Pressure Washers: Ratings of Sources
Though ConsumerReports.org hasn't looked at pressure washers in quite some time, a new round of testing is being planned, reports Ed Perratore. In the meantime, Perratore says that "previous tests of pressure washers on an array of outdoor surfaces confirmed that gas-powered machines have a clear performance edge over electrics." However, more power isn't always what's needed and wanted. This free article details the pros and cons of gas and electric pressure washers to help you pick the type that's right for you.
PressureWashersDirect.com includes both user and expert reviews for many of the nearly 475 pressure washers carried. This approach gives shoppers a broad understanding of each model. The expert is Mike Aletich, and while it's not clear that he personally tested every model, his bio notes that his training as a NASCAR technician makes him an expert on motors.
HomeDepot.com offers a broad range of pressure washers for homeowners and professionals. While not every model attracts owner feedback, many have dozens and sometimes hundreds of reviews. Posters can say if they would recommend a particular pressure washer to a friend. Some reviews were originally posted on manufacturer websites.
A fair number of the 80-plus pressure washers available at Lowes.com get enough reviews to be meaningful, while a handful of models get hundreds. Gas models, in particular, see lots of feedback, and some impressive ratings. Some of the reviews seen at Lowes.com reviews were originally posted at manufacturer websites.
While gas models get the most feedback at many other sites, here, a couple of electric pressure washers rise to the top based on lots of feedback and good to great scores. Reviews are often longer than at other web sites, and all are written by Amazon.com customers. However, fewer pressure washers get significant numbers of reviews, and the category includes listings for lots of accessories and some unrelated items, making navigation a little more tedious.
Walmart.com sells a decent assortment of pressure washers, although few have more than 20 user reviews and ratings. User comments tend to be brief, though posters can say if they would recommend their pressure washer to a friend. Some reviews come from manufacturer websites.
Editors of MensJournal.com test four pressure washers over the course of a month, using them to clean siding, wash porches and patio furniture and, in some cases, strip paint. They evaluate the models on three criteria: portability, ease of use and end results. Though this article is older, three of the four models remain available.
Roy Berendsohn gives tips for choosing the right size and type of power washer for your cleaning needs, noting that electric styles are best for cars, outdoor furniture, and small decks and patios; 2000- to 3,100-PSI gas models are good for decks, patios and boats, he says, while 3,200- to 4,200-PSI gas models are appropriate for paint stripping, graffiti removal and other professional-duty jobs. He also provides guidelines for using pressure washers effectively.
Roy Berendsohn explains the best way to use a power washer to achieve top results. He notes that gas-powered machines are generally better for houses because they pack more power, while electric models are more suited to cars, small boats and patio furniture. He recommends pretreating mildew stains before power-washing them and suggests safe ways to handle the machine.
Roy Berendsohn evaluates five pressure washers in this older article, but several, including the top pick, are discontinued or hard to find. However, an alternative to the top pick remains available. Testing is done but not well detailed, and write ups are brief.