Shark NV501 vs. NV500 – Which One Is the Best?

When it comes to Shark vacuum cleaners, all their models are pretty exquisite in their design and functionality. But the models NV500 and NV501 are state of the art for their unique function called Lift-Away.

Basically, Lift-Away is a function developed by the company to transform the vacuum cleaner from a vertical one to a more maneuverable one. This way, you can access much more easily all the areas around your house, including the ceiling.

Although these two models look pretty similar, they are still different from one another. To see exactly the differences between them, read below. This will further help you to make up your mind in getting the perfect item to suit your needs.


They look pretty similar, so you will have a bit of a hard time to figure out which is which. But they both have the smart Lift-Away function. As already mentioned, this allows you to convert your item from an upright vacuum to a normal one to access other areas of your house. This happens by detaching the canister away with the hose by pressing a button. It’s a simple and yet brilliant idea.


They look bigger than older models but rest assured as they’re still lightweight. However, the NV500 is 0.3 pounds lighter than theNV501 model. It can be used by everybody; even by elder people or individuals with back problems.

Some customers complained about the lack of wheels on previous models, so Shark really listened to their needs. The NV500 model was fitted with 4 wheels that can turn with a 360-degree angle. So, in this case, the vacuum can be carried around much more easily.


When it comes to the cleaning performance, both vacuums are magnificent, but with slight differences. The performance of vacuum cleaners is measured in how effectively the air passes through the vacuum and filters and catches all the dirt in the container.

First of all, both vacuums have the so-called HEPA filtration system. This feature is used to trap even the smallest particles of dust and dirt, including allergens. So, not only dust and dirt is sucked into the container, but also allergens and mold spores. This is a big plus for people that have allergies to dust and mold and the studies show that 1 out of 4 people is allergic to something. Thus, if you know yourself to be allergic or if you have respiratory problems, the HEPA filtration system is a must.

The Shark Company recommends cleaning the filters at least once every 3 months. Bear in mind that these vacuums have 2 filters that need to be cleaned and it’s very simple and not so time-consuming as in other vacuums.

The maneuverability of these vacuums is highly satisfying. They are known to have the swivel ability that will help you avoid obstacles much more efficiently. Also, the nozzle is specially made from a lighter and not so hard material, so you can’t damage your furniture when you accidentally bump into the bed, for example. Together with the maneuverability, comes another nice feature of these vacuums. The LED headlights help you to see better the dirt and dust on the floor and even under the bed, so you won’t vacuum unwanted objects into the container.

The power cable is a whopping 30 feet long and you can plug the vacuum cleaner wherever you want and still be able to patrol the house with the item without losing power to it.

The patented technology of “never lose suction” is available on both units. This technology ensures the customer that the suction will be powerful on any given surface and it will suck every last particle of dirt. Whether the surface is of hardwood, concrete or sensitive material on rugs, for example, the cleaning job will be made with the same precision.

Now let’s see the difference between these two Shark vacuums. The main difference between them is that the Nv500 is a 3-in-1 vacuum that can be used as an upright vacuum, a light pod using the Lift-Away function or a very powerful canister vacuum on 4 wheels. On the other hand, the NV501 is a 2-in-one vacuum that can be used as a regular upright vacuum cleaner or – thanks to the Lift-Away function – a portable device that will help you gather all the dust from various sports.

Moving on, the performance on a bare floor, without any carpet whatsoever is outstanding. It is recommended to use the vacuum on hard floors without the motorized brush, so you can gather smaller pieces of debris and dust.

A disadvantage of using the vacuum to gather bigger bits such as cereals, for example, is that it could cause the vacuum to do the plowing effect; thus, debris will get stuck. The best way to handle this is to add the extension hand so you can get all the big pieces into the canister.

The Attachments

As mentioned above, the two vacuums are different from one another. Critics highly recommend the NV500 model for animal hair due to its accessories that you will find in the box: a narrow crevice for getting into tight sports, the 4-wheeled canister carriage, standard power brush and also a multi-tool for different vacuuming jobs.

The NV501 has an even larger number of accessories and the manufacturer even included the 4-wheeled carriage for this model. Other accessories include the dusting brush, a crevice tool for narrow sports around the house, straight suctions nozzle, multi-angle brush, and a large turbo brush.

Obviously, the NV501 wins in the accessories chapter.

Customer Feedbacks

The customer feedbacks are essential in every tech-related chapter, even in vacuum cleaners. The NV500 is rated excellent by 70% of all buyers. This model is highly appreciated by customers due to its versatility and not only. The fact that it’s lightweight is also a key point the buyers really love. However, there is a catch. Almost all customers complain about the fact that they need to empty the canister quite often. This is related to the dimension of the canister – it’s quite small for such a powerful vacuum cleaner.

However, the Nv501 model has the same positive reviews. The suction power is still the same, but the number of accessories is higher as compared to its cousin, the Nv500. With a lower rating than the other item, customers say that Shark Company can do better in the design problems.


To conclude all the above information, customers recommend the NV501 model if you have no animals lying around the house. Overall, both vacuum cleaners are suited for medium to large houses with surfaces varying from hard floors to sensitive carpets.

Some customers complained, on the other hand, about the plastic used on the vacuum to be kind of brittle; thus, it cracks easily. However, you should take into consideration that the vacuum has a 5-year warranty.

The Lift-Away feature of these vacuums is a big plus and differentiates them from the other items on the market. The feature is very useful when you need to gather dust from difficult areas and not only. The huge array of bits and pieces that you can attach to the vacuums is also a great advantage. These accessories are meant to do a better job with these powerful and versatile vacuum cleaners.

However, if you have a pet, you can get the NV500 model. You can be sure that all the unnecessary hair will be removed with great precision using all the accessories that this item features in the box.


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