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Best Water Guns

Updated August 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 54 Models Considered
  • 68 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 483 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

    We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

    Why trust BestReviews?
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.

    Shopping guide for best water guns

    Last Updated August 2018

    Whether you like it or not, it’s not summer until someone’s blasted you with a jet of aqua from a water gun. They might be designed with kids in mind, but you’re never too old to take part in a water gun fight!

    The question is, which water gun should you choose? Which model will most thoroughly soak your friends and foes? If you need some help deciding which water gun is best for you (and your kids), you’ve come to the right place.

    If you’re ready to purchase a water gun, check out our top recommendations. For everything you need to know before you commit to a super soaker, enjoy our buying guide full of information on determining factors.

    Super Soakers are the most well-known water guns, but you can find plenty of other great options.

    Types of water guns

    Let’s take a look at the pros, cons, and prices of the different types of water guns.

    Squirt guns

    Squirt guns – or water pistols, as they’re sometimes known – are compact water guns that squirt short streams of water when you pull the trigger.

    • Pros: Squirt guns are small and lightweight enough for younger children to use. They’re easy to operate and don’t require pumping or a battery. Since they tend to be inexpensive, they’re cheap enough for kids to buy themselves with pocket money.

    • Cons: Water pistols usually aren’t very powerful, and they have a short spray distance. They have small water reservoirs, so they need to be refilled often.

    • Price: Most squirt guns cost between $2 and $5 each.

    Because squirt guns don’t spray water very far or in high volume, they’re ideal for when you want to have some watery fun but don’t want to end up completely drenched.

    Pump-action water guns

    Pump-action water guns require users to pump a lever before pulling the trigger. This diverts some of the water into a pressurized chamber, so it can be squirted out further and harder.

    • Pros: Pump-action water guns tend to be quite powerful and are capable of squirting a lot of water a long way. They don’t require batteries, so they won’t run out of juice at a crucial moment.

    • Cons: You can’t shoot continuously with a pump-action water gun, since you have to intermittently stop and pump again.

    • Price: Basic pump-action water guns cost as little as $10, but large high-end models can cost up to $100.

    Young children may find squirt guns or motorized water guns easier to use than pump-action models, since you only have to pull the trigger to operate them.

    Motorized water guns

    A motorized water gun has a pump that is powered by a motor, so the user simply has to press the trigger to operate it.

    • Pros: Since motorized water guns are battery operated, there’s no need to pump them. This means you don’t have to take a break from soaking your foes to pump, plus they’re generally easier to aim.

    • Cons: The fact they’re battery operated means motorized water guns can run out of power at a crucial moment. They also tend to be slightly less powerful than pump-action water guns, though newer models are catching up.

    • Price: Expect to pay between $20 and $80 for a motorized water gun.

    FOR YOUR SAFETY

    Never fill your water gun with anything other than water. Not only could it break your gun, it could also cause bacteria to grow inside, which could make people sick when you spray them.

    What to look for when buying water guns

    Water capacity

    The water capacity of a water gun is how much water it can hold in its reservoir. The larger the water capacity, the less often you’ll have to fill up your water gun, but the heavier it will be when full. If you intend to have long, epic water battles (don’t forget the sunscreen!), it makes sense to opt for a water gun with the largest capacity possible. That way, you won’t have to keep taking breaks to refill the reservoir. Small squirt guns often hold less than three ounces, whereas large soakers can hold 80 ounces or more. As a rule, pump-action water guns tend to have larger water reservoirs than their motorized counterparts.

    If you’re worried that a water gun will be too heavy when the reservoir’s full, remember that you don’t have to fill it all the way to the top.

    Size and weight

    Check the physical dimensions of a water gun, as well as the weight. And don’t forget to factor in the weight of the water in the reservoir, too. You should be able to find these details in the product specifications. It’s especially important to consider the size and weight of a water gun that you’re buying for a child. If it’s too large and heavy for him to handle, it’s not much use.

    Some water guns have a large opening in the reservoir, allowing you to add ice to the water to deliver a freezing blast of H2O.

    Spray distance

    Spray distance refers to the distance that a jet of water can spray from a water gun. If your water gun has a long spray distance, you don’t have to get too close to your opponents in a water gun fight, giving you an advantage over those who have models with shorter spray distances. A basic squirt gun may have a spray distance of under 10 feet, whereas the most powerful water guns can discharge water over 50 feet. Most manufacturers list the spray distance of their water guns in the product specifications. While it’s not the only important feature, if we were stuck between two water guns we liked, we’d opt for the one with the most impressive spray distance.

    Some water guns shoot out multiple streams of water at once, which allows you to more effectively soak your opponents.

    Adjustable nozzle

    Some water guns have adjustable nozzles, which allow you to change the properties of the water jets. The exact nozzle settings vary between models, but you generally have the option to switch between a wider, softer spray and a thinner, harder spray. Very powerful jets can feel slightly painful if they hit at close range, so it’s wise to adjust the nozzle to a softer spray when younger children are involved.

    EXPERT TIP

    To avoid dangerous bacterial build-up, always empty your water gun after use, and refill it with fresh water the next time you want to use it.


    Tips for using water guns

    • Select a water gun that’s durable enough to meet your needs. Some cheaper models aren’t designed to last. If you only want it for very occasional use, this might not be an issue. But if you want years of fun from your water gun, it’s worth spending extra for a well-made, durable model.

    • Make sure everyone stays safe while using their water guns. Avoid running on slippery surfaces or near the edge of pools. We recommend supervising younger children during water gun fights.

    • Consider buying a target. If you’re buying for an only child and don’t want to be on the receiving end of water jets all summer, consider purchasing a water gun target for her to practice on when she’s playing solo.

    • Decide if you want a water gun that shoots multiple jets. More jets equals more coverage, so it’s harder for your opponents to dodge your attack.
    Due to potential health concerns, you may prefer to buy a water gun that’s made from BPA-free plastic.

    FAQ

    Q. Do I need to put batteries in my water gun?
    A.
    If you have a basic squirt gun or a pump-action water gun, there’s no need for batteries because they’re operated manually. Motorized water guns, on the other hand, require batteries to power the motor. It’s always a good idea to double-check whether or not your chosen water gun requires batteries when ordering to avoid the disappointment of not being able to use it when it arrives.

    Q. Do water guns have a recommended minimum age limit?
    A.
    All water guns have recommended minimum ages. This is due to a range of factors, including the water gun’s size and weight and whether or not it has any small parts. If you’re buying for a child, it’s important to abide by these minimum age recommendations, not only for safety reasons but because a child younger than the recommended age might be too small to handle the water gun in question.

    Q. Are there any accessories I can buy for my water gun?
    A.
    Yes, you can find accessories for certain water guns, especially big-name models like Super Soakers. Popular extras include backup reservoirs and target vests.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Alice
      Alice
      Web Producer
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Erica
      Erica
      Writer
    • Katie
      Katie
      Editorial Director
    • Kyle
      Kyle
      Writer
    • Lauren
      Lauren
      Writer