Of the three greatest inventions in the entire history of the world, the best pressure washer absolutely has to rank as number two. Of course, considering all the great inventions throughout the history of time, such a sentiment must certainly seem over-exaggerated–but it is not. Well, there may be a little exaggeration but not much. In fact, each and every person who has ever brought a pressure washer home and used it for the first time understands just how wonderful pressure washers can be.
Pressure washers make mundane cleaning tasks a breeze. Cleaning the deck is a matter of spraying the paint and getting under the loose edges and aiming the nozzle at the lichen, and as you are watching, you realize pressure washers are basically water-powered laser cleaners. Just aim, squeeze the trigger, and stand there amazed.
Of course, this does not just apply to decks. It applies to house siding, sidewalk cleaning, car washing, grout cleaning, and tile cleaning. It applies to edging around paver-stones and cleaning out cracks in the concrete. Also, it applies to cleaning the tires of your car and the window sills of your house and garage. It applies to anything you can clean–oh,yes!–the gondola and the brick barbecue bit and because, at this point, you have run out of things to clean, it applies to anyone with the misfortune to walk by.
In fact, when it comes to chores, you will not even want to share it, yet you do because you are polite. However, the entire time someone else is using the power washer, you secretly hate them. Then, of course, they give it back, and once again, you love them. Yet you vow never again to abandon your pressure washer, and you apologize to it, and you get back to cleaning.
You behave in this slightly embarrassing fashion because this–is the power of the pressure washer.
Why Buy A Pressure Washer?
If you are shopping for a pressure washer, you are in for a treat. In fact, the only feeling more powerful than buying the perfect pressure washer is getting yours home, brand new from the store, and realizing it is a dud. The disappointment–it is unbelievably overwhelming, especially when your neighbor offers a cheerful wave as she stands there with her pressure washer, cleaning her sidewalk.
Of course, the situation takes a serious decline when she walks over and asks how you are doing. You are okay. That is what you say. But you are not–nowhere close. You hope she goes away, so you can figure out how to fix this situation.
The situation, however, becomes disastrous when she offers to take care of your siding–the gall! “No thank you,” you say. Throughout adulthood, in all the years involving cleaning-type chores, there is no greater humiliation than someone trying to horn in on your pressure washing. If only you had purchased the right power washer. If only you had known the best features.
Well, you are in luck. Following are the top buying tips to follow when shopping for a power washer followed by the absolute top 10 best power washers on the market.
Tips For Buying The Best Pressure Washer
Pressure Washer PSI options
One of the most important aspects of a pressure washer is the power of its spray, which is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI). A pressure washer must be able to spray a hard, focused spray, but for more delicate surfaces, it should offer a variety of pressures.
For instance light pressure of 900 psi can work for paint. Medium pressure of 2,000 psi can work for paint and concrete. High pressure ratings of 3,000 psi can work for concrete and metal siding and tough jobs. Additionally, 3,000 psi is the standard rating for commercial-grade washers.
For any unit, it should offer a minimum of three pressures. This range is important because weak pressure can result in inadequate cleaning. Too high pressure can result in chipping.
Usually, along the bottom of the pressure cleaner, somewhere along the reverse side or on either side, is a hose outlet. The coupler to this hose outlet is usually on the end of the hose, or it is a separate piece. The coupler is one of the most important parts of the entire cleaner.
Do not get a pressure cleaner that has a coupler manufactured out of plastic. If you do, there will be tears. These plastic connectors fail–especially if they are connected to metal parts. They wear, they break and they leak. Although the pressure washer might be less expensive, you will pay in the form of frustration.
Ensure the pressure washer comes with a metal coupler. The best ones are made of brass.
This logic holds with other connectors such as any screw or any bolt with threads. Get a unit where everything is made of metal. No plastic–that is the rule. Think of the aforementioned neighbor. She is happy because her pressure washer has metal connectors. Also, consider the aforementioned you. You are distraught. By now, you should know why.
Ideal hose length depends on personal preference, but it should allow enough comfortable distance to hold onto the pressure and comfortably spray. Too long of a hose, actually, is a bad feature in that it can lead to kinks. 20 feet or so should suffice. Braided hoses are the best. They will never kink.
Look for a nozzle that can provide a variety of spray shapes. From pin prick to fan to wide arc, more spray shapes allow you to clean more surfaces and spaces.
The plugin should have a red ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI is a type of circuit breaker that stops current in less than 1/40th of a second. It will trip if any leak or fault occurs in the washer. These are critical to electrical components that operate in the vicinity of water.
Note: if your power washer trips the circuit breaker, do not attempt self repair. Do not continue to use the unit. Replace it immediately.
Pressure washers that have a detergent canister run that water though the canister. When it emerges from the nozzle, it is a pre-mixed solution that can help cut grease and dirt.
Ideal weight is another feature that depends on personal preference. Look for a pressure washer that is light enough to drag along, with or without wheels. Additionally, look for one that is heavy enough and with a low center of gravity, so it does not repeatedly topple.
Best Pressure Washer Reviews
The Flagup pressure washer offers 2,200 to 3,000 psi along with five interchangeable spray nozzles. The nozzles produce different streams of water, allowing different types of cleaning. The zero-degree nozzle products a thin, laser-style stream while the 60-degree nozzle produces a broad fan of water for more delicate surfaces.
The hose is 20 feet in length, and the electric cord is 30 feet. Combined, they allow you to clean a large area without having to unplug and re-plug and reposition the washer.
- auto safety stop
- pistol-grip trigger for easy cleaning
- 1800 watt motor
- manual nozzles
The Sun Joe is a power washer intended for cars, decks, and jobs requiring intermediate power. The low setting will deliver 1,450 psi, and the high-strength setting offers 2,030 psi. Five spray nozzles offer a wide range of streams for a diverse number of projects.
- detergent basin
- dolly design allows for easy pushing or pulling
- comes in pro version and light version
- manual nozzles
Note: although the lower psi rating of some units reduces the number of cleaning jobs the units can accomplish, placing the nozzle closer to the surface can replicate higher psi. Additionally, units such as the Sun Joe might offer a pro version for tougher jobs.
From concrete blasting to rejuvenating the siding on a house, the Aceshin power washer’s 3,000 psi will make quick work of any cleaning job. You will find the pistol-grip nozzle comfortable, and the upright style easy to maneuver.
- vacuum cleaner design for easy maneuverability
- long nozzle hose
- pistol-grip trigger
- small footprint
- comes in light 2,600 psi model
- This model’s slightly higher center of gravity might cause tipping.
The Briggs & Stratton’s dolly design offers stability and a medium-duty pressure rating of 1,800 psi. Available pressure ranges from 900 psi to 1,800 psi and an intermediate level of 1,200 psi. Although the model is intended for moderately tough jobs, it also comes with a turbo nozzle, capable of cleaning grout and just about any crevice.
The hose reaches up to 20 feet, and the cord is 35 feet. Combined, this unit can handle a large deck or driveway without the need to reposition the washer.
- steel frame
- detergent tank
- no-topple design
- long hose
- manual nozzles
The PAXCESS pressure washer is a full-featured model that offers an excellent blend of features. Capable of delivering a maximum pressure of 2,150 psi, it can handle every task the traditional homeowner faces.
Additionally, the lengthy 26-foot hose allows greater maneuverability than most other washers. Finally, the auto-adjust nozzle eliminates the need for manually changing nozzles when faced with a slightly different surface.
- adjustable nozzle for different stream intensities
- machine gun nozzle for two-handed spraying
- small footprint
- easy assembly
- vacuum-cleaner designs less stable than dolly styles
The Hurbo pressure washer is a consumer-level machine with commercial-grade features. Delivering up to 3,000 psi, it can handle every cleaning job you can imagine. The total stop system (TTS) ensures when you release the handle, the sprayer stops–immediately.
The added stainless steel wand allows you to reach gutters, ceiling planks, and other hard-to-reach areas. The interchangeable nozzles ensure you can cut through any grime or surface.
- detergent tank
- convenient cord tracking wheel for easy cleanup and storage
- manual nozzles
The PowRyte Elite is truly one of the most elite consumer-grade pressure washers available. Delivering 3,500 psi, it can handle anything. It has a long cord and a generous hose, capable of reaching across large areas. Additionally, the unit can heat water up to 104 degrees, helping to loosening stains and grime. Five interchangeable nozzles ensure you can focus or broaden the water stream, and the shotgun-style nozzle allows two-handed grip against all that power.
- logical design for a powerful system
- top of the line psi capabilities
- heated washer
- detergent tank
- manual cord wrap
- manual nozzles
The Stanley SLP2050 is a low-seated power washer capable of delivering 2,050 psi. The low-seat style ensures a low center of gravity for stability, and the brass connectors ensure no leaks, breaks, or fuss.
In addition to its power, the SLP2050’s versatile variable spray nozzle ensures non-stop cleaning because you do not have to manually change nozzles each time you come across a surface requiring stronger or lighter water pressure. To switch between fine stream or gentle fan, simply twist the nozzle. Once cleaning is complete, the foldable design ensures easy, compact storage.
- a powerful mixture with professional grade components
- brass couplings
- The detergent tank mounts to nozzle instead of in the housing unit, slightly increasing the weight and bulk of the nozzle.
The Yard Force 1600 is intended for light jobs around the yard. It offers a compact design with an auto-roll feature. This auto-roll feature allows you to simply pull it behind you. It is such a compact pressure washer that it will not tip, making it one of the easiest washers to use.
It offers a half-gallon detergent tank, and the built-in cord compartment stores the cord when the washer is not in use. Unlike many other pressure washers, the Yard Force 1600 is not much larger than a backpack. You can carry it by a handle and store it neatly on a shelf.
Its compact design does not mean it cannot deliver power. It offers 1,600 psi, which is more than enough for just about any job. Finally, while other models offer a one-year warranty, the Yard Force comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- excellent design
- two-year warranty
- easy to use
- compact storage
- manual nozzles
Note: for this particular model, the near-perfect balance of ease-of-use and power seems to more than compensate for the manual nozzles.
Sometimes, electric washers are simply not powerful or versatile enough. The Powerhorse is a tough, commercial-grade pressure washer designed to handle any job anywhere. The braided hose ensures no kinks, and the M22 brass couplers are designed for business or home professionals who want to think about the job–not about replacing couplers.
The gas-powered engine ensures you can handle any on-site cleaning job even when electricity is unavailable, and the all-steel construction ensures it is not going to break, crack, or warp.
Finally, this pressure washer delivers 3,100 psi. It can clean anything.
- solid construction
- quality components
- powerful pressure
Note: the hose for this unit is over thirty feet in length. Unlike electric models, it has no cord. Due to the exhaust, it is not intended to be used in enclosed garages or work sites.
Users must place the unit outside in the driveway or in some suitable open area. The hose is long enough to reach across most enclosures. This requirement is not a con–it is a safety requirement.