This post may contain affiliate links. This small commission costs you nothing and allows us to write more great power tool reviews for you.
Power Washer Comparison Guide
While it’s nice to own a power washing unit to have for use at all times, many homeowners or businesses don’t understand how or which type of these powerful tools to buy until they need it for a specific job.
It would be a big mistake to want to wash your car for example and get the wrong washer as it could cause a huge problem as a powerful commercial pressure washer would destroy your paint.
With over 25 years as a general contractor and owner of a variety of power washers we have created an interactive chart of power washer reviews for the person looking to purchase this tool.
Online Guide to Finding the Best Pressure Washer
Here are the columns associated with this interactive Guide
- Model- Pressure Washer Model
- Electric or Gas
- Water Pressure (PSI)
- Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
- Rating from Amazon Users who purchased the item
- Price- $- Under $300 $$- $300- $600 $$$- $600-$900 $$$$- $900 and up
Electric or Gas
Water Pressure (PSI)
Gallons Per Minute (GPM)
||Briggs & Stratton||Electric||1,700||1.6||3.8||$|
|Campbell Hausfeld CP5211||Electric||2,000||1.5||3.0||$$$|
|Karcher Expert Series||Gas||2,800||2.3||3.9||$$|
|Power Boss 020309||Gas||3,000||2.5||3.5||$$|
|Shark SGP- Commercial||Gas||3.000||3.5||4.0||$$$$|
|Sun Joe SPX2000||Electric||1,740||1.6||3.6||$|
Explaining the Interactive Chart
Electric vs. Gas Pressure Washer
As is the same with many power tools there are electric power washers and gas. While they are both solid it all depends on your uses.
The one problem with and electric power washer is that you will always have to have an extension cord and be close to an outlet as they run on electric. If you are just using this to wash your car or do some light sidewalk cleaning this might be your choice as these models are usually cheaper and easier to maintain.
For more high level jobs and getting hard to reach places we highly recommend a gas power washer as they have much more power. This is especially true for those building contractors and construction workers who are looking to utilize this as an everyday, on the job tool.
Explanation of Water Pressure
Water pressure that is produced by the unit is measured as Pressure per Square Inch or PSI. While it is not necessary to know the science around this, it is good to have knowledge of what type of PSI is necessary for the job that you need.
Even the weaker PSI measurement of the electric power washer is near 1,000 PSI, when compared to 30 or 40 PSI that you might get from a traditional water faucet. So as you can see these power washers are serious tools.
Our goal at with these reviews is to help you find the washer that you need for the job, so we did that below in a PSI chart based on your needs.
Up to 1,800 PSI
Light uses: Car washing, light sidewalk and deck cleaning, lawn furniture, spot cleaning, light mildew removal, trash can spraying, other light work
More frequent uses: Tough sidewalks, decks, driveways, heavy duty cleaning.
Check out our comparison of the SPX3000, SPX4000, and SPX4001 pressure washer models to find a great unit in the 1,800-3,000 PSI power range.
3,000- up PSI
Heavy usage: Contractor jobs, paint stripping, hard to get areas of concrete/metal, industrial cleaning, warehouse concrete.
Gallons Per minute
Gallons per minute go hand in hand with PSI as the more PSI of the tool the higher the Gallons per minute. Thus with that being said it is darn near impossible to find a heavy duty pressure washer (PSI 3,000 or above) without a higher gallons per minute.
One thing to remember, it is a necessity to have a water outlet that is capable of giving the user the proper gallons per minute necessary for the power washer that they have.
Always check the hose that you are using to see if it fits the pressure washer as each washer will have instructions on what is advised for that particular model.
If you are having trouble figuring out the proper GPM and don’t have instructions you can always call up to your local Home Depot or other home improvement store and they can give you a basic guideline.
While it may be wise to buy a used or inexpensive power tool, I always recommend purchasing a new power washer. While every once in a while it is possible to find a nice washer on Craigslist, buying used washers is not recommended.
Saving a couple of hundred dollars will only hurt in the long run as many of these models tend to break down or have problems that you cannot see when you initially purchase them. With that being said, our goal at pressure washer reviews is to give you a quality guide to find the best washer that you can for YOUR needs and in YOUR price range.
We always recommend looking at Amazon reviews to get a solid idea of the tool you may buy, as the ratings system gives a view from many different buyers and not just one or two biased reviewers.
Other Important Information on Purchasing a Power Washer
Uses of the Machine
As seen in the PSI chart above there are many potential uses for a pressure washer. Besides those listed there are a ton of different things that this tool can be used for and it really is a “must have” for anyone looking to do home improvement on their home.
One thing that we recommend is that since this is a pretty heavy duty investment, that you should do your due diligence before going blindly into this purchase. The best pressure washers can easily last 10-15 years before needing to be replaced and some even more so if they are taken care of properly.
Besides these uses, we have listed a couple of tidbits below for owners that they may or may not know before purchasing this tool.
Use of Detergents
Many power washers work best when combined with a detergent to aid in the cleaning process. While not all washers are useful with detergents some actually come with special parts for detergent use.
One thing we should stress is that you should NEVER use bleach with your machine as this could be harmful to the parts. Always read the instructions carefully.
Anyone who has never used this machine before doesn’t know the true power of it before they use it. Imagine a traditional garden hose on steroids and then some.
A high PSI pressure washer cannot only cause major damage to your house or car, but it can literally rip your skin off if used the wrong way. Here are some safety issues that everyone should abide by when investing in this tool.
- Always wear goggle, gloves and ear protection
- Never point the washer at another human or animal
- Don’t ever use while you are on a ladder
- Maintain a 7-10 foot clearance when around electric lines/outlets
- Wear clothes you don’t care about messing up
- Never operate a gas power washer indoors
- Engage the safety lock when transporting
- Wear good shoes as your area may become slippery
- Always choose the right PSI for the job
- Make sure to “winterize” your pressure washer (see below)
For those of us who live in colder states and plan on storing their pressure washer for the winter it is wise to follow some simple steps. Much like any other gasoline machine, it is always wise to winterize it before storing it. Here is how.
- Add a fuel treatment and stabilizer to it
- Flush your system completely of water
- Disconnect all pieces and parts of your unit
- Buy a good “pump saver oil” such as this one for cold winter storage
- Store in a cool, dry place, free of debris
Our Top Pressure Washers for 2021
Best Electric Pressure Washer (2021)
While we normally use gas powered machines for our work, each of us has smaller electric power washer for usage at home. For the pick we chose the Karcher X-Series Pressure Washer. This is a great “starter” model for those who are using this for washing cars, driveways and other light duty.
As an owner of 5 commercial trucks and several cars related to our business I can say that I love having a small electric washer available in our garage. Not only are they very hand and easy to use, but they are much less expensive than the gas model.
The best thing that I like about this particular machine, and electric models in general, are that you can use these inside your garage with no fear of asphyxiation from gas fumes.
Where I live the winters get pretty cold and this model is great at blasting snow off of my driveway, sidewalk and all of my vehicles. And with a price under $300, it has definitely been worth its price in the 2 years that I have owned it.
Coming from a contractor background I was leery about using an electric power washer at first because I have always went with the gas models, but this one has the feel and power of the gas model without the maintenance or gasoline required.
I first saw this model at one of my friends businesses that owns a car detailing shop. He was spraying off his cars with this model and said that it is the best thing that he used. I tried it out on my own and was able to get off some hard to reach mud and grime that had been in the back of my truck for months. The Karcher X-Series is our pick for the best electric power washer.
Best Gasoline Pressure Washer (2021)
I have to admit that I am a huge Generac fan when it comes to my power washers. Over the years I have had a few of the Generac pressure washers and I cannot say anything bad at all about them. They are fast, powerful and very reliable.
The Generac 6565 the bill here too as it is the best power washer that I have ever used. As a contractor I have used the 6565 almost daily for the past 16 months and it is awesome. With 4,200 PSI and 4.0 Gallons Per Minute this can get rid of the messiest job with ease.
Like I warned above in the safety section this tool is to be used with extreme caution as it can damage a car or a human with one spray.
If you are using this from home, it might be wise to pick a smaller model such as the Generac 6564, but the 6565 is a great investment for anyone looking into adding a tool into their business.
As part of a cleanup and construction crew on several hundred houses a year, we not only use the Generac 6565 daily, but also on multiple sites a day. I cannot count the phone calls I get looking for this tool on a weekly basis as it is loved by all of my employees.
If you are looking for some paint stripping of heavy duty walls, this is your machine. It will get the oldest paint off in no time and can clean a grime filled floor in a matter of minutes.
Overall our goal here is to not only give you an interactive chart of power washer reviews, but to provide a complete guide on a variety of different machines.
With over 30 years experience in this field and the use of this machine thousands of time, we will try to cover all bases when it comes to finding the best washer to fit your needs. Feel free to contact us at any time for comments, questions or if you would like to submit a review.