If it’s time to scrub some serious dirt and grime outdoors, pressure washers are the way to go. Consider your needs before you go shopping, though: Gas models are the most powerful, but they’re noisy, smelly and require regular upkeep. Electric models are quieter and low-maintenance, but they top out at medium-duty household tasks – you won’t want to rely on one to leave the siding sparkling on a multi-story home, for instance.
In general, look for machines under 2,000 PSI, or pounds per square... inch of pressure, if you only need to wash a car or a patio; medium-duty machines go up to the mid-3,000s and can better handle grimy driveways or siding. PSIs beyond that indicate a professional-grade machine that can tackle just about anything, but the price will be steeper. Whatever you choose, don’t forget eye protection and common-sense safety: Never point the washer’s spray wand at people or leave it unattended while it’s on.
To get you started, here are the six best pressure washers on the market now.
Hundreds of reviewers say that if you want the power of a gas-engine pressure washer, the Ryobi RY802800 won’t let you down. It offers 2,800 PSI of pressure – great for medium-duty jobs like cleaning driveways or decks – and delivers 2.3 gallons of water per minute. Though branded a Ryobi, it’s powered by a Honda GCV160 engine.
This Ryobi’s features include an easy-to-rotate pressure gauge, an integrated detergent tank and accessory storage, and large, rugged wheels. It comes with three high-pressure nozzles and one low-pressure nozzle for soap or gentle rinsing. Experts give it tip-top marks for cleaning and very good ones for power and ease of use, but note that it is a bit on the noisier side. Most owners don’t seem to mind the noise, though, and several even say they think it’s fairly quiet compared to other pressure washers they’ve used. They also say it’s simple to operate and leaves grimy surfaces sparkling. Ryobi backs it with a three-year warranty.
If you’re looking to spend a little less, an electric-powered pressure washer like the Sun Joe SPX3000 should still offer ample power for most household jobs. This model has 2,030 PSI and delivers 1.76 gallons of water per minute, but that’s enough to wash siding, decks and complete other medium-duty tasks. It’s powered by an 1800-watt, 14.5-amp motor.
Though experts say this Sun Joe doesn’t have quite as much power as the Ryobi, they say it still does a solid job cleaning, and they also give it high marks for ease of use and noise. Features include four quick-connect high-pressure nozzles, a soap nozzle, dual integrated detergent tanks, a 35-foot power cord and a 34-inch extension spray wand. Hundreds of happy owners say it does a great job cleaning anything they throw at it, and they appreciate that it’s relatively quiet. A few report some durability concerns like leaks and dead motors, however. It’s backed by a two-year warranty.
A slightly pricier electric pressure washer with some upgraded features, the Karcher K5 Premium Electric Pressure Power Washer has 2,000 PSI and delivers 1.4 gallons of water per minute. Though those stats are a slight step down from the Sun Joe, this model includes a patented “DirtBlaster” wand to get the toughest jobs done a lot more quickly, as well as an everyday “Vario” spray wand that lets users adjust the spray right from the wand instead of fussing with different types of nozzles.
Other features on the Karcher include a 25-foot high-pressure hose, 35-foot power cord, corrosion-resistant pump, durable water-cooled induction motor, integrated detergent tank and high-impact wheels. Experts give it high marks for low noise and ease of use, but as with many electric power washers, they say it lacks the power to tackle truly tough jobs. Despite that, most owners are happy, saying it’s quite effective for lighter duty around the house. Some do have some durability complaints, but the pressure washer is backed by a two-year warranty and streamlined Rapid Exchange Program that quickly replaces the model if it requires lengthy repairs.
If you’re on a truly tight budget, you can still get a great light-duty pressure washer like the Greenworks GPW 1501. It offers 1,500 PSI and delivers 1.2 gallons of water per minute, and is best for tasks like cleaning up grimy outdoor furniture, a dirty car or a stained patio. It’s powered by a 13-amp universal motor.
At its sub-$100 base price, this Greenworks comes with two quick-connect high-pressure nozzles, a 20-foot high-pressure hose, a soap applicator and a 35-foot power cord. Also available in the bundle for a higher price are a high-pressure soap applicator, surface cleaner and turbo nozzle. Owners say this little pressure washer delivers respectable performance for the price, and they love not having to deal with the noise and maintenance on a gas motor. However, some say they still need a little more power. Others complain of durability issues like inconsistent pressure and malfunctioning motors. It’s backed by a one-year warranty.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
If you have a little more to spend on a serious pressure washer but don’t want to shell out for a professional-grade model, the Simpson MegaShot MSH3125-S offers a little extra power at a still-reasonable price. It offers 3,100 PSI – more than enough pressure for most home-based jobs, such as prepping for exterior paint or even washing a grimy roof – and unleashes 2.5 gallons of water per minute. It’s powered by a 187-cc Honda GC190 gas engine.
The MegaShot features 10-inch pneumatic tires, a professional spray wand with five quick-connect nozzles, a 25-foot MorFlex high-pressure hose, and a maintenance-free OEM axial cam pump. Hundreds of happy owners say this pressure washer indeed feels like a professional machine with its solid steel build and powerful output that leaves electric power washers in its dust. But some reviewers also say they’ve dealt with oil leaks and excessive vibration. There is a one-year warranty on the pump, two-year warranty on the engine and five-year warranty on the frame.
Cordless pressure washers aren’t as numerous as other outdoor tools, but the Sun Joe iON could be just what you’re looking for if you need the ability to quietly roam more than 30 feet or so from an outlet. Just beware that a battery can’t offer the power of a gas motor or even a corded electric: The iON delivers 1,160 PSI and roughly .8 gallons of water per minute. It’s powered by a 40-volt lithium ion battery and a 600-watt motor.
Despite its weaker stats, the iON should be just fine for lighter-duty jobs such as hosing down patio furniture, cleaning a dirty boat or sprucing up a porch. It has a unique top-loading 5.3-gallon detachable bucket – you can fill it at any fresh-water source – and easy-glide wheels. Also included are four quick-connect nozzles, a soap sprayer, a 34-inch wand and a 20-foot high-pressure hose. Owners love being able to take this pressure washer where they really need it. It’s also backed by a two-year warranty for peace of mind.
When you have a job that will foil all but the beefiest power washer, try out the professional-grade DeWalt DXPW4240. It has a whopping 4,200 PSI and delivers 4 gallons of water per minute to tackle the most stubborn caked-on dirt and grime, no matter where it is: driveways, second-story siding, decks and more. Powering this pressure washer is a 389-cc Honda GX390 engine.
This DeWalt features top-notch components, including a maintenance-free AAA Triplex Pump, a 50-foot steel-braided high-pressure hose, four quick-connect high-pressure nozzles and a soap applicator nozzle, a professional spray gun with side grip, and a downstream detergent injection system. Reviewers say this heavy-duty machine is worth every penny, praising its ability to scrub metal roofs, concrete, farm equipment and other heavy machinery. While most reviewers say it doesn’t get any better than this pressure washer, a few report durability issues with the pump. The engine is backed by a three-year warranty; coverage extends to five years on the pump and 10 years on the frame.
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