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Review: Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System

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Erin L

Erin L

Shark Detect Pro auto empty
Vacuum technology seems to be moving faster than smartphones. It seems like a few times every year vacuum companies are introducing newer, smarter, lighter, and more versatile vacuum is designed to solve more home cleaning problems. That’s the idea behind the new Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System. In this review I’ll take a look at how well this vacuum cleans, what special features it has, its overall pros and cons, and if I think I can recommend it for you.

Shark Cordless Auto Detect Pro Auto Empty
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Summary

The Shark Cordless Auto Detect Pro Auto Empty does a quality job of cleaning quickly and effectively with a fast and effective auto-empty feature, which is a good thing for its limited battery life. If the battery issue is something you can work with, this is a solid choice.

Pros

  • Main cleaning head works in one pass
  • Beater brushes effective
  • Auto-emptying quick and easy
  • Docking station and vacuum have small footprint
  • Odour filter

Cons

  • Lacklustre battery life (15 min/use)
  • Dirt-detect technology didn’t work

What is Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System?

This is a rechargeable, convertible stick-to-handheld vacuum that also has automatic emptying of the dustbin into a bagless container in the included charging base station. With just one motorized brush head and two small-space attachments, the accessories are lean, but that’s because Shark says the single motorized cleaner head is designed to be great at both hard floors and carpets. Does it live up to the promise? We’ll see in the cleaning tests.

Key features

Shark Detect Pro auto empty

There are two interesting features about this vacuum that got me interested right away. The first is the auto emptying of the dustbin, and the second is that the vacuum has odour filtration technology, so you won’t get any dusty, musty smelling blasts of air when you empty it.

Let’s dive in.

Stick or Hand Held

You can remove the extension tube and motorized head to make the Shark Cordless Detect a hand-held vacuum, perfect for hard-to-reach areas, cleaning your car, and small tasks around the house. The main motor unit is incredibly light compared to most other stick vacuums. It weighs in at just under 3 kilograms or just under 7 pounds. Shark says that’s about 30 percent lighter than some of its other vacuums, and it’s about the same as Dyson’s Gen5detect.

Cleaning tests

 

I put my vacuums through all kinds of cleaning tests over a few weeks. I use them to clean up day-to-day dirt, then I run them through an array of special cleaning tests; I get them to vacuum up finer bits like flour or corn meal, middle size bits like rice or oatmeal, and larger cracker pieces on both carpet and hard floors.

I found the vacuum was actually quite capable. I was also surprised at how much dirt I could pick up and how much area I could clean without the small dust bin filling up. One thing I did notice is that accumulating debris does tend to congregate around the filter at the top of the top. I was a little concerned about that, but it doesn’t seem like it’s affecting the suction, so it’s hard to deduct any points for this. Particularly since when the bin is emptied out, it sucks every last fibre off the filter too.

I had some leftover test spills from trying out another vacuum and I decided to run them through the shark.

To my surprise, the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty got them all with no trouble whatsoever, meaning it’s a more powerful cleaner on both carpet and hard floors than the much more expensive LG Cord Zero (you can read the full review of that here).

Watch my video review for Shark Detect Pro

Power is an area where the Shark Cordless Detect Pro really shines. It has a 180W/15A motor that allows for stronger suction. There’s also an EdgeDetect feature which recognizes when you’re approaching a wall or cabinet and adjusts the suction (sideways?) to ensure nothing is missed. I can confirm that it seem to be quite effective getting right to the edges of baseboards and cabinets and picking up almost everything that seems to linger there.

Floor detect

Floor Detect technology is quite common in vacuums, and it allows them to increase suction on carpet fibres to maximize dirt pull. It’s good to see it here in the Shark Cordless Detect Pro. I found I did get a pretty intense boost of suction on carpet; and it was noticeable anytime I transition from hard floors to carpet. I appreciate that increase in suction and it seem to do a really great job on carpet and rugs in particular. I can also say you did not seem to get caught up in the rugs like some vacuums can; where they will almost inhale the rug fibres and jam up the roller brushes. This vacuum was definitely able to handle both plusher rugs and my flat Ruggable rugs without stalling out. I found that quite impressive.

The cleaning head covers about 10.5 inches of floor per pass. The unit has LED lights that guide you and show you where the unit is focusing. Shark has branded this as “Light Detect mode” and while I appreciate the marketing, it’s really just a light, which is another common but helpful feature on a vacuum. No lasers here like you’ll find in a Dyson, but this one also costs a lot less.

Dirt Detect technology

The Dirt Detect mode is the feature Shark is hoping it will make you buy this vacuum. It purports to sense areas that need more care and adjusts the power and suction for you; and its dirt detection light should come on too.

I didn’t seem to get much out of this. And I ran it over a particularly dusty areas or ones where there was noticeable debris, nothing really seemed to change; in fact I’d say I most often noticed a change in suction and intensity based on changes in light; if I was vacuuming in a darker area or under the bed, sometimes it would pick up speed. In terms of it actually seeming to sense where the real dirt is, I did not find that in my testing.

Overall, I found the cleaning to be extremely effective, on hard floors and carpets, as well as furniture.

When you’re done, just dock the vacuum in its charging and auto-empty stand for the next phase…

All about the Auto-Empty

Shark Detect Pro auto empty feature

The dustbin on the Shark Cordless Detect Pro has a fairly small capacity, which is a tradeoff for its weight. It holds just over 300 millilitres, or about 10 ounces, which is essentially the size of a travel mug of coffee. But since the dustbin is auto-emptying this shouldn’t be an issue; when you place it in the dock, the debris in the canister will be pulled into the base, so any time you start cleaning it will be with an empty dustbin.

Auto Emptying begins right away (within about 3-4 seconds) and happens quite quickly (about 13 seconds total) and in truth it was actually empty in about 3 seconds, but the cycle continues just in case. This is actually far, far quicker than another recent vacuum with auto emptying I have tested, the LG Cord Zero.

The base needs to be emptied about every 30 days to six weeks or so, depending on how often you vacuum.

Interestingly, while most other auto emptying stick vacuums use a sealed dust bag, Shark is doing things differently. It uses a simple plastic bin which you can tip right into your garbage can. A special filtration pack is what manages any dust particles from re-entering the air. It’s an interesting concept, and the filtration pack actually has a very light scent to it which is a refreshing change.

Battery and Charging

The Shark Cordless has a battery that will last up to 40 minutes, provided you’re using it on the ECO setting. Using it at the highest settings will net you just 15 minutes. If that seems a little on the short side, you’re right. Comparable units tend to go for longer before needing a fresh charge, but since the vacuum should really live on its charging base whenever it’s not in use, you should always have a full battery ready for any task big or small. It takes a nominal three hours to recharge to full, and, of note, the lithium ion battery is removable, so you could pick up a second battery to swap out if you’re concerned with the short usage time.

Anti Hair Wrap

Shark Detect Pro auto empty anti-hair wrap

One of the worst aspects of vacuuming is dealing with long hair wrapped around a beater bar. The Shark Cordless Detect Pro has Anti-Hair Wrap technology, a self-cleaning brush roll that ensures you won’t spend hours pulling hair out of it. If you have a long haired human in your house, this is worth its weight in gold.

Tested this out by running the vacuum in my bathroom after I had finished blow dry my hair. There was plenty of long hair all over the floor and I use the shark cordless detect to scoop up all of it. When I flipped it over afterwards, there was not one single hair wrapped around it. Pretty darn impressive.

Filters and Attachments

Shark Detect Pro auto empty attachments

The pre-motor filter is made of foam and felt and should probably last you a couple of years. The post-motor filter is a HEPA filter and again should probably last you at least a couple of years. The odor-neutralizing cartridge works for about six months. Shark sells replacements in packs of two.

The unit comes with a crevice tool but no other attachments. Depending on your living situation and space, that might be a pro or a con.

Overall review: Shark Cordless Auto Detect Pro Auto Empty

Shark Detect Pro auto empty

Overall I’m surprised at how much I really enjoyed this vacuum, both as a stick vac and a handheld.

I recently tested another similar and far more expensive version of this same technology, I was left sorely disappointed. This vacuum is extremely effective does a great job at cleaning a variety of different surfaces.

On the pro side, the main motor cleaning head is wide and picks up debris in a single pass. The beater brush inside seems effective at lifting dirt, and its anti-hair-tangle properties are extremely effective. The auto emptying is extremely quick and doesn’t feel like it’s slowing you down, while the docking charging station doesn’t boast extra storage, it’s also extremely compact and has a small footprint. I also appreciated the small odor filter.

On the downside, the dustbin seems like it is quite small, but I found I was able to clean most of my 1000 square-foot main floor and not have to worry about emptying it midway through. Plus the fact that when I dock vacuum for recharging and storage, it’s going to empty it out so I always begin the next cleaning session with a fresh empty bin.

I didn’t find that the dirt detect features actually worked. I will deduct points for this, but I’m not surprised by it. I find most of the so-called dirt detection technology that’s out there in vacuums right now is more a sales pitch than actual solution. What is the cleaning power of this vacuum is actually outstanding, I’m not offended that I don’t get an array of dazzling lights to go with it.

The major downside is the lacklustre battery life. You’re only going to get about 15 minutes at full power here which is barely adequate. Yes, you can shell out for a second battery, but that seems like an added expense.

For me the cons with this vacuum aren’t deal breakers, just things to be aware of. For that reason I can definitely recommend the Shark Cordless Auto Detect Pro Auto Empty to you. It sells for about $449US/$599CAD (MSRP) and you can get it from Shark, electronics retailers, Amazon, or Walmart.

Also Read:

  1. Shark Detect Pro vs Dyson V15 – How to Choose
  2. Shark Detect Pro vs. LG Cord Zero: How To Choose

**A note about Affiliate Links: TechGadgetsCanada & TechGadgetsInternational is supported by our readers. Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase, but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you choose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using these links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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