How to buy the right pressure washer for you, whatever your budget

Finding the right pressure washer for your needs will save you hours of toil. Here we guide you through the process

Pressure washers
(Image credit: Kärcher)

With autumn and winter now rapidly approaching you might be thinking that now is the time to invest in one of the best pressure washers on the market. And, simply put, you'd be right to do so.

Pressure washers are awesome pieces of kit, empowering you with the ability to clean basically anything outdoors with far less effort and with better results guaranteed, too.

Pressure washers are absolutely ideal if you have a large amount of outside space to clean and/or a car, bike, van, train, or some other vehicle. Instead of spending hours filling up a bucket with soapy water, the pressure washer does all of the hard work, leaving you to stand back and press the button.

But there are loads and loads of different types of pressure washers so we've decided to breakdown which ones are best for all budgets and needs, based on our guide.

Overall, we've found that German brand Kärcher is the best for pretty much all needs, from the portable Kärcher KHB5 to the budget Kärcher K2 and onto the powerful Kärcher K7. So, simply put, we recommend people scope out the maker's range. However, there definitely are other pressure washer makers on the market, so be sure to shop around for the system that fits your needs best.

Let's jump into T3's pressure washer buying guide.

Karcher K5

(Image credit: Karcher)

Decide what your pressure washing needs are

As with all appliances and tools, the more expensive versions can do more things. The Kärcher K7, for example, is one of the more pricey pressure washers but comes with many different accessories and a longer hose (and built-in hose reel). If you have lots of fiddly bits to clean and will use different hoses, the K7 is a good choice. 

Conversely, if your needs are more minimal, like washing an easy-to-access drive or a standard family car, then a cheaper model, like the Kärcher K2 or K4, will suffice. Assessing what your needs are is the vital first step in choosing a pressure washer. 

Some people will value portability above all else and the cordless Kärcher KHB5 is the ideal choice, offering less power than the wired models but total freedom to roam around – well, as far as the hose stretches anyway. 

For most people, though, we would recommend something in the middle of the pack, like the Kärcher K4, a reliable and well-featured model that isn't too expensive. 

Kärcher KHB5

(Image credit: Future)

Decide on your budget

This might sound like a simple and obvious one but it's important. The Kärcher K7 retails for well over £500/AU$900 while the K2 Compact reliably costs under £100/AU$200; it's a big difference between the extreme high-end and more budget models, with a sweet spot in the middle for most people.

Your budget will be influenced by a range of different factors but ultimately it should come down to what kind of surfaces (and so on) you want the pressure washer for and how much you're willing to spend on it.

Tougher surfaces or more delicate things, like older cars, will need very different amounts of power and if you need to wash both, then the flexible K4 – retailing for around £250/AU$550 with multiple hoses – is probably the best bet.

Karcher K2

(Image credit: Karcher)

Decide which accessories you need (or want)

Pressure washers come with a lot of accessories: everything from different types of brushes to splash guards and pipe joints to trigger guns to foam jets. You name it, there's going to be an accessory for it. Check our Kärcher's accessory catalogue for some ideas. 

We would recommend only getting accessories that you know you will absolutely need. For many people, the basic pressure washer will be enough, especially if you're looking to clean up a dirty driveway or patio. Anyone wanting to clean more delicate surfaces or objects will need the relevant brushes. 

Some models come with the kit already. On Amazon, you can buy the Kärcher K4 with Bike and Car cleaning kit, for example, and save £60 right now (deal currently unavailable in Australia). 

Karcher K7

(Image credit: Karcher)

Find the right price and best pressure washer deals

By now, you will hopefully have a clearer idea of which Kärcher pressure washer is the best for you. If you want some more ideas, our best pressure washers guide has a rundown of many different types of models. 

The ultimate way to decide, however, is by looking at the prices of different models and styles. We track hundreds of different products and services to find the very best prices from across the web, including Kärcher pressure washers.

To reiterate, Kärcher pressure washer models go from the most basic (K2) to the midrange and best for most people (K4) to the high-end (K7) and handheld (KHB5).

Max Slater-Robins

Max Slater-Robins has written for T3 now on and off for over half a decade, with him fitting in serious study at university in between. Max is a tech expert and as such you'll find his words throughout, appearing in everything from reviews and features, to news and deals. Max is specifically a veteran when it comes round to deal hunting, with him seeing out multiple Black Friday campaigns to date.