Pressure Washers: Ratings of Sources
ConsumerReports.org tests 24 gas and electric pressure washers but only finds two models worthy of recommended status -- both electric models -- eliminating many others over safety concerns. Pressure washers are rated based on cleaning performance on a variety of surfaces, overall power, noise levels and ease of use, and given a score that can be used to compare to other models.
While details about the pressure washers tested is very limited, and the review process is not well explained, it does appear that the machines were personally tested by FamilyHandyman.com. Several Editors' Choice models are named based on ease of handling, value, or overall performance, with some earning accolades in more than one category. There is also a wealth of information on choosing and using pressure washers.
YourBestDigs.com spends 40 hours researching and testing pressure washers. Six gas and electric models make the final cut, with two singled out as the best choice for homeowners, rather than contractors or other professional users. Testing is very well detailed, and supplemented with lots of photos showing test results and the washers in use.
PressureWashersDirect.com includes both user and expert reviews for many of the 525 pressure washers carried. The expert reviews by product specialist Brian Teitelbaum tend to be short, however, and it's not clear whether he's personally tested each model. Still some helpful insights are shared and many of the pressure washers here get lots of feedback.
HomeDepot.com offers a broad range of gas and electric 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 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.
Amazon.com features fewer electric and gas pressure washers than some other sites. However, many get ample feedback, reviews are often longer than at other web sites, and all are written by Amazon.com customers.
Walmart.com sells a decent assortment of pressure washers, although few have more than 40 user reviews and ratings, and many have only a handful. User comments tend to be brief, though, and some reviews come from manufacturer websites.
Britain's TrustedReviews.com puts six pressure washers to the test. Discussion isn't terribly detailed, but there's sufficient information to learn where a pressure washer excels, and where it falls short, and a star-rating is assigned. However, only three of the models covered are readily available in the U.S.
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.