Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away NV356E is one of the most popular upright vacuums and with good reasons. It is based on the Shark’s Lift-Away technology – the unit can be used as the classic upright vacuum cleaner, as the upright vacuum cleaner with the cleaner hose, or the Lift-Away pod can be detached from the rest of the unit and used with cleaner hose, telescopic wand and cleaning attachments.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional with Dust-Away NV356E is being replaced with newer models, but due to its acceptable price and excellent features, it is still the preferred model of many users. After all, if it is not broken, don't fix it :)

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 Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional NV356E Features and Specifications

Shark Navigator 356E is designed for cleaning bare floors, low-, medium- and high-pile carpets and area rugs and for cleaning elevated surfaces, too.

Main cleaner head includes a brushroll for cleaning deeply embedded dirt and debris, including pet and human hair, lint, fibers and similar. For cleaning bare floors, especially sensitive wooden floors, brushroll can be turned off using shut off/on button.

Cleaning path width of the main cleaning head is 9.5 inches (~24.1 cm) and it could be perhaps wider, to cover larger area in less time. But, the vacuum does its job well, and 9.5” nozzle helps keep the suction high – wider nozzle would require stronger and larger motor, this would lead to heavier and more expensive unit etc.

shark nv356e hepa filterShark NV356E features Shark’s Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology with a HEPA filter, enabling the unit to trap 99.9% of dust and allergens inside the vacuum – note that true HEPA vacuum cleaner (not just filter), traps 99.97% of 0.3 micrometer (or larger) particles. Nonetheless, Shark NV356E has excellent air filtration, which is very important for people with allergy, asthma and other respiratory or similar health issues.

Air filtration system uses three different air filters: foam and felt pre-motor air filters and HEPA post-motor air filter.

Since the condition of air filters is very important for proper operation of the unit, they can and should be washed in order to keep the air flow and the suction at required level:

- pre-motor foam and felt filters should be washed every 3 months or as needed,

- post-motor HEPA filter should be washed every 2 years, or as needed.

Filters are rinsed using plain water and then air dried for 24 hours or until fully dry. Never assemble the unit if the filters are still moist and never operate the unit with wet filters or no filters at all.

Note: Shark NV356E is simple to use and maintain unit, but just in case, when the unit arrives, be sure to thoroughly read the manual/instructions.

Lift-Away vs. Powered Lift-Away Technology

Some Shark's vacuums feature 'Powered Lift-Away' technology, while some vacuums feature 'Lift-Away' technology. What is the difference?

shark nv356e features

Shark NV356E weighs 13.7 pounds (~6.2 kg), while its Lift-Away pod weighs without the cord around 8 pounds (~3.6 kg), so it can be easily carried around for cleaning stairs, corners, upper floors, car and other hard to reach areas and places. Note that the unit doesn’t come with LED headlights, which can be very helpful in low light conditions, for example, under the furniture.

Main cleaner head uses 'Powered' brushroll for cleaning carpeted areas, and it can be used only when the unit is used as classic upright vacuum cleaner.

When the Lift-Away pod is detached from the rest of the unit, main cleaner head remains with the rest of the unit and the cleaning is done using Lift-Away pod, flexible cleaning hose and one of the available cleaning attachments, with or without cleaning wand - but without the main cleaner head with the 'powered' brushroll.

Note: Shark NV356E uses single 'classic' brushroll which is very efficient in picking up various types of debris, but it is not tangle-free brushroll - from time to time, user has to manually remove tangled pet and human hair and other similar debris.

Physical dimensions of the unit are (H x D x W) 45.2 x 14.9 x 11.4 inches (~114.8 x 37.8 x 28.9 cm).

To help the unit move around and clean with as less effort as possible, unit comes with swivel steering.

Dirt bin is transparent and the user can easily see amount of the vacuumed dirt. Dirt bin capacity is 2.2 dry quarts (~2.4 liters) and is more than enough for most applications. To avoid buildup of unpleasant gases and smells, it is highly recommended to empty the dirt bin after each use. When the dirt reaches 'Max Fill Line', dirt bin must be emptied, or the unit can have issues during operation (reduced air flow, lower suction etc.).

Shark Navigator NV356E is designed for dry dirt only and wet and moist dirt and especially liquids, should not be vacuumed using this vacuum cleaner.

Power cord is 30 feet (~9.1 m) long and one power outlet can be used to cover rather large area. Hose is 5 feet (~1.52 m) long and  in combination with Lift-Away pod which can be carried around without much effort, help the user to vacuum elevated surfaces even up to the ceiling, including stairs, furniture, book shelves, ceilign fans etc.

Shark NV356E doesn't feature automatic power cord rewind system - power cord is manually wrapped around the power cord wrap hooks, which help the user store the power cord, but also help the user quickly release the power cord, allowing the user to use the unit even in emergencies (for example, pet and kids messes and similar).

Unit features 1200 W (~11 Amps) motor providing excellent suction, regardless of the used cleaning mode. Shark NV356E also features variable suction control in the form of suction release mechanism (collar), which is not the most efficient suction control system, but it keeps air flow through the unit high - important for proper air filtration and motor cooling.

Shark Navigator 356E Cleaning Attachments

shark nv356e attachments

Shark NV356E comes with several cleaning attachments, including:

- Hard Floor Hero Attachment is designed for cleaning hard floors, while being attached to the cleaning wand. It features full swivel neck, allowing it to reach under furniture, under beds and sofas, and other hard-to-reach areas and to clean them.

- Pet Power Brush features small powered brushroll and is designed for deep cleaning of smaller carpeted and upholstered areas like smaller carpets, stairs, furniture and similar. As the brushroll rotates, its bristles penetrate the surface and pull out the pet and human hair and agitate other dirt which is all sucked into the vacuum thanks to the strong suction. From time to time, user has to remove the tangled hair, lint, fibers and other similar debris manually from the brushroll.

- Dusting Brush is designed for dusting the elevated surfaces. It features gentle bristles and in combination with strong suction, it picks up dust and other small particles.

- 8" Crevice Tool is long and narrow cleaning tool, designed for cleaning tight and other similar hard-to-reach areas including edges, corners, between mattresses and cushions etc.

If required, other cleaning attachments can be ordered separately, including hard floor brush, home and car detail kit, premium pet power brush etc.

Note: actual list of included attachments may vary depending on the store, so before purchasing the vacuum, check the list of available attachments.

Shark Navigator 356E Safety Features

In order to protect the unit and in the end, the user, Shark Navigator 356E comes with several safety features.

Main motor features thermal protection - if the air flow through the unit is decreased due to the dirty filters, clog or something else, motor can overheat and get damaged. Thermal protection system monitors motor's temperature and if it start to rise over certain threshold, motor is powered off.

If that happens, turn off the unit, unplug it from the wall, empty the dirt bin, check the air filters and check the unit for blockages. After some 45 minutes, thermal protection system will reset itself automatically.

Also, unit will automatically shut off the power nozzle motor to avoid belt wear if the brushroll is blocked with a large debris or object (a sock, toy or toy part, carpet edge, and similar). If that happens, turn off the unit, unplug it from the wall, remove the obstruction and continue with the vacuuming.

Note: all these and other procedures can be found in the manual - reason more to read it thoroughly before the very first use.

Shark Lift-Away Upright Vacuums - Comparisons and Recommendations

Shark manufactures several Lift-Away and Powered Lift-Away vacuums differing in size, strength, and other features. Some of the models are listed in the following comparison table:

Model Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away (AZ1002) Shark Navigator Professional Lift-Away (NV356E) Shark Navigator Lift-Away Zero-M Speed (ZU561) Shark Rotator Powered Lift-Away TruePet (NV752)
Photo shark az1002 table  shark nv356e table  shark zero m zu561 table  shark nv752 table 
 DuoClean Technology Yes No No No
 Zero-M Technology Yes No  Yes No
 Powered Lift-Away Yes Lift-Away Lift-Away Yes
Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA Filter  Yes Yes  Yes Yes
 Noise Reduction Technology Yes  No  No No
Dimensions (L x W x H) 12 x 11.2 x 46 inches 14.9 x 11.4 x 45.2 inches  12 x 9.5 x 45.6 inches 12 x 13 x 46 inches
 Weight 16 lbs 13.7 lbs  13.4 lbs 15.6 lbs
Dirt Bin 1.5 dry quarts (~1.65 liters) 2.2 dry quarts (~2.4 liters) 2.2 dry quarts (~2.4 liters)   3.3 dry quarts (~3.6 liters)
Power Cord 30 feet (~9.2 m) 30 feet (~9.2 m)  25 feet (~7.6 m) 30 feet (~9.2 m)
Motor 1350 W 1200 W  800 W 1200 W
Cleaning Attachments 12" Crevice Tool, Pet Multi-Tool, Motorized Pet Tool Hard Floor Hero Attachment, Pet Power Brush, Dusting Brush, 8" Crevice Tool   Duster Crevice Tool,  Hair Removal Multi-Tool, Wide Upholstery Tool Pet Multi Tool,  Mini Motorized Brush, Duster Crevice Tool, Hard Floor Genie, Canister Caddy, Accessories Bag
Warranty 5 Year Limited 5 Year Limited  5 Year Limited 5 Year Limited
Amazon Link Shark APEX AZ1002 Shark Navigator NV356E Shark Navigator ZU561 Shark Rotator NV752

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

Few explanations:

- DuoClean Technology: main cleaner head features two different brushrolls working in unison to provide best cleaning possible. As they rotate, they help pick up various types of dirt from various surfaces, providing much better cleaning when compared with systems with 'only' one brushroll.

- Zero-M Technology: in order to decrease the maintenance task of cleaning brushrolls from entangled hair, Zero-M technology automatically removes pet and human hair and similar debris, making the maintenance mush easier and simpler.

As said before, Shark Navigator NV356E is an 'older' model and it doesn't feature some of the Shark's improvements in the form of DuoClean, Zero-M and similar technologies.  But, Shark 356E is very well designed and very affordable unit and, what is most important, it does its job well.

Also, it has long reach, it cleans surfaces from the floor to the ceiling, features practically no maintenance costs, has excellent warranty considering its price, it is light unit (13.7 lbs) with excellent maneuverability, and if that is not enough, its 8 pounds Lift-Away pod can be taken almost anywhere.

If you are looking for very reliable and rather affordable main vacuum cleaner, consider this model.

For the best offers, check Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Vacuum NV356E Amazon link (link opens in the new window).