Review: Kärcher OC3 Portable Outdoor Cleaner

Summary

An extremely compact, light, simple and convenient portable washer.

The ultimate middle ground between brush-and-bucket and a jetwash

Okay so you’ve seen all those photos of the pits with 50 petrol jetwash machines pumping out binfulls of water and getting filthy ‘cross bikes clean?  Well… this isn’t one of those. So think differently.

Firstly, it’s about a 30th of the weight, and a tiny fraction of the size. So it’s not going to push through 20 litres per minute and strip your bike down to the decals (and a bit further).

However, for the average weekend warrior – and let’s face it, almost all of us are – this is a very useful piece of keep your car clean kit.

The OC3 is very, very easy to use and cleans a bike incredibly well for its size. If you want to clean yourself or your filthy shoes too, it’s going to be perfect for the job. You get to keep your skin.

The 4 litre detachable water tank can easily be topped up on-the-go if you carry round a few large water bottles, which will see you through a number of cleans (each tank fill lasts two mins constant spraying). In the video, I washed the filthy bike in a tank and a half (3 mins) and was pretty impressed with how clean it came.

This machine, like many Karcher units, comes with a 2 year warranty.

Will continue to test over this ‘cross season but so far I’m very impressed.

It’s not a jet wash

The advent of very portable cleaners like this was initially met with a little derision from die-hard cross people. They weren’t ‘pit’ material for people changing bikes every lap. But the OC3 is a step up from the bucket-and-brush approach and certainly a much easier proposition. If, like me, you tend not to have a full pit crew hanging about, or maybe just want to wash the warm-up-laps filth off before a race starts, then the OC3 is a very attractive option.

Low pressure offers the advantage of cleaning that is both efficient and extremely gentle at the same time. The standard nozzle with a flat spray enables you to watch the dirt wash away and a cone-spray nozzle is ideal for more sensitive cleaning like your legs or face after a filth fest – and you get to keep your skin.

Specifications and Summary

Max flow rate

2 litres per minute

Battery life:

15 min

Charge Time:

3 hrs empty to full

Weight:

2.2kg with no water

Hose length:

2.8m uncoiled

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