The Shark Navigator ZU561 is unlike most uprights you’d find out there. This vacuum cleaner comes with a tremendous motor that delivers an astounding amount of suction power to clean remove the most concentrated piles of dirt in high-traffic areas. There are also several handy features you won’t find in any non-Shark upright.
Suction and Cleaning Performance
If there’s one thing the ZU561 should be known for, it’s ultimate cleaning performance. The Zu561 sports a large 800W motor that produces up to 245 airwatts of suction—more than enough to extract the finest dust particles out of medium-pile carpets in a single pass.
On the handle is a tool you can use to regulate suction power for cleaning different surfaces, both delicate (area rugs) and hard (floors). The amazing, adjustable suction combined with the Zero-M brushroll (more on this in a bit) makes the ZU561 an ultra-reliable multi-surface upright vacuum cleaner for everyday cleaning.
Self-Cleaning Zero-M Brushroll
One of the key features of this Shark upright vacuum is the brushroll. It features a Zero-M Brushroll that prevents tangled hair from clogging the inlet and stopping the brushes from working. As it moves over piles of pet or human hair, the brushes lift and toss them into the inlet where the motor happily swallows the furball whole.
Some customers have complained about the Zero-M’s reliability or lack thereof. Oftentimes, based on customer reports, the brushes do nothing at stopping hair strands from wrapping around the brush, forcing users to snip them away manually.
Anti-Allergen Seal with HEPA Filtration
But something that nobody can argue about is the ZU561’s total and complete anti-allergen seal that stops dust particles from going airborne. The entire unit is sealed in this system to prevent leakage and motor burnout. Essentially, every speck of dust and strand of hair that enters the dust cup is stuck there for good.
An added bonus with the ZU561 is its filter. The HEPA filter is designed to capture 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger to prevent allergens such as dander and dust mites from passing through the system. The filter has a lifespan of about 2 to 3 months, so in order to ensure optimal filtration performance, we suggest picking up a couple of spare HEPA filters for the future.
2.2-liter XL Dust Cup
Everything about the ZU561 is oversized, from its 12-inch wide floorhead to its 2.2-liter dust cup. This XL dust cup holds onto nearly twice as much dust and debris as past Shark upright models, giving users the freedom to clean longer with fewer interruptions during vacuuming sessions.
Emptying out the XL dust cup is a no-brainer. It lifts easily away from the main housing, and a lower dust cup release tab will cause the contents to fall out in one quick motion. There’s also an upper release tab to better control where dust falls out of the cup. Simple, right?
At first glance, the ZU561 may appear to be a bulky vacuum unit that would be difficult to navigate on floors, but in fact, the opposite is true.
Weighing a mere 13.4 pounds, lifting the upright up and down stairs shouldn’t pose much of a challenge, and the swiveling neck will make pushing the floorhead in between pieces of furniture easy on your back and shoulders. The floorhead sits on two large rear wheels to help it transition seamlessly from carpets to smooth floors and vice versa.
Tot make using the ZU561 more convenient, Shark installed a long 25-foot power cord. This should help users clean multiple or more spacious rooms without needing to constantly unplug and plug the vacuum. It really doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
Lift-Away Handheld Canister Module
And that’s not even the best part of the ZU561. This is a Shark Lift-Away upright where the canister module can detach completely from the handle. It converts into a handheld canister unit to simplify overhead vacuuming jobs.
The Lift-Away canister weighs only about 9 pounds, and it uses a 6.6-foot hose to help users reach reasonable heights with ease. This system and the cleaning tools (duster brush, upholstery tool, crevice tool) will make spot-cleaning all sorts of above-floor surfaces easier and more enjoyable than ever before.
Verdict: Should I Get the Shark Navigator ZU561?
After seeing what the Shark Navigator ZU561 has to offer, we can say that, without a doubt, this is one of the best Shark upright vacuums you can find today.
With an amazing amount of suction power that’s adjustable to boot, combined with a self-cleaning brushroll and a detachable canister for overhead cleaning, there’s not a single vacuumable surface in your home or car that the ZU561 can’t reach.
Related Shark Vacuum Articles
• Best Shark Upright Vacuums
• Shark Navigator vs. Rotator
• Shark Navigator vs Hoover MAXLife vs. Bissell CleanView
• Shark vs Eureka
• What is a Shark “Lift-Away” Vacuum?
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