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Top five pressure washers

By Victoria Pearson

We round up the top-scoring pressure washers in five different categories to help you find the best one for your garden.

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Buying a new pressure washer can be very confusing. There are usually several models in each manufacturer's range, with different types of motors and impenetrable model numbers which mean that useful accessories are either included in the price, or have to be bought extra.

To help you find the pressure washer for your needs, we've rounded up the top-scoring models in five different categories, as well as some less impressive models that we think are best to avoid. And because they've all gone through rigorous Which? lab testing, you can rest assured that no matter which of these Best Buy pressure washers you go for, they will tackle your tough outdoor tasks.

Best pressure washer for cleaning cars


The pressure washer has a good length of hose for cleaning around your car and does a good job. It can give you powerful or gentle cleaning sprays to take good care of delicate windows or bodywork and gives you two options for applying detergent.

Best pressure washer for cleaning in the garden


This spirited little pressure washer does a good job of cleaning surfaces in a reasonable amount of time, but can't match the cleaning power and speed of our Best Buys. The lance pictures help you choose the right variable pressure nozzle easily. The 4m hose is rather short for cleaning around a car and the patio cleaner is fine, but not the easiest we've ever used.

Best pressure washer with patio cleaner


The Karcher K4 Full Control Car and Home includes a car brush and a patio cleaner and is designed to make cleaning your car or the surfaces outside your home a doddle. Karcher 'Full Control' pressure washers are supposed to make it easier to choose the right strength of spray for your surface. But is this the case? We sent it to our lab to find out.

Best pressure washer for hard-surface cleaning


This Best Buy is very fast, has good cleaning power and is easy to use. It is a great choice for people who want to invest in a powerful, good-quality product because they have a large area or tough muck to clean. The Power Grip function works really well to reduce the pressure so that this machine can clean delicate surfaces gently.

Cheapest Best Buy pressure washer


This quick and effective Best Buy pressure washer is a great choice for people with large areas of grimy ground or vehicles to deal with as we found it brilliant at cleaning a car. It is easy to use and has a good range of different jet strengths, so you have gentler options to care for more delicate surfaces.

Some of the worst pressure washers

The only way to tell if a pressure washer is any good is to clean a range of different surfaces with it, which is why Which? does exactly that in our independent lab tests. We use each power washer on squares of concrete, paving slabs, block paving, decking, stone wall and some rather filthy cars to find out how well they clean.

Not all pressure washers are great, here are just four models that could leave you feeling underwhelmed, either by their uninspiring cleaning ability or because they are tiresome or noisy to use.

But avoid these mediocre models


This is one of the cheaper full-sized pressure washers in this well-known manufacturer's range. However, even as a 'cheap' model it's still expensive, especially for a machine that can't tackle heavy dirt and grime.


This pressure washer comes with three potentially useful attachments - a patio cleaner, a brush for cleaning the car and a detergent bottle attachment that has a foamer nozzle. Not bad for the price, but don't be tempted as it's ability to clean will leave you less than impressed.

We review more pressure washers than anyone else

We test around 3,300 products every year, from washing-up liquid to cars. When testing pressure washers in our labs, we assess cleaning effectiveness on a range of different surfaces, including block paving, walls and cars. We measure noise, and assess ease of use and how easy it is to store, too.

Why not visit our pressure washer reviews? We have test results for Karcher, Stihl, Bosch, Nilfisk, Vax and Mac Allister pressure washers.


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