Shark ION X40 Ultra-Light (IR141) vs. Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX (IF281) Cordless Stick Vacuums

Shark ION X40 Ultra-Light Cordless Stick Vacuum (IR141) and Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281) are two very similar cordless, bagless, convertible vacuum cleaners. They are designed to be used as lightweight cordless stick vacuums, or as powerful cordless handheld units.

Their main features include strong suction, DuoClean main cleaner head, good air filtration, convertible design. Main difference between Shark ION X40 (IR141) and Shark ION F80 (IF281) are in the number of batteries, wand type, available attachments, and of course, the price.

shark x40 ir131 f80 if281 1

Shark ION X40 (IR141) and Shark ION F80 (IF281) Features and Specifications

Both units come with DuoClean main cleaner head featuring two different brushrolls and side edge brushes.

Two brushrolls work in unison, picking up various types of debris (both small and large) from various types of floors.

Transition from one type of the floor to another is simple - just press of the button enables the user to set optimal settings for carpets and for bare floors and small area rugs.

Also, DuoClean main cleaner head comes with LED headlights, helping the user to clean areas in low-light conditions and to spot the dirt during daylight, especially on the bare floors.

shark f80 if281 flexed

Shark ION X40 (IR141) features rigid cleaning wand, while Shark ION F80 (IF281) features MultiFLEX cleaning wand. Both wands enable the user to clean floors easily and comfortably, while being able to reach elevated surfaces, even up the the ceiling.

However, MultiFLEX wand technology enable the user to easy clean under the beds and sofas by simply bending the MultiFLEX wand.

shark f80 if281 storageAlso, MultiFLEX wand allows the unit to be easily stored away for the next use.

During operation, units normally operate in so called ION Power mode, which is recommended setting for everyday cleaning. When stronger suction is required, user can choose ION Boost mode by pressing required button.

Note: since ION Boost increases vacuum suction, it also decreases operating time of the vacuum. Thus, ION Boost mode is limited to one minute. If more time is required, user has to press required button again. Also, to turn off ION Boost mode and to revert back to ION Power mode, user simply has to press ION Boost button again. Although both units are fairly simple to use, before the very first use, it is highly recommended to read the manual/instructions thoroughly.

Lithium ion rechargeable batteries provide fade-free power and can be recharged while being in the unit, removed from the unit or in the special charging station.

Both units are 2-in-1 convertible units and they can be used as lightweight stick vacuums and as handheld vacuums.

Main features and specifications, and also their differences are given in the following comparison table:

 Shark ION X40 (IR141) and Shark ION F80 (IF281) Comparison Table

 Model Shark ION X40 Ultra-Light Cordless Stick Vacuum (IR141)  Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281) 
 Photo shark x40 ir131 table  shark f80 if281 table 
Weight 8.7 pounds (~3.94 kg) 8.7 pounds  (~3.94 kg)
Dimensions (L x W x H) 13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches
~34 x 25.9 x 116.6 cm
13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches
~34 x 25.9 x 116.6 cm 
Maximum Rated Power 300 W 300 W
 Volts 25.2 V 25.2 V
 Amps 11.9 Amps 11.9 Amps
ION Power Pack Battery 1x 7-Cells Lithium 2x 7-Cells Lithium
ION Power Charging Cable Yes Yes
ION Power Pack Charging Dock No Yes
 Dirt Cup 0.3 dry quarts
0.33 liters
0.3 dry quarts
0.33 liters 
Cleaning Path 8.6 inches
~22 cm
8.6 inches
~22 cm
 DuoClean Technology Yes Yes
 MultiFLEX Technology No Yes
8" Crevice Tool Yes Yes
Upholstery Tool Yes Yes
Amazon Link Shark ION X40 (IR141) Shark ION F80 (IF281)

Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

For short, main differences between these two models are:

- Shark ION F80 (IF281) features MultiFLEX technology, while Shark ION X40 (IR141) does not,

- Shark ION F80 (IF281) comes with two removable batteries, while Shark ION X40 (IR141) comes with one removable battery,

- Shark ION F80 (IF281) also comes with ION Power Pack Charging Dock, while Shark ION X40 (IR141) does not.

Both units weigh 8.7 pounds (~3.94 kg) and are easy to use and maneuver around floor objects and obstacles. Physical dimensions in stick vacuum configuration are 13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches (~34 x 25.9 x 116.6 cm).

Maximum rated power is 300 W (ION Boost mode), providing good suction at 8.6 inches wide cleaning path. Suction in ION Power mode is not as strong, but strong enough for general cleaning.

Operating time of these vacuums depend on the mode and configuration and is given in the following table.

Note: these times are for one, fully charged ION Power Pack battery!

Configuration/Power Mode ION Power ION Boost
Handheld Vacuum Up to 40 minutes Up to 12 minutes
Bare Floors - Wand with DuoClean Nozzle Up to 32 minutes Up to 11 minutes
Carpet - Wand with DuoClean Nozzle Up to 26 minutes Up to 10 minutes

As one can see, Shark ION X40 (IR141) using its single battery can operate up to 10 minutes in ION Boost mode while cleaning carpets (so-called 'the worst case scenario') and in that configuration it can clean rather large area, for a cordless unit.

Thus, Shark ION X40 (IR141) is suitable as the main vacuum cleaner in smaller and up to the point medium homes and apartments and as excellent second vacuum cleaner even in the large homes and apartments for quick cleanups and in emergencies.

shark f80 if281 sideOn the other hand, Shark ION F80 (IF281) comes with two batteries (one in the unit, one spare) enabling the unit to operate up to 20 minutes in ION Boost mode while cleaning carpets, making it suitable as the main vacuum cleaner in medium and up to the point large homes and apartments. Or, it can be used as excellent second vacuum cleaner even in the largest homes and apartments for quick cleanups and as emergency vacuum.

Note: Both units feature thermal motor protection system and if the air flow through the motor is decreased, thermal protection system shuts off the motor. If the Shark ION F80 is more often used in ION Boost mode, especially with second battery, this can happen more often.

When used in other configurations, especially in ION Power mode, operating time is much longer, even up to 40 minutes for Shark ION X40 (IR141) and up to 80 minutes for Shark ION F80 (IF281).

When the battery is discharged, it takes up to 3.5 hours to completely charge it.

Dirt cup is transparent, allowing the user to see type and amount of vacuumed dirt. Its capacity is 0.3 dry quarts (0.33 liters) and it could be larger. Fortunately, it can be emptied quickly.

Air filtration is good, but it is not true HEPA air filtration. Air filtration is based on foam and felt pre-motor air filters and post-motor air filter.

Air filters are washable using tap water. After washing they must be dried thoroughly, for at least 24 hours - never assemble the unit with wet/moist filters and never use the unit with wet filters or no filters at all.

In order to be able to clean not just floors, but also other, especially elevated surfaces, both units come with the same set of cleaning tools, including:

upholstery toolUpholstery Tool is design for picking up pet and human hair and various dirt from mattresses, couches, curtains, and other delicate fabrics.

8" Crevice Tool is long and narrow cleaning tool, design for cleaning tight and narrow spaces, corners, edges and similar hard-to-reach places.

This tool is 8" (~20.3 cm) long.

If required, there are other cleaning tools available that can be ordered later.

Some of them include: 18" Flexi Crevice Tool, Anti-Allergen Dust Brush, Duster Crevice Tool, Motorized Pet Tool, Dusting Brush, Flexible Hose, Multi-Angle Dusting Brush, Pet Multi-Tool, MultiFLEX Under-Appliance Wand etc.

Which additional tools to acquire is highly individual and depends on personal needs and preferences. Just be sure to order according to the vacuum model that you already have.

Warranty: both units feature 5 year warranty of the vacuums and 2 year warranty for the batteries.

Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum IF251 vs Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281)

Shark IONFlex IF251 and Shark MultiFLEX IF281 are two very similar convertible, cordless vacuums, both featuring two replaceable and rechargeable lithium batteries, DuoClean main cleaner head, MultiFLEX cleaning wands etc.

Their main features and specifications, and also their differences are given in the following comparison table:

 Model Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum (IF251)
Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281) 
 Photo if251 table  shark f80 if281 table 
Weight 8.7 pounds  (~3.94 kg) 8.7 pounds  (~3.94 kg)
Dimensions (L x W x H) 13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches
(~34 x 26 x 116.6 cm)
13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches
~34 x 25.9 x 116.6 cm 
Maximum Rated Power 300 W 300 W
 Volts 25.2 V 25.2 V
 Amps 11.9 Amps 11.9 Amps
ION Power Pack Battery 2x 7-Cells Lithium Batteries 2x 7-Cells Lithium Batteries
 Dirt Cup 0.3 dry quarts
0.33 liters
0.3 dry quarts
0.33 liters 
 DuoClean Technology Yes Yes
 MultiFLEX Technology Yes Yes
8" Crevice Tool No Yes
Upholstery Tool Yes Yes
Duster Crevice Tool Yes No
Amazon Link Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean IF251 Shark ION F80 (IF281)

Note: Amazon affiliate links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for the most up-to-date offers and prices.

As one can see, these are practically the same units, at least on the paper - according to the Shark, Shark ION F80 (IF281) features (among other differences) redesigned, more efficient motor.

But, both units are rated at 300 W and use the same batteries with very similar operating times on a single battery charge.

Another difference is in the cleaning attachments - while Shark ION F80 (IF281) feature 8" Crevice Tool and Upholstery Tool, Shark IONFlex IF251 features Upholstery Tool and Duster Crevice Tool.


Long Story Short: Both Shark ION X40 Ultra-Light Cordless Stick Vacuum (IR141) and Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281) are good and versatile cordless vacuums with good suction and operating time more than long enough for them to do their job.

Also, these vacuums are improved models (according to the manufacturer) of Sharks IF20* and IF25* cordless vacuums and they cost slightly more.

However, if we compare IF251 and IF281 models, real difference is in color and available attachments, although manufacturer claims that IF281 model features among other things, improved and more efficient motor.

Note: the lists of available attachments may change over time.

In the mean time, before deciding which one is better for You, please check both Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean Cordless Ultra-Light Vacuum IF251 and Shark ION F80 MultiFLEX Cordless Stick Vacuum (IF281) Amazon links (links open in the new windows) and decide according to Your personal needs and preferences.