The Best Pressure Washer For Home Use.
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Our Recommended Pressure Washer Is The The Briggs & Stratton!
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Many homes with a garden will usually have some sort of decking or patio area for relaxing. Over the average year, grime, moss, weather staining and other "little gifts" from Mother Nature will leave that once sparkling area and garden furniture in need of a clean, a good clean.
Likewise, the family car will build up a layer of hard to shift dirt and grime in a very short time. Nothing could be more soul destroying than spending hours trying to remove almost irremovable dirt off that once gleaming "just out of the showroom" vehicle.
Enter the "home pressure washer". Whether it be a petrol powered or electric jet washer, these devices have proven themselves invaluable when it comes to being a car washer or patio cleaning.
There is such a plethora of pressure washers, all of them claiming to be the best on the market, that it makes the deciding which one best suits your specific needs so difficult. This review looks at the top five best pressure washers to make sure that decision is easier to make.
The Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q Petrol Power Washer.
After putting all of the very best pressure washers through their paces, the Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q was judged to be the best all round power washer under review.
What makes this particular jet washer stand out from the others is that it is petrol powered. Briggs & Stratton is possibly the best small engine manufacturers, with a worldwide reputation for quality. Powered by a highly efficient 190cc 4 stroke petrol engine, the Elite 3200Q pressure washer is not encumbered by cord length.
While not electric start, the Briggs & Stratton's Elite 3200Q 190cc engine does have the "Ready Start" feature which means that the engine does not have to primed or have its choke used to start. However, being a recoil operated or pull start will put some people off this pressure washer, as in the past these types of engines have had a reputation for being extremely hard to get going especially in the cold of winter.
As far as this particular Briggs & Stratton motor is concerned, starting was found to be very easy indeed, with the only thing to remember being to check the oil level, and topping up if required before starting. The fuel tank is a very generous 3L capacity, enabling continuous operation, making sure that big jobs can be undertaken.
The Elite 3200Q has a sturdy heavy duty steel frame and large wheels giving this pressure washer good ground clearance allowing it to be moved around with relative ease, without it getting stuck.
High pressure is a vital ingredient for any pressure washer and the Elite 3200Q is able to produce 220 bar pressure at a flow rate of 612L of water / hour. Enough power to be an effective patio cleaner or suitable for car cleaning. Coupled with its detergent injection system this power washer does make for an impressive result in these areas.
Cleaning effectiveness was certainly enhanced with the inclusion of 4 types of cleaning nozzle, (0, 15, 40 degrees and soaping), while being able to access hard to get at areas was made easier with the a 9m pressure hose.
The Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q pressure washer is also designed to be connected up to external or garden taps only, making it easy to literally clip the garden hose onto the machine. Although it could be a problem for those relying on house taps.
A limited 2 year warranty for both the engine and the pressure washer is included.
Although judged to be the best pressure washer in the review, the Elite 3200Q does have its little faults which in the grand scheme of things amount to very little, but should be mentioned.
Due in part to it being petrol powered, the Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q pressure washer weighs in at 24kg. Most of the weight is understandably the 190cc engine, however, the steel frame and solid handle does make it easy to manoeuvre.
Much noise was actually made about the "check and go" feature as well as the "quiet sense" technology used. Both these so called features are simple things that would occur: checking the oil before using a machine and the engine returning to idle when the throttle is lowered. Both the terms used by Briggs & Stratton are nothing more than "jargonese".
As far as pressure washers are concerned The Elite 3200Q is a machine that offers excellent results and value for money.
- Briggs and Stratton 190cc Engine used. Super reliable and easy to start, regardless it being a recoil mechanism.
- Large 3 litre fuel tank, allowing big jobs to be undertaken.
- 220 bar pressure with a flow rate of 612L /hour. Good for car cleaning and patio pressure washing.
- Heavy duty steel frame with all necessary storage areas for lance, hose and nozzles.
- 4 nozzles included. Optimizes cleaning power.
- 2 year warranty covering both engine and pressure washer.
- Its weight. Weighing at 24kg the Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q is not a lightweight pressurewasher.
- "Quiet Sense Technology" and "Check and Go" features are nothing more than "jargonese"
Kärcher K7 Premium Full Control Plus Home Pressure Washer with Telescopic Jet Cleaner.
Karcher are a well established, and highly regarded company, and the Karcher K7 "Full Control Plus" electric pressure washer is a highly reliable and well regarded machine in its own right.
The Karcher K7, has many of the features of its smaller budget pressure washer cousin, the K4 full control model. However, the K7 electric pressure washer has increased power of 180 bar pressure and a flow rate of 550L/hour, making it ideal as a patio cleaner, especially when the T450 "scrubbing" attachment is included.
When used without the T450, the Karcher K7 "Full Control" pressure washer uses a telescopic wand which can be extended from 1.2m to 4m, allowing for real access to hard to get areas. Not only has Karcher made their wand extremely telescopic, and some may say overly so, the need to stop and change nozzles has also been eliminated.
With the 3-in-1 nozzle, which can be altered on the wand handle with easy adjustments being made for most washer needs, whether car cleaning or giving the garden furniture a "going over".
The pressure hose connecting the lance to the actual K7 pressure washer is 10m in length, allowing plenty of manoeuvrability, especially when the lance is at full extension.
A novel approach to detergent feed has been used by Karcher, with the K7 pressure washer having what can only be described as a "plug-in" feed. The bottle of detergent is literally plugged into a special compartment, ensuring that there is no emptying into a tank and reducing spillage.
While not being quite as heavy as the Elite 3200Q pressure washer, the Karcher K7 weighs in at 17.7kg. The main problem though is with the relatively small wheels which makes movement trickier due to lower ground clearance.
Included with the Karcher K7 package is a soft material storage bag.
The Karcher K7 "Full Control" pressure washer, like the K4 "Full Control" and Karcher K2 carries a 5 year warranty.
While being one of the best pressure washers available, the K7 , like every model of power washer in this review, has its weaknesses.
One of the biggest concerns that came to light in the review was that the electric motor of the Karcher K7 as well as the K4 "Full Control" and the Karcher K2 are all water cooled! While the motors are all very probably waterproofed, it still brings to mind the saying that "water and electricity do not mix"
There is a loss of effectiveness when 3 separate nozzle functions are combined into a 3-in-1 format.
The combination of 17.7kg and a low ground clearance actually makes the K7 pressure washer cumbersome.
However, it must be reiterated that the Karcher K7 is one of the best pressure washers on the market.
- High pressure of 180 bar. Power to effectively pressure clean most areas.
- Telescopic wand. Ideal to reach hard to get to areas.
- Plug in detergent feed.
- 5 year warranty.
- Low ground clearance, making the Karcher K7 cumbersome to handle.
- The electric motor being water cooled.
- The cleaning wand being too extendable.
Sealey PW3500 Professional Pressure Washer .
The Sealey PW3500 pressure washer with its distinctive blue and black colour scheme is designed to be used domestically and commercially.
With its 2100W electric motor the Sealey PW3500 pressure washer is able to produce 140 bar pressure at a flow rate of 420L of water/hour, certainly enough power to clean a car or a patio area to an acceptable standard.
Sealey, like Karcher, have decided to develop a single variable nozzle which can supposedly cater for most if not all situations. This has been achieved, but with limited success, as convenience will always sacrifice accuracy, and so it has with the effectiveness of the variable nozzle.
The included "rotablast" attachment bears witness to the limitations of the single variable nozzle configuration. However Sealey make much about this additional attachment, claiming that its action gives the same power performance as a 240 bar pressure washer.
A large 1.2L detergent tank allows relatively long continuous use, allowing for bigger tasks to be undertaken.
While larger jobs are able to undertaken the Sealey PW3500 has a hose length of 8m, which does limit its ability to reach had to get at places.
The PW3500 power washer comes with a 1 year warranty.
For its size this pressure washer is quite a heavy machine weighing in at 18.8kg, which with its conventional design of low ground clearance does make this model of power washer hard to manoeuvre.
Despite boasting brass fittings and the ability to power wash 4x4s and tractors, as well as having performance enhancing attachments, the Sealey PW3500 is limited in its power washing capabilities and performance.
Much acclaim has been made by Sealey about their Total Stop System (TSS), which in non jargonese is a switch that stops the motor when the trigger in the handle is not depressed. Again this is quite simply a non feature.
However, the Sealey PW3500 is a quality machine, it's just not the best power washer in this review.
- Produces 140 bar pressure with 420L of water / hour. A respectable level of power suitable for most pressure washing needs.
- Large 1.2L detergent tank. Enough to complete bigger cleaning jobs.
- Variable nozzle from pencil to fan setting. Limited in its success , due to convenience versus accuracy.
- 8m pressure hose length , reducing accessibility to hard reach areas.
- With its design coupled with its weight of 18.8kg, the Sealey PW3500 pressure washer has low ground clearance making the machine awkward to move and cumbersome to operate.
Ryobi - Lithium + 36 V Pressure Washer.
Ryobi's Lithium + 36V pressure washer is an attempt to bring greenness into the realm of cordless pressure washers. Generally speaking, due to the high pressure required for pressure washers to be effective they have in the most part been petrol powered.
It must be noted that a true pressure washer is designed to operate at least 110 bar to have any impact. The Ryobi Lithium +36V pressure washer produces at best pressure of 120 bar with a flow rate of 325L of water / hour.
This Ryobi pressure washer is what would be termed as a "nude machine". In that there is no battery or charger included. The need to purchase the large 36V lithium cell and its charger more or less doubles the price of this what at first glance, looks like a "budget pressure washer".
The 36V lithium cells are both heavy and the charge life is very short, with an average operational time of only 17 minutes before having to recharge.
With no direct water feed capability from an external garden tap, the Ryobi +36V Pressure washer comes with a 25L pouch which provides water for this machine's operation. However there is one real draw back: it looks as if Ryobi have not done their sums on the water consumption front. With a pressure of 120 bar and a flow rate of 325 litres / hour, 25L will not last long. In fact barely long enough to clean a car!
The Ryobi lithium +36V pressure washer has a 1L detergent tank which will outlast a single 25 litre pouch of water.
If this was not enough, the pressure hose length is 3m, making it difficult to reach hard to get areas, as well as making patio cleaning difficult and time consuming.
To further add to the disappointment of the review, Ryobi incorporates a 5-in-1 nozzle into this model, ensuring there is no way that this machine can complete a short task without either to refill the water pouch, or recharge the lithium cell, or making even the garden furniture a little cleaner.
However there are somef good points about the Ryobi lithium +36 V which are worth mentioning.
A well designed and sturdy frame with larger than usual wheels giving a relatively good ground clearance, means that the Ryobi lithium +36 V pressure washer is very easy to manoeuvre, especially when this machine weighs only 15.1kg.
The Ryobi lithium 36V is covered by a 3 year warranty.
AS far as pressure washers are concerned, the Ryobi lithium 36V cannot be considered to be anywhere near the best. What started out as a very good idea has resulted in a machine that has been thoroughly under engineered and not able to carry out what it was designed to do.
- Weighs only 15.1kg. In the world of pressure washers this is lightweight.
- Solid frame with wheels that good ground clearance.
- the Ryobi lithium +36V is covered by a 3 year warranty.
- Naked machine offer. The 36V lithium cell and charger have to bought separately, adding substantial costs.
- A 25L water pouch as the only source of water. At 325 litres / hour, this amount of water will not last very long.
- charge life is up to 17 minutes. This pressure washer is incapable of tackling even the smallest of jobs in .
- The 5-in-1 variable nozzle is highly ineffectual.
- The pressure hose has a length of only 3m.
Wilks-USA RX550i Highest Powered Electric Pressure Washer.
With the Wilkes RX550i all is not all that it seems. This pressure washer claims that it has the highest and best pressure of 262 bar. This is not exactly true. Its INITIAL pressure is indeed 262 bar, but its operating or continuous pressure is actually 155 bar with a flow rate of 510 litres of water / hour, a very marked difference.
The RX550i is powered by a 2000W electric motor as opposed to the reported 3000W motor brushless motor. With such a power difference this would go part way to explaining the sudden drop in pressure after a couple of seconds operation.
While giving the first impression that it is a heavy duty pressure washer the Wilks RX550i is as pressure washers go a model of solid performance. With enough power for car cleaning, this machine can also qualify as a better than average patio cleaner too.
Despite its misleading specifications, the RX550i does represent extremely good value for money. Wilks provide all accessories in the price , including things such as gutter lances a turbo wand and rotary brush.
With an average size 1 litre detergent tank and adequate pressure of 155 bar it does have the quite unique feature of being able to reach very nearly any area that needs cleaning. The RX550i's pressure hose length of 26m does make up for its inadequacies of its lack of water pressure.
However, one of the wilks RX550i biggest downfalls is its sheer weight. At 30kg this pressure washer is extremely heavy, even for pressure washers. Coupled with its traditional design, the RX550i is extremely unwieldy and will get stuck very easily.
The Wilks RX550i comes with a 1 year warranty.
With regard to pressure washers , the Wilks RX550i is a respectable performer, however, it certainly is not one the best pressure washers on the market.
- Very long pressure hose length of 26m. Almost all areas to pressure wash can be reached.
- Extremely good value for money. Wide range of accessories are included.
- Misleading claim of high pressure.
- Inaccurate celectrical power rating.
- Very heavy. weighing in at 30kg, the RX550i is hard to manoeuvre, especially as it has low ground clearance.
What To Look For In A Good Pressure Washer.
When choosing the Briggs & Stratton Elite 3200Q as the best pressure washer, there were certain criteria that needed to be satisfied. The major factor to consider is the reputation and reliability of the make. Briggs & Stratton are possibly the most reliable small engine maker and coupled with the fact that they cover the engine as well as the pressure washer with their warranty shows how much faith there is in in that model.
The best pressure washers must also have a balance all round effectiveness, from cleaning a car to blasting weather stains off the patio.
Having the best pressure and flow rate, coupled with hose length, affects the pressure washer's ability to get to hard to each areas.
All these factors have to be balanced against the price of the machine to make it the best pressure washer.