Even the least expensive pressure washers offer at least 15 times the water pressure of a regular garden hose. This makes washing cars, bicycles and lawn furniture faster and easier. Additionally, pressure washers use only about a fifth of the water a garden hose would use to do the same job. While gas pressure washers are the most powerful, even very cheap electric models are fine for cleaning cars and sports gear. Mid-range electric pressure washers are easier to use and more environmentally friendly than gas models, even suitable for cleaning small decks.
Although it's dated, CNNMoney.com has the best comparison review of electric pressure washers, where four electric models are tested. We found the most current recommendations at a retailer website called PressureWashersDirect.com. Another specialty retailer, The-Power-Washer-Advisor.com, doesn't recommend specific pressure washers but provides detailed information on how to evaluate the parts used in them. Owner-written reviews at six other retailer sites not only provide more details about specific pressure washers from a homeowner's point of view, but also report valuable information about reliability, durability and customer service.
Even a top-rated pressure washer requires careful maintenance and use. Jon Hoch at retailer PressureWashersDirect.com recommends letting a pressure washer hose warm up in the sun before use to prevent kinks that lead to damage. Gasoline engines need more care than electric motors, but the pumps on both types of pressure washer need careful winterizing. We found quite a few sad reports from homeowners who found this out the hard way.