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Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M Review

The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M upright vacuum offers three different cleaning options to tackle virtually any mess. Does it stand up to Shark’s claim that it delivers the ultimate cleaning experience?

Find out today with our Shark APEX DuoClean review of the AZ1002 model.

High-End Upright Vacuum

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Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M

The Shark APEX DuoClean is a high-end upright vacuum cleaner. It performed virtually flawlessly in our cleaning tests, scoring a 99.67% average across 12 tests. The DuoClean head had no issue at removing ultra fine particles like sugar and big stuff like cereal. Build quality was excellent and it feels like a significant step up (if not 2 or 3 steps) compared to the Shark Rotator or Shark Navigator. The Shark APEX is among the best uprights we’ve tested to date and is a strong recommendation from our team.Check Price

Pros

  • Exceptional cleaning performance, scoring an average 99.7%
  • The self-cleaning brushroll keeps hair from wrapping around the brush

Cons

  • One of the most expensive Shark upright vacuums
  • Fairly heavy at 17.1 pounds
  • The overall design is bulkier than other models

Shark APEX DuoClean Design

The APEX DuoClean offered by Shark has the most power of their full-sized upright vacuum models. The combined technologies in the AZ 1002 model places the APEX DuoClean as one of Shark’s top upright models.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M

The detachable canister makes vacuuming stairs or under and behind furniture easier. The Powered Lift-Away technology is a welcome feature since the Shark APEX upright vacuum is heavier than other models.

Shark APEX DuoClean lift away canister

LED lights are featured on the handle and floor nozzle. Swivel steering, also offered on the Shark Rotator model, helps with maneuverability. 

The APEX DuoClean has an even wider cleaning path at 11” and the dust bin has a bottom empty design with a 1.5 dry quart capacity.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M profile view

The DuoClean upright vacuum has modern lines and comes in espresso with a pop of red in the brushroll.

Overall, we feel the design and quality of the APEX DuoClean are superior to the Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator that we previously reviewed. The build quality in particular just feels like a notable step up.

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DuoClean Technology

The DuoClean Technology allows this model to go from high pile carpet to low pile carpet to hardwood. Each setting has a corresponding light indicator just below the power button. Flip the switch below the power button for the floor type and then turn it on.   

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M brushroll

The brushroll and soft roller work together to pick up short and long hair, as well as pet hair from your carpets and hardwood floors. According to Shark, you can also use this model to deep clean carpets (which we think is accurate; see our high pile carpet tests below).

Shark APEX DuoClean brushroll head

Suction and the dual brushroll system combine to effectively clean your floors. The brushroll pulls up debris, allowing the suction to lift it away into the clear dust bin canister.

Shark boasts Advanced Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology, meaning all the allergens and dirt are better sealed in the canister until you’re ready to empty it.

Powered Lift-Away

The Powered Lift-Away technology gives you a 2-in-1 design in this Shark APEX upright model. Use the upright vacuum to clean floors and then the Powered Lift-Away for stairs and other hard to reach places.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M

The 17.1 pound vacuum is on the heavier side, so the the Lift Away canister creates the convenience needed without having to purchase an additional lighter handheld vacuum.

Zero-M

Anyone who has wrestled with hair wrapped around the brushroll will enjoy this feature in the Shark APEX vacuum.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M brush

The Zero-M self-cleaning brushroll feature takes care of hair removal before it becomes a problem. The nozzle has small protrusions that pull hair from the brushroll as it spins, so it won’t wrap around the brush.

Accessories & Parts

The following accessories and parts are included in the Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away upright vacuum:

  • HEPA filter and foam filter
  • Upholstery tool
  • Crevice tool
  • Pet power brush
Shark APEX DuoClean accessories and tools

Filters

When you’re ready to clean the reusable HEPA filter, simply remove and rinse with water.

Shark APEX DuoClean washable filter
Washable filter

Allow to air dry before putting the filter back into the vacuum. To clean the foam insert, you’ll just need to tap off any loose dirt as needed.

Tools and Brushes

Several different tools and brushes make cleaning from floor to ceiling easier with just one vacuum.

Upholstery / dusting brush – The upholstery tool can be attached to the wand to use on soft furniture surfaces, like a chair or couch.

Shark APEX DuoClean dusting brush and upholstery tool
Dusting brush and upholstery tool

Crevice tool – Use the 12” crevice tool to get even further under or behind heavy pieces of furniture.

Shark APEX DuoClean crevice tool
Crevice tool

Pet power brush – The pet power brush attaches to the wand to get pet hair out of cracks and crevices the upright vacuum can’t reach.

Shark APEX DuoClean powered pet tool
Pet hair cleaning tool (underside brushroll)

Size & Dimensions

The Shark APEX DuoClean is:

  • Depth: 11.2”
  • Width: 12.2”
  • Height: 46”
  • Weight: 17.1 lbs

It also has a 30-foot long power cord, providing a full reach of 35.5 feet, including the hose capacity.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M size

Cleaning Performance

We expected the Shark APEX DuoClean to perform well. However, it exceeded all of our expectations with a cleaning performance that was virtually flawless.

Overall

99%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

The DuoClean head dominated both small and large debris alike, while it easily cruised through hardwoods, low pile, and high pile carpets. It’s among the very best vacuum cleaners we’ve tested to date.

Hardwood Floors

One of the most common issues we see with vacuum cleaners, but especially uprights, is a struggle with large debris (cereal in our case).

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

The Shark APEX DuoClean had zero issues here, removing 100% of all 4 debris we tested without even the slightest of issues.

Shark APEX DuoClean hardwood floor cleaning tests

Low Pile Carpet

We saw a virtually flawless performance on the low pile carpet cleaning tests.

Cereal

99%

Kitty Litter

99%

Rice

100%

Sugar

99%

We were able to remove a little kitty litter and sugar that the DuoClean didn’t remove. However, it wasn’t enough to even measure on our digital scale.

Again, basically perfect.

Shark APEX DuoClean low pile carpet cleaning tests

High Pile Carpet

The Shark APEX DuoClean performance on high pile carpet was the exact same that we saw on low pile carpet.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

99%

Rice

100%

Sugar

99%

There was a little kitty litter and sugar left behind, however, in neither case was it enough to actually measure on our scale.

Shark APEX DuoClean high pile carpet cleaning tests

Usability

The Shark APEX upright vacuum comes disassembled, but is easy to put together. The pieces click easily into each other with the following instruction:

  1. The wand connects into the floor nozzle.
  2. The handle attaches to the wand.
  3. Click the canister pod into place by lining it up with the wand and sliding it down until you hear it click into the base.
  4. Take the hose base and connect to the canister back, push until it clicks into place.

It took us about 5 minutes to fully assemble the Shark APEX vacuum.

To use in Powered Lift-Away mode, simply press the Lift-Away release button and then you can pick up the pod to use.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M tool & accessories storage
Storing the 4 cleaning tools on the Shark APEX

One thing to note is that of the four attachments that come with the Shark DuoClean, there is only room for two attachments on the vacuum itself.

Shark APEX DuoClean cleaning on carpet

That said, if you stick the crevice tool along the right holster you can put another tool on top of it. Additionally, the upholstery tool can slide into the dusting brush. This lets you carry all 4 tools at once.

Maneuverability

The weight of the Shark DuoClean makes it harder to maneuver as an upright vacuum. The lightweight design of the pod makes it easier to use on stairs and as a handheld vacuum. This makes up for the heavier weight compared to other Shark models.

Shark APEX DuoClean maneuverability

Despite the heavier weight, we did not find the Shark APEX difficult to meanuver. The center of gravity is low to the ground and the wheels are good, helping it more easily glide and turn.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M

The long wand makes it easier to get under and behind furniture, clean baseboards, and also get hard to reach ceiling corners. Not having to lift the full weight of the upright vacuum when cleaning the stairs is a plus as well.

Maneuverability Quick Facts:

  • Weight: 17.1 pounds
  • Turning: 45°
  • Hose: 5.5 feet
  • Power: 30’ cord
  • Height: 46″
  • Back Pivot: 180° (perfectly flat)
  • Width: 11” cleaning path

My only major gripe about maneuverability is the relatively short hose. It’s only 5.5′ and fairly rigid feeling. As a result, you cannot clean very far away from the vacuum.

By comparison, the Dyson Ball Animal 2 has a 15′ hose + extension wand, giving you 50′ total feet of cleaning reach.

Maintenance

The Zero-M technology lives up to its name in the Shark APEX DuoClean, meaning you won’t have to pay maintenance costs with this model. 

  • The self-cleaning brushroll removes hair around the roller as it’s picked up.
  • The included HEPA filter with foam insert is washable and reusable. Simply run it under water to clean and then let it dry completely before reinstalling.
  • In between cleanings, you can simply tap any loose dirt from the foam filters so you don’t lose suction performance.

Dust Cup

The canister dust cup can hold up to 1.5 quarts / 1.42 liters / 0.375 gallons of dry dirt and dust.

Removing Shark APEX DuoClean dust bin
Removing Shark APEX DuoClean dust bin

When you’re ready to empty it, click the release button to remove the dust cup. Then, hold it over the trash can and flip the tab on the front of the canister to dump the contents from the bottom.

Emptying Shark APEX DuoClean dust bin
Emptying Shark APEX DuoClean dust bin

We like that the canister opens from the bottom so you’re less likely to get dust and other debris any place other than the trash can.

Noise

Noise output was fairly typical of a high-powered upright vacuum cleaner. The noise did vary slightly between the different cleaning modes.

Using a electronic decibel measuring device we recorded the following noise levels:

  • Hardwood mode – 73 dB
  • Low pile carpet mode – 76 dB
  • High pile carpet mode – 77 dB

Value

So, after all our tests, do we think it’s worth the cost?

In a word, absolutely.

The Shark APEX DuoClean impressed at every stage of our testing process.

  • It dominated our cleaning tests, scoring a 99.7%. One of the highest scores we’ve seen to date.
  • Build quality felt great. While the pieces as plastic, they look and feel well put together and quality plastics.
  • Shark APEX is easy to use, easy to maneuver, and stores all of the accessories on the unit.

The higher initial price tag is offset by the fact that you won’t have maintenance costs like replacement filters or bags. With a washable filter that helps reduce the annual costs of maintaining the vacuum.

Overall, it feels like an excellent value.

Shark APEX DuoClean Specifications

Specifications and features for the Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away upright vacuum cleaner are below:

Specifications 
TypeUpright
ManufacturerShark
ModelAPEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away AZ1002
SuctionStrong (exact AW unknown)
Height46"
Depth11.2"
Width (inches)12.2"
Weight17.1 lbs.
Floor TypeAll
FilterWashable
Dust Bin1.5 quarts
Cord30'
Reach35.5'
BaglessYes
ReturnsVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who Should Buy the Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M?

Is the Shark APEX the right vacuum purchase for you? After our battery of tests and performance compared to similar models, I believe the Shark DuoClean is a great vacuum cleaner perfect for many homes.

If you want the following features in a vacuum cleaner, you should consider purchasing the Shark APEX DuoClean with Zero-M Powered Lift-Away:

  • Exceptional Performance – the APEX DuoClean scored a 99.7% on our cleaning tests, one of the best performances we’ve tested to date.
  • Space saver and multi-tasker: The ability to save space by having an upright and handheld canister vacuum in one is great, especially when space is at a premium. In addition, being able to store all 4 attachments on the unit itself is a big plus.
  • No maintenance costs: The initial price tag might be a little higher, but the fact that you don’t have to pay for maintenance costs helps to make up for it. Keeping the filters clean will ensure that your Shark APEX performs to its maximum potential.
  • Have carpet and hard floors: With the flip of a switch, the Shark DuoClean goes from carpet to hard floors in a second. Move from one room to the other quickly so you can get vacuuming checked off your list even faster.

Looking for more information on the Shark APEX DuoClean? Click here.

Update

  • October 5, 2020 – At some point since launch it seems that Shark removed a claim that the belts and filters would last a lifetime. A commenter brought that to our attention in October of 2020 and we updated the page accordingly to reflect this new information.
  • August 13, 2019 – Initial version of the page was published.
Extraordinary Performance & Value
  • 99%
    Design - 99%
  • 99%
    Performance - 99%
  • 96%
    Quality - 96%
  • 99%
    Usability - 99%
  • 97%
    Value - 97%
98%

Summary

The Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M is one of the best vacuums Shark builds. It scored well in our cleaning tests, where it achieved a rating of 99.7%. The build quality is excellent and feels several degrees better than Shark’s lower priced Navigator and Rotator uprights (both of which we also really like). The APEX is a more pricey vacuum, but well built with great features and performance. It’s a strong recommendation from the team at Modern Castle.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below

  1. I was on the shark clean website trying to find the lifetime warranty on belts and filters. I cannot find that claim. Where do you see it?

    Reply
    • Hi Aggie,

      Thanks for your question and my apologies for the slow reply. I’ve spent the last few days trying to find our original source…which as I recall was both the product pages for the Apex on Amazon and Shark’s website. It seems that those lifetime guarantees have been removed (to clarify, it was never a lifetime warranty, but just a guarantee that the belts and filters were able to last the life of the vacuum).

      In any case, my apologies for the confusion. I’m not sure when Shark made that change. In any case, we are updating the page now to reflect that change. Thank you for bringing to to my attention.

  2. I bought this vacuum at Bed Bath & Beyond 5.30.2020. It stopped working 9/16, just 2 weeks after the BBB return period expired. Specifically, the brush roller stopped turning. I called Shark warranty service at 877-581-7375 on 9.23.2020, which was interesting. It was a call then a video chat where they walked me though a trouble shooting process. I thought that was pretty innovative, and the service tech walked me through what he wanted to look at to diagnose the problem. He was interested in seeing if there was hair or dirt wrapped around the roller. There was not – we’d already made sure there wasn’t anything binding up the roller. Tech said that for $89, Shark would sell me a new roller. When I said I wasn’t interested, he offered me a “one time” 50% discount on the part. I’m cutting my losses. I paid $343.99 for this vacuum and I’m not giving Shark any more money. It did not work as well as the Dyson even before it broke. I had to buy an attachment from Shark for it to work well in corners. I’m going to re-sell this lemon to a vacuum repair shop and go back to a Dyson. My last one lasted 11 years and broke only when I accidentally dropped it down the stairs. I’m disappointed in the product and the lack of a good warranty. I’d done research, read Amazon reviews, read a few reviews in other places like The Spruce, Housewire, and others. All but a few said Shark was great. Even before it broke, I was disappointed in how the Apex worked compared to the Dyson. Hope the lesson I learned helps you in making your decision.

    Reply
    • Thanks for sharing your experience, P Hicks. I am sorry to hear it was such a terrible one.

      I am utterly and completely shocked that Shark’s warranty doesn’t cover the replacement of a brushroll bar…that just makes zero sense. I know you’re passed your BBB return period, but you might at least considering taking it back in and explain the situation. Perhaps they would offer you something?

      Do you know what Dyson model you’re going to go with?

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