Which Budget Karcher Pressure Washer Is The Best?

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At GardenShedReviews we love both the Karcher K2 and K4 Compact pressure washers but which budget Karcher pressure washer is the best? We put both pressure washers through a head to head to see which one comes out on top.

We’ll look at each unit, comparing them on performance, ergonomics, flexibility and value before giving a side by side comparison of the included equipment and features of each washer.

Carry on reading to find out which budget Karcher pressure washer is the best!

Karcher K2 Compact Karcher K4 Compact
Karcher K2 Compact Karcher K4 Compact

Performance

Both the Karcher K2 Compact and the Karcher K4 Compact are high performing units for their size. When comparing side by side, the K4 does have a definite edge. The K4 has a maximum flow rate of 420 litres per hour and a coverage of 30 square meters per hour which is around 30% to 50% higher than the K2’s 360 litres per hour and 20 square meters respectively depending on the scenario.

This performance difference is clear when you compare the power output of the two side by side – the K2 has a maximum output of 1.4KW and the K4 can output up to 1.8KW.

The K4 also come with an advanced water cooled electric motor to further increase run time and ultimately longevity.

Overall the Karcher K4 Compact has a far higher power output so is our winner in this category.

Winner – Karcher K4 Compact

Ergonomics

The Karcher K4 Compact weighs in at 10.7KG which is two and a half times the Karcher K2 Compact at 4.1KG given the units are both fairly similar in size does translate to a big difference in handling each pressure washer.

The K2 which is the far lighter of the two is comfortable to carry around one handed and is light enough to be stored on higher garage shelves with ease.

Everyday handling is also much easier with the K2 Compact as you can use the lance in one hand while carrying around the pressure washer in the other. Using the K4 one handed can prove challenging and you’ll likely need to keep on the floor which may or may not be suitable depending on what and where you are cleaning.

At least the K4 comes with an integrated telescopic handle to ease moving it around.

The K2 is far lighter then the K4 and is easier to handle and move around so is our winner in this category.

Winner – Karcher K2 Compact

Flexibility

The K2 Compact and the K4 Compact are both very flexible setups that allow you do get the majority of power washing tasks boxed off only using the supplied accessories. The Karcher range of accessories is extensive, with a specialised attachment or tool available for every job.

K2 Car & HomeVariants of both the K2 Compact and K4 Compact are available, each shipping with a bundle of accessories depending on the jobs you want to get done. A good example of this is the Home and Car kit for both the K2 and K4 that includes patio cleaning, car brushes and foam jets. The kits also ship with 0.5 litre bottles of shampoo and detergent which is enough to get you started.

The K4 does edge the K2 in flexibility due to the included Vario lance that allows you vary the output pressure between 20 and 130 bar depending on what you want to do.

This useful attachment is available as an add on accessory so it’s something that you can add to your K2 kit should you need it at a later date.

We think that while both the K2 and K4 offer brilliant flexibility via Karchers accessory range, the K4 does edge the K2 out of the box. The K4 is our winner.

Winner – Karcher K4 Compact

Value

We think that both the Karcher K2 Compact and the K4 Compact offer excellent value for money for the majority of cleaning scenarios.

If you are looking for something lightweight that can get most jobs done out of the box then the K2 is a great choice, however if you need something with a little more grunt then the K4 would be a better buy.

The K2 is the cheaper of the two units by some margin, but has a lower level of performance as a result but this is offset by the weight and ergonomics of the lighter unit. The K4 offers a far higher performance however is more expensive than the K2.

We think that both units offer great value for money so this category is a tie.

Winner – Tie

Which budget Karcher pressure washer is the best?

So far we’ve looked at performance, ergonomics, flexibility and value, but which budget Karcher pressure washer is the best?

Both Karcher pressure washers featured in this comparison are very capable units and offer excellent value for money but as we have to pick a winner that accolade goes to the Karcher K4 Compact.

We felt that the extra flexibility afforded by the inclusion of the Vario lance and the extra run time with the water cooled motor meant that even though the K4 is more expensive its our first choice.

Karcher K4 Compact

Heres a breakdown of our scores:

  • Performance Winner – Karcher K4 Compact
  • Ergonomics Winner – Karcher K2 Compact
  • Flexibility Winner – Karcher K4 Compact
  • Value Winner – Tie

Side by Side Comparison

Karcher K2 Compact Karcher K4 Compact
Karcher K2 Compact Karcher K4 Compact
Included Equipment:

  • High-pressure gun, Standard Quick Connect
  • One-way spray lance
  • Dirt Blaster spray lance
  • High-pressure hose, 4 m
  • Quick Connect on machine
  • Detergent application via, Suction
  • Integrated water filter
  • Adapter garden hose 3/4″
Included Equipment:

  • High-pressure gun, Standard Quick Connect
  • Vario Power spray lance
  • Dirt Blaster spray lance
  • High-pressure hose, 6 m
  • Quick Connect on machine
  • Detergent application via, Suction
  • Telescopic handle
  • Water-cooled motor
  • Integrated water filter
  • Adapter garden hose 3/4″
Technical Data:

  • Pressure (bar/MPa) max. 110 / max. 11
  • Flow rate (l/h) max. 360 Max.
  • water feed temperature (°C) max. 40
  • Current type (V/Hz) 220 / 240 / 50 / 60
  • Power rating (kW) 1.4
  • Area performance (m²/h) 20
  • Weight without accessories (kg) 4.1
  • Dimensions (L x W x H) (mm) 176 x 280 x 443
Technical Data:

  • Pressure (bar/MPa) 20 – up to 130 / 2 – up to 13
  • Flow rate (l/h) max. 420
  • Max. water feed temperature (°C) max. 40
  • Current type (V/Hz) 230 / 50
  • Power rating (kW) 1.8
  • Area performance (m²/h) 30
  • Weight without accessories (kg) 10.7
  • Dimensions (L x W x H) (mm) 516 x 295 x 282

Further Reading

At GardenShedReviews we have taken a more in depth look at both the Karcher K2 Compact (and the Home & Garden Accessory Bundle) and the K4 Compact Pressure Washer in separate reviews. If you are considering purchasing either we’d recommend you have a look at the following:

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About Francesca Fitton 68 Articles
I have a passion for gardening and being outdoors. I blog about plant care, technology and tools that I love to use outside and invite you along to watch.

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