The Differences Between Karcher Pressure Washers

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Continuing its legacy in pressure washers, Karcher, a prominent brand has come up with world class technology to produce impressive and powerful pressure washers. From removal of dirt to stubborn paint, the various models of pressure washer will make your work seem quick and effortless. Young or even the elderly, all can efficiently make use of this devices.

Karcher pressure washer Specification

The table below compares the specifications of the different models, the higher up the model the bigger and better the spec, from higher pressure and water flow, to longer a longer hose.

 Karcher K2 Full Control
K4 Full Control Home

K5 Full Control Home

Kärcher K7 Premium Full Control Home Pressure Washer
Kärcher K2Kärcher K4Kärcher K5Kärcher K7
Pressure (Bar)110130145160
Water Flow (l/h)360420500600
Area Cleaned (Square Metres per Hour)20304060
Motor Watts1400180021002800
Detergent IntakeSuction TubePlug & CleanPlug & CleanPlug & Clean
Water suction-YesYesYes
Pressure Hose Length4m6m8m10m
Power Cord Length5m5m5m5m
Spray GunStandard high-pressure lance GunFull Control Power Gun with LED DisplayFull Control Power Gun with LED DisplayFull Control Power Gun with LED Display
Perfect for...Bikes
Patio Furniture
Bikes & Cars
Outdoor Furniture
Garage Doors
Bikes, Cars & Vans
Outdoor Furniture
Larger Patios
Garage Doors
Cars, Vans & 4x4's
Outdoor Furniture
Large Patios
Garage Doors
Our ReviewRead our ReviewRead our ReviewRead our ReviewRead our Review
Buy on AmazonBuy on AmazonBuy on AmazonBuy on Amazon

Which Karcher Pressure Washer should I buy?

The Karcher pressure washer range includes:

Karcher K2 – It is compact, powerful and lightweight. It comes with lance, trigger gun and cable storage. There is a detergent suction tube for application of detergents. It has an ergonomic carry handle. Its water inlet prevents dirt particles from damaging the pump and it comes with a warranty of 2 years.

Karcher K4 – It has a motor which is water cooled, and  it has a rapid system for the high-pressure hose, includes a plug ‘n’ clean system for changing its course over different detergents. It comes with a lance, trigger gun and cable storage as well as a warranty of 3 years. Ideal for car cleaning this pressure washer is a great choice.

Karcher K5 – It has a motor which is water cooled and has a patented cooling system reduces wear and increases the lifetime of the machine. It comes with an eco rotator switch and it cuts electricity and water usage by 20%. It has a rapid system high pressure hose. Plug ‘n’ clean system for changing course over different detergents. It also has a suction hose for drawing water from a tank or it can be attached to your outdoor water tap, it comes with a filter kit and a warranty of 5 years.

Karcher K7 – The top rate model come with a water cooled motor. It is the most powerful of the Karcher K range and also the most expensive. The powerful motor gives high water flow and bar pressure making it suitable for the toughest of tasks, from cleaning your patio to remove graffiti from walls, the pressure can be adjusted making it suitable for cleaning your car without naming the paintwork, or set to max pressure for cleaning your driveway.

If you want maximum power and will be using it for tasks such as cleaning slabs, patios, decking, or any masonry walls then the K7 is worth the money.

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

Differences between Karcher Compact and Full Control

In 2019 Karcher rebased compact models of their pressure washer range, for example, you can buy a Karcher K2 Full Control, or K4 Full control, and you can also get a Karcher K2 Compact, or Karcher K4 compact.

So what are the differences? The compact version is more compact, it is the same spec as the full control counter part. So the engine is the same, in terms of accessories you get lance, however the compact version is more basic and doesn’t have the visual settings of the full control version.

The detergent bottle isn’t built in, you get a suction tube which you insert into your own bottle that you would have to place on the ground next to the pressure washer.

The compact models are also cheaper than that full control versions too, so if you don’t think you will use the detergent bottle feature and don’t need the full control lance, then you can save some money with the compact version which is also smaller and lighter too.

What is the difference between Karcher K2 and K2 compact?
The specification of the K2 is the same throughout, the pressure is still 110 bar with a 1400 watt motor that is air-cooled. The differences are in the casing and design, that compact K2 is what it says, more compact, it is designed to be as small as possible and easy to carry. Where as the K2 Home and Premium models have wheels and an extended handle to allow you to pull the pressure washer around like a suitcase.

Karcher K2 Compact
Our Rating
Great entry level pressure washer, light, portable and compact for easy storage. Ideal for people that live in a flat or want something for lighter tasks on a budget.

If you live in a flat, or have limited storage space then the K2 Compact is a great choice.

What is different about the Full Control Model?

In 2015 Karcher started rolling out a new update to its range of pressure washers which are titled under the ‘Full Control’ umbrella. Any model which includes this will include the new LED display trigger gun, this new design is to help guide you to the correct pressure setting for the surface you are trying to clean. It makes it easy to know which pressure setting to be on, you will want to be on max power for cleaning your patio removing dirt and grim that has been there for years, however while cleaning you car you will want to reduce this pressure as your may otherwise damage your car paintwork, so with the new trigger gun you can easily adjust this down to the desired setting.

Karcher Pressure Washer Full Control

As you can see in this image there are 4 LED settings with a little image that show the job it can be set for, such as brick work, your car, or fencing.

What are the differences between the Premium & Compact models?

Depending on which model you are looking at they all have the same spec, for example it you were looking at getting the K5 Pressure washer, there is no difference in terms of performance weather you go for the home, premium or compact, they all have a 2100 watt motor, giving 145 bar pressure, they all come with a 8m hose and have a flow rate of 500 litres per minute. So the internal power and pressure is the same which ever model you go for.

The differences are in how it is housed and how it is from the outside. There premium model has on board storage for attachments as well as a place to store and hold the trigger gun. On the premium model there is also a hose reel on the back for the lengthy 8m high pressure hose. With all this extra weight the design is very robust, it has large wheels to make it easy to move, however it is heaveir and bulkier than the compact for instance.

The compact version is just that, more compact, there is no on board storage or a hose reel built in, it is designed to make the main unit as small as possible while still packing the powerful punch inside. Although the compact is smaller in size you still need to also store the hose and attachments somewhere else. With it being smaller it is also lighter making it easier to move and carry if needed.

Compact, Eco, Home and Premium

K2, K4, K5 and K7; each comes with different packages – compact, eco and premium. K2 is air cooled while K4, K5 and K7 are water cooled. Also the number of accessories that come with each model may differ.

Recently the Eco models have been discounted, although can still be bought online, with the new Full Control range you can choose between the home and premium packages. The spec of the pressure washer remains the same, however the attachments that come with it differ.

All models are robust and easy to use, setting up and for the first time and using it to clean your car. All models are good enough for cleaning down patio furniture, bike or car, however if you plan to use it more regularly then do look for a more powerful model. If you want to use a pressure washer for your patio and driveway then do look t models from the K4, K5 range, as these pack a bigger punch and will make a huge difference to the entry level K2.

Choose the appliances according to the work to be employed in for the best results. Do not fear spending when the premium version is needed.


*Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, and at no additional cost, this site may earn a commission if you buy.Last updated on 2020-09-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


  1. Dan

    Hi there,

    Is there any actual difference between the k5 premium and the k5 compact?

    I bought the k2 for my decking but it takes an age to do the job. My brother bought the k5 premium, which I borrowed and it does the job far quicker. I wouldn’t mind getting the k5 premium but my decking only needs to be cleaned once maybe twice a year so for the difference in cost I’m leaning towards the compact as it has the same output.

    I’ve tried to look for what’s different between the 2 but haven’t really come acroas anything.

    Do you know what are the main differences?



  2. Pressure Washer Reviewer

    Hi Dan,
    In terms of spec there is no difference, they are both have a 2100 watt motor, 145 bar and a 8m hose. The differences is in the design and housing of it all.

    The compact is literally more compact. There is no on board storage for the hose or attachments, it is also lighter and easier to carry.

    Compared to the premium model, there is On Board Storage, a Integrated Hose Reel, a place to hold and store the trigger gun. The Kärcher K5 Premium Full Control Home Pressure Washer also comes with the new LED trigger gun and in the new design with the older model now being discontinued.

  3. Alan Price

    The K4 Premium Ecologic Home Pressure Washer is listed as 130 bar yet the speci states Max Pressure as 130 bar and High Pressure as 110 bar. What does this mean, is the maximum continuous output 130bar ?.

      • Christian matthews

        Hi there I have a marcher k5 full control premium so I bought an extension bar form the Lance but doesn’t fit but when I checked I store the extension bar fitted the spray gun any ideas why this is thank you.

  4. Tom

    Are the attachments compatible across all models. e.g. will a lance from the older models fit into the gun for the full control version?

  5. shah

    Can i know, did k4 series can suck water on the floor? For the water butt i know it can.

  6. Joao Coelho

    Hi, do you know of the internals of the k4 compact are the same as the k4 filo control?

    Many Thanks,

    Joao Coelho

  7. Dave

    Hi there
    Please can you tell me what is a k5 premium
    As sold by b&g
    Is it different to a home one

  8. Sharon Hintze, Walchwil Switzerland

    Dear Reviewer

    I have a K 5.31. Can’t find any manuals for it. Cannot figure out how to get the detergent to flow into the water stream. No button obviously present. The tank is full and the little hose is in good condition.
    Any help would be appreciated.

    Thank you

  9. james worby

    whats the difference between the K4 Premium and K4 Home
    i want a good pressure washer for the home don’t mind spending the money but want a quick and powerful one?

    many thanks


    • Pressure Washer Reviewer

      Hi James, the spec of the K4 is the same, so the same power and pressure, the difference is that the Premium K4 has a Integrated Hose Reel, where as the Home K4 just has On Board Storage. The price difference is minimal but the spec/power is exactly the same.

  10. Darren

    Can anyone give any advise or have any experience on the use of these pressure washers to clear out and wash the drains. Which pressure washer would you recommend or not and why. There is a drain cleaning kit with a special hose, is this effect at the job. Any advise would be much appreciated.

    Many thanks

  11. John Owen


    What is the difference between Karcher K2 Compact Home Pressure Washer – 1200W and the Karcher K2 Full Control Home Pressure Washer-1200W please?

    Thank you ,

    John Owen

    • Pressure Washer Reviewer

      Hi John, the K2 Full Control is the latest model, it is redesigned and has a new trigger lancer on it. The compact model is smaller but has the same spec as the K2 Home pressure washer, it is the design that is different. The compact model is designed to be small so lacks on board storage where as the other models do.

  12. Abbey


    I had a K2.15 1300 which did a good job of cleaning my drive and decking, unfortunately it no longer works. I am thinking of buying a K2 compact 1400 will my attachments connect to this.


  13. Richard Choo

    Can someone explain why the eco models seem to be no longer available has the technology been superseded or did it not work so well?

  14. Anees khan

    HI, Can you tell me about the moter of K2 washer. How many RPM he have.


  15. lee

    hi there i own k4 full controle and i was planing on upgrading to the k7 would i see a diffrence between the two pressure outputs

  16. Abe

    Please can you tell me, what is the difference between the k5 X Range sold by wicks only and the standard K5 sold everywhere else? There doesn’t seem to be any other supplier stocking the k5 X range.

  17. andreas

    hi i have a k4 premium (not the full control)

    i want to use it with a telescopic lance to clean my fasade / house. But one thing i dont understand is how to apply detergent with it. I that possible ? or Is the lance for water only ?


  18. ARAJ

    Can someone tell me the difference between Karcher K5 Premium Full Control Pluss & Karcher K5 Premium Full Control Pluss Flex ?

  19. Jason painter

    Is it possible to add the hose reel to a K4 home,like the premium version ?

  20. Dj

    Hey, i jusy checked with karcher and they said the k5 pump is not aluminium and that it is patented glass fibre

  21. david davies

    I need help I don’t know which pressure washer to buy k5 or k7 or k7 new model ,

  22. Jeremy Morris

    What is the difference between the K7 full control and K7 full control plus please?

  23. Mark foster

    I’ve recently upgraded from a K5 to k7 model pressure washer.

    Can you use the different k5 lances on the k7 model with the pressure and water flow being slightly higher on the k7 or are the lances the same for both models?

    I’m using the traditional hand gun with trigger and not the one with lcd screen.

    Thank you in advance


  24. Philip

    I decided to replace my Karcher 7.80 with a more compact model. I’ve been looking into the K5 compact. It is certainly more compact and should suit the purpose, but I had want to make sure I get one with a metallic pump rather than plastic. I know the 7.80 has a bronze pump. I saw a comment from DJ that the K5 has a fiber glass pump. Is that true?

  25. Dean Rowlands

    Hi there.

    Could you tell me the difference between the K4 full control and the K4 full control premium, please?
    I can’t seem to find any differences.


  26. Barry Marshall

    What is the difference between the K 4.20 and the K 4 . I need a new dirt blaster and I cannot find out if the K 4 will fit !


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