8 Best Pressure Washers of 2021
Looking for a fast and cost-effective way to deep-clean durable materials? Then you need to check out this list of great pressure washers!
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Pressure Washer Buying Considerations
When looking at purchasing a pressure washer, there are a few terms and options to keep in mind.
- Water pressure in pounds per square inch (psi): This measures the force of the water coming out of the nozzle. The higher the psi, the more aggressive the water. (This is also affected by the nozzle, which controls the angle of the spray.)
- Flow rate in gallons per minute (gpm): More water equals more impact on the object being cleaned. A high gpm is less likely to damage the item than a high psi, and heftier waterflow is especially useful if you’re using a detergent when washing.
- Gas or electric motor: Gas motors traditionally have more power and flow, but electric pressure washers have improved greatly. (You’ll even see one hybrid battery/corded model on this list!) Pressure washers with gas engines are great when working at a greater distance from a power source.
- Maintenance: Here, electric pressure washers have the edge. Gas engine pressure washers require maintenance ranging from oil changes to filter replacements and tune-ups.
Best Pressure Washer for Occasional Use
It’s hard to talk about best-of in this category without mentioning this massively popular model. The 13-amp brushless motor and pump deliver 2,300 psi, and 1.2 gpm. The 25-foot hose provides room to maneuver, and Ryobi backs its pressure washer with a three-year limited warranty.
Electric washers tend to be lighter, making them easier to transport but also prone to tipping over. The Ryobi strikes a nice balance between convenience and safety, with a stable stand and large wheels.
Best High-Powered Pressure Washer
Powered by a Honda GX270 engine, this model provides deep and robust cleaning without the commercial-level perks that can jack up the price. The 3/8-inch hose stretches 50 feet, about twice as long as most other washers on this list, and the 13-inch wheels make it easy to maneuver around the jobsite.
Best Hybrid-Power Pressure Washer
Yes, you read that right! The Greenworks 5109402 ($165) can run on a 120V outlet or go cordless with two of Greenworks’ 60V batteries. In battery mode, it provides a serviceable 1,550 psi and 1.1 gpm. With plugged-in AC service the pressure steps up to 1,800 psi.
And in a bit of clever design, Greenworks added a siphon feature, allowing you to pull your water supply from a bucket. After all, when you’re on a job with no access to electric power, you also may not have access to a water faucet.
Best Lightweight Pressure Washer
If you want the ultimate in easy-to-move, then check out the Karcher K3 Follow-Me electric power pressure washer ($170). This ultra-portable, lightweight model moves around your home and yard with ease.
It has four wheels — two swiveling in front, two stationary in back. But the wheels are small and not great for rolling over obstacles. Luckily, at only 15 pounds, it’s about half the weight of competing products. It has 1,800 psi and 1.3 gpm, so it can tackle most tasks around the house.
Best Pressure Washer for Cars
The Stanley SHP2150 ($169) comes with a detergent bottle that doubles as a high-pressure foamer to lather your car in cleaning suds. The Stanley comes with a two-year limited warranty, and also ships with an O-ring replacement kit.
We’ll say it one more time: Don’t use the pressure spray nozzles on your car. The high pressure can drive abrasive particles into the finish, and scrape off any weakened or flaking paint. But feel free to use the pressure washer to foam up the car, scrub it down by hand, then rinse it off.
Best Pressure Washer for All-Around Value (less than $200)
One of the primary concerns for DIYers is cost. And one of the most economical pressure washers is the Craftsman 2100 ($199)
This is a no-frills pressure washer that’s functional and affordable. Other pressure washers cost less, but they tend to have one or more drawbacks that make the Craftsman a better overall choice.
With a cap of 2,100 psi and 1.2 gpm, the overall package at this price is hard to beat. It comes with four nozzles and a handy locking mechanism to hold the wand steady during transport.
Speaking of transport, the durable 10-inch wheels can roll over steps, landscaping and other small obstacles. The 35-foot power cord and 25-foot kink-resistant hose give an impressive amount of range while working, and Craftsman covers it all with a three-year limited warranty.
Best Pressure Washer for All-Around Value
(more than $200)
The Simpson PowerShot MSH3125 ($379) is billed by the manufacturer as “perfect for the ‘Do-it-Yourselfer’ looking for maximum performance with minimal investment.” It’s essentially a stepped-down version of their PS60918 — our pick for Best high-power pressure washer. This more affordable version delivers three-quarters of the power but only costs half as much.
The Honda GC190 engine and axial cam pump deliver 3,200 psi and 2.5 gpm. The welded-steel frame can take a beating, and the 10-inch pneumatic wheels are more than adequate for getting around the yard. It comes with a 1/4-in.-dia. hose that’s 25 feet long. The warranty runs five years for the frame, two years for the engine and one year for the pump.
Best Pressure Washer Splurge
Look around that pressure washer aisle, and you’ll find quite a range of prices! The Simpson Aluminum Series ($1,229) is lightweight but heavy on power and features. At this price it straddles the “prosumer” and contractor markets. It’s a good pick for DIYers with multiple properties that need maintenance and cleaning each year.
With a psi of 4,200 and 4.0 gpm flow rate, it packs enough punch to tackle everything from wood restoration to graffiti removal. The Honda GX390 engine (with low-oil automatic shutdown) powers a CAT pump. It comes with a 50-foot long, steel-braided 3/8-inch hose with quick connect fittings, plus five nozzle tips. And the 13-inch pneumatic tires allow it to move around most jobsites with ease.
All prices and links were current as of publication.