A pressure washer is a great investment that can provide plenty of benefits around your home. Whether it’s water blasting your house, cleaning decking, washing the car or even a boat, a pressure washer can make cleaning tasks a breeze, and with an efficient mobile pressure washer you could even reduce your water usage when compared to going about things the manual way.
Of course, if you’re in the market to buy a pressure washer, then you’ll want to make the most informed decision about your purchase. How big does the unit need to be, how can you make sense of all of the terminology when evaluating your options, and what are some of the best brands and models on the market; these are just some of the questions you’ll need to be able to answer.
In this guide we’ll cover everything from the basics, to the technical details that you’ll need when selecting the right unit for you. This will help you to find a reliable, efficient, and best price pressure washer for the jobs around your home.
What Exactly Can You Use a High Pressure Washer For?
Before buying a washer, many people underestimate the benefit and flexibility that comes with owning one of these handy machines.
We’ve briefly mentioned some of the basics like cleaning your car or the side of your house, but there’s a lot more value that can be gained from your purchase, and some of these may be quite unexpected.
- In addition to cleaning the siding and windows on your home, you can also use a pressure washer to clean your fences. Some intricately designed fences can be difficult and outright frustrating to clean by hand, but with a power washer you’ll be able to penetrate every aspect of a fence to remove dirt, mould, and other unsightly build up.
- Roof awnings can be notoriously difficult to clean, and can even pose a health and safety risk if you need to use a ladder to get close to them. With a pressurised water blaster you will be able to reach awnings from ground level, allowing you to clear out spider webs, bees hives, and other insect nests that have developed around your home.
- Decks are simple to clean when pressure washing, and with the right washer you’ll be able to clean outdoor tiles, paving stones, concrete driveways, and virtually any hard surface.
- Your large garden tools can be difficult to clean, especially when it comes to your lawnmower. Pressurised water can easily make it into every nook and cranny, cleaning the blade, and the underside cavity of your lawnmower, helping to reduce stalls and poor performance.
- Outdoor and garden furniture can be easily cleaned and made presentable with a low powered pressure washer.
These reasons alone should be enough to tell you that a pressure washer would be a great investment for your home, but first you’ll need to know the specifications and features to look for when you are shopping around.
Terminology and What to Look for When You Want to Buy Pressure Washers
For home use, an electrically powered unit is going to be the best tool for the job. Offering excellent price to performance, and high reliability with low maintenance, an electric pressure washer is affordable and perfect for consumers. When looking for the right one for your home, you’re going to need to evaluate some of the technical specs on the various models that are available. The three most important of these are each explained below.
1. Pressure Rating
Considering that pressure is the key element in any unit, it is the first thing that you should look at when you’re shopping. If the pressure is too low, then it’s going to take longer to perform cleaning tasks, which will mean that the unit is no longer efficient. If the pressure is too high for your needs, then you could damage some lighter equipment.
As a general rule, you should aim to buy a washer that has at least 110 bar of rated pressure. This is perfect for light cleaning of tools, outdoor furniture, and vehicles. If you are cleaning anything that is heavily soiled, then you’ll want to look at a unit that is closer to 130 bar of pressure.
This can mean vehicles that travel off road, farm equipment, pools, and outdoor surfaces on your home. If your cleaning tasks are likely to be on the heavy duty end of the scale, then you’ll need something that exceeds 130 bar, and reaches up to 160 bar of pressure. Commercial vehicles, stone or brick houses, stone walls, and heavily soiled paving are some examples of jobs where you would need a high pressure unit.
2. Flow Rate
The flow rate is a measurement of how much water is used by a power washer. Both the pressure and the flow rate are critical to the actual cleaning power of any particular device. The average flow rate is around 400 litres per hour of continuous running. However, this can be lower or higher depending on the particular manufacturer. Generally, the more water that can be moved, the more efficient the washer will be at removing dirt, debris, and the detergent that is used for cleaning.
Because you will be considering electric pressure washers, you’ll need to pay close attention any time that wattage is mentioned. Wattage has a direct correlation to how powerful and effective a pressure washer will be. To put it simply, a more powerful motor is better, but may not always be necessary. To put this in perspective using the popular Nilfisk brand, you could directly compare two models.
The Nilfisk C110 is a unit that runs a 1400 W motor, and it produces up to 110 bar pressure with a flow rate of 440 litres per hour. This would be great for some light duty cleaning tasks. Compare that to the Nilfisk P150, which runs a 2900 W electric motor, and you will see a pressure increase up to 150 bar, and around 600 litres of water flow per hour. Clearly the P150 is technically the more capable of the two, but may not be ideal if you only have light cleaning requirements.
These three key terms should be the basis of any purchasing decision, but they may not be what ultimately sways you towards any particular product. While you do need to ensure that a washer is powerful enough for your needs, you’ll also need to check that any particular model comes with the right accessories and features that make it worth buying.
Considering Mobility on the Best Pressure Washers UK
The aim of a pressure washer is to make things easier for when you are performing cleaning tasks around your home. You’ll need a mobile pressure washer, and you’ll also need accessories to be able to clean a range of different items and surfaces.
Mobility is key, and you should first understand that most pressure cleaning devices are inherently heavy. While a consumer unit will never be as unwieldy as the largest industrial or commercial pressure washer, things could become a nuisance if you choose a device that is too heavy and lacking in any kind of mobility solution. The best option for home users is a device that incorporates wheels and a push/pull handle system. This will make it easy to move even the heavier units around outdoor areas.
Another feature that can help with convenience and mobility is a retractable hose system. Some of the best pressure washers will come with a retractable hose reel, just like a good garden hose. This can help to limit trips and other accidents, and makes a washer much more convenient overall. If you’re looking for a reliable and cheap pressure washer, then you may have to compromise and go with one that includes a simple rack for hanging a hose on.
When you purchase a car wash pressure washer, or a washer for any purpose, you’re going to need to make sure that it comes included with the basic accessories that you need to get going.
These should include;
- A high quality hose that connects the pressure washer to the handheld part of the unit. Not every pressure washer will come with a hose to connect to your water supply, so this is something that you may want to consider when buying your first washer.
- The handheld accessory, known as the lance or wand, is the rigid pole extension that you will hold when cleaning. Some washers come with expandable lances for reaching high places on cleaning jobs.
- Nozzles will determine how good the pressure washer is for any particular job. Nozzles can affect the pressure and flowrate of the washer. All consumer pressure washers will come with a basic nozzle. If you’re upgrading or looking for replacements, look for hardware that comes with brass connections.
- If you’re going to be cleaning with detergent, then you’ll need a foam bottle attachment that mixes the water flow with your detergent of choice. Some devices from companies like Nilfisk will include a bottle attachment, whereas budget-friendly units might require that you purchase one as an optional accessory.
Considering Brands When Looking for the Best Pressure Washers
If you need a heavy duty pressure washer, or even a mini pressure washer for light cleaning tasks, then manufacturer brand is going to be one of your major considerations. Just like any group of products, the best washers will come from trusted brands, and there are a few that you’ll be able to choose from.
Qualcast Pressure Washers
Qualcast is a high quality brand that supplies affordable pressure washers in the UK. They come with excellent features, such as retractable hose coils, wheels and handles. This company offers manually adjustable pressure on some models, and they even provide a number of cleaning attachments. One of the great things about Qualcast pressure washers is that even their most affordable offerings come with some useful accessories.
Karcher Pressure Washers
This brand is instantly recognizable with bright yellow, modern styling. They offer a number of good solutions for home users, including larger models like the Karcher K4 Full Control Pressure washer with adjustable pressure, and they even have mini pressure washers like the Karcher K2 Compact.
K4 Full Control Home
K4 Premium Full Control Home
K5 Full Control Home
K5 Premium Full Control Home
K7 Premium Full Control Home
|Max Bar Pressure||110 bar||130 bar||130 bar||145 bar||145 bar||160 bar|
|Max Flow Rate||360 l/hr||420 l/hr||420 l/hr||500 l/hr||500 l/hr||600 l/hr|
|Area Cleaned (Square Metres per Hour)||20||30||30||40||40||60|
|High Pressure Hose Length||4 M||6 M||6 M||8 M||8 M||8 M|
|Hose Storage||On Board Storage||On Board Storage||Integrated Hose Reel||On Board Storage||Integrated Hose Reel||Integrated Hose Reel|
|High Pressure Spray Gun||Standard||Full Control Power Gun||Full Control Power Gun||Full Control Power Gun||Full Control Power Gun||Full Control Power Gun|
|Detergent Application||Suction Tube||Plug n Clean System||Plug n Clean System||Plug n Clean System||Plug n Clean System||Plug n Clean System|
|Motor Type||Air Cooled||Water Cooled||Water Cooled||Water Cooled||Water Cooled||Water Cooled|
|Click For Current Price >>>||£||££||££||£££||£££||££££|
Black & Decker Pressure Washers
In the UK and around the world, Black & Decker is known for quality and affordability. If you’re looking for a compact cheap pressure washer that doesn’t make too many compromises, then you could look at the handheld Black & Decker PW1300C 100 Bar 1300 Watt Pressure Washer.
Nilfisk Quality Power Washers
Nilfisk offers a whole range of washers from the entry level, right up to commercial pressure washers. This brand is known for excellent portability and quality, and a model like the Nilfisk C120 Pressure Washer is a great example of a mid-powered washer that is great for a number of cleaning tasks around the home and on vehicles.
Bosch Pressure Washers
Bosch is one of the most trusted power tool brands in the world, and it’s no surprise that their pressure washers are highly respected by both consumers and professional operators. Good options for the home include the Bosch AQT 33-11 mini pressure washer, or the Bosch AQT 37-13 Plus Pressure Washer for times when you need some extra cleaning power. Excellent construction quality and ease of use make Bosch models ideal for your first pressure washer.
Vax Pressure Washers
Although Vax is mostly known for their vacuum cleaners, that doesn’t mean that they’re not a great choice for creating positive pressure for water blasting. Vax units sit in the entry level of the range, and are great if you need moderate cleaning power from one of the best cheap pressure washers. No frills designs don’t mean a lack in quality, but you should expect to make some compromises when compared to units from the likes of Karcher, Bosch, and Nilfisk.
Other notable brands include Draper pressure washers, Sealey, VonHaus Compact Washers, Makita, Wolf, and Silverline.
Use Your Knowledge to Find the Best Electric Pressure Washer
Now that you know exactly what to look for, it’s time to start your search for the best washers in the UK. Keep this buying guide in mind, and you’ll find it easier to make the right purchase.
- Determine what you will be using a pressure washer for, depending on your cleaning needs.
- Remember that flow rate, rated pressure, and wattage, will all combine to indicate how much cleaning power you get from a washer. Light jobs are fine while using a smaller unit, but for medium and heavy duty jobs you will need a high powered washer of 130 bar or more.
- Check the accessories and other features that are included with any washer that you’re considering. Some accessories and features offer convenience, whereas others will be absolutely necessary for portability and to perform your regular cleaning jobs.
- There is a lot that can be said for a strong brand name. Trusted brands generally produce more reliable units, and include features that cheap pressure washers lack. While brand won’t be your absolute bottom line, it can be a good initial indicator of overall quality.
With this information, and along detailed pressure washer reviews, you’ll be able to find the right unit for your needs, and make a great investment that helps you to quicken and improve the quality of all your regular cleaning jobs.