Karcher Vs Nilfisk Pressure Washer – What Rules The Game?

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Updated: This article has been updated to reflect the new models from Karcher that were released.

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) 

Another good all rounder for lighter use.

Karcher K2 Full ControlKarcher K2

Compact model ideal for light use and car cleaning.

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

Great value and a good all rounder.

Karcher K4Kärcher K4 Full Control

A great all rounder and the Editors Choice

Nilfisk E 140.3-9 X-TraNilfisk E140 3-9 Xtra

A well priced and great value.

140500 Buy
Karcher K5 Full Control

Great for patios and driveways.

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

Powerful and well priced.

Karcher K7Karcher K7

High spec top end & full of power.



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.

Our Choice
Karcher K4
Our Rating
We love the Karcher K4, it is a good all rounder that has enough power for most tasks without breaking the bank. Perfect for car cleaning and washing down your patio and drive after winter.
Buy on Amazon

From the Karcher range the K4 full control 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.

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.


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.

Our Choice
Nilfisk C130 1-6
Our Rating
This 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.
Buy on Amazon


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.


  • 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


  • 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.

Our Choice
Karcher K4
Our Rating
We love the Karcher K4, it is a good all rounder that has enough power for most tasks without breaking the bank. Perfect for car cleaning and washing down your patio and drive after winter.
Buy on Amazon

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.

*Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, and at no additional cost, this site may earn a commission if you buy.Last updated on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  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!

    • 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.

      • 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!

        • 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.

    • Dimitrios Spyropoulos

      Actually i was gonna do the opposite because i had a lot of problems with nilfisk (c120.7)
      I own it about for four years but i wasn’t using much (hardly household use)
      At first it was just simple trigger problems but today as i was using it the motor started smoking and did a weird noise

  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.

    • fizz

      Just looked them up and they seem to be in a vastly different price league to the Karcher and Nilfisk… i would hope they last more than the 4 years you mentioned lol

  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.

    • 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.

  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

  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.

  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.

  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!

  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)

  9. Sam Theman

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

  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.

  11. Michael Harris

    My Karcher k2 died after three uses ! At only 7months old . Will not be getting another yellow one . Poor quality

  12. Dave

    I too have had a Karcher K4 – it was not cheap – leaked on first day of use! Had it repaired – took weeks – then after a few years it packed in again – low occasional use. It also had a liquid soap dispenser thing that never worked. After the second fail – I opened it up – the high pressure pump is/was made of plastic which had cracked – micro cracks that are only seen when on with water leaking out everywhere. Being an engineer, thought I’d see if I can fix it myself – pump unit was ~USD100 on eBay from memory but still plastic so I gave up and delivered the Karcher to the local dump where it now rests in peace. This is an obvious design flaw with many people experiencing similar issues. Given a company can produce such a product – that is clearly not properly tested is concerning. I am now in need of a replacement, so ended up on this site. Afraid to say that there is no way I will buying Karcher again (at least today) – so off to purchase a Nilfisk

  13. P Lambert

    Got my Karcher K4 out at the weekend to wash my vehicles. Two minutes into the wash and water starts leaking out of the side of the machine, and low pressure. Opened the casing up and looks like the cylinder head has blown. Its made of cheap plastic by the look of it. Machine is only 18 months old. Cant find the receipt as I believe its still under warranty. Contacted a Karcher repair agent who said these machines when they go wrong are not economically viable to repair. Have given the faulty machine to a family friend for spares. What a joke. This machine cost me over £200 a complete rip off. I’m also investing in a Nilfisk, hope this one lasts longer than the previous crap.

  14. M. Olney

    My first Nilfisk 500 compact was given to me for my 10 year company service and after 10 years occasional service, I wanted a patio head to use on it. As it was I was able to get a new Nilfisk C110.3 with attachments, for slightly more than the head alone. This unit served me very well for the last 8 years and was used multiple times for each and every year. It never faltered apart from needing a couple of ‘O’ rings to stop hose leaks. Last week it finally had enough, as blue smoke poured out of the vents. I decided to get the old compact 500 out of mothballs, but 8 years of non-use had taken it’s toll, there just wasn’t the pressure anymore. So I have decided to get a new machine and yes it will be another Nilfisk maybe a C135.1

  15. Martin

    Have a nilfisk c130 it’s 8 yrs old now and have never missed a beat. Used twice a week to wash the cars also used daily to wash houses, roofs, driveways, gutters soffits, sheds great machine.

  16. Andrew

    I’m hardly an expert on these things, but…. Bought a budget Nilfisk C120 in 2009. Light domestic use. Clean the patio & driveway once a year – as well as underneath the car. Then allowed to dry out and stored in a concrete garage until the next year. Just replaced the high pressure hose and nozzle as they were showing signs of age. Never missed a beat.

  17. Antonio Paulino

    which ever brand I look at there are pros and cons…. half of the posters have Kaercher and the other half the Nilfisk. All of you have negatives about your chosen brand. There is no right or wrong as I can gather.
    Unless we buy industrial models that cost 2 to 3 times more, there is no escaping the problems.
    I would be interesting to see someone take one Nilfisk and one Kaercher apart and see what these are made of and from that what the manufacturing quality looks like and from which we should expect better and longer quality.
    I have heard that Nilfisk make their pumps out of metal (aluminium) and Kaercher makes them out of plastic. Does anyone know if the metal pumps are for the normal home user models or just the industrial models?

    • Faye

      You are correct nilfisk do use metal and karcher use plastic. Making Nilfisk the better brand and it’s easier to replace parts cheaper with Nilfisk as karcher all come together. You can use a Nilfisk P150.2-10 X-TRA they are the top of the range in consumer range verging on industrial. North west power washers are currently selling them cheaper than anywhere else with free delivery. Give them a call and they will be able to talk you through it they are a nilfisk dealer.

  18. Davey

    Bought a Nilfisk C120 on Amazon. Had to return it as it wouldn’t even run the pump. And yes, i did follow the instructions on what to do if this happened and it still didn’t run! Seems like an electrical fault. Read about this happening to a lot of them . Faulty component batch?

  19. Ofer K

    I have a Karcher K4.99 for quite a few years but used it for mane 10 times. After 2-3 uses the pressure adjustable nuzzle broke. Shortly after (usage wise) the capacitor blew up after replacing it and in the third use the motor died.
    I will not get close to another Karcher even with a 10 ft. Pole with a scorpion at its end!
    Probably will opt for the top of the single phase Nilfisk it the 3 phase machine.


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