Buying the Best Pressure Washer

When trying to find the best pressure washer you need to take a few things into consideration. Even before looking at pressure washers, You should know what you want to use the pressure washer for. How often you will use it and how quickly you want the get the job done. In short, the higher the pressure and higher the water flow, the faster you can clean with it. (Too high pressure and too close you can damage paintwork on your car). This is typically due to higher pressure gives you a wider cleaning width. Usually, a higher specification pressure washer will be more durable and come with a longer manufacturers guarantee.

karcher-k2-compact-pressure-washer-with-accessories

Types of pressure washer

Electric Pressure Washers

Electric pressure washers are great if you just want something that will easily take care of average jobs. They run of mains electricity, easy to use and are affordable.

Petrol Pressure Washers

Petrol pressure washers are generally much more powerful than their electric counterparts, this makes  them a lot more expensive to buy. Being more powerful they are more appropriate for heavy duty tasks. As they are powered by petrol rather than electricity, you don’t have the issue with trailing wires. They are a lot more portable.

Which Pressure Washer is right for you?

Before we jump in and directly compare statistics of different pressure washers, we need to understand the task in hand. Are you only planning on use the pressure washer with your car or will you use the pressure washer for other tasks around the house, like cleaning your patio or drive. Here are a few things you should consider when choosing the best pressure washer.

  • Adjustable pressure settings – Will you be able to change the pressure depending on the task in hand.
  • Space for storing the pressure washer when not in use – Does it come with cable management.
  • Mobility – Higher specification pressure washers can get heavy, does it have wheels or carry handles.
  • Options for accessories – There are many accessories you can get for pressure washers from snow foam lances additions to hose reels.

greenworks-gpw1702-pressure-washer

Using a pressure washer

Pressure washers are usually connected to a mains water supply. However there are ones that use a static water supply like a bucket or water butt are available. If you are connecting a pressure washer to a static water supply, make sure that you have a filter attached. This will prevent any dirt or sediment from getting into the machine and blocking it. Also it is important that you do not let the water supply run out as this can damage the motor in your pressure washer.

When connecting a pressure washer to a mains water supply. You will need to ensure that you have the correct size hose adaptors. This can be different in different places around the world. If you are connecting a pressure washer to a static water supply. You need to make sure that it either comes with a suction hose or that it has capability of adding one in the future.

Pressure washers come in a variety of power, the best pressure washer for your task may not be the best pressure washer for every task. Generally a higher pressure will allow you to clean quicker, this is true if you are cleaning your patio, but if you are cleaning your car then without proper usage, you’ll end up with a trip to the body shop and a rather large bill.

When using a pressure washer on your car you shouldn’t need a heavy duty pressure washer, which is capable of over 120 bar. If you do need a heavy duty pressure washer for other tasks you may have then it is very important that the pressure washer has adjustable pressure settings. This is what will make it the best pressure washer for your task, the ability to change the pressure to exactly what’s required.

When using the pressure washer on delicate parts of a vehicle you should take care not to hold the nozzle too close to the paint work. Again, this is what can cause the pressure washer to damage the paint work.

What types of pressure washer can you buy?

Entry level pressure washer

The entry level pressure washer is usually idea for cleaning small areas, small cars and garden furniture.

Entry level pressure washers typically cost $50 – $130 (£40 – £100), these are generally own brand models with low powered motors, low water pressure and low flow rates. Usually entry level pressure washers are small, have carry handles or are small trolley-style units with small wheels.

Hoses on entry level pressure washers are generally short. A short hose usually makes cleaning you car difficult. Entry level pressure washers usually have fixed nozzles and the pressure cannot be set.

Model:Sun Joe SPX1000Realm HPI-1100GreenWorks GPW1501
Pressure:1450 PSI1200 PSI1500 PSI
Water flow:1.45 GPM1.35 GPM1.2 GPM
Sun Joe SPX1000Realm HPI-1100GreenWorks GPW1501

Mid range pressure washer

Mid range pressure washers are generally best for cleaning paved areas, decking and cars. A mid range pressure washer can be the best pressure washer for cleaning you car and keeping the budget relatively low.

Mid range pressure washers typically cost $130 – $250 (£100 – £200), these are typically a mix of high end own brand and entry level branded models. You will find that mid range pressure washers can carry a plethora of accessories making them perfectly suited to cleaning a car. Mid range pressure washers usually have medium powered motors, good water pressures and good flow rates. They are usually heavier and have larger wheels and have on-board storage for accessories. The hoses on mid range pressure washers are usually longer. A longer hose makes them better suited to cleaning a car.

Model:GreenWorks GW2002Karcher K5Sun Jow SPX3001
Pressure:2000 PSI2000 PSI2030 PSI
Water Flow:1.2 GPM1.5 GPM1.76 GPM
GreenWorks GW2002Karcher K5Sun Joe SPX3001

High end pressure washer

High end pressure washers are generally best for cleaning large areas of paving, large drives, very muddy 4×4’s and commercial vehicles.

Most High end pressure washers typically cost onwards of $250 (£200). Only high end manufacturers such as Karcher and Bosch. They will have high powered motors, high water pressures and high flow rates. High end pressure washers tend to be very heavy and large due to the uprated motors. The motors in high end pressure washers will be more durable than cheaper models. Large wheels, multiple lances and many cleaning accessories are very common in high end pressure washers as they can be suited to many tasks.

Model:Karcher G 3000 OHGenerac 6921Simpson PS4240H
Pressure:3000 PSI2500 PSI4200 PSI
Water Flow:2.5 GPM2.4 GPM4 GPM
Karcher G 3000 OHGenerac 6921Simpson 4240H

What to check when choosing the best pressure washer

If you go into a store there are a variety of things you can check. As the pressure washer will be in front of you this is a good idea.

  • How heavy is it? Is it too heavy to move.
  • Check if the pressure washer can it be wheeled around with ease?
  • Can the cables be wound around the pressure washer?
  • How comfortable is the lance to hold?
  • Is the trigger to pull?
  • How big is it? If it’s too big, you’ll have a hard time trying to store it.

generac-6922-pressure-washer - best pressure washer

Industrial pressure washers

There are far superior Power Washers available that run off most fuel sources. Such as Gasoline, Diesel and Electric which use hot water or steam heated by Fuel oils or gas. Typically these pressure washers are specialist items for industrial purposes. These pressure washers are not suited to cleaning a car. However, pressure washers such as those made by Hotsy or landa. These would be suited perfectly suited to cleaning a greasy garage. Or even a workshop floor that has years of oil and grease built up. Industratial pressure washers mostly cost upward of $5000 and are not usually mobile