A lot to like if you overlook availability issues
A strong performing water flosser, the EW1511 is comfortable to hold and well designed. I could happily use on a daily basis.
The nozzle rotates, the water tank is easy to clean and the charging stand is one of the only ones I know of to be wall mountable.
What is a pretty good product is ultimately let down by the selling price of the replacement nozzles.
- Comfortable to hold in hand
- 5 different pressure settings
- 360 degree rotating nozzle
- Good usage time
- Replacement nozzle price & availability
- No travel pouch included
- Not approved by the American Dental Association (ADA)
Consider these other water flossers
If you want the best cordless water flosser, then opt for the Cordless Advanced from Waterpik.
You don’t get quite the same usage time from the water tank as you do the Pansonic. But the rotating nozzle implementation is better and the Advanced is much better value for money.
Sonicare’s Cordless Power Flosser 3000 is also worth consideration.
The EW1511 is good. A little expensive for the flosser itself, but it is fundamentally let down by the price and availability of replacement nozzles.
|Waterpik Cordless Advanced WP-560||49,556 Reviews||$99.99 $79.97||View on Amazon|
Design, usability, clean & general use
From the physical retail box to the unboxing experience, all is pretty typical for a water flosser.
The box calls out some of the key features and benefits of this unit and whilst the EW1511 looks smart, nothing about it particularly jumps out as being particularly unique.
You get the essentials that you need out of the box.
If anything does stand out, it is the charging stand. I will cover this in a bit more detail later, but it is wall mountable and has a place for replacement nozzles to be stored. This isn’t something you get with most products of this type.
The EW1511 is a cordless water flosser, meaning inside it has a rechargeable battery and doesn’t need to be connected to a power outlet to function.
If you are not too familiar with water flossers, you typically have countertop or cordless models. Countertop units are the most capable but are tied to a power outlet and thus less portable.
Cordless is more freeing and better suited for travelers. But due to the nature of water flossing you still have to use both within range of a sink so that you can expel the waste water generated.
The big appeal here is that water flossers are more convenient and easier to use than regular string floss. Albeit they are still technique sensitive.
The gold standard is interdental brushes as dentist Gemma Wheeler explains here. But most important is to do some flossing daily. Few do, but water flossers can help make creating and sticking to that habit a bit easier.
At the time of review, the EW1511 comes in just 1 color option, white.
This white variant is accented with a soft grey color in a couple of places on the unit.
More travel friendly than a countertop unit, this is. But, it isn’t small. Unfortunately, the need to have a water tank built-in dictates the size to some extent.
It measures 28cm/11.03 inches tall with the nozzle (21cm/8.23 inches without), is 7cm/2.76 inches wide and 8cm/3.15 inches deep.
It weighs in at 276g/0.61Lbs.
If you are wishing to travel particularly light you might want to consider the Panasonic DW-DJ10 instead, this is collapsible.
This EW1511 is actually very similarly sized to the popular Cordless Advanced from Waterpik.
Disappointingly, the Panasonic does not come with a pouch case to protect the unit or keep the nozzles and flosser together. You could though stow the nozzles inside the water tank when not in use.
It doesn’t come with a plug to prevent any drops from the flosser either. You just want to run the flosser for a few more seconds after use to make sure all the water is out. Giving it a towel dry too will help.
Lacking these extras are small issues and not necessarily deal breakers, but help some of the alternatives cordless options stand out.
The flosser itself has a rounded design.
It is largest at the bottom and a fraction smaller at the top, but the upper third of the unit thins out to allow for the hand to better fit to and hold the unit.
The unit does stand upright on a countertop.
At the very top there is a hole into which the nozzles fit. They can be removed by pressing the eject button that is placed at the top edge on the back of the unit.
Running down the front of the handle are 2 buttons and a number of LEDs.
The top and larger concave button is the power button that turns the flosser on and off. A raised point in the middle helps make it noticeable to the fingertip the button itself isn’t too soft or firm.
Beneath this is a smaller, button that controls the different levels available on the flosser. The levels are essentially the pressure or power settings you have on the EW1511.
There are 5 choices, each of which can be selected or changed before the unit is powered on or as it is running.
There are 5 LED’s that depict what pressure level is chosen. These are stacked on top of each other and run vertically down the front of the unit.
In the lower half are 2 additional LEDs each with an icon below them. One is to show the battery power and the other is lit when the unit is being charged.
Towards the bottom is the Panasonic logo in black contrasting with the white body of the EW1511.
The sides of the flosser are free of any controls. From the side profile, you see more of the curvy shape of the unit and the large grey panel of rubber found on the back wraps around the sides a little.
This large panel of rubber is to help the hand grip onto the flosser.
The main body has a matt white finish to the unit and is smooth to the touch. The rubber is a bit more resistive and you can get a good comfortable grip on it.
In the lower third of the unit at the back is the door to the water tank. It folds back about 130 degrees to give good access to fill the 200ml/7 oz reservoir. You don’t need to hold it open when you fill the tank.
Press it firmly closed and the rubber o-ring on the door creates a secure and leak free seal.
I want to mention too how the design of the door is such that it is easy to open. It might sound silly, but some others are just more awkward to get a fingertip or nail in to open the door. It is a small but key part of your daily interaction, so it is noticeable when it is good or bad!
The base of the flosser is grey in color like the rubber grip. It is plastic, not rubber like the grip.
The design is such that it wraps up the front, back and sides to create a thin grey strip around the bottom edge of the flosser.
About three quarters of the base can be removed by pressing a release button and this allows access to the reservoir. It makes emptying, drying, and cleaning this unit very easy. It is a nice touch not really seen on similar products.
Other water flossers often have removable tanks, but few allow such easy access inside.
The remaining part of the base, which is not removable is home to 2 pins recessed in the body of the flosser. These are only noticeable when you have lifted it up and are specifically looking at the base. These connect into the charging stand. The provided power cable does not fit into these pins on the base of the unit.
In hand, the flosser feels solid and well built and relatively fitting of the price tag it commands.
It is worth knowing that this is water resistant and can be used in the shower if you would like to.
Many water flossers come with multiple tips (nozzles) included and this comes with 2. They are the only style Panasonic offer for this flosser.
Those with periodontal pockets, braces, or implants might find the more diverse range of jet tips from Waterpik to be more suitable
The clear plastic nozzles clip into the hole on the flat top of the unit.
When pushed into place, it will click in and you won’t be able to remove it unless you press the eject button.
The nozzle does rotate a full 360 degrees. The base of the nozzle has large plastic fins which give the fingertip something to grip and push against to rotate them.
The rotation is pretty smooth, but the design means it isn’t quite as effortless as on the Waterpik Cordless Advanced. I am being a bit picky, but I kind of have to be when more refined options exist.
It is suggested to replace nozzles every 6 months on average. This is pretty standard.
The big problem here is the price and availability.
Sold in packs of 2 and typically cost around $30. That is 3 times the cost per tip as most competing products. There is no real justification for this.
Part number WEW0983 is what you need. You will have to go online to find these, but tracking them down is difficult. Few places stock them and availability seems to be poor.
Your best chance is via picking them up here. Panasonics own webshop does a poor job of promoting them and making clear how to buy them.
Truthfully, the lack of availability and price essentially makes what is otherwise a good product into one I can’t really recommend unless availability and price improve.
A nice touch to the nozzles is that they have colored rings and these can be used to identify whose nozzle is whose. This is great if you choose to share the flosser.
The 200ml/7 oz water tank is said to offer up to 60 seconds of usage time. This is when set to the highest of the 5 pressure levels.
With repeated tests, I achieved 1 minute and 25 seconds.
If I set the level to the lowest of the 5, I achieved 2 minutes in total.
Perfect your flossing technique and you can clean the mouth in 45 seconds, but 1 minute is ideal.
In most instances, you are going to have plenty of flossing time left from a full tank, which is good. Too many competing products have small tanks and insufficient running time. Often you need to refill to complete the clean.
To change the level you press the lower of the 2 buttons on the flosser. This is unsurprisingly labeled ‘level’.
Depending on the level chosen, the number of LEDs lit changes too.
- Level 1 = 1 blue LED
- Level 2 = 2 blue LED
- Level 3 = 3 blue LED
- Level 4 = 4 blue LED
- Level 5 = 5 blue LED
At level 1, it produces 960 pulses per minute and 196kPa (28 PSI).
At level 5 it produces 1600 pulses per minute and 647kPa (94 PSI).
Whilst the vast majority of users don’t really require 5 different levels it is nice to have a choice.
Level 1 is more gentle than most Waterpik cordless models which have a low setting whilst Level 5 is more powerful than Waterpik’s high setting on cordless models.
Power certainly isn’t everything, but it does play some part. The technique is arguably more important.
Panasonic describes the technique well in their manual. Essentially you want to have the water flowing at 90 degrees/perpendicular to the tooth and gumline. You shouldn’t direct the water down into the gums.
You move along the gumline, pausing between each tooth briefly. You do this for the front and back of the teeth in each arch.
If you are not used to water flossing, it does take some getting used to. It can be messy and you do need to be lent over a sink to expel the waste water.
Don’t be surprised if you spray a bit of water across the bathroom, it happens, even with experienced users.
I have to say I have been pleased with the results. My testing is by no means scientific, but I don’t think it is unfair to say the results have been comparable to the competing products. For my fairly normal set of teeth, I haven’t noticed the flosser struggling or succeeding any better than others.
Pansonic suggests (in this video) their flosser provides superior results as a result of their ‘ultrasonic’ cleaning. The design of the nozzles is such that it pushes the water out in a way that creates microbubbles. When these bubbles burst as they hit the teeth and gums they send our ultrasonic shockwaves that remove debris.
Clinical evidence can be helpful in confirming how well or poorly a product performs.
To my knowledge, Pansonic has not submitted the EW1511 for any independent clinical research or produced any clinical results to prove its effectiveness.
I do believe it works, but I am not really in a position to say better or worse than the alternatives. The flossing experience felt similar and the results appear similar.
Waterpik as the leading competitor does invest in a lot of research, even if they fund most of it. They do too submit their products for approval by the American Dental Association (ADA), which Pansonic has not done.
It doesn’t mean this is inferior, but there is extra peace of mind that comes from the independent verification process required for the ADA to award their seal.
In use, it isn’t super quiet, but comparably noisy with other flossers of this type. Expect for it to produce sound in the region of 77 decibels.
To close off this section I want to come back to the charging stand that is included. It is a nice touch.
It appears a bit bulky on the first inspection, but it has t be to accommodate the flosser. It is one of the only products I know to come with this wall mountable solution. And screws are even provided, I didn’t expect that. Not wall plugs/anchor or anything though.
I like it as it is a neat way to free up countertop space. It has also 2 spaces to mount replacement nozzles. This is handy.
Unfortunately, the stand lacks any ability to stow excess power cable. This feels somewhat of an oversight given most will likely mount this within a few feet of the socket. The power cable is 6ft long. If you mount this 2 ft from the socket, where does the extra 4ft of cable go?
All things considered, there is a lot to like with the Panasonic EW1511. It certainly competes well with most other cordless water flossers.
Summary of design, usability, clean & general use
- Comparably sized to the competition
- Grippy in hand
- Feels solid and well made
- Separate power and function key
- 5 different levels/pressure settings
- 200ml/7oz water tank
- Up to 2 minutes use from a full tank
- Rotating nozzle
- 2 nozzles included
- Replacement nozzles are expensive and hard to find
- The charing stand holds 2 nozzles and is wall mountable
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- No travel pouch
- Not approved by the American Dental Association
- Waterproof so it can be used in the shower
Sealed inside the cordless water flosser is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion) battery.
The exact usage time does depend on the level (pressure setting) chosen.
Panasonic states you should get approximately 10 minutes of use from the unit when set to the highest pressure setting.
As a very rough guide, this is about 10 days of use, assuming 1 use per day for 1 minute.
This is based in part on Panasoincs claim that a full tank will give you 60 seconds of use.
However, as my own testing has confirmed I was achieving an additional 25 seconds of use from each fill of the tank, on the highest level.
How long you floss for is up to you, but I can confidently say that the EW5111 lasted 3 times as long as Panasonic claimed.
In my use, set to the highest level, I achieved equivalent to 39 minutes.
Assuming a minutes use each time, you have 39 days from a single charge.
I know many companies like to underestimate a little but this is perhaps a bit much and doing themselves a disservice. I don’t understand why there is such a difference between the claimed life and what I achieved.
I haven’t run the tests, but if using one of the lower power level settings it is likely that the battery life would be even greater.
On the unit is a battery status LED as well as a charging LED.
The battery LED will light up when the power is low with a blue flashing light.
To recharge the flosser, sit it on the supplied charging stand.
Whilst charging, the LED above the plug icon will be lit red. Once the charge is complete, the light will go out. If it is flashing red, there is a problem.
It takes around 1 hour to replenish the battery. This is quick. Handy occasionally, but I don’t think many of us actually need it to charge quite so quickly.
The charging stand itself is white in color and can be wall mounted (screws supplied) if you prefer. Of course, it can sit on a worktop too. The stand is a little wider and deeper than the base of the flosser itself.
2 pins on the front edge align and fit into a recess on the base of the flosser for charging.
Into the stand fits a detachable power cable. It is not hardwired. The power cable doesn’t or can’t be plugged into the flosser itself.
The power cable measures about 180cm/6ft in length.
Although the charging stand can be wall mounted, there is no way to stow excess power cable within the stand itself, which is a shame.
The power cable has a 2 pin US power adapter and supports 100-240v. This means you can use it internationally, you may require a plug/socket adapter, but not a voltage adapter.
It is too a rather unique proprietary power adapter. No USB type-c cable here.
Summary of battery life
- Built-in rechargeable Li-Ion battery
- Claimed battery life of 10 minutes
- Achieved 39 minutes in my hands-on testing
- The battery indicator will flash when power is low
- The charge indicator is lit when charging and goes out when fully charged
- Charges in as little as 1 hour
- Wall mountable charging stand included
- No place to stow excess power cord in the stand
- 6ft long power cable
- 110-240v power adapter with 2 pin plug
Price & where to buy
I have included links to buying options here at the start of the review.
In the section below, I discuss the price more generally and in relation to similar products.
The Pansonic Professional Water flosser has a retail price of $99.99.
Typically as you might expect, the actual selling price tends to be a bit less.
I managed to pick this up for $20 less, at $80.
However, although I got it cheaper, the pricing data would suggest this isn’t commonplace. The price seems to go up and down a bit. More often than not it sells for full retail or very close to it. But, from time to time it drops by about $15-20 allowing a saving to be made.
Averaged out you are probably looking at around $90.
I have to say that although Panasonic is a well known brand around the world, the retail price is a bold one considering they are competing with more experienced brands such as Waterpik that specialize in these products. Their Cordless Advanced has the same retail price tag.
The Waterpik Advanced does however sell on average for $80. So, comparable, but arguably the more desirable alternative is generally more cost effective.
In many respects, the Panasonic deserves to be judged on its own merits, but it is important to consider alternatives.
This really becomes even more important when you factor in replacement nozzles.
It is recommended to replace them every 6 months.
The EW1511 does come with 2 in the box, however, sourcing additional them is nigh on impossible. When you can find them they are expensive at around $30 for a pack of 2. A pack of 2 from Waterpik and other brands tends to be around $10. This is a 3x price premium for Panasonic.
Pansonic references its own online shop to buy them yet they are almost impossible to find on there. You have to go to their support pages and then eventually you get redirected to this page where you should find all the replacement parts.
The official part number is WEW0983. You can sometimes find them on Amazon or eBay but availability is sporadic. Certainly don’t expect to find these in Walmart or Target etc.
That said, the water flosser itself isn’t that widely sold. You can primarily buy it online, there are limited physical outlets selling this.
Here at Electric Teeth we like to price a product over a 3 year period to give a bit of a benchmark to the ownership costs.
On top of the initial purchase price which averages around $90 you need to factor in replacement nozzles (jet tips).
With a pack of 2 costing $30, each tip costs $15.
During a 3 year period, you will need an additional 4 nozzles, because 2 are supplied. That adds $60 to the cost.
The total cost is, therefore, $150.
This is expensive. Although there are parts I like quite a bit with this flosser, it doesn’t command this premium.
Waterpik’s top of the line Cordless Advanced works out at around $50 less over 3 years, totaling $100.
Compare this to traditional string floss that works out at about 2-3 cents per day and the EW1511 is considerably more expensive.
There is a price to be paid for the convenience and effectiveness, for sure, but is it worth this much more?
You could reduce the ownership cost by rather than replacing nozzles cleaning them regularly. This may extend the usable life you get from them. Many people recommend using a solution containing white vinegar. However, if you take this approach with the Panasonic, you could arguably do the same for other water flossers and save money too.
Please note that all prices quoted are approximates and will vary based on location, supplier and time of purchase. These figures were correct at the time of writing and should not be relied upon as hard fact, but used as a guide during your decision process.
Summary of price & where to buy
- List of buying options included here
- Recommended retail price of $99.99
- An average selling price of around $90
- Replacement nozzles selling for $30 for a pack of 2
- Costs around $150 to own over 3 years
- Both the flosser and the nozzles are expensive in comparison to the alternatives
Reliability & long term use
During the time I have been testing it, I have not had any issues with the reliability and performance of the Panasonic EW1511 water flosser.
In fact, I have been quite impressed with the overall design, function and build quality.
No specialist tests are performed here at Electric Teeth, we use the products just like you would at home.
I have seen a few reports of the unit failing to work after a few months of use. I can’t comment on individual cases as I have not experienced such myself.
It does come with a 2 year warranty to cover parts and labor, so should the worst happen then you are covered.
I have to say the biggest failing here is the lack of replacement nozzles for this unit, they are almost impossible to source and expensive when you do.
The EW1511 cordless water flosser has impressed me. I was pleasantly surprised when I unboxed it and used it.
The build quality and performance are better than I anticipated. Perhaps I set my expectations a little low. Panasonic is not typically the first brand you think of when it comes to oral health care.
It does what it has been designed to do and I could happily continue to use this daily.
It isn’t perfect. Rotating the nozzle isn’t quite as refined as some of the Waterpik alternatives, but it certainly isn’t terrible.
I really like the removable base to the water tank and the option of wall mounting the charger, even if it is a bit chunky.
But, at the time of review, I can’t recommend this as must buy on the primary basis of replacement nozzle availability and cost.
$30 for 2 nozzle tips is ridiculous and sourcing them is too challenging. It shouldn’t be like this.
Until such time as the price drops and availability is improved, go for the Waterpik Cordless Advanced, it is marginally better, cheaper and clinically backed.
Even with an improvement in price and availability, I still think Waterpik edges it.
- Height (without nozzle) – 21cm/8.23 inches
- Height (with nozzle) – 28cm/11.03 inches
- Width – 7cm/2.76 inches
- Thickness – 8cm/3.15 inches
- Weight (with nozzle) – 276g/0.61Lbs
- Charging stand/wall mount – 8.5cm wide x 10cm deep x 4cm tall/3.35 inches wide x 3.94 inches deep x 1.57 inches tall
All are approximates