Alfred Karcher is an inventor from Germany who in 1935 founded the Karcher company originally making submersible heaters for the metal industry.That’s a very long time so you can imagine they have been under the microscope of many pressure washer reviews. Eventually he took his expertise and started building pressure washers and continued to grow the business from their headquarters in Stuttgart.
Nowadays Karcher power washers are one of, if not the most popular brand of Pressure Washers today selling in over 130 countries worldwide with an estimated 50 million sold worldwide. In some countries Karcher is even a synonym for using high pressure water to clean items like pavements and cars.
They have even been trusted to preform cleaning work on Mt Rushmore and other well known National Monuments around the world. There isn’t many other Brands that can say that.
So lets get down to business.
What do you need to know about this Karcher ?
2,800 Cleaning Power Units , that’s how much dirt busting power is created from the K5.540. The machine itself has 2,000 P.S.I which is certainly on the upper end of P.S.I for a pressure washer but it only has 1.4 Gallons per minute of a flow rate.Click here to better understand why cleaning power units is important.
I think this is a little low for a machine that costs around $269 at amazon specially when you consider the AR 383 dishes out 2,850 cleaning power units and costs just under $155.
Is there something special that has caused Karcher to price their machine over $100 more than its competitor ? Is this the top of the line Pressure Washer people have been looking for ?
Premium Pressure Washer
This is exactly what the K5.540 is, let me explain.
Everybody is familiar with those cheap pressure washers that cost $50 from the local department store that last 10 hours before they turn into scrap and remind you never to buy a non-branded machine ever again.
Well Karcher brought out the X-Series in an attempt to cure all those bad memories you have of that one season wonder.
Im fairly sure if you look in the dictionary under “Durability” you’re going to find a picture of this K5.540. To put it simply, it’s built to last.
Like I said in this page about electric pressure washerlink reviews the two most important factors are the pump and the motor.
If the pump is the heart of an electric pressure washer then the motor is the brain. On this X-Series you have not only a top quality induction motor but it is also water cooled.
Karcher say this not only reduces the heat of the motor allowing it to be used for longer periods without fear of overheating but it can extend the life of the machine to 5 times more than its previous motors. I have a feeling in 10 years all pressure washers will have this feature.
Having said all that I still am a little skeptical as to how they can make that claim.It seems a little early to dismiss it though since I have not used it all that much.
To put it simply this motor is meant to last.
Probably the most note worthy feature about the pump is its ability to siphon water from a standing water source like a rain collector ( provided you have a filter installed ). This really shows how strong the pump is since normally pumps that are siphon capable are found on expensive gas pressure washers.
Something I did not like so much about the pump though was that its still made of plastic.At this price range I think you should be getting an Aluminium pump at least. My idea is that Karcher preferred to put a top quality plastic pump into it instead of a cheap aluminium pump.
Combining the pump with this motor gives you a very quiet set up,Quite a few people have been surprised how quiet it is really backing up Karchers view on the water cooled motor.
One reviewer on Amazon even said after switching from a gas pressure washer to the X- Series he barely notice any drop in cleaning ability.
Its probably this that got it rated one of the top rated pressure washers in 2012 and I can see it still being at the top when 2013 is finished.
What other cool feature does it have ?
The best Pressure washer Accessory on it has got to the reel.On this is the 25 foot hose.
Normally ,I personally feel the hose reels are a bit of a gimmick but on this one it seems to work a lot better.Most of the time the hose is made from a cheap plastic so it’s inclined to coil up making it hard to unwind the reel but the hose on this is of a much higher quality.
As you can see from the video it quite easy to unwind and can be used while not fully removed from the reel….. again this is a good sign of quality since most other brands need to be fully off the reel before using.
****** One of the biggest and most common complaints the K5.540 gets is regarding the pressure washer tipping over when pulling on the house.Not only can this damage the housing but for most people it was snapping off the plastic connector that links up the garden hose to the inlet .
Something I never understand is why they don’t just give brass connectors instead.Surely Karcher of all companies know how annoying the cheap plastic connectors are.On top of that, I’m fairly sure they could buy them in massive bulk and it would cost them just a few cents to put it in the box and keep a lot of their customers happy.
If you need a replacement hose connector the one to order is via Home Depot’s website part #100617061 – Watts 3/4 in. Brass FHT x FPT Hose Adapter.
Anyways ,back on topic. To avoid the tipping over problem it is pretty simple…… Don’t pull on it… after all,there is a reason the reel has a hand crank.
How about the High Pressure Wands
Included is 2 different wands. The first one is the Vario Power Spray of VPS ,this has the ability to adjust the water pressure at the wand reducing the chance of causing any damage to what your cleaning since you can start on low and move up to max if you need. Most wands have this ability and I think they are just using some fancy words to make a normal product sound interesting.This one though feels of a higher quality even if it still is plastic.
But,they do also give you “DirtBlaster” spray wand.What this does is spray the water in a rotating cone shape instead of a plain old straight line.Karcher claim in their pressure washer review that its gives 50% more pressure .However ,im not exactly sure what it is 50% more than. All in all though im happy with the results from this wand since it does do a nice job on removing stains.
Integrated Detergent Holder
A great touch here is you can just fill up the bottle located on the back of the machine with the detergent and then on the front of the machine is a dial to adjust the amount of it that comes outs from the wand.The benefit of this is you are not wasting any and you can easily switch the detergent off an go back to using the regular wand to remove dirt and grime.
Karcher have a whole range of soaps for different cleaning jobs from cars to deck cleaning all the way to de-greasing formulas.Probably the most popular soap is the All-Purpose .The little sachets end up making 3 gallons of full strength formula and its biodegradable too.
The Karcher Accessories Commuinity.
The good thing about buying from this brand is you have such a huge amount of accessories to choose from.You can easily end up paying hundreds of dollars to cover any possible dirty job.
One of the most popular is the T 200 Surface Cleaner seen here in the video.These really help to speed things up and stop annoying splash back.
How about the negatives.
Well you’re right, Karcher likes to talk a lot about their “Rapid Exchange” service for when your machine breaks down. However quite a few people have said it is anything but rapid.They were basically told to take a ticket and wait their turn.Infact its very hard to find one good comment about this online.
I will say though as always people are more inclined to leave a bad comment than a positive one.So ,there could be positive comments out there but I sure didn’t find them.
Amazon are the ones who came out much better for their returns policy.Many reviewers on Amazon have said that when they made them aware of their problem a new unit was sent out and the delivery people picked up the broken one there and then.Totally bypassing any wasted time sending parcels back and forth.
Other places you can get this Pressure washer is Walmart and Home Depot.
Do I reccommend this Electric Pressure Washer ?
Absolutely,its a Rolls Royce of pressure washers.Any faults that I can find on it are trivial and if you use your head then you won’t have any problems with it.
Electric Pressure washers are just so easy to use and this one is no different.
Other Pressure Washers to consider are these :
The AR 383 is just about the same level of cleaning power units and is the number one selling Pressure Washer on Amazon at the moment not to mention around $100 cheaper.Click Here for my Review. But ,you don’t get the durability like you get with the X-Series.
Then there is the Karcher X-Series K3.540, This machine is again around the same cleaning power units as the K5.540 but does not come with a hose reel.If you think you are going to be one of those people that is going to knock it over or you don’t see yourself using the reel that much then save your money and get this one. You can click here for the latest Price on Amazon .
Thanks for Reading and if you want to ask me anything or want to add your own experience about Karcher Pressure washer Reviews then leave a comment below