66 of 72 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
ok for gentle polish, doesn't vacuum, 15 Feb 2011
I felt proud having a shiny new Karcher branded machine... only to be disappointed.
Having just laid 100sqm of limestone on my ground floor I wanted a method to make it look amazing. First I grouted and cleaned the floor twice with sponges on knees, and again with a mob, empty and refilling bucket every 2 sq metres to get rid of grout on the tiles. The floor still had a dry thin film of grout smears, one stroke from my hand could remove, as could my old Dyson... I attempted to use the FP303 with the stiff brushes expecting them to easily remove the film, sucking up the dust into the vacuum bag. Over 20 minutes of continuous I noted only one of the three disks successfully removed the film, and then it stopped working, sheering out black plastic.
On investigation the failure came from a small cog that sits in the centre of the three discs (need to remove base plate to see), I suspect the unit had build problems and this is why only one disc worked effectively. I checked the vacuum bag and no dust, nothing, yet the internal mechanisms when removing the bottom plate had plenty of dust.
Accepting I may have bought a problem unit I had it replaced. This time before use I really cleaned the floor, no film left. I had used a Henry vacuum over every part of each tile (100sqm!), realising the plastic end of Henry had left marks on the limestone... I could polish off by hand with no product so no real damage. Now, I expect the replacement Karcher to polish off the rest of Henrys marks - no such luck.
May be I am being unfair, it is only a polisher and not a scrubber... but then I have to ask what's the point. If you have kids with trainers, and or occasionally drag boxes or items across your floor this unit is not going to deliver what you expect and still needs supplementing with hands and knees work. I suspect it could give a nice buff to an already perfect floor.
I have now considered alternatives, and the choices are expensive small professional scrubber buffers start at £400, but they have weight to them, they do clean as well as polish. They do not try to be a vacuum. Out of interest I tried to apply minimal weight to the Karcher (i.e. gently pushed with my hand), with the slightest push and it stopped.
My advise, if you have space to hide away a bigger unit - get a reconditioned polisher/scrubber off ebay. If you have a smaller floor less than 25sqm, as you will still need to clean on your hands on knees, consider buffing this way too. Personally I am going to buy a new unit that can also sand floor's, and hire out until it's paid for itself.
Pro's: domestic size, light, recognised brand
Con's: not a vacuum, not a cleaner; not efficient compared to professional machine