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.
AR Blue Clean's electric AR118 (Est. $100) is not only the cheapest pressure washer in our roundup, it's also the lightest. Weighing just 19 pounds, users say it's easy to move this hand-carry (even to wash a second-story deck) and it takes up very little storage space. With 1,500 psi, the AR118 still has enough power to clean cars and patio furniture thoroughly; it can tackle some grimier tasks but takes more time than larger units.
Editors at PressureWashersDirect.com pick the AR118 as the second best hand-carry unit, in part because of its high-grade triplex plunger pump. An owner at the same site says the AR Blue Clean's "performance is outstanding." Reviews say the spray wand, which adjusts from a fine stream to a broad fan, the attachable soap dispenser and the quiet motor make this a very user-friendly unit.
For a larger, cart-style electric pressure washer, reviews say the Campbell Hausfeld PW1825 (Est. $130) is a great value. "Considering the price and reliability of this unit, it's a great entry-level electric pressure washer," says Bill Mikenis, product expert at PressureWashersDirect.com. Moreover, reviewers say the PW1825 is easy to operate, with two spray nozzles, a soap applicator and straightforward controls. The main drawbacks to the PW1825 are the universal motor and wobble pump, which experts say are less durable.
Because of its sturdy construction and impressive cleaning, reviews say the Generac 6022 (Est. $320) is the best choice for a budget gas pressure washer. It's very similar to the highly rated Generac 6024 (Est. $400) -- both units are backed with a two-year warranty and solid brand reputation -- but the 6022 has a slightly shorter hose, only one detergent tank, a smaller engine and threaded hose connections. Many owners appreciate the value of the Generac 6022, with hundreds of glowing reviews at sites like Lowes.com and HomeDepot.com.