Big and powerful, the Karcher WD6 P Premium can suck up dust and larger debris from any surface fast. It comes with a smart filter cleaner, and can tackle wet spills without you having to change the filter.
A few more tools would have been welcome, plus this isn’t a vacuum cleaner for those short on space. If you regularly do DIY and need a vacuum cleaner for all the mess, then this is a great tool.
- Clever drainage system
- Smart filter cleaning
- Few tools
- TypeThis is a wet and dry vacuum cleaner
A regular vacuum cleaner isn’t built to handle proper filth and mess, such as wet plaster dust and sawdust from DIY jobs. If you find yourself doing a lot of work in and around your home, then the Karcher WD6 P Premium could well be for you. Offering phenomenal power, an integrated power socket for power tools, and the ability to handle wet and dry mess, it’s an exceptional all-round vacuum cleaner.
It’s quite large, though, and a bit unwieldy to store. As such, it’s best suited to those who have a garage or shed in which they can store the vacuum cleaner when it isn’t in use.
Design and Features
- Big and bulky, with plenty of storage
- Integrated power socket
- Clever filter cleaning
Let’s not mess around, the Karcher WD6 P Premium is a brute of a vacuum cleaner. At 693 x 418 x 382mm, it feels about three times the size of a Henry vacuum cleaner. It’s also heavy at 9.6kg. That combination of size and weight may make it appear a nightmare to handle; but this vacuum cleaner isn’t as cumbersome in use as it sounds.
Once the casters had been attached to the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, I could slide the unit around quickly and easily, barely noticing its weight. The 2.2m hose means that the cleaner won’t have to move very often – and, when it does, the 8m power cable lets you do a lot from a single plug.
Storage is always likely to be a problem for cylinder cleaners, but Karcher has done its best with the WD6 P Premium; there are tool and hose holders on its body, plus a cable tidy too. The main hose is a little fiddly to wrap around the unit, and in terms of storage, I feel this is a better vacuum cleaner for those with a garage or shed to in which to store it.
Karcher provides a few accessories in the box: a crevice tool, floor head (with a switch to raise the brushes for normal vacuuming, and lower them for water removal), a tool attachment, and a mini detail hose. An upholstery tool or wider hand tool would have been welcome.
The tool adapter is a handy addition that lets you plug the Karcher WD6 P Premium into the back of a power tool to suck away dirt as you work. The size of the adapter on your tool will define how easy the WD6 is to connect; but I found that a bit of brute force was usually enough to achieve a secure join.
Having such a big vacuum cleaner has its advantages. First, it takes huge pleated dust bags for cleaning dry dirt. These cost £14.99 for four – but they’re huge and will take a while to fill. Plus they’re super-durable and won’t tear even on sucking up larger debris. Bags make emptying the vacuum easier and less messy (important when you’re considering DIY mess), and they act as an additional filter, too.
For wet vacuuming, the bag needs to be removed; but there’s no need to change the filter, as you do with the Stihl SE 33. In Wet mode, the WD6 P Premium offers up the full 30-litre capacity, which is a bonkers amount of space. The Dyson V15 Detect, for example, has a 0.76-litre capacity.
Emptying a wet vacuum cleaner can be difficult, since water adds to the weight. Karcher has thoughtfully placed a vent on this cleaner’s front: take the cap off, and you can pour away the water, before cleaning out the inside of the vacuum.
It’s this kind of attention to detail that makes the Karcher WD6 P Premium stand out, and there are other nice touches, too. The self-cleaning filter is one. Put the hose into the air vents around the filter and simply push the filter clean button to suck dust out of the filter to get the vacuum back to its highest suction power. When sucking up a lot of sawdust, this helped me regain full suction quickly. If you prefer, you can remove the filter and wash it under a tap instead.
As well as sucking, the vacuum cleaner can blow, which is a handy way to clean a worktop or get dust off a tool. Simply switch the hose from the inlet to the outlet.
In the middle of the vacuum cleaner is a standard three-pin plug socket, which can accept tools between 100W and 1600W. This socket is live as long as the vacuum cleaner is plugged in.
There’s another trick: turn the power mode to the auto side, and the Karcher WD6 P Premium will turn on automatically with your power tool, and turn off a second or two once it stops. That helps noise levels and cuts power usage to when you need the vacuum cleaner only. There’s also a manual power selection dial, if you want to use the vacuum cleaner as normal.
- Huge amounts of power
- Sucks up everything
- Quite easy to move
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners aren’t subject to the same power restrictions as normal vacuum cleaners, so they can draw 1300W, which means there’s a lot more power on offer here. To test how much, I measured the vacuum cleaner’s power in airwatts (AW), which is the efficiency of the cleaner using both suction and airflow. At the nozzle, I measured the Karcher WD6 P Premium at a huge 472AW, which is the most I’ve ever seen from a vacuum cleaner. On minimum power, it still had 160AW of power, which isn’t far off the boost mode of a lot of cordless cleaners.
However, this level of power is a necessity in such a cleaner, since the Karcher WD6 P Premium has to suck up water, large bits of debris, and even higher volumes of dust and dirt than a regular vacuum cleaner.
Attaching it to the back of a circular saw that I used to cut a worktop, it took a few goes to attach the tool adapter properly. Then, due to the start-stop nature of the work, it was better in this case to turn the vacuum onto full power.
As a result of the way the saw works, there was still quite a bit of sawdust left behind; but a lot less than if the vacuum cleaner hadn’t been used.
The raw power on offer then meant that it was quick to clean up the worktop using the crevice tool, which proved far faster than using any rival vacuum cleaner. Even the mess on the floor was quickly cleaned up using the floor head, with the vacuum sucking up everything to get back to pristine carpet tiles.
I put the Karcher WD6 P Premium through my normal tests, too. On carpet, this level of suction was a cause for concern, as I thought the floor head may stick down too firmly, as it did with the Stihl SE 33. However, the vacuum moved easily over the carpet, cleaning a path through the mess.
Having a huge level of suction meant that the tricky edge test proved no problem at all: not a trace of dirt was left behind by the skirting board.
In the hard floor test, every grain of rice was gone; the Karcher WD6 P Premium didn’t push any grains around, sucking everything up. The same was true for a large water spill, too.
The WD6 P Premium’s noise is a little bit of an issue. At 80.1dB on maximum, this vacuum cleaner is properly loud. It isn’t the kind of cleaner that you’d want to use around your home regularly.
Should you buy it?
If you want the most suction power to cope with any job, no matter how messy, this is the wet and dry vacuum cleaner for you.
It’s large and loud, and for smaller jobs probably a bit overkill, so a different wet and dry vacuum may suit you better.
Huge capacity, the ability to tackle wet and dry mess, and a ridiculous amount of power means that the Karcher WD6 P Premium is perfect for any messy cleanup job. Try to suck up sawdust, and it will quickly clean an area in a fraction of the time that it would take a regular vacuum cleaner. And with wet spills or larger debris, it sucks up the mess in an instant.
This vacuum is also easy to empty, and the integrated filter cleaning option helps to maintain top performance as you work. A couple of extra tools in the box would have been nice, but if you regularly have dirty jobs to contend with, then my experience suggests you’re unlikely to find anything better.
How we test
We test every vacuum cleaner we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main vacuum cleaner for the review period
Tested for at least a week
Tested using tools to measure actual suction performance
Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners
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No, you simply need to remove the bag.
This provides power to a tool, and can also be used to automatically turn on suction power.