Shark HV390UKT Duo-Clean TruePet Bagless Vacuum Cleaner Review

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Pros

  • Very good hard floor cleaning
  • Effective Flexology tube
  • Great for stairs and pets
  • Lengthy 10m cable

Cons

  • Quite weighty and unwieldy
  • Duo-Clean head drives forward
  • Messy bin and filter cleaning
  • Could offer better suction

Key Features

  • Review Price: £269.99
  • 450W mains power
  • 0.9l bagless bin
  • HEPA, Anti-Allergen filtration
  • Duo-Clean floorhead
  • Flexology folding tube
  • Motorised Pet Tool
  • LED headlights
  • 5-year guarantee

What is the Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT?

We loved Shark’s Cordless Duo-Clean TruePet cleaner last year, but its stellar performance and cordless convenience came at a price. Nearly £500 – ouch. How about a model that leverages many of the same great features but with a less costly mains-powered motor? Enter the HV390UKT Duo-Clean TruePet.

This corded stick cleaner is almost half the price of its battery-powered sibling but offers the same great cleaning performance, go-anywhere Flexology tube and Duo-Clean floorhead.

Results were similar all round – and our only gripe is that, with mains power on tap, cleaning wasn’t better. For keeping your annual energy use low (about £3 according to the energy label) the HV390UKT is a flexible all-rounder.

Related: Best vacuum cleaners

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet – Accessories

Shark’s Duo-Clean floorhead is the star of the show, with its twin roller brushes and LED lighting that will highlight fluff and debris in the darkest recesses.

Combining a soft, flocked roller to pick up fine dust from hard floors and a traditional bristle-brush for beating and sweeping carpets, it’s an all-rounder. On the carpet setting both rollers spins at full speed; on hard floors they spin much slower to stop particles flicking out from under the head.

The Duo-Clean head can be attached to the cleaner with Shark’s funky Flexology folding tube, or directly to the cleaner’s body. The head tilts, pivots and articulates nicely for easy steering, and the big rear wheels and small front rollers should keep things moving.

With its twin rollers and own electric motor, the Duo-Clean floorhead is a big and weighty unit. This isn’t so much of an issue on floors, but using it single-handed on stairs requires some serious wrist strength.

Thankfully, this model also comes with Shark’s Motorised Pet Tool, which makes for a much lighter clean on steps.

The Pet Tool doesn’t have an articulating neck, but it does offer some latitude with a tilting floor plate. Both the Pet Tool and floorhead come apart, and the rollers can be removed to simplify cleaning.

Better still (for those of us with editorial OCD), Shark now refers to this ‘UK’ model with a proper ‘s’ in the Motorised badge, rather than a US style ‘z’ of previous incarnations. Yay!

The tool roster is complete with a decent size Crevice Tool and an effective dusting brush, although there’s nowhere to store these items on-board.

The main cleaner body is a pistol-grip-style handheld with mains-powered motor, bagless 0.9-litre bin, and a complete who’s who of filter types. Through grids, gauzes, two different densities of foam, felt and a pleated cartridge, the HV390UKT is HEPA class and claims to catch 99.89% of dust and allergens.

No surprise then that it achieves a glowing A+ rating for dust emissions on the energy label.

The rest of the energy label looks like an average-ability school report, however. There’s a C rating for hard floor pickup and D rating for carpets. The reason may be down to the very bijou mains electric motor.

This Shark is rated at only 450W, including the floorhead motor. Around this level of suction isn’t dissimilar to the power from the best cordless cleaners, including Shark’s own battery powered models, so don’t expect a big uplift in cleaning power for the cable-connected inconvenience.

Within EU regulations, Shark could have fitted a 750W motor and still had some watts left to power the floorhead. Using traditional motors that might have made the HV390UKT a little heavier, but not by much. Opportunity missed? We think so. Although, looking at it another way, it’s A+ energy rating means it’s greener and leaner on your electricity bill.

Some final design flourishes to mention include the exceptionally long 10-metre cable and fold-up storage convenience.

There’s no wall-hanging dock supplied with this model, however, and it won’t stand up on its own unfolded – although that’s common with most stick-type cleaners.

The rose gold colour tube and trim wasn’t to my taste, but Jackie simply waved her rose-gold phone at me to underline her opinion.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet – Handling, features and emptying

Fully assembled with the Flexology tube and main Duo-Clean floorhead, the HV390UKT weighs in at 4.3kg – add a further 0.7kg to that if the cable is wound onto the body. A total of 5kg is in the middleweight category for cleaners generally, but on the portly side for stick-type models.

You do tend to notice that mass in use, too. With the main cleaner workings and motor up top, you can feel the weight in your hand. Thankfully, the weight of the beefy floorhead helps to keep the floorhead down and lends the whole operation a sense of solidity – unlike a lot of stick cleaners.

Used in its fully assembled mode it’s plenty easy enough to move around, attributable to the wheels, two rollers and its moderate suction power.

Even on the highest setting for carpets, you’re unlikely to find the Duo-Clean head sticking down and impeding progress. Quite the opposite, in fact. With both rollers turning in the same direction, they create a fair bit of forward driving force.

On many surfaces it will quite literally drive itself forward, without any input by the user. The difficulty comes when pulling it backwards, as you need to overcome that forward driving force.

The result is a cleaner that flip-flops between easy and heavy to manoeuvre as you push and pull it around. Jackie and I didn’t find that or the weight a major issue, but our compact, octogenarian tester declared that it was “too heavy and gave me backache on carpets and armache on stairs”.

The Duo-Clean floorhead sports some very serious LED lighting, which worked admirably. Given the low power consumption of LED lights, we just can’t understand why so few brands have LED headlights.

The head is also very easy to clean out, thanks to a top-mounted removable cover and huge thumb clips. No need to find a coin to turn release-screws here.

The Flexology tube is as mad as a box of frogs, but it absolutely works for getting under low obstacles. Unclip the catch and the tube folds with ease. Combined with the low  profile of the Duo-Clean head, there’s no other cleaner on the market quite so good at cleaning under your sofa or other low furniture.

The disadvantage of the Flexology tube is that the folding mechanism and flexible tube coupling add further weight. This is particularly noticeable when you reach for those pesky high-up cobwebs. The pistol grip is well behind the weight of the motor, too, leading to a very nose-heavy balance when you lift it ceilingward. Using a second hand for support is essential – and mind you don’t trip over that cable when looking up.

The bin can be emptied whilst still on the cleaner body or removed first, whichever you find easier. For general dust and debris, the bin’s large flap means everything falls out cleanly.

However, pet hair did cause us some issues. Frequently, big clumps of hair would get caught in the transition port between the cyclone and the bin itself, requiring reaching in and resulting in dusty fingers.

As ever with Shark products, all the HV390UKT’s fixtures, fittings and clips are clearly labelled, very well made, and operate with a solid precision. Shark includes a five-year guarantee as standard on this model, and it’s easy to see why.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT – How noisy is it?

The Energy label claims the HV390UKT emits 80dB of noise. That’s fairly quiet, if a long way from super-silent models.

Yet in real-world use the results were more variable, and mostly for the better. In fact, only the aggressive Pet Tool bumped up the noise output, cresting 81dB on our sound meter. With the Crevice Tool and dusting brush attached directly to the body, the noise was a much quieter 77dB.

Fully assembled, the main floorhead is quiet, dampening air-rush noise too. The result was a very peaceful 73dB when cleaning hard floors and carpets on the highest (carpet) setting. Given this is how most people will use this cleaner most of the time, that’s a great result.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT – How does it clean hard floors?

Switched on to the ‘Hard Floor, Area Rugs’ setting, the motor power is reduced and the brush bars turn more leisurely. While absolute suction power isn’t massive, the Duo-Clean floorhead more than makes up for it with its superb mechanical cleaning abilities.

On hard floors such as riven tiles and laminates, the flocked roller lifts dirt and dust with much more efficiency than a standard hard-bristle roller. The suction is enough to pull grains from the shallow grouting groovesn but don’t expect dirt deep down in bare floorboard cracks to be troubled.

The tricky spilled oats test over textured tiles saw the HV390UKT at its very best, producing a clean sweep with nothing left behind and no flicking-out.

Pet hair furballs and heavier dirt were equally well catered for. There isn’t the suction to pull loose dirt in from outside the direct path of the floorhead, but it cleans within its own edges admirably.

We do worry about always-on rollers on softwood floor, but a couple of cleaning sessions on old parquet showed no signs of damage. The harder bristles on the rear roller barely touch the surface of hard floors, thanks to a well-judged front roller and rear wheel height.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT – How does it clean carpets?

The Duo-Clean head continues to be the star of the show here. The HV390UKT hasn’t really got the air-power, even on the highest ‘Thick Pile Carpets’ setting, to deep-clean carpet with suction alone. Yet the head’s rear wheels sink into the carpet pile, allowing the main brush to sweep and lift dirt into the air flow.

On our red carpet test, just one pass (back and forth) produced fairly impressive results and a good surface clean. Suction channels go to the edges of the floorhead and the Shark delivered good cleaning, even into the carpet dip next to the skirting board.

Closer inspection of the main carpet did reveal plenty of the heavier grains of freshening powder clinging tenaciously to the pile, however.

Subsequent tests also showed that, with just a single pass, there was a tendency to smear bigger patches of very fine dust. This can be seen in the faint white patch of talcum powder a few centimetres out from the skirting.

Overall, a single pass or two delivers a good surface clean on carpet, and another pass or two clears the remaining debris. Edge cleaning is very good indeed.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT – How does it cope with pet hair?

With a Pet-based name, the HV390UKT TruePet needed to display vet-level animal handling abilities. It didn’t disappoint.

On hard floors, pet hairs and furballs were very effectively swept up and sucked in by the main floorhead. Shorter hairs didn’t get tangled up at all, but very long human hairs did wrap around the rollers as usual.

As noted, cleaning is easy, aided on the larger brush roller by a little channel that allows scissor access to cut off hairs.

On carpet, pet hair performance was very good. In a single back/forth pass of the rug that our Collie sits on, 99% of the hairs were removed.

A few stray hairs were left behind when we cleaned the entire carpet, though. While the floorhead is good at drawing out entwined hairs, there isn’t the sheer suction power to pull that last 1%. Like the carpet cleaning test, however, a few more passes over these spots and all was clear.

Moving onto the dogs’ beds and the sofa, the Pet Tool again came into its own. The brush and suction combined did a great job of pulling hair from tight materials, such as the stuffed sides of the bed. Yet without an air release vent or super low-suction mode, loose material was always going to get sucked into the tool. Hit the soft base of the pet bed and in went the material.

We actually found the soft dusting brush was marginally better for these tricky areas, making this Shark’s overall pet-busting capabilities pretty impressive.

Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT – How easy is it to use on stairs?

Despite Shark’s intimation that you can use the main floorhead connected directly to the cleaner body on stairs, this isn’t an easy option or practical.

The Duo-Clean floorhead is mighty heavy and its huge footprint makes it unwieldy on anything but straight flights of steps with open sides. You’re best to deploy the Motorised Pet Tool for stairs.

The super-long 10-metre cable allowed us to get right to the top of our semi-spiral stairs in a single run, and performance of the pet tool is admirable. The motorised operation is far more consistent than air-powered ‘turbo’ brushes, and the rotation speed is far lower, ensuring a good clean without unnecessarily battering your carpet.

The Pet Tool is a little tricky to use, since there’s no tilt or pivoting neck, but the floor plate allows a few degrees of movement. This gives you a small range of angles to attack the stairs, but, in practice, we had no problems keeping the business end in flat contact with stair carpets.

The good news for those with multi-level dwellings continues, because the smaller Pet Tool effectively concentrates the suction into a smaller area than the main floorhead, further improving cleaning performance. Other than the cable trip-hazard when compared to cordless models, we can’t fault the HV390UKT on stairs.

Why buy the Shark Duo-Clean TruePet HV390UKT?

Shark’s corded, mains-powered version of the superb Duo-Clean TruePet is a great all-round stick cleaner for day-to-day use and pet-centric homes. It’s versatile, cleverly designed and very well built. Cleaning was just as good as the cordless model in every area and, if you don’t mind the cable, half the price too.

Yet this Shark doesn’t offer improved suction over its cordless sibling, despite being mains-powered. Its very low-power (circa 400W) suction motor is half the EU power limit, and that shows in some of the test results.

If you can live with the above then there’s plenty of versatility and cleaning ability here for a relatively attractive price.

Verdict

A solid, versatile and environmentally friendly mains-powered stick cleaner with excellent Duo-Clean head. A little limited by its low energy motor, however.

Score


Score in detail

  • Usability 7
  • Cleaning performance 8
  • Features 9
  • Design 9
  • Value 8

Other

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