The Worx Hydroshot is the latest in a long line of power tools that used to have cables. High-capacity batteries and brushless motors (in the case of this one we’re testing) have all but done away with the need to be tethered to a socket in the house.
But is battery power a needless extravagance in this case? Well, as someone who had to wash their car with a watering can for four years while living in a flat with no outside water, I’d have snapped up a portable pressure washer in a heartbeat.
However, with more power and a super-fast battery charger, this range-topping brushless cleaner aims to finally do away with the need for a traditional pressure washer completely. At least when it comes to washing cars.
How powerful is the brushless Worx Hydroshot?
Let’s be clear – in this review I’ll be examining this portable cleaner’s ability to blast dirt from my car, rather than more demanding jobs like taking the top two millimetres of grime from my patio (although it can also do that, as we’ll come onto).
But what’s the point of a portable cleaner, you might be wondering? Well for a start it’s incredibly useful for people without access to outside water at their house or for washing cars in remote locations (car shows, Parkers photoshoots, etc) but there’s a bigger mass appeal too.
I’ve got a hosepipe and a corded Karcher pressure washer at my house now and while that’s a massive upgrade from the aforementioned watering can, it’s still an undeniable pain in the neck – if the hose isn’t getting jammed under a wheel as I move around the vehicle, it’s coiling itself around the power cable or springing free from its fitting and spraying water all over the drive and my shoes.
How does the Worx Hydroshot solve this problem?
Plugged into my hosepipe, with no power cable to trail around, it has one fewer potential tangle point. But a much more satisfying method is to drop the included six-metre hose (with a filter on the end so you can theoretically use any water source) into a large water container, which can be moved around with me as I hose the car down. It’s hard to describe how liberating this is. It also takes up less space in my garage.
I bought a 25-litre water container that, with the benefit of hindsight, I can now say is a bit over the top – I managed to clean three cars with it without running out – so a smaller one (or even a bucket) would be lighter and easier to move around. The cleaner itself is heftier than the brushed Hydroshot (2.5kg vs 1.7kg) but not so heavy that it makes your arms ache.
The 20v, 4.0Ah battery has plenty of capacity (it survived three car washes too) and can be recharged from empty in 40 minutes using the supplied charger. This is a bit larger than the one you get with a slower-charging Hydroshot (see above image), but given that those take 3-5 hours, I don’t mind it taking up a bit more space on my workbench.
Is the Worx Hydroshot any good for cleaning cars?
Surprisingly so, given how small and portable (let alone quiet) it is. Like the cheaper, brushed model it puts out 22 bar of pressure, which is less than a corded pressure washer but enough to dislodge bird-dirt or grime baked onto alloy wheels.
Where this model pulls ahead of the brushed version is in flow rate - 210 litres per hour vs 120 litres per hour – which makes it much more effective at cascading water from the top to the bottom of the car and carrying loose muck and leaves with it.
You only get the longer, more powerful lance with this model (the brushed one gets a shorter, wieldier version as in the picture above) but it has the same five spray patterns – a powerful zero degree setting for troublesome dirt, then 15, 25 and 40 degrees, plus a shower mode. I just use the 15-degree setting – it seems to cover all bases.
What else do you get with it?
The model I’m testing is the wordy WG630E.1 bundle, which comes with the long lance, hose, plus Powershare battery and charger (you can use this with many other Worx tools). Just add microfibre cloths and a drying towel and you're away.
You also get a special fitting so you can run the Hydroshot from a plastic bottle. This screws into the bottom of the unit (requiring you to first remove the standard hosepipe fitting) and then accepts the thread from a large water bottle that you can buy in the supermarket.
On the less powerful model (which uses less water) this is really handy and makes the unit incredibly portable, but I’ve found the brushless cleaner gets through a three-litre bottle quite quickly unless you’re using Eco mode.
One accessory that is definitely worth your time is the shampoo bottle you can attach to the cleaner in order to blast soap at your car. We tested this with Bilt Hamber snow foam and the Hydroshot was more than capable of producing a comprehensive coat of bubbles.
Finally there’s a three-year warranty included, so that’s one less thing to worry about.
Being really candid, I love the Hydroshot. It makes annoying jobs like cleaning my car or garden furniture much less arduous, purely because I don’t have to mess around with an often wet and dirty hosepipe or extension lead that doesn’t quite reach the back of my garden.
It’s exactly the same level of convenience as a cordless vacuum cleaner. Thus, because I can quickly grab it from the garage instead of having to faff around with extension leads, I’ve been staying on top of cleaning tasks, making them less time-consuming in the process.
Any downsides? Well while it’s capable of sprucing up most surfaces in the garden, the advantage of having no cable or hose is less obvious for longer jobs where you’re mostly standing still. When it comes to the annual patio or driveway blast I’ll still reach for my corded cleaner, but for everything else (particularly the car), I’ll be using the Hydroshot.