Updated: Sept '18: Long term review. Low noise level, but keeping the filter clean is a task.

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Review by Mike_D_S posted 06-30-2018 02:29 AM 1461 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Updated: Sept '18: Long term review.  Low noise level, but keeping the filter clean is a task. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Update September 2018:
After posting this review and thinking it over, I decided to give the filter bags another try. Maybe it was just the variety of stuff I sucked up the first time, but I’m having a better experience with the bags this time around. With the bag, the filter still gets partially clogged, but its a lot slower than I remember. So I’ve been using it with filters the last few months and been pretty happy with the suction.

Original Review:
I’ve had my Karcher WD5-P for almost a year now, so I think I’ve had a chance to give it a full workout. I’ve used it with sanders, for general vacuuming, with my Kett saw sheetrock setup and other stuff. So I think I’ve given it a pretty varied workout.

So first, let’s start with the Pros:
1. The price for a shop vac with a auto on tool port is pretty good. You could get a cheap external auto switch and a cheaper shop vac and maybe save $10 or $20 doing a DIY approach, but I thought it was a pretty good price, especially as I got mine on sale and saved around $20 or $30 off the normal price (I don’t remember exactly).
2. The auto on works well with a reasonably quick start up and enough delay to clear the hose out after.
3. It rolls really well. Very difficult to tip it over given the fairly narrow foot print and rolls smoothly.
4. Pretty good suction when the filter is clean. It doesn’t have the same raw suction compared to a more traditional shop vac, but it’s not terrible. My perception from Festool vacs I’ve used is that it’s comparable.
5. It’s pretty quite, while the suction is less than a shop vac, it also doesn’t have the ear splitting noise level. Definitely indoor friendly and with the adjustable speed you can dial it down to a ‘no ear protection’ required level indoors that still has ok suction. Not as quite as the Festool vacs I’ve used but see point #1.
6. Pretty easy to clean the filter. It just slots off the back side. This is a plus, but also a mandatory feature as discussed in the cons.

The Cons:
1. The filter starts to clog enough to reduce suction noticeable pretty quickly. It’s a hassle and I find myself cleaning the filer pretty often. Now as per #6 above, cleaning the filter is fairly easy, but still a pain. Now, I could use the filter bags and avoid the fast clogging filter, but I tried using bags for a while and for me, they just seem to get filled quickly and reduced suction as well relatively soon. So I just gave up on the bags and go with the filter and just accept the cleaning. Overall I would say you get 75% of max suction in normal use until the filter starts really clogging.
2. The hose, and more specifically where to put it. The hose is a bit stiff and there’s only a few good ways to wrap it up. The top of the vac has two little stubs with a groove you’re supposed to be able to put the hose tip onto to hold it. But the stubs have a shallow groove and with some wear on the tip of the nozzle, it doesn’t stay tight and the grooves aren’t deep enough to hold the nozzle securely. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s irritating to get everything rolled up just right and then have the nozzle fall out after a you move it around a bit.
3. The power cord is super thick and fairly stiff as well, so its not easy to roll it up on the vac. Once again, not a huge issue, but combine that with the hose falling out and it’s just a pain.

So overall I give it 4 stars. The relatively low noise level, decent suction (when the filter is clean-ish), easy mobility and good auto on/off makes it a good value in my opinion. But the rapid drop to partial suction and some of the smaller things make it more like a 3.5 rounded up.

Overall I give it a buy based on the price and auto tool port, but don’t expect perfection at this price.
If you think you need maximum suction, then I’d stick with a standard shop vac.


-- No honey, that's not new, I've had that forever......

View Mike_D_S's profile


605 posts in 2985 days

2 comments so far

View HRdesign's profile


1 post in 732 days

#1 posted 07-04-2018 10:01 PM

I have this, and for the money it is great. I use the bags and that works really well for me. I find that I don’t have to clean the filter nearly as much. I mainly use it for sanding and my track saw.

View Cammy's profile


38 posts in 724 days

#2 posted 07-14-2018 07:07 PM

I have the WD3 and use it along with a cyclone and bucket seems to work fine but I’m not using any industrial size machines. So far no debris or dust in the bag with over 2 months use .

For the price it does well enough for my needs

-- Some people are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when you push them down the stairs.

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