Shark ION Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum IR101
Shark ION Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum IR101 is cordless and bagless convertible Shark Rocket vacuum cleaner. It easily converts from lightweight upright/stick vacuum cleaner into handheld vacuum cleaner (and back), providing the user with the cleaning tool capable of cleaning various surfaces from the floor to the ceiling.
Thanks to its lightweight design and lithium ion battery, it can be used as the main vacuum cleaner in smaller homes and apartments and as second vacuum cleaner in larger homes and apartments for in-between cleanups and in the emergencies, as car vacuum cleaner etc.
Shark IR101 is powered via lithium ion battery. Battery uses 7 cells for total 25.2 volts. Maximum vacuum power is 300 W, when it drains the battery with almost 12 Amps.
Although 300 Watts doesn't sound much when compared with large corded units, IR101 is one of the stronger cordless units on the market.
By default, Shark IR101 comes with 8 inch crevice tool, pet multi-tool, a single battery, a single charger and with anti-allergen dust brush.
Main cleaning head uses rotating brushroll to improve cleaning on various surfaces. Rotating brush is of conventional design and over time, user must manually clean it from entangled pet and human hair - it is not of tangle free design.
Shark IR101 is rather lightweight unit and it weighs 7.2 pounds (~3.26 kg) without accessories. Such weight, lack of power cord, swivel steering, LED headlights enables the user to quickly access and clean surfaces that are hard to clean with larger units. Also, unit is easy to maneuver around the furniture and other objects and obstacles commonly found in every household.
Unit dimensions are (L x W x H) 11.9 x 10.3 x 45.6 inches (~30.2 x 26.2 x 116 cm).
Dirt cup is transparent and its maximum capacity is 0.3 dry quarts (~0.33 liters) up to the 'Max Fill' line. Dirt cup capacity could be larger, but it is in range with the size of dirt cups of other similar vacuums.
It is highly recommended to empty the dirt cup after each use.
All filters are washable, just be sure not to use cleaning agents - use just warm (not hot!) water. Before reinstalling the filters back into the unit, be sure that they are completely dry, or you can damage the vacuum.
Note: Never use wet filters and never operate the unit without filters. Although IR101 is simple to use vacuum, it is highly recommended to read the manual before the first use.
Air filtration is good, but it is not true HEPA air filtration.
Shark IR101 - Charging the Battery
Unit doesn't come with dedicated docking/charging station - to charge the battery, user must plug-in the charging cable into the battery.
Charging is possible while the battery is in the unit, or removed from the unit. Also, when the unit arrives, battery is only partially charged, so be sure to charge it fully before first use.
Note: it is possible to order separately additional battery with or without the charging dock. Charging the battery in the charging dock is much simpler and it also provide the user with the option of using the vacuum with one battery, while other battery is charging in the dock. Also, charging dock with two battery slots is available, enabling the charging of two batteries at the same time.
Shark ION Power Pack Battery XBAT200 is compatible with the Shark ION Rocket, Shark IONFlex and Shark IONFlex 2X cord-free ultra-light vacuums. When being used in extended runtime mode, unit is able to operate for 20-25 minutes on a single charge, depending on the cleaning tool used, too.
Shark ION Power Pack takes approximately 3.5 hours to full charge the battery - having an extra battery can come handy!
One of the very interesting options for Shark IONFlex Ultra-Light Cordless Vacuum and/or Shark ION Rocket Ultra-Light Cordless Vacuum is powered wall mount.
It is used to securely store and charge Shark IONFlex and ION Rocket vacuum, while keeping the unit ready to be used at the moment notice.
Shark IR101 Cleaning Tools
Available cleaning tools are suitable for cleaning various surfaces:
- main cleaning head with brushroll, suitable for cleaning bare floors, carpeted areas and area rugs.
- 8 inch (~20cm) crevice tool is designed for cleaning tight and narrow spaces, along the baseboards and edges, in the corners etc.
- pet multi-tool is two tools in one. It is combination of a stiff bristle brush designed for cleaning stubborn debris, and an upholstery tool, designed for cleaning pet hair and other debris for upholstery, stairs, furniture and other similar surfaces.
- anti-allergen dust brush is designed for removing fine dust and other allergens from various surfaces.
Note that there are other cleaning tools that can be ordered separately, like 5" Crevice Tool, 18" Flexi Crevice Tool, Duster Crevice Tool, Dusting Brush, Multi-Angle Dusting Brush, Wide Pet Upholstery Tool, Pet Upholstery Tool, Deep-Cleaning Motorized Pet Tool, Home & Car Detail Kit, Precision Duster, MultiFLEX™ Under-Appliance Wand, Small and Large Accessory Bag, Flexible Hose etc.
Shark IR101 Controls
Shark IR101 controls are simple, but effective.
To start the unit, press On/Off button.
For cleaning carpets, choose carpet setting - in this mode the brushroll spins faster to pick up deeply embedded dirt, dust and other debris below the carpets' surfaces.
For cleaning bare floors and area rugs, choose floor setting - in this mode brushroll spins slowly to gently clean bare floors and sensitive area rugs.
For everyday cleaning, choose extended runtime mode - in this mode, vacuum power is somewhat reduced in order to prolong the operating time on a single battery charge.
For heavy duty cleaning, choose max power mode - in this mode vacuum cleans at full power, shortening operating time on a single battery charge.
Also note that when the vacuum is in upright position, brushroll doesn't spin - one has to recline the wand to start the brushroll.
All controls are easily visible during operation and the user can set required settings quickly as needed by the cleaned surfaces and present dirt.
Shark IR101 ION Rocket vs Shark IF201 IONFlex DuoClean vs Shark IF251 IONFlex 2X DuoClean
Shark IR101, Shark IF201 and Shark IF251 are very similar units with few differences:
- Shark IF201 and IF251 feature 'MultiFlex' technology enabling the wand to flex and to reach and clean areas under the furniture, under the beds and similar.
- Shark IF201 and IF251 feature 'DuoClean' technology - main cleaning head features two different brushrolls for cleaning various types of dirt simultaneously, speeding up the process of cleaning.
- Shark IR101 and Shark IF201 come with one lithium ion battery, while Shark IF251 comes with two lithium batteries.
Other than that, they are rather similar units.
For more on Shark IONFlex vacuums, check our Shark IONFlex DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuums: Models IF200, IF201, IF202, IF205, IF251 and IF252 article.
Long Story Short: Shark IR101 ION Rocket is simple to use, but very versatile vacuum cleaner. During 20-25 minutes of operation in extended runtime mode, it can clean rather large areas, while in max power mode it can tackle even with the most stubborn dirt.
It does lack few things like filter or clog sensors, or dirt cup full indicator, but all-in-all, it is good performer, liked by its owners.
Also, it comes with 2-year battery warranty and 5-year vacuum warranty - good warranty for cordless unit in this price range.
For the best offers, check Shark ION Rocket Ultra-Light Vacuum IR101 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).