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Shark Vertex vs. APEX

Derek Hales

Written By: Derek Hales

Updated on:

For a quality Shark upright that goes beyond the budget picks of the Navigator or Rotator, you may be interested to check out the Shark Vertex vs. APEX.

These are two of Shark’s most advanced uprights and both models feature the DuoClean brushroll system.

Shark Vertex vs. APEX
Shark Vertex (left) vs. APEX (right)

This guide will give you a run down of what’s the same and what’s different between these two models.

Let’s get started!

Shark Vertex
  • Cord Length: 30′
  • Dustbin: 1 quart
  • Weight: 16.4 lbs
  • Cleaning: 99%
Shark APEX
  • Cord Length: 30′
  • Dustbin: 0.88 quarts
  • Weight: 17.1 lbs
  • Cleaning: 99%


First things first, let’s talk about the overall design of these two uprights. Both vacuums are full-size uprights and complete with all the bells and whistles.

Both the Shark Vertex & Shark APEX uprights include:

#1. Lift-Away Canisters

These vacuums both have Lift-Away canisters that allow you to take the canister out for more portable cleaning. In hand, the canister is lighter than pushing the full vacuum, but you’ll also have access to the full-size dustbin (1 quart capacity on the Vertex, 0.88 quart capacity on the APEX).

Shark Vertex Lift-Away canister
Shark Vertex Lift-Away canister

Bear in mind, the canister is more portable, but you’ll still be limited a bit by the plug-in power cord.

#2. DuoClean Brushroll

The DuoClean brushroll is also used on both the Shark Vertex and Shark APEX.

What is DuoClean?

DuoClean is a dual-action brushroll that is designed for increased suction and improved performance cleaning large debris.

DuoClean brushroll with PowerFins
DuoClean brushroll with PowerFins

The front of the vacuum removes the front plastic grill, making it easier for large debris to make contact with the brushroll.

Shark APEX DuoClean brushroll head
Shark APEX DuoClean brushroll head

The first roller is a fluffy soft roller that can grip that large debris and pull it into the system.

The second roller uses rubberized spirals to agitate debris from carpet fibers or more stubborn dirt.

Shark Vertex vs. APEX brushroll

The combination of two different styles of brushrolls helps to capture more debris and result in a more impressive clean compared to our cleaning tests with traditional spiral brushrolls.

RELATED: Check out our full review comparison of Shark Rotator vs. Navigator, which both use the more traditional brushroll instead of the DuoClean

#3. Corded Power

The Shark Vertex and Shark APEX are both corded uprights with a 30′ power cord. Corded power provides fade-free suction for longer cleaning cycles as well as the capacity of a full-size upright.

For cord-free Shark vacuums, check out the Shark Rocket Pet Pro stick vac or the Shark IQ robot vacuum.

#4. Cleaning Modes

Both of these vacuums offer the same cleaning modes, which can be manually adjusted on the handle of each vacuum.

Modes include:

  1. Hard Floor
  2. Carpet / Low Pile
  3. Thick Carpet / Area Rug
Shark Vertex cleaning modes
Shark Vertex cleaning modes

Size & Dimensions

The Shark Vertex Lift-Away is 46.5″ tall, 12″ wide, and 10″ deep. It weighs 16.38 pounds.

The Shark APEX Lift-Away is 46″ tall, 12.2″ wide, and 11.2″ deep. It weighs 17.1 pounds.

Shark Vertex Size

  • Height: 46.5″
  • Width: 12″
  • Depth: 10″
  • Weight: 16.38 pounds

Shark APEX Size

  • Height: 46″
  • Width: 12.2″
  • Depth: 11.2″
  • Weight: 17.1 pounds

How do they compare?

The specs are nearly identical, with the Shark APEX being slightly smaller and almost 1 pound heavier than the Vertex DuoClean.

Accessories & Parts

The table below documents all of the parts and accessories that were included with each model at the time of purchase. Depending on when you purchase each model and through which retailer, exact accessories may vary.

In this comparison, we’re looking at the Shark Vertex DuoClean (AZ2002) and the Shark APEX DuoClean (AZ1002).

AccessoryShark VertexShark APEX
HEPA FilterYesYes
Crevice ToolYesYes
Pet Power BrushYesYes
Upholstery / Dusting BrushYesYes

The Shark Vertex and the Shark APEX include the exact same set of accessories, with slightly different designs and colors, but basically the same performance.

Here’s exactly what you’ll get:

Shark Vertex

Parts and accessories for the Shark Vertex upright vacuum
Parts and accessories – Shark Vertex

Shark APEX

Shark APEX DuoClean accessories and tools
Parts and accessories – Shark APEX
  • Upholstery / dusting brush: The upholstery tool can be attached to the wand to use on soft furniture surfaces, like a chair or couch.
  • Crevice tool: A long narrow tool used to get in hard-to-reach spaces
  • Pet power brush: A motorized brush with rotating bristles, specifically designed to clean pet hair, without excessive tangling

Cleaning Heads

Aside from the tools and attachments, let’s talk about the cleaning head. While both vacuums use the DuoClean brushroll system, there are a few design differences in the head itself.

Shark Vertex

Top view of the DuoClean brushroll on the Shark Vertex upright vacuum

Shark APEX

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero M brushroll

Aside from differences in color, the top of the head is also a little different. Both models have LED lights on the cleaning head for improved visibility when cleaning.

Cleaning Tests

The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Shark Vertex vs. Shark APEX performs on different surfaces and against a variety of different debris types.

Shark Vertex vs APEX

We test on three different floor types, including hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

Shark Vertex Cleaning


Shark APEX Cleaning


For each floor type we test the vacuum cleaner against:

  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces

Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.

Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz

Not a huge surpirse, but the Shark Vertex and APEX uprights performed exceptionally well during our cleaning tests.

Shark Vertex Cleaning Performance



Low Carpet


High Carpet


You really can’t ask for much more in the performance of the Shark Vertex. Across the board, the Vertex had effectively flawless numbers, capturing 100% of debris on high carpet and hardwoods.

Shark Vertex upright - hardwood floor performance
Shark Vertex upright – hardwood floor performance

On low carpet, the Vertex did leave 4% of sugar debris, but not so much that it was noticeable after our tests were done and not enough to really impact the performance average overall.

Considering the perfect testing high carpet, I would guess it was a bit of an anomaly that performance dipped on the low carpet.

Shark Vertex upright - low carpet performance
Shark Vertex upright – low carpet performance

Shark APEX Cleaning Performance



Low Carpet


High Carpet


With the APEX, the performance was also nearly flawless across the board. Like the Vertex, the APEX captures between 99-100% on all floor types.

Shark APEX DuoClean hardwood floor cleaning tests
Shark APEX cleaning hardwood floors // Before and After

Again, not too much to say here. The APEX just does a fantastic job of cleaning all kinds of debris from all kinds of floor types, according to our tests.

Shark APEX DuoClean low pile carpet cleaning tests
Shark APEX cleaning carpets // Before and After


In terms of usability, there are a lot of similarities between the Vertex and the APEX.

Shark Vertex

  • Quick assembly: <5 mins
  • Lift-Away canister: Yes
  • Cord Length: 30′
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 1.0 qts.

Shark APEX

  • Quick assembly: <5 mins
  • Lift-Away canister: Yes
  • Cord Length: 30′
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.88 qts.

The biggest difference listed above has got to be the dust bin capacity, where the Shark Vertex has a 13.6% larger dust bin than the APEX.

Top view of the DuoClean brushroll on the Shark Vertex upright vacuum
Top view of the DuoClean brushroll on the Shark Vertex upright vacuum

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

  1. Connect wand into the floor nozzle.
  2. Attach the handle to the wand.
  3. Install the canister 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.

Setup for the Shark Vertex upright vacuum is basically the same as the process for the Apex.

With either of these uprights, you can clean in the Lift-Away mode by simply pressing the Lift-Away release button. Once the canister is released, you can take it on-the-go.


Let’s talk about maneuverability. Some of the factors that come into play when talking about maneuverability include:

  • Weight: Both of these uprights are between 16-17 lbs so pretty similar in terms of size. The Vertex is slightly lighter at 16.38 lbs, while the APEX comes in at 17.1 lbs.
  • Power: The Vertex and APEX are also both corded vacuums with a 30′ long cord.
  • Attachments: Both of these vacuums also come with the same types of tools and accessories.
  • Lift-Away: Lastly, the Vertex and APEX both offer the powered Lift-Away canister.
Shark Vertex upright nearly laying flat
Shark Vertex upright nearly laying flat

All in all, there are not many differences to talk about in terms of maneuverability. I’d call this section a tie between these two models.


Maintenance tasks between the Vertex and APEX are similar. Since they are roughly the same size and use basically the same parts, there is not much difference in maintenance.

Tasks would include:

  1. Empty the dust bin as needed.
  2. Check the brushroll regularly for clogs or tangled debris.
  3. Wash and dry the filters.

Honestly, that’s about it. Since the tools are pretty simple, minimal maintenance is required and since it’s a plug-in model, you don’t have to worry about charging or replacing the battery.

Is it a good value?

Ok, so let’s talk value—which is best? The Shark Vertex or the Shark APEX?

Although prices may fluctuate, the APEX is generally a little less expensive than the Vertex.

The dustbin on the Vertex is 0.12 quarts larger (1.0 vs. 0.88 quarts), which is not nothing. For some that may be the feature that pushes the Vertex over the top in terms of value, while others may not really care that much.

Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M
Shark APEX DuoClean Zero-M

Some third-party reviewers claim the suction is a little higher on the Shark Vertex, but we did not notice any difference in overall cleaning performance.


Here is a quick side-by-side comparison of the Shark Vertex vs. APEX uprights.

SpecificationsShark VertexShark APEX
Weight 16.38 lbs17.1 lbs
Floor TypeAll (indoor)All (indoor)
Dust Bin1.0 quarts0.88 quarts
CordlessNo - 30' cordNo - 30' cord
ReturnsVaries by retailerVaries by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited1-Year limited
BuyCheck PriceCheck Price

The Differences

#1. Dust Bin

The dust bin to the Shark APEX can hold up to 0.88 dry quarts, while the Shark Vertex maxes out at 1.0 quart.

#2. Cleaning Head

While it didn’t seem to affect performance, there are slight design differences in the design of the cleaning heads on the Vertex and APEX uprights. Shark claims the new “power fins” on the Vertex are better, and that may be true in some cases. However, we did not notice a massive difference in performance.

#3. Suction

Specs say that the suction power of the Shark Vertex is slightly more than that of the Shark APEX, although we didn’t notice any considerable difference in cleaning performance between the two.

Shark Vertex vs. Shark APEX: Which Should You Buy?

Both of these vacuums are incredibly similar, so much so that it’s a little odd that both models even exist within the same Shark lineup.

That being said, there are certainly benefits to each model.

Should You Buy the Shark Vertex?

I would recommend the Shark Vertex if you’re looking for:

  • Lighter Upright – While the difference is not significant, the Shark Vertex is slightly lighter than the APEX model—16.38 lbs for the Vertex compared to 17.1 lbs for the APEX.
  • Improved Brushroll – while we did not notice any significant difference in performance, Shark does say that the re-designed DuoClean brushroll on the Vertex is an improvement over APEX.
  • Larger Dust Bin – the Vertex has a slightly larger dust bin at 1.0 quarts, compared to the Apex’s 0.88 quarts.

Click here for more information or to buy the Shark Vertex.

Should You Buy the Shark APEX?

I would recommend the Shark APEX if you’re looking for:

  • Slightly Less Expensive – at their normal retail prices, the APEX is generally going to be a little less expensive than the APEX.

Click here for more information or to buy the Shark APEX.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, both APEX and Vertex are fantastic vacuums. They are a notable step up in terms of build quality relative to Shark’s Navigator and Rotator lines. And their cleaning performance speaks for itself.

Honestly, the differences between these two models is pretty minor. So much so that in most cases I would recommend buying whatever model is the least expensive at that time.


  • March 12, 2021 – Corrected an error where we said the Apex has a 1.5 quart dust bin, when it actually has a 0.88 quart dust bin. This required modification to our recommendations and analysis in several places also.
  • January 4, 2021 – Initial version of the comparison was published.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider,, 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.

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21 Comments on “Shark Vertex vs. APEX”

  1. I noticed they had different light placing and was wondering which one was the better configuration. the side ones seem like they would light directly in front better. Awesome video, so helpful. Any cat owners opinions? I’m having problem finding one to pick up scoopable litter from carpet.

    • ONLY the Apex has the light on the handle, as I found out from experience… very irritated and now I have to return the Vertex. Why on earth would they REMOVE a feature like that?

    • Price varies by retailer, but typically not by much ($30 or less).

      In general, I’d recommend the Vertex. Overall, it’s the better machine. Though some consumers like the extra LED light on the APEX, in addition, some argue it’s easier to clean the machine (I don’t agree though).

  2. I live is a two bedroom three bathroom condo We do not have any wall to wall carpet We do have two expensive flat weave area Rugs , hardwood floors and travertine in bathrooms . We do not have a dog but young grandchildren . After research I am thinking the shark navigator, shark vertex , apex or shark rotator . I am totally open to any recommendations . I do want corded . As much as I want excellent suction does that mean I have to worry about power cords getting sucked up ? We have many lamps and cords . Edge cleaning is important to me . I read the sticks are hard to maneuver due to wrist action (too heavy ) but I do not have any wrist problems . The apex or vertex upright seemed perfect but I read about small ball (bearings ?) falling out . I am not good with fixing things . I am willing to pay up to 390. but am more comfortable around the 2-300 range . So many reviews and I am getting very confused I really can use some help

    • I’d go Vertex or Apex for sure. The DuoClean brushroll is super nice on hard surface flooring, both wood and tile. Beyond that, both Vertex and Apex are notably better built and higher quality machines than Rotator or Navigator.

      I’ve not heard of any issues regarding the ball bearings, but in any case, both machines are covered by healthy warranties if anything comes up.

  3. One problem with you review, is the Apex has a light for the hand wand, when removed from the wand. The Vertex does not appear to have the light. My wife cleans homes and she relies on that feature, when using the craves tool. Why would the downgrade this feature for the Vertex model. Was surprised when we received the new model and
    destroyed the packaging, before we realized the Vertex had no wand light, as the Apex model.

  4. I have the Vertex duoclean stick vac.
    My Dyson and regular astyle Shark leave the carpet looking well vacuumed while the Vertex looks as if doesn’t give you that deep vacuumed look.
    I have expensive low pile carpet. Very thick and dense. Why is this in the look of the finished vacuumed carpet?

    • Make sure you’re using the carpet mode setting and that the brushroll is turned on. You change the mode on the handle.

  5. Hi! Great comparison except you forgot the one type of debris that separates the level of performance between the 2 vacuums: piles of pet hair. The vertex is the only vacuum on the market that will roll through and remove all the tufts of hair from floors without periodic manual intervention by the operator, meaning, the vertex doesn’t require you to stop and clean the vacuum to keep from spreading and dropping clumps of hair like all other vacuums do. I’m a professional cleaner and I’m telling you its the truth but also magic! Try it. You will be amazed. That is the real difference. Vertex is for pet owners and cleaners who have pet-owner clients. Apex smears the dander like all the others.

    • I have the Apex and it does plunk down dog fur whenever you come from hardwood to the carpet. I have to go back over the carpet starting point to pick it back up. THanks for heads up about the Vertex NOT doing this.

    • Wow, I am very sorry we made that error, Eric. That’s a big one.

      But thank you very much for bringing it to my attention. I have fixed it on this page and and will fix it on others this afternoon.