Dyson DC50 vs Shark Navigator Lift-Away: An In-Depth Comparison

In evaluating the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, I considered a range of factors that highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each vacuum. My hands-on experience has shown that the Dyson DC50 is a compact unit, offering a blend of powerful suction and automatic height adjustment technology perfect for a variety of floor types. This vacuum sports a turbo brush—an addition that enhances its ability to tackle pet hair and deep-set debris in carpets.

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Meanwhile, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away presents itself as a versatile cleaning solution. Its lift-away feature means the canister can be detached from the base, making it easier to clean hard-to-reach areas. Although slightly heavier than the Dyson, it balances this with a generous dustbin capacity and user-friendly design, which collectively contribute to a more infrequent need to stop and empty the unit during cleanups.

Key Takeaways

  • The Dyson DC50 excels with powerful suction in a compact design.
  • The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers versatility and a larger dustbin.
  • Both vacuums provide technologies that cater to a hassle-free cleaning experience.

Overview and Comparison

When evaluating the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, I’ve considered key aspects such as design, features, and performance. Both are upright vacuum cleaners designed for efficiency and ease of use, with their own unique capabilities.

Dyson DC50 Features

The Dyson DC50 stands out with its advanced technology. Firstly, it’s equipped with the Dyson Ball technology, enhancing maneuverability around furniture and corners. This upright vacuum also self-adjusts to different floor types, which optimizes suction and cleaning performance. Here are some specifics:

  • Self-Adjusting Cleaner Head: Adapts to various floor types for an optimal clean.
  • 2 Tier Radial Cyclones: Captures microscopic dust and allergens efficiently.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Features

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers versatility and convenience. It is designed with a detachable canister that allows for portable cleaning, which is particularly useful for stairs and above-floor areas. Its features include:

  • Lift-Away Canister: Converts from an upright to a portable vacuum smoothly.
  • Anti-Allergen Complete Seal Technology + HEPA filter: Traps dust and allergens effectively.

Head-to-Head Comparison

In comparing the two, I’ve found that each vacuum cleaner has its strengths. The Dyson DC50 is lighter weight and has a more compact form factor, which is beneficial in smaller spaces. The Shark Navigator, meanwhile, provides versatility with its lift-away feature, making it convenient for tackling a variety of cleaning scenarios.

FeatureDyson DC50Shark Navigator Lift-Away
WeightLighter, 5.26kgSlightly heavier, 6.35kg
SizeMore compact, 764.5mm in heightTaller, provides a wider reach
Cleaning TechnologyRadial Cyclones for improved dust collectionCanister detachment for extended reach and portability
ManeuverabilityDyson Ball technology for smooth steeringStandard swivel steering

In performance, both upright vacuums provide strong suction and are capable of handling a variety of debris. The Dyson DC50 excels on numerous flooring types without the need for manual adjustment, while the Shark Navigator Lift-Away emphasizes ease of use and flexibility with its transformable design.

Design and Usability

When comparing the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, it is critical to dissect the elements of design and usability that impact the user experience, focusing on both build quality and functional aspects such as weight and maneuverability.

Build Quality and Durability

Dyson DC50:

  • Weight: Approximately 5.26 kilograms, making it lighter than many upright models.
  • Frame: Sturdy plastic construction with metal components where necessary.
  • Canister: Bagless design reduces the need for consumables and is built to last.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro:

  • Weight: Heavier at around 6.35 kilograms, may imply sturdiness.
  • Frame: Combines durable plastics and metal, focusing on longevity.
  • Canister: Also bagless, offering a solid build that doesn’t forgo durability.

Ease of Use and Maneuverability

Dyson DC50:

  • Form Factor: As an upright vacuum, it’s easy to store and handles well in tight spaces, despite not being a stick vacuum.
  • Maneuverability: Features a ball technology which I found allows for effortless steering.
  • Attachments: Comes with a range of attachments enhancing its versatility.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro:

  • Form Factor: Acts as both an upright and a canister vacuum once detached, versatile in function.
  • Maneuverability: Slightly wider in build, but still maneuverable; I had no trouble navigating around furniture.
  • Attachments: Equipped with various tools which aid in cleaning a multitude of surfaces.

Performance and Efficiency

When comparing the Dyson DC50 Animal to the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro, the aspects that stand out most are their respective approaches to suction power, cleaning capabilities, and their performance on various floor types.

Suction Power

The Dyson DC50 Animal boasts consistent suction power that I found adept at removing dirt and debris from multiple surfaces. Its smaller motor design doesn’t compromise on suction, which is a crucial aspect for thorough cleaning sessions. On the other hand, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro also delivers reliable suction, though in my tests, it required occasional adjustments to maintain optimal performance, especially when transitioning between different types of flooring.

Cleaning Capabilities

My examination of cleaning capabilities focused on how well each vacuum handled a range of debris. The Dyson DC50 Animal comes with a turbo brush making it particularly effective at gathering pet hair, even from high-pile carpet. The Shark Navigator, with its larger dustbin capacity, was very capable of prolonged cleaning without needing to empty the bin. Both vacuums perform commendably on bare floors and low-pile carpets, but the Dyson’s automatic height adjustment gives it an edge on transitioning across various surfaces seamlessly.

Suitability for Different Floor Types

The Dyson DC50’s capability to automatically adjust its height played a significant role in enhancing its versatility across different floor types in my home. It moved from hard surface cleaning to carpeted areas with no manual intervention required, maintaining effective dirt and debris removal throughout. The Shark Navigator’s performance on bare floors was impressive, handling even the smallest particles and fine dust. However, on high-pile carpets, it needed a bit more effort to glide smoothly, something to consider for homes with varied floorings.

Additional Features and Technologies

In my extensive experience with both the Dyson DC50 Animal and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, I’ve found that each vacuum cleaner incorporates distinct technologies and features that merit attention, especially concerning filtration, brushroll functionality, and additional smart technology with accessories.

Filtration System

The Dyson DC50 Animal is designed with a HEPA filtration system that captures allergens and expels cleaner air, making it an excellent choice for allergy sufferers. Its filters are also washable, reducing ongoing maintenance costs. In comparison, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away also includes a HEPA filter, ensuring a high level of air filtration which benefits those sensitive to dust and pet dander.

Brushroll and Height Adjustments

Both vacuums offer sophisticated brushroll capabilities. The DC50 features a self-adjusting cleaner head that seamlessly transitions between different floor types. This automatic height adjustment ensures optimal contact with the surface. Additionally, the DC50 includes a handy turbo brush, ideal for removing pet hair and ground-in dirt from upholstery. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro, meanwhile, provides a motorized brushroll that can be turned on or off, offering a more tailored cleaning for carpets or delicate bare floors.

Smart Technology and Accessories

Neither device includes LCD displays, but they come with a range of accessories that enhance their versatility. The Shark Navigator features a button to lift away the canister for portable cleaning, which I find particularly useful for stairs and furniture. The Dyson’s design lacks this lift-away technology but compensates with a combination of practical tools and attachments that easily snap into place and cover various cleaning needs.

User Experience and Maintenance

In my extensive testing of both the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away, I’ve found that maintenance and user experience significantly influence overall satisfaction. Users should be aware that ease of cleaning, accessibility of parts for maintenance, and support from the manufacturer play a crucial role in the long-term enjoyment of these vacuums.

Maintenance Requirements

For the Dyson DC50, the maintenance is relatively straightforward. The lifetime filters are easily accessible and washable—a bonus for those who dislike frequently purchasing replacements. The clear bin is simple to empty, and its maintenance does not necessitate any tools. However, the dustbin’s smaller size means more frequent emptying. The brush width is appropriate for most home environments, and it includes a brushroll shut-off option that is excellent for transitioning from carpet to hardwood floors.

On the other hand, the Shark Navigator Lift-Away showcases its ease of maintenance with a slightly larger dust capacity, reducing the number of trips to the trash bin. Its filters are also washable, and parts like the swivel nozzle and brush head are easily accessible which is beneficial for a quick clean or when a deeper maintenance check is required. It should be noted that while neither of these is a cordless vacuum, their cord lengths are generous, which is a factor that could affect maintenance since longer cords may require more effort to manage.

Customer Support and Warranty

Dyson backs the DC50 with a 5-year warranty that covers both parts and labor, demonstrating confidence in their product’s longevity. They have a reputed customer support team that I’ve found prompt and helpful on the occasions I’ve reached out.

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away has a commendable warranty as well; it comes with a 5-year limited warranty. Shark’s customer service is accessible and generally receives high marks for responsiveness, which I can attest to after interacting with them several times for maintenance queries.

In summary, the Dyson DC50 and Shark Navigator Lift-Away both provide commendable user experiences in terms of maintenance and support. Their warranties are competitive, reflecting a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. The choice between the two will likely come down to personal preferences regarding features like brush width and vacuum structure.

Price and Value for Money

During my extensive testing of both the Dyson DC50 Animal and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro, I paid close attention to the financial aspects of these vacuum cleaners. The price can be a significant factor for many buyers, as it often reflects the features and capabilities of the device.

Dyson DC50 Animal:

  • Retail Price: Generally retails at a higher price point due to the Dyson brand’s reputation for innovative design and technology.
  • Features: Known for its advanced technology, including an automatically adjusting height feature that adapits to various floor types for efficient cleaning.
  • Value: Provides value through its high-end performance, especially on multi-surface settings.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro:

  • Retail Price: Typically more affordable than the Dyson, positioning it as a value-centric option for many consumers.
  • Features: Although it comes at a lower price, it does not skimp on functionality, offering versatility with its detachable canister.
  • Value: Offers solid performance and ease of use, making it a great return on investment for those who prioritize functionality over high-tech features.
Vacuum CleanerPriceFeaturesValue for Money
Dyson DC50 AnimalHigher-endAuto height adjustment, turbo brushHigh-tech cleaning efficiency, suitable for multiple surfaces
Shark Navigator Lift-Away ProMore budget-friendlyDetachable canister for portable cleaningVersatility and convenience, ideal for practical everyday use

In conclusion, the Dyson DC50 and the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro offer different value propositions. If one seeks the latest in vacuum technology regardless of price, the Dyson may be the better option. However, for those looking for a reliable vacuum at a more accessible price point, the Shark provides a compelling choice. Both models assert themselves as contenders for the best upright vacuum, with distinctions that cater to varied preferences and budgets.

Final Thoughts

After extensive testing of the Dyson DC50 and Shark Navigator Lift-Away, I’ve formed several key observations relevant to potential buyers.

Dyson DC50 Animal:

  • The compact nature of this vacuum facilitates easy storage and maneuverability.
  • It exhibits impressive suction power for its size, though not as strong as some larger Dyson models like the Dyson Ball Animal 3 or Dyson Outsize.

Shark Navigator Lift-Away:

  • With its ‘Lift-Away’ feature, it readily transitions from an upright to a portable vacuum, providing versatility.
  • Its performance on various surfaces is comparable to the more advanced Shark Stratos or Shark Vertex.

Size & Handling: Both vacuums are less bulky than full-size models. However, those seeking larger capacity and more substantial cleaning might consider the Shark Rotator Lift-Away ADV or the aforementioned full-size Dysons.


  • The DC50 is best for homes with pets, given its “Animal” designation and specialized attachments.
  • For regular carpet and hardwood cleaning, the Shark Navigator demonstrates proficiency and offers good value.

In personal use, I found neither the Dyson DC50 nor the Shark Navigator Lift-Away outperforms the entire vacuum market, which includes top contenders like the Dyson Ball Animal 3, Shark Stratos, and Shark Vertex. However, for those needing a lighter, more agile vacuum without sacrificing too much on power, these models hold their own within their respective niches.