- Water use: An average garden hose flows water at about 30 litres per minute. The waterblasters we tested were rated at between 5.2 and 8.7 litres per minute – a substantial water saving. If you’re in an area with water metering, using a waterblaster instead of a hose can reduce your water use. It also does a better cleaning job.
- Ease of use: Look for a model with spray settings that are easy to adjust. Some require you to let go of the trigger and grasp the lance with both hands, which can be tricky to do.
If possible, test a model out to ensure it's not too heavy for you (models range in weight from 8 to 15 kilograms). Models with wheels and a well-designed handle make moving around easy. Make sure the handle is long enough to use easily.
Rotary start/stop switches on the side are much easier to access than recessed rear switches.
- Petrol power: Petrol-powered waterblasters can be no more expensive than top-model electrics. And while petrol models are heavier and noisier than electrics, you don't need a power point to use them.
In our 2012 test we tested the petrol-powered Ryobi RPW2400B as a comparison and found its performance excellent – it easily removed dirt from concrete with either of its fan nozzles. If you have large areas to clean, consider a petrol model.
- Detergent attachment: Many models carry this handy feature, which dispenses detergent in your water spray, for easy window and surfaces cleaning.
- Storage features: A lance-holder lets you stow the lance on the machine while not in use. Likewise, a hose storage hook is handy for keeping your hose neatly stored.