Is it worth buying a cheap pressure washer?

Last Updated on March 4, 2022

Is it worth buying a cheap pressure washer?

Pressure washers are a great invention, and we worthy of investing in for you home. They are so versatile, you can use them to clean almost all your outdoor parts of your home, they are even great for cars, bikes and garden furniture too.

But is it worth buying a cheap pressure washer? Pressure washers can range from as little as £50 to be well over a £1000 with a petrol or hot water pressure washer.

A cheap pressure washer can a great tool if looked after. You’ll normally find that a cheap pressure washer can be made from cheaper material and therefore be more prone to breakage. This if where you come in.

You’ll need to maintain your pressure washer and properly look after it in order for it to stand the test of time.

The Benefits of Buying a Cheap Pressure Washer

So, you’ve been googling for cheap pressure washers and have come across some electric models that are significantly cheaper than traditional petrol-powered models.

This can be incredibly tempting due to the price, but there is actually a couple of additional benefits. 

One of the most obvious benefits is the fact that electric pressure washers are… well, electric! This means that they don’t have a large carbon footprint in comparison to petrol-powered alternatives.

It’s a cleaner power solution, it’s better for the environment, and it won’t give off any nasty smells of fuel! 

Another key benefit to using an electric pressure washer is that they are significantly more portable.

Pressure washers that are powered by fuel such as petrol can be used anywhere without a power supply, but they are generally enormous and not very practical to use.

As long as you purchase an electric pressure washer with a long mains cable, you’ll have plenty of manoeuvrability!

Finally, there’s the maintenance. Fuel-powered pressure washers are a bit of a nightmare to maintain – you need to clean them, replace parts regularly, and ensure that you are constantly keeping an eye on the quality of fuel that you are using.

Electric pressure washers do not have this problem due to universal electricity standards, and this makes them a lot easier to maintain. 

Disbenefits of Cheap Electric Pressure Washers

If the previously mentioned benefits sold you on a cheap electric pressure washer, stop right there. Sure, it’s undeniable that electric pressure washers are generally better options than fuel-powered models and that they are cleaner, easier to maintain, and more accessible.

However, whilst this is certainly the case for high-quality electric pressure washers, the same cannot necessarily be said about cheaper models. Let’s take a look at things to watch out for.

What to Concider

Pressure Levels

Firstly, let’s talk about the pressure levels – after all, this is what really makes pressure washers so powerful.

Pressure levels are measured in BAR and PSI, and the higher these levels are, the more powerful your pressure washer will be. This will mean that they will be more likely to be able to tackle extremely stubborn dirt. 

Naturally, pressure washers with higher BAR and PSI levels are going to be more expensive, so it’s important that you ask yourself how much pressure you are going to need for cleaning jobs.

If you’re talking about cheaping out on a pressure washer with low pressure, that’s fine as long as you only need it for small cleaning jobs. Otherwise, it’s going to be worth saving up for something better!

Included Accessories

The next thing that you should consider when purchasing a cheap electric pressure washer is the accessories included.

Sure, you might have found a model with high PSI/BAR ratings and a cheap price tag, but did you consider the fact that it doesn’t include even the most basic accessories? 

For many cleaning jobs, you’re going to need snow foam, variable pressure nozzles, zero-degree nozzles, squeegee attachments… the list goes on!

Most expensive electric pressure washer brands include all of these accessories and more in their bundles, but if you’ve found a super cheap listing, don’t expect to receive the same treatment!

This is obviously fine if you won’t need the attachments, but trust us – you probably will. 


We mentioned earlier that electric pressure washers are generally more accessible than fuel-powered pressure washers, but that isn’t always the case.

Most expensive models are designed to be lightweight and easy to manoeuvre with long power cables, but cheap brands often do not take this into consideration. 

This is a quality that is frequently overlooked. You should always carefully consider the specifications of the cheap pressure washer you are purchasing.

They may be incredibly heavy and frustrating to use, hence why they are being sold for so cheap! 

General Quality

The last point that is worth mentioning in regards to purchasing cheap electric pressure washers is that a cheap price tag almost always means lower quality.

It’s the same as anything else – sure, you could buy a £5 toaster from the bargain shop, but it’s only going to last you a month in comparison to the £50 toaster that will provide perfectly toasted bread for years to come!

This general rule is absolutely applicable to pressure washers. Highly-priced pressure washers generally come with warranties, a lot of care put into their craftmanship, well thought out designs and overall longevity.

Cheap electric pressure washer prices often seem too good to be true, and that’s because they often are. Simply read some reviews, and the horror stories will start coming out pretty rapidly!

The differences between a cheap and expensive pressure washer

If you take the Karcher K7 for example, this pressure washer is upwards of £500 but you get a much larger water pressure amount, higher water flow per hour and the ability to clean a larger surface area in less time.

You also get accessories included as standard such as a Karcher Patio Cleaner, a longer high-pressure hose, and different detergents for different jobs.

It’s also worth considering that with high-end Karcher models you get the smart control trigger gun which allows you to control all the settings via the dedicated Karcher App.

Compared to the cheap pressure washers you’re likely to find that they offer a lower-end pressure level, lower water flow per hour and it will take you longer to clean the same area.

You are also unlikely to receive any accessories with them, but there are usually accessories available to buy separately.

The upside of course is that you can save well over £500 by buying a cheap pressure washer, they will still get the job done but albeit a little less efficiently.


What to watch out for

There are few things you need to watch out for before you buy a cheap pressure washer and that is the level of pressure you can receive.

When buying a pressure washer for under £100 you need to check the amount of pressure that the unit offers and make sure that it has at least 100 BAR, ideally 110 BAR.

Many cheap pressure washers can offer as little as 70 BAR and cordless pressure washers even less. These lower pressure units are great for cleaning cars or caravans.


What are you going to be using it for and how often

Another thing you should consider is how often and for how long you are going to be using it for. The cheap pressure washers and normally smaller and therefore aren’t built for using them for a prolonged period of time.

They can overheat or simply give up if used for too long which will leave you with a broken pressure washer. A more expensive pressure washer will be designed with a larger and more powerful engine and therefore built for more prolonged use.

Alternatively, if you are using it regularly, you’ll want to invest into your pressure washer and make sure you have something long-lasting and reliable.

If you are using your pressure washer to clean brickwork, patios or driveways then you need to consider buying a slightly more expensive pressure washer. The cheaper pressure washers, although handy to have, can be a poor choice for cleaning concrete. A great pressure washer for cleaning concrete is the Wilks-USA RX545 that you can see on our best electric pressure washer guide.

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