8 September 2016

REVIEW: Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer

Under pressure.

After an entire summer of the kids running amok, Test Pit Towers is something of a shambles. To blast away all the dirt and mess, especially in the garden, we needed something with power, versatility, and - above all – gadgets and accessories. Thankfully our mates at Kärcher suggested we try one of their solutions to get the home clean and tidy for the autumn. We test the Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer.

This all-in-one package features pretty much every add-on you could ever possibly need for cleaning around your home. The complete unit is compact, is set on wheels, has clips and slots for most of the included accessories, and features a telescopic handle that can be pulled out of the top side. Moving it around is great, and there is never a tangled wire issue as both hosepipe and electrical cable have a home.

As with all pressure washers, the emphasis is very much on your patio and decking, but it can also be used to hose down your car as well. That's something we weren't initially bothered about, as nothing is more fun than whacking on a pressure washer at full power and drenching your patio, right?

Well, it isn't that Kärcher have taken the fun out of power-hosing, it's just that they've made it a lot simpler, and quieter too. We were at first intrigued by the the T350 attachment head, a fairly chunky bit of kit that doesn't have a place to slot onto the pressure washer itself (unlike all the nozzle heads and wires). It clips onto the end of the lance and distributes the flowing water through multiple smaller nozzles, letting you cover more area of a patio or deck must faster. Using it meant that our relatively small patio was clean within minutes, quite unlike the half an hour it has taken with other pressure washers in the past.

The T350 can also be used vertically to clean walls and fences, as it features two nicely gripable handles to be lifted up and pressed onto the desired surface. It isn't too heavy in itself, but hoisting it up on the end of the lance would probably be too much, so it's a nice little design quirk from Kärcher there.

With the wider T350 head off, you have a choice of two other nozzles; the Vario Power and the Dirt Blaster (which is also the name out of next band). Both can be adjusted and controlled by the trigger gun grip, where you'll find LED indicators showing what level of pressure and water focus you have selected. Twist the Vario Power spray lance, and the pressure will alter, meaning you can change the setting without stopping and without fiddling with tricky control buttons.

Also included was a bottle of Plug and Clean Kärcher detergent. We must admit to never having bothered with detergent in pressure washers before, but it makes a huge difference, at least with the Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer. The bottle conveniently drops into the top slot of the washer, and drip feeds the hose, regulating itself. With it added to the spray, the quality of the clean was amazing, and Kärcher assure us that the surfaces will stay that way for longer. Makes sense. Once the included bottle is done, just twist to unlock it and grab yourself another. From what we can tell, a few days after the wash of the patio, it really is worth it.

As we said, it was quite a subtle job all round, and Kärcher seem to have built something that won't be annoying your neighbours as you use it. The motor is also water-cooled, which reduces heat wear over time, so hopefully this thing will be keeping your garden clean for many years to come.

The Kärcher K4 Full Control Home Pressure Washer is all about speed and convenience. Set up literally takes a couple of minutes because everything you need to get blasting is right there on the unit itself. And jobs that used to take you hours will now be slashed, especially when using the T350 head on larger areas. It's powerful, reliable, and cleverly assembled. Big win here, so check it out.


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