Shark ION W1 Cordless Handheld Vacuum – The Full Review (2019)

Do you want to know the ins and outs of this new Shark handheld vacuum? Then you'll love this review!

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At a glance

The Shark ION W1 is an extremely lightweight and compact dustbuster with stylish design. This new cordless handheld vacuum is easy to keep at hand for small cleanups, and it is always ready and charged in its ION charging dock. It has strong suction and useful attachments that add to its adaptability. Although just recently released, it has already gained excellent ratings from pleased users. Check out some reviews from happy customers.

  • Strong 80-air watt suction
  • 15-minute runtime
  • 2.5 hours charge time
  • Incredibly lightweight at 1.4 pounds
  • 3.6-inch cleaning path
  • Sleek and stylish design
  • Duster Crevice Tool for dusting and tight spots
  • Multi-Surface Tool for upholstery carpets and pet hair
  • Practical ION charging dock for easy access and fast charging
  • Single-touch emptying
  • Filtration captures large debris and dust
  • Washable filters
  • 1.4 pounds
  • 16.5 x 2.5 x 2.4 inches
  • 2-year limited warranty

Pros

+ Good quality-price ratio
Easy to use
Great performance
Strong suction at 80 air watts
Extremely lightweight at 1.4 pounds
Good 15-minute runtime
Wide cleaning path with Multi-Surface Tool
ION dock for fast charging and quick access
Quick and easy to empty
Washable filters

Cons

-  Small dirt cup
No HEPA filter
Feels heavier due to weight distribution
Only basic features
No brush roll attachment so it's not ideal for long pet hair

  • Performance

    0%
  • Ease of Use

    0%
  • Quality

    0%
  • Price

    0%

Summed up

The Shark ION W1 comes with a new innovative design and excellent performance. It is very lightweight and compact, and although that means a small dirt cup and only basic functions, it has everything you need from a dustbuster. It is easy to pick up, and it takes care of all kinds of small messes you encounter at your home.

Because it lacks a brush roll attachment and the dust cup is small, we wouldn’t recommend it to someone with several long-haired pets. But if you have one or two small dogs or cats, and you often use your handheld vacuum for cleaning up scattered cat litter, spilled food pellets or other small messes, this vacuum could be ideal for you.

Although it is a new product, it has already received excellent ratings. It’s one of those handheld vacuums that are ready to be picked up and used without extra hassle. Just turn it on and point towards the mess.

Our rating

The Ion W1 is a pretty basic handheld vacuum with great suction and easy-to-use design. It’s not the most versatile of compact cordless vacuum cleaners, but it’s very lightweight, and it comes with a strong suction.

The ION charging dock keeps it ready for use at all times, and the attachments add to the adaptability. It’s a practical and convenient tool for small touchups all around your home.

Shark is one of the leading manufacturers of vacuums and other household appliances. They design functional products with a good quality-price ratio and innovative features. Many people rely on Shark products when it comes to cleaning because they have been proven easy-to-use and worth their price.

What we have to criticize about Shark is the information they disclose about their products. We often find that they don’t share measurements and facts openly, and sometimes their marketing seems to stretch the facts a bit too far. But that’s why we are here: to find out the truth about this vacuum.

We see many great features in this product. It’s sleek and compact, it reaches full charge faster than other vacuums, it has strong suction, and it’s incredibly lightweight.

But there are also some downsides to the innovative design: the dirt cup is small, there is no brush roll, and the vacuum feels heavier than it is due to weight distribution.

So is this vacuum worth purchasing? Why is it getting excellent ratings?

Continue reading to find out.

Key Features

Strong suction

This vacuum has a strong suction of 80 air watts delivered by a brushless, high-speed motor.

For some reason, Shark is not disclosing the information on how strong the suction is, although it can easily be measured. An 80-air watt suction is actually pretty good, as most cordless handheld vacuums only reach a suction of about 35-50 air watts.

What we find interesting is that Shark advertises the ION W1 as having ”2x suction power vs. leading dustbuster”. This statement may be true, but it could also be considered somewhat misleading.

Many people end up buying one of the cheapest handheld vacuums on the market. These vacuums are often low-quality, and they lack the features more expensive products have. Many of the products which are market leaders in sales are not a good purchase. They are bought in huge volumes, but that does not make them good products.

It’s easy to say your vacuum has better features than products that are way cheaper and inferior in quality.

When you compare ION W1 with vacuums in the same price category, you can see that the suction is pretty good. It’s not the strongest suction on the market, but it’s still one of the strongest. That’s the truth Shark should be telling consumers.

15-minute runtime

The runtime of this vacuum is average at 15 minutes. For a cordless handheld vacuum with a strong suction, that’s a good battery life.

However, some users have found that when they use this vacuum with attachments on tough surfaces like plush carpets, the runtime can go down to 5-9 minutes.

On the upside, the charge time is only 2.5 hours for a full charge, which is considerably less than on most cordless vacuums. Although the runtime could be longer, it’s good to know that the vacuum is quickly back in business if you run out of battery. The ION charging dock enables the fast charging, and it also gives you quick access to the vacuum.

Battery life of 15 minutes or less can seem too short. If you’re looking for a cordless vacuum that can run longer, you should have a look at the Dyson V6 – V10 vacuums. They are a bigger investment, but with the high-quality build and runtime of 30 minutes to 1 hour, it’s definitely a good investment for someone looking to use their cordless vacuum for bigger vacuuming jobs in one go.

On the other hand, if you’re only going to use your hand vac for small cleanups and quick touchups, the 15-minute runtime will be long enough.

Sleek and lightweight design

This hand vacuum weighs only 1.4 pounds! That’s amazingly lightweight for a powerful handheld vacuum.

However, the weight distribution does affect how heavy the product feels in your hand. The new innovative design is practical in many ways, but because the weight is not distributed on both sides of the hand that is holding the vacuum, it does feel heavier than it actually is. Nonetheless, this vacuum is very light which is a very beneficial feature especially for the elderly.

The sleek design gives you a cleaning path of only 2.3 inches, but by attaching the Multi-Surface tool, you can take that up to 3.6 inches. Where the design comes in very handy is reaching under furniture or vacuuming the baseboards. The “point and vacuum” design offers you more reach and gives you access to some of those tighter spots.

The stylish design also means that you can keep the vacuum charging and ready to go on your kitchen countertop, and you don’t have to hide it in the closet. If you just have the space, it is always ready when you need it the most. It’s easy to grab when the kids spill their food, or the cat scatters the kitty litter around the bathroom floor. Just a point it at the mess and it’s all gone.

Easy to use

The best feature in this hand vac is the fact that it is so easy to use.

The problem with many vacuum cleaners is that although they have excellent features, they end up at the back of your closet collecting the dust they should be removing.

With handheld vacuums, it is crucial that it’s easy to use, quick to grab and always ready for a quick cleanup. If you have to untangle the cord and find a power outlet or the vacuum is awkward to use, it won’t serve its purpose. The secret to a clean household is functional cleaning equipment you feel comfortable using.

The new design makes sure this vacuum is always ready to be used. The fast charging ION dock keeps the vacuum ready to go and enables easy access. The narrow design makes it easy to reach under furniture, and the length of the handheld vacuum allows you to easily reach all nooks and corners without crouching down.

Filtration

For filtering the exhaust air, the ION W1 has a screen to capture larger debris and to protect the filter, and a fabric filter to catch smaller particles and dust. We are a bit disappointed in the lack of a HEPA filter, but that is pretty standard with the mid-range handheld vacuums. For someone with allergies this vacuum might not be the ideal one, but otherwise, the filtering is sufficient enough.

The filter is washable, which saves you the cost of buying new filters. Shark recommends you rinse the filter under warm water once a month and let it dry completely before placing it back in.

Another great feature is the single-touch emptying. You only need to push the latch to release the dirt bin, and the contents will fall out into the trash bin. It’s quick, simple and hygienic.

However, the container for dirt and debris is small. If you have several pets that shed a lot, you should maybe consider another vacuum. The small dirt bin gets easily clogged if it’s filled with wads of pet hair. This prevents the air flow and shuts down the motor.

The filtration is pretty basic, and the dirt bin is small, which is why this vacuum isn’t the ideal choice for homes with many pets or the need to vacuum large quantities of dirt. But for a household with one or two short-haired pets and the need for small cleanups, it will be adequate.

Performance

Pet Hair Removal

For those wads of pet hair floating around and accumulated in the corners of your couch, this vacuum is excellent. Just pick it up, point towards the problem area and the mess is taken care of.

For a more thorough clean of furniture, carpets, and bedding, you can use the Multi-Surface Tool. It is designed to pick up pet hair, and it does do its job on most surfaces. If you have thick carpets, rugs or upholstery, you might want to consider a vacuum with a brush roll tool (such as the Bissell Multi 1985).

Especially if you have several long-haired pets, a sturdier attachment may be needed to keep your house tidy.

Also, the small dirt container may get clogged if you try to clean up after grooming your three Huskies. But if you have one or two medium- or short-haired pets, you should be fine.

Carpet

The Multi-Surface tool is designed to make cleaning carpets with this vacuum more efficient.

Although the vacuum has a strong suction, usually sturdier tools are needed to thoroughly clean carpets and rugs. This is also true with the ION W1. Even though the Multi-Surface tool does grab pet hair pretty well on low-pile carpets, it doesn’t perform well on high-pile carpeting or plush area rugs.

If you have a lot of carpeting, you might want to consider another vacuum with a motorized brush roll tool. Bissell Multi 1985 is one such handheld vacuums with high ratings. Vacuums with motorized brush rolls can dig deep into carpets to lift up all dirt and debris.

Bare Floors

On hard floor surfaces, this vacuum performs really well.

The strong suction picks up all sorts of dirt from dust and sand to gravel. You can easily use the tapered nozzle to pick up spilled food pellets, wads of pet hair, scattered kitty litter or soil that has been dragged in by your pets. If you want a wider cleaning path, you can pop on the Multi-Surface tool, which will enable you to clean 3.6 inches with one pass instead of 2.3.

Upholstery

The Multi-Surface Tool is designed to be used on upholstered furniture and especially for picking up that nasty pet hair. It goes grab that hair and pull it in on most fabrics, but for a thorough clean on more plush fabrics, we would recommend a vacuum with a brush roll attachment, like the Bissell Multi 1985.

That said, the ION W1 does its jobs for most households, but if you have plush rugs, high-pile carpeting and you need to vacuum furniture with challenging tough-to-clean fabrics, you might need more powerful tools.

Attachments

The vacuum comes with two attachments: Duster Crevice Tool for dusting and tight spots, and the Multi-Surface Tool for upholstery, carpets and pet hair.

We would like to see more attachments available for a vacuum in this price category, but you do get all the usual cleaning jobs taken care of with the ones available now. We have heard rumors, that more attachments will be available later on, but Shark has not confirmed this information.

What we would especially like to see added, is a motorized brush roll tool. The Multi-Surface Tool for pet hair works fine, but many pet owners would surely be pleased to see an even sturdier tool for removing that stubborn hair.

The Crevice Tool is excellent at adding even more reach, and by popping the dust brush on you can quickly and easily dust delicate surfaces and baseboards.

The Multi-Surface Tool, on the other hand, is something you can use on carpets and upholstered furniture. It removes pet hair and gives you a wider cleaning path when you need it.

Pros & Cons of W1

Pros

+ A functional vacuum at a reasonable price
Easy to use and maneuver
Performs well on most surfaces
Powerful suction for a handheld vacuum
Lightweight design at 1.4 pounds
Up to 15 minutes of battery life
Duster Crevice Tool and Multi-Surface Tool included
ION dock for easy storage, fast charging, and quick access
Simple one-touch emptying
Washable fabric filter

Cons

-  The dirt cup is small
-  The filter is adequate but not HEPA level
-  May feel heavier than its actual weight
-  Fairly basic features
-  Doesn’t come with a brush roll tool

Summing Up

The Shark ION W1 is handy little dustbuster with powerful suction and a new smart design. It’s one of those vacuums you are happy to keep within reach on your kitchen countertop or hallway table, and that’s one of the most important features of any appliance. If it’s at hand and accessible, you will be using it more often. So many cleaning tools end up collecting dust in the back of your closet, but not this one.

It does have some downsides like a small dirt cup, but if you don’t have the need for an extra large dirt container, you should be fine. And on the upside, the container is easy to empty when it gets full. Because of the small dirt cup and lack of a motorized brush roll tool, we wouldn’t recommend it to anyone with several Huskies, but if you have one or two short-haired pets, this could be an awesome solution to your cleaning problems.

The W1 is excellent at picking up debris like food pellets or cat litter, and it’s also very effective on sand, soil and other dirt your pets might drag in. With its high performance, excellent user ratings, easy-to-use features, and lightweight design it definitely deserves its spot in our top 5 handheld vacuums for pet hair.

Sounds like a good fit for you? Check out what users have to say about this product here.

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