Many industries, which are producing sludge in large quantities, depend on sludge dewatering technology to reduce the corresponding water content. A key design parameter for dewatering equipment is the capillary suction time (CST) test, which has, however, several scientific flaws, despite that the test is practical and easy-to-perform. The standard CST test has a few considerable drawbacks: its lack of reliability and difficulties in obtaining results for heavy sludge types. Furthermore, it is not designed for long experiments (e.g. >30 min), and has only two measurement points (its two electrodes). In comparison, the novel dewaterability estimation test (DET) test is almost as simple as the CST, but considerably more reliable, faster, flexible and informative in terms of the wealth of visual measurement data collected with modern image analysis software. The standard deviations associated with repeated measurements for the same sludge is lower for the DET than for the CST test. In contrast to the CST device, capillary suction in the DET test is linear and not radial, allowing for a straightforward interpretation of findings. The new DET device may replace the CST test in the sludge-producing industries in the future.