Product review: Ryobi RY18PW22A-0 Portable power washer

Price: £129.99

The RY18PW22A-0 portable power washer is the latest in Ryobi’s range of cordless tools aimed at the home/automotive sector.

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It’s a compact unit designed to offer the at-home convenience of a pressure washer without the usual large compressor unit and power cords.

Like all the tools in the One+ range the RY18PW22A-0 uses Ryobi’s proprietary 18V battery. You buy this separately from the tools meaning, in theory the tools are cheaper because you’re not paying for another battery every time.

Ryobi’s big selling point for the RY18PW22A-0’s is that it’s compact and portable compared with the traditional mains-powered units. All-in, it’s around the same length as a standard mains-powered system’s lance but with a bulkier handle to accommodate the battery and compressor. The battery pack means it’s reasonably heavy but with only the single hose connection to worry about it’s far easier to move around. You don’t have to drag a big heavy compressor unit around or worry about getting the power cable and hose tangled up. And, of course, you don’t need to find a suitable power socket in the first place.

(Photo: Ryobi)

There’s a two-piece twisting nozzle with three power options perfectly suited to cleaning a car - a turbo mode for the most powerful jet, a narrow 15-degree spray for more focused use and a broader, softer rinse setting.

The payoff for the portability is that even the most powerful of these settings can’t match the power of a mains-driven unit. Its maximum pressure of 22 Bar is around a third of that of most basic mains units and its 182l/hour flow rate around half an entry-level Karcher K2. The battery driven compressor still does a good enough job to get most surface dirt off a car’s bodywork but it can’t shift the caked-on filth as well as my old plug-in Karcher, for example. It will be fine as long as you clean your car regularly but if you’re a driver who lets the muck build up for weeks on end, don’t expect it to remove everything.

Quoted battery life from a 4Ah pack is 24 minutes constant use, easily enough to wash a car or hose down a few mountain bikes but if you plan to use it elsewhere around the home, to clean paving for example, you might find its range limited.

To emphasise its portability, the washer also comes with its own 6m hose and filter unit so if, for instance, you’re a regular mountain biker, you can drop the hose into any water source and clean your equipment on the spot rather than lugging muddy bikes and gear around.

If you’re looking for a pressure washer for light duties such as washing the car or cleaning outdoor sports gear, the Ryobi’s trade-off between power and portability is worth it. The convenience of not being tied to a mains power supply or a large compressor making up for its lower output.