Difference Between Shark Rotator and Navigator

Shark vacuum cleaners are one of the biggest brands of vacuum cleaners on the market. This is due to the top quality of Shark’s most popular models. These models are the Shark Rotator Lift-Away and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional.

Two of the most common questions people ask are:

What the difference between Shark Rotator and Navigator is and which is better shark rotator or navigator.

The best way to answer these questions is to compare the shark rotator vs. navigator. In this article, we look at both vacuums side-by-side and discuss their appearance, features, and capabilities. We also give you a breakdown of their similarities and point out their differences.

Outer Appearance

Place the shark navigator lift away pro vs shark rotator professional side-by-side. Then look at the outer appearance of both vacuums. They look similar but not identical.

Here is the shark rotator vs navigator similarities:

  • They are both Lift-Away upright vacuums 
  • Have the ability to detach from the main body and operate as a handheld vacuum cleaner. 
  • Both come with a brush roll cleaning head and a hard floor cleaning head
  • Transparent dustbin
  • Cord wrap for the 30-foot power cord
  • Ergonomic handles
  • Flexible extension hose
  • Common attachments

What is the difference between the shark navigator and the rotator’s outer appearance?

The Navigator appears to be larger, bulkier, and heavier when compared to the Rotator’s body that is a little more streamlined.

The Rotator dustbin appears smaller which is true, as it can only hold 1.3 quarts of dirt while the Navigator can hold 2.2 quarts.

Size, Weight, and Power

The Navigator has a classic design and is slightly larger but weighs less than the Rotator.

The dimensions for each are:

  • Shark Navigator Lift-Away Professional is 45.5” long, 11.4” wide, and 14.96”.
  • Shark Rotator Lift-Away is 45” long, 11.9” wide, and 13.2”.

The weight for each is:

  • Navigator weighs 13.7 pounds
  • The Rotator’s weight is 15.4 pounds

The suction power for both vacuums is similar to most of the Shark Navigator and Rotator models use a 1200-watt motor.

Noise Level

A comfortable level of noise is about 50-60 decibels, the level of a normal conversation.  An aggravating noise level is around 85 decibels, the sound of a lawnmower.

The Navigators Noise level output is at 75 decibels without any attachments the Rotator is at 80 decibels. 

Although the noise levels for both vacuums are not at a comfortable level. They are below an aggravating level and fortunately only for a short time.


The type of filtration system a vacuum cleaner has plays a huge role in keeping your home or office clean. Without some kind of filtration, a vacuum would just be a marvelous dust and dirt displacer.

The better the filtration system is at removing dust, dirt, and allergens from the surface and the air inside your home, the cleaner your home will be.

Both the Navigator and the Rotator models have what they call an Anti-Allergy Complete Seal technology and a HEPA filter. What this means is the filtration system will trap more than 99% of the finest particles and keep them inside the vacuum.

Ease of Use

For starters, both vacuums include a 30 ft power cord, which makes it easy to use in large areas. There is less need to power off, unplug the cord to plug it into another power outlet.

Both vacuums can transform into handheld vacuums by detaching the canister part from the base of the vacuum and carry it anywhere. This makes it easier for you to clean stairs, reach under furniture, and clean tight areas.

The Shark Rotator and Navigator feature convenient onboard attachment storage. This enables you to change attachments quickly and as needed.

A huge part of a vacuum cleaner is its maneuverability. For this Shark has included swivel steering with both models, making your cleaning task more effortless. 

The Noticeable difference between the shark vacuums

Shark Navigator Professional (NV356E)

  • Has a cleaning path of 9.5 inches wide
  • Dust-Away cleaning head with a microfiber pad that helps catch tiny pieces of dust and debris
  • A large dust cup that can hold 2.2 quarts of dry dirt, this means less frequent trips to empty it in the trash.
  • Can activate the bristle brush to clean carpet and deactivate it when cleaning hardwood floors

** For more specification check out Amazon here

Shark Rotator Professional (NV501)

  • Has a cleaning path of 11.5 inches wide
  • A hard floor cleaning head
  • It comes with LED headlights
  • The dust cup on the Rotator can hold 1.3 quarts of dry dirt.

** Check out Amazon’s Choice here


The majority of people never think about how useful the attachments can be that are included with vacuum cleaners. Most toss them in a cupboard and forget about them because they are unsure of their true purpose, such as the crevice tool.

In fact, the attachments often make using any vacuum cleaner easier as they make the task easier. Tasks like cleaning difficult to reach areas and the upholstery on your sofas.

The Shark Navigator and Rotator include many of the same types of attachments such as:

  • 8’’ crevice tool, 
  • Dusting brush, 
  • Pet power brush

Where they differ is included with the Navigator is the dust away genie head and with the Rotator is the hard floor cleaning head and an upholstery brush.

Shark Rotator and Navigator Maintenance

Both vacuums have washable and reusable “lifetime filters” and life long lasting belts. This does not mean that you do not have to take care of the filters.

In fact, Shark recommends that you rinse and air-dry the pre-motor foam and felt filter every 3 months. They also recommend rinsing and air-drying the HEPA filter every 12 months.

Both model’s dust cup has a “max fill” line that indicates when the dust cup needs emptying. They also both have a release bottom that unlatches and opens so that the content can fall out into the trashcan.

Periodically removing and cleaning the brush and brush roll is the same for both vacuums. The only difference is that the Navigator has the Dust-Away microfiber that requires periodic cleaning.

As you can see, for the maintenance tasks for the Navigator and Rotator, they are the same.

The Price Tag

The only other difference between these two Shark vacuum cleaners is the price tag. The Shark Rotator usually cost slightly more than the Shark Navigator.

So is Shark rotator better than Navigator?

It may be difficult to see a difference between Shark Rotator and Navigator because of how similar they are, but it all comes down to your needs. This would also depend on the you have.





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