A premium product, the Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner CZ500UKT is a step up from the competition, offering a choice of power modes and flexible cleaning. It isn’t the easies to store, but cleaning performance is top-notch, making this the best overall cylinder cleaner I’ve tested.
- Cleverly placed controls
- Excellent build quality
- Flexology makes cleaning under furniture easy
- A little cumbersome to store
- UKRRP: £329.99
- TypeA cylinder vacuum cleaner, the body is pulled along behind you as you clean via the hose and attachments
Shark is better known for its cordless and upright vacuum cleaners, but here we have something new: the Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner CZ500UKT. Although the old cylinder design is less popular than it once was, the smaller bodies and more flexible heads that happily fit under most furniture make them popular with some (me included).
Packed with the Shark technology I’ve come to know and love, including Flexology and Anti Hair Wrap, the CZ500UKT is a stunning cylinder cleaner.
Design and features
- Lots of options for standing the hose upright
- Great selection of tools
- A little messy to store
At just 260 x 900 x 1180mm, the Shark CZ500UKT is a small cylinder vacuum cleaner. It looks great, though, with plenty of curves and rose gold details around the body. It weighs 7.99kg, which makes it quite a heavy cleaner overall – but that weight is across the body, tools and wand. The main body weighs just 4kg, making it quite easy to lift.
You shouldn’t have to lift the CZ500UKT too often, though, since you’ll mostly be pulling the body around with you on its four wheels, cleaning with the DuoClean floor head.
As with Shark’s most recent upright cleaners, such as the NZ850UKT, the DuoClean head here has a soft roller for hard floors and a brush for carpet, with a set of LEDs that light up the path you’re cleaning.
There’s Anti Hair Wrap technology, too, so the brush won’t become tangled with hair. It really does work, too, saving me from having to resort to using a pair of scissors to cut away long hair from the brush roller.
Thanks to the long hose and wand, the floor head is super-easy to push around, with very little weight in your hand. And, since there’s no bulk on the wand, you can easily get the head under most bits of furniture. Thanks to Flexology, the wand hinges in the middle at the touch of a button, so you can vacuum under objects without having to bend down.
The 9m power cable is super-handy, retracting neatly into the cylinder at the press of a button.
Cleverly, Shark has placed all of the controls on the back of the handle, so there’s no bending down for that job, either. You get an on/off switch, three power modes and a toggle to adjust between carpet and hard floor mode, which adjusts the speed of the floor roller.
For detail cleaning, you pop off the floor head – using the foot-powerd eject button (again, there’s no bending down) – and use the wand and hose, or ditch the wand and go hose only.
Shark provides a crevice tool and brush – plus, for this model, a mini-motorised pet tool, which is great for stairs and furniture.
There’s space for two tools on the back of the wand, so you can carry around the ones you’re likely to use the most.
The length of the hose enables you to get into hard-to-reach areas, and up numerous steps on the staircase without having to move the cylinder often. The wand even offers enough reach to clean around your ceilings.
One of the issues with cylinder vacuum cleaners is that they’re not very neat to store, with the hose flopping around. That’s the case here; an upright or cordless vacuum is a neater choice. However, Shark has done as well as it can.
There are clips to hold the wand upright on the back of the vacuum, which is handy if you need to take a pause while vacuuming. You can also stand the CZ500UKT on its back, vertically, with the wand clipped in. This is the storage mode, although you still need to find a way to wrap the hose neatly.
Dirt is sucked into the 1.6-litre bagless bin. This lifts out and flips open at the front. It’s a little squat compared to the bins on upright cleaners. You can also lift out the cone in the middle to give everything a proper clean. If you’d prefer a bag, you’ll need something bigger and bulkier, such as the Numatic Henry.
As is standard for most vacuum cleaners, the Shark CZ500UKT comes with two washable filters: one that can be found underneath the bin and another at the back of the vacuum cleaner.
- Very powerful motor
- Cleans well on all surfaces
- Fairly quiet
I measure the raw performance of all vacuum cleaners at the hose, using a 2-inch opening. This lets me compare raw suction power in AirWatts. Here, the CZ500UKT was 92.26AW on Eco mode, 227.8AW on Standard and a huge 284.82AW on Max. That’s in line with upright cleaners.
While raw performance provides an indication of cleaning power, my real-world tests show how well a cleaner actually does. I put the CZ500UKT through my standard tests, starting out with my carpet test. Sprinkling a teaspoon of flour onto the carpet, I ran the cleaner through on Standard power. As you can see, there’s a clean sweep with sharp edges right through the middle of the mess.
For the remaining flour, I passed through again at the top on Turbo, and at the bottom on Eco mode. As you can see, both modes did equally as well.
Pet hair proved no problem either, with the Shark CZ500UKT picking out the cat hairs that I’d combed into the carpet without any trouble.
Moving to the difficult carpet tile test, where I sprinkled flour right up to the skirting board, the CZ500UKT did well on Standard mode, although it left a small line of flour by the edge.
Moving to Boost mode cleared all but a tiny amount of flour; nothing that the crevice tool couldn’t deal with.
Finally, I ran my hard floor test, sprinkling a teaspoon of rice onto the floor, then running the vacuum through on Standard power. Every grain in the head’s path was picked up cleanly, with no grains dropping back out of the head and onto the floor.
For noise I measured the Shark cleaner at 71.3dB in Boost mode, dropping to a super-quiet 65.9dB in Standard and 63.8dB in Eco.
Should you buy it?
If you want a premium cylinder vacuum cleaner with all of the mod cons, including adjustable power modes and a motorised floor head, this is a top choice.
If you’re looking for a cleaner that’s a bit neater and easier to store, an upright or cordless model may suit you better.
If you like the idea of a cylinder vacuum cleaner, but don’t want to miss out on the accessories – motorised floor heads, for example – that often come with uprights, then Shark Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner CZ500UKT is a quality option. If you’re after something different, or an upright, then my guide to the best vacuum cleaners has plenty of options for your needs.
How we test
We test every vacuum cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main vacuum cleaner for the review period
Tested for at least a week
Tested using tools to measure actual suction performance
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners
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It comes with a DuoClean head, crevice tool, pet tool and brush.
This lets you bend the wand in two, so you can clean under furniture without having to bend down yourself.