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Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK review: Powerful, efficient and affordable

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £149
inc VAT

A simple floor head keeps the price down, but the Shark NV602UK still provides a powerful clean


  • Simple to use
  • Affordable price
  • Decent cleaning performance


  • Long hair tangles in the brush roller
  • Cord means socket juggling
  • Struggles with larger particles on hard floor

The Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK is the most affordable model in Shark’s extensive range of upright vacuum cleaners. With a list price of £200 but often discounted to £150 or lower, it’s a bargain-hunter’s dream.

Naturally, you’re not getting all the bells and whistles that you’ll find on Shark’s pricier alternatives, and we’ll get into the nitty-gritty of that in this review. However, anyone looking for a cheaper way into Shark’s products should give the NV602UK serious consideration.

Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK review: What do you get for the money?

The Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK is a corded upright model so it needs to be plugged into a wall socket when in use, but it looks just as modern as the rest of the upright cordless range.

And there are benefits to sticking with a mains-powered vacuum. With a corded model you don’t have to worry about keeping the battery charged or running out of power before you get to the end of your cleaning tasks. It can also stand upright, supporting its own weight, and has an 8m cord.

When fully constructed, the NV602UK measures 285 x 260 x 1,180mm (WDH) and weighs 5.25kg. That sounds heavy to lug around, but it has a convenient carrying handle and some of the weight is in the cord, which is uncoiled from the vacuum when it’s in use and so doesn’t weigh it down.

The floor head is the main area where Shark has compromised features. Where its most expensive vacuums come with dual-purpose heads with two rollers inside (one soft and fluffy, one traditional brush bar), the NV602UK has only one – a brush roller lined with rows of bristles.

Without a soft roller, this vacuum’s floor head didn’t perform as well on hard floor in our tests, but the vacuum cleaner does still have a hard floor mode. This reduces the spin speed of the brush bar to make it gentler on surfaces such as floor boards or tile.

Just like Shark’s cordless uprights, the NV602UK has a pedal on the floor head that lets you lift the body of the vacuum away, leaving the floor head behind. You can then hold the cleaning attachment in one hand and the motor/dust collection unit in the other, making it easier to clean the stairs or awkward places such as ceilings and curtains.

You can simply use the tube on the end of the handle as is (or with the wand attached for extra reach), or you connect one of the two supplied attachments: a crevice tool or the multifunctional brush and upholstery tool. Both accessories can be permanently stored on the vacuum for easy access.

The bagless collection bin can hold 1.1 litres of dust and dirt. That’s 0.7 litres less than the Dyson Ball Animal, but it should still be ample capacity for a whole house clean.

As for suction power, that’s pretty good, although there isn’t much between the Shark and its rivals. As you can see from the chart below, the NV602UK holds its own against more expensive competition from the Hoover HL5 and the Dyson Ball Animal, although the more affordable Hoover H-Upright 300 isn’t far behind.

Shark NV602UK review - chart detailing suction power (kPa)

Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK review: What’s it like to use?

The Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK isn’t a complex vacuum so using it is simple – just plug it in and off you go. The red switch on the main unit switches the machine on and toggles between the two floor modes (hard floor and carpet).

I found the position of this switch a little on the low side – I had to bend over to operate it – and would have preferred to have it on the handle alongside the suction setting switch. However, it’s a quirk of the design, as the handle isn’t powered – the suction power switch simply opens and closes a vent, providing an alternative path for air to be sucked in through, increasing or decreasing the suction.

All the other buttons for releasing various bits are well labelled, with simple instructions written on the device where necessary. Anyone who can read could be using this and even disassembling it for maintenance without having to reach for the manual.

Emptying it is easy, too. A button on the handle above the collection bin releases it from the main unit, and you then simply carry it to the dustbin and press another button to release the door on the base, which lets the dirt drop out.

The simplification of the floor head presents some challenges. As well as missing out on a soft roller, the unit also lacks any form of anti-tangle technology. As a result, I found the brush became quickly wrapped in lots of long hair.

There are grooves along the roller bar that let you slide scissors underneath to snip hair free, but this process is complicated by the fact that you can’t remove the brush bar easily (at least not without a screwdriver) and that there are vertical plastic bars further obscuring the roller. Upgrading to one of Shark’s anti-tangle models would be a better bet if you live with anyone who has long hair or you have long-haired pets.

Filter cleaning, by contrast, is easy. The foam and felt filters can be rinsed clean in cold water, and the manual suggests doing this monthly. The post motor filter can also be rinsed but this only needs doing annually.

Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK review: How well does it clean?

We’re used to seeing Shark’s vacuum cleaners blitz our tests when they have DuoClean floor heads, so we were keen to see how the single brush bar of the NV602UK would fare without the additional fluffy roller.

The good news is that, overall, the vacuum performed well, struggling only with Cheerios on hard floor, which are always a problem for vacuums that don’t have fluffy rollers to trap them. The floor head only managed to clear 19% of these on a single pass, with the rest getting clogged at the front of the vacuum, preventing the remainder from passing through.

Having said that, although the floor head failed here, cleaning up afterwards was simple once I detached the handle from the extension wand and used the hose. Even without an attachment, the remaining Cheerios leapt up the tube and straight into the collection bin.

On short-pile carpet the vacuum fared better. There were still a few Cheerios that had been shovelled to the side and left behind after a single pass, but it still grabbed 96% of the spill. The remaining 4% was cleared easily with a subsequent pass.

READ NEXT: The best vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors

Flour was a different story. As far as my scales were concerned, the vacuum collected 100% of the flour we spilled onto hard floor. On close inspection, I could see some residue in the cracks between laminate floor tiles but it was a minuscule amount and was easily removed with the concentrated suction of the crevice tool.

On carpet, a light trace of flour was left behind after a single pass, but the NV602UK collected 98% of the spill. The remainder was collected afterwards by attacking from a different angle, leaving the carpet looking completely flour-free.

Shark NV602UK review chart detailing percentage of spills cleaned

We also test vacuum cleaners with loose pet hair, spread across the same surfaces. On carpet the vacuum collected 100% of the hair we laid down in a single pass. On hard floor, a small amount of hair was trapped around the floor head in an area where the suction power wasn’t strong enough to pull it under. In this test it still collected 94% of the hair we laid out, though, which is a decent performance.

READ NEXT: The best vacuum cleaners for pet hair

Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK review: Should I buy it?

Shark’s DuoClean floor head is one of the elements that makes many Shark vacuums brilliant, so not having it on this Shark Classic Upright Vacuum NV602UK is disappointing. Without it, not only do you lose the ability to effortlessly vacuum large particles from hard floors but you also miss out on the anti-tangle features that are included in the latest DuoClean head.

However, this does keep the price down to an affordable level. And in our tests, although the single roller floor head didn’t fare as well on larger particles, the vacuum remains capable of tackling such spills by removing the handle and taking the floor head out of the equation entirely. For the price, it’s an extremely capable corded vacuum cleaner.

If you don’t mind paying a bit more, Shark has a number of similar offerings that introduce additional features. The Shark Classic Upright Pet Vacuum NV602UKT (£229) adds an upholstery tool accessory with a small turbine-powered roller bar, that’s useful for getting pet hair off furniture. Alternatively, if you want to improve the floor head you can add a hair detangling system by opting for the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Upright Vacuum NZ690UK (£249).

The most affordable upright with the full DuoClean floor head is the Shark Stratos Pet Pro Anti Hair Wrap Plus Anti-Odour Upright Vacuum NZ860UKT (£299). If you can afford it, it’s worth the extra money.

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