Shark Navigator Lift Away ZERO M Review & Comparison ZU561 ZU562


Shark Navigator Zero M on Amazon:
So lets start off with the main difference between the old and new versions, the brand new Zero M technology which I assume stands for zero maintenance. Basically it is a completely redesigned brush roll system which uses little protrusions to actively remove pet hair and other materials that start to wind around the brush roll.

We tried our best to get it wrapped in pet hair with our tests and it never did, while the old style navigator did in fact get wrapped in hair, so even though it was a limited test, I would have to say Zero M really works and its therefore it yet another game changing technology from Shark which solves a pretty dirty and totally universal problem. So that’s a reason to upgrade from your old Navigator right there.

Like the older version it is a sealed system with HEPA filtration, and so the Shark Navigators remain one of the cheapest sealed HEPA systems on the market. As most vacuums in its price range are leaky, even if they do have HEPA filters.

I found its weight to be nearly identical, lighter than the NV355 for example but just about 1 lb heavier than the NV352, but it had the same ultra lightweight feel as well as the exact same swivel steering mechanism.

We will get to the power and suction tests in a minute but before we do I should talk about the cleaning ability.

On carpet it has the same very good agitation and deep cleaning ability as the previous generation, after testing cordless vacuums for the last few weeks I have forgotten what its like to have a good deep cleaning vacuum for carpets. It performed well with pet hair and larger debris up to a certain limit. Even seeming to do a little bit better than the old navigator in the big mess test, But did require the easy to access hose to get the extra large debris.

For hard floors, like the previous generation you flip a switch which slows the brushroll and it does very good. And here is where the other main difference between the Zero M and older Navigators shows up.

The ZU561 has a way better seal on floors, meaning that it had more airflow to pick up more stuff. This is because they added a little strip on the bottom of the floor nozzle, which keeps it sealed to the floor on the back, you can see how much longer it took the older Nv352 to pick up the debris from the crevice pickup test.

This also means the newer version can pick up things like sand which the older versions struggled with. So that’s a very nice upgrade.

The Navigators have never been that great with extra large debris on hard floors and require the wand for most jobs, and that doesn’t seem to have changed with the new zero m version. I did have to use the wand to get anything over a certain size with hard floors.

I wanted to mention the superior performance of the new ZU561 before we got to the airflow and suction tests since the new Zero M Navigators actually have a slightly smaller motor than the older version. For example we measured the suction of the Zu561 at 78 inches of water lift and at 81 on the older version, either way its very high but there was a decrease with the Zero M. Also with the airflow numbers you can see a very slight decrease from the older version to the newer version.

I am guessing Shark figured that a smaller motor would be more than enough power considering the new floor nozzle design, and based on what we saw in the tests, I have to agree.

The attachment set was better than average, as it included a turbo brush which we love for stairs and pet hair, a combo crevice tool dusting brush, a combo upholstery tool with a non tangle brush, and a onboard tool holder.

The Lift Away feature was the same meaning you can detach the canister from the floor nozzle to use in a variety of suction only applications, but as with the previous version it is not a powered lift away meaning you cant attach the wand to the floor nozzle like you can with the more expensive powered lift aways, like the new Apex which we will be reviewing in a few days.

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30 replies
  1. Jamey McCarty
    Jamey McCarty says:

    Very disappointed with the Zero-M. After a few months the self cleaning brush stopped working and human hair gets wrapped around the roller and the hose gets clocked immediately after clearing said clog.

  2. Hollywood As I Live & Work
    Hollywood As I Live & Work says:

    Should’ve seen this before purchasing because I thought this version would vacuum under furniture easily. It doesn’t as we see in the video and I don’t know what to do about it. Should I get an attachment for either the hose or the vacuum part itself. The lift-away was the selling point but now I see it’s limited on this version. Anybody know of a workaround beyond buying a new vac?

  3. Steve Jones
    Steve Jones says:

    can any of you give me some advice? I have an NV480 and the hose just split, is there a way to upgrade the hose with something stronger? The hose has been one of the weak points of the vacuum and has been cracking for a while. A new hose is about $29 is there something else I could use to replace it?. The vacuum is now about four years old and is starting to show it's age.

  4. jTempVids
    jTempVids says:

    I don't understand why all vacuums don't have the strip behind the brushroll. I can't stand vacuums that kick back debris. I have to turn off the brushroll on my vacuum even on carpet when there is a lot of cat litter.

  5. IR
    IR says:

    Did you confirm with shark that the motor was smaller? I just don’t understand why the would do that on a newer model. There may of just been a margin of error with the suction and airflow test.

  6. joewger
    joewger says:

    I like the vac, but the cord is short, no lights, weak motor . For the same price I decided to go with the Bissell Pet Hair Vac . Also I found that Shark doesn't honor their warranties and customer service sucks!

  7. Matt B
    Matt B says:

    Picked one of these up for the Black Friday price of $180 and we didn’t even need to leave the house!

    It was to ditch the 10 year old Hoover Anniversary, which needed another new power switch, and sounded like it was dying every time it was used.

  8. Sam
    Sam says:

    If you need so much pet hair for your tests…go brush some strays at the shelter!
    Maybe try the vacuums meant for pets at the shelter itself, would make a cool video.


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