Is a pressure washer just a pressure washer? Not really. With varying PSI ratings, motor types, and other features, there is a broad spectrum of options to choose from. Deciding on the ideal pressure washer to suit your specific requirements can be a daunting task, given the overwhelming number of models available. Our team of knowledgeable specialists has researched and evaluated these options to assist you in navigating through them.
MegaShot MSH3125 Pressure Washer
The MegaShot outdoor power equipment lives up to its name, delivering impressive performance for its price point. Equipped with a powerful Honda engine featuring large air cooling fins (considered one of the best in the industry), and a robust pump with anodized hose fittings, this pressure washer provides significant dirt-blasting capability. While it may not be a commercial-grade model (which could cost an additional $1,000 or more), it comes close to that level of power and functionality at an affordable price. We tested the MegaShot on a variety of surfaces, from concrete and masonry stains to vinyl siding, trim, and fencing, as well as mildewed wood and filthy outdoor furniture. The results were impressive, as we were able to blast away even the toughest grime and dirt with ease. The pressure washer also features a pull rod choke and a prominent red on/off switch, making it easy to operate. However, we did note that the hose is stiff and may take some time to become more flexible after prolonged use. Overall, we highly recommend the MegaShot as a reliable and efficient pressure washer for a range of outdoor cleaning tasks.
Ryobi RY142300 2300 PSI Brushless Electric Pressure Washer
For most homeowners, we recommend an electric pressure washer over gas models, as they are generally easier to operate and maintain. Although gas washers offer more power, most people do not require that extra force for household tasks. The Ryobi RY142300, equipped with a quiet brushless induction motor, is a great option for those seeking an efficient and durable electric pressure washer. Its sturdy design, including a heavy weight that helps prevent tipping and larger wheels for easy maneuverability, makes it stand out among the washers we tested. Additionally, its cable and hose management system contributes to its ease of use. Compared to other models, the RY142300 may cost a little more, but its three-year limited warranty is the longest we encountered. If you plan to use your pressure washer three or more times per year, this model provides excellent value for its price.
Sun Joe SPX3000-MAX Electric Pressure Washer
The Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer is our top pick for the best overall pressure washer we tested. It boasts a maximum pressure of 2,030 psi at a flow rate of 1.76 gpm, and features dual detergent tanks and five quick-connect spray tips, making it suitable for various cleaning tasks. During our tests, we used it to clean a wooden fence, concrete walkway, and a car, and were impressed with its effectiveness and relatively quiet operation. The pressure washer is also easy to assemble and maneuver on its oversize wheels. The Sun Joe Pressure Washer comes with a 20-foot high-pressure hose, a garden hose adapter, a 34-inch extension wand, and a 35-foot power cord. Its dual detergent tanks allow for easy switching between two different cleaning solutions, making it particularly convenient for washing cars. We found it powerful enough for various easy and tough cleaning tasks around the exterior of a home, such as sidewalks and driveways, decks and fences, patio furniture, garden tools, and backyard playsets. Despite its compact design, the Sun Joe Pressure Washer is comparable in power and cleaning ability to higher-priced machines. We tested it for three months and found it to be still efficient and easy to use, though we wished it had an attachment for cleaning large areas of concrete and wood flooring. Nevertheless, its attachments for suds and pressure changes were useful. Overall, we recommend the Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washer for the average homeowner.
Generac 7122 SpeedWash, 3200 PSI
The Generac SpeedWash boasts a powerful 196cc engine that can deliver 3,200 psi at 2.7 GPM. This machine features a power dial located on the spray gun, which enables easy pressure adjustment. Additionally, it comes equipped with four interchangeable nozzles for versatility. For tackling tough spots, it has a turbo nozzle, a high-pressure soap-blaster spray attachment, and a power broom for horizontal surfaces. The motor and pump are positioned over the axle for optimal balance and maneuverability. The 25-foot hose provides ample reach for most cleaning tasks. While it may not be the most potent machine on the market, it is an excellent all-purpose option for both home and professional use. Product Specs:
- Water Pressure: 3,200 psi
- GPM: 2.7
- Weight: 62 pounds Pros:
- Includes power dial and broom
- Comes with 4 interchangeable nozzles
- 25-foot power hose Cons:
- Expensive price point
WEN PW3200 Gas Powered Pressure Washer
The WEN PW3200 gas-powered power washer is an excellent choice for those seeking portability and reliability without sacrificing power. With its 3200 PSI pressure and a 208cc 4-stroke OHV engine, this pressure washer can quickly remove dirt, paint, or grime at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute.
Equipped with an axial cam pump, this power washer provides a reliable and consistent spray over long distances, ensuring maximum performance and longevity. It also comes with five nozzles, including 0°, 15°, 25°, and 40° options for handling surfaces of different sizes and sensitivities. Additionally, the soap nozzle is perfect for washing vehicles like cars, boats, and RVs.
The WEN PW3200 is designed for easy portability, featuring 12-inch wheels and weighing only 67 lbs. Its onboard soap tank can hold up to 32 ounces of detergent, providing extra cleaning power while minimizing interruptions for refills. Moreover, its 5/16-inch by 30-foot hose provides excellent reach for easy maneuverability. Overall, this pressure washer is an excellent choice for those looking for a portable and reliable option that packs a powerful punch.
What to look for when shopping for the best pressure washers
To operate a pressure washer, the motor pumps water through a concentrated nozzle. Choosing the right pressure washer for your needs involves considering several factors: ✔️ Power source: There are three main options to choose from: electric, gas, and battery. Electric pressure washers are affordable, lightweight, quiet, and easy to maintain, making them suitable for most homeowners. Gas pressure washers, on the other hand, are more powerful and best for professionals, but they’re expensive, heavy, noisy, and harder to maintain. Battery-powered models are the newest addition to the market and offer portability and convenience, but they have lower PSI than gas or corded electric models. ✔️ Water pressure vs. water flow: Two critical factors to consider are water pressure, measured in PSI (pounds per square inch), and water flow, measured in GPM (gallons per minute). High PSI pressure washers clean deep stains more effectively, while higher GPM models clean faster. ✔️ Cost vs. value: While pressure washers are available for less than $100, models in the $150-$600 range offer the best value for home use. Hiring a professional can cost up to $100 per hour, making the investment in a quality pressure washer a cost-effective option for cleaning tasks. When choosing a pressure washer, consider the PSI, GPM, and power source that best fit your needs and budget.
What types of pressure washers are there on the market?
As mentioned, pressure washers will either be powered by electric or gas, so choosing the best one for you depends on what you’ll be using it for.
“Electric pressure washers are great for light- to heavy-duty jobs such as removing dirt and grime from patio furniture, grills and deck patios,” McCoy suggests. “If you’re facing a heavy-duty job – think washing driveways, sidewalks or home exteriors – a gas pressure washer will give you the power you need.”
You’ll also see cold-water pressure washers, which are most common for DIY use, and hot-water pressure washers, which are better suited for industrial and farm use.
What to look for in a pressure washer, according to an expert
When buying a pressure washer, you should think about the power you need to get your job or task done.
“Power is measured by pressure output (in pounds per square inch or PSI) and water volume (in gallons per minute or GPM),” McCoy explains. “That means washers with a higher PSI and GPM will clean surfaces faster and give you more power.”
Again, what will work best for you depends on your individual needs.
Where can a pressure washer be used?
Most commonly, people use pressure washers for outdoor projects around the home. “That could include pressure washing home exteriors, decks and fences, cars, trucks, and boats and concrete driveways, to name a few typical uses,” McCoy lists.
How often should a pressure washer be used?
This information may vary based on the pressure washer you pick, so be sure to check your owner’s manual before starting any jobs.