UPDATE: This model is no longer in Karcher’s current range. The closest replacement is the K4 Premium Full Control Home.
We like: Powerful motor. “Plug and Clean” detergent system. Water and energy saving function
Not so good: Not much not to like! This is quite an expensive bit of kit plus it’s a bulky unit so you’ll need space to store
Verdict: A high performing machine with lots of neat and useful features. A great buy if you are regularly cleaning or have tougher cleaning tasks.
The K4 range of pressure washers from Karcher are very much “mid range” models that are straddled by the budget K2 range and the high end K5/K7 models. The K4 range starts with the K4 Compact with a RRP of £190 but one of Karcher’s best selling models is the Karcher K4 Premium Ecologic pressure washer with an RRP of £316 (expect to pay more like £230 however).
So is the K4 Premium Eco Home worth the extra over and above the already excellent budget-priced Karcher K2 Compact pressure washer we recently reviewed? One of the key differences between the K2 and K4 models is the motor used inside the pressure washer. The K4 models have a powerful 1800w motor which is 29% more powerful than the K2’s 1400w unit. Not only is the Karcher K4 Home motor more powerful but it is also water cooled (most budget motors are air cooled). Over time, this will improve the reliability of the motor so is a useful feature if you intend to use this pressure washer regularly and for extended periods of time. The K4’s motor also has a lightweight aluminium pump head which helps keep the overall weight of the unit lower.
The K4 Premium Eco Home’s motor delivers an impressive 130bar of water pressure (which is about 18% greater than the K2) and that extra power will come in handy when dealing with tougher cleaning duties. While budget models will handle everyday cleaning duties well, high pressure models like the K4 will make stubborn dirt removal a much easier task. Due to its more powerful motor the K4 has a maximum water flow rate of 420 litres per hour (18% more than the K2 models) which results or more water being supplied to the hose and attachments so cleaning larger surface areas will again be easier with this K4 model.
Beside the motor, this Karcher K4 Premium Home pressure washer model also has some nice features compared to more budget models. The first is an “Eco switch” (which gives this model its “eco” Karcher K4 ecologic name) which can cut water and energy consumption by 20% when used. This does have a marginal impact on washing performance but is ideal for lighter cleaning duties where the K4’s full power is not required.
The second feature is the detergent addition system. The K4 Premium Eco Home has Karcher’s “Plug and Clean” system so bottles of detergent can be added directly to the washer rather than through a suction tube as on the K2 range. There is range of detergent bottles for applications such as stone cleaning or car washing so these can then be easily swapped depending on cleaning task. The K4 Premium Eco Home also has a detergent addition dial so the amount of detergent you require can be regulated in-use which is great for different cleaning applications or where extra detergent is required to clean a particular area.
As with most Karcher “Home” pressure washer models, the K4 Premium Eco Home comes with a “Vario” lance that allows you to switch between low and high water pressure, a “Dirtblaster” lance that features a rotating head for extra cleaning power and a patio cleaner attachment head that can be used on floors and vertical surfaces such as walls and garage doors. The K4 models come with a 6 metre long hose which means less moving of the pressure washer in use is required (the K2 models have a 4 meter hose). The hose and all attachment are neatly stored on the pressure washer body.
For more product info Karcher K4 pressure washers: Karcher website
Looking for a different pressure washer? Read our pressure washer buying guide here.