Karcher K 3 Power Control review

The Karcher K 3 Power Control is a neat, lightweight pressure washer that’s designed to tackle dirt on a variety of surfaces. We put it to the test.

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer
(Image: © Rachel Tompkins.)

Top Ten Reviews Verdict

The Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer is a well-designed product that’s easy to use and extremely effective for removing all levels of dirt, from low-level dirt such as when washing the car, to staining, moss and weathering which has accumulated on patio, paved and decked garden areas.


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    Height adjustable

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    Easy to assemble

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    Wheels provide portability

  • +

    Lightweight trigger gun

  • +

    Excellent performance


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    Requires a hose with suitable attachment

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The Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer is quick and easy to assemble and start using, and requires just one person to do so.

It includes two spray lance attachments which can be switched depending on the cleaning task and pressure level required. For low-level dirt, for example when washing the car, I used the Vario Power Control spray lance, whereas on more stubborn dirt such as patios the dirt grinder lance can be switched in to enable maximum pressure level. 

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Key specs

Type: Electric corded
Cord length: 
Approx 190 inches
Hose length:
Detergent tank: 
Yes (detergent not provided)
 L 11.6", W 11", H 26.7"
11.9 lbs
Area performance:
Flow rate:
Dirt blaster =100% power and a Vario power jet
2 years

Featuring an easy-to-see display of pressure levels on the trigger gun, large easy-to-use on/off switch, and a high-pressure gun lock which locks the lever of the high-pressure gun to prevent it starting by accident, the washer is safe and easy to use.

The hose is an ample 7m (275.6inch) long and the pressure washer also includes a pre-installed water filter, a telescopic handle and wheels for easy moveability.

A hose reel and easy click storage for the attachments are a great design feature for easy storage, and the fact it’s height adjustable meant that it fitted in my kitchen cupboards or under the worktop for easy storage between uses, as well as in the boot of the car.

In order to review and test the Karcher K 3 Power Control High Pressure Washer I unboxed it, assembled it, and then put it to work on a variety of surfaces and dirt levels, from a dusty car, to a muddy bike, to a garden patio area that had turned black and had grown moss after years of weathering.

I observed its aesthetics, how easy and enjoyable it was to use, how effective it worked, and how practical it was for storage when it wasn’t in use. I then asked the experts for their thoughts too, so read on to find out what came out of the testing.

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Design

Made in the characteristic and easily-identifiable Karcher yellow and black colours, this product looks good. It boasts a range of handy design-features such as a retractable handle for easy storage, a hose reel to keep the hose tidy, and easy click storage. 

I found it lightweight to carry, and observed that it looks neat and not at all cumbersome. Unlike some other pressure washers, I found that this trigger gun is light which means that you can use it for long periods of time comfortably without experiencing fatigue in the hand or arm. 

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Features

The features on this model really need to be celebrated. I found the trigger gun comfortable to hold and easy to activate, and the display on the gun meant that I could always see exactly what pressure level I was using, as well as the detergent mode if you’re opting to use detergent. It’s worth noting that detergent is an optional extra because it doesn’t come with it as standard, but the washer works perfectly well without it.

The pressure washer is app supported which means I could download the app to have access to information about the device as well as the Karcher service portal. However, you don’t need this to use it so don’t worry if you’re purchasing it for someone who doesn’t have a smart phone.

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

The Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer features a quick connect hose point, however you need to ensure that your hose has already got one of the corresponding quick-connect nozzles on it in order to connect effectively. I already had one on my hose and most of my friends said they did too so it shouldn’t be a problem.

There’s a pre-installed water filter and 7m hose (275.6 inches) which I found a good length to reach around most large patio area and cars.

The telescopic handle and wheels means that it’s incredibly easy to manoeuvre, whatever your height. And because the handle is telescopic, it’s ideal to collapse down and store in small spaces, such as cupboards or under worktops, or when transporting it in the boot of a car.

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

It gives a guide of an area efficiency of Ca.25m²/h, in layperson’s terms it cleaned the most tarnished patio slabs quickly and effectively. In fact it was so satisfying to watch the transformation that the whole family were arguing over whose go was next!

The pressure is 20-120 bar max and the water flow rate: 380L/h max. It boasts a power rating of 1600W which feels more than powerful enough for all the typical domestic jobs I needed to tackle.

There are some optional extras which aren’t included such as a washing brush, foam nozzle, and detergent, but you don’t need these to use the pressure washer and it attacks even the most stubborn dirt extremely effective without them.

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Setup and assembly

This pressure washer was incredibly easy to unbox and assemble, taking less than ten minutes and easy enough for one person to do on their own. The assembly instructions were both pictorial and textual and were clear and concise. The handles and wheels simply clicked into place easily. The packaging itself was minimal with just the box itself and  very small amount of cardboard support insight, meaning that it was all easily recyclable.  

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Performance

I tested the Kärcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer on a variety of surfaces and dirt-levels and was extremely impressed with its usability and results. In fact, I found that it performed incredibly well. I used the vario power jet attachment on lighter areas of dirt such as the car and it worked well and was delicate enough not to damage the paintwork. 

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

The Power Control spray lance allowed for higher pressure which was extremely effective on the dirtiest, stained patio slabs. These were satisfyingly transformed from dark to light in seconds, removing the dangerous slippery layer they had previously accumulated, as well as blasting off moss that was growing in between the slabs. Within a matter of minutes each patio slab was completely revitalised and it gave the whole area a whole new lease of life. It also blasted dried mud from bike wheels and dried bird muck from windows with ease.

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

Noise wise, the pressure washer didn’t feel like it was any noisier than my vacuum. According to the manual the sound pressure level is 74 dB and the sound power level is 90 dB.

I downloaded a sound monitor app in our phone which registered the sound as somewhere in between the two, however the main takeaway was that it didn’t feel too noisy when I was using it and I could still talk to someone whilst it was in use.

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Care and maintenance

One of the fantastic design elements of this pressure washer is the height adjustable handle which makes it really easy to store in small spaces. According to the user manual, it should be stored on a level surface and parts such as the spray lance should be disconnected from the gun and the hose. This is easy to do and although the pressure washer got very dirty during use because of the fact that it was sitting on the floor, it was quick and east to wipe down with a cloth afterwards. 

Although the product is guaranteed for 24 months this only applies when the product has been bought in the UK and registered online, so it’s vital that you register it. Also, as is usually standard the warranty doesn’t cover defects caused by normal wear and tear, deliberate damage and/or misuse, accidental damage, or failure to use the product in accordance with the instructions, or any alterations or repairs that you do yourself. It’s also dependant on you have a proof of purchase – so make sure you keep your receipt. 

Image shows the Karcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Rachel Tompkins.)

Karcher K 3 Power Control: Price and availability

  • $247 / £139

The Kärcher K 3 Power Control pressure washer costs $247/£139 on Amazon. It’s also stocked at a range of other retailers including B&Q, Screwfix and Curry’s. 

Whilst there are a range of cheaper and more expensive options on the market, this sits in the mid-range alongside a few other similar price-pointed brands. I thought that this was well worth the money for domestic use and did everything it promised. 

Karcher K 3 Power Control: User reviews

The product currently has a 4.6 star rating out of 1,617 ratings on Amazon

The majority of the reviewers shared my positivity with regard to the product, with one customers saying "Got it for husband birthday he loves it good price delivered really fast easy to use". 

Another user commented that "This has power enough to do the odd cleaning jobs at home, but I would recommend something more expensive with more pressure if you are a professional". 

I would agree that it really does have the power to do everything you need at home and in the garden, perhaps a ‘professional’ would want something bigger or more heavy-duty but that’s open to debate!

One reviewer pointed out the fact that you need a separate hose, something which is of course true, however, something which is a given for most people when using a pressure washer such as this one.

Should you buy the Karcher K 3 Power Control?

My verdict is that this product is money well spent. If you want an affordable and effective pressure washer for domestic use, I couldn’t fault this one. Because it’s free-standing with wheels, it’s easy to maneuver and the trigger gun isn’t heavy so it’s a great choice for people of all strengths/abilities too. I will definitely be recommending this to my friends. 

How does it compare to competitors?

The Karcher K 3 Power Control is a much more cost-effective alternative to the more expensive Karcher K5 model. It’s also much more lightweight, and despite having a slightly shorter hose I don’t think this is a significant enough issue to put me off buying it.

Similarly, whereas The Simpson PowerShot PS4240 gas pressure washer is an extremely powerful commercial washer designed for heavy-duty cleaning tasks, the Karcher K 3 is perfect for all domestic tasks and at a much more affordable price. 

While the Greenworks GPW1501 is cheaper, the reviews suggest it doesn’t have the cleaning power on patios and flooring that the Karcher has.