Our Verdict: The Karcher WD3 P is a basic wet and dry vacuum cleaner that we think provides excellent value for money. It’s not the most convenient vacuum to use, but it provides strong suction power and a large capacity. It’s often difficult to push on carpets though, which is something to keep in mind if you have thick carpets in your home.
Karcher WD3 P
- Strong suction power that’s capable of handling tough cleaning tasks
- Cartridge filter for both wet and dry jobs
- Blower mode is a useful bonus
- Large 17 litre dry capacity
- Great value for money
- Topples over easily
- Filter needs to dry before being used again after wet spills
- Filter also clogs quickly
- Bags can sometimes become detached
- Difficult to push on carpets
The Karcher WD3 P wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a powerful vac with a compact design. It’s also a versatile option, with wet, dry, and blower modes.
We’re big fans of this wet and dry vacuum. It provides strong suction power and cleaning performance, due to the powerful motor and decent floorhead. We also like the large capacity and blower function, which add to the overall usefulness of the vacuum.
How does it compare to other wet and dry vacs though? And does it provide value for money? Keep reading our WD3 P review to find out.
Overview of the Karcher WD3 P
- Versatile wet and dry vacuum cleaner
- Powerful suction and great cleaning performance
- Single cartridge filter for both wet and dry cleaning
- 17-litre capacity
- 5-metre power cable
- On-board tool storage
- 2-year warranty
In-Depth Look at the Models’ Features
With its compact design and versatile feature list, the Karcher WD3 P certainly looks like a high-quality wet and dry vacuum cleaner. We find it to be a powerful model with impressive performance – but it’s held back from being a top pick by a few design flaws. Still, it’s a great choice – so make sure you read our review to find out why.
Appearance, Features & Design
The WD3 is instantly recognisable as a Karcher vacuum cleaner. The distinctive yellow and black colour scheme might not be the most attractive, but we think it looks professional and is suitable for small work sites along with homes. We also think it has a solid build quality, which is important for a wet and dry vacuum.
It’s a bagged wet and dry vacuum cleaner. It uses Karcher’s paper filter bags, which are made with high-performance 2-ply paper for extra strength. These are relatively inexpensive, but we found they sometimes come loose within the vacuum’s body as they can’t be securely attached. We wish Karcher had included a securing system that’s similar to Miele cylinder vacs, as this holds the bag securely in place.
Karcher has designed the WD3 to be compact. The body is around 50cm tall, but only 38.8cm deep and 34cm wide. It’s easy to store, due to the on-board cord storage, although the hose means it’s not quite as compact as an upright vacuum.
Despite the relatively compact design for a wet and dry vacuum, the WD3 has a large 17 litre container. This provides plenty of space for rubble, debris and liquids. It’s also larger than the 15 litre container found on the Numatic Charles.
An issue we found with the tall-but-thin design is that the WD3 P is relatively easy to tip. This isn’t an issue if you’re careful, but is something to keep in mind (particularly when vacuuming wet spills!)
At 5.8kg, it’s not the lightest vacuum on the market, but we didn’t think it was excessively heavy either. There’s an ergonomic carry handle, along with wheels, to help you move the vacuum around the home. A downside of the wheels it that there isn’t a brake, so the WD3 P can roll away on an incline. It’s little things like this that frustrate us about the WD3 P, as they seem like oversights that could be easily fixed.
Another complaint we have is the length of the power lead. While a 5 metre lead might be fine for indoor usage, many people will want to use the KD3 P for driveways and outdoors. This isn’t possible without an extension lead.
It’s not all bad news though. One of the best features of the WD3 is that you can suck up both dry debris and liquid spills using the same filter. Many wet and dry vacuums have separate filters for the two jobs, which is less convenient and more time consuming. You still need to switch hose sockets, but this is much easier than changing the filter.
Having one filter causes an additional issue though: once the filter gets wet, you need to wait for it to dry before using it on dry debris. It’s fine to go from dry to wet, but you can’t go vice versa without allowing the filter time to dry. There’s the option of buying a new filter and switching them, but this defeats the purpose of the cartridge filter.
A bonus is that Karcher has a reputation for reliability. If you’re looking for a wet and dry vacuum cleaner that lasts, it’s a great choice.
Suction Power & Performance
As you would expect from a wet and dry vacuum with a powerful 1000W motor, we found the WD3 provides excellent suction power. It’s also a durable model that can withstand sucking up pretty much anything, so it’s great for rubble and other tough jobs.
Wet & dry vacs aren’t covered by the EU’s regulations regarding vacuum power, which limits maximum wattage to 900W. Despite not being bound by the regulations, Karcher has done their best to increase the energy efficiency of the WD3, and claims that it provides the suction power of a 1400W motor. We’re always sceptical of these claims, but there’s no doubt the Karcher provides ample suction power for most tasks.
It’s also worth noting that the power usage can shoot up to 1800W at its max. The standard 1000W usage is considerably less than alternatives though, such as the 1500W Einhell.
Cleaning performance isn’t just about suction power though – the floor head plays an important role. Karcher has redesigned their floor head for the KD3 to ensure it does a good job on both wet and dry debris. During our research for this review, we found that it’s capable of removing fine dust along with larger debris.
There are also two inserts for the floor head. The first is a brush insert, which is used mainly for dry vacuuming. The second is a rubber insert for wet cleaning tasks.
An issue with the brush insert is that it can be difficult to push the floor head on carpet. This is due to the strong suction. While having extra suction is a good thing, we wish there was a way to adjust the suction power – especially on thick carpets.
On the other hand, if you want to use the WD3 for liquid, it won’t let you down. The vac does a great job at cleaning up water on carpets, hard floors or even outdoors. Liquid spills are sucked up quickly, so the Karcher is a great tool to have around the house.
Despite the strong cleaning performance, the Karcher is far from the loudest vacuum cleaner on the market. With a noise rating of 75dB it’s certainly not quiet, but it won’t damage your ear drums like some vacs we’ve reviewed!
Aside from picking up liquids, the WD3 P can be used for unblocking sinks. There’s also the option of synchronising the vacuum with power tools, such as those made by DeWalt, so you can use it as a sawdust extractor.
Accessories & Tools
The Karcher WD3 comes with a two-metre suction hose. This has a diameter of 35mm. In addition to the hose, Karcher has also included two suction tubes of 0.5 metres for an extra extension.
Aside from the floor head, the only other tool is a crevice nozzle. This is useful for getting into awkward locations. You can also remove the handle from the hose and attach the crevice tool directly for greater control. We wish the crevice tool was longer though, as it’s too short to get into deep cracks and crevices.
As with most of Karcher vacuum cleaners, the WD3 P has onboard cable and accessory storage. This makes it less likely that you’ll lose an accessory.
One thing to note is that Karcher sells a range of extra accessories for the WD3. These include a car tool, hard bristle brush (for stubborn dirt) and extra extension tubes. It would have been great if these were included with the vacuum, but as not everyone needs them we can see why Karcher sells them separately to keep costs low.
Ease of Use Features
We’ve already mentioned a few issues with the usability of the WD3, but it has some helpful features too. An example is the “parking” system. When you want to take a break, you can temporarily store the floor head and tube without it falling over.
An additional feature of the Karcher WD3 P is the blower function. If the vacuum can’t dislodge stubborn dirt from carpets or tight spaces, this can be a useful tool. It’s particularly handy when trying to clean behind radiators. You can also use it outside, although we recommend a proper garden vacuum for clearing leaves.
The WD3 P comes with a removable cartridge filter. As we mentioned, this allows you to tackle both wet to dry cleaning tasks without needing to swap filters.
The Karcher has strong suction power, so the filters tend to clog relatively quickly. Unlike vacuums with cyclonic action, this greatly reduces the suction power. Make sure you clean the filters regularly to maintain strong suction.
Price and Value for Money
With an RRP of £120, we think the Karcher WD3 P provides excellent value for money. It’s not perfect, but the strong suction power and versatile performance mean it’s definitely worth the price.
We don’t recommend it for people who mainly want to clean thick carpets though. The floorhead sinks too deep into the carpet, which can make it difficult to push.
Karcher also offers a 2-year warranty with the WD3 P. This provides extra peace of mind and shows the company has confidence in their product.
Karcher WD3 P Specification Table
|Ninja Column 1||Ninja Column 2|
|Type||Wet and Dry|
|Filter||Wet and Dry|
|Dry Capacity (Litres)||17|
Karcher is known for producing high-quality and durable home tools, and the WD3 P Tough is another great example. Whether you need to remove excess moisture from a carpet, clear rubble from building works or blow dust from behind radiators, we found that it does an excellent job.
There are a few design niggles that hold it back though. It tips over too easily and the wheels make it unstable on slopes, which is a shame as this should be an easy fix. The filter bag can also become detached as it’s only loosely secured.
Another issue is the filter needs to dry after cleaning a liquid spill before it can be used for dry vacuuming. If you’re going to be switching between wet and dry jobs regularly, you’ll need to purchase a second filter. For everyday cleaning, however, being able to tackle either dry or wet spills with the same filter is much more convenient.
Overall, the Karcher WD3 P is a vacuum cleaner we recommend despite the issues. Its powerful suction and great cleaning performance make up for the design flaws – plus it provides great value for money.