Karcher WD 4 Review

Top cleaning power for wet and dry spills alike

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Verdict

The exceptionally low price is the start of the good news for the Karcher WD 4. Thanks to its powerful motor and easy change from dry to wet mode, the WD 4 can tackle all kinds of spills with ease. In our tests, it coped with wet spills and DIY dust, as well as powering through our standard hard floor and carpet tests. If you're looking for a versatile vacuum cleaner for a variety of jobs, this is the model for you.

Pros

  • Easy to move and carry
  • Top carpet and pet hair results
  • Excellent water pick-up
  • No swapping filter between wet/dry
  • Use with or without bag (dry)

Cons

  • Power cable could be longer

Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £129.99
  • Same filter wet and dry
  • Wet/Dry floor nozzles
  • Fleece filter bag
  • 5m power cable
  • 20litre bin capacity
  • Crevice tool
  • 1000watt motor
  • 7.6kg weight

What is the Karcher WD 4?

Using the same filter for wet and dry cleaning with no fussing about, the Karcher WD 4 is a versatile cleaning whizz. Neat design touches include holders so accessories are stored easily on the back of the body, and its powerful 1000W motor delivers seriously potent suction. That is perfect for cleaning dust, spills, sawdust and even light rubble.

The Karcher sucks up standard household rubbish like crumbs and animal hair like a boss. Getting more DIY, it cleared wood shavings and chips, plasterboard rubble and brick dust without hesitation. Wet pick up was flawless, the 20-litre bin coming in very handy, and with a price of £129.99, it’s an excellent buy all round.

Karcher WD 4 – What you need to know

  • Cleaning power on dry floor: It glided over carpets, rugs, parquet floor and tiles with ease sucking up all debris in sight. The super-powerful suction left nothing behind at all.
  • Wet cleaning power: The Karcher sucked up a generous amount of water in a few seconds and the big bin makes it ideal for larger spills and draining.
  • Edge cleaning: Near enough all test powder was cleaned up with just a little bit of residue deep in the parquet cracks.
  • Good enough for the workshop?: Absolutely, the Karcher did an excellent job at cleaning a half-way rebuilt kitchen. Even managing to suck up large pieces of wood.

Related: Best vacuum cleaner

Smooth-running wheels and great suction make the Karcher WD 4 effective and easy to use

Looking like one of the meaner Minions, the Karcher WD 4 is a sweet looking bright-yellow wet and dry vacuum. It comes with four wheels that are easily slotted onto the bottom of the machine and has a smooth on/off control switch on the front.  The cable measured a relatively short 5m however, so don’t expect to be wheeling the WD 4 all over the house without swapping plug sockets.

Unusually the WD 4’s washable filter remains in place for both dry vacuuming and wet cleaning use. Ironically then, Karcher has made the filter super-easy to remove. You simply release the filter box and pull it away from the cleaner. Swapping between dry and wet cleaning is as simple as removing the fleece dust bag and even then you can use the cleaner for dry use: with no bag in place, the dust, dirt and even wet debris simply build up in the capacious 20litre bin. To empty the bin, you un-pop the robust feeling clips on either side and lift the motor unit away.

Included in the box is a single fleece filter bag that should be attached to the cleaner for light dustings and daily muck around the home. The bag is super easy to slide on and off once the motor unit is removed. New bags will set you back around £14 for a pack of four, but they are properly huge. The bag also aids filtration, so if you do use the WD4 for dry cleaning without the bag the filter is going to need cleaning a whole lot quicker.

The suction hose is nicely flexible and a decent sized 2.2m long. There are two plastic extension tubes that simply push together and the main floorhead has two removable attachments; rubber blades for wet pick-up and a brushes attachment for dry cleaning. Everything fits together nicely and there’s also a handy crevice tool for tight corners and harder to reach spots.

The Karcher WD 4 offers on-board tool storage, great build and a powerful motor but its not quiet

Unlike many of its wet and dry competitors, all of the accessories can be stored on the machine itself. There are mouldings around the base for the tubes, crevice tool, floorhead, and handle, with the hose wrapping around the body secured by a hook clip. The same clip doubles as somewhere to hang the wound-up cable. It’s not super-easy to get everything tidily on-board but a little bit of practice and you have the whole lot in one carriable and easily storable unit.

Around the house and garage, the WD 4 rolls around with ease on flat surfaces, responding well to a tug on the hose without danger of tipping over. It bristles with Karcher’s usual robust build quality and towing it into doors and obstacles didn’t show a mark. Once firmly in place, all of the accessories stay where they’re put and the whole unit is easy to carry with its top handle, despite its combined machine plus tools weight heading towards 8kg.

The 1000W motor is well above the 800W limit for pure dry vacuum cleaners, and the WD 4 turns all that power into plenty of suction and a fair bit of noise. Our noise meter tipped just over an 83dB average sound level, which is up there with road noise but that isn’t unusual for an industrial-strength wet and dry cleaner.

Wet or dry, dust, dirt and rubble, Karcher’s WD 4 performance never fails to impress

Having recently tested nearly a dozen wet and dry cleaners, Karcher’s WD 4 delivered a standout performance on carpets, hard floors and clearing up wet spills. The floorhead is a fairly basic design but steers well and concentrates the suction into a narrow slot. The powerful motor delivers good suction pressure and fast airflow, which in turn did a grand job of picking up pretty much anything that would fit into the hose.

For general carpet cleaning the WD 4 was on par on better than most cylinder-style vacuum cleaners we have tested, save for those with rotating brash bars in the floor head. Pick-up deep into the carpet pile was great and it cleans pretty close to the skiting edge too.

Step up to heavyweight debris and the Karcher cleaned up behind our builder with ease, having no problem with chunky wood chips, brick rubble and plasterboard. Switching the floorhead to the rubber blades, wet spill pick-up is equally impressive even when the surface is heavily textured, like riven tiles. Pooled or stored water uplift was ideal, allowing you to empty small containers of fluid very quickly. Without a bag, emptying is as simply as removing the motor and tipping out the wet or dry debris.

Should I buy the Karcher WD 4?

The WD 4 is an outstanding wet and dry cleaner, offering great suction, well-designed tools and very effective pick up of both dry and wet debris. The large capacity bin is handy, and the filter bags are monstrously large and are fitted quickly for dry vacuuming jobs. Not having to change the filter between wet and dry cleaning is a real bonus and the on-board tool storage gets a big double thumbs up from us. Factor in the very reasonable asking price and the WD 4 looks like a cleaning bargain be it wet or dry.

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