Vacuum Cleaner Picks

Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX DuoClean Cordless Stick Vacuum Cleaner

Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX DuoClean is convertible, 2-in-1, cordless, bagless vacuum cleaner. Shark ION F80 (IF281) includes several Shark's innovative cleaning technologies, like MultiFLEX and DuoClean, while two removable lithium ion batteries ensure long operating time.

Shark ION F80 (IF281) easily converts from lightweight stick vacuum cleaner into the strong handheld vacuum and back, allowing the user to easily clean both floors and elevated surfaces.

Published: September 20, 2019.

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Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX DuoClean Features and Specifications

Shark ION F80 (IF281) is convertible vacuum, and may be used as stick or handheld vacuum.

As stick vacuum cleaner, it weighs only 8.7 pounds (~3.94 kg) and in combination with swivel steering of the motorized floor nozzle, it is rather maneuverable unit, being able to reach and clean around and under various floor objects and obstacles.

Its physical dimensions (L x W x H) are 13.4 x 10.2 x 45.9 inches (~34 x 25.9 x 116.6 cm) and its cleaning width is 8.6 inches (~22 cm). However, motorized floor nozzle comes with the side brushes, ensuring that no area is left uncleaned - very important when vacuuming along the baseboards, floors near the furniture and similar surfaces.

Shark ION F80 (IF281) comes with two, 7-cells 25.2 volts lithium batteries. In order to charge the batteries, ION Power Charging Cable and ION Power Pack Charging Dock come with the unit as well, allowing the user to charge the battery while it is in the vacuum (plug in the battery charger cable), while being outside of the vacuum (plug in the battery charger cable) or by placing the battery directly into the charging dock.

Maximum rated power is 300 watts, which is respectable power for cordless unit, especially considering maximum operating time of 80 minutes (2x40 minutes using two batteries).

table shark f80 if281Note: 80 minutes is maximum operating time using both, fully charged batteries, and non-motorized cleaning tool.

Units controls are on the handheld part of the vacuum and are easily accessible. These include:

- Power Button is used for turning the unit On and Off,

- Surface Setting Button allows the user to quickly switch from vacuuming bare floors to carpets and back.

- Suction Setting Button allows the user to quickly set desired suction mode: ION Power or ION Boost.

ION Power is standard suction mode and it balances between strong suction and the battery operating life. In this mode, unit can operate using single battery:

- in the handheld mode: up to 40 minutes,

- in the stick mode, bare floors, with wand and DuoClean Nozzle: up to 32 minutes,

- in the stick mode, carpets, with wand and DuoClean Nozzle: up to 26 minutes.

ION Boost suction mode is maximum suction mode - in this mode, unit can operate using single battery:

- in the handheld mode: up to 12 minutes,

- in the stick mode, bare floors, with wand and DuoClean Nozzle: up to 11 minutes,

- in the stick mode, carpets, with wand and DuoClean Nozzle: up to 10 minutes.

ION Boost mode can be activated for timed, 1-minute period or it can be used as long as it is needed (or as long as the battery lasts). ION Boost mode is intended for vacuuming heavy messes, high-traffic areas, piles of dirt and similar.

MultiFLEX Wand

Shark F80 (IF281) comes with MultiFLEX cleaning wand - basically, it can bend in the middle, allowing the user to reach and clean under sofas, beds and similar floor objects.

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Also, Shark F80 (IF281) is not self-standing unit, but thanks to the MultiFLEX cleaning wand, which can bend both ways, Shark F80 (IF281) may be stored vertically, with the wand bent, requiring very little space.

 DuoClean Motorized Floor Nozzle

For vacuuming various bare floors, area rugs and carpets, Shark F80 (IF281) comes with the DuoClean Motorized Floor Nozzle, which features two different brushrolls.

First brushroll is soft brushroll, optimized for collecting both small and large debris and for vacuuming bare floors. Second brushroll features bristles optimized for vacuuming carpets and area rugs. It picks up dirt collected by the soft brushroll and pulls out deeply embedded dirt like pet and human hair and similar.

motorized floor nozzle

By operating in unison, two different brushrolls improve cleaning regardless of the type of surface or dirt - just be sure to set required mode (Bare Floors, Carpets) using vacuum's controls.

Main cleaner head features swivel neck, ensuring great maneuverability over different floor types. Also, its profile is very low and in combination with MultiFLEX wand, help the user reach far under furniture, beds, sofas and similar objects.

To help the user clean in low light conditions, Shark F80 (IF281) main cleaner head comes with the strong LED headlights.

Motorized Floor Nozzle features cleaning width of 8.6 inches (~22 cm) and a pair of side brushes to help with the edge cleaning.

Brushrolls' cover is transparent, allowing the user to see the current condition of the brushrolls - DuoClean motorized floor nozzle does excellent job while cleaning, but it is not maintenance free tool and it must be periodically cleaned manually by the user from tangled pet and human hair, lint, fibers and similar.

Note: Shark F80 (IF281) is easy to use and maintain unit, but in order to get yourself familiarized with the unit, it is highly recommended to read the manual thoroughly before the very first use.

Shark F80 (IF281) Cleaning Tools and Attachments

As a convertible unit, Shark F80 (IF281) comes with several cleaning tools and attachments that are used for vacuuming elevated surfaces including stairs, furniture, book shelves, tables, desks, etc.

However, note that the list of available attachments vary over time and even from store to store, so before ordering, check it.

Shark F80 (IF281) list of available attachments include: Crevice Tool, Wide Upholstery Tool and Dusting Brush. From time to time, Shark F80 (IF281) is offered with 'TruePet Upgrade' consisting of additional cleaning tools like Motorized Pet Tool, Flexible Cleaning Hose and Accessory Bag.

There are other cleaning tools available and they can be ordered if/when required.

Crevice Tool

crevice tool

8 inches (~20cm) long Crevice Tool is designed for vacuuming tight and narrow spaces and gaps, edges, corners and similar areas.

Wide Upholstery Tool

wide upholstery tool

Wide Upholstery Tool features two felt strips, intended for picking up pet and human hair and other dirt from upholstery (hence the name), furniture and similar surfaces.

Note: instead of Wide Upholstery Tool, 'ordinary' Upholstery Tool is delivered. Since it is narrower, Upholstery Tool requires more time to clean the same area, but it is also easier to use on awkward surfaces, like bed/sofa corners, or pet beds and similar.

Dusting Brush

dusting brush

Dusting Brush features bristles that glide over vacuumed surfaces and agitate dirt, which is than vacuumed into the unit via strong suction.

As said before, other cleaning tools and attachments may be ordered online. The most popular tools include: Pet Multi Tool, Multi-Angle Dusting Brush, Anti-Allergen Dust Brush, MultiFLEX Under-Appliance Wand, Motorized Pet Tool etc.

Shark F80 (IF281) Air Filtration

Shark F80 (IF281) air filtration is generally considered good, although the manufacturer doesn't state actual HEPA level.

Air filtration is based on several mechanical air filters, including:

- pre-motor foam filter with the filter frame,

- post-motor air filter.

foam and felt kit

All filters are washable using plain water, with NO soap or detergent of any kind. After washing, air filters must be thoroughly air dried for at least 24 hours.

Note: never operate the unit with no filters in place or with wet filters. Such use may damage the unit and render the warranty void.

Dirt cup is transparent, enabling the user to see amount and type of vacuumed dirt. Maximum capacity is 0.3 quarts and it may be larger, IMHO.

Dirt cup is easily emptied directly into the trashcan and due to the relatively modest capacity, it is recommended to empty the dirt bin after each use.

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Shark ION IR101 Rocket vs. Shark ION X40 (IR141) vs. Shark IONFlex 2X IF251 vs Shark F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX

Shark manufactures several cordless, convertible vacuums that share features, but also differ in many details. Some of these models are listed in the following table:

Model Shark ION IR101 Shark ION X40 (IR141) Shark IONFlex 2X IF251 Shark F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX
Photo table shark ir101 table shark x40 ir141 table shark if251 table shark f80 if281
DuoClean No Yes Yes Yes
MultiFLEX No No Yes Yes
Weight 7.2 pounds 8.7 pounds 8.7 pounds 8.7 pounds
Rated Power 300 W 300 W 300 W 300 W
Dirt Cup 0.3 quarts 0.3 quarts 0.3 quarts 0.3 quarts
Battery 1x 1x 2x 2x
8" Crevice Tool Yes Yes No Yes
Dusting Brush No No No Yes
Upholstery Tool No Yes No Wide
Anti-Allergen Dust Brush Yes No Yes No
Pet Multi-Tool Yes No Yes No
Duster Crevice Tool No No Yes No
Amazon Link Shark ION IR101 Rocket Shark ION X40 (IR141) Shark IONFlex 2X IF251 Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX

Note: Amazon links open in the new windows, feel free to check them for most up-to-date prices and offers.

As one can see, Shark IONFlex 2X IF251 and Shark F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX are very similar units. They are both based on the DuoClean and MultiFLEX technologies, and both come with a pair of batteries.

Obviously, they differ in color, list of available cleaning tools and attachments, wand design/color, but also, according to the manufacturer, Shark F80 comes with the improved motor and slightly longer operating time (cleaning mode and tool dependent).

They often differ in price, as well.

Shark ION IR101 and Shark ION X40 (IR141) have standard cleaning wands, slightly different cleaning tools and only one battery is included. Also, Shark ION X40 (IR141) comes with DuoClean main floor nozzle, while Shark ION IR101 Rocket comes with the main floor nozzle featuring single brushroll.

Compare the prices:

Long Story Short: If you are looking for versatile 2-in-1 cordless vacuum, consider Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX.

It comes with 5-year limited warranty, 2-year battery warranty, very good suction, good air filtration, low maintenance costs, list of three cleaning tools which may be expanded over time etc.

This is very good unit, except one thing - relatively small dirt cup (0.3 quarts) that can be quickly emptied. Everything else is well designed and built.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Shark ION F80 (IF281) MultiFLEX Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

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