12 Dec Best Pressure Washers
If you want a pressure washer that is going to do anything like a decent job they start at about £50 and go up to £500 or more.
The best pressure washers are not the most expensive and the cheapest pressure washer won’t do the job you bought it for so you need to find the sweet spot that combines your needs with performance.
There is no point in buying a MacBook Pro for £2000+ if you are only going to do some browsing on the internet. You can do that just as well on a laptop that costs £200. But if you want to do lots of video editing then you will need something with a lot more power.
Exactly the same principle applies when it comes to pressure washers. First of all, you need to work out what you are going to use it for and then you need to match that with the various power washers.
There are many different elements that make up a good power washer but by far the most important is the actual pressure that gets delivered.
When you are choosing the right pressure washer for your needs you will see the word “bar” mentioned a lot as in the “number of bars of pressure”
If you ask anyone to explain what that means, no-one actually knows which is pretty amusing considering it’s the most important thing.
What’s even funnier is that once you know what bar pressure is you are then still none the wiser. 1 bar is a unit of pressure that is approximately equal to the pressure in the atmosphere at sea level.
That’s as clear as mud and any more explanation gets very scientific and would only serve to confuse even more rather than provide clarity.
The best way to understand bar pressure is to understand what’s good and what’s not for the type of things you want to clean.
Anything that has less than 100 bar of pressure is best avoided. Don’t be fooled by the low price as it won’t really be fit for purpose.
At 100-110 bar of pressure you can comfortably do a lot of the things you will use your pressure washer for the vast majority of the time and can be classified as light use.
Things like your rubbish bins, bikes and wooden garden furniture will be cleaned perfectly well with this kind of pressure.
At 110-120 bar of pressure we then move up to medium use which includes all of the things in light use but also things that are going to pick up more deeply ingrained dirt over time. Cars, fences and gutters can all be included for washers that deliver this kind of pressure.
At 120 bar of pressure and above you then get into the arena of heavy use and ensures you can cover pretty much any job around your home including Bricks, Patio’s, Decking and much more. It then depends on how big the areas you want to clean are to determine how far up the pricing ladder you want to go.
There are a number of other key things to take into consideration when choosing the best pressure washer that is right for you. They are explained in detail at the bottom of this article but first of all, here are the best value for money pressure washers you can buy today:
Wilks RX550i pressure washer
This is a professional pressure washer that would not look out of place in a commercial environment but is priced for the top end of the domestic market.
It will deliver up to 262 bar of pressure. That’s powerful. Very powerful. To put it into perspective it’s the kind of power they get from the super-powerful pressure washers at the hand car washes.
It may not be a brand you have heard of but they are big in the United States where they cater for larger homes and are made to tackle the most difficult tasks around your home.
The thing we like most about this pressure washer is the 5 different nozzles that sit on the side of the main unit and can quickly be clipped on to the main lance to give you ultimate control. As well as being able to adjust the pressure up and down, the different nozzles provide another level of cleaning control that enables you to basically clean anything effectively.
You also get a wide range of accessories and a huge 26-metre hose that ensures you get the reach you need for larger properties without having to mess about with extension cables.
Ryobi Pressure Washer
This is a company that specialises in tools for the home. Their power tool range is very comprehensive and held in high regard with its one battery fits all system. They care about their reputation and would not want a bad product to tarnish their reputation so that is definitely a good starting point.
It comes in a range of models with varying power to suit your specific needs with the 120 bar pressure model representing really good value for money as it will be more than powerful for the vast majority of jobs without breaking the bank.
It has an on-demand detergent function which means you can spray water first to soak something and then activate and switch between water and detergent whenever you want which is not a feature you normally get on pressure washers at this price level.
You get two lances, one that blasts at full power and another that allows you to vary the type of spray and speed with multiple settings.
There is also onboard storage for the lances to ensure nothing is ever lost.
Karcher K2 Full Control Pressure Washer
Probably the most well known branded manufacturer of pressure washers, Karcher have been in this business for years so they understand the engineering side and know how to get a quality motor that delivers high pressure at an affordable and value for money price.
4 different power settings mean you don’t have to manually twist the lance to alter the power, you can just set and get on with the cleaning. The patio cleaning attachment works particularly well by keeping all of the water concentrated in its own housing for even better cleaning performance.
The maximum pressure is 110 bar which puts it comfortably in the medium use category. Perfect for all the regular cleaning jobs like the car and once or twice a year for tougher jobs like the patio or driveway.
Bosch EasyAquatak 120 pressure washer
This is a small and compact pressure washer from one of the biggest brands in the home appliances market. More well known for their fridges and washings machine, Bosch has applied everything they know about cleaning to create a lightweight and portable washer that packs a real punch.
You get up to 120 bar of pressure which makes it pretty deceiving for something that weighs only 4kg making it very simple to manoeuvre around the area you are cleaning. The pressure that this delivers puts it firmly in the medium use category with some great features that you would normally expect to pay more for.
You get 3 different nozzles that clip on and off very easily allowing you to clean different surfaces in the most effective way. The trigger locks so that you don’t need to keep you your hand pressed down on it which is handy for longer jobs and you don’t have to connect it to a tap as it has a priming feature that will draw water from a container if you have something to clean that may be too far away from a mains tap.
A good portable pressure washer from a trusted and reliable brand.
Vytronix Pressure Washer
If you need a pressure washer but you don’t want to spend much money but you do want something that is going to clean your frequently washed items then the Vytonix provides a good balance for quality and value.
Suitable for low to medium use with a maximum pressure of 105 bar, you can comfortably clean the car and bicycles and shed and fencing. If you have a huge driveway that hasn’t been cleaned in years then you may want to look at something a bit more premium but this does a really good job for a very small cash outlay for this type of product.
There is no messing about with different settings or faffing about with loads of different nozzles or attachments so if you like to keep things simple this is will work for you. Turn it on, point and go and adjust the power on the lance as you are pointing to change the pressure. It really is that simple.
130 Bar budget pressure washer
This is the best priced heavy-duty pressure washer out there. At 130 bar of pressure you are fully equipped to deal with everything the harsh outdoors throws at you.
Despite its budget price point, it packs a huge punch and effortlessly cuts through grease and grime that has built up over years. You don’t get all the bells and whistles that come with some of the more expensive power washers but do you really need them anyway?
The lance is fully adjustable and allows you to control the flow of water up to 130 bar maximum. For the more frequent jobs like cleaning the car or bicycles, you won’t need anything like the maximum pressure and you can max it out for the annual jobs of cleaning down the patio or driveway.
It comes with a detergent tank that is built into the main body of the washer and automatically mixes with the main water tank when filled with cleaning fluid.
It’s very easy to pay more for a pressure washer that delivers less than this one. Outstanding value for money
What is waterflow?
This is an important but often overlooked part of getting the best possible cleaning performance out of your pressure washer.
Bar pressure is the force of pressure that is generated but waterflow is the amount of water that the washer can suck through and onto the surface of the item you are cleaning.
This is particularly important for large surfaces like patios and driveways because the pressure combined with the amount of water being thrown onto the surface will affect how well the surface gets cleaned.
Also, more water will help to wash away the dirt quicker.
What is a lance?
A rather strange word that is not part of everyone’s daily vocabulary. The lance on a pressure washer is the long pole type bit that fits onto the gun.
When you press the trigger on the gun it delivers the water through the lance and onto the surface you are cleaning. Most lances are adjustable so that you can twist a section of it to adjust the directional flow of the water so you can make it really strong and focussed for removal of stubborn built-in dirt on patios or more like a spray for adding foam to your car for example.
Does detergent matter with a pressure washer?
Many jobs can be completed without using any detergent at all as the power of the water alone will get the job done a lot of the time. Where detergent becomes important is for jobs that haven’t been tackled for years like driveways and patios.
You can achieve significantly better results by adding a cleaning solution to the detergent tank which will automatically mix with the pressurised water to deliver better results.
Where to keep your pressure washer?
A lot of people will pack away their pressure washer during the Winter and then find that it’s not working when you dig it out in the Spring.
Make sure there is no residual water anywhere in the system by disconnecting the lance from the gun and then both from the main body of the pressure washer itself. This will ensure that no water gets frozen when the temperature drops below zero as it could potentially expand and damage the washer internally.