Noticed the new AX910 and AX950 range of Shark vacuums available in the UK lately?
In this independent review, we’ll take a deep dive into the shark infested waters to reveal what they’re all about…
If you don’t want to read the full review, these are the key things to note:
- The AX910 has a wider head. The AX950 has a wider head and larger dust collection tank
- UK stands for United Kingdom version. I assume there are US specific versions
- The ‘T’ on the end of any model number means it has the TruePet attachment
With me so far? Good. Let’s see what we’re going to cover in this review:
What I’ll Cover…
- Shark AX910 & AX950 new features
- Difference between the UK & UKT models
- All Shark upright vacuums compared
- Suction, power, performance & noise
- Shark vacuum energy efficiency
- Weight, dimensions & filters
- Powered lift away, duo-clean & anti-allergen
- What customers are saying
- Price, warranty & what’s in the box
- Shark vs GTech Vs Dyson
- Is it right for you?
Let’s dive straight in…
I previously reviewed many of the Shark upright vacuum cleaner range, including the NV601, NV681, NV700 and NV801.
Related: Check out my Shark cordless review too, if you don’t want to be restricted by a cord. Cordless vacuums are usually smaller, more lightweight but also less powerful.
The NV stands for Navigator in the previous models. In this new range, the AX apparently stands for Apex. Not that I can find much information about the specifics to be fair.
Note: I think the AX range has been available in the US for a while, but only recently available in the UK. You can’t buy them on Amazon UK just yet either.
Shark AX910 and AX950 New Features
First up, let’s clarify the 4 different models available in the Shark Upright AX range:
As you’ll probably notice, there is a common naming convention here. There’s the 910 or the 950 and either a UK or UKT model. I’ll cover the T model in a minute…
The key differences defined …
The new shark vacuums have two major upgrades compared to the other vacuum cleaners:
- A larger cleaning head (wider NOT deeper)
- A larger tank for holding dust and dirt
The Shark AX910 has the larger head only (1).
The Shark AX950 has the larger head (1) AND the larger tank (2).
That’s it. The rest of the technology, such as duo-clean, lift-away, etc are the same. More on these later.
How much wider is the head?
Here are how the dimensions of the cleaning head compare vs a previous model:
- NV801UKT: 26cm wide & 34cm deep
- AX910UKT: 30.5cm wide & 27cm deep
- AX950UKT: 30.5cm wide & 28cm deep
How much larger is the dust tank?
- NV801UKT: 1.1 Litres
- AX910UKT: 0.99 Litres
- AX950UKT: 1.65 Litres
With all the different letters, numbers, capacities and sizes it can be very confusing to fully understand. It seems as though Shark have made the 910 model with a slightly smaller tank than previous models but with a wider head. Not sure why the tank is slightly smaller than the previous 801 model though to be honest with you.
The 950 has the wider head and the larger tank.
Pro Tip: If you have a larger home and/or lots of dust and dirt to collect, you’ll benefit from having the larger cleaning head and dust collection tank on the new AX950 model.
Wondering what the UK vs UKT model means? Allow me to explain…
Difference between the Shark UK and UKT Vacuums
The “T” simply means it has the TruePet attachment. This attachment is a motorised tool brush which has been designed specifically for removing hair from carpets, sofas and upholstery.
It’s pretty good at picking up stuck in fluff like that you get on the bedroom carpet from your socks, too.
Some customers have mentioned that hair gets clumped up inside their duo-clean brush head. If you use the TruePet attachment instead this should not happen.
In short, the TruePet attachment tool is perfect for anyone with a pet at home, or a hair losing partner in the house…
All Shark Vacuums Compared
Below you will find all of the Shark upright vacuums compared. Please note that this includes all the previous models too, review of which can be found here.
Suction, Power, Performance & Noise
Due to the banning of vacuums which are more powerful than 900W and produce a noise greater than 80db, the AX range in the UK has been modified to that of the US version.
Power – Both the Shark AX910 & AX950 have a 750W motor, which is plenty powerful enough for a vacuum. The limit in the UK is currently 900 Watts. Perhaps they have preempted the limit being lowered even further.
Noise – These two Shark vacuums produce 80db of noise. As reported here, that is similar to the following sounds:
Garbage disposal, dishwasher, average factory, freight train (at 15 meters). Car wash at 20 ft (89 dB); propeller plane flyover at 1000 ft (88 dB); diesel truck 40 mph at 50 ft (84 dB); diesel train at 45 mph at 100 ft (83 dB). Food blender (88 dB); milling machine (85 dB); garbage disposal (80 dB).
Suction – Because Shark don’t released the exact figures for the suction power, we have to rely on user experience. Overall, people have been very impressed with the suction.
It’s a larger vacuum and has a 750 watt motor which means it should produce good levels of suction. It also has two brushes in the cleaning head which helps lift up dirt and debris.
When you combine these two features it creates a very efficient and powerful vacuum cleaner. Hence the good reports about it doing such a good job.
Performance – Overall the performance is excellent. Using the duo-clean technology, it helps improve how much dirt and debris is removed from your carpet and flooring. One of the brushes also helps to polish hard floors.
Shark Vacuum Energy Efficiency
You may notice that on many appliances you use there are labels which tell you the energy efficiency of the appliance in kWh/annum. Basically, how much it will use per year.
For a fridge, this is usually calculated based on the machine being on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For vacuums, however, this will vary between each household because some will use it more than others. Fortunately there is a handy way to calculate it.
The above shows that using the Shark vacuum (750 Watts) for 10 minutes a day (0.1666) and with a price of 15 pence per kWh (0.15), which is the UK average, will cost you:
£6.84 per year to run, just 57 pence per month…
That’s very cheap. Even if you vacuumed for 20 minutes a day it would still be less than £15 a year.
Check out this energy usage calculator to try it out for yourself.
Weight, Dimensions and Filters
Weight – The 910 model is 7.2kg and the 950 is 7.5kg. For such a versatile vacuum, this is not too heavy. Sure, it is not the lightest but you get two vacuums in one. The lift-away part and the upright when attached to the main body.
The lift-away part of the vacuum weighs 3.3kg by itself.
You also get superior cleaning from the duo-clean head and the long reach pipe.
If you compare it to something like the GTech power floor, which is only 2.3kg, then it will be heavy. As a result, the Shark is not recommended for elderly or weaker people who need to move it around a lot. Especially up and down the stairs.
Dimensions – The width is identical, the height is almost identical and depth just 1cm difference (910 model 1cm less). So they are pretty much identical in size.
Again, the Shark range of upright vacuum cleaners have not been designed to be ultra lightweight and super slender. They are more robust, heavier and sturdier. That helps make the more solid to handle.
The hose extension is 82cm long and can be stretched up to 166cm long.
Filters – Both models have HEPA filters and also a pre-HEPA and post motor filter. There are 3 filters in total. All of which can be washed by hand using water and left to dry.
How often should you clean your Shark filters?
- Pre-motor filter kit (foam and felt) – clean every 3 months
- HEPA filter – clean every year
- Pre-HEPA filter – clean every year
Obviously this will vary depending on your usage. If you use it a lot in a very dusty environment, you’ll need to clean it more often.
Both models come with the crevice and upholstery tools, just the ‘T’ model comes with the pet power brush, also known as TruePet.
The powered lift-away, which means you can detach the main unit and use it like a handheld vacuum, plus the combination of the tools results in a truly versatile vacuum.
The TruePet tool is very handy for pet hair and trodden in dirt because it has is a powered tool which has been specifically designed to collect up hair.
With other vacuums, and even the main head unit of this Shark vacuum, hair can get wrapped around the cleaning rollers/brushes. Eventually you will find yourself having to cut out the hair with some scissors.
Powered lift away, duo-clean & anti-allergen
The Shark AX910 and AX950 both come with three core technologies, designed to make vacuuming your home easier. Here are some of the details:
Powered Lift-Away – Although this is an upright vacuum, it can also be converted into a hand-held machine. The main body and dirt collection tank can be detached from the upright part and carried around.
The lift-away section is just 3.3kg so not heavy, so you can easily carry it while hoovering the stairs.
An added bonus is that you can then use the main unit to get underneath sofas, chairs and tables without the large tank attached.
You can attach the tools, such as the TruePet or crevice tool to the hose when in lift-away mode, too. The lift-away section continues to remain powered so there is no need to worry that it won’t be as effective.
Duo-Clean – This Shark vacuum comes with two brushes inside the main head unit.
The first, a more solid buffer like brush at the front of the unit works to polish hard floors and disturb trodden in dirt from carpets.
The second, with its bristles, lifts the dirt up into the unit and rejuvenates carpets at the same time.
Combined, they do an excellent job of lifting up both debris and tackling dirt which has been trodden into the carpet.
It’s a well thought out solution which does the trick on all floor types.
It definitely seems to pick up the majority of the dirt and dust that is thrown at it. And because the suction power is pretty good, it has no problem picking up larger pieces too, such as small stones.
Anti-Allergen – When you get a corded machine, which is more powerful than a cordless one, it means that more selective filters can be used. The machine generates more suction so is able to cope with them easily.
As a result, the air thrown out is cleaner. Shark claim that their use of filters helps capture 99.9% of dust and allergens.
This is as defined by the “IEC Standard 62885-2 Cl 5.9″. What that means in reality is that it will be ideal for those who suffer from allergies.
What Customers are Saying
It’s all well and good reading reviews online, but ultimately what matters is what real users think to the product. Those who use it day-in, day-out.
Here’s what one user had to say about the Shark AX910 (this user did not receive the product free):
I didn’t think I would ever be so excited over a household item but this hoover has been a god send and I now know its so worth investing in a good quality hoover. I live in a old converted flat so the amount of dust that appears weekly has always been a problem but using the shark hoover once a week has really made a difference by not leaving anything behind! Its really easy to use under beds and sofas and has lots of amazing different settings for use on hard floor / rugs / carpets. The amazing light setting at the front also ensures you are picking up dirt/dust that you didn’t even think you had! – Lucy
Price, Warranty & What’s in the Box
Price – The prices vary slightly depending on what model you go for. Here are the current prices:
- AX910UK – £329.99
- AX910UKT – £349.99
- AX950UK – £379.99
- AX950UKT – £399.99
Warranty – You get a standard 1 year warranty straight away, but if you register your Shark vacuum directly that becomes a 5 year one. I’d highly recommend doing that. It’s free.
What’s in the box – This will depend on which model you choose. The ‘T’ model has the TruePet motorised attachment tool. All models have the crevice and upholstery tools.
Shark vs GTech vs Dyson
These manufacturers are three of the biggest players in the vacuum cleaner range in the UK at the moment. Dyson and Shark have been around a long time, while GTech are relative newcomers to the scene.
Each one has a distinct look and feel to their products. Here’s my take on each of them:
- Shark – Lots of innovative technology packed into each machine. Often not the lightest or smallest, but powerful, robust and long lasting.
- Dyson – Again, very innovative in more subtle ways. Look very toy like/futuristic. Often quite expensive, but built to last with a high quality finish.
- GTech – The look and feel of a GTech is more slick, minimal and no fuss. They have been designed to be effective yet unobtrusive around your home. Usually the lightest and most manoeuvrable of the three.
Which one is best for you will depend on your home, usage and requirements. Here are my thoughts on which is best suited to what environment:
- Shark – Larger homes, often with pets with a fair amount of hoovering done each week. More powerful machines so can tackle more dirt and mess.
- Dyson – Medium sized homes, may have a pet but the focus is on a more average amount of vacuuming each week.
- GTech – For small to medium sized homes, more modern looking and slicker. Probably not as robust as the others, but ideal for those who want lightweight vacuums and portability.
Is it Right for you?
Hopefully the above review will have given you some food for thought. The key question to ask yourself is what are your requirements from a vacuum.
Do you want a portable, lightweight, cordless model which is used once a week? You’re probably best off with a GTech, such as the GTech power floor.
Are you after an upright and a hand-held in one, more powerful machine and are happy to handle a cord? Then the Shark is a great option.
If you’re in the middle, maybe a Dyson would be best suited for you.
Summary on the Shark Upright
This AX range of Shark vacuums is slightly larger than their other offerings to date. It’s designed for larger households that need to get the job done quickly and probably have a lot of dirt and dust to clean-up.
They’re powerful and robust, so are likely to last for years to come, hence the 5 year warranty when you register with them.
Their use of innovative technology might not look as sleek as some other hoovers, but it’s very functional and gets the job done. The versatile attachments will help you get to all the nooks and crannies around your home with ease.
I can highly recommend the Shark as it’s a superb piece of kit which works well and does the job effectively.