Homeowners don't have to empty their wallets to find a basic pressure washer with good ratings. The best cheap pressure washers are powerful enough for most light-duty jobs but won't last as long as more expensive models. Experts say that by carefully following operating and maintenance instructions, users can get the most from their pressure washers.
At 19 pounds, the AR Blue Clean's electric AR118 (Est. $100) is among the lightest power washers on the market. A handheld model, it takes up little storage space -- yet at 1,500 psi and 1.58 gpm, it has enough power to clean cars and patio furniture thoroughly. It can also tackle some grimier tasks but takes more time to do so than larger units. It comes with an adjustable spray head, an attachable soap dispenser and onboard accessory storage. It also features a stop system that cuts the motor when the trigger is released to reduce noise and help protect the pump. It has a one-year warranty.
Product expert Mike Aletich, writing for PressureWashersDirect.com, recommends this unit, in large part because of its high-grade triplex plunger pump. He calls this feature "a step above" what's commonly found in units at this price. In addition, the AR118 earns an average rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars from users posting to Amazon.com, as well as an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars at HomeDepot.com. Most like that it's portable, easy to use and effective at cleaning, although some find the water pressure too low.
For those who want to spend the least amount possible for an electric power washer with good reviews, the Campbell Hausfeld PW1350 (Est. $90) is worth a look. At 1,350 psi and 1.3 gpm, this model is best used for outdoor, seasonal cleaning as well as car washing. Like other electric models, it has an automatic stop system that stops the motor when the trigger is released to help protect the pump and reduce noise, as well as an adjustable fan lance and detergent cup. It comes with a one-year warranty.
The PW1350 earns an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from owners posting to Walmart.com, who largely find it effective and easy to handle. Some complain that it doesn't have enough power for bigger jobs, but it's not meant to be a high-grade washer. At Amazon.com, users give it an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars, with most saying it's effective and some reporting leaks or breakdowns. The PW1350 scores a recommendation from PressureWasherDirect.com's product expert Mike Aletich, who calls it a handy tool that cleans cars, grills and lawn furniture "in a jiffy."