Unboxing & Impressions: KARCHER HD 5/15 C

This arrived today

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I know this is one of the ‘compact class’ washers from Karcher (a relative baby of the professional lineup), but the HD 5/15 C is an absolute beast relative to the K5.700 it replaces. Of course I couldn’t wait to get cracking and gave the M5 a quick wash¬†

Most people know what a pressure washer does and the benefits in time and water savings that you get from using one. 

The real question is what you get for a price several times greater than that of your average pressure washer? Looking at pictures, it is difficult to judge in terms of the quality of the components or absolute heft of the machine relative to the consumer grade unit.

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First up: The nozzle. There are a variety of nozzles that you can buy. It ships with a nozzle that can be set as a dirt blaster, to mix detergent (there is a built in pickup on the unit that you drop into a bucket similar to smaller units) and the one I will make most use of: Wide angle, high pressure to wash cars. I thought about buying a ‘fixed’ jet, but this one works fine for me. I doubt I will need anything extra other than a foam cannon (on order)… however, there are things like underbody lances that I am going to explore over time.

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Everything from the hose to the power cable is of a far, FAR higher grade than what you will find on the consumer units. The connectors are of very high quality and are all brass. Accessories on the consumer units are large and plug into the gun. With this unit, they all screw in.

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The gun itself, though bigger, is a  LOT better to use and has an anti-recoil system that actually requires less effort. You pull the trigger to unlock the actual control which is at the back of the gun. it can be locked in place with a switch at the top. The K-series gun is a bit dirty – just grabbed it for these pics for comparison! Unlike the consumer unit, there is no “force” or pressure control on the gun. YOU are the control in terms of how close you hold it to the surface and your choice of water angle.

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You find that there is marketing on the consumer units claiming “up to” a certain pressure level. Despite having had K4 and K5 (not exactly low end units), this is the first truly Pro-grade washer I’ve had. It almost makes the consumer unit’s claim seem like the “PMPO” claim on a piece of audio equipment relative to “RMS” which many of us may be familiar with. I can definitely see this improving my wash process for the 4 cars. The noise level from the motor is actually lower than the K5 BUT the noise from the water is much greater.

Does it make sense to buy a unit that will save you 15 minutes per car at over R10K? Probably not. However, I have 4 cars and many tasks where this will work well for me. If I can save an hour to an hour and a half in a weekend I can easily justify it (that’s what I tell myself anyway!) 

I was considering a more ‘fixed’ unit, but I am glad I went this route. It is around double the weight of the consumer unit, despite being ‘compact class’

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Hopefully the rest of the year will be kind to me and I can actually move into my new house with a proper private detailing studio (lighting and space really, I have all the tools and product) and perhaps the HDS 5/15 which has a hot water system. However with the way the exchange rate and economy look at this point, it is probably wishful thinking. I am very fortunate to still be adding toys such as this one in such a climate (albeit things that were planned for).

Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading!