Karcher K5

Last updated date: February 11, 2019

DWYM Score
7.5

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We looked at the top 1 Electric Pressure Washers and dug through the reviews from 7 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Good Housekeeping Co, New York Times Wirecutter, The Spruce and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Electric Pressure Washer you should buy.

Overall Take

The Karcher K5 somewhat tricky to put together initially, it received high marks for versatility and ease of use. This model works for both light- and heavy-duty jobs, and you can easily switch between the two modes without issue. In our analysis of 45 expert reviews, the Karcher Karcher K5 placed 4th when we looked at the top 6 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Electric Pressure Washer for a detailed review of all the top electric pressure washers.

Expert Summarized Score
7.7
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
7.3
388 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
Quickly and easily blasts away dirt and grime. Two wands for heavy-duty and lighter jobs. Removable on-board detergent tank.
- BestReviews
Changing pressure settings is as easy as switching between the two wands. One produces a fan shaped water flow with reduced pressure, the other provides a cone of high pressure water jet
- Pressure Washer Critics
The patio cleaning attachment makes the workload easier and prevents you from getting wet.
- Good Housekeeping Co
Although we found a lot to like about it—including an induction motor—the convenience features weren’t as comprehensive as the Ryobi RY142300’s.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Though those stats are a slight step down from the Sun Joe, this model includes a patented “DirtBlaster” wand to get the toughest jobs done a lot more quickly.
- The Spruce
We really loved the technology that is behind the installed motor on this particular pressure washer. Karcher has designed a unit that offers a water cooled motor. It’s a patented system and it acts a lot like anti-freeze for your pressure washer.
- Pressure Cleaned
What experts didn't like
Assembly manual could be more straightforward.
- BestReviews
The only place where I feel the Karcher K5.540 falls flat on its face (quite literally) is in terms of durability. It is the upright design of the pressure washer which is to blame. On uneven surfaces, it loses balance and topples over to the front.
- Pressure Washer Critics
The Karcher K5 can be quite complicated to put together.
- Good Housekeeping Co
We didn’t think the added cost (typically about $30) made it a good value, given the closeness in performance.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Experts give it high marks for low noise and ease of use, but as with many electric power washers, they say it lacks the power to tackle truly tough jobs.
- The Spruce
The one area of concern that we can see with this pressure washer is the integration of some plastic parts in the water flow mechanisms.
- Pressure Cleaned

From The Manufacturer

Designed for high end performance with 2000 PSI and a 1.4 GPM water flow rate, Kärcher’s K5 Premium is perfect for users who demand the ultimate level of home cleaning. With up to 40 times the pressure of a typical garden hose, the K5 Premium is equipped to tackle your toughest cleaning jobs around the home. With features such as an on-board hose reel, the high-pressure Dirtblaster spray wand, and on-board detergent tank, the K5 Premium will live up to the Kärcher promise: Cleaner. Quicker.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Sun Joe SPX3000
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
2. AR Blue Clean
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 7
3. Ryobi RY14122
Overall Score: 7.6
Expert Reviews: 5
4. Karcher K5
Overall Score: 7.5
Expert Reviews: 7
5. Worx Hydroshot
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 4
6. Greenworks GPW
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 6

An Overview On Electric Pressure Washers

If you’re dealing with caked-on dirt, years of grime or even tough stains, an electric pressure washer is likely your best bet for deep cleaning the outside of your home. Whether you need to power wash your backyard fence or make the sidewalk look like new again, an electric pressure washer can likely help you get the job done quickly and easily.

A pressure washer produces a high-powered stream of water to help you strip away dirt and other substances from a surface. The pressure washer’s stream is much more powerful than that of your average garden hose and is usually more efficient than trying to scrub away dirt by hand. Plus, who wants to spend their precious free time huffing and puffing while cleaning?

An electric pressure washer plugs into a power outlet like any other electric appliance. Generally speaking, electric pressure washers are quieter, smaller and lighter than gas pressure washers. They’re typically best for small projects and they require less forethought than gas models — all you have to do is plug the pressure washer in, rather than running to the gas station to fill up on gas.

You can purchase electric pressure washers with varying levels of power, depending on the types of jobs you think you’ll be doing most often. They range from being able to tackle heavy-duty, commercial-grade jobs to helping you clean the summer’s dirt and dust off your patio furniture. The Sun Joe SPX3000, for example, can tackle light, medium and heavy-duty cleaning projects.

DYWM Fun Fact

You’ve probably heard of using your electric pressure washer on your siding or driveway, but have you considered using it to clean out your exterior (or interior) garbage cans? Think about it: all the gross stuff that leaks out of the garbage bags and collects at the bottom. Use your electric pressure washer to get rid of the funky smell and start fresh. This is a great project for spring cleaning, when the weather is nice enough to gather up all the trash cans in your home, take them outside and give them a deep clean. Voila! No more stinky garbage cans.

The Electric Pressure Washer Buying Guide

  • One of the most important metrics to consider before purchasing an electric pressure washer is “PSI,” which stands for pounds per square inch. This metric is essentially a measure of how much power your electric pressure washer produces.
  • The PSI generally ranges from 1300 to 3000, depending on the power you need to tackle the task at hand. Some pressure washers are better for small jobs around the house, while others are designed for more difficult jobs in a commercial setting.
  • A light-duty PSI of up to 1900 is good for washing outdoor patio furniture, vehicles and other light jobs. The Ryobi RY14122, for example, has a PSI of 1700. A medium-duty PSI ranges from 2000 to 2800 and is generally good for patios, fences and decks. The Sun Joe SPX3000 generates a PSI of 2030. A heavy-duty PSI is typically in the neighborhood of 2800 and beyond and is good for prepping surfaces for paint and removing tough stains.
  • In addition to its power, you’ll also want to consider the volume of water produced by an electric pressure washer. While the power tells you how much force the electric pressure washer will use when stripping away dirt, the volume of water tells you about the device’s ability to wash that dirt away. The volume of water is labeled in gallons per minute, or “GPM.” The Worx Hydroshot, for example, can deliver 0.53 gallons per minute, while the Sun Joe SPX3000 delivers 1.76 gallons per minute.
  • Do you need accessories with your pressure washer? Some power washers come with useful add-ons, like the AR Blue Clean, which will arrive with two different washing wands, a 20-foot hose, a 14-ounce detergent bottle and two “quick change wands” with variable nozzles. The Ryobi 14122 model comes with an on-board detergent tank in case you want to use soap, as well as a 25-foot hose and three nozzles.
  • To ensure that your electric pressure washer has a long life, you’ll want to perform regular maintenance and cleaning procedures as outlined in the user manual.
  • If you’ve never used an electric pressure washer before, you may consider testing it on a hidden surface until you get the hang of using it.
  • Another factor you may want to consider before purchasing an electric pressure washer is how environmentally friendly it is. The AR Blue Clean, for instance, uses 80 percent less water and 40 percent more power than the average garden hose.