High and Low Pressure Clean: Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Spruce up with a pressure wash

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Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

What We Like
  • Easy to move the unit

  • Multiple spray settings

  • Budget-friendly

  • Quick-Connect nozzles

What We Don't Like
  • Spray hose isn’t very long

  • Not great for overhead debris

Bottom Line


If you need a pressure washer for small messes or to keep up with everyday dirt and debris, the Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer will do the trick.

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Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

We purchased the Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer so our reviewer could put it to the test in her home. Keep reading for our full product review.

Nothing boosts curb appeal like a quality exterior pressure wash. By simply washing away the season’s dirt and debris, your home can look brand new again. Some pressure washers are made to tackle months or even years of dirt, cobwebs, and built-up gunk. Other pressure washers, smaller, more portable units, are more suitable as a seasonal or routine washer, also perfect for cleaning individual items like sporting equipment.

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer comes in one box, with all parts and attachments included. The only assembly required is attaching the two pieces of the wand. They snap in place, and you are ready to start power washing.

The nozzles use a Quick-Connect mechanism, which is much easier to use than most traditional fittings. You push the nozzle onto the Quick-Connect base, and it locks in place. To remove, push down on the collar to release the nozzle.

The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer comes with three nozzles: a low-pressure nozzle to use with soap, a 15-degree nozzle, and a turbo nozzle. I used the 15-degree nozzle for the majority of my cleaning.

The sprayer hose is relatively short, which sometimes made it hard to reach things without moving the unit around.

This pressure washer is lightweight and easier to cart around than a larger unit. It requires an electrical plug-in and a garden hose. Once you add the sprayer hose, you quickly have a jumble of wires and hoses that you have to navigate while trying to spray.

Because you need to plug in this pressure washer, you also have to be careful to safely set up your electrical cord, looping it above the hose and water. The cord precaution was one of the main reasons that I wasn’t able to move around with the Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer as much as I initially wanted. 

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

The sprayer has a trigger handle and is pretty self-explanatory to operate. Turn it on and spray. The included instructions are helpful but mainly used for selecting which nozzle you want to use. The two wand parts were a little tricky to snap together and only took about a minute to fully assemble.

The sprayer hose is relatively short, which sometimes made it hard to reach things without moving the unit around. Moving around would not have been much of an issue, except that I needed to check on and reposition the power cord every time I stepped away more than a couple of feet to keep clear of the water and hoses. Ryobi has a longer hose available separately, which I plan to purchase before using the pressure washer again.

The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer worked great on smaller jobs and on spots where I could get close to take advantage of the high-pressure spray.

I recommend beginning with the 15-degree nozzle. It has enough power to tackle most debris but won’t damage paint and finishes. It’s easier to switch to the turbo nozzle as needed instead of risking damage to your home or outdoor items. You can always try out the nozzle in a small area, as a test, before taking on a large project or spraying around a lot of water. It can also be helpful to start from a distance and move closer as needed as you continuously spray.

The low-pressure nozzle is also safe for almost all applications. It is the recommended nozzle to use with soap. The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer doesn’t come with a cleaning solution, so I used a simple mixture of all-purpose cleaner and water. You can purchase a Ryobi-compatible liquid detergent and a foam blaster attachment.

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

I sprayed my patio once with water, then used the low-pressure nozzle to wash it with soap. I switched back to the 15-degree nozzle to give it another rinse. I had the best results when I strategically washed the patio from top to bottom, then directed all of the dirty water to the sides and out. Some dirt settled back into the seams of the concrete, which I had to rinse again. 

I like Ryobi products in general. I already own a Ryobi power drill, weed whacker, and some of their other small tools. Many of their parts are interchangeable among their devices. If you purchase additional attachments for this pressure washer from Ryobi, such as more nozzles, longer hoses, or a foaming brush wand, you can use them with any of Ryobi’s pressure washers.

The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer worked great on smaller jobs and on spots where I could get close to take advantage of the high-pressure spray. It was not great for reaching into high corners to get cobwebs and dirt. If you have a step stool, it may help. For safety reasons, I don’t recommend using this pressure washer with a ladder. You will be better off using a pressure washer with more power or purchasing an extension wand.

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

The Spruce / Katie Begley

With this washer, it’s almost impossible to reach siding on the second story or higher. By the time the pressurized stream of water got that high, it did little more than just wet the surface. Ryobi recommends using this pressure washer for gutters, but I don’t see how that would work well without using a ladder. If you have scaffolding or another way to get higher safely, it may work. To move higher, you will likely need an extension cord, another potential hazard to keep in mind. 

The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer worked great on smaller jobs and on spots where I could get close to take advantage of the high-pressure spray.

The price for this pressure washer was priced right for the many uses around my house and yard. It costs as much to pay a professional for a one-time power wash as it does to purchase this unit. If you intend to get a pressure washer that can reach up high and has more power, you may want to spend a bit more and get a bigger unit. I was content with the power that this pressure washer had because I only wanted it to tackle small jobs. Honestly, I will leave a whole house wash to the pros.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many settings does this pressure washer have?

There is only one setting on the pressure washer, and it comes with three different nozzles. You can control the sprayer's pressure by selecting the appropriate nozzle (low pressure for soap, high-pressure 15-degree for most uses, turbo nozzle for stubborn dirt) and move closer or further away from your item as needed. 

What kind of things can I pressure wash with this unit?

I used this pressure washer on the siding on my home, patio furniture (cushioned and resin), and powder-coated metal stands. I also used it on my patio and a set of painted wooden stairs, although it did wash away some of the paver sand and paint on these items. The pressure washer worked best to remove the pollen on my concrete patio and driveway, as well as on the first floor siding of my house.

Can I use this pressure washer around my yard and home?

This pressure washer is great to use on the exterior of your home, on patio furniture, and on recreational equipment. Because you can carry it from place to place, you can set it up in one spot, tackle that area, then move to another site, and so on. You will need access to a power outlet to plug in the power washer for use.

Does this pressure washer damage paint and finishes?

The high-pressure nozzle will take off paint and some finishes. I used it on old painted wooden steps and saw the paint come off pretty quickly. It did not take the powder-coated finish off of a metal stand. How close or far you stand to the item makes a difference. I recommend starting with the 15-degree nozzle and only moving to the high-pressure nozzle if needed.

Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer vs. the Competition

If you are looking for a more powerful clean, the Ryobi 2,300 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer is a larger unit with more pound-force per square inch (PSI). It is also compatible with all of the same Ryobi nozzles and attachments, making it a significant upgrade from the smaller 1,600 PSI unit if you need it.

If you want a handheld unit that doesn’t have the hassle of a power cord to worry about, the Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt 320 PSI 0.8 GPM Cold Water Cordless Power Cleaner can tackle a lot of the same small jobs as larger pressure washers. It uses a standard Ryobi battery as many of the other Ryobi power tools. If you have other Ryobi power tools, this interchangeability makes it easier to always keep a battery charged and ready to go if you need an extra.

Final Verdict

Yes, buy it.

While not a professional-caliber power washer, this affordable unit clears all significant debris and dirt with minimal hassle.

Specs

  • Product Name 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer
  • Product Brand Ryobi
  • Price $99.99
  • Weight 16.4 lbs.
  • Product Dimensions 9.5 x 10 x 12.5 in.
  • Cord Length 240 inches
  • PSI 1600 PSI
  • Warranty 3 years, household use