The 6 Best Pressure Washers of 2020

There are some messes that a garden hose just isn’t up to cleaning. You could spend hours on end scrubbing, or you could find the best pressure washer to do the hard work done for you. A pressure washer uses a high-pressure water stream to blast away even the toughest messes.

Finding the pressure washer that can offer you the most cleaning power can be difficult. That’s why we’ve created our buyer’s guide to help you figure out what to look for when buying a pressure washer. We’ve also put together a list of reviews for what we think are some of the best electric pressure washers and best gas pressure washers available.

Our top pick for the Best Electric Pressure Washer: Powerhouse International Platinum Edition Pressure Washer

Our top pick for the Best Gas Pressure Washer: Simpson MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer

Our Top Picks

ImageProductDetailsLink
Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure WasherSun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure WasherMax Pressure: 2030 PSI
Rated Flow: 1.76 GPM
Motor: 14.5 Amp
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Powerhouse Platinum Edition – High Power Pressure Washer Max Pressure: 3200 psi
Rated Flow: 1.8-2.2 GPM
Motor: Electric
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Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel, Green Sun Joe SPX3001 Electric Pressure WasherMax Pressure: 2030 psi
Rated Flow: 1.76 GPM
Motor: 14.5 Amp
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SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda GC190, 3200 PSI at 2.5 GPMSimpson MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure WasherMax Pressure: 3200 psi
Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
Engine: Honda GC190
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SIMPSON Cleaning PS3228 PowerShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda GX200, 3300 PSI at 2.5 GPM, BlackSIMPSON Cleaning PS3228 PowerShot Gas Pressure WasherMax Pressure: 3300 psi
Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
Engine: Honda GX200
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SIMPSON Cleaning MS60763-S MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Kohler RH265, 3100 PSI at 2.4 GPMSIMPSON Cleaning MS60763-S MegaShot Gas Pressure WasherMax Pressure: 3100 psi
Rated Flow: 2.4 GPM
Engine: Kohler RH265
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Best Electric Pressure Washer Reviews

Best Light-Duty Pressure Washer: Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 2030 PSI
  • Rated Flow: 1.76 GPM
  • Motor: 14.5 Amp/1800 Watt
  • Cord Length: 35ft

This light-duty pressure cleaner is perfectly suited for performing most around the house cleaning jobs. With a 14.5 amp motor, it’s able to deliver 1.76 GPM at 2030 PSI of water pressure. This washer is perfect for cleaning your car, grill, windows, small deck or patio, and for removing dirt and grime from patio furniture.

It features a unique dual detergent tank system that allows it to carry two different cleaning solutions at once. This feature can be a great time-saver giving you the ability to clean different materials without needing to stop to change out the cleaning product which you’re using. Swapping between the two tanks is simple thanks to a convenient selection knob found on the cleaner.

Of course, if you don’t require two different cleaning solutions, then you can also use the same one in both tanks. When you do, you can take advantage of the combined 1.8L of space this provides you with, which is massive when compared to similar pressure cleaners around this same price point. As a bonus, the tanks are removable, so refilling them is quick and easy.

With high mobility, the Sun Joe SPX3000 makes cleaning a breeze. It comes with a 34-inch extension spray wand with five quick-connect nozzles to easily control the strength of your stream for different cleaning tasks. The extending wand gives you the reach to clean awkward spaces without needing to use a ladder or continuously bend over. A set of wheels meanwhile means it is easy to move along with you, and the length of the power cord and included high-pressure hose add to overall mobility.

The cleaner also includes a total stop system (TSS) trigger, a safety feature that shuts down the pump when not engaged. This feature not only saves you power but also helps preserve the life of the pump.

Key Features:
  • It offers a significant amount of maneuverability when cleaning.
  • The dual tank feature is excellent and gives you a choice between storing two cleaning products or a huge amount of extra space for one.
  • It has a TTS trigger, a useful feature missing from some similarly priced options.

Powerhouse International - Electric High Power- Pressure Washer - 3000 PSI 2.2 GPM - Power Washer - Patio Cleaner - Hose Reel - Spray Gun (Red - Platinum Edition)

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 3200 psi
  • Rated Flow: 1.8-2.2 GPM
  • Motor: Electric
  • Cord Length: 35ft

The Powerhouse International Platinum Edition Pressure Washer is, in our opinion, the best electric pressure cleaner on the market. The power it packs for an electric cleaner is unreal, exerting 3000PSI of water pressure at a rate of 2.2 GPM this unit is comparable to medium-duty gas-powered cleaners in raw power. It has the ability to tackle just about any job at home or in the workshop, and we prefer it to gas-powered cleaners for most situations.

Deceptively light, this Powerhouse cleaner can be easily maneuvered thanks to a telescoping handle and a removable four wheelbase cart. The wheels of the cart can be locked in places while in use, or the unit removed from the car to ensure it is steady. You have plenty of reach using this model as well, thanks to the 30-foot flexible hose and 35-foot power cable it features. Additionally, it also has a built-in hose reel as well as a dedicated storage spot for the power cord. The cleaner has dedicated storage for just about everything it comes with, including the tips you’re not currently using. All of this makes for easy clean up after a hard day’s work.

Included with the cleaner is a trigger gun with two steel lances, one for use with the five quick connects included, and the other with two proprietary nozzles. The included quick connects cover the expected range of angles, running the range between a gentle shower for watering plants or rinsing your car to a concentrated 15° fan-tip for the most substantial jobs. The two proprietary nozzles included are a turbo nozzle and an angled nozzle. We found that the angled nozzle worked great for clearing debris from the gutter. The turbo nozzle we were less in love with finding that in general, the quick connect nozzles did the same jobs better.

Other attachments included are a soap dispenser, a soft bristle brush with a built-in sprayer, and a spinning patio cleaner. We were delighted with how the soap foam sprayer performed and found the brush to be a nice inclusion. The patio cleaner, on the other hand, seemed a bit lacking, and we’d likely stick to the nozzles or replace it with a third party attachment. This unit also features a total stop system (TSS) trigger, a safety feature that shuts down the motor when not engaged, prolonging the washer’s motor life.

This washer is perfect for cleaning driveways, walkways, exterior siding, fences, cars, and just about anything else you may need to clean.

Key Features:
  • At 3000PSI and 2.2 GPM, this model has incredible power for an electric pressure cleaner, outperforming some gas-powered models.
  • All of the accessories included have a storage space on the device, making for easy cleanup and storage.
  • It has a sturdy design that is easy to move and stable enough that you won’t need to worry about it tipping over.

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 2030 psi
  • Rated Flow: 1.76 GPM
  • Motor: 14.5 Amp electric
  • Cord length: 35 ft

Another light-duty electric pressure washer from Sunjoe, the SPX3001 makes for a solid option for cleaning jobs around the house. It has a 14.5 amp electric motor and delivers 2030 PSI in 1.76 GPM stream. This model is well suited for light cleaning jobs, including car washes, window cleaning, and cleaning grills and patios.

This washer comes with a 34-inch extension spray wand and five quick-connect nozzles to adjust the strength of the stream based on what you’re cleaning. The added reach provided by the extendable wand makes for easy cleaning of difficult to reach places like the top or underside of your vehicle. It features a removable 1.2L detergent tank for easy refills of cleaning products. This unit also has a TSS trigger system, a feature that causes the pump to shut down when the trigger is not engaged. This helpful feature preserves the life of the pump while also saving you money on your electricity bill.

Designed with a quick set up and organized storage in mind, each component of the SPX3001 has a storage space on the unit, including each of the provided nozzles. It also has an onboard hose reel, which also makes for a quick set up and cleanup process. The design is also very mobile with the handle and wheels making it easy to move from place to place. The length of the hose and power cord, however, means you won’t have to move it often if at all while cleaning anyway.

We think this is an excellent choice of a pressure washer, especially for those who find they aren’t able to bend quite like they used to anymore but still want to be able to give their car the best possible wash.

Key Features:
  • With a space for everything included in the unit, it’s incredibly easy to store.
  • The ease of movement and the reach the included spray wand provides makes it a great choice for easy maneuverability.
  • The built-in hose wheel makes set up and clean up quick and easy.

Best Gas Pressure Washer Reviews

SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda GC190, 3200 PSI at 2.5 GPM

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 3200 psi
  • Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
  • Engine: Honda GC190

When shopping for a gas-powered pressure washer, the Simpson MSH3125 MegaShot is the best overall value you’ll find. Powered by a Honda GC190 engine, it can deliver a powerful delivers a powerful 3,200 PSI at 2.5 GPM stream of water for heavy-duty cleaning. This washer provides near-professional power and performance capable of taking on any task around the house. The MegaShot is perfect for heavy cleaning jobs like removing oil spills and grease stains from your driveway or garage. Best of all, it does all this while still being more affordable than comparable models.

The MegaShot is incredibly easy to set up and use. The initial setup is incredibly simple, and you can have your washer ready to go in only a few minutes after unboxing (provided you gas on hand, of course). Thanks to its Honda GC190 engine, the washer starts quickly with a single pull every time. The included nozzles all have quick-release mechanisms also making it quick and easy to swap between them

Another thing you’ll quickly notice is that the MegaShot is incredibly durable, you won’t find any cheap plastic parts on it. It sports a heavy-duty welded steel frame mounted on two 10 inch pneumatic tires that offer a high degree of maneuverability and stability. Honda is also well known for the reliability of their small engines, and the GC-190 is no exception to this. Furthermore, the engine is has a 2-year warranty by Honda, so on the off chance something does go wrong with it, you won’t be out of luck.

Additionally, all of the essential fittings on this washer are brass, meaning they won’t rust or crack. This includes the spray gun, which has a brass fitted quick release to swap between nozzles easily. Even the pump head is made of durable brass, unlike similarly priced models that cheap out by using aluminum instead (which unlike brass can rust). This unit also comes with an included 25-foot anti-kink hose that is abrasion-resistant and offers a fair amount of reach without needing to move the unit.

Our only real criticism of the MegaShot is that it doesn’t have an onboard detergent tank and that having to add soap was inconvenient. If you purchase this washer, we’d recommend picking up a good soap lance with it to remedy this oversight.

Key Features:
  • A powerful Honda GC190 engine strong enough for almost any home job
  • Great warranty coverage
  • Consistently easy to start
  • High-quality tires increase stability and shock absorption when moving the pump.

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 3300 psi
  • Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
  • Engine: Honda GX200

If you need a heavy-duty pressure cleaner for everyday use than the Simpson PS3228 PowerShot is what you’re looking for. This cleaner is an absolute beast built to meet the demands of professional use. With a working water pressure of 3300 PSI and a flow of 2.5 GPM, it packs serious cleaning power. Whatever the job, this cleaner is up to the task.

This pressure washer was built for professional performance, and it shows with a powerful commercial Honda GX200 engine that powers it. This engine reliably starts on the first try and is covered by Honda with a 2-year warranty. The pump is an incredibly reliable, AAA industrial triplex. The pump and motor of this model are also covered by extensive warranty policies by Simpson and Honda so you can feel safe knowing your money is protected when making your purchase.

The PS3228 has a durable solid steel frame mounted on two 10 inch pneumatic tires for maneuverability and stability. The steel frame is sturdy but compact, making it a solid choice if you need to transport your cleaner to a job site. The unit comes with an ergonomic spray gun and five quick-connect nozzles to control the strength of the stream. Also included hose is a 25-foot abrasion-resistant anti-kink polymer hose. For a high-end pressure cleaner targeted at professionals, it’s disappointing they opted to include such a short hose, and we recommend picking up a longer one.

We encourage you to pick this unit up if you need a powerful cleaner for the job site, workshop, or out in the field as a contractor. Whether you’re doing deck or driveway cleanings, wood restoration, paint stripping, or just about any other professional cleaning service, this model brings the reliability and power to meet your heaviest demands.

Key Features:
  • With a space for everything included in the unit, it’s incredibly easy to store.
  • The ease of movement and the reach the included spray wand provides makes it a great choice for easy maneuverability.
  • The built-in hose wheel makes set up and clean up quick and easy.

Specifications:

  • Max Pressure: 3300 psi
  • Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
  • Engine: Honda GX200

This less powerful offering by Simpson still offers a high level of performance but lacks a lot of the features which make their other offerings great. One notable example is that this model sports a Kohler RH265 engine instead of a Honda engine. The washer still features a sturdy all-steel frame but eschews the 10-inch pneumatic tires for a pair of 12 inch never flats instead.

For its price, this is still a remarkable offering head and shoulders above most of its competition and delivers some serious performance. This Washer will still handle just about any home job you can throw at it with a similar level of performance to the MSH3125 MegaShot. It also still includes the excellent ergonomic sprayer that other Simpson model cleaners come with as well as a 25-foot abrasion and kink resistant hose.

Overall this is a great gas cleaner for its price, and it would be hard to call it a bad purchase. While the reduced features compared to the MSH3125 do lead to a cheaper offering with comparable power. However, we believe that if you are already looking to invest in a gas-powered pressure cleaner, then the peace of mind provided by the added durability of the MSH3125 makes it a better choice.

Key Features:
  • High levels of performance at a fantastic price point
  • A sturdy all-steel frame
  • Powerful enough to quickly complete most jobs around the house

Buyer’s Guide

Why Buy a Power Washer?

1. Save Time

Cleaning jobs can be time-consuming and can require a fair deal of elbow grease. Cleaning with a pressure washer, however, makes short work of even the most difficult to remove debris and stains. Investing in a pressure washer provides you with an efficient tool that can save you a lot of that time you would have otherwise spent cleaning and scrubbing difficult to remove stains and debris. In addition to saving you time before you even start to clean by cutting out the need to gather other cleaning supplies or prepare a cleaning solution.

2. Make difficult cleaning easier on your body

Bending over or kneeling to clean for extended periods can be rough on your back. Instead, when using a pressure washer, you don’t need to strain yourself while cleaning and can instead only need to direct the stream of the machine. A pressure washer also makes cleaning high up places easy. Instead of wasting time with ladders, you only need to aim and shoot.

3. Save Money

A pressure washer can be an excellent financial investment. Keeping wood and even concrete surfaces clean will extend their life, meaning you won’t need to replace them prematurely. Making pressure cleanings a regular part of your routine will help to keep your home in shape.

Hiring someone to clean your driveway or deck, though, can cost as much as purchasing a pressure cleaner yourself. Rental fees for one meanwhile can be as much as $80 per day. It just does not make financial sense to rent a cleaner or pay a service to pressure wash for you when you can purchase one yourself for nearly the same price.

A pressure cleaner can also save you money on your water bill. Pressure washing uses up to five times less water per minute than a garden hose and can finish the same job in far less time, saving you time and money.

4. Better for the environment (and your lawn)

An electric pressure washer can be an environmentally friendly purchase. We’ve already mentioned how pressure washing can be useful for saving water. But did you know it can also help prevent soil contamination? Soaps and other cleaners can be absorbed into the soil, harming both your lawn and the water table. With a pressure cleaner, it’s possible to perform most cleaning jobs with just the power of the water stream. Even in cases where difficult cleaning does require chemicals, you use fewer of them thanks to the high power of the stream finishing the job faster and with fewer cleaning products needed.

5. You Can Increase the Curb Appeal of Your Property

The National Association of Realtors has stated that pressure washing your property boosts the curb appeal and can attract more buyers. Cleaning your driveway and the exterior of your home can make it stand out and draw a larger crowd for showings. You can also take it a step further and clean any other paving or sidewalks on your property. Using a pressure washer makes this process quick and easy.

What Terms Should You Know when Shopping for a Pressure Washer?

Gallons per minute (GPM)

A measurement of the flow rate of how much water a pump outputs in a minute. Higher GPM measurements mean more cleaning power and less time spent cleaning an area.

Pounds per square inch (PSI)

In the context of pressure cleaners, PSI is a measurement of the force of water, leaving the nozzle of the pressure cleaner. Higher force is more effective at dislodging dirt and debris, but too high a power can strip paint or damage some materials, so use the nozzle that best fits your task.

Cleaning Units (CU) or Cleaning power (CP)

A measurement of the overall cleaning power of a pressure washer derived by multiplying the pump’s PSI by GSM. For example, a pressure washer with 2400 PSI of water pressure, and a flow rate of 2 GPM would be rated at 4800 CUs (2400 * 2 = 4800). This metric can be useful when comparing how different models of pressure cleaners stack up to one another.

Comparing Gas and Electric Pressure Washers

Pressure washers use either electric motors or gas-fueled engines. Electrical motors are more compact and run more quietly than gas models, and the majority of light-duty washers are electric. More powerful washers intended for more demanding jobs are often gas-powered. Gas-powered motors also provide reliability for contractors working in places that may not have easy access to electrical outlets. This table provides some of the pros and cons of both to help decide on the best pressure washer for your needs.

 Gas Pressure WashersElectric Pressure Washers
Pros
  • Are most often more powerful on average than electric washers.

  • Not needing a power cord makes them more mobile.

  • Are often made with steel and other durable components.
  • Don’t produce fumes, making them safe for indoor use

  • Require less maintenance than gas engine washers.

  • Electrical motors run more quietly than gas burning engines.

  • Fall into a more affordable price range.
Cons
  • More expensive than electric washers.

  • Require more maintenance.

  • Often larger and heavier than electric models.

  • Engines can be loud and produce fumes.
  • Usually less powerful than gas models.

  • Requiring an electrical outlet hampers overall mobility.

  • They are often made with cheaper, less durable plastic parts.
Price Range$250 – $750$100 – $250

How powerful of a pressure washer do I need?

Different jobs require different amounts of cleaning power to complete. To help you determine what the best pressure washer strength would be for you, we’ve created a table of the approximate cleaning power you would want to perform different cleaning tasks.

Cleaning TaskRecommended PSIGPMCleaning Units
Washing Vehicles, smaller cleaning jobs1,400 – 1,750 PSI1.4 – 1.61,960 – 2,800
Cleaning Siding, decks, most residential jobs1,800 – 2,200 PSI2.03,600 – 4,400
Cleaning most residential jobs and driveways.2,300 – 2,500 PSI2.2 – 2.35,060 – 7,130
Prepping Wood, Cleaning Concrete2,600 – 3,100 PSI2.56,500 – 7,750
Stripping paint, larger cleaning jobs3,200 – 4,000 PSI3.0 – 4.09,600 – 14,000

Data sourced from PressureWashersDirect.com

 

Common Questions

What Are Some Common Uses for a Pressure Washer?

Common residential uses for pressure washers are cleaning jobs too tough for a garden hose, including cleaning driveways, sidewalks, patios, decks, and house sidings. They also work well for washing cars and windows. With the right attachments, you can even use one to clean out debris from your gutter easily. Contractors use powerful cleaners to strip paint, remove graffiti, clean concrete, restore wood, and prep wood for painting.

How Do Pressure Washers Work?

A pressure washer uses either an electrical motor or gas-fueled engine to power a water pump. Water provided by a garden hose is accelerated by the pump to create high-pressure. A high-pressure rated hose with a sprayer is attached to the end of this hose, and when the trigger is pulled, it blasts a high powered jet of water out of the attached nozzle.

The shape of the nozzle attached to the high-pressure hose alters the PSI of the water stream for different cleaning jobs. Washers can let out streams of water ranging from gentle sprays for delicate cleaning up to powerful jets at 100x the power of a garden hose.

Can I Use Hot Water with a Pressure Washer?

In most cases, no. Most consumer-level pressure washers are not designed to work with hot water, and it can cause damage to the pump by melting your O-rings. Industrial pressure washers, on the other hand, are often explicitly designed to work with hot water. Before trying to use hot water with your cleaner, be sure to check it is safe to use with your model to avoid damage.

How Long of a Hose Can I Use with a Pressure Washer?

Longer hoses reduce the performance of pressure cleaners, and we recommend a 50-foot hose as the perfect sweet spot of maneuverability and performance. There are some cleaners, though, that claim to work up to 100 feet before performance becomes noticeably reduced.

What Distance Should I Stand Away when Cleaning with a Pressure Washer?

It is best to be cautious when working with high a high PSI nozzle and start standing several feet back and working your way forward. Doing this gives you the chance to judge what distance adequately cleans a surface without risking damaging it.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take While Using a Pressure Washer?
A pressure washer is a serious tool, and safety precautions should be taken when operating them. You should always wear safety goggles or other protection when operating one to prevent injury from any splashback. High-pressure water can cause serious injury, and you should never use a washer while wearing open-toed shoes or shorts. At very high-pressure levels, we recommend you wear a durable pair of boots. Make sure to read your manual and to follow all the safety warnings and instructions contained within.

Proper Maintenance

Now that you’ve found your best pressure washer you need to take good care of it to keep it working well. After each use of your washer, you should use a pump protector lubricant, which you can find cheap at any hardware store. Doing this helps to prevent leftover water in the unit from causing the internal gaskets of the pump to seize. We’ve even heard some stories about people being able to fix supposedly dead pumps by just applying a protecting lubricant.

When storing your washer, clear it of any debris and preferably store it in an indoor environment like a garage or shed, preferably somewhere dry. If you live somewhere with a cold climate, you should take steps to protect your pump against freezing.

Cleaners with gas-powered motors often require more maintenance work, and you should follow the instructions found within your owner’s manual.

1 thought on “The 6 Best Pressure Washers of 2020”

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