If you’re looking to shift mud and dirt from patios, garden fences and filthy cars, these are the best pressure washers to buy
Whether you want to blast the dirt off your car, clear stubborn grease from a BBQ or rid your patio of built-up muck, a pressure washer will make your life a whole lot easier. You can banish those unpleasant memories of hours spent scrubbing on your hands and knees – a few trigger-happy minutes is all it will take to remove troublesome stains and dirt. Here you’ll find our quick guide to buying the best pressure washer, followed by our pick of the finest models that you can currently buy.
How to choose the best pressure washer for you
What type of pressure washer do I need?
There are two types of pressure washer on the market: electric and petrol-powered. The latter are generally for more heavy-duty cleaning tasks, have much higher maximum pressure readings and cost vastly more money. As such, we’re going to focus solely on electric pressure washers as they cover pretty much all the domestic cleaning tasks you could imagine.
What do you want to use your pressure washer for?
Maximum pressure is not the only way to assess whether a particular model is right for you. If the manufacturer includes it, look for the washer’s “bar-rated pressure” as well. This is the average pressure that each washer can maintain over a long period.
What accessories do you need for different cleaning tasks?
Before you hit the Buy Now button, it pays to stop and check which tools are included: most pressure washers come in a variety of different bundles, all with different tools in the box, and the confusingly similar product names make it easy to buy the wrong one by mistake.
If the hose is too short, perhaps you’ll need an extension wand. Maybe you need an angled wand to clean guttering. If you want to tackle specific cleaning tasks, such as cleaning patios or cars, then you’ll get the best results with brushes and nozzles that are purpose-built for the task at hand.
What other features do you need to consider?
Water flow rate is another specification that you’ll see cropping up. This indicates how much water is passed through the washer per hour. Around 400 litres per hour (l/hr) is an average figure. Clearly, the more water that’s delivered, the quicker you’ll get your cleaning done
Another thing to consider is the hose length. It is possible to use an extension lead, but it’s essential that you use one that offers a suitable amperage (13 amps minimum) and is designed for outdoor use. Water and electricity aren’t the best of bedfellows. There’s also the weight and size of the machine to think about. Some models come with retractable handles for easy storage and all of them on this list have wheels for portability.
How dangerous are pressure washers?
Pressure washers can be extremely dangerous, so always wear protective goggles, proper footwear – a jet of water against bare toes is going to result in a hospital visit – and never ever spray them at yourself or someone nearby. The high-pressure water jets are capable of causing severe injuries to skin and soft tissue; these are anything but big boys’ toys.
The best pressure washers to buy
1. Karcher K4 Full Control: Best all-round pressure washer
Price: £170 | Buy now from Halfords
Whether you’re looking to clean a car, a patio, some garden furniture or the inside of a wheelie bin, its 130 bar pressure, Full Control trigger gun and LCD display have you covered. It will give you direct feedback on whether the pressure setting you’ve chosen is right for what you’re cleaning and it can be regulated by twisting the Vario Power lance to the required position.
Your cleaning may be limited by the 6m hose, but the Karcher’s adjustable handle means that maneuvrability is a non-issue. Make sure to buy the model with the right tools for the task at hand as the K4 is available in a wide range of bundles – choose carefully and this is a fantastic pressure washer.
Key Specs – Size: 39.7 x 37 x 59cm (LWH); Weight: 11.4kg; Max pressure: 130 bar; Water flow rate: 420l/hr; Hose length: 6m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: 30m² per hour; Motor power: 1,800W
2. Mac Allister 1,800W: Best value pressure washer
Price: £128 | Buy now from B&Q
It might not have the build quality and looks to match of some of its more expensive rivals, but the Mac Allister 1,800W pressure washer does its job with such enthusiasm you’d be hard-pressed to ignore it. Weighing in at 10kg, it has a maximum flow rate of 440l/hr, at a pressure of 130 bars – in other words, enough grunt to compete with the £175 Karcher K4 Full Control.
That’s not bad, particularly for a product that’s almost £50 less than the K4. But the Mac Allister is also easy to assemble, and it comes with a sizeable array of additional attachments, including a patio cleaner, and a two-year warranty. It’s ideal for anyone looking to do medium-sized cleaning tasks on a budget.
Key specs – Size: 86 x 38 x 38cm (HWL); Weight: 10kg; Max pressure: 130 bar; Water flow rate: 440l/hr; Hose length: 6m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: N/A; Motor power: 1,800W
Buy now from B&Q
3. Makita HW111: Best for washing small items
Price: £132 | Buy now from Amazon
This is a simple piece of kit from Makita that’s best used for smaller cleaning jobs. With a maximum of 110 bars of pressure and a 370l/hr flow rate, it can’t compete with the likes of the Bosch and the Karcher models in this list, but what it lacks in power it makes up for in simplicity and ease-of-use.
It has a 5.5m hose and doesn’t come with quite the same amount of accessories as the more premium pressure washers, but for a no-frills pressure washer that’s well-designed and easy to use, this is a solid option.
Key Specs – Size: 43 x 30.5 x 64.5cm (LWH); Weight: 13kg; Max pressure: 110 bar; Water flow rate: 370l/hr; Hose length: 5.5m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: N/A; Motor power: 1,700W
4. Nilfisk C135 bar High Pressure Washer: Best for build quality
Price: £206 | Buy now from Amazon
If you’re happy to spend north of 200 quid on a pressure washer, then the Nilfisk C135 could be the ideal model for you. The 135 bar max and 440l/hr will see you clean everything from cars to fences quicker and more efficiently than you’d ever imagined, although the clean may not be quite as comprehensive as the Karcher. Nilfisk includes a free two-year warranty for extra peace of mind.
Key Specs – Size: 88.5 x 30.5 x 29.5 cm (LWH); Weight: 17.1kg; Max pressure: 135 bar; Water flow rate: 380-440l/hr; Hose length: 6m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: N/A; Motor power: 1,700W
Nilfisk C 135 bar High Pressure Washer with Induction Motor ● 380 L/H water flow ● Blue
5. Bosch AQT 40-13: Best for washing large items
Price: £156 | Buy now from Amazon
Much like the Karcher, the Bosch is a 130-bar pressure washer, but this AQT model is ideally suited for cleaning larger items. Despite its lightweight body, it’s a feisty cleaner and can blast dirt away easily. There’s also a fold-down telescopic handle for easy storage and it comes with four nozzle accessories including a fixed fan jet for cleaning large areas.
This is by no means a perfect pressure washer – trying to re-coil the hose after washing is a real pain – but for cleaning quality, it’s hard to beat.
Key Specs – Size: 44 x 41 x 36 cm; Weight: 6.8kg; Max pressure: 130 bar; Water flow rate: 400l/hr; Hose length: 6m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: N/A; Motor power: 1,900W
6. Silverline 943676 2,100W: Most powerful budget pressure washer
Price: £117 | Buy now from Amazon
It may be the cheapest model on our list but this device packs a powerful punch with its 2,100W motor and 432l/hr flow rate. The 5m hose has a built-in reel (something you don’t always see on cheaper units) and it comes with a reassuring three-year warranty so you can put it through its paces on your decking or patio.
It doesn’t come with the kind of attachments and extras that you see with more expensive versions – you just get the standard lance and a spray gun rather than a range of nozzles – but if you don’t want to spend much more than £100, this is a good choice.
Key Specs – Size: 36 x 33 x 89cm (LWH); Weight: 19.4kg; Max pressure: 165 bar; Water flow rate: 432l/hr; Hose length: 5m; Cable length: 5m; Cleaning area: N/A; Motor power: 2,100W