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Karcher K5 Premium review

The Karcher K5 Premium electric pressure washer is compact and powerful enough to tackle your toughest outdoor cleaning jobs, and it won't clean you out at the bank

Karcher K5 Premium
(Image: © Karcher)

Our Verdict

The Karcher K5 Premium is a powerful pressure washer that is suitable for many residential tasks. For its affordable price, it boasts impressively good performance and is one of the quieter washers on the market.

For

  • Powerful for variety of cleaning tasks
  • Value for money
  • Quiet engine when it runs

Against

  • Heavier than most small washers
  • Takes longer to assemble
  • Can’t have its power and PSI adjusted directl

Here's everything you need to know about the Karcher K5 Premium Electric Pressure Washer. We've researched the latest pressure washers, asked the experts, and sifted through thousands of specs, features and user reviews to find the best pressure washers around. 

 If you’re looking for the best budget pressure washer, check out our Greenworks GPW1501 review, or for a pressure washer with professional features, read our RYOBI RY803001 3000-PSI Power Control review

Karcher K5 Premium: What you need to know

Karcher K5 Premium is a small yet powerful pressure washer that has a consistent way of cleaning outdoor surfaces. For its compact size, the strong motor and 2000-PSI output make it incredibly powerful when used efficiently. 

Boasting a 2000-PSI at 1.4 GPM with a 500 max flow rate, its 25ft high-pressure hose ensures a faster-flowing stream of water to tackle different surfaces - from grimy cars and outdoor furniture to driveways.

While there are more expensive models in the range, we chose Karcher K5 Premium for its high performance, efficiency and affordability. 

Karcher has been a reputable, leading brand for high-performance cleaning products since the 1950s. So you can expect plenty of power and punch to clean practically anything.

Karcher K5 Premium: Price

The Karcher K5 Premium would cost you $389 if you buy directly from Karcher. However, you can find the product on sale at the Home Depot for $312, and Amazon often sells it for as little as $270.00. While it may not be as powerful as more expensive Karcher models, the K5 delivers more than adequate cleaning and will rival most bargain gas washers any day. 

Karcher K5 Premium: Features

  • Water-cooled induction motor
  • Comes with two handy cleaning wands
  • Get a replacement unit if anything breaks within the first 2 years
Karcher K5 Premium: Specs

2000 PSI at 1.4 GPM
CU score 2800
25ft high-pressure hose
Water-cooled motor
Quick connect on machine
Vario Power spray wand
Onboard detergent tank
Integrated accessory storage
Weight: 32 pounds
N-COR pump - durable and non-corrosive
2-year warranty

Some of the notable key features of the Karcher K5 Premium include the water-cooled induction motor. Many electric washers are prone to overheating but this circulates water around the motor, cooling the operating temperature. This feature is designed to improve performance and is said to prolong the motor lifespan by up to 5x. The benefits of this motor are that it’s much quieter during performance, which makes a pleasant change! The auto-shutoff action only runs the pump while you're spraying water, so it's not running unnecessary hours of wear and tear on the unit.

It comes with two handy cleaning wands, the Dirt Blaster, to increase pressure for more challenging jobs and Vario Power spray wand, which allows you to directly adjust the pressure to exactly what you require. 

The onboard, removable detergent tank feature makes it easier to apply your soap if required, and the adjustable flow dial controls how much you need to use, preventing wastage for those smaller tasks. It has a built-in, 25ft pressurized hose, making winding and unwinding the hose less of a hassle and avoiding any annoying kinks.

For its small size, it delivers a high performance and is value for money. Another benefit is, under the Rapid Exchange program, if anything breaks within the first two years Karcher will send a replacement unit.

Karcher K5 Premium: Design

  • Compact frame won’t take up a lot of room
  • Easy to move
  • A little top heavy

The Karcher K5 Premium is renowned for its sturdy design and is built to last. Equivalent to the size of a standard upright vacuum, its compact frame won’t take up a lot of room. While it can be heavy to lift for a smaller washer, the large 7.7-inch high impact wheels allow you to transport it over most rough terrain. Do bear in mind that many washers with a top-mounted hose reel can be top-heavy, so take care when reeling and unreeling as it can often topple over. However, the height adjustable handle should ensure greater stability.

Karcher K5 Premium: Performance

  • Performs really well for its size
  • Good reach at 60ft
  • Doesn't overheat 

Don’t be deceived by its size as the Karcher K5 Premium packs a punch in comparison to other smaller models. It has performed particularly well in tough jobs like cleaning old mildew stains from brick, to paving stone and wood deck boards. 

With a total of 60ft, including the cord and hose, you certainly have a good reach for increased range and cleaning flexibility. The convenience of having two spray wands rather than different hose tips is a bonus for controlling the amount of pressure you need. 

Most electric pressure washers are prone to overheating after hours of continuous use. However, the Karcher K5 Premium does not – even after six hours of various, domestic cleaning tasks. 

In comparison to the noisier washers, the water-cooled feature means that you hardly hear a sound when operating. The only sound you’ll hear is from the water hitting the surface of whatever you’re spraying. So it’s a win-win for yourself and your neighbours!

Karcher K5 Premium: User Reviews

  • Favorable reviews
  • Good balance of cleaning power and value
  • Proprietary parts can be quite expensive

The Home Depot scores the Karcher K5 Premium 4.7 out of 5, from over 1,000 reviews; while at Amazon, users have rated it 3.4 out of 5. The majority of users report that it’s a good overall balance of cost and cleaning power. Adequate for most residential cleaning jobs, many have said it cleans well due to the easily adjustable pressure regulator on the spray wand. Others have been surprised at how quietly the motor runs while operating. 

Drawbacks mentioned have included proprietary parts being quite expensive or low in stock. Very few items on this machine are universal, so you would need to contact the manufacturer or visit an authorized service center to supply replacement parts. But based on the quality, durability and features, it is unlikely to break down when used appropriately. 

Should you buy Karcher K5 Premium electric pressure washer?

If you’re looking for a compact yet powerful pressure washer that is reasonably priced, this is the choice for you. The Karcher K5 Premium has a proven track record in handling a variety of light-to-medium residential cleaning and has performed particularly well for tough outdoor jobs like paving stone and decking. We like that it is a single unit that does not require a lot of extra accessory purchases.

Despite its heavy weight, it’s durable and easily portable on wheels around the home. More importantly, it’s one of the quieter electric pressure washers on the market, making it ideal for suburban areas and ensuring you won’t disturb your neighbours! Overall, its high performance and value for money makes it a winner for us.