Ease of use:
The Karcher K3.550 is a little more involved to put together than some machines, but the process is straightforward and without drama. The clip-and-lock couplers for the trigger and hose connection can be easily and quickly fastened and unclipped without the need for additional tools.
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The two nozzles included offer excellent solutions to a wide-range of cleaning duties. A fan-type nozzle will look after your car's paintwork, while the rotary-action attachment will ruthlessly despatch the toughest of dirt, moss and algae from the most neglected drives – it'll also make short work of mistreated alloys.
The detergent mixing system – where you place a bottle into the back of the machine – is excellent and allows fine control over the mix. One slight downside; the machine occasionally felt a little clumsy to use.
Max water pressure: 120 Bar
Flow rate: 420 Litres/hr
Motor Power: 1700 Watt water-cooled induction motor
Hose length: 6 metres
The storage is basic, yet adequate. The hose and power cable are both stowed on the machine with the help of two hooks. It certainly isn't the neatest and most compact solution, but it's more than adequate. You also have the option of easily unclipping the hose and storing it separately if floor space is tight.
What Car? says...
Not only is the Karcher K3.550 a thoroughly capable machine, it's also one of the best for value. Few of the machines we tested could match the Karcher's cleaning performance and only its slightly basic storage solutions and relatively short hose detract from its otherwise outstanding performance.