REVIEWED: Karcher OC3 portable pressure washer

Karcher OC3

The Karcher OC3 is a light weight and compact, battery powered pressure washer.

It’s designed to go with you in the car and avoid the age old “can I borrow a quid?” to use the trail centre jet wash.

The 4L tank can be filled up before you leave and the battery means it works without any need for an external power source. Just charge it up, chuck it in the car and use it when your ride is over.

Best bits:

Light and compact

The OC3 is certainly light weight and compact. It’s not far off the size of a full-face helmet and it’ll do nothing to steal space in the boot or even in your bike bag for an overseas trip. At just 2.2kgs it’s light enough (on paper at least, but we’ll get to that) to chuck in a kit bag and take on the road without hassle.

Karcher’s website claims the battery lasts for 15 minutes but so far it seems to have lasted longer than that on its first charge.

Neat and tidy

Out of the box the OC3 is a neat package. The unit is small, light and compact. The battery and 4L tank form one neat little unit and the 2.8m spiral hose folds up and is kept tidily inside.

There’s a carry handle on top and a single and large good-for-cold-fingers button on the front to turn it on and off. Charging is done via the mains with a charger.

As neat, simple, well designed products go you couldn’t ask for much more.

Under pressure

The pressure on the OC3 is spot on for washing bikes. It’s vigorous enough to blast loose, wet mud without being so powerful that it’ll strip your paint, blast grease out of bearings or upset your suspension seals. Compared to the tsunami-like force of the pressure washer at the Morrisons in Risca it is a godsend.

For that guilty day-after ride when the mud is properly caked on, the Karcher needs to be accompanied by a good brush and plenty of water to do a better job than the garden hose. It’ll get there, but it’ll take lots of refilling and plenty of elbow grease.

The Karcher comes into its own in the trail centre car park when your mates are scrabbling for the jet wash. You can smuggly wash your bike next to the car and on fresh, wet mud the Karcher does a decent job.

Be warned though, the 4L tank is way short of what’s needed to get a bike clean. You’ll need to bring plenty of bottled water and top the tank up every five minutes or so.

Buy online: Karcher OC3 £129.99 at Evans (13% off)

Is the Karcher worth your money?

The Karcher is great for anyone that doesn’t have easy access to a bike wash. If you live in a flat or don’t have a garden, this could well be your ticket to winter riding.

It’s also great for anyone that wants to get their bike clean before it goes in the car. Better clean it straight away than save it for your next day-off, right?

To get your bike clean you’ll need to add a decent brush and at least another 4 – 6L of bottled water to your list. With those, you’ll give the Karcher a fighting chance and should be able to get your bike decently clean. Without them, you’re wasting your time.

For an extra £16.99 you can buy a Suction Hose that allows you draw water from an external water source. There’s also a bike accessory box that includes a brush and can be clipped neatly onto the bottom of the OC3.

The £150 price tag is also a bit steep, compared to the competition.

The OC3 is £50 more than the Mobi V17 which has a massive 17L water tank and £100 more than the smaller Mobi V15 with a 15L water tank. Both of those options are cheaper but both are considerably heavier. Neither feel quite as well made or well designed.

We like:

  • Lightweight, compact, tough space-saving design
  • Great for hassle free washing after your ride
  • Great for people without a garden hose
  • Strong-enough but not too much pressure

Could be better:

  • 4L tank isn’t enough to wash a bike, you’ll need to carry extra water
  • Costs more than other brands with larger water tanks

Buy online: Karcher OC3 £129.99 at Evans (13% off)

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