Wilks RX550i Pressure Washer

10.0 out of 10
10.0 out of 10

So you’re interested in the Wilks RX550i pressure washer, I take it? If you’re not, and you’ve landed on this post which is specifically about the Wilks RX550i pressure washer, you must be very confused ;-). Maybe you were just bored and decided to furiously claw at your keyboard with your eyes closed and hope for the best?

Stick around anyway because even if you weren’t planning on buying a new pressure washer, if you’re bored, pressure washing is a great way to pass some time while simultaneously winning some brownie points.

So the Wilks RX550i is a very high-quality, premium pressure washer designed to provide commercial-grade pressure washing & cleaning at an affordable price. This might sound like a line from sales pitch, and you can take most marketing blurb with a huge pinch of salt, but this machine has the specs to back up these bold claims, being the highest pressure domestic pressure washer on the market.

This is an American machine, and as we know, Americans don’t tend to mess around with small, dainty things. They like big things, big cups of coffee, big trucks, and Wilks certainly weren’t messing about with small things when they designed this pressure washer, certainly where power is concerned.

If you’re not just looking to tickle your slabs with a gentle shower, and you need some serious grunt to cut through years of engrained, encrusted muck, transforming even the grubbiest of surfaces to being so clean you could eat your dinner off them (everything is going up in price these days, including plates), then the huge maximum 262 bars (3800 PSI) of pressure you’ll get from the Wilks USA RX550i may well be your perfect dirt blasting companion.

Just to put this into perspective, most of our other pressure washer recommendations achieve between 110-130 bar of pressure. These washers are great, or we wouldn’t recommend them, and they do a great job for the more normal tasks that you might tackle with a more “standard” pressure washer – but this really isn’t a standard pressure washer.

If you ever take your car to a drive-through car wash & you feel the car moving when they aim their pressure washers at your car, leading you to quickly quadruple check that you closed the windows and sunroof, and you wonder why their pressure washers are so powerful, this will be because they will be using commercial pressure washers with much more than the standard 110-130 bar pressure. In fact, they’ll usually be using washers with around the same pressure or sometimes slightly more, than the RX550i.

OK you’re not going to be using this amount of pressure all of the time, in fact with the general cleaning nozzle (I’ll explain the various nozzles shortly) you’ll probably be cleaning at around 155 PSI, but this is still much higher pressure for general cleaning than you’ll get with the general cleaning setting on most cheaper domestic pressure washers.

You may think that you don’t need this kind of cleaning power, and you may well be right, however, one thing to keep in mind is that with increased power comes reduced cleaning time, so if you’re replacing a more standard powered domestic pressure washer, and washing the car or the patio was a long & thankless task, you may find that with this washer the job is done much faster.

Our other pressure washer recommendations are specifically suited for smaller to medium-sized homes and for less frequent jobs whereas the build quality of the RX550i makes it suited for homes of all sizes and no job is too big.

It’s very clear that this pressure washer sits in a premium category above the likes of Bosch and Karcher. The build quality both externally and internally combined with the power output make it stand out. You will pay more than the entry-level machines but it still represents really good value for money.

Features and Benefits

The difference between domestic pressure washers and commercial pressure washers, and the same with most other appliances and machines of which there are domestic and commercial offerings, is that the internal components are usually more powerful and more durable, as they’re made with heavier duty use in mind.

While some of the more premium-priced domestic appliances, generally speaking, are those which have more bells and whistles, more pleasing aesthetics, and sometimes more consumer-focused user-friendly features, with commercial machines vs domestic, it’s usually a lot less about the way it looks, and a lot more about how it performs.

In other words, a higher percentage of the build cost is spent on the internal componentry, the stuff we can’t see, because for commercial use people aren’t going to buy a pressure washer because it looks pretty, they’re going to buy it purely based on power, performance & durability.

It’s clear from looking both at the way this machine looks on the outside and from looking at the internal specs, that it’s built as if it were a commercial machine, and the bulk of the build cost has gone on the internal components, namely the premium metal pump and air-cooled 3000W copper wound constant induction motor.

Copper motors are the preferred option for commercial use, where both performance and reliability are of prime importance, and induction motors are the usual choice for more premium commercial washers.

Aluminium is often used by manufacturers instead of copper, in order to keep the build price down, and universal motors are often the choice for more budget home pressure washers, as they’re cheaper. So the fact that Wilks uses a copper wound brushless induction motor in the RX550i shows that this is a premium grade bit of kit, as does the quality metal pump, heavy-duty wheels and the 26-metre hose.

OK, at just over 22 Kg most domestic users would consider this to be a heavyweight cleaner despite the fact it’s sold as “lightweight”, although to be fair, it’s relatively lightweight as far as commercial pressure washers go, and it’s a pretty compact unit too, considering the beast of a motor that sits inside. At 94 cm tall and just 32cm deep and 36 cm wide it will fit neatly into most shed or garage.

If you trawl through the hundreds of reviews (which I’ve done, so you don’t have to) you’ll see one of the common praises of this pressure washer is how heavy-duty & durable it is, including the sturdy wheels, with multiple buyers reporting that they bought the Wilks pressure washer to replace a cheaper washer with flimsy wheels.

The 26 metres of reach that the hose gives you, should be enough for the vast majority of jobs without having to mess around with extension kits, and some people do mention in the reviews that the heavyweight hose being wound on the reel, can require a bit of straightening prior to each use, but most people would probably agree that this is a price worth paying for having a heavy-duty hose which is neatly stored on a reel.

It comes with all the accessories you need to clean all outdoor surfaces:

The standard gun and lance with fully adjustable pressure allows you to clean all surfaces regardless of sensitivity or stubbornness, however you may want to lower the power on certain surfaces including wooden fences, garden furniture.

The turbo wand, or to give it the official Wilks title “Ultra High Pressure Vari-Turbo Gun” can generate the maximum 262 bar of pressure and is ideal for bricks on the side of your house that have never been cleaned or concrete driveways that have had years of dirt and grime build-up.

Be careful, though, one owner reports in the reviews that they used too high a pressure for cleaning their paving slabs & ended up removing the concrete between the slabs, which just gives an idea of how powerful this pressure washer is.

In case you’re wondering about the functions of the various coloured click & go nozzles stored on the front panel of the washer:

Red Nozzle: This produces a very powerful single stream of water for pinpoint cleaning, for cleaning surfaces which can withstand such high pressures, including metal and concrete. Definitely don’t use this one for cleaning the outside of plastic sheds & storage boxes, wooden fences or rendered walls!

Yellow Nozzle: This nozzle sprays surfaces with a fifteen-degree pattern, perfect for vigorous cleaning of small areas, again this delivers a powerful jet of water so ensure that the area in question is likely to be up to being hit with such pressure.

Green Nozzle: This one is for powerful cleaning of larger areas, delivering a larger 25-degree pattern. Once again, this produces a powerful jet of water, so caution is advised.

White Nozzle: This is the general cleaning nozzle that most people will probably find that they use for the majority of every day cleaning jobs, including jet washing the car. There is a bigger, 40 degree spray pattern from this nozzle, and while this nozzle with this pressure washer will deliver intense power, it’s not as closely focused a pattern to cause damage to most surfaces.

Black/Blue Nozzle: This is the detergent nozzle, used to apply detergent, obviously ;-).

The angled lance it comes with, which Wilks refer to as the “gutter lance”, is a great tool for allowing you to clean your own gutters, by standing underneath them and using the angled lance to blast the muck out of your gutter.

You also get a couple of brush attachments. One standard brush and a rotary brush which is good for cleaning headlights & alloy wheels.

Last but far from least is the patio cleaning attachment that keeps the water contained in a circular housing to keep the water blast as concentrated as possible and is pretty much guaranteed to bring back to life even the most neglected of surfaces.

To make cleaning even more effective there is a 1 litre detergent tank that can be filled with a cleaning solution of your choice that will mix with the water during pressurised cleaning (with the use of the blue/black nozzle). It’s worth noting here that the detergent is designed to only flow when the detergent nozzle is used.

I’ve seen some confusion about this in YouTube videos and in the Amazon reviews, from people saying they don’t seem to be getting any detergent mixed with the water, and I think this is simply that people aren’t realizing that the detergent flows only when the detergent nozzle is used.

As you’ll see if you go to a car wash, detergent would usually be applied either via a brush, or separately with a lower-powered nozzle, before then being blasted with a higher pressure nozzle, and of course at car washes where time is of the essence they’ll have some washers permanently used for detergent and others used for washing rather than messing about changing nozzles.

With that said, though, someone does mention in the reviews that if you do want detergent to flow with another nozzle, you can get the detergent flowing and then quickly change to another nozzle, although I’m not sure if doing this is likely to cause any problems with your washer. Personally, I can’t really see why anyone would want to apply detergent under pressure, but each to their own.

Warranty

Despite being based in the United States, Wilks are serious enough about looking after their UK customers, that in addition to offering a 24-month warranty, they also have a free to call UK based support line for all queries & support.

Full specs

Standard working pressure: 155 bar
Maximum pressure: 262 bar
Standard Flow Rate: 7 Litres per minute
Maximum Flow Rate: 8.7 Litres per minute
Maximum Pressure Water Supply: 0.4MPa (4bar)
Motor Type: Copper Wound Constant Induction Motor
Motor Capacity: 2.5KW
Power Supply Voltage: 240V-50Hz
Max. Water Temperature: 50 °C
Weight: 22kg

Verdict

This is a premium quality pressure washer that has clearly been produced to high standards, using commercial-grade components, including the copper wound induction motor and metal pump.

If you’re looking for a realistically priced pressure washer which is capable of delivering the kind of cleaning power that you’d expect from an expensive commercial model, but at a lower price than many of the premium brand domestic cleaners, then the Wilks RX550i is definitely worth a look.

It’s a real powerhouse of a pressure washer but it also represents really good value for money, and if you spend some time reading the reviews you’ll find a number of buyers praising this pressure washer, explaining that they bought it to replace a more expensive well-known brand which was flimsy and overall lesser quality by comparison to the RX550i.

It has a wide number of jet options for cleaning a wide range of surfaces, it has an extremely long reach, and comes every accessory you would be likely to need, to cover just about every possible requirement.

Have a quick watch of the short video below of the RX550i in action, and make sure you catch the part at the end where it’s used to cut right through various fruits including an apple, a watermelon and a grapefruit. Impressive, although if they wanted to really show off they should have used a coconut.