Shark 500 vs Shark 501 – Review and Comparison

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In this article, we will talk about two very popular upright vacuums – Shark 500 vs 501.

When looking for a new vacuum cleaner, Shark is often the first brand, that comes to our mind. Their products are usually very efficient, durable, and ergonomic. Convenient design is also one of the main characteristics of this manufacturer.

However, the Shark often has multiple models in one series, which can be quite confusing, especially if you didn’t own any of their products before. This is why we created this article – Today, we will talk about the differences between Shark NV500 vs Shark NV501.

Those seemingly similar vacuums, have a few crucial dissimilarities which you should know about before making the final decision. In the latter part of the article, you can also read the description of each model, so you don’t miss out on anything useful.

Based on the opinions online, as well as our own experience, we picked the winner of this comparison, which can be found at the end of the article. Although, we highly recommend reading the whole article, if you want to learn all the details about each product.

Shark NV500 vs Shark NV501

NAME:Shark NV500Shark NV501
SIZE:11.75 x 15.24 x 33.50 in.45.7 x 12.1 x 12.2 in.
WEIGHT:21.1 lb.15.5 lb.
UNIQUE FEATURES:3-in-1 vacuum (canister vacuum, upright vacuum, and a lift-away), different attachments, usually comes in blue2-in-1 vacuum (upright vacuum, and a lift-away), different attachments, usually comes in red
CORD LENGTH:30 ft.25 ft.

Main differences

In the beginning, we would like to address, that both products are fairly efficient. What’s more, we think, that either one of those should satisfy most of the consumers in terms of everyday cleaning. There are, however, few things to keep in mind before you make the final decision.

The first major difference is the overall design. The models not only come in different colors but also sizes. The Shark NV500 can be found in the blue color while the Shark NV501 usually comes in red. The NV501 model is also much bigger than its older version.

The situation looks different when it comes to weight. The Shark NV500 weighs only 21.1 lb. while the NV501 version weighs 15.5 lb. As you can see, it’s been significantly reduced.

The products also highly differ when it comes to the attachments. The Shark NV500 has “Premium Pet Power Brush”, “Dusting Brush”, and “Crevice Tool” included. There are both pros and cons to each of the tools, although, they make the whole cleaning process more versatile.

The Shark NV501 has the same number of attachments but the included tools are different. The package comes with a “Wide Upholstery Tool”, “Dusting Brush” and “12 in. Crevice Tool”.

The last dissimilarity is the fact, that the Shark NV500 is a 3-in-1 vacuum while the NV501 model is only a 2-in-1 vacuum. The 3-in-1 version allows you to use it as a canister vacuum, upright vacuum, or a lift-away. The Shark NV501 doesn’t have the canister feature implemented.

Although, it’s safe to say, that the canister function doesn’t need to be used too often, as the upright vacuum already does a very efficient job at cleaning. 

The last thing to keep in mind is that the Shark 501 is a refreshed version of the older Shark 500. Therefore, some of the technologies may work better in the improved model, even though, they are the same.

Those are pretty much all the crucial differences, that you should keep in mind. Based on those aspects, you can already make the final decision, however, we highly recommend reading the rest of the article.

Cleaning performance

The cleaning performance is one of the most important factors when choosing a new vacuum cleaner. By this, we mean how well a particular device does, compared to other products from a similar price range.

We have to say, that both upright vacuums do a great job in everyday cleaning. Even though the units aren’t the most powerful devices on the market, they should be sufficient in most of the scenarios. Both products utilize the same 10 amps motor, providing around 1200 Watts. 

Both models also have HEPA filters with “Complete Seal Technology”. In our opinion, every vacuum should already have this technology implemented. It can make a big difference not only for people with allergies – It traps the dust and other small particles inside the dust bag, and prevents them from spreading around your room during the cleaning process. 

Besides the great filtration system, both vacuums also have multiple cleaning tools available. You can choose the best one for a particular surface or furniture. The Shark NV500 comes with “Premium Pet Power Brush”, “Dusting Brush”, and “Crevice Tool” while the Shark NV501 comes with “Wide Upholstery Tool”, “Dusting Brush”, “12 in. Crevice Tool”.

The extendable wand gives you a long reach with an option for easy overhead cleaning. The hose length in both models is also very similar, measuring approximately 8.4 ft. However, in this case, you may want to use a lift-away feature.

Both units have the lift-away feature which allows you to detach the main canister from the rest of the vacuum, to clean all the hard-to-reach spots. The Shark NV500 also has an option to turn into a canister vacuum, so you can slide it across the room, and clean using only your wand.

Although, we still find the main brush roll to be the most effective way of cleaning the floors. If you think about using the Lift-away function often, be sure to check the weight of the vacuum, as it differs significantly.

Those are pretty much all the important aspects when it comes to the cleaning performance. Of course, there are some indirect factors that can affect the overall cleaning performance, such as dust bag capacity but we will talk about those later.


The dust cup capacity is something to keep an eye on, as you don’t want to constantly empty the vacuum during the cleaning process. Fortunately, those models have rather a sufficient dust cup capacity, which is approximately the same.

In both vacuums, the approximate capacity is close to 1.3 quarts. This much should do fine in everyday cleaning, as well as in a little more demanding process. In order to keep the dust cup safe from overfilling, be sure to always follow the basic maintenance steps (we will also list them in the latter part of the article).


Both of the vacuums remain very maneuverable despite the difference in weight and size. The overall design is convenient and ergonomic, so cleaning for long periods shouldn’t be uncomfortable. Be sure to keep an eye on weight if you are going for the most portable version.

The Shark NV500 measures 11.75 x 15.24 x 33.50 in. and weighs around 21.1 lb. while the Shark NV501 measures 45.7 x 12.1 x 12.2 in. and weighs 15.5 lb. Both models have LED lights built-in, so you can clearly see all the dirt and debris located in the corners.

The Shark NV500 works as a 3-in-1 vacuum, allowing you to use it as a canister vacuum, powerful upright vacuum, or a lift-away. The Shark NV501 only has the upright and lift-away feature implemented. Nonetheless, in our opinion, it should completely satisfy most of the users.

There are also different attachments included, which can be replaced depending on the surface you are cleaning. The tools for each unit are different, as we mentioned earlier.

Cord length

The cord length is an aspect, that may be important for people with large households, or for people who don’t want to use any extension cords. If you don’t have too many outlets around your house, it’s also something to keep in mind.

Both products have the same cord length, which is around 30 ft. This is a pretty common length for a standard upright vacuum, and in all honesty, this should work fine for most people.


The price is another crucial factor, however, you probably already know the price difference. Nonetheless, we decide to touch on this topic, as it’s quite significant.

Since the Shark 501 is a refreshed version of the older model, it tends to be a little more expensive. Right now, it can be found on Amazon for the price of $290.00 (Click here to see the price!) while the Shark 500 is listed for the price of $220.00 (Click here to see the price!).

However, keep in mind that the price often fluctuates and it may not be up-to-date anymore. Therefore, be sure to check it for yourself before making the final decision.

Package content

If you read the beginning of the article, you may already know, that the units have different tools included. This gives a great versatility when cleaning during the cleaning process, as each one is best used for something different. They allow you to take care of different surfaces and furniture.

The Shark NV500 comes with 3 attachments and those are “Premium Pet Power Brush”, “Dusting Brush”, and a “Crevice Tool”. Just like the older version, the Shark NV501 also comes with 3 attachments, and those are a “Wide Upholstery Tool”, “Dusting Brush” and a “12 in. Crevice Tool”.

We won’t be explaining what each part does as it would make the article too long, however, you can go to the main manufacturer’s website, to learn all the interesting details. There is also a user’s manual available online.

Necessary maintenance

The maintenance is often skipped by many new users to upright vacuums. This is very unfortunate, as basic maintenance steps are required to keep the new unit operating at the desired level, and to prevent permanent damage.

Once again, we won’t be getting into too many details here, however, we will try to give you some basic maintenance steps which should work for most of the upright vacuums.

In order to keep your new device working at the desired level, you need to:

  • Regularly empty and rinse the dust cup
  • Regularly check the nozzle or any other attachments for any stuck dirt and/or debris
  • At least once a week clean the cover of the brush, nozzle, and other tools
  • Replace any used or damaged elements as fast as possible
  • Regularly rinse the washable filter

Those are only some of the necessary maintenance steps, that you should know about. Once again, we strongly suggest reading the user’s guide in order to learn all the details.


In conclusion, both Shark 500 and Shark 501 are very effective vacuum cleaners. In fact, we are sure, that either one of those should satisfy most of the users. There are, however, some key differences, that you should keep in mind when making the final decision.

Some of the most important dissimilarities are the overall design (weight and size), included attachments (different tools for each unit), and the additional functionality (3-in-1 vacuum vs 2-in-1 vacuum).

Those are all the most important differences, that you should keep in mind. Based on those factors, you can make the final decision. In our opinion, the Shark 501 is a winner of this comparison, thanks to the lighter weight and great attachments.

We hope, that after reading this article you will be happy with the final choice.