Last updated: September 3, 2021

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Karcher is the world's most famous brand of manufacturers of pressure washers. Its different models of high-pressure outdoor cleaners have been a big hit with consumers over the last few decades, making them the most widely used home and garden cleaning tool. This is hardly surprising, as Karcher is the company that originally invented the domestic pressure washer.

In very basic terms, pressure washers work by using a jet of pressurized water to clean away dirt that has accumulated on different surfaces. The different models of Karcher pressure washers that we feature in this article can adapt to the different needs of users, depending on frequency of use and the size of the area they wish to clean.

Key Facts

  • Karcher pressure washers need two things to work, which are electricity and water. The amount of water pressure a cleaner is capable of outputting is measured in bar.
  • Most models of Karcher pressure washers can also be used with added detergent, except for the simplest versions such as the Karcher K2 Basic.
  • When it is time to buy a Karcher pressure washer, you need to take into account how often you plan to use it, the type of cleaning you plan to do and the size of the surface area you need to clean.

Our Selection: The Best Karcher Pressure Washers

The key differences that can be found between the various models of Karcher pressure washers are in the power rating and the included accessories. More powerful models offer increased performance, but also use more water and electricity. In order to give you an overview of the different options, in this section we feature the most popular Karcher pressure washers currently available on the market:

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Karcher Pressure Washers

The power and efficiency offered by Karcher pressure washers is on a whole other level, compared to using a simple garden hose. These devices are smaller versions of the industrial pressure washers invented by Alfred Karcher, and are the perfect tool for working around the home. To help you find the model that is best for you, in this section we answer the most frequently asked questions about Karcher pressure cleaners.

En 1950 las primeras máquinas de limpieza industrial

Pressure washers are more powerful and efficient than a garden hose.
(Source: Aoro3771: 61571771/

What is a Karcher pressure washer exactly?

The German inventor Alfred Karcher created the first industrial cleaning machines that used pressurized water towards the end of the 1940s. However, it was not until 1984 when the company designed and released Karcher models of pressure washers, similar to those available today, which were intended for domestic or semi-professional use.

They have since evolved into the most popular outdoor cleaning tool (perhaps along with the leaf blower), to the point where these days saying "Karcher" is the same thing as saying "pressure washer". They are the most popular type of appliances for cleaning outdoors. Especially if you have a house with a large yard, or any outdoor area that requires a little maintenance.

How do Karcher pressure washers work?

In order to be operated, a Karcher pressure washer must be connected to a water outlet and an electrical outlet. They are very simple to use. You just need to choose the most appropriate level of pressure, depending on the type of cleaning you want to do. Every Karcher pressure washer has a slightly different variation in power capacity and the accessories it uses.

The water first passes through a pump that generates pressure of between 110-180 bar. All models of Karcher pressure washers on this list, except for the K2 Basic, are capable of using added detergent, which improves their cleaning performance. There are different types of guns and nozzles to control and direct the propelled water.

What are Karcher pressure washers used for?

Outdoor pressure washers offer a variety of ways to tackle different household chores, making tedious tasks a breeze. While you may want to buy a Karcher pressure washer for one particular reason, there may be other ways you could use it around your home that you hadn't thought of. A Karcher pressure washer can be used to clean to following:

  • Facades and stone walls.
  • Bikes, motorbikes, cars, caravans or any other type of vehicle.
  • Garden furniture.
  • Gardening tools.
  • Porches and patios.
  • Shutters.
  • Windows.
  • Rugs.
  • Swimming pools.
  • Pipes and gutters.
  • Stone paths and driveways.

What models of Karcher pressure washers are available on the market?

Within the category of high-pressure outdoor cleaners, there are several models with different power ratings. From the range of the most popular models of Karcher pressure washers, four were reviewed earlier in this article. In the following table you can clearly see the differences and specifications of each model, so you can choose the option that is most suitable for your home.

K5 Full Control Home K3 Full Control K2 Full Control K2 Basic
Pressure 145 bar 180 bar 120 bar 110 bar
Power 2100 W 3000 W 1600 W 1400 W
Use of water 130 gallons/h 100 gallons/h 95 gallons/h 95 gallons/h
Performance 430 ft²/h 270 ft²/h 215 ft²/h 215 ft²/h
Use Frequent Occasional Occasional Occasional
Type of cleaning Persistent Moderate- Light Light Light
Detergent Yes Yes Yes No

Why are Karcher pressure washers so popular?

The main reason these products are so popular is simply due to the fact that Karcher invented the pressure washer. They also were the first manufacturer to release high pressure portable water cleaners designed specifically for domestic use. Over the years, the reliability of Karcher pressure washers has made this German brand synonymous with outdoor cleaning.

Karcher pressure washers have always been at the forefront of innovation, and they continue to lead the industry. The years of research into developing the most effective cleaners has resulted in Karcher products becoming hugely popular with consumers.

What are some good tips for using a Karcher pressure washer?

Although these tools are extremely simple and intuitive to operate, here are some useful recommendations that will help you get the best performance out of your device. These important tips should be taken into account from the moment you plug in your Karcher pressure washer, until your store it away again.

  • The water and power outlets must be close enough to the area you will be cleaning.
  • In the event that you need an additional extension cable or more hose sections, they must meet minimum safety standards.
  • Select the correct level of pressure, suitable for the type of cleaning you wish to perform. Too much pressure can potentially cause unwanted damage to less durable surfaces.
  • Security: Remember that electricity and water are a dangerous combination. Ensure that all plugs and extensions remain well insulated.
  • Use the correct type of detergent for the type of cleaning you want to do. For example, there are products available that are specifically designed for washing a car.

What accessories and components are available for Karcher pressure washers?

High pressure washers consist of a water intake, pump, detergent container, hose with a head that offers different levels of control. All the models on our list of Karcher pressure washers are shipped with a varying range of basic accessories. There are also extra accessories that can be purchased separately.

Common Accessories

Karcher pressure washers include standard accessories - such as the single spray head, a turbo nozzle, a gun with a high-pressure hose, and a water filter. The filter is important to make sure the device functions properly, and will prevent it from breaking down by keeping dirt particles out.

La presión se mide en bares.

The water filter ensures that the device functions perfectly.
(Source: Pablo Hidalgo: 62270901/

Accessory Kits

In addition to the basic accessories, when you buy a Karcher pressure washer you can also purchase a car kit or a home kit. The car kit includes a pair of washing brushes - one of which is made to be used with a type of foam detergent specifically designed for cleaning your car.

The home kit includes a surface cleaner, as well as detergent. The surface cleaner is designed to avoid spills and minimize any splashes, and it can be used horizontally or vertically.

Special Accessories

There is a Karcher pressure washer suitable for just about any type of job you can think of. There is a special kit for cleaning bicycles and another designed for cleaning wood. Karcher also has a wide range of additional accessories and products out on the market.

Marie KondoJapanese Author
"The objective of cleaning is not just to clean, but to feel happiness living within that environment."

Shopping Criteria

Now you know that there are many different models of Karcher pressure washers, with different power capacities that consume different amounts of water and electricity. When choosing the model that best suits your needs, it's important to keep the following factors in mind:

Intended Use

There are so many different ways to use a Karcher pressure washer, maybe some that you haven't even considered. It's a good idea to buy the model with the most features, while still remaining within your budget range, so that it will be suitable for as many different applications as possible.

For example, if you buy a basic model just to wash your car, it is highly likely that after it arrives you will decide that you want to use it for other tasks, such as cleaning the facade of your house. Having a more advanced and more powerful unit, will allow you to use it in ways you never even thought of.

Las hidrolimpiadoras Kärcher necesitan dos cosas para funcionar: electricidad y agua.

A pressure washer makes tedious tasks easier and gets them done quickly.
(Source: Bubutu: 69120438/

Frequency of Use

If you are someone who will make up any excuse to put off cleaning up around the house, it is likely that your Karcher pressure washer will spend most of its life forgotten, packed away in a corner somewhere. However, if you are one of those people who takes pride in presenting their home all neat and tidy to their neighbors, you will more than likely use it much more frequently. The more often you plan to use your new Karcher pressure washer, the more money you can justify spending on it.

The frequency of use will also depend on your lifestyle. You won't be washing your car very often if you only drive a short distance to work on weekdays, compared to an SUV that you drive off-road every weekend. If you have a medium-sized house with a large yard, and a garage with five bikes and three cars, the frequency of use is going to be "high".


The most powerful Karcher pressure washer we reviewed in this article is the K5 Full Control Home. This version is the most suitable for frequent use over large areas, and for cleaning away the most persistent dirt and grime.

In the following table we compare the power ratings of the most popular models of Karcher pressure washers:

Model Pressure Power
K5 Full Control Home 145 bar 2100 W
K3 Full Control 120 bar 1600 W
K2 Full Control 110 bar 1400 W
K2 Basic 110 bar 1400 W

Size of the Surface to be Cleaned

It seems obvious, but it is worth remembering that cleaning your front porch is not the same as a cleaning a parking lot. Performance needs grow proportionally to the size of the surface to be cleaned. Let us now review the performance of each Karcher pressure washer by measuring the square feet that it can clean per hour:

Model Performance
K5 Full Control Home 430 ft²/h
K3 Full Control 375 ft²/h
K2 Full Control 215 ft²/h
K2 Basic 215 ft²/h

Type of Cleaning

Difficult dirt and grime need greater jet power. The K5 and K7 are the best models for dealing with embedded dirt and surfaces that are hard to get clean. They are suitable for dealing with grease and heavy-duty tasks. However, if you only need a pressure cleaner for simple tasks, like cleaning your bike, a basic model will be enough for your needs.


Karcher pressure washers are based on the design of the industrial cleaning machinery that was originally created by the founder of the brand back in the 1940s. In the 1980s the first domestic models were released and Karcher has been the industry leader ever since.

To find the Karcher pressure washer that best suits your needs, you just need to consider the factors we outlined in this shopping guide. Karcher have a wide range of products available on the market, so there is definitely something for everyone.

We hope you have found this shopping guide useful, and it has made your purchase process easier. If you enjoyed reading this article, please leave us a comment below, and be sure to share it with your family and friends!

(Source of Featured Image: Bubutu: 69081315/ Audio