Without Lift-away mode or the power of Shark’s other upright vacuum cleaners, the Shark Navigator NV151 isn’t as flexible a cleaner and needs a few more sweeps to tidy up, particularly for deeper mess. Clean up it does, though, making this a reliable vacuum and one with a good price.
- Good price
- Neat range of tools
- Effective cleaning
- Not very flexible
- Lacks the power of high-end models
- USARRP: $199
- TypeThis is a standard upright vacuum cleaner.
Considerably cheaper than many of Shark’s upright cleaners, the Shark Navigator Swivel Pro Complete Upright Vacuum NV150 ditches the Lift-away feature to go for a standard design. It’s still comparatively quite powerful, particularly for the price, and is easy to use, but it lacks some of the polish of the more expensive cleaners.
Design and features
- Controls are all on the body
- Large dust cup
- Good range of tools
The Shark Navigator NV151 looks much like other upright cleaners in the company’s line-up, with one important difference: this model doesn’t have Lift-away. With Lift-away, the main vacuum cylinder can be removed from the vacuum’s body to give you a more nimble cleaner.
With the Shark Navigator NV151 you get a standard upright design, where the vacuum motor and dust cup are connected permanently to the motorised floor head. While this vacuum cleaner isn’t particularly hard to push around (it weighs 13.1lb), it’s tricky to get under furniture, such as chairs and couches.
With a Lift-away cleaner, you could pop the cylinder out, and use just the wand to get under tight space, but here, you’ll have to switch to a different tool to get under furniture.
I should point out that the floor head you get here is the standard motorised brush roll, with bristles for agitating carpet, rather than the new DuoClean self-cleaning head. The DuoClean heads have bristles for carpet and a soft roller for hard floors, and they self-clean, so hair doesn’t get wrapped around them. With the NV151 you’ll probably have to cut hair away from time to time.
Controls for the vacuum cleaner are all on the body; with newer Shark cleaners, controls have been located to the handle, where you can use them with a thumb. Here, you get a power switch that lets you turn the vacuum on in Hard Floor or Carpet modes: both use the same suction power but run at different roller speeds.
If you want to reduce motor power on some surfaces, the wand has an air vent that you can slide open.
Shark includes a useful amount of accessories in the box, with a crevice tool, pet multi-tool (it’s a brush and upholstery tool) and Pet Power Brush, which is ideal for stairs and chairs.
You can store two of these tools on the vacuum cleaner’s body, too, making storage easier and the accessories you want always to hand.
To use the accessories, you can unclip either the wand or handle from the body. While newer vacuum cleaners, such as the Shark Vertex AZ2002 have a single pin that holds the hose in place in upright mode, quickly unclipping in handheld mode, the Shark Navigator NV151 has a more traditional hose clip. This takes a bit of brute force to get out.
Still, once you do, there’s plenty of reach with the wand, and I could easily get it and my accessories up high to clean around the ceiling without too much effort. There’s 25-feet of cord, too, so reach isn’t a problem and you can clean most homes without having to switch outlet too often.
Once the large 0.18-gallon (0.87qrts) dust cup is full, you can unclip and remove it from the vacuum cleaner’s body. The dust cup has a hinged bottom that you open to get rid of dirt with little mess, plus you can open up the top for thorough cleaning.
With the dust cup removed, you can access the first filter, plus there’s a HEPA filter post-motor. Both should be cleaned regularly to keep up suction power.
- A decent amount of suction power
- Cleans well on all floor surfaces
- Tough dust removal needs multiple sweeps
I put the Shark Navigator NV151 through my raw tests to see what its suction power in AirWatts was. I got a reading of 169.62AW, which is a fair amount of power (more than you get from a cordless vacuum cleaner on standard power mode) but a fair chunk behind the Shark Vertez AZ2002 (457AW).
To see how the power figure translates into real performance, I ran the vacuum cleaner through my standard tests. I started with the carpet test, sprinkling a teaspoon of flour onto my carpet, then giving the vacuum cleaner a sweep through forwards and backwards. Here, most of the mess was gone, although a trace amount of dust was left at the sides of the brush head. It’s nothing that a few more sweeps didn’t solve.
Performance with pet hair was just as good, with the Shark Navigator NV151 easily removing the cat hair that I’d combed into the carpet.
Next, I went for the difficult edge test, sprinkling a teaspoon of flour onto carpet tiles right up to the skirting board. Here, the vacuum cleaner struggled a little, leaving behind chunks of dust behind. I had to perform a few more sweeps of the area to really pick everything up, and even then I needed the crevice tool to get the bits in the skirting board.
I then moved to the hard floor test, dropping a teaspoon of rice onto the floor. Here, the vacuum cleaner managed to get everything without any grains dropping back out of the floor head onto the floor.
I measured this vacuum cleaner at 798dB, which is towards the louder end of the scale: you can certainly hear when this model is on.
Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a low-cost but relatively powerful vacuum cleaner, then this upright model could well be for you.
If you want the maximum cleaning power and more flexibility then this vacuum cleaner doesn’t fit the bill.
Considerably cheaper than the other upright vacuum cleaners in the Shark range, the Shark Navigator NV151 is a decent but basic vacuum cleaner. It lacks the versatility of the Lift-away models, and it doesn’t have the full power of the more expensive models, taking a few more sweeps to deep clean in my tests. Still, if you don’t have the money to buy a high-end model, this basic model still does a good job. You can find alternative choices in my guide to the best vacuum cleaners.
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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No, it doesn’t: the dust cup is fixed in place.
No, you’ll need to clean up the motorised floor brush yourself.