Shark NV681 Review: Worth it or Not?

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It’s not often that a vacuum comes along that leaves us this impressed. Simply put, we love just about everything the Shark NV681 has to offer. Today, we’re going to share with you the time we spent with this mighty machine.

There were times when we didn’t want the tests to end. And it’s not that there’s necessarily anything new here. In fact, we’ve seen it all before across countless other brands and models. But Shark took the time to ensure that every aspect of this mighty machine worked to perfection.

There are always going to be some things we’d like to see refined a bit. But on the NV681, those things are very few and far between.

Shark NV681 at a Glance

From its user-friendly design to its power suction, Shark’s NV681 is in a league of its own. Everything just works, and works exceptionally well. If you’ve been holding out for the perfect vacuum, you aren’t going to find one much better than this.

As always, let’s take a quick glance at what makes this expertly-crafted vac stand out from the rest. We’ll briefly discuss the pros and cons, too, so you know exactly what to expect.

Key Features

  • Incredible suction power
  • Lightweight design
  • Lift-Away canister

Product Specs

  • 1140 watts
  • 30-foot cord
  • 12.7 pounds


  • Wide cleaning path
  • Highly versatile
  • Long cord


  • Corded
  • Pretty pricey
  • Few attachments

Why Get the Shark NV681?

If you’re looking to make vacuuming less of a chore, Shark has the ultimate solution. The NV681 is designed to make life easier by delivering a powerful performer that is built to last. We simply couldn’t get enough of its cleaning prowess.

It’s rare to find such a well-rounded vacuum, but here it is. Every inch is crafted to perfection, making it one of the best we’ve used. If you’re in need of versatility, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a vacuum that does it this well.

The NV681 breaks the mold of uprights, leaving you with a highly-capable unit that offers more flexibility than ever. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading from a traditional vacuum cleaner, you shouldn’t think twice about going with Shark.

Sure, it would have been nice to have had a cordless option for total freedom while sweeping. But with 30 feet of cord, it’s hard to complain. Considering the intense suction power on display, the NV681 isn’t really meant to be cordless anyway.

To give you a clearer understanding of what makes this entry so valuable, we’re going to break down each of its key features. We made sure to cover each in great detail so you can better determine if the NV681 is the right fit for your needs.

Suction Power

To say we were impressed with the NV681’s suction power would be an understatement. The detail in which it gets floors clean is staggering. We couldn’t get over how well it picked up, from carpeting to bare floors.

As with all vacuum tests, we ran through each room and over a variety of surfaces. We were left with beautiful floors and more free time than ever. It works fast and never falters along the way.

We started with the kitchen, where loose pet hair likes to collect and build up. The tile flooring in this room is notorious for staying dirty. Pets and children track in dirt and debris throughout the day, making it one of the most difficult floors in the house to keep clean.

The NV681 has a handy switch on the handle that lets you toggle between carpet and hard floors. After sweeping in the latter mode, our kitchen floor was glowing. You just don’t see upright vacuums that can pick up debris this completely on bare flooring.

Even in corners and along baseboards, the powerful suction doesn’t hesitate to suck up stubborn mess. With the kitchen clean in under 5 minutes, it was time to try something more challenging.

We hit the living room next. This was the perfect area to see how well the NV681 reached under low furniture and fared with low carpeting. What a difference a well-thought design makes. You see, the NV681’s handle lays down flat. This allows you to slide the vac under low furniture.

Dust bunnies will tremble in fear when they see this Shark lurking about. Now you don’t have to bother with pushing and pulling heavy furniture to sweep underneath. Simply lay the handle down and push.

Making this even easier is the head’s convenient swiveling action. You can steer the vac in any direction with a light twist of the wrist. If you suffer from joint pain, you’ll love this feature.

Our stairway isn’t the most enjoyable thing to clean. But thanks to the NV681’s removable canister, they aren’t that bad. Just pull up and remove the hose for perfectly portable sweeping.

We ended our test in the bedroom. Carpet is a lot thicker in here, causing most vacuums to tap out. We are pleased to report that at no time did the Shark lose its mighty suction. To help ensure this, we cranked it up a bit with the onboard dial.

Below the floor adjustment switch we mentioned moments ago, there is a suction control dial. This does exactly what it sounds like and lets you get more or less suction. If you have floors that are hard to get clean, you need the NV681.

Lightweight Design

Making the NV681’s portable feature even more versatile is an incredibly lightweight design. Having this much power in such a feathery body is astounding. All the more reason why you’ll be thrilled if you make the investment.

Weighing in at only 12.7 pounds, Shark’s NV681 never strains your body. It’s a breeze to push and pull; made even easier thanks to the ingenious swivel head. These work in tandem to bring you a vac that works with you, not against you.

Arthritis often prevents me from using vacuums for any extended amount of time. But on the NV681, at no time did I feel I needed to stop for a break. This is always my test that lets me know I’m dealing with a quality vacuum cleaner.

If you’re in need of serious cleaning power that won’t cause you pain, you owe it to yourself to try out the NV681. You’ll be glad that you did. And your back and body will most definitely appreciate it.

Lift-Away Canister

We touched on this briefly during our suction test. But it’s such a beneficial feature that we felt the need to go into greater detail. This mode certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking. But it works so smoothly on the NV681 that it’s worth boasting about.

Removing the canister is done with the push of a button. There’s a built-in handle on top that makes it easy to pack up and down stairs. No more trying to lug a heavy upright with each step. It’s not only awkward but very dangerous.

This is what makes the NV681 the complete package that it is. Not only is cleaning easier than ever, but Shark makes it safer, too.


We always love it when a vacuum comes along that improves our lives. Shark’s clever craftsmanship gives you a machine that’s a joy to use and results that speak for themselves. If you want to take the hard work out of your chores, the NV681 is the right tool for the job.