How does a Shark Navigator differ from a Shark Rotator?

Shark holds the medal for producing some of the most versatile, yet efficient vacuum cleaners in the market. Given the trust this brand has been able to amass over the years, there has always been stiff competition between any models they produce. The toughest competition though remains to be between the Shark Rotator Lift-Away and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away upright professional vacuum models.

Bearing quite a number of similarities, most buyers usually find it challenging to choose one. This dilemma is made even worse by the fact that their prices are relatively close. We decided to have a look at these two famous models and outline some of the similarities and differences, so you can find it easier to choose between the Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator.


1. 2-in-1 Design

Although they are primarily designed to work as upright vacuum cleaners, it takes one snap for the dirt canisters to be detached from the vacuum’s frame, transforming them into handheld canister vacuums. As an upright vacuum, you get easier maneuverability within a single unit, but as a canister vacuum, you get easier access of tight spaces like stairs, under furniture, inside your car and the ceiling. This design makes the Shark Rotator and Navigator versatile tools for cleaning different environments. Both of these vacuums are also bagless and corded.

2. Brushroll Design

These two Shark vacuum cleaners have their heads designed for versatile cleaning of different floor types. Their traditional brushrolls are designed specifically for cleaning of carpeted floors. They also come with separate heads for hard surface cleaning, thus great for vacuuming hardwood, tile, and concrete floors. No matter the floor type you are cleaning, these vacuum cleaners have superb suction and offer great cleaning results.

3. Filtration System

Both of these Shark vacuum cleaners feature excellent filtration systems consisting of HEPA filters that are known to capture up to 99.9% of airborne dirt, dust, and allergens. These filters are washable, thus reducing the cost that would have been incurred in the purchase of replacement filters. Their sealed HEPA filtration systems make them suitable for use even by people with asthma and other dust-related allergies.

4. Warranty

Shark offers a 5-year warranty for each of these vacuum cleaners. This warranty covers any damages and malfunctions to the parts of the vacuum cleaners within a period of 5 years from purchase. This just shows how high quality and durable these vacuum cleaners are, as most companies will not trust their product’s quality enough to let their customers use them for 5 years while they handle any arising repairs or replacements.

5. Accessories and Tools

While their appearance may seem a little bit different, the Shark Navigator and Shark Rotator are designed to function similarly. In addition to the 2-in-1 design that they share, they also come with a couple of similar accessories and attachment tools. They both come with a crevice tool, a specialized cleaning head for hard floors, dusting brush, pet power brush, a 30-inch hose, and an onboard tool holder. These ensure multifunctional use of these vacuum cleaners, thus suitable for any household. The only difference in terms of accessories is that the Navigator does not come with an upholstery brush.


1. Specifications

The Shark Rotator and Shark Navigator upright vacuums differ when it comes to some of their specifications. In terms of dimensions, the Rotator measures 45.7 inches high, 12 inches wide and 12 inches deep. On the other hand, the Navigator measures 45 inches high, 12 inches wide and 15 inches deep. The rotator weighs 15.5 pounds while the Navigator is a little lighter, at 13.7 pounds. Although this may be a very small difference, it greatly determines maneuverability and ease of operation of these machines. For instance, the Shark Navigator is slightly smaller and lighter than the Rotator, thus more portable and easier to store.

2. Cleaning Path

The cleaning path of a vacuum cleaner usually determines how much floor space it can clean within a single sweep. The wider the path, the larger the area that can be vacuumed in a single sweep. On this note, the Shark Rotator’s cleaning path is 11.5 inches wide while that of the Shark Navigator is 9 inches wide. This means that with the navigator, you will need to make more sweeps when cleaning, and this means that it will take a longer period to vacuum using the Shark Navigator than when using the Shark Rotator.

3. Headlights

The Shark Navigator is built with more basic features that an excellent vacuum cleaner should have. This is different from the Shark Rotator, which comes with added features that ensure convenience to the user. For instance, the Rotator has two LED headlamps for easier visibility of the surfaces being cleaned especially under dim lighting conditions such as under furniture and when vacuuming at night. The Rotator also has a brushroll indicator light that shows the condition and position of the brushroll during vacuuming.

4. Capacity

The capacity of a vacuum cleaner refers to how much dirt its dirt container is able to hold. The Rotator has a dirt container capacity of 1.3 dry quarts while the Navigator has a capacity of 2.2 dry quarts. This means that the Navigator can hold more dirt and debris as compared to the Rotator. While this makes the Navigator more suited for cleaning larger spaces, it should also be considered that once it starts filling up, the larger capacity vacuum becomes heavier.

5. Noise Level

As much as both of these vacuum cleaners have a lower noise level as compared to their counterparts, the level of noise that each produces is different. The Rotator has an 80 dB noise level while the Navigator has a 77 dB noise level. While it may not be easy to recognize this difference by hearing, the Navigator is quieter as compared to the Rotator, thus may be a better option if you do not want to scare your pets and children away when vacuuming.

Which Vacuum Cleaner Do You Choose Then?

Your choice of a vacuum cleaner should depend solely on your specific cleaning needs. The Navigator will offer you a larger capacity, quieter operation, and more compact design at a lower price. On the other hand, the Shark Rotator will offer more accessories, a wider cleaning path and more features at a slightly higher price. Depending on your budget and your cleaning needs, the choice between the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum and the Shark Rotator Lift-Away Professional Upright Vacuum should no longer be daunting, especially after reading this comparison.