The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT is a hugely flexible upright vacuum cleaner, which can move from traditional mode to handheld mode, letting you tackle any job. Cleaning performance is very good across the board, leaving no mess behind. Improved balance in handheld mode would make this vacuum a touch easier to use, and it would be nice if the DuoClean floor head was a little nimble. These are minor complaints about an otherwise excellent vacuum, and the Anti Hair Wrap technology really does work.
- Flexible cleaning
- Easy to use
- Mini tool is loud
- Not very well balanced in stick mode
- Review Price: £299.99
- Upright vacuum cleaner
- 1160 x 265 x 290mm, 5.4kg
- 1160 x 265 x 290mm, 5.4kg
- 0.5-litre bin
- Mains powered
Hair is the bane of most vacuum cleaners, but Shark got this sorted with its Anti Hair Wrap technology, which we first saw put to use in the company’s excellent, but bulky, AZ910UKT. Now the technology is back but in a slightly smaller product, the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT.
Acting somewhere between a regular vacuum and a cordless stick, you get plenty of flexibility and reach with this model, giving you the power of a mains vacuum where you need it. The vacuum is a little unwieldy at times, though, and it’s not so well balanced making cleaning up high a job of strength. Excellent cleaning performance and a small overall size makes these minor issues easy to forgive, though.
Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT – What you need to know
- General vacuuming – A hugely flexible upright vacuum that can also be used in handheld mode, this machine can tackle practically any job, however balance could be better and I’d like the power button under my thumb.
- Carpet test – Picking up the vast majority of our spilt flour, the vacuum proved that it was up to the job, and edge performance was excellent.
- Hard floor test – A single swipe through our rice picked up all of the grains without leaving one behind.
- Pet hair pick up – A few swipes were needed to pull out the worst of the dirt, but we had a completely clean carpet at the end.
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Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT design and features – Hugely flexible but a bit unwieldy at times
One of the things that Shark is best known for is its flexible vacuum cleaner designs, and the HZ400UKT is no exception. At its most basic, the vacuum cleaner is an upright stick. Yet, even here, Shark has been smart with its design.
The main floor head is Shark’s DuoClean, which has a soft roller and bristles, built to deliver the best performance on both hard floors and carpets. This also has two extendible rollers that slide back when you attach the wand and main unit, letting the HZ400UKT stand up by itself.
To start cleaning, you just tap the power button on top, which falls awkwardly at the back of the handle; it would be more natural to place this button under where your thumb falls. When the HZ400UKT turns on, the DuoClean brush stays static until you fold the handle down.
There’s a good deal of flexibility in cleaning, with the HZ400UKT able to go almost flat. I felt that the vacuum was a touch on the stiff side to direct, and not quite as nimble as some of the competition, so I had to take a bit more care when directing it where to go. With a 10m power cord, you’ve got plenty of reach and may even be able to clean your home using a single socket; two at the most.
The wand can take the accessory clip, which can hold the provided dusting tool and crevice tool. Both are basic but perfectly serviceable, giving you options for getting right into tight areas as well as tackling the likes of blinds or curtains.
The only accessory that you’ll need to find a home for is the power tool. Unlike the main powered floor brush, the power tool’s bristles are spun purely by airflow.
The vacuum can be used in upright mode, as a standard vacuum cleaner, but there’s also the corded stick mode, where the flexibility of the HZ400UKT comes to light. You get the option of using the cleaner like a cordless vacuum with or without the wand attached, or you can extend the 1m flexible hose to really get into difficult to reach areas. The wand can also be attached to the flexible hose to give reach and flexibility.
The lift-away mode adds a lot of flexibility to the HZ400UKT, but it’s not the best-balanced vacuum cleaner, with the 4.8kg weight mostly at the rear of the cleaner where you hold it. I had to use two hands to reach up high, as I couldn’t hold the HZ400UKT steady. Still, the design has to be praised, as it means that tackling everything from stairs to upholstery and even the tops of cupboards is easy with this model.
To empty the vacuum cleaner, you have to remove the 0.5-litre dustbin. This is best done when it’s stood up, as it leaves the main vacuum unit safely behind; try and remove the bin in handheld mode and it’s far to easy to drop the vacuum unit. Once the bin is out, you can open the bottom and tops to empty it. The bin is a touch thin in the middle, so clumps of hair can get caught up in it; a good tap to get everything out usually works, although you can clean the entire bin under a tap and leave it to dry.
Removing the bin also gives access to the washable filters. There are two, including one HEPA filter to capture small particles, which makes this cleaner a good choice for those with allergies.
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Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT performance – Picks up mess easily, but is a touch loud with the turbo brush
Trying the vacuum cleaner out on a variety of surfaces, we found that it cleaned brilliantly on both hard floors and carpets, typically needing a single sweep to pick up the mess. I love the lights on the front of the DuoClean head, which lights up any areas that you might have missed.
The HZ400UKT’s stand out feature is its Anti Hair Wrap technology, which uses a combination of blades and bristles designed to stop hair from getting wrapped around the brush, clogging it up. After vacuuming around a house with three girls (all with long hair) and four cats, the brush was refreshingly free from debris, so there was no filthy cleaning job, as with the competition.
The range of accessories is enough to tackle all jobs around the house, although I have to say that while the main vacuum is relatively noisy at 79.7dB, the turbo brush is even louder in use. This brush can also suck up thinner fabrics and get stuck, and there’s no air vent to open to help prevent this.
To test on carpet, I spread flour on the floor, then moved the HZ400UKT along in a single sweep to see how well it picked up the dirt, and how good the edge cleaning was. A single pass through picked up the pretty much the entire spill, although there was a tiny bit of dust left right by the edge in one patch.
Carpet test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
Presumably, the way that the fibres sat around that part of the skirting board meant that the DuoClean brush couldn’t quite touch these. The remaining mess was nothing that we couldn’t fix with the use of the crevice tool.
To test on hard floors, we also used the DuoClean brush. This time, I used two teaspoons of rice on the floor, giving the HZ400UKT a single pass through the mess. Once again, the vacuum cleaner impressed me, making a clean sweep through the rice without flicking any grains out of the way or leaving anything behind.
Hard floor test: Dirty hard floor (left) vs Clean hard floor (right) – move slider to compare
That’s impressive and shows that the HZ400UKT can move from hard floors to carpets without reducing cleaning performance or having to change heads.
Thanks to my four cats, we combed in some pet hair to our carpet, and then used the DuoClean brush. A single swipe pulled out most of the mess but left some more stubborn hairs behind. A couple of more swipes fixed the problem.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
To tackle stairs, I used the HZ400UKT in handheld mode, as the DuoClean brush is too large to fit on my stair treads. I used the turbo tool for most of the work, although this doesn’t have an articulated head, so I had to get the angle right to get the brush to sit flat. I found that it was easier to use the extendable hose to do this, resting the vacuum component on a tread, then making my way up the stairs. Using the hose also meant that I could quickly switch to use the crevice tool to get around the edge of the stairs and pick up the mess that was remaining there.
Should you buy the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT?
If you don’t want the problem of having to charge batteries, but want the flexibility that a cordless vacuum cleaner can bring, the HZ400UKT could be the answer that you’re looking for. It gives you all of the advantages of an upright vacuum, the power of a corded model, but has the flexibility to give you handheld operation, too. How the weight is balanced, means the HZ400UKT can be a touch unwieldy to use for some jobs, though.
Performance is excellent across the board, with the cleaner managing to tackle all of the jobs that we threw at it, although the cleaner wasn’t quite as nimble as I’d hope for. I can vouch for the quality of the Anti Hair Wrap tech, which kept the floor head free of hairs.
Yet, for all of its quality, the HZ400UKT is a touch on the expensive side, and £50 more gets you the more powerful AZ910UKT, which also has the Anti Hair Wrap tech. Still, if you’re looking for something a bit lighter, and are constantly cleaning up hair wrapped around brushes, the HZ400UKT is a great vacuum cleaner.
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