- 1 Top Pressure Washers
- 1.1 Ford FPWG3100H-J Gas Powered Pressure Washer
- 1.2 Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe
- 1.3 Excell EPW2123100
- 1.4 Sun Joe SPX3001
- 1.5 Generac 6923
- 1.6 SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S
- 1.7 SIMPSON Cleaning PS3228-S
- 1.8 Karcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer
- 1.9 Generac SpeedWash 6882
- 1.10 Generac 6565
- 1.11 Karcher K4 Electric Power Pressure Washer
- 1.12 Generac 7019 OneWash
- 2 Pressure Washer Comparison Chart
- 2.1 Brand
- 2.2 Price
- 2.3 Best Features
- 2.4 Detergent Tanks
- 2.5 Power Usage
- 2.6 Gas Usage
- 2.7 What PSI Pressure Washer Is Good Enough To Clean Concrete?
- 2.8 Complete Guide To Pressure Washer PSI – How To Choose The Right Fit
- 2.9 What Is A Good GPM For A Pressure Washer?
- 2.10 What PSI Is Good For Washing A Car?
- 2.11 Design
- 2.12 Accessories
- 2.13 Durability
- 2.14 Effectiveness On Hard Dirt
- 2.15 Warranty
- 2.16 Weight
- 2.17 Why Cord Length Matters
- 2.18 Electric vs. Gas
- 3 Summary
Many factors contribute to finding the best pressure washer depending on your needs. With so many choices, finding the best models came down to choosing brands that prioritized key features. To show how much the market has grown, electric pressure washers have become just as popular as gas models. This surprise will affect a lot of residential users, with a slight possibility that it’ll change the mind of diehard gas pressure washer users. Whichever model you choose from the list, it’ll be a long lasting value that pays for itself in no time.
Top Pressure Washers
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe
This is also an energy efficient model using a 14.5 amp motor to power major functions.
Holding the wand for the first time is fun, with its light weight and quick connect nozzle tips a great convenience for users.
Sun Joe SPX3001
This is a nice bump up from the SPX3001 for news users and those that want to upgrade.
There are multiple versions of this model, so at the very least consumers have a choice between the low and high powered variants.
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S
Ten inch pneumatic tires will roll over any terrain without even a small hiccup, so from top to bottom this model is solidly built.
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe
Sun Joe SPX3001
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S
Ford FPWG3100H-J Gas Powered Pressure WasherTable could not be displayed.
The first product on the list comes from Ford, and it appropriately comes equipped with one of the best engines on the list and it is always good idea to know how loud could be a particular pressure washer you are intending to buy. This high priced beast functions at 3100 PSI with a 212cc 7 HP OHV engine. It is a high powered gas pressure washer that is one of Fords best. A fold down handle makes it less of a pain to store while the 10 inch never flat tires helps you to move effortlessly across any surface. With a weight of seventy pounds, the heavy duty wheels were a must have addition. The extra price includes five extra nozzles, handy in times where you need to vary the type of spray for the job. Even with the 3100 PSI, the power wouldn’t be worth anything without a good GPM. Ford thought ahead and packed a nice 2.5 GPM on this model, which is more than enough to handle heavy duty tasks. Dual reservoirs and a 30 inch braided hose round out a very strong package. If the single detergent tank had been replace with a dual, this would have been the best choice on the list. Even in its current form, this model stands strong with the best in the industry.
Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe
- Dimensions: 15.6 x 13.5 x 33.9 inches
- Powerful 14.5-amp/1800-Watt motor
- Working Pressure:1450 PSI.20 foot high pressure hose
Going from a gas pressure washer to an electric one may be jarring for some users. Thankfully this model packs a bit of a punch without dropping off too far from premium gas models. Available in the midrange price bracket, the SPX3000 is a 2030 PSI model with 1.76 GPM and is in the top notch line of electric pressure washer. That is some considerable specs for a model that is considered to be light on price and emissions. It comes with five quick connect spray tips to handle multiple tasks. That includes some heavy duty projects if you load up the dual detergent tanks with the right solutions. With two removable 0.9 liter tanks, at the highest power setting (and with the right spray tip) you can power through hard dirt that other electric pressure washers can’t. A nice two year warranty comes standard, with good customer service that won’t keep you waiting for an answer. This is also an energy efficient model using a 14.5 amp motor to power major functions. It won’t be a strain on the outlet even after hours of continuous use. Convenient and small, buyers will get great value when purchasing the SPX3000.
- Dimensions: 23 x 17 x 24 inches
- 212cc EXCELL OHV gas engine (50 State)
- PSI 2.8 GPM Cold Water
This excel model just squeaks into the high price range by offering high end functionality and some unique features which is an ideal pressure washer for patios. The 212cc Excell OHV gas engine is one of those features, and is strong enough to stand toe to toe with Ford’s engine. At its best the engine can handle heavy workloads without affecting efficiency. Pump life is extended with quality materials and superior craftsmanship, so buyers can expect to rely on this model for years after purchase. Holding the wand for the first time is fun, with its light weight and quick connect nozzle tips a great convenience for users. It is also rust resistant, making it the least likely piece you have to replace over the lifetime of the product. Five color coded nozzle tips keep you moving during a project without having to guess their functions. Excell made the designs of the unit small and stout, useful for storing in places with low headroom. This low stance is also useful for weight balancing, making this model a joy to use if you move around a lot. A great motor and sound design choice turns this gas pressure washer into a solid purchase.
Sun Joe SPX3001
- Dimensions: 14.4 x 16.5 x 33.5 inches
- PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP
- Water Capability : Cold
Snow Joe makes another appearance on the list, this time with their updated SPX3001. Fans of the SPX3000 will notice the slight differences in this midrange priced electric pressure washer. The company corrected a lot of small things without changing what made the original so good. It comes with five quick connect tips and is powered by a 14.5 amp motor. Similar to its predecessor, the SPX3001 runs at 2030 PSI with 1.76 GPM. It is powerful for an electric model, showing great consistency with medium and heavy tasks. A 20ft. hose is managed with an ingenious onboard reel, letting you wrap it up quickly with the manual crank. As part of their deep power saving features, there is a total stop system in place that shuts off the machine when the trigger isn’t pressed and all this can be known if you are familiar with different pressure washer and their configurations. Not only will this save you energy, but it will make sure the pump is in the best shape possible as the device ages. Like most products in their catalog, the standard two year warranty applies. When extra oomph is needed to clean dirt, consumers can fill up the 1.2 liter detergent tank with their favorite solution. This is a nice bump up from the SPX3001 for news users and those that want to upgrade.
- Dimensions: 24.4 x 18.8 x 35.4 inches
- 3,100 PSI, 2.4 GPM
- Integrated ½-inch gallon detergent tank
The cost of pressure washer in case of Generac model has a lot to do with the comfort features since it is hefty for this model. Generac added cushion grip handles on the main unit to make it easier for transport. Even with the heavy engine, you’ll find the two wheel system of this model a breeze to move around. The wand is equipped with a very forgiving trigger, making long sessions of spraying less of a problem for hands that get fatigued quickly. One detergent tank is included, but it is a full gallon so you’ll have plenty of space to add your own solution. Hose connections are exposed in a way that quick connecting and disconnecting takes seconds. There are four nozzle tips included, which is more than enough for a good spread of jobs. All of this doesn’t even take into consideration that it has a PSI of 3100 with 2.4 GPM. That makes it a powerhouse even among the elite in the industry. There are multiple versions of this model, so at the very least consumers have a choice between the low and high powered variants. The Generac 6923 has enough features onboard to make it a valuable choice for all buyers.
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S
- Dimensions: 34.8 x 21 x 23.2 inches
- 3200 PSI 2.5 GPM Gas
- onda GC190 OHV, OEM Triplex Pump
Simpson Cleaning has a lot of pressure washers in their catalog that deserve attention. The Simpson cleaning MSH3125-S is one of the models that get the most attention, and for good reason. Unlike other pressure washers in the same category, this high priced model is rated for home and shop use. There are plenty of professionals that can get a lot of use out of the 3100 PSI and 2.5 GPM it offers. Powered by the Honda GC190 engine, this pressure washer is made for heavy cleaning tasks. Even the hose gets good treatment, with an abrasion resistant material protecting a 25 foot MorFlex hose. The M22 connectors work really well with the hose, and guarantees you years of rock solid stability. Five nozzle tips are included, covering small, medium and heavy jobs as required. Ten inch pneumatic tires will roll over any terrain without even a small hiccup, so from top to bottom this model is solidly built. There are three different warranties attached that cover specific parts of the pressure washer; five years for the frame, one year for the pump and two years for general warranty issues. You can’t really argue with the build quality of this pressure washer, which is a firm top five contender.
SIMPSON Cleaning PS3228-S
- Dimensions: 34 x 21 x 24 inches
- 3300 PSI 2.5 GPM
- Honda GX200 OHV, AAA Triplex Pump
If the MSH3125-S isn’t your style, then the PS3228-S could be the Simpson Cleaning product to turn your head. This high priced pressure washer packs 3200 PSI with 2.5 GPM to take care of multiple cleaning tasks. Buyers can use this model for personal and professional needs, even if the project is bigger than normal. Like a lot of the other top performers on the list, it is powered by the Honda engine. The difference is this model uses the GX200, a significant upgrade from the previous Simpson Cleaning model. With all the extra horsepower in the engine, the company made sure it was still good on fuel and easy to start. Ten inch pneumatic tires keeps everything balanced so that you aren’t struggling to move. Even so, weight isn’t a big issue, with everything coming in at under 85 pounds total. Five spray tips come packaged for your needs, and when not in use they rest comfortably near the handles. This is a good alternative from Simpson Cleaning for users that want to try a stronger engine.
Karcher K1700 Electric Power Pressure Washer
- Dimensions: 17.2 x 16.5 x 33 inches
- 1700 psi, 1.2 GPM
- High-pressure hose, 20 ft
After all the gas choices on the list, it’s nice to see another midrange electric pressure washer. This time it comes from the popular Karcher brand along other units such as Karcher K4 electric power pressure, known for creating some of the best electric and gas pressure washers in the industry. Still, the most attractive thing about the K1700 is the price since it remains the lowest on the list. Power with this model is about average, with 1700 PsI and 1.2 GPM making it suitable for light tasks. Some medium tasks can be handled, but only with extra accessories and solution. It’s smaller than other choices, so needs a lot less support when moving. Three spray tips are included, but it is recommended to expand on that by buying the extra tips. A 0.5 gallon detergent tank should provide enough room for you to put dirt clearing solution to help with stubborn spots. It’s removable, so if there are ever cracks, the bin can be replaced without using the warranty. The K1700 is solidly built, using all metal hose connections and a solid frame. This may very well be the best light duty pressure washer on the market, which is no surprise since Karcher is a top three company.
Generac SpeedWash 6882
- Dimensions: 24.2 x 18.9 x 35.5 inches
- Generac 196cc OHV engine delivers maximum cleaning
- 30 feet high pressure flex hose
Generac makes the list again, this time with their gas powered SpeedWash 6882. It is a high priced pressure washer that doesn’t seem to have any glaring weaknesses. Customers won’t struggle trying to find a job that can’t be handled with 2900 PSI and 2.4 GPM, both good specifications for the price. Even when ranked against other Generac products, the SpeedWash 6882 has shown big improvements in cleaning time. A turbo nozzle is included, living up to its name by blasting dirt off of tough surfaces. They even included a soap blaster that extends the length soap sprays out of the wand. An underrated feature of the SpeedWash 6882 is the power dial, a useful touch to an already great product. With it you can change the pressure on the fly with a simple twist. It is one of the few gas pressure washers that is safe to use with light or heavy jobs. The SpeedWash 6882 can clean your car, and with the twist of a knob knock mildew and mold off of concrete. This is an incredible deal with the 196cc OHV engine, and an easy top three pick. Buyers of the SpeedWash 6882 will save a lot of cleaning time with this specific model.
- Dimensions: 34.5 x 28.3 x 42.5 inches
- Powerful 420cc Generac OHV Engine
- Pro-Grade Triplex Pump – Up to 4X longer life
The award for the most expensive pressure washer on the list goes to the Generac 6565. This high priced model is also the most powerful, so there is a reason for it being the highest priced. Rated for professional use, it has an incredible 4200 PSI and 4 GPM packed into a 146 pound body. The 6565 is seriously heavy duty, using a 420cc OHV engine that overpowers anything in its path. Even the Honda and Ford engines on the list can’t stand up to it in a head to head contest. All of that power comes at a price as it can go through gas fast when used at maximum capacity. But as an everyday professional pressure washer you’ll never have any issues with efficiency, power or cleaning. The engine is protected with a safeguard sensor while the triplex pump is made for years of steady usage. Using any of the five included spray tips will turn any cleaning job into a cakewalk. If power is your priority then there is nothing better than the Generac 6565, even at a high price point.
Karcher K4 Electric Power Pressure Washer
- Dimensions: 34.3 x 12.1 x 12.8 inches
- 1900 PSI, 1.5 GPM
- 25 foot high pressure hose
The Karcher’s K4 electric power pressure washer is a great example of an electric pressure washer that still has good power. The high priced K4 is part of the popular K series. Specifically, the K4 manages to find the sweet spot between usability and raw power. Specifications for this model puts it at 1900 Psi and 1.5 GPM, a respectable number when going head to head with a gas pressure washer. The wand has twist action to control the pressure, making it easier to switch on the fly when going from one area to the next. Users can keep the main unit anywhere while using the lengthy 25 foot hose to handle light to medium cleaning tasks. But the crowning achievement of the K4 is its consistency, managed by the N-COR pump. Everything just runs smoothly with this system in place without being too noisy (even at the highest power setting). The onboard detergent tank has a lot of room for cleaning solutions, with the added benefit of being removable. Since the K series has been out for a while, there are plenty of compatible accessories to extend the units functionality. When you want to sample the best in electric pressure washers, anything from the K series will fit the bill.
Generac 7019 OneWash
- Dimensions: 24.2 x 18.9 x 35.5 inches
- 3,100 PSI, 2.4 GPM
- 25 foot high pressure hose
The last pressure washer on the list is another high priced gas model from Generac. Instead of a professional model, the consumer grade 7019 OneWash gives residential consumers professional power at a lower price. Users won’t have any issues with heavy loads since the 3100 PSI and 2.4 GPM OneWash is sufficient enough for any project. This version of the pressure washer has the powerdial, a popular feature that least you change the strength of the water by twisted the wand thus it is also recommended to find out more about pressure water pumps as well. Cleaning solutions can be added to the half-gallon detergent tank located near the engine. To help with cleaning, four nozzle tips are included in the package. If you need to go over rough terrain, the oversized tires will lead the way without ever going flat. Even if something were to happen to the tires, the OneWash has an incredibly low weight of 57 pounds. That is unheard of for a high end gas pressure washer, and makes it easier to move up and down stairs when it’s used at a worksite. The small size and nice list of features makes the OneWash a promising buy.
Pressure Washer Comparison Chart
|Ford FPWG3100H-J||3100 PSI||2.5||70.5 pounds|
|Sun Joe SPX3000||2030 PSI||1.76||31 pounds|
|Excell EPW2123100||3100 PSI||2.8||76 pounds|
|Sun Joe SPX3001||2030 PSI||1.76||32 pounds|
|Generac 6923||3100 PSI||2.4||57 pounds|
|SIMPSON MSH3125-S||3200 PSI||2.5||65 pounds|
|SIMPSON PS3228-S||3300 PSI||2.5||83.2 pounds|
|Karcher K1700||1700 PSI||1.2||20.7 pounds|
|Generac 6882||2900 PSI||2.4||57 pounds|
|Generac 6565||4200 PSI||4.0||146.5 pounds|
No one is going to argue that the granddaddy brand Karcher is an important force on the list. Although their only appearances comes from the K series, they still make a big impact. Going with anything from the company is guaranteed to give you value, and they are backed by the best customer service in the industry. The only other two brand names that draw that much power with their products is Ford and Simpson. Although the others have presence, Karcher, Ford and Simpson are the best bets for buyers that can’t make up their minds. As a side note, whenever you see the Honda engine mentioned as one of the features, the pressure washer is an automatic great buy. Honda doesn’t have a big presence with their own pressure washers, yet their Honda engines are preferred by many consumers and professionals.
The price of pressure washers come in many different varieties, so their prices are always different. Two things remain constant with pressure washer pricing; electric variants will always be cheaper and brand name products will come with a higher price tag. But they aren’t charging just for their name alone, and it is more about proprietary features that aren’t found on competing products. Pressure washer prices are so wildly different from one another that the amount of choices can be dizzying for new consumers. The good news is that they retain their resale value, so sellers can get rid of used models quickly without too much of a drop in price. That makes old pressure washers just as valuable as modern versions that have new features. Pressure washers that have an average price (mid-priced) in the industry should have a nice collection of the most important features from low and high end versions.
There are plenty of great features that stand out from one model to the next. A big part of that has to do with the constant innovation between brands. Even if some of these are proprietary, there are enough alternatives from other companies so that you are never without a game changing feature.
High PSI – This is a no brainer feature if you’re after power. PSI can easily be in excess of 3100, and that is for lower end models! When power is a necessity, a high PSI should be your main priority. New models do a good job of balancing the workload when going from low pressure to high, which helps you control the water flow better.
Low/High GPM – Want the job to go faster? A pressure washer with high GPM makes a big difference. Flow rates vary, but 2.5 GPM is common even among the low tiers. The good news is that consumers have the option to purchase a pressure washer with low GPM so they can save on the water bill. It is a win/win for both sides and one of the most overlooked features of the product.
Quick Connect Tips – There are no complicated controls with pressure washers. The quick connect tips take the place of a large control panel so that users can change the way water sprays during a cleaning session. They pop on and off easily and extend the usefulness by offering more tips at a low price.
Portability – Convenience features like fold down handles and big gripped wheels help with maneuvering the pressure washer. You can move it on any surface so that it’s closer to where the cleaning takes place. If you want more maneuverability, they even make pressure washers with four wheels that act like a cart. You’ll get more balance with this model when going over multiple uneven surfaces.
Braided Hose – When it is braided, there is an extra bit of toughness so that it withstands tears and cuts. Since pressure washers are used primarily outside, this greatly extends the life of the device.
Never Flat Tires – Having a flat tire on a pressure washer may not seem like a big deal until you have to lug around 30+ pounds. With reinforced wheels this isn’t a problem, and thankfully is something that most brands include by default.
Dual Soap Tank – Two is always better than one, and that is exactly why dual detergent/soap tanks are preferred. Not all models have this feature, and some even incorporate it differently. One type acts as an extra hold when the first one runs out, and others let you out a completely different cleaner in the second tank so you can alternate (or combine) the results. Both methods are worth the extra bump in price you pay upfront.
Advanced Safety Systems – Pressure washers have automatic shut off systems that protects the pressure water pump and keeps you from wasting gas or electricity. A good example of this is the Total Stop System, standard on popular Snow Joe models. Gas pressure washers will get the most out of safety systems since gas is a limited household resource.
Rust Resistance – Ever had an issue with rust deterioration causing a product to function at less than half its rated capacity? Rust resistance keeps this from happening, or at the very least slows it down to keep it from affecting system performance. If the wand of a pressure washer becomes rusted, then you risk doing double the work with cleaning jobs.
Onboard Reel – Electric pressure washers often have long electrical cords to wrap up. This isn’t an issue on its own, but becomes one if you don’t have a proper place to wrap everything up. Good pressure washers always have an onboard reel to make the end of the job easier. You can wrap up the cord in minutes and place the pressure washer in storage.
Honda Engine – Whenever you see pressure washers with the Honda engine, then you know it is guaranteed performance. The consistency of the GC190 engine is legendary and still remains one of the preferred gas pressure washer engines. Even the GX200 has gained a lot of attention for its long running consistency.
AAA Industrial Triplex Pump – Only a few select models have this feature. It is loaded onto models that want to take advantage of PowerBoost tech, which gives you the max amount of pressure possible at the nozzle. So even in situations where the overall features are a little low, you’ll still get a great burst of power during a job.
Industrial Grade Frame – This protects the engine while giving you full access to all of the hose connections. Some companies do it good, while others do it great. The frame has become underappreciated over the years. If you find a pressure washer that does it right, then put it at the top of the list.
You’ll have the option of a single or dual detergent tank. They are usual for breaking up dirt and stains that refuse to go away by regular means. So rather than cranking up the power and damaging a surface, you can use a medium strength blast mixed with detergent to get rid of dirty. This is often done with cars since a full strength blast from a pressure washer could chip the pant. You don’t even need a lot to accomplish this, so a little bit of solution goes a long way. There are ready made solutions from the store that are available for a decent price. Then there are home remedy options that cut that price in half, giving you much more flexibility in the amount used. The only thing you don’t want to put in the detergent tanks is bleach, as that can damage the pressure washer. If the tanks can be removed, that makes them easier to clean out. Not all models have removable tanks, so check before buying an expensive model. Dual tanks is still the best option for users that plan on pressure washing multiple items. You spend more upfront but gain major convenience points for saving time.
Electric pressure washers don’t use as much power as the standard electric appliance. You will notice that models with higher PSI will use more electricity, yet barely approach the PSI of gas powered electric pressure washers. The best way to determine how much electricity your model consumes is to look at the electrical rating on the label. This is found near the spot where the cord begins, so you won’t miss it. All of the information you need on the power draw will be within that label’s text, so read carefully. All electric pressure washers will are fine on standard home outlets rated for 120 volts or higher. Better mechanics in your product will put less of a strain on the outlet. You can run it at max capacity for longer, but once again this has a lot to do with the quality of the pressure washer and the outlet. Home outlets in older homes that are overloaded at the circuit can cause massive jumps in power draw. For a good idea of what appliance draws the same amount of energy as a pressure washer, look no further than a heater. At max capacity the draw will be identical, meaning if the outlet can handle a heater then you’ll be fine with a pressure washer.
This is probably the hardest thing to measure with gas pressure washers. Products are upfront with their gas usage, but you have to calculate current gas prices with the time the machine is used per project. A good way to simplify it is to look at the consumption of gas per hour at max usage. For most high end pressure washers, running at max will give you a couple of hours before needing to refill. So tank size comes into play when deciding on a product. Pressure washers with good engines tend to do better with gas, at least when you’re operating at max power. Gas pressure washers are more predictable when using them at low or medium power settings. You can squeeze out a little more time before needing to refill the tank. If you tend to take week long breaks between jobs, pay close attention to gas storage rules. In about a month there is a good chance the gas will go stale, so protect your engine by keeping up with that information. Empty old gas to protect your pressure washer from long-term damage.
What PSI Pressure Washer Is Good Enough To Clean Concrete?
To properly clean concrete at max efficiency, a gas pressure washer is strongly recommended. This has a lot to do with the PSI necessary to clean the surface. At minimum you want 3000 PSI, which is far out of the reach of the average electric pressure washer. There are electric pressure washers on the market that operate at 3000 PSI, but you’ll make sacrifices with price, GPM and in other important areas. You’ll also be limited in length by the cord, something that isn’t an issue when using a gas pressure washer. Although a high PSI is important for cleaning concrete, you’ll still need high GPM. At minimum, consumers should aim for 4 GPM minimum to break up dirt on concrete. With the combination of 3000 PSI and 4 GPM, you’re looking at some hefty orders. Thankfully there are plenty of choices with gas pressure washers. There are no shortages of brands that meet this demand, with plenty of them being consumer level. Buyers that want to stick to their guns and get electric pressure washers will have less luck. At the very least, they will end up paying a premium to get gas pressure washer performance out of an electric product.
Complete Guide To Pressure Washer PSI – How To Choose The Right Fit
Going all out with the PSI may seem like a good idea, but do you really need a pressure washer that powerful? PSI stands for pounds per square inch and is a great way to figure out how powerful a product is while in operation. You don’t need a 4000 PSI pressure washer to clean dirt off of a grill. Sometimes the substance you’re cleaning will be more of a determining factor of the effectiveness of PSI. Cleaning up oil stains from the floor needs some heavy firepower, yet cleaning up dirt from that same floor can be done with any pressure washer. Figuring out the PSI requirements for each job will give you a general idea of the type of pressure washer that’s needed. Consumers should invest in the product that closely matches the required PSI of each project they’ll be handling. Going overboard and getting a 3000+ PSI pressure washer won’t do you any good if you only have jobs that require 1700 PSI. That is a lot of money left on the table by getting a product that far exceeds your demands. Here is a quick overview of tasks and what minimum PSI is recommended for them.
1500– Grills, bikes, cars, trucks, patio furniture, sidewalks and stairs.
2600 – Decks, fences, garage floors and driveways
3000 – Boats, ATV’s, home siding, asphalt driveways, siding and stain removal
4000 – Industrial equipment, paint stripping and professional jobs
Take a look at the 3000 PSI list and it shows that a the majority of it requires being away from an outlet. So even if you get a 300+ PSI electric pressure washer, the inconvenience of having to find an outlet makes it less likely to be the best choice. Anything in the 2600 PSI range and lower will do just fine with electric pressure washers.
What Is A Good GPM For A Pressure Washer?
GPM (gallons per minute) tells you how much water a pressure washer sprays per minute. By looking at the GPM, you can accurately determine how long it will take to clean a spot at full power. Higher GPM means you will always get faster cleaning from an appropriately powered pressure washer. But the GPM won’t really get you anywhere if it doesn’t have a high PSI tied to it. So don’t fall for marketing tricks that push high GPM pressure washers with low PSI. Both of these ratings have to be high so that you can have a solid cleaning experience. When looking for a good GPM, the facts are a lot less complicated than other features. There are three main groups, and you can sort them based on the cleaning job.
Light – Pressure washers with 2 GPM fit this category. This is where you’ll clean debris and dirt off of grills, patios and furniture.
Medium–At about 3 GPM consumers are looking at home shop use, some professional jobs and medium grade projects.
Heavy – Jumping up to 4 GPM puts users in the heavy category, where consumers handle large jobs. This is also the preferred GPM for professional use.
What PSI Is Good For Washing A Car?
Keeping a car detailed and clean is a breeze with the right pressure washer. But making a miscalculation in power could cost you dearly. Choosing a PSI that is too high will chip the paint of your car, and in extreme cases crack your windows. There are also other concerns like spray nozzle, detergent type and gas or electric model use. You can definitely use a pressure washer to clean a car, but only after doing a little bit of research into the power of your device. A maximum of 1900 PSI is recommended, with a low of 1200 if you want to be extra gentle. But as discussed earlier, GPM is connected to PSI and efficiency. Consumers should aim for a pressure washer with 1.4 or higher GPM so that water is distributed as much as possible during cleaning. Because of the numbers, electric pressure washers seem more suited for this job. Gas pressure washers can be used, but only if they have settings to vary the power of the blast. The last thing you need to wash a car is an appropriate spray tip. About any tip will do, but it is a good idea to stay away from high pressure tips that could damage paint.
Most pressure washers follow the same design queues from their past series. That means they are in a stand up position with two wheels and a wand. The handle sits at the top so you can grab and go as needed. For electric pressure washers, there is an extra space for wrapping up the outlet cord so it isn’t hanging from the side. With cords being extra-long nowadays, brands have begun providing built in cranks to speed up the storage process. It’s a nice touch so you don’t have to hand wrap several feet of outlet cord. But there are some differences in a few designs that is worth mentioning. Four wheel ‘cart’ designs are popular in the professional circles, mainly due to their need for larger engines. Distributing the weight is much easier with a cart on four wheels than with the standard design. Some of the cart designs are found in consumer models, although not a lot. When you plan on using your pressure washer over multiple uneven surfaces, the four wheels really help with moving it around. And at least on the consumer level, the price really isn’t that much higher than the normal design.
There are a lot of cool accessories that can be purchased for pressure washers. Some are series or brand specific, so be careful with compatibility issues when you buy them. These add-ons enhance and sometimes completely change the experience you’ll get when using a pressure washer. Prices of the accessories are always changing, so if you want all of the important extras in one box, then buying a kit is a good idea.
Surface Cleaner–Great for cleaning large areas with rotating nozzles. Covers several inches at once, saving you a lot of time with heavy cleaning duties.
X in 1 Nozzles – Tired of changing nozzles around during a project? Using this accessory puts the power of several nozzles all into one design. Twisting it will give you a different spray angle/type. It is just like the garden hose version, but made for a pressure washer.
Extension Hose – Buyers can consider this the most basic of the accessories. With it you extend the reach of the wand. This is a helpful accessory for users that want to keep their pressure washers in one spot while cleaning.
Rotary Wash Brush – The most familiar tool this can be compared to is the one you would use in a car wash. Use it in conjunction with the detergent tank for the best effect. In fact, it is highly recommended for car use.
Gutter Cleaner – This curved accessory puts the concentrates the maximum amount of pressure in the direction you specify for easier cleaning. Great for doing the gutters and other general house work.
Foam Cannon – The snow foam cannon is for the SPX series from Snow Joe. Although similar accessories can be found by competitors, the Snow Joe Version is a standout. With it, users can get rid of grease, grim and gunk by creating thick foam to cover it. The resulting foam helps to get rid of tough stains that won’t go away with regular methods.
2nd Story Nozzle Kits – Use these tips to make water spray farther without losing power. They’re easy to install, and can also be used for rinsing/soaping duties.
Power Broom – Remember the rotary wash brush? Well the power broom does the same thing, but for decks, walkways and patios. Wheels are built on the side so that it rolls smoothly over surfaces while cleaning. With the right pressure washer, you could clean a large area quickly.
The most important part of a pressure washer will be protected. It’s the engine that is the core piece, and will usually have a roll cage or other form of protection to keep it away from damage. Pressure washers do a good job of protecting this piece, so durability is high in this area. The hose and electrical cord are the two non-durable pieces, although companies have taken steps to reinforce them. For the hose, brands can choose to offer them braided. This ups their resistance to cuts, scrapes and heavy pulls. You’ll have a hard time damaging a braided hose even if you intentionally put it in harm’s way. The electrical cord is still vulnerable, with only a few companies offering good damage resistance. If you find models with a reinforced cord and hose, then consider it high end. The only other piece that is susceptible to damage is the wand. It is unique since damage to a wand could render the unit useless for daily operation. When the hose gets damaged, some tape will keep the water in check, even with high pressure. Once the wand gets damaged, you have to fall back on the warranty program.
Effectiveness On Hard Dirt
When trying to get rid of hard dirt, there are a couple of things to consider; the PSI, GPM, current spray tip, surface and whether detergent is needed to finish the job. Hard dirt accumulates for many reasons, usually in an area that is traversed often by many people. That is why a sidewalk is harder to clean than the garage floor. Consumers will find that gas pressure washers are better on dirt on than electric variants. They are much more balanced with the required PSI and GPM levels needed for clearing dirt off of tough surfaces. That doesn’t mean that electric pressure washers won’t do the trick. With the help of accessories and detergent tanks, you can upgrade the effectiveness of products with low GPM and PSI. Using a brush tip with the detergent tank can get rid of stubborn dirt, rivaling the effectiveness of a gas unit. Consumers have to figure out the strengths of their pressure washer and take advantage of them to clear tougher than normal dirt. If you’re not using the extra features that make your pressure washer stronger, then it becomes a wasted value. Remember that accessories can always be purchased to make the cleaning job easier.
Buyers will run across different warranty periods based off of the brand they choose. Sometimes the warranty length has to do with whether the model is a flagship series or one of their lower end products. The trick to getting the most out of your warranty is figuring out which length matches your usage. If you are a casual user, long warranties aren’t a big deal. However, heavy users will want to invest in models that have longer warranties since there is a higher risk for breakdown. Professional pressure washer models don’t have this problem, as their warranties are much more thorough. For consumer based pressure washers, it makes sense to look at whether extensions are offered. That way if a product doesn’t offer an extension, you’ll know it is not suitable for heavy use if the original warranty is short. Buyers should take the time to see what isn’t covered, as a lot of pressure washer related breaks are unrelated to general use. Running over the hose or outlet cord with a lawnmower is common, and may not be covered by your warranty. Limited warranties are clear in outlining whether user error will lead to a company replacement.
There is considerable weight involved with pressure washers. That is why they are difficult to move without wheels. Good wheels go a long way in making the product mobile, but more importantly it balances out all the weight. You can expect to add a little more weight for gas pressure washers after putting in the necessary fuel. Their engines tend to be more heavy duty, so there is also some extra weight on that end. Overall gas pressure washers will usually weigh more than their electric competitors, so if this is an issue buyers should look at specifications carefully. Weight becomes an issue when you need to load it into your car, truck or any other vehicle. At some point you’re going to have to lift it up, and without the help of a ramp, that 40+ pounds can be tough for some. For pressure washers that are heavier than normal, a four wheel design is recommended to help balance out the weight. They are also perfect for multiple ground types that would give the two wheel design trouble. But there is a higher cost involved with the four wheel cart, so be prepared to pay a premium.
Why Cord Length Matters
Buying an electric pressure washer will give you an additional piece to play with; the power cord. This isn’t something that gas users have to worry about, and unfortunately pressure washers with acceptable PSI/GPM ratios don’t exists with rechargeable battery packs. Consumers that go for rechargeable versions to avoid the extra wire figure this out too late, and are often left with underpowered models that can’t even clean their patios. This is why cord length is important for electric pressure washers, and it is also why companies make it a point to make them as long as possible. The long the cord, the less you have to move the base unit. And when you combine a long power cord with a long hose, the pressure washer can stay stationary through an entire project. Buyers should always favor brands that provide extra-long power cords with their units. Although the hose can be replaced, the power cord can’t. Buying a pressure washer with a short cord means you’re stuck with it for the remaining lifetime of the product.
Electric vs. Gas
This still remains the most asked question by new users for whether to buy electric pressure washers or gas pressure washer. There really is no ideal answer that will work for everyone. Here is a short list of pros and cons for each type. Looking at it from this viewpoint should point new users in the right direction for a first time buy.
Electric Pressure Washer Pros
- No gas required to get it up and running. You won’t have to worry about rising or falling gas prices, and storage of gas won’t be a headache. Without having to worry about old gas in the tank, you are less likely to leave it in and damage the pressure washer.
- Engine is smaller, so pressure washer is lighter overall. This leads to less bulk, which also means smaller wheels. It’s easy to pack up an electric pressure washer and put it in a trunk. At a work site moving it up a flight of stairs is trivial.
- Much lower prices than their gas counterparts. A high end consumer electric pressure washer is 1/3 the price of a high end gas pressure washer. This is not brand specific, and it has been consistent for a lot of years.
- Buyers that really want to go all in on electric pressure washers can get brands that offer rechargeable batteries. These are smaller than average pressure washers but provide a truly wireless experience.
Electric Pressure Washer Cons
- Underpowered if you put them head to head with gas pressure washers. Most electric models can’t handle consistently heavy workloads without putting a large strain on the system.
- You are limited in length by the power cord, which can’t be replaced. Buying a model with a short cord puts you in a bad position if your project area requires a lot of coverage. The only choice you have to extend the range is by purchasing a longer hose.
- Professional electric pressure washers cost as much as consumer grade gas pressure washers. If you truly don’t want to use gas, there are professional grade versions that have a high PSI/GPM rate but cost a lot of money. Although they are rated for professional use, consumers can still use them for personal projects.
Gas Pressure Washer Pros
- They have no equal when it comes to power. Their PSI and GPM will always be higher than electric pressure washers, even when you pit them against the professional variants. You can get a low grade gas pressure washer that will be more powerful than a high grade electric pressure washer.
- Better motors are included since the power output is higher. Only a gas pressure washer can reap the benefits of a Honda engine to its fullest capacity. All of this in turn leads to better mechanics overall, and of course the much beloved reinforced roll cage. It’s wrong to say that gas pressure washers are better built, but they are strong when it comes to longevity under heavy loads.
- No power cord is needed with gas pressure washers. It is a cordless solution that lets you pick it up and go when needed. Without being tied to an outlet, you are only limited by the length of the hose+wherever you can maneuver the main unit.
- Better safety checks are enabled by default so that you don’t burn unnecessary gas when not in use. Brands use traditional and proprietary technology to make this possible, but in short gas pressure washers are incredibly efficient and won’t waste gas.
Gas Pressure Washer Cons
- Prices for gas models are always higher than electric models. It’s very hard to find a true ‘low end’ gas pressure washer that has the same value as a low end electric type.
- The bigger motor means everything else will be bulkier, heavier and harder to handle. When storage space is an issue, you’ll be scrambling for places to put your product. Companies have been mindful over the past few years of making the design ‘stocky’ or at the very least having handles that collapse. However, this still doesn’t cover the extra weight you have to deal with when trying to put it in a truck or car for transport.
- There is month long storage limit on gas before it goes stale. Leaving it in for too long could potentially damage the engine. So higher maintenance is required for gas models.
Pressure washers are powerful tools that both residential and professional users can enjoy. They’re easy to use, have low maintenance needs and provide a stunning price to value ratio. The big decision is still between gas and electric, so choose the type that best fits your everyday projects.
Last update on 2019-05-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API