The Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System vacuum cleaner offers many automated features for streamlined, simplified cleaning. It automatically detects floor types and the presence of dirt to adjust its power and performance.
The vacuum also recognizes dark areas and activates the lights on the brush head to illuminate the space. When connected to the docking station, it also empties the dust cup into the larger dust bin, so you can repeatedly use the vacuum without taking time to empty the dust bin.
With multiple attachments and a streamlined design, this is one of the best Shark vacuums suitable for a variety of cleaning tasks. It’s capable of tackling hardwood, tile, carpeting, and rugs, and can also convert into a hand vacuum for even more versatile use.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System: Quick Menu
Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Review
What I thought of the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
The Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System is easy to use and, above all, convenient. It can be stored on the docking station fully assembled, so you can just lift it off whenever you need to clean it. While the dust cup capacity is limited, the ability to automatically empty the dust cup just by placing the vacuum on the docking station is a great benefit.
I found the automated features to be very helpful. As one of the best vacuum cleaners on the market, it appropriately adjusted its power settings in the auto mode, and reliably detected and responded to different floor types. This vacuum was quite strong and performed well in most tasks, except for removing pet hair from a cat tree.
Unfortunately, I found that pet hair repeatedly clogged the dust bin during the automatic emptying process, making a mess each time. This cordless vacuum cleaner performed well otherwise, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a vacuum cleaner for pet hair.
I’m Paige Cerulli, owner of Wild Mare Marketing, and I specialize in product reviews. I tested the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System in my home in Western Massachusetts. I have four cats, three horses, a flock of ducks, and several foster animals.
Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner Specifications
- Model name: Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System
- Model number: IW3511
- Dimensions (in.): H43 x W10.4 x L14.3
- Weight (lbs): 5.8 pounds
- Battery type: Lithium-ion battery
- Voltage: 120 volts
- Wattage: 240 watts
- Modes: Auto, Eco, and, Boost
- Run time (mins): Up to 40 minutes
Unboxing and setting up the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
The Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System arrived double-boxed and in excellent condition. It was very well-packaged, and instead of using Styrofoam, the components were securely held in place with cardboard packaging, which I can recycle. Each component was individually wrapped in a plastic bag.
The vacuum comes with a quick start guide, which has some basic assembly and cleaning instructions. You can access the full instruction manual online. While not including the full manual saves paper, I found it inconvenient to look up the manual on my phone since I did need to reference it several times when first learning how to use the vacuum.
Assembling the vacuum was easy and intuitive, and the wand and attachments easily clicked into place.
The docking station was also easy to assemble, and the vacuum included an odor cartridge that fits into the top of the docking station to help control odors.
When I placed the vacuum into the docking station, it automatically turned on and emptied the dust cup. Then, it began to charge. It took five hours to fully charge the vacuum.
Using the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
I tested the vacuum on a variety of surfaces, including low-pile and medium-pile carpets, stairs, tile, upholstery, and hardwood floors.
Cleaning a low-pile area rug
To begin, I cleaned a rug. The vacuum sensed that I was cleaning carpet and automatically turned on the motor in the brush head. I operated the vacuum on the auto setting, and it increased its power in dirty areas, then decreased the power once the area was clean.
I could hear when an area was clean by listening to the power adjustments, but the brush head also features a clean indicator light that glows blue when the area is clean.
Using the LightDetect feature
I appreciated many of the vacuum’s automated features. The LightDetect feature sensed that the area by my couch was dark and powered on the vacuum’s lights, illuminating the area under my couch. When I transitioned off of the rug onto the hardwood floor, the FloorDetect feature recognized the floor within about three seconds and turned off the motorized brush head.
The vacuum is agile and easy to use. It easily fits under furniture, including my couch and recliner.
I was also pleased to see that it easily fits on my carpeted stairs, and vacuuming the medium pile carpet on the stairs was easy.
After cleaning the low-pile rug and the stairs, the dust cup, which is fairly small, was full. I returned the vacuum to the docking station and it proceeded to automatically empty the dust bin.
Emptying the dust cap
Unfortunately, since I have four cats, it had vacuumed up a fair amount of cat hair. The opening that’s used to empty the vacuum into the larger dust bin is relatively small, and the cat hair clogged the area, forcing that bottom flap to stay open.
The dust cup couldn’t fully empty, and I ended up with a mess on the floor. The automatic emptying process takes about 15 seconds, at which point the vacuum starts to recharge. I tried to avoid high amounts of cat hair, keeping vacuuming sessions brief and focusing on areas of the home with minimal pet hair, like the bathroom floor. Even with this change, the vacuum jammed open again the next four times I attached it to the docking station.
Fortunately, you can manually empty the dust cup into your kitchen trash can, and when emptied manually, the dust cup opens up wider, so I was able to easily remove any hair.
Cleaning a couch
I attached the crevice tool, turning the vacuum into a handheld vacuum, and used it to clean a couch and clean upholstery (including a chair). I found that the suction was strong enough to pull up on the fabric of my couch, and it did a thorough cleaning job.
Cleaning hardwood and tile flooring
I used the brush head to clean my hardwood floors and to clean grout on my tiled bathroom floor using the Eco. The vacuum easily picked up cat litter, but it wasn’t strong enough to pick up the debris that had fallen between the cracks of my hardwood floor, even when I used the Boost function to maximize its power.
With the brush head in place, I vacuumed flour up off of a low pile carpet using the auto setting.
While the vacuum cleaned up minimal amounts of flour on the first pass, after five passes it had vacuumed up most of the flour.
I also used the pet multi-tool to vacuum cobwebs out of corners and the ceiling. I tested the tool on the carpeted cat tree, too. While the tool has bristles to help lift up pet hair, it struggled to remove hair from the cat tree.
Overall, the vacuum performed well, with the exception of the issues caused by cat hair. It’s very quiet on the Eco setting, registering 74.1 decibels. It reached 81.8 decibels on the Auto setting, which I would call a moderate volume, then climbed to 86.9 decibels when on Boost. It’s fairly lightweight and easy to carry through the home, and I didn’t experience any real hand fatigue while using it.
The dust bin features a sensor that will alert you when the bin needs to be emptied. The bin easily lifts straight up off of the docking station, and a button opens the bottom of the bin, so you can empty it into a trashcan.
That said, you can’t use it for all that long. Its battery lasts for about 40 minutes of use, but higher settings or the Boost function will drain the battery faster. I was able to vacuum for about 25 minutes at a time, but in most cases, I didn’t use the Eco function. Recharging the battery takes five hours, so this vacuum is best suited for light, brief cleaning needs, rather than an intense whole-house cleaning.
Cleaning and maintaining the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
According to the instruction manual, the vacuum requires several types of maintenance. But, we've got a dedicated article on how to clean a Shark vacuum, if you'd prefer.
- The dust cup and filter need to be cleaned, which can be accomplished by removing the dust cup and filter from the vacuum. The filter can be rinsed with water. To clean the dust cup, you can wipe it with a dry cloth and then rinse it out with water. Both the filter and dust cup need to dry for at least 24 hours before being reinstalled.
- The vacuum also features a HEPA filter, which needs to be cleaned. You can remove the filter, rinse it, allow it to dry for 48 hours, and replace it.
- The dock has a filter, which can be accessed through a side panel. That filter can also be rinsed and reinstalled. A foam filter underneath the dust bin can be vacuumed and rinsed with water.
- The brush roll detaches from the brush head for cleaning. It can be wiped with a dry towel and hand-washed if needed.
- The vacuum’s sensors may need to be periodically cleaned. They can be wiped with a microfiber cloth (like these Amazon Basic ones).
Is the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner right for you?
The Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System is convenient and easy to use. The automated settings make for streamlined and effective cleaning of a floor without you having to worry about constantly making adjustments. The inclusion of three attachments and the ability to convert it into a hand vacuum means it’s well-suited for many cleaning tasks, and it successfully cleaned carpeting of varying heights, wood floors, upholstery, and tile floors during testing.
While the vacuum performed well during most of the tests, it’s not a heavy-duty highly powerful model suitable for deep cleaning. It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking for a vacuum that you can store, quickly pick up and use now and then, and just generally always have at the ready for smaller cleaning tasks. Its limited battery capacity and its long recharging time mean it would be difficult to use this vacuum to clean more than a room or two at a time. Plus, while it does self-empty, the dust cup is relatively small, so you’ll need to return it to the docking station frequently.
The vacuum did not perform well with pet hair, as the hair repeatedly clogged it during its self-emptying process. Homes with pets would need to empty it manually, which significantly detracts from the vacuum’s convenience. This vacuum would be a good choice for homes without pets, offices, and other spaces where you need convenient, light- to medium-duty cleaning.
If the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System vacuum cleaner isn't right for you, consider these alternatives...
#1 best vacuum cleaner
The Shark Stratos IQ IZ862H is clever enough to automatically detect how clean or dirty your floors are and it adjusts its suction for you. It bends to reach under furniture and to store, and it works with scent pods to emit a lovely smell as you clean your floors. It suctions pet hair with ease and is less than $500. Best of all, it boasts a good battery life and has a decent-sized bin.
Read our Shark Stratos IQ IZ862H review
Best cordless vacuum
Love having confirmation that your floor is clean.? The LED color ring on this vacuum guides you through your chores and adjusts the suction power as appropriate. It's worth noting that you might not want this if you don't want to spend time cutting tangled tresses out of the brush roll with a pair of scissors.
Read our Tineco Pure One S12 vacuum review
Budget pet hair vac
Another cordless vacuum with a 50-minute battery life, this one has a slightly small dust tank so it'd be perfect for smaller homes or apartments with pets. It collects pet hair in one sweep, and it retails at a budget-friendly price of $355.99.
This vacuum has been tested on one of our sister brands.
Good to know
The vacuum includes a one-page quick start guide. The full instruction manual is available online, and the quick start guide features a QR code and a URL to help you access that full manual.
Shark backs this vacuum with a five-year limited warranty.
Where to buy the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
How we tested the Shark Cordless Detect Pro Auto-Empty System Vacuum Cleaner
Shark sent me the vacuum and I tested it for two weeks in my house before writing the review. I used the following criteria for the testing process, however, we do have a more comprehensive breakdown of how we test vacs if you do want to geek out on our decision making:
Unboxing: I considered the condition of the vacuum and the packaging when it arrived at my home. I gave bonus points for packaging that didn’t include Styrofoam and considered how easily I was able to remove and then assemble the vacuum.
Performance: I tested the vacuum on multiple surfaces, and types of flooring, using multiple settings. I was looking for a consistent performance, assessing factors like the vacuum’s suction power, thoroughness of cleaning, and battery life.
Ease of use: I considered my overall experience in using the vacuum cleaner, including factors like its weight, how easy it is to hold and operate, how well the automatic features worked and saved me time, and how well the vacuum performed during my various tests.
Ease of cleaning: I also evaluated the process of cleaning and maintaining the vacuum. I considered how many components needed to be cleaned, and how often, as well as how complicated and time-consuming cleaning this cleaning supply was.