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Shark Vertex Upright AZ2002 Review

In this upright vacuum review, we’ll be looking at the Shark Vertex AZ2002. It has been an incredibly popular Shark upright, and while it is no longer Shark’s flagship model, it earned a spot on our list of the Best Shark Upright vacuums.

A Powerful, Well-Performing Shark Upright

Product Name: Shark Vertex Upright AZ2002

  • Performance - 9.6/10
    9.6/10
  • Features - 9.8/10
    9.8/10
  • Ergonomics - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Value - 9.9/10
    9.9/10
9.9/10

Verdict

The Shark Vertex upright vacuum performs exceptionally well and delivers comparable performance to its successor, the Stratos. Moreover, when compared to other upright vacuums that we have tested, it outperforms most of them. If you’re in the market for an upright vacuum, you should definitely consider the Shark Vertex AZ2002 model.

Pros

  • Great suction
  • Cleans well on carpet & hard floors
  • Resists hair tangles on brushroll

Cons

  • Heavy in Lift-away mode

Shark seems to like long, very descriptive product names (on their website and boxes at least). The name on the box of this vacuum we bought to review is the Shark Vertex Upright Vacuum with Powered Lift-away, DuoClean PowerFins, and Self-Cleaning Brushroll. For everyone’s sake, we will just call it the Shark Vertex, Shark Vertex AZ2002, or Shark Vertex Upright in this review!

Unboxing - Shark Vertex AZ2002 Upright
Unboxing the Shark Vertex upright. © Vacuum Wars

About the Shark Vertex AZ2002 Upright

The Shark Vertex Upright came to market following after the Shark Apex Upright. The Vertex is about the same weight as the Apex but it has a bigger dustbin, a wider cleaning path, and as we’ll see below, it has more power, too. 

When Shark released the Vertex it was their most powerful upright vacuum cleaner. It also has really good reviews online, which is really saying something since this vacuum has been out for years now. 

Upright shopping? Don’t leave without stopping by our upright vacuum reviews page!

Like its predecessor the Apex and successor the Stratos, the Vertex has Powered Lift-away. This means that you can lift away the pod for powered, or motorized, cleaning under furniture. You can also just use it in its handheld configuration for above-floor cleaning.

Other notable features include the Vertex’s bright bank of LED lights on its floorhead, a long 30-foot cord, and a 5.5-foot hose.

What we like

There’s a lot to like about this Shark vacuum, and we remember having quite a bit of fun when we initially tested it. The reason we had so much fun came down to three key features: its power, its pickup ability, and its hair tangle resistance.

A powerful upright

Test - Fine Debris Pickup on Hard Floors - Shark AZ2002 Upright
Testing the Vertex upright against fine debris on hard flooring. © Vacuum Wars

In comparing it with the Apex, we were impressed because the Apex was already a quite powerful upright. Years later, we compared it with its successor, the Shark Stratos, and we were once again impressed with the Vertex, which only narrowly trailed behind the vacuum that took away its flagship status.

Related: See our Shark Stratos AZ3002 Review.

Testing suction and airflow

We tested the Shark Vertex’s suction and airflow at various places on the vacuum and were incredibly impressed then, and still are today. Not only did it have higher suction numbers than all the Sharks uprights we’ve tested before it, but its airflow (which we consider to be as much or even more important than suction) was off the charts as well.

Taking Suction and Airflow Measurements - Vertex AZ2002
Recording suction and airflow measurements. © Vacuum Wars

The Vertex was one of the most powerful upright vacuums we tested when it was new, and it still hovers near the top of our list of powerful vacuums today.

Cleaning hard floors, carpets, and rugs

The next tests we conducted were to see if the Vertex could translate its power into cleaning performance. We perform a crevice pickup test, a carpet deep clean test, and various surface debris pickup tests too. Across those tests, we put a vacuum to task against different sizes and weights of debris, including coffee grounds, cereal, and pet litter. 

Crevice pickup test

In our crevice pickup test the Vertex picked up all the debris effortlessly in its first forward pass. This is pretty rare. Many vacuums can’t pick up all the debris after multiple passes, if at all. In fact, it made us think that we might need to redesign the test with deeper crevices, heavier debris, or both to make it more difficult.

Crevice Pickup Test - Shark Vertex Upright Review
The Shark Vertex did excellent in the crevice pickup test. © Vacuum Wars

Handheld use and attachments

Another time that the Shark Vertex’s suction power is clearly evident is when using it with the included handheld attachments. The Anti-tangle Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush was not only great at pickup but in our tests, it also did really well at resisting hair tangles.

In addition to the Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush, the Vertex also comes with a standard crevice tool and dusting brush.

Shark Vertex AZ2002 Upright - Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush
The included Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush. © Vacuum Wars

The Shark Vertex’s DuoClean brushroll

The main thing you want a vacuum to do though is to pick stuff up off of carpet and hard floors and the Shark Vertex is really, really good at doing that. A lot of credit goes to its DuoClean floorhead. 

Regular viewers of our YouTube channel will know we absolutely love Shark’s DuoClean brushroll. Basically, DuoClean systems have a soft roller up front and a more or less regular brushroll in the back. When equipped with DuoClean, vacuums are incredibly good for both hard floors and carpets, so it’s basically like having two vacuums in one.

Winner!

The Shark Vertex AZ2002 made it on our list of best vacuums for tile floors, too! 

Large, medium, and small debris pickup

Most upright vacuums are unable to pick up very large debris. It’s just expected that you’ll use the hose for debris over a certain size. Quite seriously though, there is nothing like a DuoClean-equipped vacuum when it comes to vacuuming medium to large debris.

Shark Vertex Review - AZ2002 - Vacuuming Carpet
The Vertex no issues vacuuming debris of any size on carpet. © Vacuum Wars

It’s not just about large debris either. The Shark Vertex is also uniquely good for the other end of the spectrum, that is with fine debris. In our test, it not only picked up the fine material really well but the Vertex also left the floors with a polished look, which is great for homes in areas that are dusty.

Anti-hair tangle

As we mentioned above, another feature that really impressed us was the Shark Vertex’s anti-hair wrap brush system. We’ve been testing these anti-wrap heads from Sharks since they came out and we are pretty familiar with how they work and their limitations.

The Vertex appears to have a newly designed anti-hair wrap system which is even better than the Apex and its other predecessors. We can’t tell you exactly how it works because there isn’t a way to open the head, but we can say that, at least in part, Vertex’s PowerFins brushroll helps it resist hair tangles.

Inspecting DuoClean Brushroll for Hair Tangles - AZ2002 Review
Inspecting the Vertex’s DuoClean brushroll for hair tangles. © Vacuum Wars

We tested the Vertex with the usual 1 gram of 7-inch and 1 gram of 14-inch hair and found no tangles at all. The Apex Zero M (previously the best at this test), could also handle one gram of 14-inch hair, but in the end there would still be a small amount of hair wrapped around its brushroll.

Since the newer Vertex was able to do that test perfectly, we upped it to an unprecedented two grams of 14-inch hair. No previous vacuum we have tested could even come close to handling that much long hair. To our surprise, there were no tangles other than a little bit caught in one of its wheels.

The Vertex was one of the most powerful vacuums we tested when it was new, and it still hovers near the top of our list of powerful vacuums today.

Anti-allergen HEPA filtration

The Vertex upright also has Shark’s Anti-allergen Complete Seal system with HEPA filtration. This system keeps all the dust and microscopic stuff you don’t want in the air in the vacuum instead of blowing it back out into the room. 

HEPA-sealed systems like the one on the Vertex are typically only found with premium vacuum cleaners. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again–it is a must-have feature in our opinion. 

Floorhead with LED Headlights - Shark Vertex Upright
The floorhead with its bright LED headlights on. © Vacuum Wars

What could be improved

Lift-away mode on carpeting

As far as things we didn’t like, they are the same things we haven’t liked about Powered Lift-away DuoClean uprights in the past. More specifically, especially on carpet, you don’t want to use the Powered Lift-away mode for very long. Without the weight of the pod on the vacuum it kind of runs away from you and can be oddly tiring on your arm. 

Carpet Deep Clean Test - Shark Vertex AZ2002
Performing the carpet deep clean test. © Vacuum Wars

Soft roller maintenance

While the DuoClean system is great, it does have the propensity to get dirt and debris trapped behind the front soft roller. After a few weeks of use, the Vertex will start to shut off unless you clear out the debris that inevitably gets stuck behind there. We really think Shark should do a better job educating owners about this.

Handle Controls - Shark Vertex
The Vertex has convenient handle controls. © Vacuum Wars

Also, while we love the power fins for their anti-hair wrap qualities, we didn’t notice them being particularly good for carpet deep cleaning. Don’t get us wrong, they are pretty good for getting that deep-down embedded dirt, but we were expecting more agitation with all the hype surrounding the idea of PowerFins. 

Using the Shark Vertex in Lift-away Mode
Using the Shark Vertex in Lift-away Mode. © Vacuum Wars

Recommendation

The Shark Vertex is one of the best vacuums on the planet for picking up debris on the surfaces of hard floors and carpet, but it’s particularly suitable if you have a lot of hard floors. 

If you own a Shark Apex and are considering the Vertex, you’ll definitely find it to be an upgrade. If you’re considering the Stratos, don’t cross the Vertex off your list. Not only does it perform close to that newer model, but it’s also often priced far less than the Stratos too.

Testing Shark Vertex Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush - Review
Testing the Self-cleaning Pet Power Brush. © Vacuum Wars

Frequently asked questions

What model number is the Shark Vertex upright?
The Shark Vertex upright is sold as model number AZ2002.

Is the Shark Vertex good for hard floors?
Shark’s DuoClean brushroll system excels at debris pickup on hard flooring surfaces. In our independent testing, the Vertex also left hard floors with a clean, polished look.

Are the Shark Apex and Vertex the same?
No. The Vertex is the successor to the Apex. While they do share many features and accessories, the Vertex would be considered an upgrade from the Shark Apex. Standout differences of the Vertex are increased suction power and an upgraded DuoClean system, which is better at preventing hair from wrapping around the upright’s brushroll.

How do you tilt back the Shark Vertex upright?
To tilt the Shark Vertex, place one foot on the shoe illustration on the floorhead. With your foot still on the floorhead, simply tilt the handle backward.

Which Shark vacuum has the strongest suction?
Currently, the Shark Stratos (model AZ3002) has the strongest suction of any Shark vacuum cleaner with the Shark Vertex (model AZ2002) trailing closely behind.

Does the Shark Vertex have Lift-away?
Yes. The Shark Vertex has Powered Lift-Away.

Which Shark upright came first, the Vertex, Stratos or Apex?
Shark first released the Apex, then the Vertex, and finally the Stratos.

Shark Vertex AZ2002 Specs

ManufacturerShark
ModelVertex AZ2002
Vacuum typeCorded Upright
Bagged/baglessBagless
Motor1344 W / 11.4 amps
Dust bin capacity.95L / 1 qt
DuoCleanYes
Anti-hair tangleYes
Lift-awayPowered
Cord length30 ft.
Hose length5.5 ft.
Height adjustmentAutomatic
Swivel headYes
Brushroll on/offYes
Powered accessoriesYes
HeadlightsYes
Weight16.4 lbs.
Dimensions (L x W x H)12” x 15.1” x 46.3”
Warranty5 yrs.
Shark Vertex AZ2002 specifications from the Shark website and AZ2002 manual.
 

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