Dyson V7 vs Shark Rocket Pro Cordless Vacuum


Dyson V7 vs Shark Rocket Pro

The Dyson V7 Motorhead and the Shark Rocket Pro are two very popular cordless stick vacuums.  They are also reasonably priced and can typically be found for under $300.  But which is the right vacuum for you?  Dyson and Shark are strong competitors and marketing materials would have you believe that each manufacturer’s machine is the best.  In this article we compare the vacuums to one another, testing cleaning ability, run times, and much more. 

A Word on Models

We have the Dyson V7 Motorhead and the Shark Rocket Pro IZ140C.  There are also a host of other models available. 

A quick look at the Dyson website currently shows the following V7 models (available models sometimes change over time):
– V7 Allergy
– V7 Fluffy
– V7 Motorhead
– V7 Animal
– V7 Absolute

 

These are, for the most part, the same vacuums but they are differentiated by a few things such as level of filtration, type of cleaner head, number of cleaner heads, and tools.

 

The Shark website shows three groups of Shark Rocket cordless vacuums:
– Shark Rocket Cordless
– Shark Rocket Pro Cordless
– Shark Rocket Pet Pro Cordless

 

There are different models within each group but these are all fairly similar machines differentiated by type of brushroll, type of wand (flexible or normal), headlights (some have them some don’t), level of filtration, fixed or removable battery, and tools.

 

What’s in The Box?

Our V7 Motorhead includes:
– V7 handheld unit
– Wand
– Direct-drive cleaner head
– Combination tool
– Crevice tool
– Wall mount
– Battery charger
– Quick start guide
– Owner’s manual

 

Dyson V7 Whats in the box

 

Our Shark Rocket Pro IZ140C includes:
– Shark Rocket Pro handheld unit
– Wand (non-flexible)
– Cleaner head with self cleaning brushroll (fins)
– Upholstery tool
– Crevice Tool
– Battery charger
– Quick start guide
– Owner’s manual

 

Shark Rocket Pro Whats in the Box

 

Weight

The Dyson is the lightest of the two vacuums. 




   Weight (lbs)
V7  5.45 lbs
Rocket Pro  7.3 lbs

 

The Shark is 34% heavier than the Dyson. That is a significant difference and you can feel it when moving the vacuums around. 

 

Handheld Component

The wand can be removed from each vacuum so that you have a handheld vacuum.  The V7 handheld is smaller and lighter than the Rocket Pro. We weighed both. 




   Weight (lbs)
V7  3.04 lbs
Rocket Pro  3.44 lbs

 

Handheld components

 

The V7’s smaller size makes it easier to maneuver and use in cramped quarters – like vehicle interiors for example.  The Pro is still ok for this but it is noticeably bulkier and heavier. 

 

Cleaner Heads

One of the main differences between these vacuums is the cleaner head and brushroll.  The brushroll on the V7 is a little more traditional with two rows of bristles (although one row is soft carbon fibre filaments).  The cleaner head is small and lightweight (below).

Dyson V7 Cleaner Head

 

 The cleaner head on the Shark Rocket is larger and heavier and a little more like the cleaner head you see on a proper upright vacuum (below).  Also, the cleaner head has a comb-like device in it that helps remove hair from the brushroll.  In addition, the brushroll itself if very non-traditional and it has fins – no bristles at all.  We have not see this before. 

 

Shark Rocket Pro Cleaner Head

 

Movement

Movement of both vacuums is very good.   They move well on carpet and bare floors, and the cleaner heads swivel easily making steering fairly smooth. 

The edge would have to go to the Dyson though.  The Dyson is lighter and it does not feel top heavy.  The Shark Rocket Pro has a heavier handheld component and you can actually feel it on your arm and wrist when vacuuming. 

 

Tools

Both come with similar tools (1 crevice tool and 1 dusting tool).

Dyson V7 Motorhead ToolsDyson V7 Tools

Shark Rocket Pro IZ140C ToolsShark Rocket Pro Tools Both manufacturers provide tools that securely click into place and will not fall off without depressing a button.  This is a good system and, in our opinion, is much better than compression fit whereby you have to push on and pull off the tools.

If we had to make any judgement call we’d say that the Shark tools feel a little more solid and robust than those provided by Dyson

 

Storage

Neither vacuum will stand on its own.  There are some complaints about this but many stick vacuums are similarly designed.  Providing a standing mechanism adds weight so many manufacturers don’t move in this direction (one interesting exception is the Shark APEX UpLight which has wheels that extend out to allow the unit to stand upright on its own, then retract when vacuuming). 

One storage solution for a machine that will not stand upright is a wall mount.  All of the Dyson stick vacs come with a wall mount, including the Dyson V7 Motorhead. The wall mount (sometimes referred to as a docking station) allows the unit to be charged while stored and even holds a couple of tools. 

 

V7 docking station

 

Unfortunately the Shark Rocket Cordless vacuums do not include a wall mount.  It may be that Shark considers their machine a little heavy and/or bulky for a wall mount (but that’s speculation). 

 

Noise

The Shark is the louder vacuum.  We performed a noise test on each machine.  We placed a digital noise level meter 3 feet from the cleaner head, placed the vacuum in the upright position and turned the power on (the unit was on low-pile carpet).  Peak decibels were recorded over a 10 second period:




   Standard Power (decibels)  Max Power (decibels)
V7  68.2 dB  70.9 dB
Rocket Pro  74.2 dB  75.1 dB

 

The noise level difference is quite apparent, especially in low power. 

 

Run Time

We performed run time tests on medium pile carpet.




  Standard Power Max Power
V7 23 min 28 sec 6 min 22 sec
Rocket Pro 18 min 50 sec 10 min 45 sec

 

The Dyson was the winner in standard power mode while the Shark provided more run time in maximum power.  However, we would caution that run times can be a little misleading because they don’t take into account suction power.  In other words, it is very easy to get a long run time if you lower the vacuum suction, however lowering it too far reduces the cleaning ability of the machine. 

 

Recharge Time

Approximate battery recharge time for both units is the same.

 




  Recharge Time
V7 3.5 hours
Rocket Pro 3.5 hours

 

Cleaning Tests 

 

CARPET

We placed a carefully measured amount of ground cheerios, flax seeds, chili flakes and split green peas on low pile carpet.  The debris was placed in a 5.5 ft long line and a single forward pass was done with each vacuum.  We measured the percentage debris pickup in low power mode. 

 




   % Pickup
V7  99.3%
Rocket Pro  99.9%

 

Both vacuums were very capable at tackling our debris on the low pile carpet.  The Shark may have had a small edge but the difference was not particularly significant.  These are some of the best pickup figures we’ve seen for cordless machines on carpet.
 
BARE FLOORS
We performed a similar test on a tile floor.

 




   % Pickup
V7  91.4%
Rocket Pro  99.4%

 

The Shark frankly kicked the Dyson’s butt in this test.  The V7 direct drive cleaner head provided with the Motorhead is best suited for carpet.  It is generally ok for small amounts of debris on a bare floor but for larger volumes of debris it results in a fair bit of scattering.  The Rocket Pro was at home on tile – almost as much as it was on the carpet.  This is very impressive.  Shark may be on to something with this finned brushroll approach.

 

You can increase your V7 bare floor pickup by using a Dyson soft roller cleaner head (as seen in video above), but one does not come with the Motorhead and you have to buy it separately (you can also get it with the V7 Fluffy and the V7 Absolute).  We happen to have a Dyson soft roller cleaner head so we placed it on our V7 to see what kind of performance we would get. As the table below shows using this cleaner head makes the V7 very effective on bare floors.

 



   % Pickup
V7 with soft roller cleaner head  99.9%

 

HAIR
Both units have very good hair pickup.  However the Rocket Pro cleaner head and brushroll are designed to limit hair tangling in the brushroll, and this works fairly well – not perfect, but fairly well.  The V7 does not have this feature and you can see much more hair tangling in the brushroll.  Check out the video below where we do a quick test on hair wrapping.

 

 

Clogging

We were vacuuming with the Rocket Pro after removing the Christmas tree from our house and ran into a problem.  We noticed clogging in the narrow opening of the Rocket Pro cleaner head when dealing with pine needles (see image below).  

 

Shark Rocket Pro Clog

 

So we decided to do some tests.  We placed pine needles on a square of carpet (see image below) and we tried to vacuum them up with each vacuum.  With the Rocket Pro we would get about half way through the job and it would clog.  The test with the Rocket Pro was repeated twice with the same results.  We then tried the V7 and there was no clogging – everything was picked up.  The V7 was also tested twice and it again picked everything up with no clogging.

 

We did not experience any clogging problems with the Rocket Pro on any of the other debris we used for testing – just the pine needles.  This may or may not be an issue for you depending on the material you intend to pick up with your vacuum.

 

Basic Maintenance

Maintenance for both vacuums is pretty easy but the edge here probably goes to the Dyson

 

FILTRATION
The V7 has only 1 filter to clean.  It is rinsable in water.

The Rocket Pro has 3 filters to clean. All are rinsable in water

Note that there is no HEPA filter in either machine

 

Dyson V7 Filter

 

 

Shark Rocket Pro filters

 

EMPTYING DUST CANISTER
Emptying the dust canister on both vacuums is fairly straightforward. But they have their idiosyncrasies.

 

To empty the Shark you must first remove the wand.  You don’t have to remove the wand on the V7.  This is not an issue for us because we always remove the wand before emptying our stick vacs – it is just easier to handle that way.  But some people don’t like having to do this step.

 

Dyson V7 dust canister

 

 

Rocket Pro dust canister

 

When emptying the V7 we found more hair/string/thread wrap around the assembly inside the dust canister.  You sometimes have to pull it out with your hand (despite the hygienic emptying system).  This was less of a problem with the Rocket Pro.  Hair wrap may not be much of an issue on either machine if you don’t have much hair in the house.

 

CLEANING BRUSHROLL
Brushrolls often get hair/string/thread wrapped around them that requires removal.  The tangle-free brushroll on the Shark works reasonably well and results in less brushroll cleaning episodes than the V7.

 

However when you do have to clean the brushroll, the V7 is easier to access.  The V7 cleaner head is lighter and easier to work with and the brushroll can be completely removed if you are dealing with a real mess. You cannot remove the brushroll from the Rocket Pro cleaner head. 

 

A Word on Longevity

We’ve had the V7 for just over 2 years and use it several times a week.  We’ve had no problems whatsoever.

 

We’ve had the Shark Pro for a few months.  We were quite surprised to see the fins on the brushroll showing wear and fraying (see image below).  It’s not clear at this time whether this will be an issue.  It currently does not seem to affect performance.
 

Fraying Fin - Shark Rocket Pro

 

Appearance

This isn’t an area we talk about much but some designs today almost beg to be seen.  To us, the Dyson V7 Motorhead is one of them.  This vacuum just looks like a piece of candy.  It’s bright, it’s sleek, it looks lightweight – and it kind of pops.  We don’t really feel the same way about the Shark.  It looks a little more utilitarian.   There’s nothing wrong with that but if you are looking for something that displays well then the V7 is probably the more effective vacuum in this area. 

 

Approximate Costs

If you dig around you should be able to find both of these vacuums for under $300.




   Cost (USD)
V7  approx. $300
Rocket Pro  approx. $250

 

Below are the current prices on Amazon.  You may sometimes find a price lower than those highlighted above.

 

 



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by jes