Waterpik WF-03 Cordless Freedom Tested and Reviewed

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The Waterpik Cordless Freedom is the only water flosser from Waterpik that I could truly call portable. Yes, there are other cordless Waterpiks , but these require you to charge the battery. And they can only be charged on 120V.

If you have ever traveled internationally you will know just how frustrating it can be when you cannot use your American devices in another country. The Waterpik Cordless Freedom gets around this issue by using AA batteries as it’s power source.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom

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Unboxing the Waterpik Cordless Freedom.

If you were to tear open the box of your brand new Waterpik Cordless Freedom, this is what you would find inside:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser and accessories that come in the box

let’s break it down:

  • Waterpik Cordless Freedom unit
  • Classic Jet Tip Flosser Tip (x2)
  • Plaque Seeker Flosser Tip
  • Travel Plug
  • AA batteries
  • Travel Pouch
  • Instruction Manual

I was particularly pleased to see that Waterpik had included the AA batteries it needs to run inside the box. I honestly wish more companies would do this as it saves me raiding the TV remote or kids toys just to use my new product.

Examining The Waterpik Cordless Freedom

At the front of the WaterPik Cordless freedom you will find the switch responsible for controlling the unit:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser power button and pressure selector

The switch has three positions, marked with different symbols. Each position performs a different function:

  • O – Off.
  • I – On/Low pressure
  • II – On/High pressure

Unlike the countertop Waterpiks that have many different pressure settings, the cordless models only have two; 45 and 75 PSI respectively. These pressure settings are about equal to a 4 and 7 on countertop models.

While this is much less pressure choice than you will find on a countertop model it is pretty consistent with what you will find on other cordless water flossers.

The power switch feels loose and unresponsive. When sliding the switch up with my thumb I found it far too easy to shoot over the middle low pressure setting. The switch needs to be stiffer.

Annoying switches is a recurring trend for Waterpik who appear to have learned nothing from their Cordless Plus.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser front photo

The remainder of the front is made up of a stylish looking silver panel. The shiny surface is just for looks and feels quite slippery when you slide your finger down it, especially when wet.

At the very bottom of the Waterpik Cordless Freedom you will notice a small gray lever:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser battery cover release lever

Sliding this lever to the left unlocks the battery cover on the base of the unit. With the battery cover unlocked you are now free to remove it.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser underside of unit battery cover and water tank

The first time you open the battery cover you may find it difficult to remove. Suction holds it tightly even with the lever in the open position. We needed to give the bottom of the unit a good bump before we were able to remove the battery cover for the first time.

With the cover removed you are free to insert or remove the AA batteries. The Waterpik Cordless Freedom requires three batteries to work. The instruction manual states that you can also use NiMH Rechargable batteries, which are less wasteful and can be cheaper in the long run.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser with battery cover removed and batteries installed

Fortunately, three Alkaline AA batteries with Waterpik’s own branding are included in the box. I recommend buying another set of batteries with your Waterpik as the batteries included in the box didn’t last as long as brand name replacements.

Making your way around to the rear of the Waterpik Cordless Freedom you will see the reservoir (water tank). The reservoir takes up two thirds of the rear of the unit.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser reservoir (water tank)

The water tank can hold up to 5 ounces (150 ml) of water. I was disappointed to note that Waterpik has not included measurement markings on the side of the tank, something that can be found on all other cordless Waterpik models.

The lack of measurement lines will frustrate those of you who use your Waterpik to administer medication to your gumline. Most medication requires it to be diluted with a set amount of water and the measurement lines on the water tank made it easy to do this.

Now you will need to mix your medication in a separate measuring cup to get the ratio right before adding it to the water tank. The lack of measurement lines feels like an oversight on Waterpik’s part.

On the side of the tank you will find a cover:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser with reservoir cover flap open

Flipping open this cover reveals the hole that is used to fill up the water tank. Thanks to the rubber seal found on the cover, water is unable to escape when the cover is closed.

While the flap pops down with little effort, I was pleased to see that it was difficult to open by mistake.

With the flap open you simply place the Waterpik Cordless Freedom under your faucet and fill the container with water.

Now unless you have a particularly large sink, it can be difficult to maneuver the bulky handle under the stream of running water.

To over come this problem the container slides off the body of the Cordless freedom:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser Reservoir removed from handle

The water tank is a fraction of the size of the handle and is much easier to fill up in smaller sinks.

Since the water in the container is pumped directly into your mouth, you will want to keep the container clean and hygienic. Fortunately, the container (and only the container) is dishwasher safe, which makes cleaning a much easier task.

Unlike other cordless models, the container of the Cordless Freedom has another hole in the top:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser Reservoir hole for hose

This hole the entry for the hose. If you are not careful with how you hold the water tank, water can spill out this hole when you are returning the watertank to the handle of the Cordless Freedom.

With the water tank removed you can see the hose that sticks through the hole above:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser with water tank removed from body

The hose sucks up all the water from the container before it is pumped out the tip of the flosser.

A sticker located just behind the hose lists the model number, WF-03 and where the Cordless Freedom was manufactured. Just like all the other models of Waterpik, this one is made in China.

Located at the neck of the cordless freedom, just above the water tank, is a series of raised bumps:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water Flosser non-slip grip

These bumps line up with where you hand sits when you hold the unit, offering some much needed grip; particularly helpful for wet hands.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Flosser Tips

Just above the grip, on the top of the Cordless Freedom, you will find the Flosser tip holder:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Water flosser tip holder and release button

This is the part of the Cordless Freedom that holds the flosser tips that come with the unit. The flosser tips are interchangeable meaning that you could share the Cordless Freedom provided each user had their own tips.

To install a tip you simple slide it into the hole until you hear a click. The click confirms the tip is locked into position.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser classic jet tip in holder

To release the tip you press the gray button next to the holder with one hand while pulling up on the tip with the other.

Unlike other cordless water flossers, the tip cannot be rotated in the holder. The tip only faces the direction that you place the tip in. This means that if you want to use the water flosser with the tip facing a different direction you have to release the flosser tip and re-insert it facing a different direction, which can be annoying to do mid-flossing.

The rotating tip holder is such a useful feature that I was surprised to see it missing on the Cordless Freedom.

Waterpik includes three flosser tips in the box:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser tips that come in the box

From right to left:

1. Classic Jet Tip– The standard flosser head that comes with all models of Waterpik. Two are included in the box.

Plaque Seeker Tip-Three thin tufts of bristles boarder the center hole that shoots water. The bristles add some extra scrubbing power when cleaning dental work (like crowns, bridges and implants).

Travel Plug – Not technically a tip. The Travel plug slots into the flosser tip holder and prevents dust and grime from entering, and water from leaking, while packed away in your luggage.

When it comes to water flossers, Waterpik offers the largest selection of flosser tips out of any manufacturer. For detailed information on all the different flosser tips be sure to check out our review of all the Waterpik flosser tips.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom Travel Bag

Unlike other “travel friendly” Waterpik models, the Cordless freedom comes with it’s own carry bag.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser travel carry bag with draw string

The bag is made from a soft micro-fibre material and a drawstring stops helps seal the bag once the flosser unit is inside.

While the bag is a nice extra, especially given that it isn’t found on the other models, it highlights another problem. Where do you keep your flosser tips? You don’t want them bounce around loose at the bottom of the bag.

You will have to pack the flosser tips in a separate air-tight container to keep them hygienic when traveling. I used zip-lock bags.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser inside travel bag

It would have been nice to have a storage solution that kept both the Cordless Freedom unit and the flosser tips together.

As far as the bag goes, it will protect the flosser from scratches and scuff marks. Just don’t expect it to offer any protection in the event that you drop the bag with your Cordless Freedom still inside.

But perhaps the most annoying thing about the bag is the size:

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser with travel plug sticking out of bag

See that little thing poking out? It’s the travel plug. The travel plug adds just too much height for the bag to completely cover it.

While the bag still does pull tight around the tip of the travel plug, it would have been nice if the entire unit fit inside the bag.

Testing the Waterpik Cordless Freedom

With the batteries installed it is time to take the Cordless Freedom for a test-drive.

Those of you who have used a counter-top water flosser will know just how easy it is to steer and direct the handle. The separate water tank and pump makes the handle easy to direct around your mouth.

Being a portable model, the Cordless Freedom contains everything in a single unit. If you are expecting the same level of maneuverability as your counter-top model then you are going to be disappointed.

Waterpik Cordless Freedom water flosser held in right hand

Holding the Cordless Freedom isn’t exactly pleasant. The relatively straight neck and plastic grip feels awkward in the hand. Waterpik nearly perfected the grip on the Cordless Professional, with it’s easy to grasp curved neck and rubber grip. This feels like a big step backwards.

Filling the reservoir with water was simple enough. On more than a few occasions water spilled out the second hole but I soon learned the appropriate level to fill it.

A measuring line would have made finding the right level much simpler. I am still dumbfounded that Waterpik did not include measurement markings on the reservoir.

Now the Cordless Freedom, like most Waterpiks, is not something you want to use while other people are sleeping. While it is quieter than the countertop models, the sound is almost certain to wake those sleeping nearby.

While Waterpik has packed a powerful motor into a portable size, the Cordless Freedom just can’t achieve the high pressure found on stand-alone water flossers. That said, I feel that the majority of people will be more than happy with the pressure output.

If you find that the pressure just isn’t right for you then there is the option of using a high or low pressure tip. These tips allow you to either increase or slow the flow. For more information, read our Waterpik flosser tip guide.

A major annoyance is that if you fill the water tank then hold the unit close to the horizontal, water will leak out the hole that the hose sticks through.

Once water is in the reservoir you have to keep the unit vertical. Otherwise you will end up with wet socks.

I was impressed that the hose offers enough suction to remove just about every last drop of water from the reservoir.

If you are new to water flossers then there will be a learning curve to overcome at first. You may find that water will run down your arm and go everywhere while you figure out the correct angle to hold the unit at.

Other beginners had problems with the small capacity of the tank. They had to refill the reservoir multiple times before they had finished flossing their mouths. However as they perfected their technique they were able to completely floss on a single tank.

The tank is very small to the point that I struggled to clean my entire mouth without having to refill. The 30 seconds of water flow goes quick. If you find yourself lingering on a trouble spot or taking your time then you will need to refill the reservoir to complete the job.

One thing I did notice was that as the batteries began to run low there was a very noticeable reduction in performance to the point where the flossing experience began to suffer. I keeping spare batteries on hand if you are considering purchasing the Cordless Freedom.

Despite the few hiccups above, using the Cordless Freedom was a simple experience.

Final Thoughts

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I know that the Cordless Freedom is only newly released but I can’t help but feel that Waterpik has overpriced this model. You can pick up the Wateerpik Cordless Professional water flosser for just a few dollars more, and that comes with a rechargeable battery and larger water capacity.

The Cordless Freedom just feels so… rushed. From loose unresponsive switches to missing measuring lines and a tip holder that doesn’t rotate; these are basic features that should be expected on a portable water flosser in this price range.

This model shouldn’t even be needed. In an ideal world the Waterpik rechargeable models should work on 100-240V. Not just 120V.

It’s not that this is a bad water flosser and those of you who have never tried another will likely be more than happy with it. It is more than capable of flossing your teeth. It just feels incomplete, especially in comparison to the other models.

If you want to use Waterpik’s extensive range of tips and need a portable water flosser to use while traveling internationally then this is your only choice.

But those of you who just use the regular tip should check out the Panasonic EW-DJ10-A, a much more compact battery operated water flosser at half the price.

While it does it’s job, the Cordless Freedom is a lazy effort from Waterpik. Nothing new or innovative to see here.