Reviews and FAQs of Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away vacuum

Last update


Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away vacuum is the next generation of Shark Navigator upright vacuum series, which is designed for multi-floor cleaning at an affordable price.

A full set of Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away vacuum
A full set of Shark ZU561 Navigator Lift-Away vacuum 

The Shark ZU561 Navigator keeps most of previous model benefits:   

  • Can be used as an upright model or a portable model with Lift-away canister
  • Suitable for allergic people by using HEPA and Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology
  • Suitable for elderly as its weight is very light:   only over 13 lbs a bit
  • A lot of tools for tight spaces and pet hairs:  Duster Crevice Tool, Hair Removal Multi-Tool, Wide Upholstery Tool

There are a few things about Shark ZU561 that you should realize:  

  • Shark ZU561 is a lightweight upright vacuum with moderate motor power. Its motor wattage is 800 W, which is a little bit weaker than other series.
  • The dust cup of Shark ZU561 is also smaller than other series, which is just under 1 quart. 
  • Its price is very cheap compared to other series too.
  • Last but not least, Shark ZU561 has a very high rating from consumers (over 90 points on 100 scale), we will go deeper in this later part.

So, should you buy Shark ZU561 in 2020/ 2021?

Definitely yes if you are looking for a low price upright vacuum from authentic brands like Shark Ninja. It is a good choice for many homeowners. 

Compare Shark ZU561 with other upright vacuum:  LA322, LA502, NV752, AZ2002

What’s the difference between Shark ZU561 & ZU560?

The main difference between Shark ZU561 & ZU560 is the color. The other difference is that the ZU561 includes one additional attachment:   Wide Upholstery Tool.

What is the difference between the nv801 & Shark ZU561?

There are a few differences between the NV801 and this ZU561. 

  • The NV801 is a Powered Lift-Away:   this allows you to put the vacuum in Lift-Away mode and still have power to the floor nozzle. 
  • The NV801 also has 2 brushrolls where the ZU561 does not. 

The other key difference is the Zero-M technology on the ZU561:   Zero-M cleaner head actively removes hair wrap from your brushroll so you don’t have to. 

What’s the difference between Shark ZU561 and the Navigator 360?

The main difference between the Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum with Lift-Away and Zero-M Technology, ZU561, and the Shark Navigator Professional Upright Vacuum, NV360 is the Zero-M Technology. 

Zero-M Technology separates long hair, short hair, and pet hair from the brushroll and sends it to the dust cup to maintain powerful cleaning and suction.

What is the difference between the Shark zu60 and Shark zu62 models?

The ZU60 and the ZU62 are from the same series of vacuums. The main difference is the color and the included attachments. 

  • The ZU60 has Terracotta color and it has the Upholstery Tool and the 5.5″ Crevice Tool. 
  • The ZU62 is Grey and it has the Duster Crevice Tool, Upholstery Tool, and Dusting Brush.

What’s the difference between Shark ZU561 and Shark ZU562 model?

The main difference between ZU561 and ZU562 is the attachments included. 

  • The ZU561 includes the Duster Crevice Tool, Hair Removal Multi-Tool, and the Wide Upholstery Tool. 
  • The ZU562 includes the Duster Crevice Tool, Hair Removal Multi-Tool, and the Pet Power Brush.

What is the difference between shark model ZU562 and Shark AZ1002?

Shark Navigator Upright Vacuum with Lift-Away, Zero-M Anti-Hair Wrap Technology, ZU561, and the Shark APEX Upright Vacuum with DuoClean Zero-M Powered Lift-Away, AZ1002, are both equipped with the Zero-M Technology. 

  • The AZ1002 has 2 brushrolls using the DuoClean technology. 
  • Shark AZ1002 also has headlights on the floor nozzle and is a powered lift away. This allows you to have power to the floor nozzle when the vacuum is in lift away mode.

Comparison table of Shark upright vacuum in 2020

Shark upright models




DuoClean PowerFinsnonoyesnoyes
Self-Cleaning Brushrollyesnoyesnoyes
Powered Lift-Awaynononoyesyes
Anti-Allergen Complete Sealyesyesyesyesyes
Product weight (lbs.)13.412.314.516.716.38
Cord length (ft.)2525302530

Pros and cons of Shark ZU561


  • Great suction 
  • Easy to detach the roller head 
  • Hair doesn’t wrap around the roller head


  • Cord is short
  • Canister isn’t big 
  • Tools can be stored attached to machines.

Rating from users of Shark ZU561

Shark ZU561 receive a fantastic rating for its performance, peaking at 92 points on 100 points scale, specifically:  

  • Assembling:   96/10
  • Suction power:   92/100
  • Easy to clean after use:   92/100
  • Light weight:   90/100
  • Ergonomic value:   90/100
  • Designed for stair:   86/100

Specifications of Shark ZU561

  • Dimensions:   12 x 9.5 x 45.6 inches
  • Weight:   13.5 lbs
  • Warranty:   5 year limited warranty.
  • Batteries:   No
  • Vacuum Cord Length:   25 feet
  • Hose Length:   6.6 feet. 
  • Attachments of Shark ZU561:   Duster Crevice Tool, Hair Removal Multi-Tool, Wide Upholstery Tool

FAQs of Shark ZU561

Q:   Does Shark ZU561 vacuum have a height adjustment for different carpet piles?

A:   It automatically adjusts.

Q:   What is the difference between lift away canister and power lift away ?

A:   The Powered Lift-Away allows you to disconnect the main body of the vacuum and still have power to the floor nozzle.

Q:   Does the canister really hold 2.2 quarts? Thought I saw a different number on another website

A:   The dust cup capacity of Shark ZU561 unit is 0.9 qts. 

Just used this for the first time, does anyone else’s cord constantly unlatch while actively vacuuming?

Answer:  No I haven’t had a problem with the cord at all. My house is not that big for me to go from room to room anyway. 

Question:  How long is the electrical cord

Answer:  The electrical cord is about 24 feet. My wife likes it very much. It is very light weight. You may want to add some accessories.

Question:  does this vacuum have a place on the vacuum to store the extra tools?

Answer:  Not that I could find!! 

Question:  Does this work on shag type rugs or carpet?

Answer:  Not sure but guess u could use the hardwood option that works well on longer rugs

Question:  Are men allowed to use this vacuum too, or only women? Since only women are pictured in any of the photos, I’m not sure.

Answer:  Men and boys too!

Question:  The older reviews atate the brush cannot be turned off but new reviews state it can… So can the brush now be turned off for hardwood and wool rugs?

Answer:  Yes, it can be turned off.

Question:  How flexible is the hose?

Answer:  Normal

Question:  is this good to use on carpeting?

Answer:  Very good for carpet and bare floors.

Question:  What is the cord length?

Answer:  25 feet

Does this use a belt?

Answer:  I don’t believe so, but I sent back because I didn’t like the suction power

Question:  Has anyone tried vacuuming under a bed aprx 6.5″ high and if so does it work well?

Answer:  Yes, detach the canister, and the vacuum head and wand fit nicely under a bed.

Question:  Which Shark vacuum has height adjustment?

Answer:  I was just comparing Sharks and each one I looked at had a button to adjust height for carpet pile height or hard floor to carpet. I almost never use the high carpet setting. I have wood and rugs and the low settings have worked seamlessly for both. No adjustment needed. High means shag and similarly deep.

Question:  Which shark vacuum has height adjustment?

Answer:  No height adjustment. 

Question:  is this a true hepa? What is the filtration efficiency?

Answer:   Yes it uses HEPA filter

Question:  is the Navigator self propelled? Also is it easy to clean?

Answer:  No it is not self-propelled and yes it is easy to clean.

Question:  I have a moderately high pile rug. I want to know if this vacuum will damage it?

Answer:  It might. I have Berber carpet and it really yanks everything up, it separated some of the previously invisible room edges when I used the extra power option. I just tucked it back in and it’s fine. But the danger is there.

That being said, it’s a fantastic vacuum if you have older carpets, mixed flooring, pets, etc

Question:  Weight of lift away unit ?

Answer:  It’s lightweight, not heavy at all.

Question:  does this vacuum lay flat for vacuuming under beds

Answer:  It is 12 inches high when laying flat on the floor. It goes under my bed but not all beds. It is great under vanity edges and cupboards.

Question:  How do you empty Shark Navigator?

Answer:  The canister has a little slider you push up with (on the handle of the canister) slide it up it comes off and you have 2 spots to empty, the top and the bottom. 

Question:  Does the attachment for upholstery have a brush that spins ?

Answer:  We would like to inform you that the Wide Upholstery Tool does not have a spinning brush.

Question:  Can the hand held lift away be extended

Answer:  We would like to inform you that you can still use the handle with the hose while the vacuum is in lift away mode.

Question:  Does this model have a light?

Answer:   this model does not have headlights.

Question:  Is it normal for the vacuum to put out air while you vacuum? The air it blew out made me nauseous.

Answer:  Yes it blows air to create the great suction it has. I clean residential houses & I take the filter out at the end of the day & wash it with dawn or tide & it has a clean smell when the air blows out the next day

Question:  i’m in an area that is very dusty! How good is it at picking up dust on a daily basis?

Answer:  It picks up well and has attachments for dust and ceilings . I live in the desert so I can relate .

Troubleshooting of Shark ZU561

What should I do if my vacuum is not picking up dirt or debris?

If your Shark ZU561 is clogged, you can do a self-cleaning like this instruction from the brand:

Or you can see detailed instruction of how to remove clogging out of Shark ZU561 in this video

What should I do if Shark ZU561 lifts area rugs when using carpet setting?

Move the power switch to setting I (Bare Floor), then you can rotate the suction release collar counterclockwise to reduce suction.

Why did Shark ZU561 turn off on its own?

Shark ZU561 is equipped with a motor protective thermostat. If Shark ZU561 vacuum overheats, the thermostat will automatically turn it off to protect the machine.

What to do if the brushroll of Shark ZU561 stops spinning? 

In Lift-Away mode, the brushroll will not spin. Check if you remove the canister or it is attached properly or not. If the brushroll still does not spin, you should check for blockage, hair, soil, etc on the brushroll and remove them. 

Here is a detailed instruction of how to troubleshoot when Shark ZU561 brush does not spin: