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Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: The pint-sized pressure washer that’s easy to store

Our Rating :
£69.99 from
Price when reviewed : £90
inc VAT

A brilliant compact pressure washer that will cover all your basic needs


  • Compact design
  • Effective cleaning
  • Smart storage features


  • Short hose and power cable
  • Limited pressure
  • Just one non-variable spray

Having the best pressure washer can be a game changer when it comes to washing the car or keeping your patio or driveway clean. Yet not everyone needs a big, high-powered unit taking up space in their shed or garage, especially if your car never gets that muddy or you’ve got a relatively small area of paving to take care of. This is where compact pressure washers like the Kärcher K2 Horizontal come in – and they really don’t get much more compact than this.

This pint-sized pressure washer couldn’t be much easier to use or store, but is it going to let you down when it comes to cleaning performance? I’ve run it through some extensive testing around my home and garden in order to find out.

Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: What do you get for the money?

The Kärcher K2 Horizontal is a compact pressure washer in the horizontal suitcase style of the Bosch EasyAquatak 110 and it will set you back around £90. The main unit is just 380 x 197 x 248mm (WDH), and it weighs just 3.5kg before you connect the high-pressure hose and lance.

The latter is a two-part affair, with a grip and trigger section that connects to the high-pressure hose and a removable lance that you push in and twist to lock in place. With that in place, all you need to do is connect the other end of the high-pressure hose to the unit itself, screw on the hozelock connector, attach your hose and get ready to spray. There is a holder for the grip and trigger to screw on on the rear side of the unit, but that only takes a minute to fit.

The key word here is simplicity. The K2 Horizontal has one power setting – it’s either on or off – and a lance with a single spray pattern. It has a maximum pressure of 110 bars and a 360l per hour flow rate, but basically it’s point and shoot.

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Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: How easy is it to use?

The upshot of that simplicity is it’s extremely easy to use. Connect everything up, turn on the tap, move the dial from off to on, then squeeze the trigger and you’re cleaning. The spray pattern is a slim, horizontal high-pressure blast rather than a pinpoint jet, and the firm grip and design of the lance make it easy to handle. In fact, you can just about carry the unit around with one hand while wielding the lance with the other.

Just as importantly, it’s easy to store. The power cable winds neatly around a cut-away section at the base, the handle and trigger element slot into the cradle at the rear and the lance clips into a spot below the handle. There’s nowhere to wind away the high-pressure hose, however, so you’ll still need to find a spot for that.

Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: How well does it clean?

Within its limitations, it does a cracking job. I had no issues blasting caked-on dirt and mud from the bodywork and wheels of my compact SUV, not to mention dried seagull guano from the roof and windscreen. In a way, it’s set up perfectly for effective cleaning, without any risk of the damage you might be able to do with a higher-pressure jet. Even black deposits on the alloy wheels weren’t too much for it, and there’s a small transparent pipe that can suck up snow foam or detergent if you want to apply some first. Just be careful not to knock the bottle over while you’re pressure washing.

You might have more issues if you want to blast serious muck from concrete or a tarmac driveway, however, especially if the surface is really muddy or dirty. You can vary the intensity by moving the nozzle closer to your target, but there’s not quite enough pressure for heavy-duty cleaning. For the same reason, it also struggled with removing white paint splatters from a plastic bin.

Overall, the K2 Horizontal is going to cover a lot of people’s needs. It will clean your vehicle of everyday dirt and it will blast surface grime from your paving slabs or brick driveway. If you’ve got several vehicles that tend to get really muddy or you have a lot of driveway or hard landscaping to clean, then you’re going to need something a little more powerful and more flexible. It’s worth mentioning, though, that the K2 Horizontal is compatible with other Kärcher attachments, so you could attach a foam nozzle or a brush if you needed to.

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Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: What could be improved?

The downsizing isn’t limited to the main unit; both the high-pressure hose and the power cable are shorter than on other Kärcher pressure washers at three- and five-metres long respectively.

I’m also not a huge fan of the plastic clips that hold the high pressure hose in place. They feel a bit flimsy, and I found them tricky to push into position and even trickier to remove when I wanted to detach the hose.

Kärcher K2 Horizontal review: Should I buy it?

Yes. The Kärcher K2 Horizontal is one of the best compact pressure washers around, and perfect if you don’t need anything super powerful and you’re short on storage space. At £90, it’s also one of the most affordable pressure washers in the Kärcher range.

That said, it isn’t your only option. The Bosch EasyAquatak 110 has the same maximum pressure, albeit with a slightly lower flow rate, and can be found for around £60 with two extra nozzles bundled in. The K2 Horizontal is a little smaller and lighter and incredibly simple to use, but if you want a more versatile pressure washer, the Bosch might have the edge.

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