Thursday 15 May 2014

Review - Karcher K4 Compact Pressure Washer

This week I amazed myself when I actually enjoyed washing the car.  I have to be honest this is normally something I avoid with all my might but the arrival of my new Karcher K4 Compact Pressure washer for review meant I had to try it out. Having received the  SC2500 Steam Cleaner a couple of months ago from Karcher and this quickly establishing itself as my cleaning equipment of choice I did have an inkling I might like the pressure washer too!

The rumour really does seem to be true, German engineering and products are very high quality and work exceptionally well. I first received the Karcher K4 Compact Home pressure washer, but sadly it appeared to have been damaged in transit as one of the plastic wheels was smashed in the box. I got in touch with the PR company and then Karcher and once I spoke to someone at Karcher they quickly arranged for a courier to come and collect my product on a day that suited me.

Even before my old product had been collected they made sure I was sent a new replacement; the one I received this time was a different model, the Karcher K4 Compact and this meant it did not have the T-racer head, long arm and hard surface cleaner so I was not able to try those out. As a reviewer I obviously did not mind which model I received but I am sure as a paying customer I would have received the exact same model I was sending back. Karcher do seem to care about their customer service as I received a couple of emails from one of their customer service team leaders to make sure my problem had been sorted.

The model I received retails for £189.99 from Karcher but if you shop around I saw it on the web for as low as £149.99 and this is a really good price as this is not the basic entry level pressure washer. It has a 130 bar pressure which means it can really blast some dirt off whatever it is you are cleaning and it is 1.8 watts which again will indicate a high level of performance.

Pressure washers are becoming more popular nowadays as there are so many jobs that they make light work of – clearing out the guttering, washing the car or bike, freshening up garden furniture or children’s plastic toys ready for the summer and cleaning your patio, steps, conservatory roof, window sills or anything else you fancy!

My K4 compact pressure washer came with a vario flow attachment and a dirtbuster. I used the vario flow for cleaning my car and it sure had some power in it, I used it on high and every now and then turned the nozzle just a little more towards high and it gave it a kind of extra blast which was able to get grease marks and ground in dirt off my car and wheels. The main use for me will be cleaning my car as it took hardly any time at all and once I buy the brush attachment it will become even easier.

I loved the fact that my Karcher pressure washer has wheels and a lift up handle, this means I can wheel it down to my car rather than have to carry the 14.1kg equipment. It is also good that the arm and the 2 attachments can be stored in the back of the washer itself. I was not sure where the high pressure hose and electric wire are supposed to go though as there was no clear area for these to be able to be wound around nicely, I think that is an opportunity missed.

As I’m lucky and I live in an estate where I do not have to do any maintenance work to my home or the 220 acres of gardens that we live in (except window cleaning, yawn) I have limited need to use my pressure washer for much else right now but my parents have already eyed it up as their patio is very dirty and mossy and they want to give that a blast. We were a little unsure at first if they could use it as they do not have an outside tap with hosepipe attachment but actually the pressure washer can be fed from a water butt or anything else that holds lots of water and you can put a syphon hose in, clever stuff! The dirtbuster attachment is the one they will use as this gives about 50% extra power to the normal high pressure spray, this means their patio will get a real good clean when I take it down to them.
I am very happy with my pressure washer and I know it will get lots of use. I would certainly buy Karcher products again and I am happy to recommend the K4 compact.  If you want to see the K4 in action then  have a look at the excellent videos over on Mummy of Two’s blog.

Here are my list of plus Points –
·        My Karcher pressure washer comes with a 3 year warranty, which is pretty darn impressive as most things nowadays just seem to be a 1 or 2 year warranty.
·        It works really well and does what it is supposed to do in minimal time, with the 2 different attachments for varied types of jobs.
·        For the power it has the pressure washer is compact and the wheels and long handle make it easy to move about.
·        It has a detergent suction hose with filter so I can connect shampoo or patio cleaning detergents etc for use with the high pressure washing.
·        It has an innovative water-cooled induction motor for enhanced performance and longer life.
·        The 6 metre high pressure hose is really easy to connect and remove, as are the attachments.
·        An impact-resistant recyclable plastic casing and fine mesh water filter prevent dirt particles from damaging the motor 
·        It has a three-piston axial-flow pump and a safety valve to prevent pressure overload.
·        I like the fact that you can buy all different accessories for your Karcher products, this means you can add things on as you require or as money becomes available.
·        It is also good that there is a Karcher pressure washer to suit every pocket, the basic model can be picked up for less than £100 and the real high performance models come in at anywhere from about £500.

Could improve –
·        In my opinion the washer needs somewhere to be able to store the electric wire and high pressure hose pipe.
·        The instructions could be better but actually the machine was pretty intuitive to put together and took me about 2 minutes

Disclosure: Many thanks to Karcher for sending me this pressure washer to review, I am enjoying being a Karcher Ambassador and honesty reviewing your products. I can confirm I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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