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Sharks entry level upright vacuum - Let’s see how it performed in our hands-on tests and review.
Corded upright vacuum
- Great suction and cleaning power
- Brilliant at collecting pet hair and fibers
- Superb allergy retention
- Really good at crevice cleaning
- No apparent downsides
About the Shark NV601UK/T
The Shark NV601UK and NV601UKT are fantastic models for those who want something hardy and powerful to use around the home. If you have pets that need to be cleaned up after, the NV601UKT is the one you want because of the handy additional pet tool.
Each of these vacuums offers great handling and flexibility despite their size, as well as the lift-away technology. For this review, we picked up the Shark NV601UKT for £270.
Quick View of the Shark NV601UKT Specifications
Shark NV601UK/T - Key Differences Explained
NV601UK vs NV601UKT – what’s the difference? Well, like with pretty much every Shark vacuum cleaner, there is only one major thing that separates them.
The T in UKT stands for True Pet, and this means that it comes with a pet tool that will help you to achieve a deeper clean and really scrub their beds. It’s also perfect for using on the stairs, as well as furniture and upholstery.
Secondly, They are also different colours, with the NV601UK being electric blue, and the NV601UKT a lovely shade of Bordeaux.
Other than this, they clean the same and feature the same levels of power and suction. This is why we decided to feature the NV601UKT, it comes with the extra tool so that we can cover every possible feature.
Features and Benefits
Cord and Hose Length
I was disappointed with the 8m cable that comes with the Shark NV601UKT. I did find myself unplugging more than I used to, and while it wasn’t a massive downside, it could have done with the extra length. I was pleased with the cable tidy on the back of the vacuum though, and it certainly made storage easier.
However, it does help that the hose is quite long at 2.15m. This gives a wider cleaning radius, and also made above floor vacuuming a lot easier, especially for someone who can never quite reach those high-up cobwebs. The other benefit of the stretchy hose is that it is much better for trying to reach as many stairs as possible.
Carpets. It performed really well on carpet, and the bristle brush worked deep into the layers of my floor to reach dirt and hair I didn’t even know was there. It didn’t complete its job on the first pass, but after a couple, everything was gone, and the floor was left looking fantastic. I didn’t have to clean the brush bar after the first run either, which was reassuring.
Shark do have new anti-hair wrap technology for many of their vacuum cleaners now. This uses a guard that works with a special comb to direct hair straight into the bin in order to avoid tangling.
It’s quick and efficient, and while it is not present in this model, you will find it in the Shark NZ801UK/T. So, if there is a lot of long hair in your home, you might want to head to our review of that model.
Our Low-Pile Carpet Test Results
We like to test the results of each vacuum cleaner we get in, and so we grabbed a 1.5m strip of carpet (low-medium pile) and spread exactly 100g of debis over it. This mess was made to resemble household muck, and included things like cheerios, chilli flakes, flaxseed, and loose black tea.
After it was nicely spread, we performed a 10-second pass over the area. We then emptied the bin and measured the amount that came out, which is what the percentage in the below table represents. As you can see, it is a pretty impressive result - although not quite as good as the NV700UK/T
|100grams Mixed Contnets inc fine dust(see notes) (low)||94.5%|
Our Hardwood Floor Test Results
Hard Floors. On hard floors, it picks up very well and quickly, although there was some snow ploughing with the larger debris. It did manage to pick up large clumps and debris quite efficiently, which made cleaning easier. It did struggle a little bit with fine dust.
This is likely to be because the NV601UK/T does not feature DuoClean technology that other models such as the NV700UK, which means it lacks the soft roller at the front of the main floorhead. However, I was really impressed with its ability to clean crevices, and it is one of the more efficient Shark models in this area.
We repeated the conditions for the carpet test, except for the fact that we tested on laminate flooring instead. This is because it is the most common hard floor in the UK, and so made the most sense for our test.
You will see the results are good, but when you look at the models we have that include the soft roller, they are even better.
|100grams Mixed Contnets inc fine dust(see notes) (low)||95%|
|Pet Hair (Scattered Pet Hair over 4 foot area)||100%|
Stairs. I used the lift away feature for the stairs, because there is no way the standard build would ever be able to tackle that. It was really easy to use and handle, but also did well cleaning the carpet on the stairs with the upholstery tool and the pet tool (I will talk about the latter in the next section). The power was great, and it was just a very simple job with no stress.
The wand and lift away mode combined also make floor to ceiling cleaning simpler and more versatile, with great reach so that you can access every corner of the home.
Pets. I always have a good test for pet hair because my dog sheds so much and has a double coat, which means fur that is absolutely everywhere; even on my coffee table. I vacuum every day, and it’s still somewhere.
So, the pet tool was put to the test here. I used it on my dog’s bed as well as the furniture he sleeps on (basically all of it), as well as a few tough spots on my carpet. The results were great.
I was really impressed with how clean and fur-free everything was by the time I was done. The only downside is that it’s not a powered tool, and I feel the experience could be more thorough and efficient if it was powered like some competitor brands.
Our Pet Hair Tests
To test how the Shark VN601UK/T was able to cope with pet hair, we took a five-foot strip of carpet and combed actual dog hair into it. Then, we went over it with the vacuum cleaner for 20 seconds to see how much it was able to collect.
Afterwards, we also went over the carpet with a window blade to see what was left behind. You can see the results in the table below.
|Pet Hair ( Combed in Pet Hair over 4 foot area)||99%|
We will note that this is an extreme example. However, it is an effective way of showing you just how much this vacuum cleaner is able to remove.
While Shark suggests they are washed every three months, I strongly recommend monthly washing.
There is a second filter as well, and this one can be found by the motor. It is a HEPA filter, which means that it traps allergens to help prevent reactions as well as asthma attacks. It can be removed, and the area around it is sealed to prevent dust and debris from getting into the actual motor.
This filter does not need to be washed as often, but you should check on it.
One of the biggest benefits of a Shark vacuum cleaner is that it sports a fully sealed system in addition to the HEPA filter. This means that no air will escape from the machine, and that those who have asthma and allergies will absolutely benefit from this.
Our Filtration Test Results
For this test, we use what is called a particle test meter. This is where we check the environment before the test is carried out, and then once more after we have spent a good 15 seconds sucking up special international approved dust from DMT. The table below shows the results.
|Air Particle Test ( Our rating %)||99.9%|
You can see from the above table that the results are excellent. The sealed system really works, and the number of allergens being pushed back into the air are absolutely minimal.
It comes in at 78dB, which is quieter than a lot of vacuum cleaners were before the EU legislation came into effect. It is quite pleasant to use and not too bothersome, especially with the extra padding provided by the filtration system.
However, when the pet tool is attached, the volume rockets up to an ear-covering 89dB. This is an incredible volume, but in all the wrong ways. It’s almost painful to listen too, and a surprising level of sound for a tool that isn’t motorised.
Our Noise Test Results
In order to test this, we placed a decibel meter three feet away from the floorhead of the vacuum and switched it on. The table below shows the results.
|Noise ( Decibals)||78DB|
The overall design is pretty standard for Shark upright vacuum cleaners, so it has a good look with a slim handle and slightly chunky trunk. Of course, I won’t forget to mention the classic LED lights that are on the floorhead to help you see any hidden dirt and dust.
All you need to do is lightly press your foot on the head and tilt the vacuum cleaner backwards in order to start the suction process. All of the controls are located on the handle of the vacuum as well.
You might be wondering how this works since the lift away feature means that the vacuum comes away from the floorhead and back. Well, the handle actually comes off with the body and is attached to the hose, which is perfect for easy and comfortable cleaning.
The NV601UK/T doesn’t come with powered lift away, however. What this means is that when in lift away mode, the vacuum will not deliver power directly to the floorhead anymore. This means you can only use attachments in order to clean.
In powered lift away mode, power is still delivered to the main floorhead for a better and more thorough clean.
Our Weight Test Results
We decided to perform our own weight test, just to make sure you get the most accurate information. The table below shows you how much it weighs with the tools on board as well as without them.
|Weight (Without Tools)||6.2Kg|
|Weight (With All Tools on Board)||6.6Kg|
As this is a full upright vacuum, you can’t expect it to weigh hardly anything, although it can be a shock to the system when you have been using cordless or stick vacuums for so long (like me).
It comes in at 6.6kg with all the tools on board, but you are pushing and pulling this weight as opposed to lifting it, so you don’t necessarily feel it as much. Without the tools attached, it comes down to 6.2kg. In its lift away form, it is much lighter at 3.5kg.
The fact that the Shark NV601UKT uses swivel steering in the head does help to make things so much easier, and the handling becomes very smooth and streamlined.
The handle is comfortable to grip, as well as padded, preventing you from getting sore or tired hands when you are performing long vacuuming tasks. It takes some of the weight away, making the process feel effortless.
The lift away technology is the star feature, and the one that really draws attention to the Shark NV601UKT. It transforms the machine to feel more like a cylinder vacuum
The main floorhead doesn’t have the Duo-Clean that we have come to know and love, which is a little disappointing. It does still have the bristle bar, however, and this is the main one you need for good pickup of hair and fluff. The roller found in the Duo-Clean models is perfect for deeper cleaning, but you can get good results without it.
The access to the brush bar is excellent as well, with a removable plate that will let you get right in there if there is a blockage or too much hair has become wrapped around it.
As is often the case with Shark vacuum cleaners, the bar is not removable, and so if it wears out the whole head will need to be replaced. I’m still waiting for a Shark that has this much-wanted feature.
The Shark NV601UK/T also has some excellent onboard storage for the tools that come with it (which I will get into more detail on later). This is ideal for taking them around with you while you are vacuuming, making them easily accessible when you need them.
The Shark NV601UK/T comes with some excellent tools, each of which are listed below for you.
#1 Pet Power Brush. This is only included with the pet version. It’s effective at picking up pet hair and really easy to use. The only downside is that this version is not motorised, so there isn’t much separating it from a standard pet tool.
#2 The 2-in-1 Crevice and Dusting Tool, and this is great for reaching those high corners and difficult areas. I found that I could get into every nook and cranny in my kitchen with the crevice tool. The dusting brush is very gentle as well, which is ideal for bannisters and delicate areas, but also tabletops and other hard surfaces like counters.
#3 Under Appliance Wand. This curved attachment is optional, but also the answer to the frustration that comes with trying to clean under your kitchen appliances. Quick and easy to use, the narrow nozzle delivers powerful suction that will collect all the pesky excess debris.
#4 Car Detail Kit. This is another optional extra. It comes with a long and flexible hose for tight corners, as well as several new attachments to help make cleaning upholstery an easier experience. It usually costs around £25 to add this to your vacuum cleaner, and is worth the price if you clean your own car frequently.
Ease of Use and Setup
Building the Vacuum
The instruction manual that comes with it is also very simple to follow, and I had this model put together in no time at all. All you need to do is snap the handle and the main body together and, BAM, it’s all ready to go.
Emptying the bin
Maintaining your Shark vacuum cleaner doesn’t take a massive amount of time. The thing you need to watch out for is the brush bar becoming tangled with hair. (Unless you upgrade to another model that has Anti Hair Wrap technology, such as the NZ801UK/T or the AZ910UK\T
When this does happen, you can just cut the hair off, and we actually have a handy Shark maintenance and troubleshooting guide that you can check out.
The filter should be cleaned at least every three months, and you can check it on a monthly basis to ensure it doesn’t need to be washed. Really, you can make your own decision on cleaning based on its appearance. Filter maintenance is really easy.
All you need to do is take the filter and rinse it under cool running water. Squeeze it gently to get all the grime out, and then one final squeeze for excess water. Leave it to dry on the side for at least 24 hours or until absolutely no moisture remains. Then, put it back in the machine and you are good to go.
The warranty that comes with the Shark NV601UKT lasts for 5 Years. This is pretty impressive, and certainly a lot longer than the industry standard of one year. This warranty covers fault and breakdowns, as well as the cost of labour and parts.
Should I Buy the Shark NV601UK/T?
We hope that this Shark NV601UK and NV601UKT guide has helped you to learn more about the different features they have, as well as which one is going to be best suited to your home.
Of course, no vacuum cleaner is perfect (sadly), however this model ticks a lot of boxes. If your home consists of mainly carpet then do not hesitate in ordering one. If you have a dog or cat then its worth getting the UKT model.
That said there are oftentimes special offers on the UK model and not the UKT model, but you can actually order the pet tool for around £20 on its own, so bare this in mind.
If your home has a good amount of hard floors then I would probably look at one of the models with Duoclean such as the NV700UK and if long hair causing you constant tangled in your vacuum the the NZ801UK/T with Anti-Hair Wrap would be the way to go.
What did you think of our Shark NV601UK and NV601UKT review? Do you agree with our thoughts on the vacuum, or are there others that you think are better suited to the task? We love hearing from you, so make sure you leave us a message in the comments below.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.