Most and Least Reliable Pressure Washer Brands

With data on more than 12,000 models, Consumer Reports’ exclusive member survey reveals the brands that last

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Each year Consumer Reports tests pressure washers to find the models that do the best job blasting off dirt. We run each through a battery of tests, including cleaning decking and concrete. But how well do gas and electric pressure washers hold up over time, outside of our labs? To find out, we surveyed CR members about their experiences with the models they own.

To arrive at a brand’s reliability score, we asked members if they experienced problems with their pressure washers. In the survey, the information we captured included starting problems, leaks in hoses and connections, and the total failure of the pump that produces pressure. And we asked members how likely they were to recommend their pressure washer to others, which serves as the basis for our owner satisfaction score.

More on Pressure Washers

“Regardless of whether they're gas or electric, most of the pressure washer brands we rate earn a Good reliability rating or better,” says Simon Slater, CR’s associate director of survey research. “However, gas-powered washers are generally more well liked than electrics.” Perhaps that's because the best gas-powered pressure washers clean better and faster than their electric counterparts. That's what we find in our pressure washer performance tests.

Our latest reliability findings come from the Consumer Reports 2019 Fall survey, in which we asked 11,595 CR members who purchased a new pressure washer between 2014 and 2019 about their experiences with more than 12,000 of the tools. In all, our survey revealed how reliable models from nine gas pressure washers brands are, including DeWalt, Generac, and Karcher. We also cover 13 brands of corded electric pressure washers, including Campbell Hausfeld, GreenWorks, and Ryobi.

CR members can read on for the results from our survey, along with details on top-performing pressure washer models from brands that rate well for predicted reliability.

For more information, see our pressure washer buying guide and pressure washer ratings. One note on safety: Any pressure washer can pose a serious danger, particularly when used with a zero-degree cleaning nozzle. CR recommends discarding the zero nozzle if one comes with your model.

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