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Thread: Waterblasters

  1. #1
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Default Waterblasters

    So, pending approval, I'm looking to purchase a waterblaster (electric) and keen on any opinions people have around these. Even a sound, well thought out and qualified opinion based on fact and experience would be useful.

    The budget would be around three-hundy and so far the Karcher K3 for $329.00 is looking sharp. I'm keen on a Karcher based on the whole 'German designed and engineered' angle, though I do need to check they're not built in some backwater in China.

    I've also been impressed with the Briggs & Stratton product - the connections seem solid and they look the business, and again where and how it's nailed together is important. Haven't reasearched that yet.

    Nilfisk? No idea. Thought they were vacuum cleaners.
    Jobmate? Sounds like a cheap, nasty product from the above region, but I could be wrong.

    Any comments would be appreciated. I was hanging around this aisle at Mitre 10 (needed advice and service so skipped Bunnings) and the guy said words to the effect of "go for the K4 at $599.00 - the smaller units have weaker motors that burn out". This could be a sales pitch, or it could have a lot of validity.

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    I have had a Karcher490 for several years now and are pleased with its performance. It was probably in the price range you are considering. I use it each year to clean the exterior of the house, as well as blast lichen off roofs and fences.
    We have a couple at work and have had no issues with them (apart from when one was operated without the water filter on the tap and the seals were damaged.

  3. #3
    6146-B Billy T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    Karcher are OK, but don't stand up well to moderate to heavy commercial applications. My brother in law was operating a one-man mobile car wash and groom operation, and went through 3 Karchers. Hoses were a notable weak point.

    He has since retired through an injury (nothing to do with Karchers or his business) and when we visited last weekend he gifted me his 'last Karcher standing' plus all the accessories from the current machine and the two that died before! I was just about to go buy a new blaster so his timing was great!

    It will suit me for a good few years of domestic use, and the feature I like most is the automatic pump shut-off when you stop blasting; the crappy one I have at present won't even start pumping unless you switch it on with the spray turned on and it stalls if you shut off the spray.

    Cheers

    Billy 8-{)
    Some days it's not even worth chewing through my restraints!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    We have a Karcher K3, not sure exactly what model, it was some anniversary edition they had about 4 years or so ago. It's been great. My grandfather has a Karcher waterblaster, also, which is still going strong some 30 years later. Pick a modle that meets your needs, though - getting an entry level model and putting it under long-term heavy-use stress is probably going to give you headaches down the track. This is probably what the salesman was referring to, as I have seen over-stressed units from various brands pack up. Karcher's website gives a pretty good idea of what sort of use each model is intended for.

    The only other brand I would consider would probably be Nilfisk (which I've used previously at an old job), but accessories seem harder to find here.
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  5. #5
    Seasoned Member allblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    Quote Originally Posted by inphinity View Post
    We have a Karcher K3, not sure exactly what model, it was some anniversary edition they had about 4 years or so ago. It's been great. My grandfather has a Karcher waterblaster, also, which is still going strong some 30 years later. Pick a modle that meets your needs, though - getting an entry level model and putting it under long-term heavy-use stress is probably going to give you headaches down the track. This is probably what the salesman was referring to, as I have seen over-stressed units from various brands pack up. Karcher's website gives a pretty good idea of what sort of use each model is intended for.

    The only other brand I would consider would probably be Nilfisk (which I've used previously at an old job), but accessories seem harder to find here.
    Good call. I probably should have elaborated on that. I'm talking mainly basic domestic duties such as cleaning concrete paths, brickwork and walls etc. However, I'm also a waterblasting-addict - once I start I'm spending hours looking for something to clean!

    The K3 worries me that it may not be heavy-duty enough, but the K4 at $599.00 seems overkill and would meet budgetary restraints anyway. Seems I need a middle-ground ..

  6. #6
    Retired old codger kenj's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    I have had a smaller Nilfisk for 5 years now and have been pleased with it. It does everyhing I want.

    Ken
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  7. #7
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    Had our Karcher for 8 years now. No problems with hoses or anything.
    Don't pull them by the hose!
    wipe your paws.

  8. #8
    Remember Richard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    Stihl, Stihl or Stihl. But probably not in your price range. The secret lies in the materials used in the pump, the best ones are ceramic. And get one with wheels as they get heavy if you need to lug it around. Make sure you get one with a long hose, and attachments for the jobs you will need it for. Make sure the lance is well balanced and not too heavy, as sometimes you need to operate the blaster one handed. If you intend to clean concrete paths and drives, remember that water blasting destroys the surface by washing the sand out of the concrete. Makes it nice and clean, but it gets rougher and therefore more dirty every year

  9. #9
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    You shouldn't waterblast concrete paths, it damages the surface and forces water and contaminents into the concrete. I discovered that the hard way. I bought a cheap karcher because I have a lot of concrete that gets covered in slimy black stuff. After cleaning it a few times I discovered the patches I waterblasted were deteriorating worse than the bits I haven't, then I did a test and wrote merry Xmas in the worst part last year, 3 months later you could still read it, except it was because it was many times blacker than the surrounding uncleaned concrete. 30 seconds is a better option, it can take a few times and several months to work but eventually you can really see the difference.

    Rant aside my cheap karcher is still running fine and I've had it for more than 10 years.
    Last edited by dugimodo; 06-01-2017 at 05:03 PM.
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  10. #10
    Its ok I am from Motueka. prefect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Waterblasters

    I have worked in the hire industry have for almost 3 years. With water blasters its just a matter of the cost of buying them and the amount of use they will get. If it has no oil lubrication ie no oil sight glass its just communist Chinese junk for the household domestic market will run for a set amount od hours and will seize. The best water blaster pumps are made in Italy and you just need a non communist chinese electric motor or a non communist chinese made petrol motor to drive it.(Thai Honda OK just) Hoses are no problem for quality water blasters when they wear out you just fit another one from your local hose doctor. They only go when they wear from dragging on concrete this exposes the wire reinforcement and it then rusts then fails fair wear and tear. If its non wire hose its communist chinese rubbish impossible to do a join repair with them.
    Pretty simple if you want it for a business buy quality like Kerrick or AES in NZ if you want it for home and money is a problem buy any communist chinese junk including domestic Karcher. We hire 1200 psi electric water blasters to Grannies to water blast their paths to 3000 psi 6 cylinder diesel engine driven ones.
    Its amazing how Potatoes give us chips,fries and Vodka.

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