Pet and patio, bike and barbecue – you can wash and clean just about anything with a cordless pressure washer.
The high water-pressure these appliances generate ensure that stubborn grime is removed . . . and their ease-of-use and convenience leave you no excuse for procrastination!
Let alone sponges and scrubbing, even traditional pressure washers are put in the shade by lightweight cordless pressure washers, considering the portability and convenience they bring. There is nothing to set up or to fill, and no cord to plug in. All you need to do is to drop the suction hose in any source or receptacle of water, turn on the washer, and away you go. The cleaning tasks that most of us tend to put off are made easy and simple by cordless washers.
Where you need raw power and high pressure a traditional corded pressure washer can’t be beat. When you want to jet wash caked mud off your walkway, an electrical pressure washer, inconvenient and bulky as it is, is the only game in town. After all, the average traditional corded washer has about four times the maximum pressure as the typical portable cordless washer.
Uses of Cordless Pressure Washers
Cordless pressure washers are not meant for jet-washing but they pack a sufficient punch for cleaning cars, aviaries, boats, and such, on top of which their light weight, compact portability, cordless convenience, and use-anywhere design cannot be matched by traditional corded pressure washers. The environmentally conscious would be pleased to know that these washers are also more water-efficient than traditional jet washers.
A cordless washer is ideal for washing automobiles. Even troublesome recessed areas below the windshield and hard-to-clean crevices in the alloy wheels are a snap to wash out by flicking a selector to set the angle to zero and maximise the pressure. But that’s far from all; this versatile tool has many applications. Use it to clear out clogged roof gutters; stow one in the caravan to be able to clean while touring.
How to Choose a Cordless Pressure Washer
When choosing a cordless pressure washer, be mindful as to what accessories are included so that you don’t get an unpleasant surprise upon receipt of your new toy. If one model comes with a battery but no hose, the other will be supplied with a hose but no battery! Some other kit will include only one or two accessories while another one will come with everything you could possibly need.
Apart from accessories, this tool has to be evaluated on a number of factors:–
- Power. At 18 or 20 volts, they are more or less equally powerful.
- Flow rate, in litres per hour, indicating the volume of water emitted per time unit.
- Water pressure, objectively measured in bars, and subjectively gauged in observation.
- Actual performance. Specs are well and good, but how well does it move dirt?
- Spray angles. The more the better, with zero-degree jet the most important.
- Convenience and Ease. Is it intuitive to use – or does it throw you for a loop?
- Accessories/Attachments, many of which are useful and widen the tool’s application.
- Build Quality. Solid and sturdy? Or not so much?
- Value for Money. You know what that means!
Here’s a summary of our top picks:
Last update on 2021-10-20 / All Pricing & Imagery from Amazon Product Advertising API
In our reviews, underneath, we take all these criteria into consideration.
Though missing a charge level indicator, Wesco’s washer’s strengths are many, chief among them forceful pressure, build quality, and ease of use.
Wesco’s cordless pressure washer runs on 18 volts and a 2 Ah Li-Ion battery is included. The battery is pretty decent as it has juice enough for 20 to even 30 minutes of use at the high setting. The washer uses the same battery as do other Wesco power tools but replacement batteries are hard to come by.
The multi-spray lance’s nozzle has five spray angles: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, and sprinkler. The zero-degree jet is impressively powerful.
The maximum pressure is rated at 22 bar and the flow rate is 120 litres per hour. Living up to its specifications, this washer shoots water to 2-1/2 metres with sufficient force to dislodge dirt, though not caked, dry dirt. Again, impressive. It also has a good suction height of 1.5 metres.
Its suctioning strength is not as good as some other cordless washers but its pressure is among the best.
Where it drops points is in lacking a battery charge level indicator.
The design and balance of this kit makes it easy and convenient to use. It is more comfortable and manipulable than most others. For example, it has a large trigger whose tensioning and springiness are just right.
Perhaps the safety lock that you have to push before the washer can be started is a bit of overkill.
The build quality of Wesco’s washer is admirably solid and sturdy. Moreover, not only is it very well-machined and well finished, so too are the various parts and accessories.
This high-quality set comes with a battery and charger, an extension lance (besides the multi-spray lance), a 6-metre siphoning hose, and even a carry bag.
Ticking all the boxes except charge level indicator and scoring top marks in performance and a few other categories, Wesco’s washer is our considered Best Pick.
Wesco provides a 2-year warranty.
- On the all-important factor of water pressure it ranks among the best.
- Easy and convenient, ergonomics are a strong point.
- Solid and sturdy, and also well finished, it has very good build quality.
- No battery charge level indicator.
While the occasional piece is defective, WORX’s very affordable and well-made Hydroshot has decent pressure and includes a full set of accessories.
WORX’s Hydroshot 629-E is an astonishingly inexpensive and popular kit of good quality. It is an 18-volt tool and in the offered configuration includes a 2 Ah battery and charger. This battery is good for about 20 minutes at high pressure. It is also available as a bare tool without battery, and as a complete set with numerous accessories.
The Hydroshot is to cordless pressure washers what Karcher is to traditional pressure washers; WORX was the first maker to popularise this tool, and the trade name ‘Hydroshot’ is becoming synonymous with cordless pressure washers.
The 629-E has maximum pressure of 22 bar and a flow rate of 120 litres/hour.
It has two pressure settings and 5 spray modes for a total of ten combinations. A 0° jet plus 25°, 40°, shower mode, and pulsating sprayer make up the five modes.
The pressure is not as strong as one might wish but at the high setting it is more than sufficient to wash pets, sheds, cars, garden furniture, and such. However, some units are afflicted with water pressure so anaemic, even with the extension lance, as to render the product virtually useless. However, on some subset of such apparently flawed units this water-pressure problem arises because the orange uptake connector is not tight enough with the body. Tightening it up often solves the pressure problem.
It has good suction, pulling water to 1.5 metres, and the push-button battery level indicator is a most useful feature.
This well made and durable tool comes with an extension lance, a 6-metre siphoning hose, and even a mesh carry bag. A brilliant value for money, WORX’s 629-E is our Value Pick.
WORX provides a 2-year warranty extendable to 3 years if you register your purchase online.
- Total of ten pressure-and-spray combinations.
- Comes with a good battery plus several accessories.
- Astonishingly low priced for such a fine kit.
- A few units turn out defective and have very poor water pressure.
A product of hits and misses, Karcher’s kit’s battery time is very poor but pressure is clearly above average as is its high-grade build quality.
Cost: Price not available
From the brand that is almost synonymous with (traditional) corded pressure washers, here is a cordless model, the Karcher KHB 5. It is an 18-volt tool and comes with a 2.5 Ah battery and charger. The battery time is correctly spec’ed at 10 minutes, which can be stretched to at most 15 – and this on four-plus hours of charging time!
Oddly enough, the battery features a very comprehensive LCD, showing the charge percentage, battery capacity, and even run time.
It has a maximum pressure of 24 bar and 5 spray modes on the multi-jet lance. It also has a second, ‘dirt blaster’ lance which actually produces very good pressure that is above par for for cordless washers. The spray modes include a narrow jet, a narrow spray, wide spray, and sprinkler.
It is curious in that it shuts itself off temporarily if the temperature is lower or higher than ‘acceptable.’ Another oddity is that it works off taps and hosepipes only and not static sources of water as it has no suction. You have to draw water in or buy a costly suction hose separately.
The KHB 5 is more robust than most and scores very high on its first-rate build quality.
Karcher’s kit comes with the additional ‘dirt blaster’ lance but, as noted, does not include a siphoning hose.
This is a spotty tool that will certainly appeal to confirmed ‘Karcherites,’ and also to those who value quality and serious pressure and will overlook the battery-charge flaw and other niggles.
At 2.7 kilogrammes it is a little heavier than other cordless washers.
Karcher provides a 2-year guarantee.
- Very good water pressure that is definitely above the average.
- Robust tool is of excellent build quality.
- Comprehensive battery-related info on LCD is unmatched.
- Very poor battery run time.
- Battery takes very long to charge.
- Cannot draw water from a static source unless you buy the separate suction hose.
Ryobi’s attractively-priced washer has few pressure and spray settings, and even fewer accessories, but excellent water pressure and build quality.
Ryobi’s 18-volt RY18PW22A-0 is supplied without battery as a ‘bare tool.’ It is positioned to appeal to DIYers who have adopted Ryobi’s 18V ONE+ platform. However, it is a ‘bare tool’ in more ways than one as it is nearly devoid of useful, even necessary, accessories.
It has 22 bar maximum pressure and a flow rate of 182 litres per hour.
It has a 3-mode nozzle comprising of ’turbo,’ which is a narrow jet, 15°, and a wide ‘shower’ mode.
Though it may have few modes, where this cordless pressure washer really shines is in the all-important ‘pressure’ part, delivering on every bar of its 22 bar rated pressure. This one can really dislodge and wash away dirt.
This cordless pressure washer has excellent build quality and robustness is one of its virtues.
What is not a virtue is how it is kitted out: all that is included is a 6-metre siphoning hose.
Unfortunately, all said, Ryobi’s very recent foray into cordless power washers is not a well-thought-out one as it lags behind the competition in the variety of accessories that are available (forget about included). Neither a foam bottle nor a brush attachment; not even a carry bag! On this criterion Ryobi’s offering is outdone by all the rest.
The other side of the coin is that this Ryobi kit is not costly and is more affordable than most. Though not a great value for money simply because of its dearth of accessories, it is still a good buy.
- Excellent water pressure – as good as it gets.
- Equally excellent build quality and very robust.
- More affordable than most others.
- Fewer pressure and nozzle spray settings than almost all others.
- Even necessary accessories are not included and useful ones are not available.
The most complete set of accessories and best handle cannot compensate for poor water pressure and equally poor battery time of Yard Force’s washer.
Yard Force AquaJet’s 20-volt cordless pressure washer is supplied with a 2.5 Ah Li-Ion battery. That is its amp-hour rating; in actual usage, with the washer set to high pressure the battery conks out in ten minutes. It has a charge level indicator, which is helpful.
The washer has a maximum pressure rating of 22 bar and flow rate of 270 litres per hour.
This kit has two pressure settings and three spray modes for a total of six combinations. The modes are, ‘turbo,’ which is a high-pressure spiral jet; ‘jet,’ which is actually a wide spray; and ‘low.’ It is only with some effort that the nozzle can be rotated to change the spray mode.
Though it may have a number of setting and spray combinations this washer’s pressure is not impressive and on this all-important factor it does not stack up with the competition. A small proportion of units are defective and produce even less pressure than a good piece, rendering the purchase useless.
The AquaJet has a cleverly-designed handle that can be set at the usual angle – about 100° – or rotated and extended outward for some extra length. There is a large lock button on one side.
The AquaJet is very well kitted out, coming with a 6-metre siphoning hose, brush, foaming bottle, a carry bag, and even a bucket. Notwithstanding the completeness of the kit, we feel that it is overly-expensive and should be bought only on a special ‘deal’ price.
Yard Force provides a 2-year warranty extendable to 3 years if you register your purchase.
- Probably the best set of accessories, from foaming bottle to even a bucket.
- Cleverly-designed two-position handle for convenience.
- Battery charge level indicator.
- Water pressure is decidedly below average.
- Poor battery run time.
- Very expensive, and the price cannot be justified.
Can You Pump Soapy Water Through A Pressure Washer?
Yes, you can, provided:–
- It is a sufficiently diluted, mildly soapy, solution and,
- After pumping soapy water through the washer, you run clean water through the washer for a couple of minutes.
Also, instead of using soapy water at the source, consider using a snow foam nozzle attachment on your pressure washer.
How To Connect A Cordless Power Washer
As it happens, cordless power washers are made in such a way that, for a certain type of usage, there is virtually nothing to ‘connect’! All you need do is to attach the siphoning or suction hose to the intake valve, drop the other end (the one with a filtered bob) in water – be it a lake or a pail – and turn on the unit.
An alternate way to use the washer is to connect it to a tap or hosepipe. Many units come with a hosepipe connector but some don’t. If yours doesn’t, what you’ll need to do is to get (or jerry-rig) an adaptor so that one end goes on your hosepipe and the other end on your pressure washer. A variety of adaptors are widely available at hardware stores and online.
Kersie learnt the basics of gardening as a toddler, courtesy of his grandfather. In his youth he was an active gardener with a preference for flowering plants. He is a professional and vocational writer and his freelance projects have spanned various kinds of writing.