I don’t know if you recall, but a while ago I was reviewing that intriguing Gtech cordless vacuum cleaner everybody was talking about a couple of years ago. I guess Shark had its own plans, and built an unit which has a similar structure. As you see, this producer uses the same concept as Gtech: it placed the motor, together with the bin and the entire suction mechanism in the head nozzle. The Shark Rocket Powerhead models have many of the features you would usually want in dry-surface canister vacuums. These vacuums are lightweight, efficient, versatile and easy to maintain. With four models to choose from, I’m pretty sure you can find the right Rocket Powerhead vacuum for your home. But let’s not jump in to any conclusion. Here’s what you’ll learn in the following couple of minutes:
- the full specs of the Powerhead
- what are the differences between the 4 Powerhead models
- how good is the Rocket Powerhead compared with the Rocket HV320 series
- where to find it on sale
|Suction power||Shark's "Never Loses Suction" technology sets the AH400, AH401, AH452 and AH452W Rocket Powerhead models apart from the run-of-the-mill bargain vacuum cleaners. Each model uses single-cyclone power to pull dirt from the air to keep the filters from becoming clogged. In turn, this allows the vacuum's suction power to not lose its strength over time. Every model can be set to a LO or HI setting, so you can control the speed of brushroll according to what surface and mess you want to clean. The LO setting is great for area rugs and hard floors while the HI setting is ideal for carpets, particularly those that that are in dire need of a deep clean.|
|Input power||The input power of the Shark Rocket Powerheads is decent for a stick vacuum. Since all models have the same motor, they also have the same consumption: 600 watts. This means that these vacuum cleaners have an energy efficient motor, which enhances the strength of its suction through concept and design.|
|Dust capacity||Although this vacuum cleaner is compact, it can hold a surprising amount of dust and dirt in its canister. Every model has a 0.20 gallon dust bin that is simple to take out and empty. As soon as the dirt reaches the “MAX Fill” line, all you need to do is use your foot to press down on the dust cup release foot pedal located over the vacuum's left wheel. This release pedal will make the the cup instantly pop up. Then, lift the cup off the vacuum's platform, walk it over to the garbage can and press the cup's “empty” button to release dirt and dust out of the cup's bottom. Putting the bin back in is a snap too - place the bin on the platform, lay it down on the nozzle, and press the bin at its center until it clicks.|
|Filtration system efficiency||All Shark's Rocket Powerhead vacuums have a dual-filter system to minimize the amount of harmful, fine dust blown back into the breathable air, which is a fantastic feature if someone in your house has airborne allergens or asthma. Both of the filters are washable, saving you money on replacement filters. While you can purchase additional filters, Shark makes them to last as long as the vacuum does. In order to get full use from the filters, Shark recommends that you clean the pre-motor foam-and-felt filter once per month and the post-motor filter only once per year. You can access the pre-motor filter at the dust cup by pressing the latch marked "filter access". The post-motor filter is located at the top of the vacuum's floor nozzle. All you need to do is rinse them off and let them completely air dry before putting the filters back in the vacuum.|
|Weight and Dimensions||Regardless of which Rocket Powerhead model you choose, its low weight of 9 pounds makes it light to carry. It's 12.6 inches deep and 12.2 inches wide. It stands at 45.3 inches tall, which makes it easy to store when not in use. The models have a 10.6-inch cleaning path that is wide enough to pick up a lot of dirt in one pass while narrow enough to fit in tight places.|
|Warranty||Shark gives every Rocket Powerhead a five-year limited warranty. This is a long period of protection in comparison to other leading brands of vacuum cleaners, many of which only offer a one-year limited warranty period. Even though many consumers speak highly of these vacuum cleaners, if your vacuum does not work properly or stops working altogether, you can return it to the manufacturer. If the manufacturer examines it and finds any defects, it will pay to either replace or repair your vacuum. The only price you have to pay is the cost of shipping. The warranty details can be found in the vacuum's user manual for easy reference.|
|Accessories||Shark focused much of its attention on the Rocket Powerhead's brushrolls in order to boost each model's suctioning power. The AH400's All-Surface brushroll is undeniably efficient. Even better, the brushes can be removed at the vacuum's brushroll garage if you need to clean them.|
The more deluxe equipped AH401, AH452 and AH452W's have interchangeable All-Surface and Gentle-Touch brushrolls, so one must be stored while the other is in use. In order to make storage easy, Shark designed a brushroll holster for these three models. This click-and-strap handle holster allows you to quickly change the brushroll to suit the type of mess or floor you are cleaning by simply taking one brush out of the brushroll garage, putting the other brush in the garage and slipping the one you don't need at the moment into the secure holster. Thanks to the holster, you will always have instant access to the brushes.
Unfortunately, there aren't any other accessories to report, mostly due to the very nature of this appliance.
|Special features||Height adjustment - Thanks to the telescopic handle (only for models AH452/AH452W).|
LED Lights - Only for models AH452/AH452W.
Brushroll Garage - easy brushroll access. Instead of putting the vacuum cleaner on its side or back to reach the brushroll, the brush can be taken out at the top of the vacuum's head. You don't have to remove screws and struggle with a tension belt. All you need to do is pull the vacuum's "pull" tab, and the brushroll comes out instantly. If you need to cut away hair and string from the brushrolls, the grooves in the brushes reduce the amount of time you spend snipping away. You can also rinse and air dry the All-Surface and Gentle-Touch brushes before you push on the “pull” tab, align the brushroll into the garage and click to lock them in place.
Pop-up dust cup - easy bin access.
Suction release button - located on vacuum's floor nozzle, you can use this button to decrease the suction and prevent sucking up the edge of an area rug into the vacuum cleaner.
Indicator light - located at the wand's base, this feature helps you identify and troubleshoot suctioning issues. A solid green light means the brushroll is in working order. If the light is solid red, you need to turn off the vacuum and clear out any objects causing a jam. On the off chance your vacuum is overheating, the light will blink red. If this happens, it's important to turn off the vacuum cleaner right away and let it cool for 45 minutes. After it cools, clean the filters and check for jams in all areas before restarting the vacuum. However, if you don't turn it off right away and the vacuum gets too hot, don't worry - each model has an automatic shut-off thermostat to keep you safe.
|Usability||The vacuum's ease of use starts at assembly. As soon as you open the box, your vacuum will be up and running in a matter of minutes, all without the use of any tools or long, complicated instructions. The models' swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver the vacuum cleaner around corners, under tight spaces and throughout hard-to-reach places. |
The Powerhead is a pound heavier than the HV322, but this shouldn't really matter, since most of the weight is located on the floor. All four models are easy to move too thanks to their maneuver-friendly dimensions. The AH400 and AH401 have a cord length of 25 ft, while the other 2 units have a power cord 30 ft long.
If you want a vacuum with height reach flexibility, you might be more interested the AH452/AH452W which come with an adjustable telescoping wand. This wand requires little effort to adjust. Look for the “height adjust” button directly on the handle. Press this button and pull up or push down to make the handle as tall or short as you need it to be.
Unlike some other vacuums, the Rocket Powerheads can swiftly transition from carpet to bare-floor cleaning with the handle's fingertip controls, and when it's time to put the vacuum away, simply lift up and carry it by the convenient carrying handle.
Powerheads come in three bright, fun colors of purple plum, green emerald and blue plasma.
|Price||For what it offers, you will definitely be surprised by its price.|
Shark Rocket Powerhead model comparison: AH400 vs AH401 vs AH452 vs AH452W
While the AH400 is impressive for a base model, if you want a little more cleaning power, take a look at Shark’s other three Rocket Powerhead models. The AH401, AH452 and AH452W not only come equipped with the same All-Surface brushroll found on the AH400, but also feature a Gentle-Touch brushroll, both of which are interchangeable. The All-Surface brushroll has stiff bristles, and it can be used on a LO or HI setting. These bristles are meant to lift dirt that is buried in between a carpet’s fibers. On the AH400 model, the All-Surface brushroll can be used on tile, hardwood and other hard floors.
However, on the other three models, the All-Surface brush can be switched out for the Gentle-Touch brushroll, which has soft bristle strips designed to remove dirt, dust and debris from area rugs and hard surfaces, allowing you to suck up hard-to-remove particles while protecting beautiful hardwoods and tile. You can also use the Gentle-Touch brush to quickly pick up surface crumbs on carpets or area rugs. If you need to pick up heavy, large debris, pop the Gentle-Touch brush in and run the vacuum on LO, and if you need to remove loose or stubborn dirt, set the vacuum to HI.
Here are the other differences between the Powerhead models:
|Shark Rocket Powerhead AH400||Shark Rocket Powerhead AH401||Shark Rocket Powerhead AH452||Shark Rocket Powerhead AH452W|
|Power Cord Length||25 ft||25 ft||30 ft||30 ft|
|On-board brushroll storage holster||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Price||n/a - around $160||Currently not available||$99.99||$99.99|
Shark Rocket Powerhead vs Shark Rocket Deluxe Pro
|Shark Rocket Powerhead AH452/AH452W||Shark Rocket Truepet/Deluxe Pro HV322/HV323|
|Suction power||Better suction power - approx. 20% more suction power than HV322/HV323||Good suction power|
|Accessories||no accessories||Lots of accessories: extension wand, motorized pet hair brush, crevice tool, Hard Floor Genie, dusting brush and others.|
With all of the features it has, there are many reasons users give this vacuum a lot of praise. Those who own the AH401, AH452 or AH452W say that the All-Surface and Gentle-Touch brushes are easy to change, and the option of having two different brushes allows them to efficiently pick up dirt on carpets and prevent scratches on hardwood floors without the need to have a secondary hard-floor cleaner. Powerhead owners also find that the engineering of the Gentle-Touch brushroll keeps dirt from being flung back out onto a hard surface. People also like how effectively the combined suction and high speed works on carpeted areas.
Even though these vacuums are able to thoroughly clean carpets, rugs and hard floors, a lot of Shark Rocket Powerhead owners feel that these models are lacking in terms of attachments and extensions. Without a removable wand that extends, users are unable to reach cobwebs on the ceilings, and without attachments, it is difficult to vacuum the staircase. A few people feel that the LO setting is not powerful enough for some of their suction needs. One user also mentioned that it was awkward the first few times she vacuumed because much of the vacuum’s weight is concentrated at the front of its head, so her vacuum’s back wheels would lift up when she reversed the direction of the vacuum; however, she also said that the vacuum’s maneuverability was excellent after she got used to the feel of her Powerhead.
Conclusion and VGM (VacuumsGuide.com Mark)
The most desirable vacuum cleaners are those that fit multiple purposes, require little time to maintain and are easy to move and control. The AH400, AH401, AH452 and AH452W Shark Rocket Powerhead have all of these features. The biggest negative aspects of the Rocket Powerhead is that it doesn’t come with a detachable hose and crevice attachments. Even so, the vacuum’s suction power and control rivals that of higher priced models. Plus, the innovative design of its brushroll garage and seamless transition from carpet to hard floor make the Powerhead worth having as your main vacuum cleaner. Here’s my rating:
As you notice, the VGM is fairly similar to the one received by the HV320 series. So, what do you think about the Powerhead? Would you buy one of the models? Need more info? Have one already and care to share your experience with us? Looking forward to talking with all of you; please use the form bellow.
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