The small body and versatile nozzles make the Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set a useful cordless pressure washer for all types of jobs from cleaning your car or patio to dealing with dirty garden furniture. With 10 minutes of run-time from a 290-minute charge, it's best for smaller jobs; plus you'll need to plan ahead if you have multiple jobs to tackle as additional batteries add to the price. You can get cheaper powered jet washers that will handle the toughest of stains – but if you value flexibility and size above all, this is a great choice.
- Easy to hold and use
- Very small
- Handles most jobs well
- Short run-time and long charge time
- Review Price: £249.99
- Battery-powered pressure washer
- 24-bar pressure
- 200-litres/hour flow rate
- 365 x 105 x 295mm, 2.6kg
- Rotary nozzle, 5-in-1 multi-jet
As useful as pressure washers are, most are huge and bulky units that can be difficult to store and manoeuvre. Step forward the Karcher KHB 5, a battery-powered pressure washer around the size of a nail gun.
Easy to use and more flexible than a traditional jet wash, the KHB 5 could prove ideal for those who are short on space and require more power than a hose can offer. However, short run-times, long charge times and a high price are hard to get over.
Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set – What you need to know
- Size, weight and manoeuvrability: Weighing in at 2.6kg, the Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set needs to be held in two hands for comfortable use. In the right position, the battery-powered device is easy to move around since there’s no base unit to contend with.
- Accessories: The rotary nozzle can cope with tough dirt, while the 5-in-1 multi-jet nozzle lets you tackle a wide-range of jobs.
- Cleaning performance: The KHB 5 does well with stains, managing to clean up our patio and garden furniture nicely – but super-tough stains will require a powered cleaner. The 10-minute run-time is good enough for a single job, but recharging takes too long.
The Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set takes some time to charge and runs for just 10 minutes
The perennial problem with all battery-powered devices is that they run out of power. In the case of the Karcher KHB 5, you get around 10 minutes of run-time from a full charge of the 18V 2500mAh battery. This doesn’t sound like a huge amount of time, but it will enable you to tackle more than you might think since much of the time taken to clean something includes picking up items and moving them around.
I found that 10 minutes was sufficient to tackle individual jobs of cleaning my patio, all of the garden furniture or the car.
The battery displays the time remaining in minutes on its LCD screen. The positioning is poor, as you’ll have to stop cleaning in order to quickly steal a glance of the display. It would have been better if Karcher had engineered the KHB 5 Battery Set so that the battery’s screen appeared on the rear of the handle, for example.
Want to use the KHB 5 for larger jobs, or to tackle a few small jobs quickly then you’re out of luck; the battery charger takes a staggering 290 minutes to charge fully. You can buy additional batteries: a larger 5000mAh battery will give around 20 minutes of run-time, but it costs £135.
Cleaning performance from the KHB 5 Battery Set is good for all but the toughest of dirt
With the KHB 5 Battery Set, you get two nozzles in the box. The rotary nozzle is designed to tackle stubborn dirt, while the 5-in-1 multi-jet gives you options: a point jet for tough stains; a 25-degree flat jet for cleaning surfaces and objects; a 60-degree rinse jet for rinsing off dirt; a mist jet for cleaning up plants gently; and an irrigation jet for watering plants. Water is input via the standard ¾-inch garden hose connector that’s found on the rear of the jet washer.
Tackling the patio, which had seen a winter’s-worth of dirt build up, the 24-bar KHB 5 proved that it was capable of cleaning up most of the mess. The rotary nozzle picked up most of the ingrained dirt, particularly in the grout lines, before I switched to the jets for cleaning up the surface and rinsing the dirt away.
Cleaning test: Before (left) and after (right) cleaning – mode the slider to compare
The level of pressure is sufficient for you to feel the washer in action, but you don’t get the full impact and force of a powered pressure washer. For big areas or much tougher stains, the jet from the KHB 5 Battery Set isn’t going to cut it.
There’s no way to add detergent into the system, although you can use spray cleaners on furniture, bikes and patios to give you a helping hand to break down tougher stains.
The KHB 5 can tackle garden furniture and washing down cars, with the lower-power jet proving to be friendly enough to clean without causing any damage.
Although the small body of the KHB 5 Battery Set makes it easier to store, it’s a relatively heavy device, weighing in at 2.6kg. You’ll soon begin to feel its heft if you’re holding the pressure washer one-handed – although two-handed operation, with one hand supporting the nozzle at the front, eases the burden. A powered jet washer is a little easier on the arms, since the weight is in the main unit and you have to hold only the hose.
Why buy the Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set?
The small size of the Karcher KHB 5 Battery Set is its main advantage, taking up little room in the shed. On full blast with the rotary nozzle attached, it can tackle most tough stains, cleaning up our patio in no time at all. Meanwhile, the multi-nozzle’s range of modes makes it great for rinsing items and cleaning garden furniture.
With 10 minutes of run-time, followed by a lengthy charge, the KHB 5 Battery isn’t good for cleaning larger areas or tackling multiple jobs at once. There’s no getting around the price, either, with the more powerful Karcher K4 available for less and delivering a power range between 24- to 130-bar for tougher jobs.
Ultimately, the model you go for will depend on the type of jobs you need to handle. If you don’t have much space and would use a washer sparingly for easier jobs (patios, cars and garden furniture), the KHB 5 is expensive but does well. For larger areas of decking, or spaces where there’s tougher dirt to remove, a powered washer would make a better choice.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.