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ION power pack: removable, rechargeable lithium-ion battery
MultiFLEX Technology provides flexible reach for under furniture and freestanding, compact storage
DuoClean Technology features a bristle brush to deep clean carpets and an additional soft brush roll to pull in larger particles and directly engage floors for a polished look.
Floor-to-ceiling versatility: easily converts to a handheld vacuum for above-floor cleaning, car cleaning, and more
What’s Included: Duster Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, Wide Upholstery Tool, Anti-Allergen Dust Brush, (1) Battery, (1) Charger
The Shark IONFlex 2X provides the benefits of DuoClean Technology with cordless convenience. Experience hassle-free runtime with the 2X ION Power Pack System, which includes a second removable, rechargeable ION Power Pack lithium-ion battery, allowing you to vacuum while your second battery charges. Featuring DuoClean Technology, a combination of a bristle brush and soft roller invented to clean fine dust and small and large particles on both carpets and floors. MultiFLEX Technology folds over for compact, free-standing storage and provides flexible reach to get under beds, couches, and tables. Smart Response Technology provides a range of performance-enhancing power settings, tailored for your cleaning needs on carpets and floors.
|Product Dimensions||13.4 x 10.4 x 45.9 inches|
|Item Weight||8.7 pounds|
|Shipping Weight||15.05 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)|
|Item model number||IF251|
|Batteries||2 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)|
302 customer reviews
3.9 out of 5 stars
|Best Sellers Rank||
#10,732 in Home & Kitchen (See Top 100 in Home & Kitchen)
>> While the Shark is considered lightweight, it’s still heavier and harder to handle than the Dyson. Some may feel this is a plus, but it almost feels like it’s self-propelled when used on carpeting (there are settings for carpet or floor, and then you can also choose a suction setting which is extended run-time or max power). When on the carpet/extended run-time setting, it literally pulls itself forward, but then I’m struggling to bring it back towards me when it’s trying to pull ahead – it gets a little tiresome (I’m somewhat of a weakling, though).
>> But I’m amazed at how much gunky dirt this picks up. I vacuumed with the Dyson only 2 days before I received the Shark. I have 2 cats, and today when I used the Shark, I had to empty the dirt cup after I did each room that was carpeted. This really shines over the Dyson.
>> The Shark has a latch where if you undo it, it flexes the wand where I can get completely under my king-size bed to get all the carpeting. My cats like to hang out there and there’s always a bunch of Maine Coon cat hair to vacuum up. I can’t reach all the way with the Dyson as the wand is stationary. Granted, I can’t reach all the way under the bed from one side, I have to do this by reaching under from both sides of the bed.
>> It’s great on vinyl flooring. No “self-propelled” feeling with this on vinyl. Also, whatever you’re trying to pick up, gets picked up. Such as cat litter on the vinyl, which my other vacuum “scattered” up ahead instead of picking it up. The Shark wins.
>> It’s very quiet and doesn’t frighten my cats. Much quieter than the Dyson, even though it seems much more powerful.
>> Due to the Dyson being lighter in weight overall, it’s still my preference for cleaning out my car using it as a hand-held vac, but I love the attachments that come with the Shark. The Pet Multi-tool really sucks the hair off the sofa and recliners, and the angled Anti-Allergen Dust Brush works wonderfully for dusting blinds.
>> It comes with 2 batteries, one can be in the vacuum and the other in reserve. It takes about 3 hours to charge up to 3 full blue bars. I’ve vacuumed my entire condo twice and it’s gone down only 1 bar.
Things I don’t care for:
>> I think it was a waste of plastic to include a charging dock with this. I prefer removing the battery and simply plugging it in to charge. The battery can also be charged without removing it from the vacuum. Shark gives you 3 options. I trashed the charging dock.
>> I’m only 5’3″; the vacuum’s wand feels a little too long. For instance, you have to step on the bottom part of the vacuum to release the wand down and it feels like a real stretch to do so. Actually, it’s not much longer than the Dyson V6, but I don’t have to release the bottom on the Dyson to use it.
Overall, I think this is a very good vacuum; but not the perfect vacuum by any means. If you live in a small home, apartment, or condo such as I do, it can serve your needs well as your ONLY vacuum.
To test the Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean Cordless Vacuum, I first vacuumed medium thick area rug with a four-year-old vacuum we had that uses a bag. For the next medium thick area rug, I used the one-year-old bagless vacuum. Then, for the thick carpeted hallway and stairs I used the self-powered older vacuum. All three of the vacuums seemed to have done a good job on the rugs and carpet. Then, I took the Shark IONFlex 2x and went over these rugs and carpet. With each of them, the amount of dirt and cat hair the Shark picked-up after the other vacuums had been used made me want to ditch all three. With regards to the hardwood floors and bamboo floors, of the three vacuums I had before testing the Shark IONFlex 2x, (I will call this “the Shark” for the rest of the review) only the older self-powered one picked-up dust and dirt to the cove molding. The bag model tended to relocate too much of the dirt that was on the floors, and the bagless model tended to blow half of the dust and dirt to the front and sides of the vacuum. The Shark almost always cleaned the dirt and dust on the floors up to the cove molding. I feel most of this better cleaning was because it had a softer brushless roller in the front of the floor head, and the front of it had a soft flexible protective cover for the brushless roller, which allow the roller to go all the way to the wall when you pushed the head to the wall. There were some corners back in recessed areas that the Shark couldn’t get initially, but taking off the head and using one of the attachments, especially the under the furniture attachment, took care of that, and if it has only been a few days since I vacuumed, I don’t even need to use one of the attachments to get any dust from those corners or top of the cove molding.
I have now tested five vacuums, and people are always asking me which one was the most “powerful.” It used to be that I considered how much amperage the motor used as a gauge of power, but if you really think about it, aren’t what people really wanting to know is how well does it clean? While suction power is nice, to me, there are three things that determine how well a vacuum cleans: 1) How good does the dirt/dust get loosened from the carpet, or even floor? 2) Is there an efficient pathway for the dirt/dust to get to the dirt/dust trap? 3) Is the motor powerful enough to pull the dirt/dust loosened from the carpet and floor to the dirt/dust trap? Would it do a better job if the motor was more powerful? With the Shark the beater brush is metal. It is heavier than plastic, so it puts weight down on the carpet/rug/floor. There is also a soft floor brush in front of the beater brush that is used mainly for wood floors, but it helps stir up dirt/dust. With the Shark IonFlex, the pathway from the floor head to the dirt/dust trap is a straight shot, with two small filters at the end to catch finer particles. Finally, with the Shark IonFlex, the motor has a “normal” power setting and a “Max” power setting. I have not found I needed the “Max” setting, but I would imagine if there was an area that had some caked up dirt, I would use it. It is nice knowing I have the “Max” setting in reserve.
Recently, I started testing another ION battery vacuum cleaner (in the pictures uploaded it is Vac B, the Shark is Vac A). I vacuumed the left side of the hall rug with the Shark, and the right side with the other ION vacuum. Second sheet on right is Vac B turned off AutoSense and turned on high and vacuumed a second time. Third sheets are: On left Vac B vacuuming where Shark, Vac A had vacuumed, and one the bottom right, the Shark vacuumed where Vac B had vacuumed. As you can see, the Shark out vacuumed the other each time.
Speaking of attachments, the Shark comes with three nice ones: the under the furniture one that has a felt-like edge, a short rectangular brush one whose brushes snap-off to give you a “Pet/Lint” edge that was good for getting short cat hairs off of most fabric, but with some there were still some hairs remaining, and a third crack and crevice tool that had a brush that could be taken off around the crevice tool. This was last one was handy for cleaning out ones car seats. I noticed you could buy from Shark a longer “under the furniture” attachment that I probably will get. Regarding the attachments, I do wish the Shark had some with a net sack that one could store the attachments in it on a hook in the closet. I did find one here on Amazon at: Adventure Products Chum Bag Fishing Net, Black. It is not a big deal, but using the net bag allows me to keep the attachments in a closet on a hook.
In the instructions, Shark lists a number of things you should not use the vacuum to pick-up, like tacks and coins, and I can agree with those warnings. It, also, tells you not to use the Shark on steps, but our steps were wider than most and the vacuum head did not hang over the edge of the step run, so I didn’t see any issue about using the Shark. I could see that you shouldn’t actually use it on the edge or on the rise, and I used the small brush on those.
The Shark comes with two batteries that give you about 20 minutes use if you vacuum fast or 25 minutes if you vacuum slow. You should run the batteries down before recharging so they won’t develop a “memory” problem and not fully recharge. Running the batteries down before recharging, I found actually makes the battery recharge slightly faster, say 3 hours versus 3-1/2 hours.
The Shark weighs slightly more than 10 pounds, with the head alone weighing slightly more than 3 pounds (for when you use it in your car). At first I felt the Shark pulled me more than the other vacuums, but hooking-up a fish weighing device showed it only pulled at around 3 pounds versus 5 pounds for the bagless model vacuum, and 5-1/2 pounds for the bag model vacuum. The older self-powered model only required 1 pound of effort.
Overall, I found the Shark IONFlex 2x DuoClean Cordless Vacuum. Its maneuverability and ease of operation allowed me to vacuum most of our house, our house is around 3,300 square feet, using just the two batteries. If our house had been 2,600 square feet, the two batteries would have been enough, and since you can, with the touch of a button, go from vacuuming carpet to vacuuming bare floor, I found I am vacuuming the house in less time.
In the comments below, there was a question about noise level. Having worked with sound over the years, this can be so subjective (also meters vary, but using the same one, under the same conditions [thick carpet, hallway], gives one a relative difference in sound), so I brought-out my phone VU meter and tested the Shark versus a Hoover Wind tunnel Pro bagless versus my old Kirby G4. On the thick carpeting, with the meter three from the units the Shark registered 91 dB, The Hoover 110 dB, and the Kirby 109 dB. On a maple wood floor in the open room with the phone VU meter three feet from the vacuum, The Shark 100 dB and Hoover 106 dB. (Normally, the noise level with the wooden floors is more because there is no carpet to absorb some of the sound. With the Hoover, the brush roller is completely turned off. On the Shark, the brush roller turns slightly.) These sound levels are just to tell you the shark is about 10% quieter than a regular house vacuum.
With regards to the vacuuming, I have noticed two things: 1) After the third or so vacuuming, the carpets and rugs I vacuumed with the Shark kept getting a cleaner look. I am not talking about just getting the dirt that was on the surface, I am talking about the dirt that seems to be deeper in the carpets and rugs. I am thinking, I just might not have to shampoo the carpet and rugs as often; 2) With cleaner carpets and rugs, little bits of paper, leaves, etc., seem to stand-out more. This means I am going to have to lay down the law with the family about wiping their feet when they come into the house.
The Shark catches dirt and dust in a clear chamber that is easily opened and dumped. I have found with each vacuuming of the house, less dirt and dust is caught, just because there is less. The Shark people recommend you wash the foam dust filter out once a month, but I’m doing it after two house cleanings, simply because it looks so dirty. You can easily back-flush the foam dust filter by removing the circular filter, and running water through it from the middle of the dust filter to the outside of the dust filter.
Now comes the big question, is it worth paying this much for this vacuum? You probably know what other vacuum the Shark has set its sights on competing with, and from what I have seen, it is very comparable to that other vacuum. The question comes down to this, “Will it last a long time?” While my older vacuum, 22 years old, cost a lot back then ($2,468.00 in 2017 dollars), it still works like it did back then, which was better than the other vacuums we had, but not as well as the Shark. The Shark is made with some thick plastic, but the clasps that hold the pieces together are substantial looking. I will just have to continue to put it through some tough situations and see how it holds up. Right now, it seems to being doing fine, but I’ve only vacuumed the house four times.
Knowing how my older vacuum has held-up over the years, I would say the Shark IONFlex 2x is a good buy. If I could, I would have rated it a 4-1/2 stars, but when I saw four stars was “I Like It” and five stars was “I Love It,” I feel closer to “I Love It,” that that is why I gave it five stars.
UPDATE (12/18/2017): I’ve vacuumed the house 10 times, and probably twice that number just for the downstairs where the cats lounge more. The Shark still is out-vacuuming the other vacuums. No complaints. It is really nice to just vacuum the living room in two minutes, going from area rug to wood floors with the touch of a button. Another vacuum I tested automatically changes from rug to wood, but it just doesn’t vacuum as good. It looks like it is vacuuming everything, but if I run the Shark ION Flex2 after I vacuum with it, I usually pick-up an additional amount as much the other vacuum did the first time.