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Shark AZ950UK/T Review Summary
Corded upright vacuum
- Brilliant with large messes and debris
- Effortless maintenance
- Excellent results for cleaning pet hair and fibres
- High-quality filtration system
- Can be a bit noisy
- No other strong flaws
- Shark AZ950UK/T Review Summary
- About the Shark AZ950UK/T
- Shark AZ950UK/T - Key Differences Explained
- Features and Benefits
About the Shark AZ950UK/T
The Shark AZ950UK and AZ950UKT are brilliant models if you want to really relish in all of the great tech that this company has to offer. One of the most advanced models in the range, it has anti-hair wrap, DuoClean, and powered lift away technology right at your fingertips. Powerful and beautifully designed ( and pretty big)
Each of these vacuum cleaners is identical at their core, and the differences between them are minimal (as you will discover). For this review, we decided to purchase Shark AZ950UKT for £400.
Quick View of the Shark AZ950UKT Specifications
Shark AZ950UK/T - Key Differences Explained
So, what exactly is the difference between theAZ950UK and AZ950UKT? The nice thing about Shark vacuums cleaners is that I can say there isn’t much difference at all.
Firstly, there’s the model number. You will notice that one ends in UK and the other UKT. The T actually stands for True Pet, and this indicates that it comes with a dedicated pet tool to help get rid of fur and fluff in the home.
Secondly, there is a colour difference. The UK is a shade of purple with silver touches, and the UKT is rose gold for a more sophisticated look. This helps you to tell the difference between them so that you don’t buy the wrong one.
Otherwise, all of the core features remain the same. However, as the AZ950UKT comes with a pet tool, this is the one we decided to purchase. That way, you get a clear picture of everything it has to offer.
Features and Benefits
Cord and Hose Length
This is another Shark with an 8m cord, and it is something I do find mildly disappointing. I would love to see a 10m cord for more convenience, but at least it isn’t as short as 5m. In a larger home, you might find yourself needing to switch sockets more often than usual, but it’s worth it for the suction and power you get from this machine. Plus, the cable tidy makes wrapping it up for storage a breeze.
The hose is 1.65m long, which is better than the AZ910UKT although still not as good as the NV601UKT which had a 2.15m hose. However, the hose provided gives a great cleaning radius, and is also very stretchy which helps with the stairs. Additionally, floor to ceiling hoovering is an absolute breeze, and grabbing all the missed cobwebs and dust has never been easier.
Carpets. It actually did very well with carpets, and I would certainly call it an improvement on the AZ910UKT. The brush bar worked well at collecting grime and debris, and while it doesn’t give the deepest clean, I was more than satisfied with the results. The carpet looked and felt amazing afterwards. Plus, it contains my new favourite feature - anti-hair wrap.
Hair getting caught in the brush bar has enraged us for years, and Shark’s latest solution is just what we have been waiting for. The brush bar is protected by a comb that sits comfortably along each of the bristles, and it works in unison with the bristle guard to separate and remove all hair that it comes across.
This also means that hair is directed to the bin as opposed to getting tangled, which is enhanced by the powerful suction of this vacuum cleaner. It’s a feature we have used and loved, and one we recommend as there was no hair left on the bar after vacuuming.
Our Low-Pile Carpet Test Results
This test involves a 1.5m strip of carpet and exactly 100g of debris that has been carefully chosen to represent the kind of textures found in the home. In order to replicate this, we select things like cheerios (a classic), loose black tea, chilli flakes, and flaxseed. The mixture is then spread evenly across the carpet.
Following this, we perform a 10-second pass over the carpet to collect debris. The dust canister is then emptied, and the contents carefully weighed to see how much has been collected. We then calculate the percentage, and the results are what you see in the table below. As you can see, it is a pretty solid score.
|100grams Mixed Contents inc fine dust||95%|
Our Hardwood Floor Test Results
Hard Floors. The cleaning here was exceptional. It did a great job of collecting large debris, and I found that there was little to no snow ploughing at any point. It was able to suck up chunky debris, like cheerios, effortlessly, as well as clumps of hair on the floor. Crevices were also tackled quite easily which was a nice addition.
It does use DuoClean technology, which is what makes it so good with hard floors. On models like the NV608UKT and NV681UKT, you can really tell that they don’t feature this tech. The soft roller brush at the front of the floorhead picks up fine dust effortlessly, leaving a much cleaner floor. It really makes a massive difference.
This cleaning test works a lot like the previous one for carpet. The difference is that we use a strip of laminate floor (the UK’s top choice) for the test. The debris is collected after our 10-second pass, and the contents of the bin measured before the percentage is put in the table below. As you can see, it has the best results of any upright Shark vacuum cleaner and it does a stellar job.
|100grams Mixed Contnets inc fine dust(see notes) (low)||99.5%|
|Pet Hair (Scattered Pet Hair over 4 foot area)||100%|
Stairs. The powered lift away is what makes cleaning the stairs really simple, and it also means that you don’t run the risk of pulling the vacuum on top of you when you’re halfway down the stairs. After attaching the tool of your choice, or keeping the main floorhead on, you can just hold the main body while you control the head. Stair cleaning is truly effortless.
The wand is lightweight in build, which makes it easy to handle as well as gentle on those with sore joints and hands. It means that above-floor cleaning is more accessible - allowing you to reach every cobweb and stray patch of dust effortlessly. It’s just another aspect that makes this vacuum cleaner so versatile.
Pets. There is only one downside to this tool, and that’s the fact that it doesn’t have its own motor. Instead, it is the same as a regular attachment and it’s an area that Shark fall flat on compared to other brands.
However, the tool is still great at cleaning up fur and fluff, and it works well on furniture and upholstery. I will say though it’s very noisy when using this pet attachment, more on this later.
Our Pet Hair Tests
We perform a pet hair test as well, and this uses a 5ft strip of low-medium pile carpet. We then comb an excessive amount of dog hair into the carpet and perform a 20-second pass over the carpet. This is followed by a window blade to see if anything was missed in the process.
The table below shows the percentage that was collected during cleaning - you’ll be able to see that they are excellent.
|Pet Hair ( Combed in Pet Hair over 4 foot area)||99%|
The filtration system for the AZ950UKT is much the same as the rest of the Shark upright range. The HEPA filter remains by the motor, helping to muffle some of the sound, and also perfectly placed to protect it from dust and debris. This should be washed annually, but we recommend doing it every six months.
The main filter comes in the form of a large sponge that can be popped out of the machine and washed by hand. It is incredibly absorbent, which is good for removing dust and other particles from around your home.
This should be washed at least every three months to avoid damage to the machine, but we would suggest at least checking it monthly.
The AZ950UKT also has a sealed system, and this means that the air pushed out of the machine is cleaner than what went in. It is pushed through the filter and then the exhaust, meaning that allergens get trapped in the filter on the way out and only clean air comes through the exhaust.
The difference in a machine that does not have full sealing is that the air is pushed through any gap in the machine - leaving the air dirty.
Our Filtration Test Results
This test uses a particle test meter, and it is used to check the environment once before, and then again after, we have used the vacuum cleaner for 15 seconds to suck up special international approved dust from DMT. You will find the results in the table below.
|Air Particle Test ( Our rating %)||99.9%|
What this should show you is that the filtration system really is doing its job, and you can see how effective it is as collecting dust and allergens.
The fact that you get so little of it being thrown back into the air is proof that the system is sealed, and shows you just how safe it is for use in homes with asthma and allergy sufferers.
The Shark AZ910UKT brought the noise levels down a notch, but this model has seen it back up to the level that we see from the rest of the upright range. At 78dB, it is still within the legal allowance of up to 80dB, but it remains a noisy vacuum cleaner.
You will get used to the sound, but it’s not a model you can use early in the morning or late at night if you don’t want to run the risk of waking everyone up.
The pet tool is even louder, and I didn’t think that possible. Unfortunately, it is something you find across the entire upright range. The volume goes up to 89dB, which would be impressive for a vacuum cleaner if it wasn’t so piercingly loud.
It’s one of the only flaws with this vacuum cleaner range, and something that Shark needs to get fixed.
Our Noise Test Results
This test is really simple and involves a decibel meter. This is placed three metres away from the floorhead of the vacuum cleaner. The machine is then switched on, and the sound is recorded. You can see the results in the table below.
|Noise ( Decibals)||78DB|
|Noise With (Pet Powered Brush)||89DB|
The overall design of this model is pretty much the same as the rest of the upright Shark vacuum cleaners. This is not a bad thing because it’s a very sleek and compact design that makes storage simple and is also easy to move around.
Living in a small home, I had no issues tucking this little guy away after use.
Of course, you also have the powered lift away. This means that the main body of the vacuum cleaner can be detached from the frame at the press of a button - essentially turning it into a handheld vacuum cleaner.
What the powered part refers to is the fact that you can still use the main floorhead as normal because power will continue to be supplied to it. Ultimate cleaning power.
The powered lift away also means you have more flexibility to clean under the furniture, get into tighter or lower spaces, and can even use the main floorhead on the stairs.
Plus, DuoClean is still active so that you can really make the most out of each cleaning session. The fact that the main body is so much lighter really helps with the handling.
The controls for the Shark AZ950UKT are on the handle, and this helps you to access them quickly and easily while you are vacuuming. It doesn’t take much to reach them, and in lift away mode they really prove themselves to be exceptionally useful.
It makes versatile cleaning easier and more accessible, while also ensuring that you can react quickly, and providing a suction valve within reach.
Of course, I will not miss out the LED headlights - a classic staple in any Shark vacuum cleaner. A lot of rival companies have started implementing their own, but the Shark remains top of the pile.
It really does help you to see any dust or dirt that has been left behind, especially in dark places like under the sofa. In addition to this, there is also onboard storage for any accessories that you want to take along with you when you clean.
Our Weight Test Results
The weight test might not seem necessary, but it is part of us bringing you the most accurate information possible with each vacuum cleaner. The table below will show you the various weights that we tested for this model of Shark upright.
|Weight (Without Tools)||7.5Kg|
|Weight (With All Tools on Board)||7.9Kg|
The Shark AZ950UKT is the heaviest of all the upright models, and with all the tools attached it comes in at 7.9kg. Without the tools, it is 7.5kg, but this is still a heavy piece of kit to have.
Thankfully, it only requires you to push it in this form and when you decide to use the lift away feature it only weighs half the total weight. However, if you do need to lift it in its full form, just be wary of how much it actually weighs.
This model does feature swivel steering, which we love for getting around furniture and making quick movements at the last moment. The ergonomic handle is comfortable to use and provides a strong grip while cleaning without the risk of cramped fingers or sore wrists after a long cleaning session.
Yes, it is a significant weight increase when compared to models like the NV601UKT, but it is worth it for the improved features.
The AZ950UKT sports both powered lift away and DuoClean technology. The latter of which is something that only the NV601UKT and NV681UKT are missing.
DuoClean means that there are two brushes - the classic bristle bar as well as a soft roller for fine dust. The soft roller is not only easy to clean, but also gentle on hard floors and incredibly good at collecting dust.
You also get the new anti-hair wrap technology with this model, which is something I have already detailed in the carpet cleaning section of this review. It’s clever technology because while you have the guards protecting the brush from hair getting tangled, the bristles are still able to work effectively to clean carpets and get them looking incredible.
Aside from the new guards, the actual brush remains the same. The nylon bristles work hard to pull up hair and embedded dirt, and they also have easy access if you need to maintain them.
The new technology does make this unlikely, but it is good to see that Shark has continued to make sure that customers are able to care for their machined efficiently.
The soft brush roll just pops out of place when you need to clean it and remove all the dust, which is useful because it will need to be washed regularly to stay effective. You can also check out the maintenance section below if you want to learn more about caring for your Shark vacuum cleaner
The Shark AZ950UK/T comes with a standard selection of tools, all of which are great, and some optional extras that you might want to consider picking up.
#1 Pet Power Brush. This particular tool only comes with the UKT model. It is not motorised, but it is still great at collecting hair and fluff from around the home. It’s small and efficient, and you can read about how handy we found it to be.
#2 The 2-in-1 Crevice and Dusting Tool. This is the perfect way to reach tight corners and crannies in the home that the wand or hose just can’t reach. When you push the dusting brush down, you also get a way to vacuum delicate surfaces and keep dust off photo frames and light shades.
#3 Upholstery Tool. This versatile tool can be used on furniture as well as car interiors. It is great at picking up hair from the area, and you can even use it to give the stairs a really deep and thorough clean.
#4 Under Appliance Wand. This is an optional attachment. It is curved for easy cleaning of the space under and around your appliances. We have all dropped food we cannot reach down there, and this vacuum helps you to keep that space nice and clean at all times.
#5 Car Detail Kit. This is an optional kit. It retails for around £25, and it is ideal if you have a lot of traffic in your car that results in it needing regular cleaning. It comes with a flexible hose, as well as attachments that will help you to gently clean the upholstery, carpets, and even reach right down between seats.
Ease of Use and Setup
Building the Vacuum
This is the easiest part, and all you need to do is click the two halves of the vacuum cleaner together. There is an instruction manual if you get stuck, or if you end up with your vacuum in more than two pieces when you open the box. It also contains some basic troubleshooting if you need it.
Emptying the bin
The Shark AZ950UKT has a bin capacity of 1.65L, which is almost twice the size of the AZ910UKT. If dust capacity is key for your household and you don't need all the bells and whistles, then take a look at the NV601UK/T
This means that it will need to be emptied more often than the others, and it is smaller than normal for a corded upright. However, it is not quite a dealbreaker because of the other great features this model has.
Due to the anti-hair wrap technology, there is no real need for brush bar maintenance. If you do need to get in there, you can still flip the floorhead over and access the bar through the soleplate.
You can also read our detailed guide on Shark repairs, troubleshooting, and maintenance if you want to learn more about caring for your vacuum.
Cleaning the filter is also really easy. You just need to pop it out of the machine and rinse it under cool running water. Squeeze it out and leave it on the side until it is completely dry before you put it back in the vacuum cleaner (any moisture could lead to it malfunctioning).
Shark states that you must wash your filter every three months to keep the machine running smoothly, but we recommend checking the filter monthly - you can make your own decision on how often to wash it from there. It’s all part of keeping your vacuum in full working order.
The AZ950UKT has a warranty that will last for five years. This is quite nice because the industry standard only tends to last for one year. The warranty covers malfunctions and breakdowns, as well as the cost of parts and labour when you send it in for repair. You just need to remember to register your Shark vacuum cleaner online.
Should I Buy the Shark AZ950UK/T?
We hope that this Shark AZ950UK and AZ950UKT review has shown you everything that each model has to offer, as well as how it performed in our hands-on tests.
It has every bit of tech Shark has to offer on a corded upright vacuum. If you live in a large home with lots of high traffic then this is the model for you. If you live in a regular home then the NZ801UK/T or the AZ910UK/T would be the better options here,
Overall though with there being so little difference in these 3 models mentioned, keep an eye on the prices at Shark directly as they almost always have a deal on and I would go with the model that’s discounted the heaviest. Don't forget the pet tool ( the only difference between the UK & UKT) is only £20 to buy separately.
What did you think of our Shark AZ950UK and AZ950UKT 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.