Best Pressure Washers Reviewed & Tested
A pressure washer is a perfect replacement for the scrub when it comes to cleaning different surfaces and items outside the house. Obliterating dirt and grime with a pressure washer is an effortless exercise and takes a fraction of the time you would have otherwise spent scrubbing the patio, swimming pool, vehicle, walls, or other equipment. Because of their incredible pressure, a pressure washer can transition from a gentle spray to a high-pressure stream of water in a matter of seconds for that extra cleaning power that scrubs cannot apparently achieve. Additionally, they are very efficient compared to a garden hose as you can regulate the amount of water you use in accordance with the nature of the surface or item you intend to clean.
Since the market is overflowing with all kinds of pressure washer both from established names and smaller companies, you need to consider several factors before rushing off to get yourself one. First and foremost you need to access your needs and decide whether you need a light-duty, medium-duty or a heavy-duty unit. It would be unnecessary to spend a lot of money on a commercial-grade pressure washer when all you will be doing is wash your car or the driveway once in a while unless of course, you want to.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Sun Joe SPX3000
- AR Blue Clean AR383
- Simpson Cleaning
Criteria for Choosing the Best Pressure Washers
Safety should be at the top of your list of concerns whenever you are buying any machine and this logic can never be more prudent in the case of pressure washers. Pressure washers are capable of shooting out pressurized water at very high and powerful intensities and without proper handling they can cause serious harm. Not being mindful of the position of one’s hand or fingers when using a pressure washer is one of the most common causes of injury while cleaning. The powerful jet of water quickly causes finger lacerations in such cases and the chances of injury are particularly greater when the wand or nozzle tip is set to 0 degrees as the setting concentrates all the power into a thin and high-speed stream. In light of the danger, it is highly recommended that you use zero-degree wand spray only when it is necessary, as the dangers far overshadow the benefits. Irrespective of whether you will be using the lowest or highest spray setting, users need to take all conceivable precautionary measures such as wearing protective clothing and eye goggles.
The two most important units that determine how powerful a pressure washer is are Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and Gallons per Minute (GPM). The proper and efficient completion of a cleaning project rests heavily on these two factors and preferring one over the other can lead to ending up with a worthless unit. The greater the PSI, the easier it is for the machine to break the bonds between the surface and the stain, dirt, or grime. Most pressure washers on the market come with pressures of between 1000 and 3500 PSI. GPM keeps track on the amount of water the pressure washer uses within a minute. The higher the GPM, the less time it takes to remove the grime from the surface after breaking the bonds. Basically, PSI is a determination of the washer’s ability to remove stains, grime and dirt while GPM determines the speed at which it does so.
Manufacturers understand the necessity of ensuring pressure washers are as easy to use as possible. To this end, most of the units feature an ergonomic design and are lightweight and come with two wheels for flexibility and mobility. Their pressure hoses are similarly as long as possible, usually around 35-feet, to allow you move on surfaces and around items with relative ease. Additionally, there is sufficient on-board storage, making it possible for the user to bring with them all the accompanying accessories such as the 8 meter hose, trigger gun and connected lance. A detergent system is also part of the deal for storing your preferred soap which you can then use to give the different surfaces and items the deep cleaning you’ve always wanted.
Source of Power
Pressure washers are either powered by electricity or gas. The electricity-powered models are more efficient and more environmentally-friendly, producing almost no harmful gases such as carbon monoxide. They also require less maintenance. However, because they rely on electricity to function, your movement is restricted to a place with proximity to a power outlet. Meaning that you cannot cover an expansive area faster. Gas-powered models, on the other hand, can be used almost anywhere and they allow you to go as far as you want. With a full fuel tank, you can keep cleaning before requiring a refill. Hence, other than being more powerful, they are quite portable and are ideal for cleaning larger areas at a fraction of the time it would take an electricity-powered pressure washer. As a result, you need to understand your needs before settling on any specific one.
10 Best Pressure Washers
1. Sun Joe SPX3000
It allows the user to give their products an extra cleaning by making it possible for the user to inject a detergent of their choice. To truly understand how versatile the pressure washer is, consider that it is equipped with two tanks each with a detergent carrying capacity of 900ml that can easily be interchanged. Storing them in a container and slipping them into the pressure washer makes it possible for you to switch between either one with utmost convenience with the use of a selection button. Therefore, the user can quickly switch to the stronger of the two when they need extra cleaning power, for instance when they are dealing with dirt. However, using bleaching detergents with the Sun Joe SPX3000 is highly discouraged considering their damaging consequences. Be sure to consult the Owner’s Manual to familiarize yourself with suitable detergents.
The pressure washer comes with a spray wand measuring 34 inches, a high-pressure nose and a power cord measuring 20 and 35-feet respectively. The single biggest advantage that comes with having such long cords is increased portability giving you adequate flexibility to access hard-to-reach locations. To protect the Sun Joe SPX3000 from inevitable and unpredictable electrical malfunctions, the power cord is equipped with GFCI protection. Furthermore, the motor is given protection against overloading with the incorporation of a thermal sensor, which only allows for restarting the pressure washer once the thermal sensor has cooled. It is further advised that the user ensures the hose is not intertwined or looped prior to using the pressure nozzle in addition to flushing out any residual air. The move is aimed at protecting the motor and preventing the build-up of pressure that could easily dislodge the tap connector.
Lightweight and compact design
Perfect for small to medium-duty projects
Offers a quiet operation
Five different spray nozzle
Not great for more demanding cleaning tasks
Cheaply constructed hose connector
2. AR Blue Clean AR383
The exceptional ease of putting together the AR Blue Clean AR383 Pressure Washer means you will be using it in no time, as it only requires plugging into a power outlet before connecting the pressure hose to a garden hose. As you would expect, the machine's electrical cord, measuring 25-feet in length, features the now industry-standard GFCI protection to give additional protection against electrical surges. Using an extension cord with the pressure cord is however not encouraged for safety reasons. Nevertheless, it is equipped with the Total Stop System (TSS) for automatically shutting off the machine the moment the user stops engaging the trigger to increase the shelf-life of the pump and to also improve efficiency. Because of its sensitivity to the flow of water, it also prevents the pump from reaching exceedingly high temperatures that could jeopardize its performance and effectiveness.
The other accessories with which the pressure washer comes are a twenty-foot high-pressure hose, spray wand, a turbo wand, variable nozzles, a bottle for holding detergents, among other things. If you want to shift between less and high-pressure cleaning, all you have to do is rotate the variable spray to match the intensity you require. Very tough applications will, however, require attaching the Turbo lance leading to the immediate generation of a pulsating rotating high-pressure spray which efforts gets rid of the most stubborn stains from your machinery and yards. Applying detergent is an easy and straightforward endeavour with the provision of a separate bottle which you can attach to the machine.
Considering that a pressure washer is quite delicate machine, it is highly recommended that you confirm from the user manual or on the brand's website the suitability of your detergent before using it to prevent damage to the machine. Bleach detergent is mainly known to be quite destructive and can shorten the life of the pressure washer. Also, whenever you are using any device or tool, make a point of keeping yourself and those around you as safe as possible from harm's way by wearing appropriate protective gear. In the case of a pressure washer, always wear eye-protecting goggles and aprons to keep your eyes and skin safe from contacting detergents. Considering the specs and features of the AR Blue Clean AR383 pressure washer, we highly recommend that you use it only for small and medium-duty projects.
Compact and lightweight
Excellent pump quality
Powerful spray for dirt removal
Sufficiently long power cord
Convoluted instructions on the user manual
3. Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S
It features a durable and reliable MorFlex high-pressure hose that is resistant to both abrasions and kinks, thereby giving you the longevity assurance with proper use. The tool has a twenty-five feet hose that is tightly held in place with the use of M22 connectors. The professionally-constructed spray gun features a safety lock-out system aimed at preventing any damage to the pressure washer as well as keeping the user safe from harm. The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S features an all-welded steel construction and heavily reinforced components which will ensure it lasts for several years to come. The pressure washer comes with the OEM Technologies Axial Cam Pump feature that aims to increase efficiency by minimizing engine load while providing you top-shelf performance. The OEM Pumps do not require maintenance, however, as they are made from industrial-strong steel for durability. You are also free to apply a detergent of your choice through the use of the built-in siphon tube.
The other feature that significantly increases efficiency is the thermal relief valve, which does an excellent job preventing the pump from overheating by eliminating hot water whenever the pump heats up. The average person should not take more than just a couple of minutes to set up the pressure and get it in an operational state. With its 0.5-gallon tank, it should last for approximately three hours on average, depending on the intensity of use. It is one of the most cost effective pressure washers out there and is guaranteed to provide you with years of exceptional service should you use and maintain it properly.
Exceptional efficiency and effectiveness
Quick and easy start
Powerful stream for super clean surfaces
4. Sun Joe SPX3001
Coming from the same brand as Sun Joe SPX3000, this pressure washer shares several features and specs with the SPX3000. It also features a five quick connect spray nozzles giving you the freedom of selecting the one that best meets your needs. You can also choose between a thin and full stream power spray depending on the difficulty of dislodging grime and dirt or any other substance. Another similarity with the SPX3000 is the Total Stop System that immediately stops the flow of water when you stop squeezing the trigger. A few users of Sun Joe SPX3001 indicate that the tap connectors gets damaged easily at high pressures because it is made from plastic. Should you experience this inconvenience, be informed that the Sun Joe brand freely provides alternative tap connectors made from brass in case you need it at the time of purchase.
It is factory-equipped with a tank that holds a maximum of 1.2 litres of detergent which is more than adequate for washing off tough to remove stains. As was the case with SPX3000, however, the use of a bleaching detergent can have serious repercussions to the proper functioning of the pressure washer. In light of this, it is highly recommended that you verify the suitability of your detergent before using it. There is also a 20-feet built-in hose reel that allows you to quickly and amply wind it up and safely store it. Its power cord, which measures 35-feet in length, has GFCI protection against electrical malfunctions and there is also a 34-inch extension spray wand that extensively increases your reach. To improve portability and manoeuvrability, the Sun Joe SPX3001 has ultra-strong rear wheels, and the length of the extension cord adds to this features by giving you easy access to confined spots.
Easy-to-understand instructions on how to setup the Sun Joe SPX3001 and get it running can be obtained from the user manual as well as the brand’s site. Even though its gas-powered counterparts pack considerably more power, this pressure washer has the advantage of offering the user a stress-free and quiet operation and of course, enough power to get the job done. Regular maintenance is critical to the optimal performance of any machine, including the SPX3001. Before keeping it away for any amount of time, ensure there is no residual build up pressure within it. Also store it in a cool, dry place.
Lightweight and compact
Easy to put together
Ideal for heavy-duty cleaning
Powerful 14.5 Amp motor
Cheaply constructed nose connector causing leakage
5. Karcher K3
Karcher K3 Follow-Me is fitted with a Quick Connect System that significantly simplifies the connection between its hose or trigger gun to the two spray wands through a very simple process. Simply pushing and clicking your preferred connection into place completes the entire process. You also have the freedom of adjusting the pressure of the water between light spray and strong jet as dictated by the toughness of the dirt, grime, oil, or tar that you would like to clean off from your pieces of machinery, vehicles, or floors. Additionally, because the high-pressure hose measures 15 feet in length, you will enjoy increased portability by being able to access intricate and hard-to-reach spots such as beneath the eaves of the roof. The Karcher K3 Follow-Me Pressure Washer also comes with four solidly constructed wheels
It is as convenient as it is portable. There are a bunch of other equally important features aimed at increasing your productivity while working. There is also a large ergonomically designed handle which other than increasing your comfortability, eliminates the need for repositioning the machine as you can drag it behind you as you clean your lawn. The detergent tank, for instance, is a handy inclusion for carrying the detergent of your choice for those who want extra cleaning power and its location at the back of the pressure washer makes it easy to reach. You will also have easy and unhindered access to all your accessories such as power cord, hose and spray wand since you can bring them along and secure them tightly at the top of the machine.
In all, it is a cost-effective machine that comes in an industrial-grade body and still remains lightweight and compact enough. Its sturdy four wheels make it a very portable pressure washer that you can painlessly lug around the garden. Also, its long hose allows reaching previously hard-to-reach spots.
Lightweight and compact workmanship
Easy to use
Secure connection of attachments
Incorporated detergent system
Not ideal for demanding cleaning tasks
6. Generac 6923 3100
Additionally, manoeuvring and storing the pressure washer is surprisingly easy due to its upright design and the installation of solidly built 10-inch wheels. The design greatly allows the machine to fit perfectly into some of the smallest storage spaces and can thus be said to be compact. The premium pricing of the Generac 6923 is justifiable, seeing as how all its components and attachment are conspicuously of superior quality compared to those of most electronic models. From the frame, spray wand and tips to connections within the engine, everything is a reflection of the immense resources and effort as well as expertise and experience the Generac brand dedicated to ensuring the perfect construction of the Generac 6923.
The spray wand is made from a combination of plastic and stainless steel parts, meaning that it is one of the strongest ever in the industry and with proper care and use, will definitely last more than a lifetime. The pressure washer comes with a sturdy frame to support the massive engine when you are lugging it through different kinds of terrains. A factory-fitted detergent tank allows you to use a detergent of your choice to give different surfaces and items the cleaning you want. The solidly built 10-inch wheels make the Generac 6923 3100 PSI Pressure Washer quite manoeuvrable, allowing you to move around obstacles and up and down the stairs with exceptional ease. While the Generac brand indicates the pressure washer is optimized for heavy residential use, we see no harm in bringing it to the construction site or putting to commercial purposes, considering that it is rugged enough to take the punishment.
The Generac 6923 3100 PSI is offering you a simple and straightforward operation, even for beginners and does not require prior experience with a pressure washer. The unit's trigger features the dependable one-pull starting mechanism that will not let you down even in the coldest weather conditions. There are four spray tips that come with the unit, and each one is suited for different circumstances, meaning you can effortlessly perform whatever function you have in mind without purchasing any special spray tips. The 0-degree nozzle tip is perfect for reaching hard-to-reach spots and delivers the strongest spray. The 15-degree nozzle tip is recommended for giving unpainted surfaces that in-depth cleaning. The 25-degree one is ideal for performing most of the everyday functions such as cleaning the furniture, car or removing dirt from other machines. Lastly, the 40-degree nozzle tip is for giving delicate surfaces the gentle cleaning they need.
Exceptionally reliable performance
Ergonomically designed and comfortable handle
Comes with a handy detergent tank for stress-free cleaning
Ideal for light-duty to heavy-duty cleaning projects
Offers few features
Stiffness of the pressure hose
7. Ivation 2200
It is factory-fitted with a total of five nozzles, whose varying sizes make it possible for you to go from a light pressure to high pressure within a fraction of a second. One of these is dedicated to being used with a detergent. You can increase the pressure further by using the additional Turbo Wand provided to rid persistent dirt and grime. The coupling on the hose and nozzle connect seamlessly with the hose connector because the latter is constructed out of copper, which ensures a secure connection between the parts. If you have to access to a garden hose, there is no need to worry as the pressure washer comes with a self-suction feature which makes it possible to use the unit literally anywhere there is water.
The Ivation Electric Pressure Washer has a disposable detergent bag for the detergent of your choice that you can access with relative ease, and which when paired with the right nozzle for that in-depth cleaning pressure, makes cleaning look like cutting a piece of cake with a hot knife. To stay on the safe side, only use detergents approved by the brand as listed either in the user manual or on their website. Another feature worth mentioning is its automatic Total Stop System (TSS) technology. Whenever you are not using the gun, the technology will automatically switch off the pressure water as a water-conservation measure and also to keep the motor from running when there is no water flowing through, hence increasing its shelf-life considerably.
The unit has a far-reaching power cord and an adequate collection of differently sized nozzles and wands giving you the portability necessary for accessing hard-to-reach spots. Plus it is lightweight and compact at only 25 pounds and with two base wheels, thereby easing the process of storing it for later use. As is the case with all pressure washer, ensure to reduce the pressure to the bare minimum before keeping it in a cool, dry place where it cannot be affected by adverse weather conditions.
Five pressure nozzles
Factory-fitted detergent disposal system
Powerful and easy to operate
Weak plastic connector
Its hose, not kink resistant
8. Briggs & Stratton 20545
Compared to most pressure washers on this list, however, the Briggs & Stratton 20545 Pressure Washer has only three quick connect spray tips rather than the industry-standard five and is loaded with pre-programed spray settings. There is also a pressure hose measuring twenty-five feet and a spray wand made from chrome plated steel for durability. The list of additional features does not stop there. A detergent system is also part of the deal for storing your preferred detergent which you can then use to give the different surfaces and items the deep cleaning you've always wanted. The application and subsequent utilization of the cleaning detergent are made possible with the inclusion of an injection tube nozzle and a siphon hose.
The sheer length of the pressure hose substantially increases your range, enabling you to effortlessly go around cars and other items without having to keep repositioning the pressure washer. The machine's thermal relief valve is a thoughtful inclusion that makes it possible for the user to work for extended periods of time without having to worry about the possibility of the pump overheating as it promptly releases hot water whenever the temperature of the pump rises substantially. Letting the unit continue running for more than two minutes at a time makes it go into bypass mode. Hence, it would be prudent that you pause regularly so that the valve can continue working. If on the other hand, you'd like to take a break longer than two minutes, it would be best to switch off the unit. As is the case with using an unverified detergent, using hot water could have disastrous repercussions to the shelf-life of the Briggs & Stratton 20545 Pressure Washer.
As far as manoeuvrability and portability are concerned, you will not have any problems with this pressure washer. It weighs just 50 pounds and moves around with relative ease due to the fitting of robust 10-inch wheels allowing you the opportunity of lagging it through different surfaces. With its 0.2-gallon capacity fuel tank, it will be sometime before requiring a refill. Some of the precautionary measures to take after using the Briggs & Stratton 20545are cleaning it and completely removing any remaining pressure and air before storing it for future use. The storage conditions also have to be conducive given that harsh weather circumstances can have damaging repercussions. The unit has a limited 24-month warranty that covers for any malfunctions resulting from poor workmanship or failures.
Worth the money
High-quality parts and components
Very portable and flexible with 10-Inch wheels
Lightweight and compact
Difficulty starting engine
9. Simpson PowerShot 3200
The Simpson PowerShot 3200 is optimized for heavy-duty cleaning projects with the inclusion of a frame constructed from welded steel. The heavy-duty design makes it the preference of farmers, enthusiastic Do-It-Yourselfers, and professional cleaners. An additional indication of the professional construction and ultimate performance is the fact that it comes with a pro-style quick connect wand and nozzle tips whose different sizes make it easy to choose the most suitable for the cleaning project you'd like to undertake. The 0-degree nozzle tip is perfect for reaching hard-to-reach spots and delivers the strongest spray. The 15-degree nozzle tip is recommended for giving unpainted surfaces that in-depth cleaning. The 25-degree one is ideal for performing most of the everyday functions such as cleaning the furniture, car or removing dirt from other machines. Lastly, the 40-degree nozzle tip is for giving delicate surfaces the gentle cleaning they need.
Its pressure hose measures 25-feet in length and are not only professionally constructed, but also has non-marring capabilities. Its resistance to kinks and scratches makes it the best for giving your car or walls the in-depth cleaning that leaves them shining and looking brand new again. Those looking for that extra cleaning power can always use a detergent by just attaching both the siphoning and soap application. The process is quite straightforward and takes just a few minutes, or second with practice. The pressure washer comes with a generous on-board storage space to securely store your cleaning accessories.
Easy to assembly
Cheaply constructed pressure hose
10. Karcher K5
Other than power, the Karcher K5 has sufficient on-board storage, making it possible for the user to bring with them all the accompanying accessories such as the 8-metre hose, trigger gun, and connected lance. The generous allocation of storage space allows for the easy packing and storing away of the on-board appliances. To allow for the easy and convenient relocation of the pressure washer from one place to another, there is an extendable aluminium handle that eliminates the need for heavy lifting.
Being an all-rounder, it is perfect for a broad range of tasks both around the house as well as on the commercial site. Boasting of an impressive 2000 Pounds per Square Inch at 1.4 Gallons per Minute of water flow, the pressure experiences no difficulties at all removing the toughest of stains from even the most rugged surfaces. The efficiency and speed are what primarily makes it appealing to Do-It-Yourselfers and professional washers all over the world. Given that its hose measures 8 meters in length, you can wash all around your car without having to go back and forth to move the unit from one location to another. Additionally, you can lag it through lawns and yards and over concrete surfaces all day, and it will not show even the slightest sign of depreciation, thanks to its robust and reliable construction from industrial-grade materials.
The Karcher K5 is bundled with additional accessories for making your work easy and fast. There is a Vario lance for the easy and quick regulation of the flow of water from a light spray to a high-pressure spray with the simple twist of the Vario Lance Spray Lance. Other equally important accessories include the dirt blaster for blasting away persistent stains and grime, a Racer Patio Cleaner for giving your patio that new and fresh look, and a High-Pressure Hose for covering a more expansive area thus saving time and effort.
Easy to use
Easy to connect attachments
Perfect for light and medium-duty cleaning tasks
Not ideal for industrial-grade cleaning tasks
Q: What is a pressure washer?
A: A pressure washer brings together the functions of a garden hose and an air compressor. A majority of pressure washers are either gas-powered or electricity-powered. The same source of power also runs a water pump whose function is accelerating the passage of water via the hose, before finally jetting out via a trigger. Pulling the trigger or the spray gun forces water and air to mix together and jet out in either a light or strong stream, depending on the size of the nozzle. To put this into context, a typical pressure washer is more than 60 times as fast as a garden hose and most of them offer you the option of adding your preferred detergent for that extra cleaning power. You can use a pressure washer to clean many items and surfaces such as the outside of the house, below gutters and eaves of the roof, automobiles, patios, furniture, driveways, concrete, other machinery, the swimming pool and getting rid of wasps, among other uses.
Q: In familiarizing myself with the workings of a pressure washer, are there any important terminologies or jargons that I need to look out for?
A: The three most important terms or words that whose meanings you need to be aware of are Gallons per Minute, Pounds per Square Inch, and Cleaning Power, abbreviated as GPM, PSI, and CP, respectively. GPM means the rate at which water flows through the hose pipe. The greater the flow, the less time you will use to clean a particular area of a surface. Professional cleaners put a lot of emphasis on GPM because the higher the reading, the shorter will be work time, thereby translating into more projects within a given duration. PSI is a measurement of pressure. In other words, PSI is basically a description of the pushing force of the pressure washer even though the realized force is dictated by such factors as the size of the nozzle and the nozzle’s distance from the surface. Most pressure washers on the market come with pressures of between 1000 and 3500 PSI. Lastly, CP is the product of multiplying GPM and PSI, and it is a description of the general cleaning ability of a pressure unit. While individually they are not an accurate reflection of a pressure washer’s performance, they offer useful insights on the same.
Q: What are the benefits and drawbacks of electricity and gas-powered pressure washers?
A: Electric pressure washers are perfect for small to medium-duty cleaning projects and offer you a far quieter operation and require little to no maintenance at all. Since they are lighter, they happen to be quite portable, allowing you to move around cars, patios and driveways with exceptional ease. However, in spite of their efficiency and environmental friendliness, they are considerably less powerful and less portable than their gas-powered counterparts which also means they are more cost-effective. Gas-powered pressure washers, on the other hand, are optimized for medium to heavy-duty cleaning projects as they pack more power, usually around the neighborhoods of 4000 Pounds per Square Inch. Despite being heavier and conspicuously larger, a few have strong wheels to allow for easy movement. However, they are quite cumbersome, requiring that you deal with oils and fuels and produce environmentally harmful gases such as carbon monoxide.
There are significant differences between the pressure washers offered by the different brands on the market, which makes it quite an uphill task choosing the right one. You first have to understand your needs, the size of surfaces or items you intend to clean, your budget and the amount of power you require. Our list features carefully selected pressure washers, both gas-powered and electric, that are ideal for light-duty, medium-duty and heavy-duty cleaning. Whatever your choice, we cannot stress enough the need to keep yourself safe while using these machines. Always wear protective eye goggles and aprons to keep your eyes and skin safe from contacting detergents.