The jetwash is a double-edged sword. It can strip a bearing clean of grease and refill it with fine grit, but on the flipside, if you have to clean a filthy bike before you can take it into a clean house – neatly sidestepping lots of arguments in the process – it’s just about the best thing ever.
This compact version of Karcher’s entry-level K2 washer manages to pack a solid punch despite weighing just 4.4kg, including hose and spray lance. It does require a mains power supply to operate, so you’re pretty much limited to home use, but you can feed it water from a garden butt or similar, as well as via a standard hose.
There’s a dip-in feed for automatically adding a cleaning agent, but we found it really slurped through bike cleaner, so it’s best to apply it separately yourself unless you’re feeling particularly flash.
The lance handle is comfortable to grip and there’s an integrated holster on the side of the machine, which comes with a pair of spray lances. One has an extra-high-pressure rotating nozzle, while the other creates a wide, flat spread. The latter is best suited to bike work, but the former will bring your patio up a treat.
Power-wise it’s the baby of Karcher’s range, but the maximum 110bar pressure and 360-litre per hour flow rate are more than enough to remove even dried-on mud in a jiffy. And it can do more than that: we managed to remove a v-shaped welt of hand skin by stupidly allowing the nozzle near exposed flesh, which says a lot for its power and a lot less for our intelligence. Care (and a good distance) is needed when cleaning near sensitive areas such as bearings.
The Karcher K2 is very well made and can blast the filth from plenty more than bikes, which increases its value further.