Best Pressure Washers

The latest pressure washers are powerful beasts that make quick work of cleaning the car, scrubbing the patio and decking, and more.

Did I say powerful? I meant super-powerful. Use the wrong tool for the wrong job and they can do more harm than good. A focused, high-pressure jet is perfect for blasting gunk off a cast-iron barbecue grill, but point it at the patio and you may find it takes a piece out of your concrete. Beware: I picked a too-powerful tool at one point in my testing and accidentally stripped a bit of paint off the car.

The latest models are all powerful enough, so don’t get too hung up on their specs. 120 bar of pressure is plenty. Instead there are three things to look for…

Accessories

Pressure washers typically come with a trigger handle to which you attach a lance and then a choice of nozzles. The most common nozzles are a rotary one and a fan jet. Rotary nozzles create a wide, generous “make it rain” spray. Fan jet nozzles can be twisted to adjust the pressure and shape – everything from a powerful, focused beam of water to a gentle, wide, flat fan of water that’s perfect for cleaning cars and bikes.

Most mid-level and high-end pressure washers also come with a patio cleaner tool. These look like a vacuum cleaner head. They’re usually round but some have a pointy bit for edges and corners. There are bristles around the outside and then a pair of spinning water jets inside to blast the ground at close range. They’re usually adjustable – be sure to turn the pressure down for wooden decking.

All the pressure washers on test also boast a detergent tank which can be used for extra cleaning power. This is especially useful for washing the car.

Some pressure washers come with additional nozzles, lance extensions, brushes and more, but if yours doesn’t you can buy them as optional accessories.

Control

Very few pressure washers let you manually vary the pressure. Instead they rely on the tools to do it for you. So use a focused jet for tough jobs and a wide fan for gentle washing. I was impressed, though, by the way the Nilfisk D-PG 140.4-9 P X-TRA lets you adjust cleaning power manually too.

Design and build

This is subjective, but I have two pet peeves with pressure washer design. The first is machines that are too tall and topple over when they’re tugged. I found the Vax Power Wash Complete 3 to be the worst culprit for this, while the Kärcher K7 Premium Full Control Home and Stihl RE 109 were the most stable.

My second peeve is accessory storage. Some models are better than others for stowing the supplied tools. This matters a lot, because you want everything on hand when you’re cleaning.

Note that, with pressure washers, the official manufacturer’s price is pretty meaningless. Even brand-new models have a street price that’s significantly lower than the RRP, so do shop around online and expect to spend around 20% less than the official price.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’

N64oid

Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors

pokken

Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer

Int-Ball

These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3

airplane

Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones

Emojis

It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites

WhatsApp

New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money