Nilfisk Core 130 pressure washer review: Style over substance?

We put Nilfisk's nifty Core 130 to the test to see if the elegant pressure washer is more than just looks.

Nilfisk Core 130 review

by Chris Williams |

From conquering Vikings to more subdued producers of Lego and Lurpak, the Danes are a very industrious bunch. Along with plastic bricks and fancy butter, cleaning tools feature in the lineup of products that are conjured up in the Scandinavian country.

Nilfisk is the company responsible for this. You may not have heard of them but Nilfisk is one of the world’s top dogs in cleaning tools. Like its German competitor Karcher, Nilfisk covers pressure washers, vacuums cleaners, floor cleaners, sweepers and other products, much of which is designed for commercial purposes. But like Karcher, Nilfisk also produces a range of domestic products as well.

One of these is the Core 130. It is part of Nilfisk’s domestic Core and Compact range aimed at lighter tasks such as patio cleaning and car washing. What’s The Best Contributor Chris Williams has been testing the Core 130 to see how it goes in a hands-on review.

Specifications
Power 1500W
Pressure 130 bar
Flow rate 460 l/hr
Hose length 6m
Weight 6.8kg
Warranty 2 years
Pros Cons
• Great styling • Comes wrapped in too much plastic
• High quality components • Lance too short for tall people when using patio cleaner
• Effective patio cleaner

Jump to:

Build

Power Control knob on Nilfisk Core 130
©Photo: What's The Best

Easy to put together

Sturdy plastic parts

Good effort on appearance

Evidently, Nilfisk has made an effort to inject some pleasing aesthetics into the Core 130 and I appreciate that. The slated front cover and hose holder make the Core 130 look much better than any other pressure washer I’ve seen or used. And the best thing about it is that style has not got in the way of substance. With the exception of the little and unnecessary clip that is supposed to slide into the groove in the lance holster, everything felt solid and dependable.

Behind the plastic outer, lies a metal pump designed for longevity. Likewise, the ample 1500W of power means that the machine does not have to work hard in order to achieve and maintain its water pressure. This too is good for longevity and reliability. Wondering about the warranty? The Core 130 comes backed by Nilfisk’s two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

The Core 130 essentially comes ready to go from the box, you’ve just got to fasten in six small screws and attach the wheels. One major gripe I do have about the Core 130 is the packaging it comes in. Every single thing is wrapped in plastic, which is totally unnecessary. If the argument is that the excessive plastic wrapping is to protect the pressure washer against moisture, it’s a pressure washer. It gets wet.

After about five minutes, I’d removed the disturbingly large volume of plastic wrapping, got the Core 130 together and was ready to see how it performed.

Performance

Nilfisk patio cleaner attachment cleaning a patio
©Photo: What's The Best

Great sustained pressure

Fantastic patio cleaner

The Core 130 offers a predictable maximum pressure of 130 bar and a water flow rate of 460 litres per hour. That is the same maximum pressure as the more expensive Karcher K4, but a slightly higher flow rate, which is rather impressive. However, the K4 is more powerful at 1800W.

In this PowerControl Home and Garden pack you get gentle and rough lance nozzles, a spray foam bottle, soft brush, and patio cleaner. And on top of the pressure washer, near the hose holder, there is a useful sticker showing you what to use the nozzles, patio cleaner (it does more than patios), and soft brush for and whether on Power 1, 2, or 3. That is an excellent touch for first time users.

attachment info sticker on Nilfisk Core 130
©Photo: What's The Best

The patio that the patio cleaner had to tackle in my test had not been cleaned for years. It had a layer of grime almost as thick as the pavers themselves and on the verge of developing its own ecosystem. Despite this formidable challenge, the patio cleaner worked wonders. It shaved off the grime without issue except in some of the grooves in the stone. Move it side to side over the patio, not forwards and backwards, and make sure it doesn’t encounter any pebbles or other similar debris because that is a sure way to break the patio cleaner.

It’s worth mentioning that the length of the lance is fine for using the nozzle attachments, but not long enough for taller people when using the patio cleaner. I’m 6’2” and found I was bending too much.

As suggested, the rough nozzle attachment on Power 3 made quick work of cleaning brick. It was also used to dislodge the extra stubborn stuff from the patio. Changing attachments is easy, you press a blue tab at the end of the lance to release and attach by clicking in. But the connector for the garden hose took some convincing each time to accept the hose fitting.

The foam canister works fine, but at no point did I feel it was imperative to use it. The nozzles do a fine job of blasting surfaces clean.

At well under seven kilograms, the Core 130 is easy to move around and the six-metre hose is plenty for most light tasks. I’m also pleased to report that at no point during extensive testing did the Core 130 show any sign of wear or fatigue.

Price

The Core 130 with the collection of attachments retails for about £150. That puts it in about the same ballpark, if not slightly cheaper, than the rival Karcher K3 Home pressure washer. The K3 Home also comes with a patio cleaner and two nozzles, but no soft brush and doesn’t quite match the Core 130 for pressure (120 bar) or flow rate (380 litres per hour). Though at 1600W it is a little more powerful and weighs about the same.

The Core 130 PowerControl Home and Garden kit offers reasonably good value and is certainly worth the extra over a pressure washer bearing an unknown brand name offering the same level of performance for £70 less. This is not the first Nilfisk product I have used and I can say with confidence that Nilfisk does put its products together properly, and you can expect the Core 130 to last you for a long time, given that you don’t abuse it.

Verdict

The Core 130 PowerControl is well put together and styled in a unique and pleasing way. I really admire the effectiveness of the patio cleaner and the reliable performance of the motor and pump. It also offers good value for money.

However, the primary niggle I have with the Core 130 is the excessive amount of plastic that is included in the packaging. It is both unnecessary and unacceptable in today’s world where we know all too well the damage disposable plastic is wreaking.

Score: 3.5/5

Pros Cons
• Great styling • Comes wrapped in too much plastic
• High quality components • Lance too short for tall people when using patio cleaner
• Effective patio cleaner

Nilfisk Stone Sealer Detergent 2.5L

Nilfisk Stone Sealer Detergent 2.5L
Amazon

View offer

Very good, biodegradable detergent for degreasing and cleaning stone.

How we tested it

A one-off spray is not enough to determine whether a pressure washer is any good or not. Over the period of about a month I have been testing the Core 130 several times. The longest period the Core 130 was running in one go was about three hours. This way, I have been able to test true build quality and not just performance.

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Chris Williams is a Commercial Content Writer for What's The Best. He also writes for CAR and Parkers.

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