Many people look for a small electric pressure washer. But aside from being small, they want it to be powerful enough for most of their regular household chores. Light-duty capabilities are really the norm for a small electric pressure washer. So, how do you select the most performant of the smallest units, you wonder? By constantly comparing the best models of various manufacturers.
In today’s review, we bring face-to-face an American and a German manufacturer. GreenWorks GPW1702 vs Karcher K2 Plus, from cleaning power and design to versatility and warranty. Let’s see what we get…
Engine and power
Specifically conceived to match the small electric pressure washer class, both models are powered by a 13-amp universal motor. As far as the pumps are concerned, GreenWorks GPW1702 has a non-branded axial pump. And Karcher K2 Plus boasts the N-COR axial pump, Karcher’s patented self-priming pump.
The two main power indicators are also similar. The water flow is 1.25 GPM for the Karcher model and 1.2 GPM for the GreenWorks model. Pressure, however, seems to be a bit in favor of the latter. We’re looking at 1700 PSI, as opposed to only 1600 PSI with the Karcher K2 Plus.
As you probably discovered so far, when we talk about design, we focus on more than just the looks. The practical features and the ease of use are even more important when choosing a small electric pressure washer. So, in this case, aside from the different colors, we have plenty of other aspects to comment on.
The similarities of GreenWorks GPW1702 and Karcher K2 Plus can be summed up to one or two things… First, we have the 35-ft GFCI power cord that both units include. And second, we have the lack of a standard soap tank. Greenworks comes with a soap applicator attached on its outer side, and Karcher has a detergent siphon tube with filter.
Then, we have a couple of common design features, specific to any small electric pressure washer, with certain differences. GPW1702 vs K2 Plus goes like this:
- Small size: 22 x 24.02 x 13.19 inches vs 30.8 x 9 x 11 inches
- Lightweight design: 22.65 pounds vs 16 pounds
- High-pressure hose: 25-ft vs 20-ft
- Threads: metal with plastic vs N-Cor, both with quick connects
- Wheels: 5-inch vs 6.3-inch
Finally yet importantly, each small electric pressure washer in our comparison has a couple of unique design elements and features.
- The GreenWorks GPW1702 unit:
- Can stand both vertically and horizontally;
- Comes with an onboard reel for the high-pressure hose;
- Has two quick-connect tips, the ones of 25° and 40°.
- The Karcher K2 Plus unit:
- Includes two different spray wands instead of quick-connect nozzles:
- The Vario spray wand:
- Quickly switches from low to high pressure and the other way around;
- When set to low pressure also dispenses detergent;
- The Dirtblaster spray wand:
- Designed for the hardest jobs;
- According to the manufacturer, it generates up to 30 times the pressure of a typical garden hose;
- Comes with a taller handle design that reduces bending and strain.
So far, we’ve looked into the power and design of each small electric pressure washer selected. Next, we will take a peek at how all these aspects translate into effectiveness.
Any small electric pressure washer will sooner or later be a subject to effectiveness disputes. That’s because many people can hardly resist the temptation of comparing it to bigger models or even to gas models. Still, if we stick to the basics and consider the general features of the class, we can see that:
Karcher, on the other hand, despite not having changing nozzles at all, has the two spray wands above-mentioned;
- Both GreenWorks GPW1702 and Karcher K2 Plus are rated below 2000 PSI, which means they have light-duty capabilities;
- While GreenWorks seems to have with 100 units more PSI (1700 instead of 1600), it has only two quick-connect nozzles;
- None of its two nozzles is a high-pressure tip;
- The Vario wand saves you plenty of time and gives you the flexibility to adjust the pressure easily;
- The Dirtblaster doesn’t just generate 30 times the pressure of a typical hose, but also increases effectiveness by 50%!
The last observation suffices to prove that, in terms of effectiveness, Karcher K2 Plus seems to take the lead. It can boast the highest pressure and it is much versatile and easy to use.
Advantages and Disadvantages
After listing all these tech and design attributes, separately or in parallel, let’s sum up the advantages and disadvantages. Coming up next, we will draw a conclusion regarding the best small electric pressure washer between the two of them.
GreenWorks GPW1702 advantages:
- Enjoys the certification of the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association;
- Has a water-resistant motor;
- Outputs, by default, 100 extra PSI;
- Has not only a simple cord hook, but also a hose reel;
- Can function perfectly well when sitting either horizontally or vertically;
- It is a bit smaller;
- Has a 5-ft longer hose;
GreenWorks GPW1702 disadvantages:
- Offers only a 1-year limited warranty;
- It is manufactured in China;
- Can be less unstable when you keep it on vertical, due to the hose reel from the top;
- It is a bit heavier;
Karcher K2 Plus advantages:
- Leads in terms of effectiveness;
- Offers a 2-year warranty;
- It is part of the manufacturer’s Rapid Exchange Program, so it will be replaced for free whenever requiring in-warranty repairs;
- Boasts two different spray wands;
- Can automatically release soap during the low-pressure washing;
- It is lighter;
- It has a more comfortable design, with its handle being taller and limiting the user’s bending;
- Karcher K2 Plus has larger wheels, for easier maneuvering;
Karcher K2 Plus disadvantages:
- It is slightly bigger;
- Karcher K2 has a 5-ft shorter hose;
- It has no hose reel, only a cord and hose hook;
Looking for the best small electric pressure washer, we reviewed GreenWorks GPW1702 and Karcher K2 Plus both individually and together. The choice seems difficult, from the very beginning, given the popularity of the two manufacturers. Moreover, both units fall under the same price range and have that small, compact design. And with the same motor, it was obvious that the details and our readers’ reviews would set things straight.
All in all, we feel that the best small electric pressure washer between these two is Karcher K2 Plus. German technology wins over American technology implemented in China. And it’s not necessarily the quality that holds back the GreenWorks GPW1702. It’s the lack of special features, which, with the Karcher unit, has made all the difference!