Karcher Vs Nilfisk Pressure Washer – What Rules The Game?


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Updated: This article has been updated in June 2017 to reflect the new models from Karcher that were released this year.

The two common brands on the market today are Karcher and Nilfisk Pressure washers. We are going to compare them by looking at their benefits, differences and models. Take a look.

Karcher or Nilfisk?

Karcher Vs Nilfisk Pressure Washer

Comparing Karcher & Nilfisk Power Washers

This table below shows and compares the different models from Karcher and Nilfisk form the low end to top spec models.

From Entry level to High end.

 ModelPressure (Bar)Flow (l/hr) 
NILFISK C110 4-5 PC XTRA

Another good all rounder for lighter use.

110440Buy
Karcher K2 Full ControlKarcher K2

Compact model ideal for light use and car cleaning.

110360Buy
Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure WasherNilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra

Great value and a good all rounder.

130500Buy
Karcher K4Kärcher K4 Full Control

A great all rounder and the Editors Choice

130420Buy
Nilfisk E 140.3-9 X-Tra Nilfisk E140 3-9 Xtra

A well priced and great value.

140500 Buy
Karcher K5 Full Control

Great for patios and driveways.

145500Buy
Nilfisk P150 2-10 X-Tra High Pressure WasherNilfisk P150 2-10 X-Tra

Powerful and well priced.

150610Buy
Karcher K7Karcher K7

High spec top end & full of power.

160600Buy

Karcher

About the company – Karcher pressure washers are manufactured by Karcher Company located in Germany. The company has successfully sold over 50 million pressure washers to different customers all over the world for the past 60 years. It has established itself as the world leader in high quality cleaning systems.

It offers the perfect solution to private households as well as corporate company’s cleaning needs. The company has established a good reputation worldwide. It has also managed to participate in international cleaning projects. For instance, maintaining heads of presidents on Mount Rushmore. This simply shows their cleaning expertise.

Editors Choice: Karcher K4 Full Control

Karcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer Review 2016

From the Karcher range the 2016 K4 is the standout model for us, it is a great all rounder, great value making it perfect for cleaning your car, patio and blasting your driveway.

Check it Out

Benefits of a Karcher

Efficient in cleaning – Karcher pressure washers especially those belonging to class K3 to K7 are characterized by a high removal rate of dirt as well as cleaning efficiency. They have exceptional ability to clean up to 50% faster than other cleaners.

Saves energy – Karcher pressure washers do not consume much energy. They are designed to use less power thus enabling you to save up to 50% of energy as compared to Nilfisk pressure washers. This in turn helps to cut down on electricity bill.

Uses less water – Unlike other pressure washers like Nilfisk, Karcher uses less amount of water for cleaning. With just a small amount, they are capable of generating pressure of up to 160bar. This helps to push out water at a high velocity thus making it possible to effectively clean a larger surface with less water. Their refined cleaning technology saves 80% of water. The good thing about them is that they will still give you impressive cleaning results even with less water. They are therefore the best when it comes to water conservation.

Uses water from any source – Karcher pressure washers are designed to draw water from any source including a reservoir. They save you from using expensive drinking water for washing purposes. They are economical in the long run. In addition, they are flexible and can be used anywhere.

High Quality & Reliable – All Karcher products are reliable because they have been tested for 100% quality. The production system is highly refined which makes it possible to produce products of high standards. This makes them reliable when being used.

Karcher Pressure Washer Models

There are 4 different Karcher Pressure Washer models and specifications.

1. Karcher K2 Compact Home Air Cooled Washer
This is the Karcher’s entry model. It is the best if you are interested in getting your pressure washer for the first time. It is the cheapest of Karcher range. It retails at around 75 pounds.

2. Karcher K4 Full Control Home Water-Cooled Washer
It comes with a rugged and compact design. It is also affordable. In addition, it is simple and safe to handle and easy to maintain. Furthermore, it belongs to the mid range.

3. Karcher K5 Full control
This excellent pressure washer has enough pressure and all the necessary tools which enable it to perform all cleaning jobs with high efficiency. It comes with a rough body and eco-friendly material hence good for the environment. Its functionality is highly advanced as compared to Karcher K2 Compact Home Air Cooled Washer. Furthermore, it belongs to the top model alongside Karcher K7 Premium Eco Home Pressure Washer .

4. Karcher K7
At the top end of the range is the powerful K7 which has enough umph for any task thrown at it, making it ideal for washing down vans, 4x4s, and bringing up patios and driveways like new.

Nilfisk

About the company – Nilfisk Company supplies professional cleaning equipment to commercial, industrial as well as consumer market. Its headquarters is Brondby, Denmark. The company has sale entities in 45 countries as well as dealers in over 70 countries. It currently has about 5,500 employees all over the world. Its brands include Nilfisk, Alto and Nilfisk-ALTO. It is the manufacturer of Nilfisk pressure washers.

Editors Choice: Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer

Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer

The Nilfisk C130 1-6 X-Tra Pressure Washer is a small compact machine with a big kick, pumping out 440 litres per hour max water flow at 13o bar pressure it is great for cleaning your car, drive and patio. Another great all rounder and a very affordable and good value pressure washer from Nilfisk.

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Benefits

Durable – Nilfisk pressure washers have tough water pumps which resist high pressure and any form damage. This makes them durable thus saving you from replacement costs.

High cleaning power – Their pressure washers have the ability to generate high pressure of over 120bar which makes water to flow at fast rate. This enables them to clean surfaces efficiently and effectively.

Lightweight and Movable – Nilfisk pressure washers are usually lightweight as compared to Karcher. They are constructed with light materials. This makes them highly portable. In addition, they have wheels to enable you move them from one location to another with much ease and comfort.

Easy to use – Nilfisk pressure washers come with ergonomic design which makes them easy to use. They have handles that are comfortable to use and wheels that aid movement. In addition, they are easy to set up.

Quiet – This is what makes Nilfisk pressure washers different from the rest. They are designed with noise reduction mechanism which makes them perfect for cleaning office, hospital ward or other noise-sensitive areas. They are also good for daytime cleaning.

The Nilfisk Range

1. Nilfisk C120 6-6 PCAD Pressure Washer
This awesome pressure washer is ideal for cleaning all areas including your car, driveway, windows and many more. It cleans with much ease and at a high speed. In addition, Nilfisk C120 6-6 PCARD Pressure Washer comes with numerous accessories thus making it very versatile.

2. Nilfisk C110 4-5 PC Extra Compact High Pressure Washer
This amazing pressure washer is lightweight and therefore easy to move. In addition, it comes with excellent accessories which enhance its functionality. It is however more expensive as compared to its counterparts.

Karcher Vs Nilfisk Pressure Washer

So which brand rules the game? Really there is little to split these two top pressure washer brands, which one you go for really comes down to what your requirements are and how much you have to spend.

Similarities

  • Both brands are produce efficient cleaning devices
  • They are all high quality well built products
  • They are manufactured by reputable companies
  • These products are eco-friendly

Differences

  • Most Nilfisk pressure washers are lightweight while those of Karcher are slightly heavy.
  • Karcher Full Control pressure washers have a LED display lance with them.
  • Nilfisk pressure washers are slightly cheaper than Karcher models.
  • Nilfisk attachments are slightly cheaper than Karcher equivalent accessories.

Which to go for?

The million dollar question and there isn’t a clear answer or winner, at the lower end when looking for a entry level pressure washer they are both similar, all well made, for value the Nilfisk may edge it with a cheaper price tag on its side and the motor is metal on their whole range.

As you move up the range we are big fans of the Karcher range, compared to Nilfisk they are slightly more expensive, however they are well designed and well built making a good investment as long as you look after and store it well, you also get a 3 year warranty too.

All models are comparable, if you are looking for something for regular use and power then we say Karcher, looking for an entry to mid range on a budget then go for a Nilfisk pressure washer. Depending on your main use, it may influence the package you go for and which brand you choose, the prices can vary depending on the accessories included and what you need.

What ever you go for ensure you look after it, when you have finished with it ensure you drain it, when the colder weather comes ensure you store it somewhere where it won’t freeze, if this happens pipes can crack and leaks will form.

15 Comments

  1. Nigel Weir

    My third Karcher has now packed up – pulsing pump and leaking water. I purchased this one a short time ago (c.18 months) and have not used it that much. I did not have time to investigate the failure of the previous unit and buy spares/fix it so just bought another which was a bit stupid because this one has also failed.

    Reading up on the reviews e.g. Screwfix, it would appear that several users have had reliability problems with Karcher and switched to Nilfisk, which I am about to do. We have a Nilfisk industrial Vacuum and it is brilliant so I am now going to purchase a Nilfisk pressure washer and will not be going near another Karcher.
    Very poor reliability!

    Reply
    • John Kusz

      I too have had the Karchers washer and after getting one expensive repair done by a Karchers agent it has now broken down again, fault being that the pump won’t activate at all. There is a lot of heat coming from the thing and just going to scrap it. Going to purchase a Nilfisk E45 now, as previously had one of their vaccum cleaners which lasted me for 38 years, and have bought another one to replace it. Think that I will get more service life from the Nilfisk product.

      Reply
      • Caroline Lyness

        Hi, we decided to purchase a nilfisk pressure washer to replace our eight year old Karcher one which had finally given up in May 2016. The Nilfisk was great when we used it for three days in May 2016 and we duly packed it away and ensured that was stored in a frost free environment.

        April 2017 just eleven months since we purchased it we set up our Nilfisk pressure washer but alas it refused to work after just 90 minutes. As it was less than a year old we contacted the retailer and he passed on all our details to Customer Care at Nilfisk.

        After a lengthy telephone discussion with customer care at Nilfisk we were instructed that we must take our pressure washer to one of their repair agents, for us that involved a five hour round trip from Welshpool to Stafford on 7 April. Nilfisk did agree after much argument that they would courier the repaired pressure back to us to save us the five hour car trip. Almost seven weeks later we still haven’t got our pressure washer back, it was repaired apparently but when they checked it before despatch it wouldn’t work and a new part had to be ordered which is somewhere in the uk. The repair agent always promised to call us over the last two weeks on at least three occasions but they never did and neither have we had any response at our emails to Nilfisk.

        Definitely wouldn’t recommend Nilfisk and would suggest that they urgently need to up they game when it comes to customer service – a company to avoid, think twice before buying Nilfisk because of the poor customer service!

        Reply
        • Mabel

          Had the same problem. First pressure washer leaked and I was told by customer services that it was probably frost damage as it hadn’t been drained properly. Bought another one, drained it, stored it in the garage, and when I got it out this year – it leaked! Not impressed.

          Reply
  2. Tim k

    If your looking for a high quality and durable pressure washer, choose a kranzle they are German made, industrial grade machines. They blow karcher away! Mine has just packed up after 4years of daily use for my business. Most domestic machines only lasted me a few months before I discovered kranzle.

    Reply
  3. Renee

    I too have a Karcher with two major problems; The pump wont shut off when you release the lance trigger and pulses, either that or the on/off switch will not function. A very disappointing product.

    Reply
    • Trevor Newman

      I have had 3 Karchers over the last 8 years, one with split sealed bearings, no grease on assembly,one with a faulty on/off switch, one pulsating.

      Reply
  4. mike ralph

    Karcher k4 motor burn out , had the unit under two years , wouldn’t start just buzzed, changed the capacitor still buzzed, the motor has burnt out, used less than twenty times. Having been told today it’s the extention leads fault, even though it’s 13amp rated with protection fitted from masterplug,
    Karcher are offering a repair of £125.00 with a three month Warranty! . Not a happy customer , Karcher have stated they would not recommend the use of a extension lead with the presure washer ? Amazing

    Nilfisk unit is on order

    Reply
  5. Darren Burrows

    I have owned two Karcher pressure washers and have had reliability issues with both – the latest problem is the apparently common ‘pulsing pump’ fault.

    IMO Karcher have a great looking product range & very good marketing but huge reliability issues.

    I am looking to buy a replacement but will look at the Nilfisk and other better quality brands.

    Reply
  6. John

    I have two Karcher pressure washers in the last six years both leak and pulsates Rubbish purchase a Nilfish c100 great.German crap.

    Reply
  7. Ian D

    I too have had a couple of Karcher pressure washers, both of which have had issues, one I fixed myself by ordering a part of ebay for approx £5. The second issue seems to be with the pump now not delivering enough pressure so like many others have now opted to switch to a Nilfisk following recomendations from a friend and also sealed (unlike my Karcher 🙂 by the reviews posted here, thanks all!

    Reply
  8. Alan

    Just jet washed our patio for the 3rd time, in 3 years with our Karcher, only for it to leak oil over the block paving. This one’s going to the recycling site, pronto, and ordering a Nilfisk (Sorry Kranzle are a little too expensive – but thanks for the head’s-up)

    Reply
  9. Sam Theman

    Not much of a review when it comes to recommendations. Basically, you say “Make your own mind up”.

    Reply
  10. Tony

    I’ve had both Karcher and Nilfisk (mid range models) and only use them every couple of weeks to clean the car, so very light use. The Karcher only lasted a very short while before developing problems, mainly pulsating and no pressure. The Nilfisk after several years has now packed up – failing to start and the lance has disitegrated. Also the Nilfisk hose kinked and burst after a year or so, because it was nasty cheap plastic and the hose winder caused it to loop.
    I’m now going to blow my money on a Kranzle that appear to be made of superior components and may even outlive me.

    Reply

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