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Shark Navigator vs. Rotator

Britain’s Dyson knows one or two things about innovation and shaking up drained consumer products. However, a couple of years ago (read in 2013), Dyson lost its leadership of the United States vac cleaners market, which is the largest in the world, to Euro-Pro. Euro-Pro owns Shark vacuum cleaners.

Shark® is in the league of America’s top brands such as Tineko, Bissell, Eureka, and Miele.

Two of Shark’s most popular lineups are the Rotator and Navigator series. The Shark Navigator and Rotator are both well designed and powerful. With each model, you get plenty of accessories. In addition to that, their filters last a lifetime. Features such as a looped handle and swivel steering make it effortless to navigate these upright vacs.

While there are slight differences between them such as dirt capacity, weight, and size, both do a splendid cleaning job. However, they accomplish the tasks differently.

Confused about which of the two to buy? Worry no more! We put together this comprehensive Shark Navigator vs. Rotator review and a side-by-side comparison to help you make a wise decision on the relatively new Rotator vs. the classic Navigator.

NOTE: The differences and similarities we are presenting to you are GENERAL. There are many models in the Navigator and Rotator series (as we shall observe below) and they all differ.

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator Brief Comparison

Shark Navigator

  • Slightly cheaper
  • Includes 5 basic tools
  • A somewhat narrower cleaning path
  • Higher review rating
  • Slightly smaller container

Shark Rotator

  • Slightly more expensive
  • Includes 6 basic tools
  • Slightly wider cleaning path
  • High consumer rating
  • Slightly larger dirt container

Shark Navigator vs. Rotator Detailed Comparison

Having looked at a brief description of these two models, let us now delve into a more comprehensive comparison. In this section, we shall compare the two based on the following:

  • Filtration
  • Brushroll and suction
  • Accessories and lift-away canister
  • Maneuverability and size
  • Dirt cup
  • Appearance
  • Carpet cleaning
  • Ease of use
  • Hard floor cleaning
  • Price


Shark has made tremendous strides in recent years in the area of filtration. We cannot underemphasize the importance of HEPA filters in the contemporary vacuum cleaner industry. They are important for getting rid of microscopic allergens such as pet dander, mold spores, and dust mites from the air within your home. Ultimately, they have a positive impact on your general health.

In terms of filtration, Shark went all out with both the Rotator and Shark.

The Shark Rotator

This model contains three filters – HEPA post-motor filter, felt pre-motor filter and foam pre-motor filter. Provided you clean them regularly, you will never have to replace them.

The Shark Navigator

Unlike the Rotator, the Navigator features a HEPA filter and two pre-motor filters. With proper care, its filters can last forever thus eliminating replacement costs.


Both of them have models that feature the company’s Anti-Allergen Complete technology. Simply put, its fully sealed HEPA filter system that is effective at trapping over 99% of the tiniest allergens and keeping them inside. Because the filters are fully sealed, it means nothing can escape through the air pathways.

Therefore, there is no clear winner in this area.

Brushroll and Suction

The Shark Rotator

The Rotator features a 10-amp, 1200-watt motor that translates to excellent suction strength. Through the suction collar, you can decrease or increase the airflow. From the power switch, it is possible to clasp the power into the brushroll. On the appliance’s floor head, you can look at the brushroll via a window and view the jam-indicator light.

The Shark Navigator

Behind this vac’s amazing suction is a 10-amp, 1200-watt motor. It features a twistable collar that enables you to adjust the suction hence making it effortless to push the machine on plush carpeting. By the mere pressing of the rocker switch, you can turn off the brushroll to vacuum your hard floor.


When it comes to brushroll and suction, there is no clear winner between the Rotator and Navigator. With both of them, you will know there is an obstruction in their brushroll immediately – no more guesswork. The company (Shark) did a splendid job in providing customizable performance with a suction collar and brushroll switch, to vacuum any floor imaginable.

Accessories and Lift-Away Canister

The Shark Rotator

With the Rotator, you can remove its 8.4-pound canister and clutch it as you vacuum shelves, ceiling fans, blinds and more. Its wand has a two-accessory clip that is handy for storing the dust brush and 12-inch crevice tool. The Rotator also comes with a motorized brush, an upholstery tool and hard-floor nozzle.

The Shark Navigator

With the mere push of a button, the Navigator’s 8-pound canister easily detaches from its frame, providing out-of-this-world mobility. For your vacuuming needs, it comes with a motorized brush, an 8-inch crevice tool, and a dust brush. There is a spot where you can store two attachments simultaneously.


Although there is a negligible 0.4 pounds difference, the canister on both of them is the same. It is possible to remove the canister without the wand or by pressing a button.

While both have similar types of accessories, the Rotator’s crevice tool is 4-inches longer than the Navigator’s. Therefore, the Rotator is the winner.

Maneuverability and Size

The Shark Rotator

With its swiveling floor head, this model with a splash of red steers smoothly. You have a firm grip on this 15.5-pound vac courtesy of its wide-looped handle. Within a short time, you can easily cover a vast area thanks to its 13.4-inch-wide floor nozzle coupled with a 30-foot-long cord. Worried about dust bunnies lurking in the dark corners? The Rotator features a pair of LED headlights to help you uncover them.

The Shark Navigator

Movement of the white-and-silver Navigator feels like a dream. Its 14.9-inch-wide nozzle coupled with a 30-foot-long cord not only provides you with a wider floor cover but also a bigger working radius. The fact that it weighs 13.8 pounds makes it lighter than the Rotator, which makes your movement less stress-free. On top of that, it has a looped handle that makes it effortless to control the vac.


Although the Rotator is roughly 2 pounds heavier than the Navigator, both of these models swivel hence making them effortless to maneuver. In terms of having a wide cleaning path and general maneuverability, the Navigator is the winner. Nonetheless, the Rotator is the only one that is equipped with LED headlights.

Dirt Cup

The Shark Rotator

A Rotator features a decent-sized dust cup with a 3.1-quart capacity.

The Shark Navigator

The model has a 4.4-quart capacity latched dirt cup to hold debris. It opens from the bottom to reduce the amount of debris or dirt that goes airborne.


While these uprights boast a sizable dust cup, the Navigator is the winner in this regard, as it can hold a quart more of debris/dirt compared to the Rotator.


It is pretty easy to notice the difference in terms of appearance from these popular Shark vacuums.

The Shark Rotator

As aforementioned, the Rotator is a modern upright vac with a streamlined and sleek body.

The Shark Navigator

The Navigator boasts a more traditional look.


There is no winner when it comes to appearance. If you want a stylish vac, then choose the Rotator, but if you are more conservative and conventional, the Navigator fits the bill.

Carpet Cleaning

When it comes to deep carpet cleaning, you need a relatively heavier vacuum but not so much that it becomes difficult to maneuver. Such a vac pushes its brushroll down into fibers to agitate the implanted dust particles.

The Shark Rotator

For lower pile carpets, you need a vac with more power but which is easy to push and maneuver. The Rotator shines in this area.

The Shark Navigator

Because the standard Navigator models are heavier compared to the Rotator offerings, they make the best carpet cleaners. They are great for cleaning plush or high pile carpets.


There is no winner in this front as both of these full-sized upright cleaners boast enough power to handle different types of carpeting.

For high pile carpets, the Navigator wins and Rotator emerges tops for low pile carpets.

Ease of Use

The Shark Rotator

The newly designed Rotator takes a relatively different approach from most vacs in terms of design and ease of use. Although it resembles a standard fully-sized machine, it brings with it a dynamic swivel steering that allows you to easily move it around your furniture or other large items. Using it saves you effort and time because muscling the machine is not necessary at all. All you need to do is flick your wrist for the Rotator to turn the direction you need it to.

The Shark Navigator

The Navigator features a classic upright design with a set of standard wheels for rolling backwards and frontwards.


When it comes to ease of use, the Rotator is the clear winner of the two models.

Hard Floor Cleaning

Hard floor cleaning such as linoleum, laminate, hardwood, and tile has different requirements. If you have smooth flooring, you need a vac with the ability to either attach a bigger hard floor tool to its nozzle or turn off its spinning brush roll.

Both the Shark Navigator and Rotator feature brushroll shutoff buttons for effortless and quick vacuuming of hard floor surfaces. Additionally, their design is in such a way that it does not blow debris all over your room.

There is no clear winner in this area.


The older style Shark Navigator models are less costly compared to the Rotator series. Although Shark incorporated a few more whistles and bells coupled with modern tech in their new offerings, it has closed the gap by adding some improvements to the older vacs.

So in terms of price, the Navigator is the winner.

Who Should Pick The Shark Navigator?

Because the Shark Navigator weighs less, it is ideal for arthritis sufferers and children. If you do not like making many trips to the garbage can, this model makes a great choice as it boasts a larger dirt capacity. Are you into modern and sophisticated appliances? If yes, then you should settle for the Navigator because of its attractive color scheme.

Who Should Pick The Shark Rotator?

Because the Shark Rotator features a wider cleaning path, it is best suited for short people. It also makes an excellent option if your home has vaulted ceilings. The Rotator’s headlights are handy if you want a vac that is effective at vacuuming underneath furniture. The model’s red accents will impress those who desire a pop of color into their life.

More you should know: Best Shark Steam Mop

Review Of The Shark Rotator Series Models

Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away (NV752)

This is one of the best Rotator’s models in the market. It brings with it a detachable canister for portable cleaning. With the mere press of a button, its Powered Lift-Away tech enables you to not only lift its canister away but also deep clean even the hardest to reach areas.


  • Nice color scheme
  • Great brush pattern on its power-head
  • Unmatched ease of use and versatility
  • Awesome suction


  • Tad on its heavy side

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV501)

It comes equipped with powerful LED lights and Advanced Swivel Steering for easy handling. To effectively trap dust as well as allergens, this upright vac features a HEPA filter system. With its fingertip controls, you enjoy effortless powering off/on as well as the quick transition between carpet and hard floor mode.


  • Excellent motorized brush tool
  • HEPA filter to trap allergens and dust
  • Fingertip controls
  • Large dust cup capacity


  • Slightly fray bristles

Shark Rotator Professional Lift-Away (NV683)

This is indeed a high-performance powerhouse. It boasts Shark’s advanced steering tech that offers excellent control as you maneuver around furniture as well as other obstacles, which might come your way. Its brushroll guarantees extra cleaning power. Do you have pets? This upright vac features a pet multi-tool to assist you clean pet hair and allergens.


  • Incredible, bright LEDs on the handle and power head
  • Excellent at cleaning hard floors and carpets
  • Uncompromised suction to guarantee awesome cleaning power


  • Room for improvement on its internal cyclone technology

Review Of The Shark Navigator Series Models

Shark Navigator Lift-Away NV352

Have you been looking for a maneuverable, compact, and powerful upright vac? Do you desire a machine that effectively pulls more crud out of your carpet like no other? Well, look further than the Shark Navigator NV352. For sure, it offers terrific value.

Whether you are looking for a vacuum cleaner that is great in its handling or performance, this one will certainly meet your needs. Canister removal is a walk in the park. Worried about tight spaces? The vac brings with it a tilting head that makes it effortless to move even in the tightest of corners.


  • Easy to push/pull/lift
  • Many attachments
  • Sealed system
  • Washable lifetime filters


  • Narrow intake head

Shark Navigator NV360

One of the heaviest models in the Navigator series is the NV360. It comes with a wide 11.4-inch cleaning path that makes it an excellent vac for large floors. Some of the attachments this machine comes with include pet hair power brush, dusting brush, 5.5’’ crevice tool, and a highly unique under appliance wand. Its cord and hose length remain 25 feet and 5 feet respectively for maximum maneuverability.


  • Includes crevice and upholstery tool
  • 4-inch clearing path width
  • Fingertip controls within reach
  • No high-pitched hiss


  • Cord should have been longer

Shark Navigator NV356E

One of the most notable highlights about this model is its larger dustbin compared to the rest. In addition to an 8-inch crevice tool and dusting brush, you can also look forward to a pet power brush as one of the attachments included. The vac weighs 13.4lbs and features an 11.4’’ cleaning path.


  • Easy to empty dust cup
  • Anti-allergen complete seal tech
  • Lightweight and powerful
  • Brush roll shutoff


  • Power button should have been placed at a better location

Shark Navigator Powered Lift-Away NV586

We loved this vac because of its large capacity as well as the fact that it can catch larger objects in a first compartment. Switching between carpet brush, hard floor, and the hose is effortless. If you want a vac to help you collect enough fur and dirt in a day, then you should consider buying this one. It works brilliantly on large baseboard ledges, stairs, and even rugs. It is possible to utilize the thumb switch on its handle to shift from rug to hardwood without missing a beat.


  • Great value
  • Easily cleans hard to reach areas
  • Excellent swivel steering control
  • Large capacity


  • Complicated canister detachment

Final Thoughts

The Shark Rotator and Navigator series are more of siblings than competitors. The differences between them are subtle. It narrows down to your tastes and preference. By choosing one over the other, you cannot go wrong. Therefore, the issue should not make you break a sweat. Of great importance to note is that we presented general similarities and differences as there are many models in both the Navigator and Rotator series.

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