Review: The Shark Rocket Pet Vacuum’s Cord Didn’t Trip Up Our Tests

Don’t count it out because it's not cordless—this stick vacuum is a budget-friendly powerhouse of a cleaning companion.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn More ›

You’ve heard it before and may have even said it before: “I’ll never buy a corded vacuum again.” But not so fast! I recently tested the Shark Rocket Pet corded stick vacuum for nearly 2 months, and after my experience, you’ll never hear those words spoken from my mouth again.

I used the popular Rocket model from Shark in regular daily cleaning and staged tests involving rice, dirt, and grass on hard floors, area rugs, and carpeting. I got out a ladder and tried an attachment on my neglected and disgusting ceiling fan, laid the whole vacuum down flat to clean under all my lowest furniture, and kept the slim stick parked next to the kitty litter to tidy up the worst part about having a cat. And after previously buying a competitor’s stick vacuum that cost about four times as much, I have some hot takes on them both. See how this reasonably priced stick vac from Shark stood up to my tests in this hands-on review.

Shark Rocket Pet Corded Stick Vacuum: At a Glance

Rating: 9/10

Disassembled Shark Rocket vacuum sitting next to its product box on carpet.
Photo: Michelle Larson for Bob Vila


  • Cord length: 25 feet
  • Weight: 8.2 pounds total, 3.01 pounds hand vac only
  • Dustbin capacity: 0.31 quarts


  • Excellent value; converts to handheld vacuum, comes with 3 useful attachments, and is much more powerful than expected
  • Fingertip controls let you switch instantly from hard floors to carpet
  • 8-pound weight is light enough for use on stairs or even lifting above your head to reach cobwebs in corners
  • Swivel steering makes it easy to maneuver around and under furniture


  • Operating noise of 75 decibels is within the norm for a vacuum, but too loud and whiny to talk over
  • You sacrifice some mobility and convenience by needing to stay within 25 feet of an outlet

Get the Shark Rocket vacuum at:

What is the Shark Rocket vacuum?

The Shark Rocket Pet is a corded stick vacuum that performs powerfully as a traditional stick vacuum or a handheld corded vacuum. It has settings specific to bare floors, area rugs, and high-pile carpets and comes with three attachments: a crevice tool, an upholstery tool, and an anti-allergen dust brush.

The Shark Rocket Pet features swivel steering that makes it easy to clean around and under furniture. Its low-profile design lays fully flat to reach under obstacles, and since the main cleaning head is only 4.5 inches tall, this stick vac can clean beneath almost any chair or cabinet. For objects with under 2 inches of clearance, it’s easy to switch to the crevice tool to grab debris and clear away dust.

While many people prefer cordless vacuums, this corded model features a substantial 25-foot cord that lets you cover a large area without changing outlets. There’s also something to be said about knowing you aren’t racing the clock on a cordless unit’s runtime or slowly losing battery power over the years. In my testing, the cleaning head of the Shark stick vacuum only got tangled up on the cord once, and the vacuum’s attached cord keeper kept everything tidy once I was done testing.

Shark Rocket vacuum head flipped over to show hair and fur on brush roll.
Photo: Michelle Larson for Bob Vila

How easy is the Shark Rocket vacuum to use?

Generally speaking, vacuums aren’t a particularly tricky product to use, and the Shark Rocket is no exception. It’s the definition of a plug-and-play tool that proves that there’s beauty in simplicity. Because it’s a corded vacuum, you don’t have to worry about charging before use or whether the battery will last for the rooms you still have left to clean.

The Shark Rocket Pet corded stick vacuum requires exactly three steps for setup:

  1. Attach the cleaning wand to the desired cleaning head: either the floor nozzle, crevice tool, upholstery tool, or anti-allergen dust brush.
  2. Click the handheld vacuum into the cleaning wand.
  3. Plug in.

Unlike other stick vacuums I’ve used, the Shark has a user-friendly on/off switch that doesn’t require you to hold it down during operation. While this does mean you have to take a second to switch it off when moving locations or if the hem of a blanket inadvertently gets sucked in, it also prevents your hand from getting tired from constantly applying pressure to a power trigger.

Another aspect of the Shark’s design that I love is the flexibility to use it as a handheld vacuum. The power cord is attached to the 3.01-pound motor portion, so the handheld section is compatible with the main cleaning head and all three attachments. I found pairing the upholstery and crevice tools with the handheld vacuum perfect for cleaning under couch cushions and removing dog hair from the back of the car. It’s also great when used with the anti-allergen brush for removing fine dust on furniture and other surfaces.

The Shark Rocket vacuum does not provide any onboard space for unused attachments, but one unique thing it does provide is freestanding storage. Instead of drilling holes in the wall to hang the vacuum or trying to carefully lean it against the wall only to have the dog knock it over, you simply arrange the vacuum and its attachments together to store neatly standing on their own. Detach the handheld vacuum portion, line up the storage hook slot on the back with the storage hook located on the tube, and then wrap up the cord. Now you have a condensed and stable unit that stores in any space. It measures a petite 36 inches tall by 10.5 inches wide by 9.5 inches deep.

Shark Rocket vacuum cleaning cream and red area rug near couch.
Photo: Michelle Larson for Bob Vila

Is the lightweight design of the Shark Rocket good for stairs?

Our home has three floors, which means plenty of stairs. With the main living areas on the ground floor, bedrooms upstairs, and laundry in the basement, our carpeted stairs see plenty of foot traffic. I may be alone in this, but my house always feels extra clean when the carpet on the stairs is fluffed up from a fresh vacuuming.

I used a traditional corded upright vacuum on my stairs for over 10 years, which means I’m used to this task being a cumbersome chore. With the 8-pound Shark Rocket ultralight corded stick vacuum, I am consistently impressed and grateful for how much easier it now is to vacuum the stairs. I find lifting its light weight pretty effortless, and its swiveling head conveniently adapts to all the edges. For an even deeper clean, I simply pop the included crevice tool onto the handheld portion or the full-length wand and finish clearing away any bits embedded in the corners.

I also tried the Shark Rocket on my ceiling fan, and while I had high hopes that it would simplify this awful chore as effectively as the stairs, it didn’t. With the 29.75-inch tube and anti-allergen brush attachment installed, I climbed a ladder and hoisted the stick vac over my head. While it’s not particularly heavy, it’s also not easy to hold it up while on a ladder trying to clean something that moves. Ever industrious, I used a broom to hold the fan blades in place with one hand while attempting to maneuver the vacuum with the other. With my 5-foot-4-inch frame somewhat unstably perched on a 4-foot ladder while trying to reach a 10-foot-high ceiling fan, let’s just say I got the big chunks.

Shark Rocket vacuum in handheld configuration cleaning underneath gray couch cushions.
Photo: Michelle Larson for Bob Vila

How well does the Shark Rocket corded stick vacuum perform?

Determining the power of a vacuum isn’t as straightforward as I think it should be. After some research, I found that the Shark Rocket Pet has a 4.2 amp motor, which is substantially less than the 14.8 amps of my other stick vacuum. In a side-by-side comparison, that difference was not evident.

To test the Rocket’s performance, I laid out a thick strip of rice, a pile of wet soil from the garden, and a couple handfuls of freshly torn-out grass on our wood floor, area rug, and bottom stair step. Spoiler alert: The Shark did better in every test! It picked up every grain of rice and about 80 percent of the grass and dirt. My spendy stick vacuum topped out at about 70 percent on all three tests, leaving little piles in front of the cleaning head where it pushed the materials forward instead of picking them up and random bits behind the brush head here and there.

To be fair, I didn’t switch cleaning heads between tests on my fancy vacuum, but the fact that I didn’t need to on the Shark and could simply adjust between floor settings on the machine is another win for the Shark. When I do take the time to switch heads as needed, I can say each machine consistently pulls plenty of gunk out of every surface I use them on. But I still don’t notice that the much more expensive model has over three times the power of the more budget-friendly Shark.

One place I can see the difference is in operating noise. The Shark operates at about 75 decibels, which is pretty typical for a vacuum and right in line with my other one. There’s something more difficult to articulate about the quality of the sound it produces, though. When using the Shark, I don’t even try to talk over it—the noise is just too loud, whiney, and jarring. Even though it’s just as loud, my other stick vac doesn’t seem as intrusive, and its sound is somehow much more pleasant than that of the Shark.

How to Clean a Shark Rocket Vacuum 

One other thing I don’t love about the Shark Rocket vacuum is emptying the dustbin. It’s located on the handheld portion of the vacuum, which is also where the motor is housed and the cord attachment is located. With every vacuum I’ve had, I prefer to take the dustbin directly out to our large waste collection can in the garage to avoid a misfire that leaves dust and hair all around my indoor trash. With the Shark, that means hauling the loose 25-foot cord along for the ride, which is both annoying and a tripping hazard. Once there, however, emptying it is as straightforward as pushing a single button and letting all the gunk you can’t believe you live with fall out.

The Shark has three filters that the manufacturer recommends cleaning monthly. Two filters sit in a compartment on the top of the handheld portion, and one is fitted over the air intake on the back. All filters need to be rinsed with plain water and left to dry. Failing to do this regularly will affect the vacuum’s suction power.

This version of the Shark Rocket ultralight is the pet version, which means it’s built to handle hair, and our house has plenty of it. A dog, a cat, and two females with past-shoulder-length hair leave loose strands in every room, only to eventually get wrapped around the Shark’s brush roll. With past vacuums, I’ve hacked at these tangles with scissors and pulled at them with pens to free the mess from the vacuum’s clutches. The Shark makes it much easier with a removable brush roll design; it’s so easy to detach that I simply used a paperclip to unlock the slot’s cover rather than going downstairs for a flathead screwdriver. I made a couple of slices along the length of the brushroll and unraveled all that icky collected hair for easy disposal.

Shark Rocket Pet Corded Stick Vacuum filters filled with dust.
Photo: Michelle Larson for Bob Vila

Is the Shark Rocket worth the money?

The Shark Rocket pet corded stick vacuum is absolutely worth the money, especially if you can snag it on sale, an opportunity that seems to come up often. Having recently spent nearly $700 on a vacuum I thought I loved, I now can’t say the $500 difference is substantial enough that I’d make the same decision again.

This model from the very popular and respected brand, Shark, seems to be one of those examples of a product that may have been considered fancy years ago but, as technology has improved, is now just plain ol’ good, nay, great—particularly for the price. It works better than expected, comes with a reasonable number of useful tools, and seems solid and reliable while being convenient to use. I still go back and forth on the corded aspect, but for the price and assurance that I can vacuum all the floors in one session, it’s a pretty fantastic vacuum.

Should you buy the Shark Rocket vacuum?

Unless the cord is a deal-breaker for you, I think the Shark Rocket Pet vacuum is a hard-to-beat choice for most buyers. It’s lightweight, compact, versatile, and effective. It may not have quite as many attachments as more expensive models (most of which, to be honest, you’d never use anyway) or have as powerful a motor (on paper), but results are results. The Shark Rocket Pet corded stick vacuum exceeded my expectations and could even replace a handheld vacuum in homes where having two separate tools just means more stuff to store. Choosing to buy this vacuum means scoring a big cleaning win.

Where to Buy the Shark Rocket Vacuum

Get the Shark Rocket vacuum at:

Meet the Tester

Michelle Larson is an assistant editor at, where she spends her days providing structure for product reviews and asking questions about commas. She’s been a writer and editor for more than 10 years in the fields of health, business, and the home. Because she’d rather spend a little more up front than buy a tool or appliance twice, she strongly believes in the power of research and reviews for finding quality items that are meant to last.

Michelle Larson Avatar

Michelle Larson

Assistant Editor

Michelle is a lifelong learner who lives and plays in the mountains of Park City, Utah, with her husband, daughter, and pets. She came to the Commerce team at in February 2022 with more than 5 years’ experience as a business owner, writer, and program manager.