The Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT is hugely flexible; it can be switched from traditional mode to handheld mode to tackle any job you thrown its way. Cleaning performance, too, is excellent. 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 in 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
- 0.5l bin
- Mains powered
Hair is the bane of most vacuum cleaners, becoming entwined around the brush and a general nuisance to rid. Shark tackles this issue with its Anti Hair Wrap technology, first introduced in the company’s excellent, but bulky, AZ910UKT. The technology returns, but this time in a slightly more compact unit in the form of the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT.
Acting somewhere between a regular vacuum and a cordless stick cleaner, this model offers plenty of flexibility and reach, giving you the power of a mains vacuum where you need it.
It can be a little unwieldy at times, though, and it isn’t well balanced, meaning you’ll need some strength to tackle cleaning tasks up high. Nevertheless, excellent cleaning performance and a manageable overall size make these forgiveable issues.
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 grains off the floor
- Pet hair pick up – A few swipes were needed to pull out the worst of the dirt, but we had a completely clean carpet in 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
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 the 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. It also has two extendible rollers that slide back when you attach the wand and main unit, allowing the HZ400UKT to stand up on its own.
To start cleaning, just tap the power button on top. Note that its position is rather awkward at the back of the handle. A more natural place for this button would have been where your thumb falls. When the HZ400UKT turns on, the DuoClean brush stays static until you fold the handle down.
In terms of cleaning, the HZ400UKT offers excellent flexibility; it’s able to go almost flat. I felt the vacuum was a touch on the stiff side, not quite as nimble as some rival models. As such, I had to take a bit more care when directing the unit. However, with a 10m power cord, it has plenty of reach.
The wand can take the accessory clip, which can hold the dusting tool and crevice tool. Both are basic but perfectly serviceable, giving you options for getting right into tight areas as well as tackling blinds and curtains.
The only accessory 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, plus there’s also the corded stick mode. The latter enables you to use 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 offer reach and flexibility.
The Lift-Away mode adds yet more flexibility to the HZ400UKT, but it isn’t the most well-balanced vacuum cleaner we’ve used; much of its 4.8kg weight can be felt at the rear of the cleaner, where you hold it. As a result, I had to use two hands to reach up high, since I couldn’t hold the HZ400UKT steady. Still, the design has to be praised; tackling everything from stairs to upholstery and even the tops of cupboards is easy with this model.
To empty the vacuum cleaner, simply remove the 0.5l dustbin. This is best done while the vacuum is stood up; try to remove the bin in handheld mode and it’s far too easy to drop the vacuum unit.
Once the bin is out, you can open the bottom and top to empty it. The bin is a touch narrow in the middle, so clumps of hair can become caught up in it; a good tap to get everything out usually works, although you can clean the entire bin under a tap with water 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
Putting the HZ400UKT vacuum cleaner through its paces on a variety of surfaces, we found it cleaned brilliantly on both hard floors and carpets, typically requiring only a single sweep to pick up the mess. I love the lights on the front of the DuoClean head, which show up any areas you might have missed.
The HZ400UKT’s stand-out feature is Anti Hair Wrap technology, which uses a combination of blades and bristles designed to stop hair from becoming entangled around the brush, clogging it up. It was well put to the test in a house with three girls (all with long hair) and four cats; the brush was refreshingly free of hair, making it stand out from the competition.
Note, too, that the range of accessories that accompany the cleaner is sufficient to tackle all jobs around the house. However, while the main vacuum is relatively noisy at 79.7dB, the turbo brush is even louder. This brush also sucks up thinner fabrics that become stuck, and there’s no air vent to open to help prevent this.
To test the cleaner 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. A single pass managed to pick up pretty much the entire spill, although there was a smidgeon 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 reach these. The remaining mess was nothing we couldn’t tackle with the use of the crevice tool.
We also used the DuoClean brush to test cleaning on hard floors. 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, sucking up the dirt in a one sweep 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 a change in cleaning performance or necessitating a change in floor heads.
Thanks to my four cats, we combed some pet hair into our carpet. A single swipe of the DuoClean brush pulled out most mess, but some stubborn hairs remained. A couple of more swipes and it was gone.
Pet hair test: Dirty carpet (left) vs Clean carpet (right) – move slider to compare
For stairs, I used the HZ400UKT in handheld mode; the DuoClean brush is too large to fit on my stair treads. I used the turbo tool for most of the work, although the lack of an articulated head meant that I had to get the angle just 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 I could quickly switch to the crevice tool to get around the edge of the stairs and pick up any mess that remained.
Should you buy the Shark Anti Hair Wrap Corded Stick Vacuum Cleaner HZ400UKT?
If you don’t want the bother of having to charge batteries, but want the flexibility that a cordless vacuum cleaner can bring, the HZ400UKT could be just the cleaner for you. It offers all of the advantages of an upright vacuum, the power of a corded model, and the flexibility of handheld operation, too. Note that the HZ400UKT can be a touch unwieldy to use for some jobs, though, as a result of much of its weight sitting towards the rear of the unit.
Performance proved excellent across the board, with the cleaner able to tackle all of the jobs we threw at it – although the HZ400UKT wasn’t quite as nimble as I’d have liked. I can vouch for the quality of the Anti Hair Wrap tech, which kept the floor head free of hairs.
Despite the quality on offer, the HZ400UKT is a touch on the expensive side; £50 more gets you the more powerful AZ910UKT, which also includes the Anti Hair Wrap tech. Still, if you’re looking for a unit that’s lighter, the HZ400UKT is a great vacuum cleaner.