Thread Number: 33752  /  Tag: Recent Vacuum Cleaners from past 20 years
I Am Shocked: Kirby Gsix vs Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro
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Post# 366685   2/13/2017 at 11:29 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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So I finally made comparison between the Kirby Gsix and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Pro.
I used a lot of fine sawdust grounded in to the low pile carpet.
This carpet is very "airy" and it seems to be extremely hard to clean.
So what happened is that Kirby cleaned it well, but Shark did very bad job. It only got surface clean.
Shark had clean filters and empty bin before the test.
Yes I know that Kirby deep cleans better, but this is just ridiculous result.
Pictures will tell more than thousand words.
Whole video in the link.


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Post# 366689 , Reply# 1   2/13/2017 at 12:45 (247 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I have the shark lift away pro

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exactly like that. It's about 2.5 yrs old now. And I'm NOT surprised at all honestly! The vacuum works great as long as you constantly keep the filters clean. I mean, literally after vacuuming a house that isn't horribly dirty and the bin is less than half full, that foam filter, round filter below it are already very dirty! I used my bagged Lux in my laundry room to keep my bin/and filters clean and occasionally wash them. It works great for me for quick run through's - but I would never want it as my main vacuum. I'm not surprised at all that the Kirby kicked it's a!!

Post# 366690 , Reply# 2   2/13/2017 at 12:45 (247 days old) by KirbyCollector (Columbus Ohio USA)        

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I am not surprised at all
The Kirby won against the shark like usual.

Post# 366691 , Reply# 3   2/13/2017 at 13:08 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Kirby vs others

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I always knew that the Kirby is good, but after this test it is VERY clear how much better it is than those supermarket vacuums.
This will change some things. Now I will only use the Kirby on my carpets. Shark for quick pick-ups and Lux Royal D790 for bare floors.
Commercials often make Shark look better than it really is.
Most shocking is that most people believe it. Same goes to the Dyson.

Post# 366695 , Reply# 4   2/13/2017 at 13:47 (247 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        


Size of bag / filter

Nozzle size


All contributing factors.  Not surprised that the Kirby faired better.


Honestly with a bagless having a small foam filter, I would hypothesize an Oreck could out perform due to it's larger bag.


Post# 366698 , Reply# 5   2/13/2017 at 14:16 (247 days old) by senornathan (Massachusetts)        
I would be more shocked

if the Shark actually beat the Kirby. There's no way a Shark is going to do a better job than the Kirby (except maybe for reducing back pain).

Still, thanks for the comparison, and your Gsix looks beautiful!

Post# 366699 , Reply# 6   2/13/2017 at 14:53 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Thanks for all the comments!
What I was shocked about was that I didn't expect Shark to do so bad job. I like it (or I did). It has aggressive brushroll. When I turn it on it tries to move forward. I think that the biggest problems with the Shark is lack of airflow and it really don't create proper seal between the head and carpet.
Airflow is interesting subject. For example my very high wattage (2100w) Electrolux UltraFlex has insane suction, but it has clearly less airflow than my Lux Royal D790 (1150w). I have done some unscientific tests with airflow.
But now when I think what vacuums what I have has less airflow is the bagless ones.
This is getting quite interesting :)
Now I really wan't to test more of my vacuums against the Kirby on the same carpet.
By the way. I bought my Kirby from the Germany (eBay) It is totally reconditioned.

Post# 366700 , Reply# 7   2/13/2017 at 15:24 (247 days old) by jimjimmunster (Hammond, Ind.)        
That abomination of a vacuum "shark"...

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I'm not surprised at all that that junky new plastic pressed garbage lost. That is an abomination of a vacuum and I still don't understand why people buy them. There extremely long commercials are completely FAKED. My Hoover 63 would beat that shark if it did 1 pass over the dirt and the shark did 20.

Post# 366709 , Reply# 8   2/13/2017 at 16:08 (247 days old) by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        
Airflow tester

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Are you familiar with the Baird Airflow meter?

I have one and it is clearly the fastest way to test the amount of airflow of any vacuum cleaner. They cost around $50 US.


The Kirby pegs the meter at 10 when it is connected to the front of the fan case and it registers about an 8 when connected to the end of the hose.


For comparison the typical Dyson registers less than 2 on the Baird.





Post# 366711 , Reply# 9   2/13/2017 at 16:37 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Baird Airflow meter

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Oh yes I have dreaming about one for a long time. Baird Airflow meter would be just what I need.
Unfortunately it's hard to get to the Finland. I have tried to find one from the eBay without any results.
If I could just about find someone who is willing to ship it to Finland.
One hidden secrets is poor airflow of Dyson. It's because of the overcomplicated airpath.
I would love to show the true performance with it.

Post# 366712 , Reply# 10   2/13/2017 at 16:59 (247 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        
Well, duh...

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That's like comparing the power of a V8 Cadillac to that of a VW Bug. There IS no comparison. Heavy Metal wins every time!

Post# 366713 , Reply# 11   2/13/2017 at 17:06 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I managed to order the AirFlow Indicator! Total cost was 78$. not cheap, but worth it :)
I agree with you totally. I bet you have seen this video already, but this really shows why Dyson has so poor airflow:

Post# 366729 , Reply# 12   2/13/2017 at 20:47 (247 days old) by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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They surface clean ok

Post# 366737 , Reply# 13   2/13/2017 at 23:04 (247 days old) by kenkart (Mocksville, NC)        

Want to be shocked, get a 80 year old Hoover 150 and put it up against the Shark...It will pull a TON of dirt behind the Shark.

Post# 366745 , Reply# 14   2/14/2017 at 02:12 (247 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
That green Riccar

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vacuum is beautiful.

That last video is interesting how he explains why bagless vacuums don't have as much airflow because a lot of the airflow is taken away due to the cyclonic action trapping the dirt. And he even showed how the same bagless vacuum had great airflow with the cyclones taken out of the equation. But I know my Rainbow is bagless, but I do not think he's speaking of Rainbows as they are a different type of bagless vacuum.

Post# 366749 , Reply# 15   2/14/2017 at 03:17 (247 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Cyclones = Less Airflow

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I think Rainbow is way different from the cyclonic systems.
I try to explain shortly why cyclonic vacuums always has less airflow. Actually it affects the suction too.
Now cyclone separation is strongly based spinning the air extremely fast against the cyclone walls. Air is lighter than dust particles so they get separated.
Now the most important thing. When air is spinning in the cyclone it must fight to get to the center of the cyclone where the mesh screen/filter is.
By stopping the spinning action there is less resistance.

Here is good visual explanation:


Post# 366750 , Reply# 16   2/14/2017 at 03:19 (247 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I figured the Kirby would "Bite" the Shark and eat it for lunch!!Guess that is why Sharks are in abundance in Kirby van trade in piles!The dealer near me-The vac place buys whole Sharks and sells the parts!Makes more money that way as Shark owners are coming to him for parts-esp the sealed "powernozzle" on the Shark that has to be returned to them for belt or brushroll replacement.In one of those pictures looks like the Shark just beat the test dirt into the floor instead of picking it up as the Kirby did with most of its test dirt.Bet that Kirby could even eat the Shark even with a full,packed bag!

Post# 366751 , Reply# 17   2/14/2017 at 03:36 (247 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have like three Baird meter I bought from Kirby places that went out of business.Still in the sales kits with the proof books and dirtmeters,test discs.Same with TriSatar and Filter Queen.Have a dirtmeter-"revealer" as the Lux folks call it I bought with my Lux Platinum.

Post# 366758 , Reply# 18   2/14/2017 at 09:13 (246 days old) by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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When I rescued my first Kirby Gsix from a dumpster (best dumpster save ever), I gave it a quick test run and it cleaned cat hair off a Persian rug in a single pass with a totally full bag (must have weighed five pounds) and a belt that was about to break. Now THAT's power!

Post# 366760 , Reply# 19   2/14/2017 at 09:59 (246 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I can't wait to get my airflow meter delivered.
Then I can show true performance of all my vacuums.

Kirby is like classic american car. I love both and both are something very unique!

By the way. Those fleece bags seems to work very well.

Post# 366789 , Reply# 20   2/14/2017 at 17:01 (246 days old) by kloveland (Tulsa, OK)        

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Hey, it's a Kirby! Some people like to bash them. You can't argue their deep cleaning abilities. Anytime I hear someone say the newer G series models don't clean well. I just cringe because it's one of my favorite brands.  

Post# 366796 , Reply# 21   2/14/2017 at 20:16 (246 days old) by vexorgtr (Sheffield, Ohio)        
Fun Tests.....Now....

Lets see it put up against a central vac.... I bet we could turn someones bags inside out.

I love watching these tests.

Post# 366805 , Reply# 22   2/15/2017 at 04:40 (246 days old) by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

I have a several central vac machines-yes,they do VERY well when used with a Volt powernozzle-and funny-EVEN better when you use the KIRBY as the powernozzle-Coupled the Kirby Avalir to my MD Silentmaster central vac machine.---BUT of course the Kirby does a supurb job by itself.And of course with less power draw.When I did my Monster vac experiment-had to plug the machines into separate circuits-otherwise would trip the breaker.The MD machine has a 15.8A motor.And With Kirby believe its about 6A.

Post# 366816 , Reply# 23   2/15/2017 at 09:56 (245 days old) by bearwise (Bakersfield, CA)        

I have a friend who owned a carpet store so they did removal and installations.
He once told me that they could always tell when a homeowner owned a Kirby.
When they pulled up the carpet and pad, there would be a thick layer of fine dirt on the subfloor in a house that didn't use a Kirby, but there would hardly be anything underneath in homes that used one.
For some reason that always stuck with me.

Post# 366821 , Reply# 24   2/15/2017 at 11:00 (245 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

I have heard carpet guys say the EXACT same thing about Electrolux canister homeowners....I mean word for word and showing me the pad after they pull up the carpet.



Post# 366834 , Reply# 25   2/15/2017 at 13:44 (245 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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I have to say that I am open minded to everything that cleans well. At the moment it seems that my Kirby does the best job, but Lux Royal D790 with the Wessel Werk EBK 340 ph isn't far behind.

Post# 366899 , Reply# 26   2/16/2017 at 09:08 (244 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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Still going on about your Baird meter are you Stan 🙄

Post# 366901 , Reply# 27   2/16/2017 at 09:47 (244 days old) by bearwise (Bakersfield, CA)        

"I have heard carpet guys say the EXACT same thing about Electrolux canister homeowners....I mean word for word and showing me the pad after they pull up the carpet.


I had never heard that about Electrolux, but I guess the statement would apply to any good higher end vacuum...Kirby, Electrolux, Royal, etc.
I had an Electrolux canister with powerhead and I didn't think it did all that great although I really didn't like the machine to begin with. I hated dragging that thing around and it always banged into walls because it never rolled straight.

Post# 366906 , Reply# 28   2/16/2017 at 11:54 (244 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

I had never heard that about Electrolux, but I guess the statement would apply to any good higher end vacuum...Kirby, Electrolux, Royal, etc.
I had an Electrolux canister with powerhead and I didn't think it did all that great although I really didn't like the machine to begin with. I hated dragging that thing around and it always banged into walls because it never rolled straight.


I found your original statement amusing because as I said, I had carpet guys tell me the exact same thing about Electrolux homeowners. And not just in one residence, but several.  Not trying to incite an argument between using uprights & canisters.....obviously, everyone has their own poison.  I had a Hoover upright before my Electrolux and loved it. If I tried an old Royal upright, I might love it too. My Electrolux ownership started as a conspiracy of my mother-in-law and my wife against my Hoover upright in the early 80's.



Post# 366909 , Reply# 29   2/16/2017 at 12:15 (244 days old) by Kirbysthebest (Wichita, KS)        
I have heard

And my mother was actually told by a carpet installer verbatim the same thing RE: not finding dirt under a carpet of a Kirby home. 


I would also to wager the same could be said for any household where the vacuuming was done on a very regular basis, with a good quality or capable machine. 


My Mother's best friend had an Electrolux LX, no power nozzle, and I would absolutely dare anyone to have found three grains of dirt in her entire house. 


I have seen people with Kirbys, Hoovers, Electrolux, Rainbow that you could haul the dirt out with a road grader.  Much, I feel, is with usage and technique.   A vacuum is like a condom.  It only works if you use it.

Post# 366929 , Reply# 30   2/16/2017 at 15:53 (244 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        
I was....

going to say that in my last post, but forgot. Everything has to do with the frequency and duration of cleaning your carpeted floor. We were anal about it because of the babies and then babies becoming boys.  That's when I got attached to the gave me the illusion I was doing a better job because of all the accessories and the whole process of hauling the damn canister around the rooms.


Now that I have a smaller house, hard flooring and raising my baby grandson, it's easier to haul around a Connie with a modern floor head. If you're after cat/dog hair and using a floor head with a brush, you really need some sort of edge cleaning/brush porting or both.



Post# 366934 , Reply# 31   2/16/2017 at 16:03 (244 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        
Not Suprised...

Why are you suprised? Those things are meant to be used for about two years and then tossed. It seems every month Shark releases a new variant on an existing cleaner. Up the price by $50, and they make a boatload.

Post# 366939 , Reply# 32   2/16/2017 at 17:56 (244 days old) by bearwise (Bakersfield, CA)        

I agree actually have to use the thing regularly and do a decently thorough job.
I just don't think you get the same performance from today's plastic disposable vacuums. You could probably vacuum the same spot for hours and not pull up that deep down dirt.

Post# 366952 , Reply# 33   2/16/2017 at 22:51 (244 days old) by Real1shep (Walla Walla, WA)        

I would guess that to be true. Hopefully, I have enough running vintage vacs that I'll never have to find out.


And the folks I've given restored Diamond J's to are absolutely ecstatic with the cleaning results.



Post# 366995 , Reply# 34   2/17/2017 at 13:41 (243 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Lux vs Kirby

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Another versus test.
This time it was Lux Royal D790 with Wessel-Werk EBK 340 PH. I kind of knew it would do good job, but this was another slight surprise for me. However Kirby did better.
Lux has 2-stage motor (1150 watt).

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Post# 367007 , Reply# 35   2/17/2017 at 15:19 (243 days old) by ralph123 (Little Rock, AR)        

I suspect that the Kirby bag is considerably larger than the Lux's. Is the Lux bag too full to continue picking up?

Post# 367010 , Reply# 36   2/17/2017 at 15:26 (243 days old) by crazykirbydude (Lexington, KY)        

Not all Sharks are bad. I really like their cordless sweepers. I've had mine for five years, however I haven't used it much. It's great for it's size and price. Just used mine to clean the whole house. The battery lasts for something a little over an hour.

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Post# 367011 , Reply# 37   2/17/2017 at 15:46 (243 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I think frequent vacuuming is KEY too

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My shark is the only upright I own. But I keep its filters clean frequently. I use it to run through the house almost daily since I have wall to wall berber. Whenever I get my rainbow out I don't see a horrible amount of dirt in the basin. I've been a frequent vacuumer since I moved into this house brand new in 2004. I think it's when someone goes a LONG time without vacuuming that you might run into problems and then the shark would not be able to pull the deep down dirt like Kirby would. That's my guess. I could be wrong. But I think frequent vacuuming is key.

Post# 367012 , Reply# 38   2/17/2017 at 15:47 (243 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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Both Lux and Kirby had a new fleece bag installed. Yes Kirby bag is much larger, but Lux will compact dirt more without losing suction. It actually holds a lot.

Post# 367013 , Reply# 39   2/17/2017 at 15:52 (243 days old) by gsheen (Cape Town South Africa)        

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We had a whole heap of trouble with those shark sweepers, They broke at the bottom were the handle Joins. I remember throwing truck loads away. :(

Post# 367014 , Reply# 40   2/17/2017 at 16:01 (243 days old) by senornathan (Massachusetts)        
Shark sweepers

Can't complain about their sweepers. Actually, it was a Shark sweeper that got me interested in vacuums in the first place. As a little kid, I really wanted a Roomba, but had to settle with turning my Shark into a remote-controlled sweeper with some K`nex. :)

Can't say I have such fond feelings for anything else they shovel out.

Post# 367023 , Reply# 41   2/17/2017 at 18:47 (243 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        

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I'm shocked that my shark hasn't fallen apart after 2 years. I think it may be because I only strictly use it in upright position. I don't use the attachments because they are horrible. I rarely ever use the lift away function. There is no way I would want it as my only vacuum.

At least that Lux got most of the dirt, even though the Kirby won. The Shark left a massive amount of dirt compared to that lux.

Post# 367078 , Reply# 42   2/18/2017 at 13:41 (242 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        

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So here is the video with some important notes about the result.

Post# 367271 , Reply# 43   2/21/2017 at 09:16 (239 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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If Sharks are so poor how come the CRI gives them a Silver award? This is a high standard and not that far behind the Gold award and the Shark is much more convenient to use than a Kirby.
Shark are a very inovative company they come out with some good ideas.
It must be the most boring job in the world being a Kirby designer. What new design shall we come out with this year? I know how about a black bag! 😀

Post# 367289 , Reply# 44   2/21/2017 at 12:28 (239 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
rug problem

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I have come to conclusion that it is this "weird" rug what causes these problems for my Shark Rotator.
First of all this rug is very flat + it doesn't allow any of my vacuums to create seal between it and nozzle. To make matters worse Shark Rotator nozzle isn't designed to create proper seal. For example It doesn't lift my low pile rubber backed rug almost at all like many of my other vacuums do.
However it cleans well shag rug and that low pile rubber backed rug.

Post# 367295 , Reply# 45   2/21/2017 at 13:29 (239 days old) by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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Why are you lurking around on here trying to pick a fight with someone? Don't you have anything else better to do? I remember you were banned from Vacuumland a while back. Do us all a favor and go trolling on another forum!!!


BTW. The proof is in the video. The Kirby ran circles around that Plasticrap  Shark. I have a 50 year old Kirby DS50 that can out clean that Shark. Where will that Plastic Shark be 50 years from now? I'll bet it gets tossed in the trash long before then.


Please re-read reply #39 and reply #41!


CRI may switch to a 4 level rating system where Shark is still at Silver and Kirby will be at Platinum.





Post# 367297 , Reply# 46   2/21/2017 at 13:45 (239 days old) by sebo4me (Cardiff)        

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I have got better things to do.
You go and play with your Baird meter and that's not a euphemism 😁

Post# 367316 , Reply# 47   2/21/2017 at 19:33 (239 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
I thought

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When you say the PN creates a SEAL to the carpet you're vacuuming. I thought when you create a "seal" to anything when you're vacuuming, that cuts off airflow. Like a straight suction wand, sealed to your hand cuts off airflow. I dunno. That just comes from videos I've watched on suction vs airflow. Like when you're vacuuming a pillow and the machine turns to a high pitch because the attachment is stuck to the pillow and you have to open the airflow control somewhat.

Anyway - I have wall to wall berber and I was messing with the suction control on the wand while in PN mode, and when I turned to suction control to max, I could tell a major difference in how the shark sort of sealed to the floor vs the suction control being completely opened. So the shark is someone "sticking" to the carpet as you vacuum.

Post# 367331 , Reply# 48   2/21/2017 at 23:36 (239 days old) by jimjimmunster (Hammond, Ind.)        
Shark vacuuums are all bad.

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Shark is a fail at a vacuum. Its poor construction leads to its failure in cleaning. These are always the common trash in my area. The Henry company has a picture of a pile of junky new bagless vacuums in the dumpster. This pile mainly comprises of Dysons and Sharks. I would not touch a Shark with a 10 foot pole.

Post# 367339 , Reply# 49   2/22/2017 at 05:11 (238 days old) by Mike811 (Finland)        
Sealed vs non sealed nozzle

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Certain seal is needed to clean well. It means that nozzle draws air through the carpet, not around the nozzle. Too much seal will cut the airflow, but poor seal don't allow vacuum to clean deeply.

Post# 367355 , Reply# 50   2/22/2017 at 11:54 (238 days old) by sptyks (Woburn, MA)        

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Mike is correct.  A total seal will only allow air to be drawn up through the carpet hampering cleaning ability. Not enough seal allows too much air to enter the nozzle around the sides which will also reduce cleaning ability.


The Kirby has notches formed into both ends of the rugplate. These notches prevent a total seal from taking place but they allow just enough airflow into the nozzle so that dirt can still be drawn up through the carpet.



Post# 367381 , Reply# 51   2/22/2017 at 20:26 (238 days old) by Jimjimmunster (Hammond, Ind.)        
The Shark,

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It leaks, as it squeaks,as it's motor screams.

Post# 367396 , Reply# 52   2/23/2017 at 01:46 (238 days old) by mark40511 (Lexington, KY)        
if my shark leaked

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I would not own it. Mine doesn't leak. I agree Kirby is way better, but the shark still does a decent job and is easy to use as long as you keep the bin and filters clean. I haven't seen a speck of dust collecting on the outside of my shark. It really is sealed. When mine does, I'm not getting another one. But it's lasted over 2 years so far and nothing has broken used to run through the house almost daily. Most people probably are not keeping up with maintenance on them and that will send them to the landfill in a quick way.

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