What’s the best cheap pressure washer that is both reliable and efficient? And by “cheap” I mean affordable. I understand that everyone has their own unique set of requirements when shopping for pressure washer and your budget is an important consideration that we take into account when recommending a product, especially in this article.
We review a range of electric pressure washers and also a couple gas pressure washers. All of these models have been proven to be well-made and reliable and deserve to be on our list for the best cheap pressure washers available.
Powerhouse / 3000 psi / Electric
- 3000 psi / 2.2 gpm
- Includes : Turbo and angle nozzles, patio -- surface cleaner, soap foam sprayer, brush
- 30 foot Flexible hose
- 5 Spray tips : 0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and watering
- Universal spray gun – 2 stainless steel lances
- Telescoping handle
- 35 ft. power cord
Briggs & Stratton / 1600 psi / Electric
- 1800 psi (1.1 GPM) / 900 psi (1.2 GPM)
- Welded steel frame
- Long-Life Universal Motor
- ½ gal. detergent tank
- 20 ft. High-Pressure Hose
- Includes : Turbo nozzle
- 3 spray nozzles
- 1 year warranty
- Tested by independent lab
Best Cheap Pressure Washer
If you’re looking for a reliable pressure washer at a good price, you’re going to want to read this. A pressure washer is a great device to have. They make cleaning jobs a lot quicker and more effective. Cleaning cars, trucks, patios, the driveway or garage floor is made a lot easier. In particular, getting rid of stubborn dirt in tight places. There’s no easier way to clean hardened carbon from wheel rims (especially those with narrow spaces) than with a high-pressure spray using a narrow stream.
I’ve made the mistake, in the past, of buying something too cheap – thinking I won’t use it too often. Experience has taught me that once you own a pressure cleaner, you’ll use it a lot more than you anticipated. So it’s worth spending a little more on a quality item.
2000 psi when in use — Sun Joe SPX3500
It’s all good and well to say don’t buy cheap. In the end, none of us want to spend more than we have to and these machines can be quite expensive as you go up the range. So how do you find a cheap pressure washer that you can depend on?
We’ve done the homework for you and provided a list of several models that offer everything most us would want from a pressure washer at an affordable price. We’re going to review 5 electric models – the Sun Joe SPX3000 and the SPX3001; two Kärcher models, the K3 Follow-Me and the K1700; as well as the AR Blue Clean AR383. For those of you who prefer a gas pressure washer, we’ve included two that will blow your socks off – the Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S and the Generac 6923.
While all these pressure washers differ, they have something in common. They all come highly recommended and have been tried and tested. This should help you buy with confidence, knowing that you’re spending your money on a machine that you can depend on for quite some time. We’ll also include a whole lot of tips and facts that will make your decision even easier.
Best Electric Pressure Washer
I’m sure most of you will be looking at getting an electric pressure washer. They’re a lot easier to use, require less maintenance and are a fair deal cheaper than gas washers. Though not as powerful as gas machines, electric pressure washers provide ample pressure and water flow for general domestic uses.
Popular : 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
Dollar for dollar the Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe is my top pick for the best cheap pressure washer your money can buy. It’s been designed with a great set of features and a sturdy build quality that’s quite impressive for how little it costs. And if you don’t believe me, just read all of the thousands of reviews from happy Amazon customers.
- 5 Quick-Connect spray tips (0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap) tackle light, medium and heavy duty cleaning tasks
- Powerful 14.5-amp/1800-Watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI/1.76 GPM for maximum cleaning power
- TSS (Total Stop System) – automatically shuts off the pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life
- Dual detergent tanks -- two 0.9 L onboard, removable tanks carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects
- Includes a 34-inch extension wand, 20-foot high pressure hose, 35-foot power cord with GFCI protection, garden hose adaptor, needle clean-out tool
- CSA approved; Full 2-year warranty
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Sun Joe SPX3000.
Overview | Sun Joe SPX3000
This is a brand that many have come to depend on and the Sun Joe SPX3000 certainly won’t disappoint the fans. The power is great, the 14.5A (1 800W) motor provides 2030 PSI water pressure at a flow rate of 1.76 GPM. This makes it one of the most powerful pressure washers in its price range. Out of the electric models in this review, the Sun Joe has the highest pressure and water flow rates.
Video | Assembling the Sun Joe SPX3000
The 34” extension spray wand makes reaching high places and underneath cars very easy with plenty of reach. Many may like the fact that it has two 0.9L (30.43 fluid ounces) onboard detergent tanks. This means that you can switch between detergents very easily. A 20-feet high-pressure hose and 35-feet power cable give you a good working range. For your safety, the electric cord has GFCI protection.
It weighs 31 lbs. which is not too heavy and two wheels at the back make it easy to move about. Other features that make it pretty user-friendly is a garden hose adaptor at the water inlet and a needle clean-out tool. It has 5 quick-connect spray tips, giving you the following working options: 0° which is a very high-pressure “needle spray”; 15°; 25°; 45° and soap.
The total stop system (TSS) is something I really like. When you release the trigger control, the motor completely shuts down. This not only saves energy but you also avoid those irritating short bursts of noise when the motor switches on for a second or two to maintain pressure while the machine stands unused.
The Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe is CPA approved and comes with a full 2-year warranty. It’s a product that offers exceptional value for money, durability and it has some pretty impressive specs. You have a number of accessories to choose from, including different brushes, turbo nozzle, a longer high-pressure hose and extension spray wand.
The Pressure Joe (SPX3000) can easily remove road tar, tree sap and insect splattered on your car, grease deposits from concrete, heavy mildew, oil and rust stains, baked on mud, and other tough to clean yard and garden gunk and grime.
Sun Joe SPX 3001 | Electric Pressure Washer
2030 PSI / 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp — Best Cheap Pressure Washer with Hose Reel
Perfect for cleaning beneath decks, behind grills, gutters and patio furniture, underneath automotive vehicles and heavy gardening equipment.
- 5 Quick-Connect spray tips (0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and Soap) tackle light, medium and heavy duty cleaning tasks
- Powerful 14.5-amp/1800-Watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI/1.76 GPM for maximum cleaning power
- Onboard reel keeps 20 ft (6m) high pressure hose organized for quick and easy clean-up and storage
- Extra large onboard 40.6 fl oz (1.2 l) detergent tank
- TSS (Total Stop System) – Automatically shuts off the pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life
- Built-in holder securely stores trigger gun + wand
- Other features: 34-inch extension wand, 20-foot high pressure hose, 35-foot power cord with GFCI protection, garden hose adaptor, needle clean out tool
- CSA approved; Full 2-year warranty
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Sun Joe SPX3001.
Overview | Sun Joe SPX3001
There isn’t a lot of difference between the Sun Joe SPX3000 and the SPX30001 so you may want to take a look at the two in some detail before choosing this one, which is a little more expensive.
As far as performance goes, they’re identical. Both use the same 1800W motor giving you 2030 PSI at 1.76 GPM and they look very similar.
The Sun Joe SPX3001 has a reel Sun Joe SPX3001 has a convenient hose reel with a handle that keeps the 20 Ft high-pressure hose neatly stored, without any effort. This model does not have dual detergent tanks, instead, it has a single tank with a larger capacity – 1.2 liters (40.6 fluid ounces). Otherwise, they’re the same with five spray tips, TSS and all the other features and accessories.
So, for a few dollars more, you’ll get the convenience of a reel for the spray hose and a larger detergent tank – albeit one instead of two. Does this make it worth the extra cash? Only you can decide if this worth your while. They’re both of the same quality, with the same warranty and 30-day return policy.
Best Cheap Pressure Washer with 4 Rolling Wheels, 1800 PSI, 1.3 GPM
- Unique 4-wheel design : Mobile and highly maneuverable. Prevents unnecessary work interruptions through repositioning the device
- Quick Connect System : For fast initial startup of the device
- Integrated accessory storage on the device : For easy and compact storage of accessories when they are not in use
- Portable : Device is easy to transport.
- Compact design : Space-saving storage.
- Integrated detergent tank : The large opening enables easy filling of the cleaning agent tank. For applying cleaning agent and reinforcing the cleaning effect.
- 15 ft. high-pressure hose : Increases the working width
- VPS spray lance : Easy pressure regulation, so that the pressure can be adjusted to different surfaces and levels of dirt.
- Dirt Blaster : Excellent cleaning result, especially on stubborn dirt. Up to 80 % greater cleaning performance (in terms of removal) compared to the VPS.
Overview | Kärcher K3 Follow-Me
I may be a little biased about Kärcher pressure washers. I suppose it’s because this was the first reasonably priced washer I bought that lasted and remained reliable. Not everyone will agree with my opinion and all these brands compare well in terms of quality and the Kärcher models we’re reviewing don’t have the most impressive specs.
To start with, neither of the two Kärcher models match up to others in terms of power. The Kärcher K3 Follow-Me produces 1800 PSI pressure and a flow of 1.3 GPM. The difference isn’t that great and personally, I can easily overlook this difference, given that I already have a preference for the brand. This pressure washer also has a shorter spray hose, 15 Ft which is 5 Ft less than the Sun Joe models.
What makes this pressure cleaner unique, however, is its Follow-Me design. To the best of my knowledge, it’s the only one of its kind. It uses four wheels instead of the usual two and the front wheels are steerable. This means that it can be moved about easily with a gentle tug on the spray hose, provided that you’re using it on a relatively smooth surface. This eliminates the need to go back and forth to move the machine every time you run out of hose length.
An added benefit of this model is the flat compact design. Unlike other pressure washers that stand upright, this one has a small box-like shape which makes it much easier to store. It has a height of only 13” so it will fit easily onto a low shelf in the garage or under a worktop. It’s exceptionally low weight of 15 LBS (without accessories) adds to its storability and maneuverability.
The Vario Power System (VPS) spray lance is a feature that I’ve come to love on other Kärcher models. This eliminates the need to stop and change spray nozzles when you want to change the pressure/water volume ratio. By twisting a large rubber control on the spray wand, the flow rate is decreased or increased to give you a wider low-pressure spray or narrower high-pressure spray.
This is really great when you’re cleaning the car because you can adjust the spray as you work between painted surfaces where you want a lower pressure with better coverage and other areas like wheel rims when you want narrow, high-pressure cleaning power. The dirt buster is another twist adjustment that will boost the spraying pressure by up to 80%. This is very handy when you cleaning the driveway or garage floor and want a quick boost to remove an oil stain or some other form of stubborn dirt.
To be fair, I have to say that the VPS spray lance isn’t as accurate as changing the nozzle by hand and, over time, it becomes less accurate. I often find myself twisting the control back and forth to get a pressure setting that works for the situation I’m using it for. If you’re used to changing nozzles and prefer greater accuracy, interchangeable nozzles might be better.
Recommended Accessory | Karcher T300 Hard Surface Cleaner
Personally, I use three basic settings: the lowest (full open setting) is for applying detergent; twist it a little to get a reasonable spray for rinsing and general cleaning and somewhere close to the highest pressure (lowest flow) setting for cleaning surfaces that want the extra power.
It has easy to use quick connect fittings and all the components have neat storage places on the unit, making it easy to set up and store. The detergent tank also has a wide opening for easier pouring with less spillage.
Like the Sun Joe, it also has a full power shutdown when not in use and a good range of brushes and other accessories. It comes with a 1-year warranty, though, accessories only have a 90-day warranty. This warranty is domestic use only, for commercial or rental use the warranty is only 30 days.
Tech Specs (Kärcher K3 Follow-Me):
- Pressure (PSI) : max. 1800
- Flow rate (GPM): 1.3
- Max. inlet temperature (°F) : 104
- Weight without accessories : 15 lbs.
- Dimensions (L × W × H) : 21 x 12 x 13
Definitely of the best cheap pressure washers you can buy and very unique with its ‘follow-me’ design.
Best Cheap Pressure Washer, 1700 PSI TruPressure, 1.2 GPM
- 1700 psi, 1.2 GPM electric pressure washer with convenient on/off foot switch
- Compact design takes up little storage space; Only 12″ tall and weighs less than 20 lbs
- Includes three nozzles: turbo nozzle for maximum cleaning power on stubborn areas, 15 Degree all-purpose nozzle and detergent nozzle
- Easy 5 minute setup -- no tools required
- 3 Year limited warranty with industry-leading Rapid Exchange Program
- Heavy-duty frame and all-metal hose connections for maximum durability
- Onboard detergent tank for easy use
- Compatible with industry-standard pressure washer accessories
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the Karcher K1700.
The Kärcher K1700 is a more conventional looking upright pressure washer. It’s a great looking machine with a sturdy tubing frame and excellent storage compartments for pipes and accessories.
It’s designed to be super easy to set up and use with quick connecting fittings and a very handy foot pedal on-off switch for hands-free starting. It’s not the most powerful, though, with a maximum pressure of 1 700 PSI and a maximum flow rate of 1.2 GPM.
It also doesn’t have the VPS control like many other Kärcher models do, instead, it has three spray nozzles – one of which is a turbo (high power) nozzle. I’m not sure how the turbo nozzle works or dirt buster on the other Kärcher model but it seems to use a centrifugal motion to rotate the water, giving it extra cleaning power.
CUBE — Smaller Version | Karcher K1700 Cube
It has a large, half-gallon, removable detergent tank. This pressure washer is quite heavy for a machine of this size, it weighs 20.7 LBS without accessories. This weight probably has much to do with the robust metal frame. It is able to use all universal Kärcher accessories.
A testament to the excellent quality of this unit is its 3-year warranty. The guys at Kärcher obviously feel that this is a more robust machine than the K3 Follow-Me. You also have the advantage of their Rapid Exchange Program which means that they provide a free replacement unit while yours is being repaired under warranty. Personally, I like the build quality of this one but, then again, I am somewhat biased about Kärcher products.
- Operating Pressure (PSI) : max. 1700
- Water Volume (GPM) : max. 1.2
- Maximum water inlet Temp (°F) : max. 70
- Weight w/o accessories (lbs) : 20.7
- Dimensions (L x W x H) : 17.25 x 16.5 x 33
13 Amp/1.5 HP universal motor and tri-axial pump delivering 1,900 psi/1.5 GPM
- 13 Amp/1.5 HP Universal Motor and Tri-Axial Pump delivering 1900 PSI/1.5 GPM
- Spray gun designed with a Quick-Coupler fittings for easy installation/removal of the HP hose and lances
- 2 High-pressure QC lances included: Adjustable spray lance and Turbo lance
- 20’ High Pressure Hose
- Storage hose reel
- 35’ power cord featuring Auto-Reset GFCI module
- 14 oz. detergent bottle for easy detergent application
- On-board storage for accessory storage
- Total Stop System (TSS) – Automatically shuts off the power washer when trigger is not engaged to prolong the life of the pump
- 1 Year “Bumper-to-Bumper” Warranty
✓ View or download the MANUAL for the AR Blue Clean AR383.
Overview | AR Blue Clean AR383
Annovi Reverberi has been manufacturing high-pressure pumps for 58 years. In my experience, the Italians seem to be experts in this field and I’ve come across many industrial high-pressure pumps that have an Italian heritage. So, just as we associate high-performance cars with Italy, we can do the same with pumps.
The AR Blue Clean AR383 measures up well when it comes to performance. The 13A (1.5 HP) motor delivers 1900 PSI and 1.5 GPM. The dual lance system provides a variable power setting by rotating the nozzle head, similar to the Kärcher VPS lance. For a more intense power clean there’s a second turbo lance that generates a pulsating and rotating high-pressure spray. It has a 14oz detergent bottle that attaches directly to the lance instead of a tank at the pump.
The 20 Ft high-pressure hose stores neatly on a reel. It has a 35 Ft power cord with an auto-reset CFGI module for electric safety and is CSA certified. This makes it very safe and convenient. It also comes with a good selection of accessories, including a patio cleaner and extension lance. You’ll receive a 1-year warranty on the AR Blue Clean.
The AR Blue Clean AR383 has many of the features and benefits of the others. In fact, none of them combine as many features in one single model. It looks cool too, neat and compact, weighing 27 LBS. This could be easily be considered the Ferrari of pressure cleaners and may sway my longstanding loyalty to Kärcher.
- 20 foot high pressure hose
- 35 foot power cord featuring Auto-Reset GFCI module
- High pressure washer spray gun
- Adjustable spray lance
- Turbo spray lance
- 14 ounce detergent bottle for easy application
- Quick connect garden hose adaptor
- 1 year ‘Bumper-to-Bumper’ warranty with US based customer service by phone or email
What’s the Best Cheap Pressure Washer?
The two Sun Joe models give you the best power, offering the highest pressure and water flow rate. The five nozzles also give great, accurate versatility when it comes to different spray options. The unique Kärcher Follow-Me has the advantage of being light, compact and very mobile. I’m not too sure if it will prove to be as robust as any of the others, though, generally Kärcher products seem to last and are extremely reliable.
The little Kärcher K1700 does not have very impressive pressure and water flow specs, compared to the others. It does, however, make up for this with a robust design and is probably the easiest to use of the lot. The AR Blue Clean AR383 could well be the dark horse in this race. It offers really good power, second only to the Sun Joe. It has the convenience of a variable control at the lance and a turbo lance as well as a hose reel. It’s a great looking compact machine with excellent specs and will probably impress many.
All these pressure washers have their strong points and it is really a matter of personal preference which models have the best features to suit our individual needs.
And now, let’s look at a couple of the best cheap gas power washers…
Gas Pressure Washers
I can’t think that many home users would be interested in a gas-powered pressure cleaner, I’ve always found an electric pressure washer to be quite sufficient for my general needs. Though I must say, there have been times when working on larger areas like cleaning the driveway or exterior walls of my house that I would have appreciated a more powerful machine.
A gas pressure washer is a better choice if you do a lot cleaning on larger areas. I would think that boat owners, truck fleet owners or paint contractors who regularly clean building exteriors will prefer the extra power. Or perhaps you’re one of those guys that gets a thrill out of using a machine that gives that something extra. Whatever your reasons may be for wanting a gas pressure washer, here are two of the best options on the market that won’t break the bank.
- 3100 PSI 2.5 GPM
- HONDA GC190 engine
- Maintenance-free OEM Technologies axial cam pump
- MorFlex Hose 1/4″ x 25′ is non-marring, kink and abrasion resistant and is equipped wtih threaded M22 connection
- Ergonomic spray gun designed for comfort and control
- 5 Quick connect nozzle tips: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40° and Soap
- Heavy-duty welded steel construction frame
- 10″ Premium pneumatic tires
Documents for the Simpson MSH3125-S:
- ✓ View or download the MANUAL.
- ✓ View or download the SPEC SHEET.
- ✓ View or download the PARTS DIAGRAM.
Overview | Simpson MSH3125-S
First impressions can say a lot. When you take a look at the Simpson MSH3125-S, you can immediately see that this machine is built to work hard. It has a solid heavy gauge metal tubing frame and very impressive 10” pneumatic wheels. Seeing a Honda engine always gives me a sense of security, for decades Honda have been manufacturing 2 and 4-stroke engines for every type of device from generators to chainsaws. There aren’t many manufacturers that can boast the level of dependability that this Japanese company has become famous for and spare parts are readily available around the world.
So let’s start by taking a look at the heart of this machine, the engine. The Honda GC190 is a 4-stroke, 187cc engine with an overhead valve. It has improved combustion to provide maximum power whilst reducing fuel consumption. The axial cam pump uses maintenance-free OEM technology and POWER BOOST to provide optimum performance. The result; 3100 PSI with a water flow of 2.5 GSM. This is plenty for the DIY user and professionals alike.
The kink and abrasion resistant hose adds to the rugged dependability of the unit. The MoreFlex 25 Ft X ¼” hose is designed for heavy-duty use and uses standard M22 connectors. There are 5 nozzles that give you a variety of spray options -- 0°, 15°, 25°, 40° and one for soap.
Pressure Washer Nozzle Chart | Simpson MSH3125-S
For your safety, the spray gun has safety lock-out. At 74 LB it has a very reasonable weight for a powerful gas pressure washer, especially when you consider the impressively strong frame that holds the unit. It’s quite compact too – height: 24”; width: 20.5” and depth: 34”.
This is a very impressive commercial grade pressure washer that will certainly stand the test of time. The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S comes with a 2-year limited warranty for the engine; 1-year limited warranty for the pump and a 5-year limited warranty for the frame. This is certainly a worthy investment and offers great value for money.
Tech Specs (Simpson MSH3125-S):
- PSI : 3100
- GPM : 2.5
- Engine: HONDA GC190 engine
- Pump : OEM Technologies axial cam pump
- Pump/Hose Connection|Threaded M22 connection
- Hose : MorFlex Hose 1/4″ x 25′
- Gun/Hose Connection : Threaded M22 connection
- Wand : 16″ Steel with quick connect and threaded M22 connection
- Nozzles : 0°, 15°, 25°, 40° and Soap
- Frame : Heavy-duty welded steel frame
- Tires : 10″ Premium pneumatic
Generac 6923 | Best Gas Pressure Washer
3100 PSI, 2.4 GPM, Gas Powered Pressure Washer
- 196cc GENERAC OHV engine / 3100 PSI, 2.4 GPM
- Ergonomic Spray Gun – Cushion grip extends use. Easy-to-pull trigger reduces fatigue.
- Quick-Change Nozzle Tips – Includes 4 tips: 0°, 25°, 40°, and soap applicator.
- User-friendly Controls – Easy access to engine controls -- on/off, choke, and fuel shutoff.
- 25′ High Pressure Hose – Connects to the rear of the spray gun for maximum convenience.
- Integrated Spray Gun Holder – Holds spray gun securely during transport and storage.
- Convenient on-board ½ gallon detergent tank for hassle free cleaning
- Over-sized Never Flat Tires : Take your pressure washer anywhere around your home, regardless of the terrain.
- Axial cam pump with easy-access hose connections: Easily make hose connections without having to kneel on the ground
- Generac OHV horizontal-shaft engine, the pump is well above the ground at the same level as the engine, which makes hose connections fast and easy.
- 10” never-flat wheels. Easy to move over all types of terrain.
- Quick change nozzle tips 4 included (0-degree, 25-degree, 40-degree, soap) for tackling any job
Documents for the Generac 6923 :
- ✓ View or download the BROCHURE.
- ✓ View or download the SPEC SHEET
- ✓ View or download the WARRANTY details.
Overview | Generac 6923
The Generac 6923 costs a little less than the Simpson and makes for a very good deal, I would say that the Simpson looks to be more robust, though. The Generac has a steel tubing frame and 10” never-flat tires which all seem quite durable, even if it doesn’t present the same rugged construction of the Simpson.
The 196cc OHV Generac engine drives an axial cam pump, so the powertrain is very similar to the other gas model that we’ve looked at. Though, this one provides more than twice the pressure with an impressive 7440 PSI with a slightly lower flow rate at 2.4 GPM. Very few pressure washers offer this kind of pressure and it leaves me wondering what one needs all that pressure for. It certainly should be capable of removing any kind of dirt or debris from any type of surface and will be great at removing old flaking paint from buildings or vehicles. There are four nozzles for spray control -- 0°, 25°, 40° and soap.
More Sturdy & Powerful than an Electric Power Washer | Generac 6923
It comes with a 25 Ft high-pressure hose and has an onboard ½ gallon detergent tank. It weighs considerably less than the Simpson (57 LBS). This will make it easier for contractors who are continuously loading and off-loading the machine but the lower weight can well be a sacrificial loss to the less robust frame and general construction.
The Generac 6923 comes with a 2-year limited warranty with a number of limitations listed on the warranty agreement. One which I found particularly amusing is that the device is not covered by warranty for damage caused by rodent or insect infestations, so I guess you better check where you store it. It is a very good machine for it’s a price. Though for the extra cash, the Simpson may prove to be a better long-term investment as it does seem to be a good deal more robust and I would certainly go for the Honda engine over most others.
- Power washer
- Spray gun
- 4 quick-change nozzle tips
- First engine oil supply
- Owner’s manual
One of the best cheap gas pressure washers — excellent build quality. Designed for heavy-duty cleaning jobs.
Generac also offers a variety of gas powered washers with similar features but like the Generac 7019 OneWash that includes a PowerDial Spray Gun.
Important Facts about Pressure Washers
You shouldn’t place too much emphasis on the size and weight of the machine. They all come with wheels and mostly you’ll be moving it from the garage or shed to the area where you’ll be using it. In most cases, there is little need to carry a pressure washer. If you will need to lift it frequently, the weight may be of some importance.
The pressure is measured in PSI or in countries that use the metric system, this will be indicated in bar (1 bar = 14.5 PSI). The higher the pressure, the more effective the cleaning power. Pressure can be adjusted with a control knob on some pressure washers. They also use different nozzles or a control on the lance to adjust the spray angle which changes the pressure. A wider spray angle will give less pressure and provide greater coverage, therefore, cleaning a larger area with less power.
One must be careful when using high pressure on painted surfaces. Some paint may become damaged or even be removed by very high pressure. I would recommend using a wider angle low-pressure setting for painted surfaces.
The flow rate is expressed in gallons per minute (GPM) or liters per minute (LPM) and tells you how much water flows through the pump in a minute. A higher flow rate will allow you to work faster, covering a larger area.
Most pressure washers allow for the use of detergents. They either have a bottle that attaches to the spray gun and a valve will allow the detergent to flow into the water as you spray or a detergent tank that uses the pump to suck detergent into the water flowing to the spray gun. Detergent tanks are more common than bottles and are probably more convenient because you don’t have the bottle attached to the spray gun which adds bulk to the handle.
Detergent spray settings use a low pressure with a wide angle. The pressure washer will either have soap nozzle or models that use an adjustment on the lance will have a setting for soap. So always use the appropriate setting or nozzle for detergents.
You must pay attention to what type of detergent you use with your pressure washer. Harsh chemicals can damage the seals inside the pump and on the fittings. A high-pressure pump uses ceramic pistons with rubber O-rings to create compression very much like compression rings do in a car’s engine. If these seals are damaged by chemicals the pump won’t pressurize and it’s quite a job to repair them.
Many household detergents are fine and dishwashing liquid should not damage the seals. Most manufacturers sell their own detergent that they recommend for their equipment. These detergents may often cost more but they provide good cleaning power and are guaranteed not to damage the pressure washer. If you have any doubt, it would probably be better to use the manufacturer’s detergent. Harsh detergents can also damage painted surfaces.
Hoses and Fittings
High-pressure hoses and fittings are not the same as regular garden hoses and fittings. They are rated for higher pressure, usually up to 1000 bar (14500 PSI). Using the incorrect hoses or fittings can be dangerous. Hoses can burst and fittings can blow off causing damage.
Quick connect fittings are standard on virtually all modern pressure washers. They are very convenient and a good quality fitting shouldn’t leak too easily. Leaks are usually as result of a damaged or twisted O-ring inside the fitting. The O-rings are cheap and easy to replace. Most DIY guys shouldn’t have a problem replacing one. You can protect the O-ring and reduce the chance of leaks by regularly applying petroleum jelly to the O-ring. This is easily done using your finger.
Choose According to your Needs
We hope this article has been informative to help you decide on the best cheap pressure washer for your needs. We understand that everyone has different requirements so we always aim to give our readers a range of options. We’re confident that you’ll be happy with any of the power washers on our list of recommendations.