Also, its pivoting head makes for one maneuverable model that can go anywhere and do pretty much anything. It’s also 15.5 pounds, which is lighter than the 17.2-pound Electrolux model I like so much.


In order to deliver a comprehensive review of this vacuum, I tested it on thin low-pile carpet, thicker midpile carpet, and hardwood. On each surface, I scattered fruity Cheerios, sand and sawdust, pet hair, human hair, and washers, nuts, and bobby pins to test different types of functionality. And I learned that the Shark does very well, although not as well as the Dyson DC41, the Oreck, or the Electrolux. Still, it really impressed me — it’s only $200, folks.


1) A Dusting Brush to be used on the extension wand for vacuuming hardwood floors and other smooth floor surfaces.

2) A 12 Inch Crevice Tool.

3) A Large Turbo Brush that is excellent for vacuuming stairs and removing pet from upholstery.

4) A Multi Angle Dusting Brush which works great for dusting furniture, blinds, fan blades, etc.

5) A Straight Suction Nozzle and 6) A Canister Caddy that will hold all of the attachments.

Light Weight. At only 15.8 Pounds the Shark Rotator Pro is lighter than most full-size uprights making it easier to handle and carry up or down stairs.

About the author

Jeffrey McCarty

Jeffrey McCarty

Prior to my current job I was short selling cleaning devices for local shops owner. Have some experience lecturing about cleaning company formation in Atlantic City, NJ. Spent two years licensing cleaning chemical in Miami, FL.

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