What is the best pressure washer? We recommend you to choose an electric model as it is less expensive and more cost-efficient. Such devices are easier to use, produce less noise and do not emit fumes. Compared to gas-powered pressure washers, electric ones require less maintenance, are more portable and eco-friendly. Another essential factor is PSI, which is the pressure generated by a pressure washer. For heavier tasks around the home, a 2,000 PSI to 2,900 PSI unit is the best option. Also, make sure that the device has a decent GPM (gallons per minute), which determines how thoroughly the dirt is rinsed away. We believe that Karcher K5 Premium Electric Pressure Washer best fits these criteria.

Pressure washers generate a more powerful spray than your standard garden hose. They make removing caked-on dirt from outdoor furnishings, siding, and engines and debris from outdoor walks, walls, and surfaces easier and quicker. Although many pressure washers include liquid soap reservoirs, soap is seldom required to thoroughly clean your item or space. The downside of pressure washers may be their weight or lack of mobility or easy start up.

Electric pressure washers start easily, but require an available power source and substantial extension cord. Gas–powered units are more mobile, but you must provide and carry your fuel. They also have a tendency to be more difficult to start.

Gas Pressure Washers vs Electric Pressure Washers

There are two main types of pressure washers: electric and gas powered. They each accomplish the goal of high-pressure cleaning. However, general operation, maintenance, and portability vary between them.

Electric Pressure Washers

Electric pressure washers cost less, are easier to use, are quieter, emit no exhaust fumes, and do not require the maintenance gas powered models do. Eco-friendly electric pressure washers are smaller and have lower PSI. They are overall lighter in weight because they do not hold fuel and use less water.

Electric pressure washers have easy pushbutton starts. Although they require a power source, electric pressure washers are lightweight and portable enough to clean roofs and surfaces above the ground, providing you have a convenient outlet and substantially long extension cord.

An electric pressure washer has a shorter life than a gas powered unit, but it capably provides sufficient power to accomplish most common cleaning tasks. Some electric models include a soap dispenser.

Gas-Powered Pressure Washers

Gas pressure washers are heavier and more durable and more powerful for industrial use. They are typically more expensive due to their higher PSI. They are also more mobile since they do not require a power source. A gas powered pressure washer costs more to run, however, since you must supply its fuel and oil. Regular oil change maintenance is also required to keep the unit starting and operating smoothly.

Gas pressure washers tend to be noisier and more difficult to start. They are more cumbersome and harder to maneuver when the fuel tank is filled. These units should remain on the ground and are not recommended for cleaning roofs or surfaces higher than your wand or spray can effectively reach.

You may choose an electric pressure washer if you are a homeowner that demands easy and consistent start up, does not intend to use the machine often, and have ready access to outdoor electricity. Gas powered pressure washers are more frequently used on work sites where a no power source is readily available. Semi-professionals, professionals and industry typically purchase them for their heavy duty durability, power and relatively long life when properly maintained.

Explaining the Technology Behind: Buyers Guide

What can I do with a pressure washer?

There are numerous applications. Some applications require more cordless power and water pressure a gas powered pressure washer supplies. Other applications require a lighter weight unit that starts up easily, does not use much water, or that can be used above ground level.

Grease – Pressure wash a greasy grill after BBQing. Pressure wash grease off equipment, yard and lawn machines, engines and underbodies prior to a detergent wash.

Wood Surfaces – Use a low-pressure pressure washer for siding, wood decks, fences, stairs and outdoor furniture. High pressure washing strips the wood of its finish and can splinter the wood itself. Care should be taken when pressure washing wood siding. Ensure water does not seep into gaps or joints and become trapped between the wood siding and the sheathing and cause mold to form and build up in hidden places.

Metal Surfaces – Use high pressure to wash metal roofs, fences, drains and gutters and alloy wheels.

Asphalt, Concrete and Brick – Remove dirt, debris, grass, moss, and weeds from asphalt, concrete, and brick driveways, paths, curbs and walks. When using a pressure washer for concrete surfaces, you will need a little detergent or de-greaser to remove oil stains and grease from garage floors, patios and walks.

Glass and Fiberglass, Metal and Wood - Remove algae, moss, mildew, etc. from your boat, RV or trailer. Give your wood siding a clean face! Some pressure washers that use hot water (very expensive; very high PSI) can steam away swimming pool, spa and Jacuzzi molds. Low pressure removes moss, pine needles, and leaf debris from a shingles or shakes, although extreme caution and use of safety equipment is advised if roof cleaning is attempted.

Plastic and Vinyl – Vinyl siding and windows, mobile home skirting and composite outdoor furniture and fencing can successfully be pressure washed. Take care to avoid overlapping vinyl (siding) seams and joints.

Miscellaneous Uses – Use your pressure washer to remove flaking paint before applying fresh paint. Power clean kennel-area grasses and water and feed tanks to help keep your pets and livestock healthy. Pressure washing your indoor as well as outdoor carpets removes months of dust, spills, and ground in mud, dirt and scum. Pressure washing kids’ jungle gyms and toys (large and small) remove dirt and microbes.

Pressure washing a vehicle after off-roading removes mud and heavy caked-on dirt. But it can also ding or nick the paint and eventually lead to rusting.

PSI And GPM, What Do They Mean?

Choosing a pressure washer with adequate PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute) is integral to ensuring the unit you purchase is the one that is best-suited to your cleaning needs.

The maximum cleaning pressure the unit produces, to effectively loosen and scrub away dirt, is measured in PSI. The amount of water the unit puts out, that is necessary to wash away the loosened dirt, is measured in GPM. The pressure washer’s PSI and GPM work together to attain maximum efficiency. And the faster you can complete your job, the more you save in fuel and energy costs.

As an example, a low end 1,500 PSI electric pressure washer works well for a homeowner washing grime off a porch, fence or deck. A 2,000 PSI to 2,900 PSI electric or gas-powered unit may be the best home pressure washer as it is great for heavier tasks around the home.

A contractor on the other hand typically needs a more powerful 3,000 PSI to 6,900 PSI gas or diesel powered unit that is more suitable for commercial and industrial cleaning. A pressure washer’s GPM tends to be more important to the contractor than its PSI. Many contractors use chemical cleaners to assist in their cleaning projects. GPM efficiency determines how thoroughly the loosened dirt, grease, or grime is rinsed away as well as any chemical cleaner residue.

Water blaster type pressure washers produce the most powerful cleaning sprays. These units have a PSI range from 7,000 PSI to as high as 50,000 PSI. High powered industrial water blasters are typically used to clean buildings, bridges, and large industrial equipment.

How To Choose The Right Pressure Washer Nozzle

Here are some “nozzle basics” to keep in mind if you are using a pressure washer for the first time or using a new or different type of pressure washer for the first time.

  • Each nozzle is color coded and angle-sized according to the jet spray it exerts.
  • Start with a wide angle nozzle.
  • Keep your distance. The farther away you stand from what you’re washing, the less pressure will be exerted on the targeted area.
  • Do a small test strip or test area before launching into your pressure washing project. Visually gauge how much pressure you need to do a thorough cleaning without damage.

Four (4) color coded nozzles come with each pressure washer. Each nozzle has a degree angle:

  1. The 0-degree nozzle does not spray the water in a fan. It emits a steady, forceful, maximum-blast jet stream of water onto the surface. It only covers an area the size of a quarter and tends to damage most surfaces. This nozzle is recommended for removing caked-on dirt, mud or rust from confined or restricted areas on construction equipment.
  2. The 15-degree nozzle sprays a less forceful sheet of water over the surface 15 degrees wide. It is recommended for stripping old paint, primer or varnish and prepping surfaces for painting or other treatment. This nozzle can also effectively remove caked-on mud and dirt from underbodies, 4x4s, trailers, etc.
  3. The 25-degree nozzle is an all-purpose, most commonly used around the home, attachment. It sprays a gentle cleaning sheet of water over the surface 25 degrees wide, which allows a greater area to be cleaned more quickly. It is recommended for cleaning surfaces and materials that are not considered “fragile”. Use such pressure washer for decks, fences, patios, driveways, plastic, vinyl, and wood furniture, boats, trailers, vehicles, and more.
  4. The 40-degree nozzle is reserved for cleaning “fragile” surfaces and materials such as windows, blinds, lattices, etc. It emits a very gentle spray over the surface 40 degrees wide.

How Does A Pressure Washer Work?

A pressure washer is essentially an engine-powered water pump. Water from a faucet or tap is connected (via garden hose) to the unit. When the unit is started up, the pump draws water in and increases its speed to high pressure. The pressurized water quickly moves through the pressure washer hose and is released through the nozzle at the end of the trigger gun when the trigger is engaged. The size of the nozzle increases the water jet pressure to quickly and effectively clean the targeted surface.

Detergent may be added to maximize cleaning. The detergent is fed through its own tube. The pump takes in water and detergent and mixes them together. It pressurizes the soapy mixture and forces it through the unit’s hose and out the nozzle when the trigger gun is engaged.

Pressure Washer Tips To Safe Use

Highly pressurized jet sprays emitted from pressure washers can directly or indirectly harm the careless or inattentive operator. Eye, limb, and nerve damage and injuries have occurred.

  1.  Always wear protective safety gear while operating the equipment, including safety glasses, gloves, ear protection, steel-toed shoes or boots and long pants. NO shorts, flip-flops, sandals or shirtless attire!
  2. Read the Owner’s and Operator’s Manual before using any power equipment. Each unit has different use and safety features. The Manual instructs how to properly and safely use it.
  3. Note, avoid or remove hazards that could distract, hurt or hinder concentration while using your pressure washer, including pets, kids, traffic, uneven surfaces, overhanging growth, slippery areas, etc.
  4. Remain attentive. Do not point the trigger gun at a pet or person. It is not a toy and children should not be permitted to operate it.
  5. Engage the safety on the trigger gun when not in use.
  6. Do not leave the pressure washer unit running when unattended. Shut it off when you walk away.
  7. Do not use a gas powered pressure washer in an enclosed area. Dangerous gasses can build up and cause physical harm, a fire or explosion.
  8. Always squeeze the trigger to release all remaining pressure in the hose before detaching it from the unit.

Is it bad to run a pressure washer without water?

Never run the unit without first connecting and turning on the water source. The pressure water pump will get hot and break down if water is not run through them.

Run water through the pressure washer’s system several minutes to prime it before starting up the pressure washer. Remove built up air in the unit’s hose line by releasing the gun trigger until water freely sprays out.

TOP-8 Best Pressure Washers Reviews

Below, you will find eight best pressure washers of different types — electric and gas models. Also, there are commercial pressure washers, which can be either cold-water driven or hot-water driven. They are more expensive than home pressure washers but do their job fast. Electric pressure washers are easier to use and more eco-friendly while gas-powered models are more powerful and durable.

Best Electric Pressure Washers

1. Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer

This quiet, quick-cleaning, 2,000 PSI, 1.4 GPM water flow Karcher K5 Premium electric pressure washer is a high pressure, high performance residential power washer that tackles tough around-the-home mud, dirt, stains, and more. Its patented water-cooled induction motor minimizes noise output, reduces energy consumption and increases overall performance. The motor’s circulated water keeps the operating temperature low, which, in turn, increases the unit’s useful life by as much as 5X. Its non-corrosive, maintenance-free, durable N-Cor pump is built to last.

The Karcher K5 Premium electric pressure washer is certified for safety by CSA International and moves on sturdy 7.7” high impact wheels. It also features a quick connect trigger gun and N-Cor quick connect water inlet and water outlet.

Two wands are included: an easy-adjust Vario Power Spray for standard cleaning and a Dirtblaster for tough jobs. Spray wand holders, a removable, adjustable flow onboard detergent vessel, a 25 LF high-pressure thermoplastic hose and a pressurized, integrated, easy-storage anti-kink hose reel are also included. Its 35 LF electric cord (w/GFCI) plugs into a (V/Hz) - 120/60 power source.

Pros: Cons:
  • “Good balance of value and power”
  • Easy assembly; easy to use
  • Auto start / stop motor function
  • Minimizes water consumption
  • Not suitable for commercial use
  • Replacement parts are proprietary and non-standard; expensive
  • Plastic pump

Karcher K5 Premium: Check the current price

2. Powerhouse International Electric Pressure Washer

This powerful, 3,000 PSI, 2.2 GPM water flow Powerhouse International portable electric pressure washer provides high pressure performance comparable to gas powered models. This Platinum model has a trigger safety switch that automatically shuts off the brush motor when the Total Stop System’s (TSS) gun trigger is released. Energy consumption is decreased and motor life is extended as a result.

Safety is a primary feature of this Powerhouse electric pressure washer. It is certified for safety by CSA International, GS, EMC, and ROHS. Its 35 LF power cord has a GFCI plug. This unit also includes a standard auto safety valve with low pressure by-pass.

The Powerhouse Platinum electric pressure washer has upgraded features per our customers’ requests. A new telescoping locking handle design enhances maneuverability and folds for storage. The unit’s lighter weight allows it to be securely locked in place on a 4-caster, free-rolling cart or detached from the cart and carried to any location. This model also features two durable stainless steel lances with quick connectors and universal spray gun adapter that make changing nozzles and accessories effortless (proprietary accessories and nozzles have also been kept). An improved, 30% more flexible, 30 LF easy-store flex hose is also featured.

Turbo jet, angle, and high-pressure circular pattern nozzles, surface cleaner, brush and (5) standard quick connect tips for washing vehicles and underbodies, jet power washing, cleaning gutters, and general washing are included. An adjustable flow soap foam applicator is also included. The (black) low pressure nozzle may be used to rinse boats and vehicles as well as water your plants! The best feature is that every wand, nozzle, and accessory stores right ON the pressure washer unit itself so there is no clutter or pieces missing when you want them.

Pros: Cons:
  • Compact
  • Performance
  • Easy accessory storage; quick disconnect lock-on for all attachments
  • Stable; easy to lock / unlock castor wheels
  • The trigger gun hose may seem a bit short for some
  • The GCFI plug may be too large for some standard outdoor outlets and require an extension cord

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Powerhouse International: Check the current price

3. Briggs & Stratton 20680 Electric Pressure Washer For Driveway And Patio

Briggs & Stratton has been a respected small outdoor and lawn equipment brand for more than 100 years. “It is synonymous with quality motors” and its products are generally known for being durable, reliable and reasonably priced. This compact Briggs & Stratton S1800 electric pressure washer unit produces 1.2 (max) GPM at 900 PSI and 1.1 GPM water flow at its 1,800 (max) PSI. The S1800 electric pressure washer is certified by the PWMA (Pressure Washer Manufacturers' Association. All PSI and GPM ratings are provided by independent lab tests and verifications.

This S1800 unit has a substantially sturdy and durable welded steel frame that provides stability and safe operation, and withstands unforeseen impacts. Its Universal long-life motor makes it a reliable compact unit for removing mud, dirt, and stains from pool, patio, walk, siding, driveways, and other common residential surfaces. It moves on sturdy 7” high impact wheels.

A 20 LF high-pressure flexible hose and 35 LF electric cord affords a longer or higher reach and a half-gallon, integrated, onboard soap tank helps make cleaning easier. The S1800 pressure washer comes with three quick connect nozzles. An additional turbo nozzle allows you to clean tough areas and items such as vehicles, fences and outdoor furnishings “up to 40% faster”.

Pros: Cons:
  • “A good unit for the price”
  • Quality product; sturdy
  • Metal (not plastic) hose connection
  • Reliable
  • Easy to use
  • Hose ends require synthetic “greasing”; lubricant is not included
  • Not recommended for commercial use

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Briggs & Stratton 20680: Check the current price

Best Gas Pressure Washers

4. Karcher G3500 OHT

The Honda powered Karcher G3500 OHT gas powered pressure washer is a professional grade unit that generates a powerful 3,500 PSI and 2.6 GPM water flow. It starts easily and runs quietly. It has a fuel capacity of 0.87 gallons. The durable commercial grade triplex three-piston crankshaft pump and unloader valve make quick work of the toughest cleaning projects.

The Karcher gas powered pressure washer unit sits on a heavy duty, corrosion-resistant,18-gauge welded frame. The cart moves on 10-in. metal-wheeled pneumatic tires. It also features a brass garden hose quick connection and patent pending, quick connect, dual trigger VersaGRIP trigger gun (with safety lock) specifically designed to reduce fatigue.

The zinc plated spray wand has a pro-style quick connect nozzle adapter for the (5) standard quick connect angle and detergent tips (included). Detergent is dispensed through a siphon tube. A durable 25 LF high-pressure steel-braided rubber hose allows for extended reach.

Pros: Cons:
  • Engine oil included
  • Easy set up; starts on first pull
  • Onboard storage
  • Turbo nozzle not included
  • Heavy

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Karcher G3500: Check the current price

5. Generac SpeedWash 7122 3200

The 3,200 PSI, 2.7 GPM Generac SpeedWash gas powered pressure washer is a complete best-in-class washing system with many resourceful attachments that delivers professional grade power and performance. It has a manual/recoil start and runs on a Generac 196cc OHV engine. Its fuel capacity is 0.80 gallon. The durable brass head axial cam pump will last twice as long as other aluminum head pumps.

This Generac SpeedWash gas powered pressure washer features (4) quick change high pressure nozzle tips, a power broom attachment that cleans decks and patios four times faster than a standard nozzle, a rotating turbo stream nozzle that removes caked-on dirt and mud 30% faster and a soap blaster that jets a penetrating detergent stream 3X farther than a standard nozzle.

It also features no-flat tires, an ergonomic Power Dial spray gun that allows you to adjust pressure between tasks, an onboard detergent dispenser and a 30 LF high-pressure non-kink flex hose.

Pros: Cons:
  • Easy set up
  • Ergonomics: Large wheels (easy to maneuver); longer lance (better for taller people)
  • Non-kink hose
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Hard to start
  • Vibration

Last update on 2022-12-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Generac SpeedWash: Check the current price

6. Briggs & Stratton 20545 Best Small Washer

Briggs & Stratton is a globally trusted, well-respected and affordable outdoor lawn and garden equipment brand that has delivered reliable, high performance, professional grade machines for more than 100 years. Apart from being the best portable pressure washer, this model is a powerful, 2,200 (max) PSI, 1.9 (max) GPM gas-powered device. It is powered by the 140cc Briggs & Stratton 550e Series OHV engine. Its high pressure maintenance-free axial cam pump incorporates Easy Start Technology.

The Briggs & Stratton 20545 is certified by the PWMA (Pressure Washer Manufacturers' Association. All PSI and GPM ratings are provided by independent lab tests and verifications. This gas pressure washer model features (3) quick connect nozzle tips for powerful quick cleaning. It also has 10-in. never-go-flat tires for conquering all terrains and stair mobility, an onboard detergent injection siphoning system and a 25 LF durable high-pressure hose.

Pros: Cons:
  • Nice weight
  • Easy set up
  • Easy to start
  • Powerful; good pressure
  • Hose connection is too close to the wheel; an adapter may be required
  • May be difficult to start after sitting for long period

Briggs & Stratton 20545: Check the current price

Best Commercial Pressure Washers

7. SIMPSON 65209 4400

The SIMPSON Super Pro Roll Cage gas powered pressure washer is a 4,400 PSI, 4.0 GPM commercial grade, cold water, belt drive unit. It is powered by a Honda GX390 engine with low-oil shutdown that ensures quick starts and long life. It has a AAA industrial triplex plunger pump. The remote unloader’s bypass hose helps extend the pump’s life.

The cold water Super Pro Roll Cage unit’s fortified medium steel frame and subframe sit on a heavy duty, all terrain four-wheeled, pneumatic-tired cart with a locking brake system. It also features a high pressure, polyurethane, kink and abrasion-resistant Monster hose with quick connect fittings, pro handle trigger gun with insulated steel spray lance, detergent siphoning system with filter and (5) quick connect spray nozzles.

Pros: Cons:
  • Reliable
  • Quick start
  • Price
  • Weight

SIMPSON: Check the current price

8. Shark SGP-353037

The Shark SGP 353037 is a top-rated portable, self-contained, commercial grade, gas-powered, diesel-heated hot water pressure washer. It is powered by an 11HP Honda engine that ensures fast starts and long life. The heavy duty chassis is built to withstand the most demanding conditions. The SGP 353037’s direct drive pump operates at 3,000 PSI with a 3.5 GPM water flow rate. Water heats by the ETL-certified, leak-free Schedule 80 heating coil inside the stainless steel coil wrap. This portable unit moves and maneuvers easily over rough terrain on four tubed pneumatic wheels.

Pros: Cons:
  • Reliable
  • Heavy duty workhorse
  • Heavy

Shark: Check the current price

10 Best-Selling Pressure Washers Comparative Table

Don’t Forget The Pressure Washer Soap!

To power clean faster, easier and most effectively, don’t forget the pressure washer soap! Adding detergent into your power wash system helps remove grease, oil, molds, moss and mildew stains, caked on mud and other hard to eradicate dirt without scrubbing. Soaps and detergents made for pressure washers are typically water-based, non-toxic, non-abrasive, non-flammable and safe around people, plants and pets because they are made without bleach or ammonia.

The (Black) soap tip nozzle is the widest with a 65 degree spray. The larger opening is necessary to reduce velocity and increase the pressure inside the hose so the soap or detergent may be pulled through it for easy application and cleaning.

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