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Karcher WD5-P Vacuum

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Review by MAKZ06 posted 01-28-2017 05:02 PM 3695 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Karcher WD5-P Vacuum Karcher WD5-P Vacuum No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I thought I would go ahead and post a review since I asked in the forum if anyone had experience with this vacuum and I didn’t get any response. For the cost it wasn’t going to end up being a huge mistake so I went ahead and took the plunge and ordered one from Amazon. I would have purchased from the local Woodcraft but when I called them nobody could tell me anything more about it than what I saw in the documentation and didn’t seem interested in checking for me even though they had one in stock. I had recently decided that I wanted to purchase a Festool Domino, and while the cost on that is bad enough, I was having a really hard time justifying the crazy high cost for a Festool dust collector. I was seriously leaning toward a Fein Turbo II which was still expensive but even with the tool-set was a couple hundred less than the Festool. Main thing that still had me holding back on making the order was that the Fein didn’t have a motor speed control to change the suction. You can supposedly vary the suction by using an air bleed-off connector that Fein sells, but that adds extra bulk. I received a Woodcraft mailer about this time and they were advertising the new Karcher WD5P. It looked to have all the features I was looking for, and at $150, less than 1/4 the cost of Festool.
First let me say that I have no prior experience with Festool or Fein. I haven’t even played with those vacuums at the local retailers. I also have no illusion that the Karcher is the same level of quality or engineering that I would find on the Festool or even the Fein. I also would not expect it to last as long, but then again I am just a hobbyist and not a pro who uses it all day every day.
All that said, I am very happy with my purchase. After I finish my next big project I may change my tune if I have found the vacuum has died or is no longer working correctly… In the brief time I have played with it about the only thing I find at fault is that a longer and more flexible hose would be nice. Since I haven’t worked with the Fein or Festool, I can’t say whether I would see a difference with the flexibility. I’ve never attached any of my sanders or power hand tools to a vacuum before though so I guess it’s just something you have to get used to. I didn’t notice a problem while playing with the domino but with the new ETS EC 125/3 sander, it affected my control and balance. Again, probably just something you have to get see to with any hose.
Other comments and observations:
Vacuum appears to be sturdy and well made. Plastic seems to be durable and not brittle. Everything fits together tightly and there’s no fear of the bottom dropping off the top section when carrying up steps etc. The traditional shop vac style clips always seem to let go and dump crap all over the floor for me… Seems to pull around by the hose smoothly without feeling tippy. No flat top for your tools or Festool Systainer to attach.
Published specs indicate it operates at a slightly higher decibel level than the Festool but it’s significantly quieter than either of my other traditional big shop vacs. When the motor/suction control is dialed-down it gets much quieter, and even at low it still has more vacuum than my old shop vacs. There is also a big difference in suction between the highest and lowest setting.
The inside of the suction hose is smooth and not corrugated like the exterior. Unfortunately it’s not anti-static like the Festool. I’m sure that’s a nice feature. The end of the hose makes a perfect friction-fit in to the inside of the D27 “Cleantec” hose adapter that came with the Festool Domino and sander. The Karcher vacuum also came with a step-down style hose adapter that will allow you to connect the hose to the Festool or other sized ports from other manufacturers.
The extension wands, floor sweeper and other tools all have attachment spots on the rear of the unit. The rubber squeegee blades to use the vacuum in “wet” mode are permanently attached to the floor tool and just pop up or down with a button.
I haven’t used a shop vac before that uses a filter collection bag like a home vacuum. I like how it works, seems to have a big capacity, and I didn’t see puffs of dust blowing out at start-up like I do with my others… The rear corrugated air filter is definitely nicer and easier to access and clean than the round style of a shopvac. Looks like the filter cleaning blower/function might be useful.
The additional port to plug the hose in to for blower functionality is a cool feature. It offers more control than I get using my compressor hose because of the lower psi and volume, so may come in handy for some tasks.
The power-on port works well to start suction when the tool is turned on, and continues to run for about 5 seconds after the tool is turned off. The tools are noisier than the vacuum at full suction. The amp draw for the power port is limited so may not work for certain high-amp tools.
I had always heard that one of the greatest features of Festool was the dust collection. After playing around sanding and mortising for an hour I found almost no dust that didn’t make it in to the new Karcher. I never would have expected the dust collection from either of those tools could be so complete.




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MAKZ06

69 posts in 1710 days



10 comments so far

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brtech

1017 posts in 2828 days


#1 posted 01-30-2017 04:14 PM

Thanks for the review.

I don’t have the Festool, Fein or Karcher vacs, but I know that you can’t judge any form of dust collection’s ability to keep you safe by looking for dust. The problem particles are too small to see. You need a particle counter like the Dylos to judge if the vac is letting loose the .5 micron particles that can give you health issues. If the vac is getting visible dust, great, but wear a mask. I’ve seen some tests of the Festool vac, and it’s filter is true HEPA, and the particle count was good at the exhaust. I’ve not seen any testing of the Fein, but I suspect it is fairly decent. I have no idea what the Karcher does on fine particles but the magic word “HEPA” doesn’t appear on the Amazon listing. That’s not necessarily bad, but usually it means it doesn’t get the bad stuff. So, please wear a mask when using dust creating tools like a sander with this vac.

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pintodeluxe

5566 posts in 2719 days


#2 posted 01-30-2017 05:50 PM

I have the Dewalt DWV012 with similar features. I was interested to see the Karcher model advertised, and am all for good dust extractors at a lower price point. Hopefully more woodworkers will be able to get one now.

On my Dewalt, the bags are optional, and I don’t use them. The Hepa filter and rubber seals take care of everything. On the Karcher do you have to use the bags?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

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MAKZ06

69 posts in 1710 days


#3 posted 01-30-2017 09:35 PM

No, I would not think the bags are required. It looks like if you did not, use then it would just dirty the filter faster and like a traditional shop vac. I’m under no illusion that a hepa filter would do me any good. Too many other sources of dust when using all the other tools, even when attached to a regular dust collector. After 40 years of sanding and grinding while not religiously wearing a mask has probably already done me in :).

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Mikesawdust

325 posts in 2944 days


#4 posted 01-31-2017 10:20 AM

Thank you for the review, I just ordered one. I will wear a mask if necessary but I too cut without one more often than not, at least this will catch the larger pieces that I might choke on.

-- You never cut a piece to short, you are just prepping that piece for a future project

View Cweatherl's profile

Cweatherl

62 posts in 1354 days


#5 posted 02-03-2017 02:04 AM

I’ve just ordered one of these at the recommendation of a good friend who works for Woodcraft. I look forward to seeing how well it preforms. I have a big 5HP dust collection system in my shop but recently burned up my shopvac… so, there’s nothing to hook my hand sanders up to.

I heard “they come built with the smoke inside somewhere and once you let the smoke out, it’s bad news for that tool”

-- If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

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hughdn

2 posts in 267 days


#6 posted 05-30-2017 06:37 PM

Hey Mackz06, any update after 5 months of use? Just got one at costco for $200 CAD (normally $250). Wondering what your experience has been!

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MAKZ06

69 posts in 1710 days


#7 posted 05-31-2017 02:13 AM

I haven’t used it extensively but I’m very happy with it so far. Filtering works great and doesn’t get clogged like my old traditional shop vacs I’ve had in the past.

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Cweatherl

62 posts in 1354 days


#8 posted 05-31-2017 04:50 AM

I can give you a review hughdn. I have used mine almost everyday hooked up to my random orbit sander. More recently I got a festool track saw and have been cutting lots of plywood with it hooked up as power supply and vacuum. It works really well. Definitely worth the money.

-- If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

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hughdn

2 posts in 267 days


#9 posted 05-31-2017 01:42 PM

Thanks guys! Are you using the filter bag as well or just the flat pleated filter? Also how are you guys finding the connection from your hose to the tools?

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Cweatherl

62 posts in 1354 days


#10 posted 05-31-2017 01:50 PM

I am using the filter bags. I contacted Karcher and ordered a hose extension and two extra tool adapters. I think that cost me another $65 or so… Worth it though as the short hose limits what I can do.

-- If you look for the bad in mankind expecting to find it, you surely will. Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865)

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