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Having a pressure washer at your disposal is a quick and easy way to tidy up numerous outdoor tasks.
A pressure washer makes cleaning walkways, driveways, garage floors, decks, siding, fences, autos, RVs, and boats a breeze. Pollen, mildew, air pollution, and oil stains often accumulate on outdoor surfaces making them unsightly. Pressure washing outdoor surfaces can even alleviate allergies by rinsing away possible allergens.
You can also effortlessly remove grass clippings after mowing or spray away excessive mulch that may have inadvertently spilled over onto walkways or patios from the flowerbed. Using a pressurized burst of water, a pressure washer effortlessly washes away even the toughest stains from outdoor surfaces.
Nowadays, pressure washers have never been more affordable. They have quickly become a ‘must-have’ household item if you enjoy maintaining your home’s exterior. A pressure washer is easy to use and handle so just about anyone can benefit from the item.
Quick Look: my picks for the best pressure washers in 2020
- Sun Joe SPX3001 – best for most homeowners, quiet, efficient & easy to use and setup
- SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S – highest rated & most powerful gas model
- Wen PW31 3100 – long wand, large onboard soap tank and collapsible handle for easy storage
- Greenworks GPW1602 – best affordable & compact electric washer for everyday use
- Generac SpeedWash 6882 – well-known brand with adjustable pressure setting dial
- Stanley SHP2150 – high-quality product with good connections and small footprint
- PowerBoss 20649 – Honda powered engine with axial cam and steel wand
- PowRyte 2000 – inexpensive model, good for all round everyday use
How We Rated the Pressure Washers
Our team of experts diligently compared hundreds of reviews of pressure washers with the goal of providing you with accurate information that you can use in making your purchasing decision. The 8 pressure washers reviewed are some of the best available. The pressure washers reviewed varied from gas-powered to electric models. We use a simple-to-understand star rating system when reviewing the pressure washers. A rating of 5 stars is the highest possible rating that we assign. We feel confident that our reviews of these pressure washers will help you make an informed purchasing decision.
When purchasing a pressure washer, you should take into consideration the machine’s reliability and the included warranty.
- SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S 3200 has a 2-year limited consumer warranty, a 1-year limited warranty on the pump, and a 5-year limited warranty on the frame
- Generac SpeedWash 6882 2900 comes with a 3-year limited warranty
- The PowRyte 2000, has a limited 2-year warranty
- PowerBoss 20649 features a limited 2-year warranty
- Stanley SHP2150 has a limited 2-year warranty
- Wen PW31 3100 comes with a limited 2-year warranty.
- The Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 boasts a full 2-year warranty.
Type (Gas or Electric)
Pressure washers are either electric or gas powered.
- Electric Pressure Washer: Electric pressure washers are either universal or induction motors. Typically, commercial grade pressure washers feature induction motors. They are larger, much heavier and less portable than a universal motor. An induction motor is tougher, quieter and has a longer lifespan Most home application electric pressure washers feature a universal motor because it is more affordable than an induction style. You can view our recommended models here: best electric pressure washer.
- Gas Powered: Gas powered pressure washers do not require an electrical cord, so they are far more mobile than electric versions. They also feature far more power than their electrical counterpart. However, they do require gas and oil to function properly. See our recommended models on this page: best gas pressure washer.
PSI (Pounds Per Square Inch)
When picking out a pressure washer, you will see a PSI rating. The PSI stands for “pounds per square inch”. It is the formula used to measure the water pressure which gives you an idea of the washer’s cleaning force. Overall, it is how much water is put forth and with how much force. You can use the PSI rating to gauge the force of the washer’s water stream. A high PSI rating indicates that the washer is powerful and will efficiently clean most surfaces.
GPM (Gallons Per Minute)
GPM stands for “gallons per minute”. The GPM on a pressure washer lets you know how many gallons per minute the washer is producing. This measurement gives you insight into the volume of water delivered through the pressure washer. The GPM of the pressure washer lets you know how fast the pressure washer can effectively clean a surface and rinse away all debris. The higher the GPM, the more pressure the machine creates and the more effective its cleaning ability.
Ease of Use
Many electric and gas powered pressure washers now offer added features that make the machine more user-friendly.
- Soap Reservoir: A separate soap reservoir is ideal for letting you dispense soap with water for an effective clean. Some models even have more than one attached detergent reservoir to let you choose from one or two types of cleaning agents.
- Nozzles: The nozzles are also an added perk. Some models come with five nozzles and others only one or two. With the nozzles, you can pick the type of spray pattern and pressure to use on various surfaces.
- Portability: Another ease of use consideration is the portability of the washer. If it is a big machine, then it should have maneuverable wheels that let you easily transport it from place to place via the handle.
- Electric Cord: With electric pressure washers, you will always have to contend with the electrical cord.
- Starter: Gas powered pressure washers do not have an electrical cord to contend with, but they do start using a ripcord which can be tiring for an elderly or weak user. A pull start is more difficult than a flip start.
How to Pick the Best Pressure Washer for You
A pressure washer is a great tool for home projects. You can remove oil stains from concrete surfaces, remove mold or mildew from siding, wash your vehicle, or clean your deck. Some power washers are extremely powerful and can peel the paint off a surface, but others are designed only to wash away tough stains. You will need to decide how much power and water pressure you require to meet your everyday household needs.
You should also consider the various perks that each washer offers with purchase. Some pressure washers offer singular or dual soap tanks. Many models come with adjustable spray tips which are another nice perk because they give you some control over the water pressure and the angle of the spray.
A light-duty power pressure washer features a PSI of around 2,000 or less.
Such washers tend to be electric, lightweight, and compact. They are great for small cleaning projects around the house such as washing off a porch, rinsing off debris or cobwebs from a building’s exterior, or spraying leaves out of a gutter system. The light pressure can lift modest stains, remove accumulated debris, and lift away hardened bird droppings or tree pollen from surfaces.
A medium-duty pressure washer has a PSI of around 2,000 to 3,200.
It will easily clean cars, fence surfaces, walkways, siding, and concrete. Stains such as oil spills or bird droppings are lifted away with ease. Typically, medium-duty pressure washers are gas-powered. They can be compact and fairly lightweight, but some are a bit bulky. You should always look at the type and size of wheels the unit has and the handle to make sure it is maneuverable.
A heavy-duty pressure washer is gas powered and usually used for commercial applications.
It typically has a PSI of 3,200 to 4,000 or greater. Such heavy-duty models are not recommended for cleaning cars and can quickly strip the paint off any surface. Overall, a typical person will not need a heavy-duty model and can even end up accidentally damaging surfaces with so much power. Before purchasing a heavy-duty model, you should give deep consideration to what you will be using the pressure washer for. In many cases too much power is detrimental.
Type of Pressure Washer (Power Source)
Most power washers are either gas-powered or electric, but there are small battery-powered units available, but they tend to not be overly popular with consumers. No matter what your preference, there is sure to be a pressure washer available to meet all of your distinct needs. When making a choice, you will want to consider the washer’s overall power by evaluating its PSI and GPM. Gas powered pressure washer usually have a much higher PSI and GPM than battery or electric units.
Gas powered pressure washers tend to have more power and give you additional freedom compared to electric powered models. They generally pump out 2,000 to 3,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) of water pressure to clean even grimy, stained surfaces faster than an electric or battery powered model. When considering a gas powered pressure washer, you will also want to think about the type of ignition it boasts and if it will meet your needs. Gas models are also noisier and heavier than electric or battery powered washers.
Electric power washers are ideal for most homeowners if you don’t mind dragging an electrical cord around. They only pump out around 1,000 to 2,000 psi so might not be the perfect choice to clean severely dirty surfaces. They are quieter and tend to be more lightweight than large gas-powered units.
Battery powered pressure washers are not very common. They tend to only last for two or three hours before the battery needs to be recharged. They are great for short, easy household jobs. Battery powered washers also produce only around 1,000 psi so may not be a good choice if you need to clean an overly dirty surface. They are lightweight and easy to store.
Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Models
There are several things to consider when choosing between a cheap or expensive pressure washer.
- A cheap power washer will have a low psi which means that it will not adequately clean most surfaces.
- Cheaper models often have plastic couplings which break or leak compared to more expensive washers which boast brass couplings that last indefinitely and are leak proof.
- The cheap washers often have a short pressure hose which means more stretching and bending when using it. More expensive models tend to have a 35-foot hose.
- Expensive models usually come with a variety of nozzles to function for various jobs.
- More expensive washers have one or two soap reservoirs, and cheaper washers have none.
- The PSI and GPM on an expensive power washer are greater.
- The durability of an expensive model will far surpass that of a cheap predominately plastic washer. Most high-end pressure washers are made of steel which may be heavier but will also last longer.
- An expensive gas powered pressure washer is made to clean large surfaces and run for much longer than a cheaper electric or battery powered washer.
- The motor in an expensive model tends to function far longer without problems.
- The expensive gas-powered models are more portable because they are not tied to an electrical cord.
Best Selling & Top Rated Brands
- Sun Joe
- Briggs & Stratton
How Much Should I Expect to Pay?
The eight pressure washers listed range in price from around $100 to $450. With an average price of around $300.
The low-end pressure washer on the list is the electric Greenworks GPW1602. It is lightweight and ideal for small jobs. The negatives about this pressure washer are that it comes bare bones with no included accessories and has a weak motor compared to the rest. The editor’s choice is the economical Sun Joe SPX3001 which is normally priced at only slightly more than $100. Although it is not as powerful as its gas counterparts, it is a great pressure washer for general household use. Its compact, lightweight size makes it a breeze to break out and use at a moment’s notice. It stores its own detergent so you can automatically be ready for any cleaning job.
Pressure Washer Reviews
1) Sun Joe SPX3001 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer
- Safety lock, known as a “total stop system” switch that shuts off the pump when not spraying to save energy and prolong the motor’s lifespan
- Comes with 5 quick-connect spray tips for light, medium, heavy duty, and soap cleaning tasks
- Double, removable detergent bottles
- 34 inch extended steel spray wand
not comewith a manual
- Plastic parts can break or leak over time.
The Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer is a great all-around pressure washer to clean homes, RVs, cars, boats, driveways, decks, lawn equipment, buildings, patios, and more. It comes with removable dual detergent tanks that you can easily fill with two types of detergents and then efficiently switch between both to achieve the results you desire or use simultaneously.
The 34-inch spray wand lets you effortlessly get hard to reach places without having to stretch or bend. The rear wheels of the pressure washer and its lightweight design make it very maneuverable. You can effortlessly control the output of water to tailor it to meet your needs with the included five spray nozzles
2) SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S Gas Pressure Washer
- Higher than average pressure
- A large 1.9-quart fuel tank
- Comes with five different nozzles
- A flexible, lightweight, kink resistant, 1/4-Inch x 25-Foot MorFlex high-pressure hose
- Has no detergent tank
- Simpson customer support is often less than ideal
The SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S 3200 has a ripcord that fires the machine up instantly with one pull. It is equipped with a Honda GC190 motor. The engine does make a chugging sound, but it is not overly loud compared to other pressure washers. The power of the engine pumping 3200 psi with 2.5 GPM and the five included nozzles means you can do just about any household or shop cleaning chore quickly and effortlessly
3) WEN PW31 3100 PSI Gas Pressure Washer
- Has an axial cam pump which prolongs the washer’s lifespan
- 42-inch quick-connect spray wand
- 32 fl. oz. onboard soap tank
- Collapsible handle makes storage a breeze
- No PSI adjustments
- Cannot be bought and used in California because it’s not carb compliant
- No automatic choke
The Wen PW31 3100 is a great all around residential pressure washer with 3100 PSI and a 2.5 GPM. It has a practical, straightforward design that makes it easier to use. It comes with five spray nozzles and a dedicated spray soap nozzle. The quick connect fittings lets you effortlessly switch between the five spray nozzles. The unit’s 12-inch wheels make it very easy to maneuver. The onboard soap tank is a bonus that most users appreciate. The unit is easy to assemble right out of the box with very little effort. It comes with a 2-year limited warranty for residential use or a 90-day warranty if used for commercial jobs.
4) Greenworks GPW1602 Pressure Washer
- Lightweight. It only weighs 17.5 pounds
- Includes a soap applicator
- It can be used in a vertical or horizontal position
- 35-foot power cord
- Doesn’t come with any accessories
- Not a very strong motor
The Greenworks GPW 1602 1600 is a barebones pressure washer. Its motor is fairly weak when compared to the other units tested. The water pressure is decent at 1600 PSI with a 1.2 GPM. It will get most household jobs done. The 20-foot high-pressure hose is a little on the short size so you will probably be doing a lot of stretching and bending
5) Generac SpeedWash 6882 Gas Powered Pressure Washer System
- Comes with a turbo blaster nozzle and a soap wand with kink resistant hose
- Adjustable pressure setting dial lets you pick the pressure you need for various surfaces
- Onboard detergent tank
- Wheels are designed to cross rough surfaces with ease
- Hose connections are the bottom, so they are difficult for many to reach
- Starting can be difficult
- It has excessive vibration
The Generac SpeedWash 6882 2900 is built extremely strong. It can clean difficult surfaces with ease with its 2900 PSIand 2.4 GPM. It will remove stains from wood and concrete using the powerful soap wand that projects soap three times further than the standard nozzle to efficiently penetrate surfaces. The included accessories let you use the pressure washer to clean your car, RV, or boat. The hose is kink-free and highly flexible. It comes with a limited 3-year warranty.
6) Stanley SHP2150 2150 psi Electric Pressure Washer
- Brass hose connectors that are leak proof
- Detergent tank doubles as a high-pressure foamer
- Zinc steel pressure wand with
- Comes with an o-ring kit
- Often shuts down or loses pressure in the middle of washing and then needs to be primed to get the spray restarted
- Multiple valve connections makes setting up timely
The Stanley SHP2150i Electric Pressure Washer is small and compact. The included high-pressure foam wand with detergent lets you clean cars, boats, RVs, and many other household items
7) PowerBoss Gas Pressure Washer Powered by HONDA
- An axial cam to help extend the washer’s lifespan
- Easy to store with onboard storage for the wand and hose
- Onboard detergent tank
- The steel wand comes with four pro-style quick connect nozzles.
- The hose is fairly short at 25 feet for a washer this size
- No pressure level adjustments. Must use nozzles to control the pressure
PowerBoss 20649 Gas Powered Pressure Washer is a lot of washer for the price. It can easily do most household jobs with its 3100 PSI and a 2.4 GPM. The washer has a reputation for excellent performance. It can get even a severely stained surface clean with very little effort
8) PowRyte 2000PSI Electric Pressure Washer
- Has an induction motor and thermal generator to increase its lifespan.
- Comes with an extra turbo nozzle that rotates 365 degrees
- Onboard detergent tank
- Automatically shuts off when the trigger is not depressed
- Hose is cheaply constructed and can break
- Connectors are made out of plastic so break and leak easily
With 2000 PSI pressure and 1.8 GPM, the PowRyte 2000 is ideal for small to medium-sized jobs. For an electric power washer, it has acceptable pressure. Unfortunately, it comes with only two nozzles.
Great care needs to be taken with the unit’s connectors because they are made of plastic and can break
After extensive research and careful review of the hundreds of types of pressure washers, my top choice is the Sun Joe SPX3001. It is an ideal modestly priced power washer for the typical homeowner. It comes with five spray tips to fit any job, The energy efficient motor easily generates 2030 PSI/1.76 GPM