As a home owner, you need to select between different types, models, and brands of power washers to make your home look spanking clean. Given the number of pressure washers available in the market, it is a herculean task to select the best pressure washer. This is where our comprehensive Best Pressure Washer Reviews for 2017 buying guide comes in handy.
Read on to learn which are our best picks for pressure washers – including detailed power washer reviews (both electric and gas). Here, we are providing the top 7 list of pressure washers available in the market. This list will help you narrow down your options and decide whether a gas or electric pressure washer is the best fit for you.
Why you need a pressure washer?
If you have encountered layers of unyielding dirt, grime, moss, or any other infestation on your building, car, boat, or on any of your other prized possessions, you would know how frustrating it can be to clean it. This is because, over time, this muck solidifies, making it difficult to remove by normal methods.
Scrubbing is one way to clean it, but is too tedious and may not get rid of it completely. Scraping the crust of dirt and grime with a scraper runs the risk of damaging the underlying paint.
So, what is one to do?
The answer lies in a wonder device called a pressure washer.
What is a pressure washer?
If you ever have your car washed at a service station, you must have seen pressure washing in action. A pressure washer is a pump powered by either an electric motor or a fuel engine. Now, you have to connect it to a water source with a pipe at one end and a hose with a specialized nozzle and extension wand at the other end.
Basically, a pressure washer boosts the low-pressure water into high pressure jet by means of a pump and a nozzle. In most cases, they create pressure of the order of over 3000 psi (pounds per square inch). The good part is that pressure washing uses 80 percent less water.
Turn on the unit. The pump forces the water through the hose towards the nozzle or spray wand. The pressure washer extension wand compresses the water in the form of a jet to deliver a water blast. This force of water is what rids the surface of the stubborn dirt and debris and other such muck without defacing or damaging the surface.
Power washer nozzle tips
Pressure washer nozzle tips determine the power of water flow. These are of various types, such as turbo nozzle and others. These special pressure washer tips can concentrate or spread out high-pressure water stream.
There are five types of spray wand tips:
- Red tip: Produces the most concentrated stream of water and needs utmost care in handling.
- Yellow tip: Produces a 15-degree wide spray pattern, suitable for heavy duty cleaning.
- Green tip: Produces 25-degree wide spray pattern, ideal for general cleaning.
- White tip: Produces a wide spray pattern of about 40-degrees, ideal for light duty cleaning.
- Black tip: Produces an even wider spray of 65-degrees, you can use it for applying special cleaning detergents, just before pressure washing.
Types of pressure washers
The rate of compression of water, in terms of psi or GPM (gallons per minute), dictates the pressure created to break up the dirt. Higher the psi and GPM of a pressure washer, greater is its effectiveness in cleaning the dirt.
Depending upon the force of delivery of water, we can classify a power washer into three types:
- Light duty: This pressure washer generates a water pressure that is good enough for general cleaning, like those for cars and wooden patio chairs, plastic patio tables and other such furniture. It is also a handy pressure washer surface cleaner, since it generates around 1700 psi pressure.
- Medium duty: Medium duty models generate more power compared to light-duty ones. Hence, they are ideal for heavier duty cleaning, like those for fences and the like. Power washing decks and cleaning driveways is a breeze with medium duty models.
- Heavy duty: Heavy duty pressure washer generates pressure of the order of 3200 psi. Heavy-duty pressure washers are the ultimate saviors for applications like stripping paint or cleaning higher reaches that are not easily accessible.
How would you know which pressure washer to go in for? Let’s put it this way, you will need to multiply the psi rating and the GPM flow to get the CU (cleaning unit) rating. The value you get will indicate the type of cleaning that that pressure washer is capable of.
Categories of pressure washer
There are three categories of pressure washer based on purpose and fuel used – electric pressure washer, residential pressure washer and commercial pressure washer.
- Electric pressure washer: This pressure washer is most convenient, since it is plug and use and requires little maintenance. It uses an indirect drive pump that delivers consistent performance. Electric models are the best fit for light duty and medium duty cleaning that may include cleaning of tires, grills, patio furniture and the like.
- Residential pressure washer: This gas pressure washer offers higher pressure than electric models. Delivering 2700 to 3100 psi pressure makes it ideal for medium duty and heavy duty work. Cleaning windows, pavement is the key forte of residential models.
- Commercial gas pressure washer: Heavier cleaning jobs and bigger projects rely upon commercial models. They generate pressure in the range of 3100 to 4200 psi. Hence, they can tackle the toughest dirt and grime in the shortest possible time.
Pressure Washer Reviews
#1 Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer
Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer comes under the category of light to medium washers and rates high in pressure washer reviews. Weighing only 31 pounds and measuring 33.9 inches x 15.6 inches x 13.5 inches, it is amazingly portable. It is perfect for use around the house for any kind of light to medium cleaning jobs. Little wonder it has been adjudged as one of the best electric power washer.
This pressure washer delivers an impressive 2030 PSI water pressure and 1.76 GPM water flow, with its 1800 watt and 14.5 amps wobble plate single-phase motor. This wonder washer is good enough for clearing dirt and grit from paving, driveways, woodwork and stonework, but it is not as effective for high-end usage.
Thanks to the experts at SunJoe, you need to spend just half-an-hour to assemble it fully, after unpacking. It comes with stainless steel or brass pressure wand and not the usual plastic one. The washer includes five different spray nozzles that can access hard-to-reach nooks and crannies of buildings and structures simply by customizing the pressure output.
- Powerful 1800-watt motor with TSS (Total Stop System) saves energy. The motor is almost noiseless.
- Includes five different nozzles, 35-foot power cord, 20-foot high-pressure hose, two 0.9-litre detergent storage tanks.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protects the operator from risks of electric shock.
- Thermal sensor prevents overloading and overheating.
- Good value for money.
- It doesnot contain reserve water tank. Hence, you need to connect it directly to the tap.
- Plastic piece connecting the body to the hose is prone to leaks under high pressure.
#2 AR Blue Clean 383
The diminutive, lightweight AR Blue Clean 383 pressure washer, with plastic exterior, measuring 11.2 x 12.2 x 28.5 inches and weighing only 27 pounds, is considered as one of the best pressure washer for cars. It is also effective and efficient in general cleaning.
Mounted on two wheels, this plug-and-use device requires no assembling. The secret of its remarkably thorough cleaning lies in its AnnoviReverberi Triplex 3 Axial Piston Pump. Armed with a 35-feet long power cord and a 20-foot hose, this two-wheeled contraption provides manoeuvrability and easy accessibility to longer distances. It also keeps the machine at a safe distance from water.
The pressure washer is equipped with an onboard downstream detergent tank. You can fill it with the required chemicals. The hose is reeled in neatly by means of a crank, without getting tangled.
AR Blue Clean 383 comes with a choice of two nozzles. One nozzle is designed to deliver both a pencil-sharp spray or a wider spray, while the other, turbo nozzle, for a ‘water blast’. The turbo nozzle delivers a powerful pulsing and rotating spray, three times the speed of standard nozzle.
- A quiet and efficient 11 amps engine.
- Energy and water saver. Uses five times less water.
- 40 percent more powerful than standard garden hose.
- Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter prevents electric shock.
- Total Stop System controls automatic safety valve and pressure shut off.
- Awarded CSA International certification for safety.
- Hot water cleaning not possible.
- Fragile plastic water inlets and outlets.
- Hose tends to curl up on itself making reeling-in difficult.
#3 Generac 6923 Pressure Washer
Generac 6923 Pressure Washer has proved its mettle in tough cleaning. Its powerful 196 cc OHV horizontal-shaft engine delivers a powerful 3100 PSI to force out dirt and grime from concrete surfaces of garage and driveways, etc. It has four pressure settings between 2000 PSI and 3100 PSI.
Weighing 57 pounds, this gas-powered pressure washer is ergonomically designed and lends itself to easy handling. It is equipped with a 25-foot high-pressure hose that ends in a longer spray gun with nozzle. It has four kinds of nozzle tips that allow speedwash with minimal downtime.
The best part? All its parts, such as spray gun, spray tips, pressure hose, detergent tank, etc. are made of high quality materials.
- Designed for tough cleaning.
- Saves on water.
- Highly manoeuvrable.
- Reduces cleaning time.
- You cannot use it indoors or in confined places that lack ventilation.
- Need to be used 1.5 meters away from buildings to avoid exhaust fumes entering them.
- Only black nozzle can be used with detergent.
- The unit cannot be used at an angle above 15 degrees.
#4 Greenworks GPW1501 Electric Pressure Washer
The 12-pound portable medium-duty Greenworks GPW1501 Electric Pressure Washer is ideal for outdoor cleaning and efficiently cleans driveways, stairways and even vehicles. This is because of its efficient and powerful 13 amps waterproof engine that delivers 1.1 GPM water flow at 1500 PSI pressure.
This gas-powered pressure washer is powerful, stable and flexible. You can use it in both horizontal and vertical applications. Equipped with a 35-foot power cord and a 20-foot high-pressure hose that ends in a nozzle, it efficiently removes dirt and infestations. It comes with three different nozzle tips – a 25-degree tip and a 40-degree tip for a variety of cleaning applications.
Above all, it also has a low-pressure foam sprayer that ensures thorough cleaning.
- Engine quiet and efficient, as compared to other gas-powered ones.
- Simple to assemble and start.
- Pre-installed AR detergent tank makes using detergents easy.
- Provided with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter that protects from electrical shock.
- Helps in the reduction of carbon footprint.
- PMWA certified.
- Hose joint prone to leaks.
- Not ideal for heavy-duty use.
- You need to operate it atleast three feet away from combustible material.
- Comes with only one-year warranty.
#5 Ivation Electric Pressure Washer
The 14.5 amps and 1600-watt motor of Ivation Electric Pressure Washer delivers 1.8 GPM water flow at 2200 PSI pressure. Add to this its lightweight unit of 13.3 kilograms and it becomes a perfect device for cleaning homes, cars, boats, driveways, decks, etc.
Setting up this twin-wheeled electric pressure washer is simple. The washer is equipped with a 20-foot and 0.5-inch wide hose, and a 30-foot power cord. It also comes with an efficient detergent dispenser.
The washer comes with five interchangeable, easy-to-connect nozzles that offer a range from 0 to 40 degrees and a separate foam nozzle. Like most of the high-end models, Ivation also comes with two wands – regular for general cleaning and turbo for hard-to-reach areas. This enables efficient and thorough cleaning of any surface. All attachments can be stored in one place by means of an onboard nozzle storage.
- Provided with auto-shut off feature.
- Has an integrated Total Stop System.
- Thermal sensors prevent overheating.
- Can pump out water by means of a self-suction system in the absence of hose.
- No switchover provision for switching from water to soap or vice versa.
- No provision for reeling in hose.
- Comes with only one-year warranty.
#6 Simpson MSH3125-S MegaShot
Not for nothing is Simpson MSH3125-S MegaShot is one of the best pressure washer 2017. Equipped with an efficient Honda CV910 engine, it delivers 2.5 GPM water flow at 3100 PSI pressure.
A high-pressure poly-braided hose, a sturdy welded steel frame, mounted on 10-inch pneumatic tyres, makes it highly manoeuvrable and flexible.
Its dimensions of 33 inches x 21 inches x 19 inches and weight of 65 pounds makes it bigger than the average pressure washers. The pressure cleaner comes with several nozzles, each for different kind of cleaning.
A horizontal orientation design makes it more reliable and easy-to-use. A patented Power Boost Technology provides an extensively high pressure at the nozzle. It comes with an axial cam pump with a downstream injection system.
- Powerful and durable washer with high quality material.
- High cleaning power rating.
- Ergonomically designed with pro-style gun and an anti-vibration pump.
- Large dimensions make is a bit unwieldy and difficult to handle.
- Axial pump is prone to defects.
- Absence of onboard detergent tank.
- High-power requires utmost care in handling to avoid injuries.
#7 Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer
The introduction of water-cooled induction motor in Karcher K5 Premium Electric Power Pressure Washer increases its life by up to five times, as also the efficiency of its electric motor. The reason why it figures prominently in power washer reviews. It is equipped with a 14-amp motor that produces powerful pressure of the order of 2000 PSI with a flow rate of 1.5 GMP. This proves more than adequate for cleaning tough stains, dirt and grit.
The pressure washer is equipped with a 25-foot high-pressure hose with a built-in housing that makes winding and unwinding most convenient. GFCI protection adds to the safety of this nifty model.
A non-corrosive maintenance-free N-Cor pump provides durability. However, it does not come with special nozzles, but has two specialized wands – Vario and Dirtblaster. The Vario Power Spray wand is adjustable and is meant for less intense cleaning. The Dirtblaster, with its zero-degree pencil jet, that can rotate 360 degrees, is ideal for maximum dirt cutting action and increases the cleaning performance by up to 50 percent.
The pressure washer has simple settings: the high-pressure setting (Max) is for cleaning at maximum pressure and the Minimum (Min) setting is for lower pressure. For using detergent, the wand needs to be set at a lower pressure setting (Mix).
- Provides high pressure, ideal for tough cleaning jobs.
- Equipped with a hose reel and onboard detergent tank with an adjustable detergent flow.
- The gun has Quick Connect connector.
- It is a CSA International Certified Model
- Needs care in handling to avoid rupture or injury.
- Not recommended for soft surfaces and materials.
Handling pressure washers – No child’s play
Yes, it’s true. Pressure washers can be downright dangerous. Here’s why:
- The high-pressure water generated by a pressure washer can hurt you, if you are not careful.
- Pressure washer extension wand can injure you, if not held securely.
- You can damage the items you are trying to clean by using incorrect nozzle setting.
Therefore, you need to extra careful while using a power washer, and most importantly – NEVER let your kids play with a pressure washer.
The bottom line is this that whenever you go in for a pressure washer, be sure to read the entire owner’s manual before operating it. The important safety information contained in it will not only prevent damage to the equipment and pressure washer accessories, but also keep you and the things you are trying to clean safe.
To sum up, pressure washer is a wonder device designed to get rid of stubborn dirt and grime, but requires safe handling. Does this mean that pressure washers are only for professionals? Not really, no. Anybody is capable of handling it, but should be careful while operating it.