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Best Corded Stick Vacuum

By: Kelly Burgess on May 23, 2017

Corded stick vacuums can handle bigger jobs

If you need a stick vac for more than a quick clean-up, a corded stick vacuum could be your best bet. Their distinct advantage over cordless stick vacuums (which we cover elsewhere in this report) is that their cleaning time doesn't depend on battery life.

When it comes to corded stick vacuums, the Shark Rocket Complete HV382 (Est. $225) is a top performer across the board, according to experts and owners. At ConsumerReports.org, it's one of the top-rated corded stick vacuums (based upon testing of a similar model), earning a Recommended nod and Excellent ratings for carpet, bare floors and pet hair; Very Good for edges and noise. It does less well at Reviewed.com, where Jonathan Chan calls its performance "rather middling." In testing there, it did not do well at picking up chunkier items on hard floors, although when he switched to the smaller motorized brush it did well. He does admire the vast number of accessories included with the HV382, though. It also converts to a handheld, as all Shark stick vacs do.

Owners, however, overwhelmingly side with ConsumerReports.org's high ratings, giving the Shark Rocket Complete HV382 some of the best feedback we see for any corded vacuum. Most say they are absolutely thrilled to have a vacuum that works as well as a traditional upright or canister vac, but at a much lower weight and that is much more maneuverable. The Shark HV382 weighs nearly 10 pounds, which is a bit heavy for a stick vacuum, but is certainly lighter than a traditional vacuum.

The Shark Rocket Complete HV382 is merely one stick vacuum in the Shark Rocket Complete line: the models vary only by included accessories, and the price varies somewhat depending upon which accessory package you choose. Shark also makes Shark Rocket Complete models that are exclusive to specific retailers, such as Costco, Kohl's or Walmart. We advise that you be aware of exactly which model you're buying to be sure you get the accessories you prefer. We like the HV382 corded stick vac for most households because there's pretty much an accessory for any cleaning task, including a dusting brush, a crevice tool, mini motorized brush and a very popular under appliance cleaning wand for cleaning under washing machines, clothes dryers, ranges and refrigerators without having to move them. (We also cover those appliances in their own reports, and recommend the best choices.)

Our former Best Reviewed corded stick vacuum, the 7.5-pound Shark Rocket Ultralight (Est. $180) is still a good choice, and it also costs less than the Shark Rocket Complete. The Shark Rocket Ultralight also gets good reviews by both experts and owners for its performance on a wide variety of surfaces, but its ratings are just not quite up there with the Rocket Complete. ConsumerReports.org gives it an Excellent for carpet and pet hair, Very Good for bare floors, edges and noise. It also converts to a handheld vacuum.

Users love the Shark Rocket, though, with thousands of happy owners giving it very high ratings. They say it has very powerful suction, good enough, many note, that they don't have to use their larger upright vacuums any longer, and it works very well on both carpets and hard floors. The light weight and extreme maneuverability that are the hallmark of the Shark brand of vacuum cleaners also earns much praise. The only quibble we saw was that, because the motor is located in the handle, some say it's too top-heavy and unwieldy, and, of course, some complain about the cord, which we discount since this is, after all, a corded vacuum. On the plus side, the cord is 27-feet long, which most users say is plenty for a good-sized cleaning job without having to unplug and re-plug too often.

As with the Shark Rocket Complete line, there are several models in the Shark Rocket Ultralight line. Each varies by the accessory package, and that package may vary by retailer, so double check to be sure that the version you buy comes with the extras that you expect.

Basic corded stick vacuums are an affordable option for light cleaning

Another well-rated corded vacuum is the Bissell PowerEdge 81L2T (Est. $70), which owners say is both affordable and powerful. With a unique V-shaped nozzle designed to pull debris towards the middle of the head where suction power is the strongest, it's effective at removing dust and debris from hard floor surfaces. The Bissell gets great reviews for pet hair pickup thanks to its rubber lips instead of brushes, which aid in removing pet hair from bare floors, but it doesn't work as well on carpet, many owners note. Still, pet owners and beach-dwellers who purchased the Bissell PowerEdge to control pet hair and/or sand on their hardwood floors are very satisfied. Like the Shark, the Bissell weighs 7.5 pounds.

The Bissell PowerEdge has a 20-foot power cord, which some owners say makes it necessary to relocate the cord several times in the midst of a larger cleaning job. It also doesn't have any attachments, like a crevice or upholstery tool. However, the V-shape of the nozzle creates two pointed ends on either side, which tuck easily into corners and crevices. Many say that is actually more convenient than dealing with switching attachments in and out.

If maneuverability is a priority the Hoover Corded Cyclonic Stick Vacuum (Est. $65) is a very affordable option among corded stick vacuums. Like the Bissell PowerEdge, the Hoover Corded Cyclonic has a 20-foot power cord, though the vac is slightly heavier at 8.8-pounds. It also doesn't have attachments, and it lacks the Bissell's V-shaped nozzle. However, its swiveling handle makes it extremely maneuverable around furniture and chair legs and it reclines almost flat to reach under beds and other tight spaces. The handle folds down compactly for easy storage.

The Hoover has a powered brush roll for use on carpets. Owners say it performs pretty well compared to some stick vacuums on carpeted floors, especially on low-pile carpets and area rugs.

For the most basic, but also very inexpensive stick vacuum, you might want to consider the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik (Est. $20). It weighs just 3.8 pounds and has a slightly shorter, 16-foot power cord that many owners say is fine for most of their small cleanups. The Simpli-Stik also converts to a hand vac for above-the-floor cleaning duties such as removing crumbs from furniture. It also has a washable filter.

Reviews for the performance of the Dirt Devil Simpli-Stik are mixed. In testing at ConsumerReports.org, it lands near the bottom of the pack overall, earning just fair scores for its ability to clean carpets and bare floors, as well as its edge-cleaning and pet-hair-removal capabilities. However, owners give it pretty great feedback, praising its ease-of-use for small jobs, especially in small apartments or dorm rooms. Most say it's very effective if you have the right expectations, noting that it's a cheap stick vacuum and is not for heavy cleaning.

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