Last Updated: by
Pressure washers might just be the most fun tool you will ever use. Seriously — is anything more thrilling than having so much power at your fingertips?
That is one part of it, but the other is knowing that you can use one of these things for practically anything. Brighten a deck; bring your siding back to its original color — it’s all doable with a good pressure washer.
Therefore, it is no surprise that those of us who love our pressure washers get angry as all hell when we go to use them and have the system conk out on us.
What a buzz-kill! There are many crappy models on the market these days, and they are not only disappointing but also dangerous to use.
We present to you here the Best Pressure Washers. And our team of tool experts and reviewers will steer you clear of those bad apples and toward the best workhorse models on the market.
Check out this roundup of our favorites!
- The Best Pressure Washers Are:
- Different Types Of Pressure Washers
- What To Look For In A Pressure Washer
The Best Pressure Washers Are:
|1. Ford FPWEF2.1 (1,800 PSI/1.6 GPM)||Check Current Price|
|2. Ford FPWG3100H-J (3,100 PSI/2.5 GPM)||Check Current Price|
|3. NorthStar Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer (4000 PSI/3.5 GPM)||Check Current Price|
|4. Simpson Cleaning MSH3215 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer||Check Current Price|
|5. Generac 7122 SpeedWash, 3,200 PSI||Check Current Price|
|6. Greenworks GPW2005 Pressure PSI, 2,000 PSI||Check Current Price|
“A great choice for homeowners”
Ford is our top electric recommendation for the average buyer. Best known for its automobiles, Ford is also one of the best pressure brands out there.
We love this particular model for its ideal balance of price and performance! This Ford runs on standard household power and fits easily into the typical garage. It is simple to use, and much more reliable than cheaper electric options.
The Ford is a great choice for homeowners who have been frustrated by crappy budget electric models in the past. It is refreshingly well-made and has a great track record for the long term. If all you need is something to handle lighter-duty projects around your property, the Ford is the best way to go.
Unlike others in the same price bracket, this unit does not compromise on high-quality components. It has a high-performance pump, sturdy metal fittings, and an excellent set of tires. It will cost you more than many popular household models, but it will also last you much longer.
- SK5 steel blade
- 180-degree rotating hand grip
- Cuts up to 1/2-inch diameter
- Four feet in length
- Comes with a high pressure hose and inbuilt hose storage reel
- You do not have to worry about flat wheels
- Built to last
- Features a compact and portable design
- Not the most durable
“An absolutely stellar gas-powered system”
This Ford unit is an absolutely stellar gas-powered system. While it is not the most powerful option in the market, it is more than enough for ambitious homeowners and lighter-use pros.
The Ford impressed our reviewers in any number of specific ways. It is the overall feel and function, though, which makes it our top pick for most buyers. Compared to other gas-powered units, it feels like a sports car!
The engine is a champion, too. It runs smoothly and starts on the first pull. Operation of the Ford is a breeze, and the compact, sturdy design of the unit makes it uniquely portable and maneuverable. Simply put, it is a pleasure to use.
It is an all-around workhorse of a machine and our favorite model for tackling all but the most heavy-duty work in both professional and residential applications. The Ford is as good as most people need and better than anything else under $1000!
- Engine: 208cc OHV
- Max PSI: 3,100
- Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
- Hose Length: 30-Feet
- Power Source: Gas-Powered
- Weight: 70 pounds
- Convenient onboard adjustable soap tank
- Very powerful engine
- Ergonomic spray gun
- Pressure hose is very long
- Pretty heavy
“A beast of a machine”
NorthStar makes our favorite heavy-duty, commercial-grade pressure washer. It is our top recommendation for folks who need maximum pressure and volume. Unless you need to work with hot water or steam, this is as much as you need to spend.
With 4000 PSI and 3.5 GPM, it is certainly powerful enough to tackle heavy-duty work in a commercial setting. This one is ideal for cleaning heavy equipment or covering lots of ground in a dairy barn. It is a beast of a machine, but it is easy for one person to handle.
Of course, power alone does not make for a good machine on the job. It needs to be reliable and able to handle long hours of operation. It needs to be rugged enough for any worksite, but maneuverable enough to maintain productivity. Luckily, the NorthStar hits all these notes!
The most impressive components of this machine are the pump and the engine. The NorthStar features a powerful Honda GX390 OHV commercial series motor and an industrial triplex plunger pump with ceramic pistons. Both are top-notch pieces of machinery that will keep this one running for a long time.
- Engine: Honda GX390 398cc OHV
- Max PSI: 4,000
- Rated Flow: 3.5 GPM
- Hose Length: 50-Feet
- Power Source: Gas-Powered
- Weight: 191 pounds
- Ideal for heavy-duty tasks
- Saves time and effort
- Low in vibration and easy to push
- Greater resistance and proven reliability
- On the higher end of the price spectrum
If you are looking for the best pressure washer that offers great value for money, then you should consider the Simpson Cleaning MSH3215 MegaShot Gas Pressure Washer. This is a heavy-duty residential workhorse that comes with a very affordable price tag. The combination of its price, Honda engine, and pump specs makes it the top value for money.
It comes with an impressive flow rate of 2.5 GPM as well as a surface cleaner attachment. With this tool, you can give your driveway a brand new look in less than one hour.
Sampson also designed this pressure washer to make your outdoor cleaning jobs stress-free, effortless, and fun. Despite its great specs, this unit weighs only 55 pounds, and this makes it very easy to move around your compound.
With this pressure washer, you can say goodbye to the hassle of dealing with hose kinks, thanks to its kink-resistant and abrasion pro-quality hose. The length of the hose is also pretty great, as it measures 25 feet. It allows for easy cleaning of house siding, gutters, and back patio.
The power behind this machine is the Honda GC190 premium residential engine. It comes with a welded steel construction frame to keep the entire unit sturdy. The 10-inch pneumatic wheels allow you to move the washer with ease.
This washer comes with maintenance-free OEM technology axial pump with a pound per square inch (PSI) of 3,200. This machine is highly versatile, as it offers five quick-connect nozzle tips, which are 0 degrees, 15 degrees, 25 degrees, 40 degrees, and soap.
The spray gun is ergonomically designed to provide you with optimal control and comfort. It is also highly durable, thanks to its heavy-duty matter black steel frame tube and base plate. It is also coated with powder to protect it against corrosion.
- Engine: Honda GC190 Engine
- Max PSI: 3,200
- Rated Flow: 2.5 GPM
- Hose Length: 25-Feet
- Power Source: Gas-Powered
- Weight: 55 pounds
- Highly versatile, with 5 quick-connect nozzle tips
- Comes with a very powerful engine
- Very easy to move around, thanks to its 10-inch pneumatic wheels
- Comes with OEM technologies axial pump that requires no maintenance
- Some started leaking after extended use
The next pressure washer on our list is the Generac 7122 SpeedWash, 3,200 PSI. This is another great pressure washer that you will not regret investing in. This is one of the most user-friendly pressure washers and it is great for homeowners. It features a great design and it will serve you for years.
This is a gas-powered pressure washer and it allows you to adjust the pressure to four settings between 2,000 PSI and 3,200 PSI by just turning a knob. With this feature, you can go from washing your car to cleaning your driveway without having to change the nozzle.
This pressure washer delivers great results when used on decks, gutters, driveways, cars, or patio furniture. It also comes with a compact design that makes it very easy to store.
Using earplugs with this machine is optional, as it comes with an orange front cover that helps to reduce the noise from the engine. Talking about the engine, this pressure washer comes with a 196cc OHV gas engine that delivers maximum cleaning performance. It cleans smarter and up to 50 percent faster.
The power dial ergonomic spray gun allows you to adjust the pressure between wood, car, soap, and concrete. It comes with a soap blaster that sprays soap 3 times farther, turbo nozzle that removes grime and dirt 40 percent faster, and a power broom for faster cleaning. It also comes with a high-pressure flex hose with a length of 30 feet, and it is non-marring and kink-resistant.
- Engine: 196cc OHV Gas Engine
- Max PSI: 3,200
- Rated Flow: 2.7 GPM
- Hose Length: 30-Feet
- Power Source: Gas-Powered
- Weight: 62 pounds
- Cleans smarter and faster
- Comes with different attachments for enhanced cleaning
- Non-marring, kink-resistant high-pressure flex hose
- Allows you to switch between wood, car, soap, and concrete with ease
- Quality control issues
If you are looking for the best pressure washer to handle light-duty tasks, then the Greenworks GPW2005 Pressure 2,000 PSI is one of the best options to consider.
This pressure washer is great for efficient and quick cleaning of mildly dirty items such as cars, house windows, patio furniture, and vinyl siding. It is also strong and highly versatile, as it comes with three spray nozzles to handle light to medium-duty cleaning jobs.
This machine is very easy to move around, thanks to its telescoping handle and large wheels. This is an electric-powered pressure washer and it comes with a 35-feet long power cord.
It comes with a 25-feet high-pressure hose, which delivers great performance. It also features a quick-connect wand that is even long enough to get to second-story windows without stretching.
It comes with a 13-amp universal motor that generates up to 2,000 PSI. For maximum cleaning power, it comes with 1.2 GPM. The metal quick-connect wand comes with 25 degrees, 40 degrees, high-pressure soap applicator, and turbo nozzle.
It also comes with an onboard hose reel and it weighs only 27.6 pounds. With this unit, you do not have to worry about batteries and charging, all you have to do is to plug and go.
- Motor: 13 Amps
- Max PSI: 2,000
- Rated Flow: 1.2 GPM
- Hose Length: 25-Feet
- Power Source: Electric-Powered
- Weight: 27.6 pounds
- Wheels and telescoping handle for easy mobility
- Ideal for light to medium-duty cleaning jobs
- Comes with an onboard hose reel
- Not ideal for heavy-duty jobs
Different Types Of Pressure Washers
Electric Pressure Washers
Electric models are powered by electricity instead of gasoline. They are generally smaller and less expensive than gas-powered models, which makes them more accessible to the average homeowner.
They are convenient, too, since you do not have to worry about starting an engine or maintaining oil.
The downside of these is that they are not capable of producing the sheer cleaning power of gas machines. You will find that most electric systems only crank out half the pressure and volume that you can get from a gasoline-powered system.
Still, electric power washers are a good choice for many homeowners. If you are simply looking for a machine that can tackle weekend chores (like washing the car or hosing down patio furniture), you should consider purchasing an electric power washer.
They will cover all the basics. Just plan on taking a bit longer to get through your task.
Gas Pressure Washers
Gas-powered pressure washers are designed for medium to heavy-duty jobs. They are capable of tackling tougher cleaning work at faster rates, and thus they usually cost more than electric models.
In our guide to the best gasoline-powered models, we compare some of our favorite medium and heavy-duty units! Many of these models are designed for residential use, although the mid-size options can work very well for small-scale professional use.
The larger, more expensive gas-powered models are specifically for professional applications. They are ideal for cleaning heavy equipment and machinery or mucking out large garages/barns.
Going the combustion route is a good choice for home or small business owners who plan to use their machine for tough tasks on a fairly regular basis, and need consistent and reliable performance from their pressure washer.
Be sure you are able to handle the engine upkeep, though! And, of course, you cannot use these anywhere that doesn’t have good ventilation.
Of course, the other benefit of using gasoline as your power source is that you can use your unit anywhere, not just where an outlet is handy.
Commercial Pressure Washers
When it comes to commercial applications, pressure washers need to be supercharged and unusually reliable. The trouble these days is that many models are marketed as “commercial” when they definitely should not be! Therefore, we have put together a dedicated guide specifically for commercial users.
Though most commercial-grade models are gasoline-powered, there are some very capable electric models these days. That is especially true if you have access to an industrial power supply!
For our guide to the best commercial pressure washers, we included the best of both our gas and electric recommendations. These are high-powered machines by any standard, and they are hardy enough to take years of abuse.
Whether you are managing a fleet of machines for your business or looking for a tool to use on your farm, our guide to the best commercial units has something for you!
This class of pressure washer is designed to handle tough jobs fast, and they can produce much more power than residential models.
What To Look For In A Pressure Washer
Before you make any decisions about which system to buy, you should make sure you are familiar with how these things work! Here is our quick-and-dirty guide to navigating the key features and specs:
PSI & GPM: What They Mean And Why They Matter
When we talk about how powerful a given pressure washer is, we cite two common specs: PSI and GPM. These are two objective ways to measure the real-world performance of any machine on the market!
PSI (pounds per square inch) measures the force of the water stream a unit puts out. This spec tells you the maximum water pressure a certain washer is capable of producing. It is the best measure of the cleaning force a model will offer.
GPM (gallons per minute) refers to the volume of water that the machine puts out at that PSI. It is also called the “flow rate.” While PSI is all about force, the GPM is about coverage! The higher the GPM, the faster a machine can accomplish a task.
Looking at PSI and GPM specs is the single best way to judge how a machine will perform. It is easy to be impressed by big engine specs and fancy features, but the truth is that engines and pumps do not matter much by themselves if they do not translate into powerful performance. And the best way to see that is to look at the PSI and GPM.
Many pressure washers these days list a third spec, which is called “cleaning power”. It is not super common yet, so we generally stick with PSI and GPM. Cleaning power specs are basically a composite of those two factors.
So the cleaning power of this particular pressure washer is (1900 x 1.5), or 2850. Once more manufacturers list this spec with their offerings, we will be able to judge performance even quicker!
Motors & Engines: How To Judge Them
Of course, the motor of a pressure washer plays a big role in determining performance. The more power you have behind the pump, the more water it can move–and faster! Therefore, it is important to look at the specific motor that powers the machine you are considering.
We know that is an odd way of putting it, right? Most people would think that the motor is part of the overall machine. That is true to some extent, but especially in gasoline models, many manufacturers outsource their motors.
The best models use Honda engines, for example, even though they are made by completely different companies. So, be sure to check who made the motor in any model you consider!
Gasoline engines are measured by cc or HP (horsepower). The larger either spec is, the more power you can expect. Of course, neither is a better way to judge than looking at the PSI!
Electric models measure their motor power by watts or amps. Again, while higher numbers are better, you really want to go by the PSI rather than the motor rating.
Aside from the motor, the most important component is the pump. The pump’s job is to draw in water from the hose and accelerate it to a much higher pressure.
Because your pump will be working like crazy while you operate your pressure washer, it is important to know how to judge your options.
Regardless of which type of pump you end up opting for, you should make sure that the assembly is made with mostly metal components. Brass is the best bet.
Pressure washers use three types of pumps: wobble, axial, and triplex.
These pumps are found in low-end residential pressure washers and are not suited for heavy-duty work or frequent extended use. They are relatively disposable, so we do not recommend any. In our opinion, none is worth the money.
Pressure washers with wobble pumps tend to cost less, which can be tempting. Sadly, they do not last nearly as long as anything else does. They are best suited for a few hours of work on the weekend, once or twice a year.
Wobble pumps are also not repairable or replaceable when they break. We think it is a better choice to spend some more money upfront for an axial pump system that you will not have to replace for years.
Most pressure washers contain axial pumps. They have roughly two or three times the lifespan of wobble pumps, making them suitable for occasional use over several years. They are what we recommend to the average home user.
Axial pumps are still not ideal for multiple hours of work every day, though. If you need to use your pressure washer heavily and often, you will need to invest even more.
If you are purchasing a machine for daily use, you should make sure that it has a Triplex pump. This is the best type of pump on the market. Most are designed in Italy or by high-end equipment makers. These are quite expensive but worth it to pros and frequent users. With proper maintenance and care, these pumps will last for many years!
It is not just what is under the hood that determines the quality of a pressure washer! It is also important to consider the quality of the attachments, and which are best suited for your purposes. So, be sure to have a look at the hose, wand, and nozzles on any model you think about buying.
Check the length of the hose first. Is it long enough to get you wherever you need to go? Think about where your pump unit will be, and how far you will need to reach.
Then have a look at the construction materials on the hose. Is the hose sturdy enough for the terrain you will work on? Do you need something more heavy-duty? Are options available, or will you need a different model to begin with?
Wider nozzle attachments are useful for tasks like washing cars and windows. Narrow attachments are better for cutting through grime, dirt, mold, or paint. Expect to see up to five options included.
Lastly, think about whether you want to use detergents or other chemical solutions. If you do, be sure to choose something with a tank for that purpose.
Need more pointers? Read what Consumer Reports say about shopping for a pressure washer!
We have only had space to include a few featured picks on this page, but you can find more recommendations in each category by clicking through to our guides!
We have all your pressure washing needs covered with in-depth reviews of the best gas, electric, and commercial models. So, check out our guides by category to find more!
Our top recommendation for the best rated pressure washer is the Ford FPWEF2.1 (1800 PSI/1.6 GPM) because it is very easy to use and it comes in handy in a wide range of applications.