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Whether you want to tackle stubborn dirt on your patio, decking or even your car, a pressure washer is the best tool for the job. Available with electric or petrol-powered motors, there are plenty of machines to choose from at your disposal. However, unless you are a professional, we would only recommend choosing an electric pressure washer as they are highly efficient and can adjust to best suit your cleaning requirements.
Whilst deciding on a pressure washer, you’ll want to consider some important performance ratings. These include the power output, water flow, motor wattage, hose/power cord length and more. You may also want to check out the available attachments and settings that allow you to set the pressure for tasks such as patio cleaning or car valeting.
To assist you in selecting the right pressure washer, our handpicked selection lists top-performing models, chosen based on our first-hand experience using multiple machines to clean patios, cars, fences and many other surfaces. Our testing and up-to-date research further ensure the quality of our recommendations.
How The DIY Works Team Tests & Rates Pressure Washers
A pressure washer is probably my favourite tool to use and although I personally love the Karcher machines, I have tested plenty of other pressure washers over the years. From cleaning patio slabs to green algae from fences, during our testing, we put the pressure washers through tough tests to base our recommendations on. When testing the machines, we also attempt to use all the supplied accessories and modes too.
Below is an example of us testing the different modes whilst cleaning our patio and as you can see, it’s currently on the machine’s “hard” setting because this is the mode that’s required to clean patios.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
To keep up our commitment to reviewing and testing the latest pressure washers (for this article), we are continually testing out the latest offerings from top brands in the UK. This means that when we notice that a brand has released a new model, we will attempt to upgrade our current machines for testing.
As you can see from the photos below, collectively at the DIY Works office, we have a range of pressure washers from a variety of brands. However, our most recent purchase is the Karcher K7 (as pictured) and as you can see, it certainly looks more modern and it also offers far more functionality than our other pressure washers too.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Below is a video that we posted on our YouTube channel that shows us putting a Karcher pressure washer to the test. As you can see, it powers through the dirty patio slabs with ease.
As well as our testing and experience with a range of pressure washers, we also based our recommendations on the latest research and several factors. Some of the factors that we took into consideration included the machine’s build quality, performance, portability, supplied accessories, functionality, ease of operation, warranty and value for money.
Karcher is the market-leading brand when it comes to pressure washers and they have a range of machines to best suit your needs and budget. The K7 Full Control Plusis the brand’s new and improved machine and it’s their most powerful yet that’s packed full of functionality and has an impressive 5-year warranty.
Although the K7 does come with a premium price tag, when you consider everything that it has to offer, it makes for a great investment that’ll continue to work its magic for many years to come.
Also included with this Karcher pressure washer is the T450 attachment, which is best used for patio cleaning. It attaches to the lance and allows you to power through weathered patios in a matter of minutes.
145 bar of pressure
Flow rate of 500 l/h
Intuitive LED display that allows you to easily select the different modes
Telescoping handle and a 10 metre hose length for improved usability
Dedicated smartphone application that you can select settings from and transfer to the machine (during testing, we found this to be far more useful than what we thought it was going to be)
Most expensive pressure washer within our roundup
If you can afford the K7 model, it certainly won’t disappoint and it’s by far the best Karcher pressure washer available right now. It’ll be able to withstand a large amount of usage for years to come and it also has all the latest features. For complete peace of mind, it also comes with a 5-year warranty and a UK-based support team.
If the K7 machine above is a bit too pricey, themore affordable Karcher K4is the best alternative. It may be an older machine but it still has the desirable LED display trigger gun and plenty of functionality and performance.
Although there are other popular models offered by Karcher such as the K2, the K4 model is by far the best all-round electric pressure washer that provides the performance for all types of cleaning tasks.
130 bar pressure
420 l/h flow rate
6 metre long hose that allows for plenty of movement without needing to move the machine
LED display trigger gun for displaying the current mode
Compatible with all Karcher attachments
During testing, we found that it provided ample performance for all generic cleaning tasks
Lacks performance when compared to the newer model
One of the great things about all Karcher models is that the brand provides great warranties. For example, this K4 model includes a 3-year manufacturer warranty, which is more than ideal when compared to similarly priced alternatives.
Overall, the Karcher K4 is anexcellent all-round electric pressure washerfor those on a budget and who wish to remain with the Karcher brand. It’s also compatible with the brand’s snow foam lances and patio cleaning attachments too.
Nilfisk is an upcoming brand within the pressure washing industry in the UK. As with the Karcher brand, theyproduce a variety of modelsthat are suitable for those on a budget but also machines that are designed for professional use.
The P150 is their flagship model that’s suitable for all types of cleaning but if you are on a budget, there are cheaper alternatives available with slightly less performance.
150 bar of pressure
610 l/h max flow rate
10 metre hose length
Onboard accessory storage
Relatively expensive when compared to the alternatives
The powerful induction motor of the P150 is the main reason why it performs as it does. It’s able toproduce a high power output for long periods of time, which is ideal for demanding tasks.
To conclude, the P150 electric pressure washer is one of the most expensive machines within this article but when you consider its performance, it does make it a worthwhile investment.
4. Best Lightweight: Bosch EasyAquatak Pressure Washer
Bosch is a brand that needs no introduction and their EasyAquatak is a compact machine that’s designed for portability. The small design is made possible by a highly efficient water pump that produces quick yet powerful performance.
Push fit connection for an easy setup
Variable power and rotary nozzles
Very lightweight as it weighs just 3.8 KG
Ideal for use various attachments (i.e. snow foam lances)
Lacks in performance due to its small size
To conclude, the EasyAquatak by Bosch is an excellent alternative to the more expensive machines and it does a great job when used for car or patio cleaning. However, it does have its limitations due to its smaller size but this does make it great for transportation as you are cleaning.
One of the cheapest pressure washers that’s actually worth buying is by the Von Haus brand. It’s a 2,200-watt machine that provides up to 165 bar of pressure and a maximum flow rate of 330 litres per hour.
Fully adjustable nozzle
Includes a detergent bottle
Backed by a two year warranty
Easy to transport upon its large wheels
Integrated hose reel
Not as high quality when compared to the alternatives
If you are on a tight budget and require a basic machine for pressure washing patios, decking or cars, it’s a great choice. It cannot be beaten in price and it comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty for complete peace of mind.
6. Best Cordless: WORX WG625E Cordless Pressure Washer
Cordless pressure washers are becoming increasingly popular due to their improved performance and by far the most popular cordless machine is the WORX WG625E.
The reason why it’s so popular is that it can provide up to 4 times the pressure of a standard garden hose. It’s also light, compact and able to draw water from any source, which can include a bucket or even a pool.
Supplied with a 20V lithium battery
0°, 25°, 40°, shower and mist nozzle settings
Doesn’t require any extra hoses or cords
Up to 30 minutes of continuous running
Flow rate of 120 l/h
Weighs just 1.7 KG
Need to have a supply or water nearby
The brand offers several more expensive alternatives but the WG625E is by far the best option. It offers great value for the money and is ideal for tasks that require additional power that a garden hose doesn’t provide. Although it’s super convenient, it isn’t the best at patio cleaning because it’s only suitable for cleaning tasks that don’t require lots of pressure.
7. Best Petrol Powered: Wilks TX625 Petrol Pressure Washer
For those that don’t have access to an outlet or require maximum power, the petrol pressure washer is the best alternative.Wilks USA is the market leaderwhen it comes to petrol-powered machines and for good reason.
With an impressive output of 3,950 PSI, this isn’t the pressure washer you would want to use for car valeting. However, for tackling tough dirt on your patio, driveway and other areas, it’s the ultimate tool for the job.
Very powerful and rated at 272 bar of pressure
720 l/h maximum flow rate
Long 20 metre hose length
Uses a 7HP OHV 4 stroke motor
Supplied with various attachments
Backed by a one year warranty
Petrol motor will require fuel and servicing
Although the Wilks TX625 can be used at home, it’s designed for heavy-duty professional use. The pressure that it outputs can cause serious damage when used in the wrong hands and it must be used appropriately.
Overall, it’s the best petrol pressure washer on the market that outperforms many of the alternatives at a similar price.
Pressure Washer Buying Guide
Investing in the best pressure washer you can buy that’s within your budget can be very beneficial. This is because trying to scrub tough dirt, grime and other debris from your wall, floor, patio or car can take hours and provide poor results.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below guide regarding pressure washers.
Petrol vs Electric Powered
You will notice that the majority of pressure washers available in the UK are electric powered. This is mainly because electric motors have improved massively over the last few years and allow you to tackle tough dirt with ease.
In terms of power differences, the majority of electric motors can deliver up to 2,000 PSI. However, for jobs that require further pressure, the petrol-powered alternative will be capable of producing over 7,000 PSI of pressure.
Petrol pressure washers do have their uses and work great for tough jobs where an outlet is not accessible. However, unless you can reduce the power output, they wouldn’t be suitable for car valeting. Using too much pressure can result in paint removal, which would be an expensive repair.
The best pressure washer type is definitely the electric-powered machines. They are lighter, easier to use, cheaper, require no servicing or fuel and are safe for cars, patios and other common cleaning tasks.
Compatibility With Different Attachments
Certain cleaning tasks can be made even easier by using a pressure washer attachment.
The most popular is asnow foam lance (as shown in the picture), which allows you to spray the car with thick foam before using a wash mitt. Other attachments include a patio cleaner, splash guard, telescoping handles and much more.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
Some machines may not be compatible with other attachments, which can be very frustrating. However, by sticking to reputable brands such as the machines listed above, you’ll have access to a range of different attachments.
Water Usage – Measured in l/h
For those that are on a water meter and want to keep the usage to a minimum, you’ll want an efficient machine. You can determine which uses the least amount of water by analysing the water flow rating.
The higher the water flow rating of a pressure washer will result in more water output from the nozzle. The benefit of a higher rating is that you will be able to wash surfaces quicker but it does mean that you are using extra water.
Size, Weight and Portability
For the more powerful pressure washers, you will often have a much larger machine. This is due to the powerful motor that outputs more water at a greater pressure. If you are planning on transporting the pressure washer from job to job, a more compact machine would be the best option.
Other factors that improve the portability include integrated wheels and an ergonomic handle for carrying or pulling. Apart from the Bosch machine, all of the recommendations have both wheels and handles for easy transportation. Due to the size of the Bosch alternative, it is lightweight enough to carry around.
The Spray Gun
Over the years, the pressure washer spray gun has become more advanced than ever. The Karcher models listed above even have an LED display integrated into them that outputs real-time data.
Other desirable spray gun features include an ergonomic non-slip grip, telescoping functionality and ease of connecting attachments.
One factor that’s often forgotten about is the length of the hose. It can become fairly frustrating having to constantly move the pressure washer around due to the hose not being long enough. Therefore, we would highly recommend a machine that has a minimum cord length of 5 metres.
Pressure is measured in either “bar” or “PSI” and is the force at which water is pumped out. Electric machines can often output up to 150 bar of pressure whereas petrol-powered alternatives can double the output.
For car valeting and other light tasks, 110 to 120 bar is more than ideal. However, for patio cleaning, we would recommend a more powerful machine that can output 130 bar and over.
Nozzle Spray Patterns
When setting up your pressure washer, you will want to use the correct spray pattern for the best results. Most machines come with an adjustable nozzle but others may come with specific nozzles that you must install.
Depending upon the type of cleaning you are doing will determine the spray pattern that you require. For example, a narrow spray pattern will allow you to be more precise and apply all the pressure to that specific area.
However, this can be fairly risky for some cleaning tasks such as car valeting. For this, you’ll want a wider spray nozzle setting to avoid any damage to the paintwork.
Richard Morgan/DIY Works
The Motor and Pump
Three different types of motors are found in pressure washers. These include auniversal, induction and water-cooledmotor. Each has its own benefits in terms of performance and noise levels. In terms of the pumps inside the machines, the most common are wobble, axial and triplex.
Investing in the best pressure washer you can get your hands on will make a huge difference to your cleaning efficiency. They are expensive but when you consider that they can last many years and most come with long warranties, they make for a great investment. We would recommend purchasing frombig brands such as Karcher, Bosch and Nilfisk. The main reason for this is because you can use a range of attachments without having to worry about compatibility.
For further information regarding our pressure washer recommendations, feel free to get in touch and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.
Written By Richard Morgan
Richard has many years of experience renovating properties and turning them into rentals and Airbnb's. As with many people, he started as a beginner but has now become somewhat of a DIY expert and he now isn't afraid of taking on any type of DIY project.