Looking for a new Shark vacuum cleaner but aren’t sure exactly what the model number means? We’ll show you how to decode them
While some vacuum cleaner manufacturers keep the numbers in their model names relatively simple, others use a bewildering assortment of letters and numbers. Shark is probably the worst offender. Don’t let this tangle of text put you off, however. Shark’s vacuum cleaners are brilliant and the model codes are reasonably simple when you break them down.
There are essentially four parts to a Shark product code but those four parts are all squashed together without spaces or other punctuation. They can also have different lengths, so similar models can have very different looking product codes. They’re easy enough to understand if you use our simple guide below.
Shark product ranges: At a glance
- NV: Corded upright vacuum cleaner
- NZ: Corded upright vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- PZ: Extra large corded upright vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- IZ: Cordless stick vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- ICZ: Cordless upright vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- HZ: Corded stick vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- CV: Corded cylinder vacuum cleaner
- CZ: Corded cylinder vacuum cleaner with anti hair wrap
- WV: Premium handheld vacuum cleaner
- CH: Classic handheld vacuum cleaner
READ NEXT: Our favourite Shark vacuum cleaners
Decoding Shark’s numbers
A Shark product code is made up of four parts. The first part is a series of two or three letters, which lets you know the broad product type. The second part is the model number, which is either three or four digits. Generally speaking, the higher the number, the better (and often more expensive) the device is.
The next section is a region code. If you’re in the UK, always look for a ‘UK’ here, as it means you’ll get a British plug you can connect to British wall sockets. After this you may see a selection of extra letters, which lets you know what types of additional accessories you’re getting, such as a pet tool or a car detail kit.
As an example, let’s take a look at the Shark IZ202UKTDB. We can tell from the ‘IZ’ at the beginning, that it’s part of Shark’s cordless stick range, because all its cordless sticks start with an ‘I’. It also has an anti hair wrap floor head, which is denoted by the ‘Z’. Models without this have a ‘V’ instead.
The number following the letters shows the series and product number within the range, in this case ‘202’. The ‘202’ is a relatively low number as this is a basic model, launched as a limited edition for Black Friday 2022 – it doesn’t have Shark’s brilliant dual roller floor head with a soft roller for hard floor, for example, which you’ll find on IZ models numbered 300 and above.
The latest Stratos cordless stick models are numbered 400 and 420, with the difference between the two being that the 420 comes with a second battery (though that particular numbering doesn’t necessarily carry across into other lines).
Next comes the country code, which is always UK for the British models. With some models that might be the end of the product code. For others, there may be more letters appended to the end. Our example has ‘TDB’, although some just have a ‘T’.
The ‘T’ denotes it as a pet model, which means it comes with Shark’s Pet Tool. This is a motorised accessory that attaches to the vacuum in handheld mode and operates like a smaller version of the main floor head. These are designed to get pet hair out of upholstery, but are also handy for non-pet owners when vacuuming smaller spaces such as stairs.
When it comes to the ‘DB’, this tells us that the package includes the car detail kit. This includes a flexible hose and a selection of brushes and crevice tools, ideal for getting into the nooks and crannies of your car.
There are a few exceptions to the above (aren’t there always?). For example, there’s a range of 2-in-1 vacuums that essentially combine the premium handheld vacuum cleaner with an extension wand and a floor head to make the Lightweight Cordless Vacuum range.
These have a colour code that sits between the number and the nation code, such as WV361BLUK for the blue model, and WV361RGUK for rose gold. However, these are the only vacuums in Shark’s range that use this colour differentiator.