The video below gives a visual explanation of the Duo Clean system in operation:
If you are looking to get the best possible value for money from a cordless vacuum cleaner then you could do a lot worse than to consider one of the cordless stick models from Shark. Shark are the number one vacuum cleaner brand in the UK for a reason and that’s because they do one thing really well and a lot better than many of their competitors and that is to combine quality, performance AND value for money.
OK, the latest Shark vacuum cleaners might not have quite the mega suction power of the latest Dyson models, but the suction power they do provide is more than adequate for the vast majority of homes and they offer you a choice within the same range of cleaners that allows you to fit the right one to your requirements, home and lifestyle. Oh yeah, they are usually hundreds of pounds cheaper than the average Dyson as well which always helps.
All things considered, we think that when you weigh everything up Shark beats Dyson hands down and that is encapsulated in the IZ300 & IZ320 range of excellent, great value for money cordless hoovers.
Shark continue to raise the bar each time they introduce a new range of cordless hoovers and this range is no exception.
First they developed their Duo clean system, so that you could seamlessly clean hard floor and carpet without having to give it a second thought.
Then they added anti-hair wrap so that you never have to get involved with digging the hair from the roller and now with this range they have added “powerfins” which provide an even greater level of cleaning performance than ever before (more on that later).
This model also has a smart digital LED display that keeps you updated with the battery percentage, and reminds you what setting you’ve got it set to, which are both very handy additions.
And the amazing thing is that somehow the price never goes up when they add all these features which comes back to the point of how good value for money they are.
One thing I always find with Shark vacuum cleaners is that there are usually a number of very similar model numbers, and it can be tricky to figure out what the difference is between each version, so I thought I’d clear that up first:
IZ300UK – No pet tool, one battery – up to 60 mins run time.
IZ300UKT – With pet tool, one battery – up to 60 mins run time.
IZ320UK – No pet tool, two batteries – up to 2 hours run time.
IZ320UKT – With pet tool, two batteries – up to 2 hours run time.
Shark keep improving battery life each time they release a new range of cordless hoovers and this range is no exception. Previous ranges of stick vacuum cleaners from Shark would provide up to 40 mins of cleaning time but the IZ300 / IZ320 range can now achieve up to 60 minutes of cleaning time from a single charge which is more than enough for most homes.
Bear in mind though that the 60 minutes is not based on using it on full power. If like me you like to use your hoover on max power the whole time then expect about 20-25 minutes out of it which is still very good and probably good enough to whizz around most homes.
If, however, you have a larger home or you are more into doing a deep clean every time you hoover then you should go for the twin battery version and then basically you will never run out of charge and you can hoover way till your hearts content.
Included with this vacuum cleaner is anti-hair wrap technology which stops hair from getting stuck or wrapped around the brush head.
I don’t know about you, but one of my pet hates is hair wrapping around the brush roller, and having to hack at it with scissors. Not only is it annoying, but it’s also fairly unhygienic to be hoovering up with human or pet hair continually wrapped around the rollers, and it can reduce the cleaning performance.
Also, when hair wraps tightly around the roller, it can end up cutting into the fins, and causing them to need replacing over time just due to being cut to ribbons by hair.
With the Shark IZ300 & IZ320 cordless stick, you’ll never need to worry about that again, as the anti- hair wrap technology snaps the hair with a really clever comb, which means the strands of hair are simply hoovered up, and never wrap around the roller. Genius!
The video below gives a full explanation of how the anti-hair wrap works:
Another new feature with this year’s range of cordless vacuums from Shark is “powerfins” which are rubber fins that dig right down into your carpet or across all hard floors to ensure that more dirt than ever before gets sucked up in the first pass making it quicker, faster and easier to clean your home.
Here you can see a visual representation:
Shark’s floorhead features DuoClean technology, and while, as the name suggests, this means that it has two brush rolls, it’s more impressive than it may sound. While vacuum cleaners would usually have one brush, with Duo Clean there are two brush rolls working independently and in unison.
This allows Shark’s latest vacuums to achieve what they refer to as “Triple Particle Cleaning”, which simply means that they remove the main three types of stubborn dirt, large particles, small particles and particles that are stuck on the surface you’re hoovering.
When you’re hoovering tiled floors and wooden floors, the soft brushroll removes dirt that is stuck to the floor you’re cleaning, while also removing finer and more coarse particles, and giving the floor a nice polish while it’s at it.
When moving to carpets, the bristled brush works in unison with the soft brushroll, working together to get deep into the pile, removing embedded particles, dust & hair. The Duo Clean technology also ensures that “snow ploughing” doesn’t happen when hoovering hard surfaces.
The flexology wand is a very clever innovation, one which you’ll start to see on other manufacturers’ latest releases, but an innovation that Shark deserve the credit for, as the company who came up with this technology.
The slogan they use for this is makes me giggle, “bends so you don’t have to”, as I think really what they meant was “bends because you won’t be able to get up again if you get on your knees to hoover under the sofa” ;-).
Whatever the case, this clever system allows you to hoover under low surfaces including sofas, without having to do yourself a mischief – and once you’ve seen this feature, you’ll probably wonder why it’s not a feature of all cordless stick vacuum cleaners, as it seems like such an obvious idea as most great inventions tend to.
This also brings improvements when it comes to storage, as this feature allows it to neatly fold up into “storage mode”, allowing it to be stored in smaller cupboards, which in our case would mean sticking it in the “Harry Potter Cupboard”, which is, of course, the cupboard under the stairs.
Find out more about the Flexology feature in this video:
Motorised Pet Tool
No this isn’t a tool for motorised pets, it is, of course, a motorised tool for helping to hoover up pet hair. If you’re a pet owner, like me, pet hair may well be the bane of your life. Unless you have hairless pets of course.
Our tortoise (Houdini, named so because of how many times he’s escaped!) doesn’t give us any problems in this department, neither does Aristotle the Axlyotyl, he just grins at us from his tank, and even if he decided to take an excursion to do some “carpet surfing”, he’s as bald as a coot (and my father-in-law) so no worries there.
But if you have cats, dogs or other furry pets, the issue you’ll probably have is with embedded pet hair in carpets and furniture, this kind of hair can be very difficult to remove. This is where motorised pet tools come in, digging deep into the fibres to pull out embedded strands of pet fur.
LED Smart display
If you read the words “LED Smart Display” and instantly think “gimmick”, I’m with you there. There are many products that feature things like this that I tend to see purely as bells and whistles, irrelevant gadgetry installed purely for marketing purposes.
To be fair, though, this isn’t the case with the LED display on these Shark cordless sticks, as the smart display incorporates some genuinely useful features, including the battery percentage. The advantage of being able to continually see what percentage the battery is at is obvious, as there’s not much worse when you’re hoovering than unexpectedly running out of juice.
The other useful features of the smart display are suction level selection, and floor type selection. Not only can you toggle through suction power and floor type, but you can see which settings are selected via the display, which is another feature with obvious real, practical value.
Transforms effortlessly into a handheld
Handheld cordless vacuum cleaners come in very handy for tasks including hoovering stairs and hoovering out cars, but if you’ve ever owned a purpose-built handheld vacuum, you’ll probably have experienced the disappointment of realizing that the cons of using a handheld outweigh the pros, as these kind of vacuum cleaners are often underpowered and lacking in general hoovering grunt.
These Shark cordless sticks, however, transform into powerful, high-performance handheld vacuum cleaners just with the removal of the flexology wand, and connecting the relevant tool directly to the cleaner.
Lightweight, as easy to clean the ceiling as it is the floor
This is a relatively lightweight unit, with a total weight of just under 4.6 Kilos, and while this doesn’t make it the lightest cordless vacuum cleaner on the market, the overall power vs. weight is incredibly good for anyone who wants a vacuum cleaner to be about as light as possible without forfeiting performance. It also has a well-positioned, comfortable grip, and this combination means you’ll have no problem using the Shark IZ300 & IZ320 for hoovering notoriously difficult surfaces including stairs, and even walls and ceilings.
The all-terrain vehicle of vacuum cleaners
You’ll often find when shopping for vacuum cleaners, that some are made for carpets while others are really made for hard surfaces. Not many of us are willing to buy one hoover for the wooden floors & tiling and another one for the carpet, we expect vacuum cleaners to be able to perform equally well on carpets and on hard floors, however, we can’t always expect that.
These Shark cordless vacuums, however, are just at home on hard surfaces as they are in all levels of carpet pile. Whether you’re hoovering plush pile or deep pile carpet, low pile carpet, ceramic tiles, hardwood or laminate flooring, you’ll find the IZ300 & IZ320 does an outstanding job.
In this independent demonstration below (I’ve queued it for you) you’ll see how it handles hard surfaces, and keep in mind that this is on the standard suction setting.
In this same, very thorough demo, you’ll see in the clip below (again, queued up for you at the appropriate point) how well it also handles carpets.
If you have the time to watch all of the demonstrations above, from a chap who’s clearly very knowledgable when it comes to vacuum cleaners, and in fact dedicated an entire week to his cleverly named “Shark Week” review of several Shark vacuum cleaners, you’ll see how impressed he is with the various features.
He discusses how it did a great job both on hard surfaces and with his deep pile carpet, even retrieving small particles from tests he’d done on that same carpet weeks earlier, that other cleaners he’d demonstrated in the meantime had obviously missed.
When it comes to the balance between overall performance and value for money, Shark are continually proving themselves to be among the best, and these new models of their cordless sticks, the Shark IZ300 & IZ320 are a good example of this.
Not only do the IZ300 & IZ320 deliver the kind of suction power we’ve come to expect from Shark vacuum cleaners, along with the winning features of the IZ201 & IZ251 including duo-clean technology, flexology wand & anti-hair wrap, but with this latest release Shark have given us power fins, LED smart display (and as I’ve said, this really is smart) and they’ve increased the battery life by 50%.
Overall, then, this is probably one of the best choices at the time of writing for anyone who needs an upright cordless stick vacuum cleaner, and who is looking for the best in performance and features combined with exceptional value for money.