When you’ve decided that it is time to invest in a new pressure washer, you’ll first want to select a reliable brand. Karcher and Bosch tend to be two of the leading brands in the industry (along with Nilfisk). They both offer rugged pressure washers that will withstand most cleaning tasks.
However, there are many differences between Karcher and Bosch pressure washers. Below, you’ll learn more about these differences so you can find the right pressure washer for you.
When it comes to motor power, generally this increases with how much you spend any move up the model range (it will also give you more pressure and water flow). Karcher and Bosch motor power outputs are generally the same for each comparable model, although Bosch tries to get ahead by providing an extra 0.1kW, not that you’ll notice this.
The maximum powered Bosch is the AdvancedAquatak 160 with a 2.6kW motor and 160 bar pressure along with 570 litres/hour water flow. Karcher, most powerful model is the K7 at 2.8kw.
One of the biggest differences associated with Karcher and Bosch pressure washers is the LCD display on the trigger gun. The high-end Karcher K5 & K7 Premium Full Control Plus Home (a simpler version is also available on the Karcher K4 Full Control) have this feature, Bosch machines do not.
The LCD display might seem like a minor perk, but it can make a huge difference. The display ensures that you’ve got the right amount of power and detergent at all times. It really removes the guesswork from the equation.
Another difference is the weight. If you’re looking for a large and in charge pressure washer, you’ll definitely want to go with Karcher. If you prefer something that is lightweight, you’ll be better off with a Bosch pressure washer. Pretty much every Bosch pressure washer is going to weigh less than 9 kg. With Karcher, the weights are almost always above that limit (unless you go for the K2 models).
The good news is that both companies make pressure washers with wheels (apart from the Karcher K2 Compact and Bosch EasyAquatak range). Therefore, mobility won’t be an issue either way.
Having a longer hose is undoubtedly very beneficial for being able to leave the pressure washer in one place while cleaning. Karcher hose lengths range from 4m (most K2 models) to 10m (K7 only), the mid-range K4 models have a 6m hose. Excluding the compact EasyAquatak range, which have a short hose length of 3m, Bosch hoses run from 5m to 8m.
Most Bosch models have a 1m longer hose than there Karcher equivalents but you can only get a 10m hose on a Karcher (the very high-end K7).
Warranty is undoubtedly going to be a big selling point for most consumers. You just never know what is going to happen in the future. This is why it is vital to protect yourself with a lengthy warranty. Bosch generally offers 2-year warranties on their pressure washers. Karcher offers a far more generous warranty of 5 years. Karcher will definitely protect the consumer for a longer period of time.
To directly compare two Karcher and Bosch models we have looked at the current best selling models from each brand. These are:
Last update on 2020-11-24 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
These competing models are usually available for a similar price, so what, if any, are the main differences? Both models have a 1.8kW motor but the Bosch has a slightly higher maximum pressure at 135 bar (vs. 130 bar on the Karcher). Looking at the maximum flow rate, the Karcher K4 is just ahead at 420 litres per hour, compared to 410 on the Bosch. In the real world though, there is very little difference in it between the two models.
A nice touch with the Bosch is that it comes ready assembled, whereas you have to connect some of the Karcher parts together yourself before you can get started (nothing too technical though). Both machines have wheels and height adjustable handles but the Karcher does appear bulkier. In fact, it is, weighing 11.4kg compared to the Bosch’s 7.9kg.
The Bosch also has a longer hose at 8 metres, the K4’s is 6 metre and you would have to step up to the more expensive K5 to get an 8m hose in the Karcher range. If you have larger areas to cover then the Bosch might be more suitable.
The two models both have onboard detergent systems. The Karcher is a “Plug and Clean” system that uses Karcher specific detergent bottles that are simply plugged into the pressure washer. The Bosch uses a more simple detergent tank that you top up with a solution of your choice. With this method, you are not tied to buying specific detergents but the Karcher system is very useful if you plan on using detergents frequently and for different applications (such as car washing and patio cleaning) as its easier to switch between the detergents.
The Karcher K4 has a ‘Full Control” trigger spray but this only shows you what you have adjusted the lance setting to (you probably know as you have just done it). The Bosch has a simpler “3-in-1” trigger that adjusts between fan, rotary and pencil spray. Both pressure washers pretty much do the same thing but we think the lance set-up on the Karcher is a neater solution.
As both pressure washers offer similar performance here is how we would decide between the two models: