Shark Navigator vs Rotator: We crown the winner!

shark rotator vs navigatorIf you are in the market for a new vacuum cleaner, look to the Shark brand for high quality mid-priced vacuums with plenty of features and attachments to suit almost any household and budget.

If you have a television it’s impossible not to have heard of Shark brand vacuum cleaners thanks to the relentless airing of their infomercials.

Annoying marketing aside, when you compare Shark vacuum cleaners you will find the subtle differences between the Shark Navigator Lift Away Professional versus the Shark Rotator are important to consider so that you get the best model for your particular needs.

Shark Navigator vs Rotator

There are a number of features that are included in both of these vacuums, like:

  • Sealed Allergy System to prevent those allergies from acting up
  • HEPA filtration to ensure that up to 99.9% of allergens and dust doesn’t escape
  • Detachable canister for easy cleaning
  • Pet hair pickup to ensure that kitty’s hair isn’t all over your house

Shark Rotator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum NV522 Model

Shark Rotator NV522 Lift-Away Professional

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When you compare Shark vacuum models, start with the Rotator Lift Away Professional. It is a very versatile model with three vacuums in one:

  1. Upright vacuum that is lightweight and easy to maneuver thanks to the swivel steering and ergonomic handle.
  2. Canister vacuum that detaches from the wheeled caddy making cleaning the stairs and tight spots a snap.
  3. Portable vacuum that you can easily carry around and use the handle that detaches to extend your reach under furniture like beds and such.

Read our full review of the Shark Rotator here


Right out of the box I was impressed with how lightweight the Rotator Shark vacuum is. I could easily lift it with one hand. Assembly was simple and I had it ready for action in less than 10 minutes.


Since I procrastinated on buying a new vacuum after my old one died my floors were filthy. I was going to need most of the attachments that come with the vacuum which include:

  • large turbo brush
  • multi-angle dusting brush (for furniture, blinds,etc)
  • 18 inch flexible crevice tool to get in between washer and dryer or similar tight spaces
  • Edge cleaning attachment for getting right up against floorboards and under cabinets

The powerful brush roller really did a great job on my floors and pulled unimaginable amounts of the nastiest dirt, food, and unrecognizable gunk out of my carpet telling me I should have replaced my old vacuum a long, long time ago.

Click here for the Rotator’s technical specs

The ability to use it right up against the floorboards and edges of cabinets on the hardwood floors and tile was really what endeared this vacuum to me. No more pre-sweeping; I put on the attachment and it easily fit beneath cabinet overhang to get the food and dust that collects in copious amounts there.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright NV356E

Shark Navigator NV356E Lift-Away Professional

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To be sure I was getting the right amount of vacuum for the right price and not overpaying for what I did not need, I wanted do a Shark vacuum model comparison to decide between the Shark Navigator or Rotator. I brought both home from the store.

Read our full review of the Shark Navigator here


The Shark Navigator is also a very lightweight and easy to assemble vacuum. It has a lot of the same features as the Rotator but also offers:

  • A hardwood floor attachment that includes microfiber pads to efficiently collect dust, pet hair and stuff like dried grass or leaf bits, making this an ideal model for someone with a lot of tile and hardwood rather than carpet.
  • A huge collection canister that means more uses before you need to dump it
  • A narrower head than the Rotator, which makes it easier to get around furniture and other tight spaces

Click here for the Navigator’s specs

The Shark Navigator or the Rotator?

In the end I kept the Shark Rotator model NV522 because I liked the bigger head to clean more carpet with each pass and found it easier to maneuver than the Navigator. I also knew I would use the edge cleaning attachment a lot which is not available on the Navigator.

Compare Shark Vacuums - Shark Rotator vs Navigator

Don’t get me wrong, the Shark Navigator model NV356E is a great vacuum for the price. The suction power on it is as good as the Shark Rotator and it’s just as lightweight. The bigger canister is a bonus, too. I ended up not returning it and gave it to my sister instead. She has a small one bedroom loft with no carpet and a hairy cat, so this model, with the pet hair attachment and hardwood floor feature, suited her perfectly.

I would highly recommend you consider the Shark Rotator or Navigator models for you next vacuum. The HEPA filters keep fine dust particles and other allergens securely trapped in the canister (which is a snap to empty and the filters are washable so that saves you money) and the ability to vacuum around and under furniture or detach the cannister to do the stairs make these very good mid-priced vacuums. It really all comes down to which attachments will you use the most when deciding between the two models.

What should I do next?

Click on the image below to go to Amazon, and read more reviews of the Shark Rotator.

Shark Rotator Lift-Away Professional NV522

Click to read all 1500+ reviews!

Click here to grab your Shark Rotator Lift-Away Professional from Amazon TODAY!