Reviews recommend this gas pressure washer, rated at 2,600 pounds per square inch (psi), for most homeowner jobs short of stripping paint or removing ultra-tough stains. The flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm) is also fine for cleaning even big decks fast. The no-flat tires, two-year warranty and moderate price are also pluses, and the Honda GCV engine, though not the best Honda, meets California's strict emissions standards. The main drawback to the Troy-Bilt 20344 is that the axial cam pump isn't the type reviewers recommend for quality and durability, and some owners report problems with it. If you can spend a little more, reviewers recommend the 2009 version of the Ridgid RD80701 (*Est. $600), which uses a top-quality Cat triplex pump.
Older comparison tests at ConsumerReports.org are more objective, but cover an earlier model with different specifications. A 2008 article at Horticulture recommends a similar Troy-Bilt gas pressure washer, but doesn't document any comparison tests. A long forum discussion at GardenWeb.com highlights some potential problems, and experts at The-Power-Washer-Advisor.com and at Google Answers help put this homeowner model in perspective.
These excellent objective comparison tests of 15 pressure washers cover an earlier Troy-Bilt gas pressure washer with similar power, ranking it in relation to nine other gas pressure washers and five electric models.
Review: Pressure Washers: Quicker Cleaning for Less, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Nov. 2007
A slightly less powerful Troy-Bilt gas pressure washer is among the models recommended by this gardening expert in a brief article. She leans toward the extra power of gas pressure washers, with their price the main drawback, but doesn't document any comparison tests.
Review: Power Play: It's a Blast, Karen Weir-Jimerson, July 2008
This long forum discussion covers many different gas pressure washers, including the Troy-Bilt models sold at Lowe's. Contributors note that the pump is the weak point on this model, suggesting using pump saver after every use to keep it going. One owner reports repeated problems with a leak inside the pump.
Review: Pressure Washer Selection, Contributors to GardenWeb.com, As of May 2009
4. The-Power-Washer -Advisor.com
This expert buyer's guide advises that warranty length is a clue to quality, and that the quality of the pump is the main factor to consider. A less expensive pressure washer with an axial cam pump may cost more -- in repair costs or replacement -- in the long run.
Review: Compare Pressure Washers Like a Pro, Editors of The-Power-Washer-Advisor.com, Not Dated
5. Google Answers
Expert contributors here echo the importance of a top-quality pump, but one deck builder urges erring on the side of too little power, since pressure washing a deck can create splinters.
Review: Power Washers for Cleaning Decks, Contributors to Google Answers, 2002-2005