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Best water guns 2021: which came top between Nerf Super Soaker, Zuru X-Shot and more

We tested nine popular water guns to find out which ones will provide the most fun for adults and children this summer

Best water guns 2021: which came top between Nerf Super Soaker, Zuru X-Shot and more

For kids (and adults who never grew up), hot weather and sunshine means one thing: water fights. But what are the best water guns that give you endless enjoyment, as well as the edge over your opponents this summer? 

To find out, a band of Which? researchers assembled an armoury of nine bestselling water guns and put them through a string of tough tests.

Our tests covered range, capacity, leakage, ease of use, and most importantly, soaking power.

See the full test results of all nine water guns we tested below and find out which ones we’ll be taking into our next water-based bout.

Need to fill up a paddling pool? Check out the best garden hoses in our tests

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Watch: water guns on test

Check out the video below to see our tests in action, including the water gun that blasted its way to the top of our leaderboard.

The best water gun from our tests

Nerf Super Soaker Hydra water gun

Nerf Super Soaker Hydra: Editor’s Choice

Cheapest price: £17 at Argos, also available at Amazon

Range: 9 metres

Capacity: 1,950ml, 15 shots

Recommended age: 7+

Verdict: When it comes to water gun warfare, we don’t think many can stand up to the might of the Super Soaker Hydra.

Its water tank is just under two litres, which makes it trickier for smaller kids to handle, but this gun requires no pumping. Just pull the front handle backwards to unleash a powerful jet of water that simply drenches your opponents.

At an impressive range of 9 metres, you’ll also be likely to hit your opponents before they can get close enough to return fire.

The weight of the water tank is also spread out evenly and the handles are smooth and comfortable to grip, so you won’t face ease of use difficulties with the Hydra.

Overall, we think this is a superb water gun that’ll make everyone want to be on your team for your next water fight.

How the rest of the water guns fared

Here’s our verdict on the other water guns in our test, listed in alphabetical order.

Mozooson Water Gun QS811-38 water gun

Mozooson Water Gun QS811-38

Cheapest price: £9.99 at Amazon

Range: 7.2 metres

Capacity: 550ml, 42 shots

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: A lack of firepower means this water gun misses out on our recommendation, but it did well in all other areas of our tests.

Mozooson’s water gun has an extra wide fill cap, so if you’re feeling cruel you can pop a few ice cubes in the tank to make the water extra cold.

Despite having a fairly average capacity, we got an impressive 42 shots out of this water gun before it needed refilling, so you won’t need to make regular trips to the tap to top it up.

The range is decent too at 7.2 metres, but the major downside is the soaking power. Single shots at close range didn’t do much to soak our testers, so you’ll need to fire repeatedly for it to have much of an impact.

Nerf Super Soaker Fortnite RL Water Blaster water gun

Nerf Super Soaker Fortnite RL Water Blaster

Cheapest price: £15.99 at Amazon, also available at Sports Direct

Range: 9.6 metres

Capacity: 215ml, one shot

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: If you’re looking to jump straight into a game of watery Battle Royale in your back garden, this Fortnite-themed rocket launcher might be just the one for you.

You only get one shot between each refill, so you’ve got to make it count, but that one shot comes with plenty of range and firepower.

A distance of 9.6 metres made this the winner of our range test, and if you’re unfortunate enough to get caught in the fire of this blaster you’re sure to get soaked.

To refill the Fortnite RL Water Blaster you need to pull the two ends of the rocket launcher apart with the nose dipped in a body of water.  Water is then drawn into the gun through the nose.

You can refill it quickly this way, as long as you have a body of water available. You’ll struggle using a tap or a hose.

Once filled, you’ll also need to remember to keep the water gun upright, as we found it leaks when pointing downwards.

Nerf Super Soaker Microburst 2 water gun

Nerf Super Soaker Microburst 2

Cheapest price: £10.39 at Amazon

Range: 5.9 metres

Capacity: 300ml, 20 shots

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: It might fall short compared to some of the big and powerful blasters in our test, but we’d pick this little water gun for smaller kids as it’s so easy to use.

There’s no fiddly trigger to pull as the Microburst 2 fires as you pump it, and 20 shots is plenty for a water gun with such a low overall tank capacity.

But this water gun did come up the shortest in our range tests and it can’t be relied on to get your opponents especially wet.

We’d certainly recommend this water gun for the littlest ones in the water fight, but older children would probably prefer it as a side-arm.

Nerf Super Soaker Twin Tide water gun

Nerf Super Soaker Twin Tide

Cheapest price: £9.69 at Amazon, also available at WH Smith

Range: 7.2 metres

Capacity: 300ml, 26 shots

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: A tempting option for those who want to double their firepower.

With each pump action the Super Soaker Twin Tide shoots two jets of water simultaneously, which helped it score highly in our soaking power tests.

You get a high number of shots out of it for what is a relatively low capacity, too.

However, we did find the firing power of this water gun deteriorated long before running out, so a lot of those 26 shots will be weak, short range blasts.

Nerf Super Soaker XP100 water gun

Nerf Super Soaker XP100

Cheapest price: £18 at Argos, also available at Amazon, Very

Range: 6.8 metres

Capacity: 1,250ml, seven shots

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: Parents might recognise this homage to the old Super Soaker 50, which was released back in 1991. Like its pressurised predecessor, the XP100 needs pumping to build up power before it can be used to dispatch your opponents.

You’ll have to make those shots count, however, as despite having a capacity of more than a litre we only fired it seven times before it needed refilling.

This may be partly due to how much water is wasted during pumping, as we found the Super Soaker XP100 dribbled a lot of water out of the end of the barrel when we were pumping it up.

It gave our testers a good soaking in our tests, but with the time it takes to prepare it to fire, the water leakage issues, and how few shots you get, we don’t think the XP100 is one of the best water guns overall.

Water Warriors Power Raider with Red Dot Scope water gun

Water Warriors Power Raider with Red Dot Scope

Cheapest price: £19.99 at Smyths

Range: 6.2 metres

Capacity: 1,850ml, 15 shots

Recommended age: 6+

Verdict: This hefty water gun comes with plenty of bells and whistles, including three firing modes and even a battery-powered red dot scope, but we had mixed feelings about its usefulness in a water fight.

We don’t think those bells and whistles make any difference to how the water gun fires or its accuracy. The jet of water it fires is pretty strong, but changing the firing mode didn’t cause any noticeable change and we didn’t find the red dot scope aimed at the spot where the water landed.

It’s also a heavy and bulky water gun that likely won’t be suitable for smaller kids to use, and we found the pump difficult and noisy to operate.

It does the all important job of effectively soaking your opponents, but the ease of use issues prevent us from recommending this water gun.

Zuru X-Shot Fast Fill water gun

Zuru X-Shot Fast Fill

Cheapest price: £12.99 at Smyths Toys

Range: 6.6 metres

Capacity: 800ml, 43 shots

Recommended age: 5+

Verdict: It might not be the most powerful water gun out there, but we think the X-Shot Fast Fill is one of the easiest to use.

As you might expect, this is mostly due to how quick and easy it is to refill it. Rather than having a cap with a small opening like most other water guns, this one has a wide door at the back that you simply pop open.

It’s pretty speedy to refill when you use a tap, but if you’ve got a body of water you can dunk this X-Shot in and it’ll refill in as little as one or two seconds.

You also won’t need to refill it all that often. We managed to get 43 shots out of it before needing to top up the water supply, which is the highest number of shots of all the water guns we tested.

The only downside is the soaking power, which we found passable, but not in competition with the more powerful water guns in our tests.

Zuru X-Shot Typhoon water gun

Zuru X-Shot Typhoon Thunder

Cheapest price: £8 at Argos, also available at Amazon

Range: 6.5 metres

Capacity: 500ml, 29 shots

Recommended age: 5+

Verdict: It’s slightly cheaper than the X-Shot Fast Fill, but we think there’s a drop in quality with the Typhoon Thunder that makes the Fast Fill a much better option.

The range of the Typhoon Thunder is slightly shorter, the capacity is significantly reduced, and in addition there’s no handy refill door like there is on the Fast Fill.

It also underwhelmed us in the soaking power test.

It’s not a terrible water gun overall, but if you’re going to buy a Zuru X-Shot water gun we’d recommend the X-Shot Fast Fill as it was superior to the Typhoon Thunder in all of our tests.

Kit out your water gun refill station with one of the best garden hoses.

Five tactics to help you win your next water fight

Kids water guns play

1) Keep an eye on the refill station

Everyone’s water tank runs out eventually, and patrolling around the hose, tap or barrel will mean you can get back to refill your water gun first. Getting caught with an empty tank far away from the refill station will rarely end well.

This tactic can be used to your advantage when your enemies run out of water, too. If you’re close to the refill station when they need to come in to load up, they’ll be left wide open for you to give them a good soaking without any risk of return fire.

2) Aim high

In our range tests we fired each water gun several times at various angles to find the maximum range we were able to reach. Across the board we found that aiming your gun slightly higher helped the water fire further.

This is because once it leaves the gun the water starts to drop, so aiming it slightly higher will give the water a chance to cover more ground before it falls.

If you’ve got a water gun with a good range, this tactic will help you maximise your advantage.

3) Keep moving

The best way to avoid getting soaked and to get the jump on your enemies is to stay on the move. Water guns rarely have enough firepower to keep up a steady stream of fire on a moving target, so ducking and dodging is a good strategy to avoid getting hit.

Water guns with single shots and those that need pumping up before firing are especially weak against moving targets. It takes time to prepare those water guns to fire so you’ve got to make your shots count, which isn’t easy when your target is on the run.

4) Wear the right clothes

Speed and agility are important in water fights, so you’ll want to avoid being weighed down by heavy, absorbent clothing.

You might be tempted to don your army fatigues, but you’ll be at a major disadvantage. Light clothes that won’t absorb too much water are best for keeping you agile and speedy in the heat of water-based battle.

5) Get to cover

Bushes, trees and garden furniture are all excellent sources of cover in a water fight. Not only will you avoid getting hit, you’ll also keep out of sight and can ambush your enemies when they least expect it.

Keeping tabs on where the cover is in your battle arena and picking your next spot before you move is a smart strategy. You’ll avoid getting caught out in the open.

How we tested water guns

To separate the best water guns from the duds we bought ten bestselling blasters and put them through a string of tough tests.

One of the water guns, the Nerf Super Soaker Fortnite HC-E, was unfortunately broken on arrival, so we were unable to complete testing for that one.


We filled each water gun, pumped it up to full power if they required it, and then fired them several times from a few different angles.

We then used a trundle wheel to measure the furthest distance each water gun managed to shoot.


We measured the capacity of each water gun by filling the water tank up to maximum capacity and then pouring it out into a container on a set of scales that told us how many millilitres of water were inside.

Then we refilled each gun and counted how many times you could fire it before the tank would need refilling.

Ease of use

Nobody wants an uncomfortable water gun on the battlefield. We assessed how easy the water guns were to fire and pump up, how comfortable the handles were, and if they were too bulky or heavy for smaller kids to handle.


After filling each water gun to capacity, we turned them upside down and gave them a good shake to see how much water leaked out.

Soaking power

To find out how each water gun fares at the all-important task of drenching your opponents, we dressed a tester in white overalls and dyed the water in our water guns green.

We then fired each water gun from a couple of metres away, ensuring that the whole shot hit the tester’s overalls. We then took photos of how drenched they were and judged how much soaking power one shot from each water gun has.

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