Coffee heat rising

Anybody Know How Well This Vacuum Works?

This afternoon I came across a Shark Navigator Never Loses Suction upright vacuum at Costco, where it’s selling for somewhat less than Amazon wants. Customer reviews at Amazon are pretty good.

I really have no business thinking about this thing. Just a couple of months ago I bought a Eureka Boss Smart-Vac Upright HEPA Vacuum Cleaner at Fry’s Electronics. Bad move: whereas the Eureka does not suck (literally!), Fry’s return policy decidedly does. I just hate the Eureka. And I hate taking things back to Fry’s so violently that I’m resigned to keeping the piece of junk, or donating it to Goodwill.

Hate, loathe, and despise it! The Eureka is so heavy I work up a sweat pushing it around the all-tile floors in this house—and that was before I dislocated my shoulder. With the arm out of whack, I couldn’t use it at all. It doesn’t pick up. You have to pass the thing back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and FORTH over small particles of debris before they get lifted from the floor. It has no suction at all around the front and sides, so you have to use the hose and attachment to vacuum along the baseboards. All the baseboards. Every. single. goddamn. baseboard. It’s so wide you can’t get it around the furniture or squeeze it between the toilet and the bathroom cabinetry. And the foot lever is so stiff I have to wear a sturdy pair of clodhoppers to operate it—you can NOT push the foot lever barefooted or in flip-flops. To snap the machine back up into its upright position after vacuuming, I have to roll it up against a wall, brace it firmly, and then shove it into place hard; otherwise I can’t get it to pop it upright to put it away.

Disgusted—and needing to vacuum the floors willy nilly, sore arm or no sore arm—I repaired the broken handle on my good old Panasonic with soft felt fabric and yards of duct tape (the home handyman’s secret weapon!), relegating the new junk to the garage. So now it’s functioning again.

But the Panasonic is really old. Sooner or later it’s going to give up the proverbial ghost. Feeling a little stung after the Eureka débâcle, especially since Consumer Reports puffed the thing, I hesitate to run out and buy another vacuum cleaner. At least not without some real-life reports from people who have actually used it in their homes.

Do you have any experience with the Shark Navigator? If so, do tell…in the comments below, please! 🙂

7 thoughts on “Anybody Know How Well This Vacuum Works?”

  1. hm… based on the previous post, unless that vacuum costs less than $5, it sounds like you’re stuck with the Panasonic unless and until the check for course development comes in (or you decide to do battle with Fry’s for getting a lemon)… I suppose it would be good to know what’s out there when it does come in.

    We’ve got a canister Kenmore that appears to no longer be made, though it is quite wonderful.

  2. Alas, I can’t help you out with a review of the Shark. What I can tell you is that I bought a refurbished Dyson from when I bought my house a year and a half ago and it is the best vacuum that I have ever owned. It’s light, maneuverable, super easy to use, and it hasn’t lost suction at all. I use it on Berber carpet and the amount of dirt that it sucks up is really astonishing.

    It took about three months of watching every day until it turned up, but I’m really glad I bought it.

  3. My friend you cleans for me when she visits (Yes, a true friend) prefers my El Cheapo Bissell from the Wally mart over the expensive Oreck I bought. It really sucks, in a good way, and It has a removable dust cup, invaluable when you are trying to deflea the house after the cat has left!! The Oreck bags are expensive, and I’m sorry I bought the darn thing. Though a co-worker swears by her Dyson, too.

  4. @ Kerryann: I had a cheapo Bissell steam floor cleaner…just LOVED it!!! Used it for several years until it just wore right out. By then Bissell had stopped making them. If I could’ve predicted the future, I would’ve bought a half-dozen of them.

    Shark now makes a pretty good steam cleaner, except the pad that goes over the steam head isn’t great. However, if you substitute microfiber rags — just clip one on securely with clothes pins — it works fine.

  5. Funny, what I have is not a steam cleaner, just a regular old vacuum. “Powerforce”, 12 amps. Wally mart, approx 60.00 bucks. Good bang for the buck, too. Bought Fall 2008.

  6. I have that same Bissell Powerforce — love it! I bought it as a second vacuum for a temporary home. My other vacuum is a Bissell Cleanview, also Walmart, also under $100, also GREAT. Cord is slightly longer, and it came with the dog hair attachment that looks like Dyson’s.

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