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Best Power Washer Review (Pressure Washer) – Top 5 List for Jan. 2020 with Buying Guide
It probably will take six months or a year, and an accumulation of dirt on your siding, oil on your driveway or gunk on your patio, before you realize there’s another piece of equipment which will come in handy: a power washer.
The best power washer (or pressure washers) top 5 that Groom+Style have listed here have several important things in common: they’ll get the job done well. Some are more portable than others, some are more powerful, some have more features, some are gas and some are electric. But there’s a power washer on this list for just about every homeowner’s needs.
1. Generac 6923, 3100 PSI, 2.4 GPM, Gas Powered Residential Power Washer
Generac is one of the best-known manufacturers of quality engines, generators, and power washers, and this is the latest in a line of terrific machines – this is one of the teams top gas powered pressure washers.
The 6923 weighs in at 57 pounds – that’s because of the powerful and durable oversized engine (196cc) and large 1/2 gallon detergent tank, installed onboard. Despite this weight, the washer is still easy to maneuver and store because of its upright design and large ten-inch wheels.
Most importantly, the power of the Generac engine makes the 6923’s spray among the strongest you’ll ever see, making it easy to clean everything from driveways to decks, from cars to boats – and of course, siding. It will also make short work of those hard-to-remove mildew and mold stains which normally require hand scrubbing.
Other features to like on this power washer are the reliable one-pull starting mechanism, four included spray tips for all of the functions you’d want the machine to perform (0°, 25°, 40°, and soap applicator), the ability to adjust pressure on the unit, and a 25-foot hose with a gun holster and easy-to-pull trigger.
The gas-powered engine is well-constructed and should provide outstanding performance for years.
The Generac 6923 may not be the machine for you if you want a small, inexpensive machine simply to give your house a quick spray-down, and it’s definitely not for you if you live in California because it doesn’t meet that state’s clean air standards.
Otherwise, it’s just about the perfect residential power washer. Specifications of the Generac 6923, 3100 PSI, 2.4 GPM, Gas Powered Residential Power Washer:
• Capacity: 2.4 gallons per minute, 3100 PSI
Note: the previous number one model was the “Generac 6598, 3100 PSI 2.7 GPM 212cc OHV Gas Powered Residential Power Washer” – the Generac 6598 has been discontinued.
2. AR Blue Clean AR383 1900 PSI 1.5 GPM Electric Pressure Washer With Hose Reel
Our top electric power washer is the Blue Clean AR383, because it is convenient and lightweight but still does a great job of getting the grime and dirt off of siding, walkways, and cars. It doesn’t have the power of the Generac 6923 because of its smaller motor, but it can generate a consistent 1900 PSI stream at 1.5 gallons per minute, more than enough to easily handle most jobs you can throw at it.
This machine is so light because its body is constructed from plastic, copper, and aluminum; however, the construction is solid and it should last for years. The AR383 has an induction motor and a 3-axial piston wobble plate pump, and the 20-foot hose works with two sets of gun-style wands, one which lets you adjust the angle and the other with a rotating tip. There is one detergent tank, along with a detergent injector kit and water filter.
This Blue Clean model’s upright design makes it easy to move around, and as long as you’re within 30 feet of electrical power and don’t need a monster like the Generac, it’s way more than enough power washer for everyday use.
Looking at the specs of the AR Blue Clean AR383 1900 PSI 1.5 GPM Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel:
• Capacity: 1.5 gallons per minute, 1900 PSI
3. Simpson MSH3125-S MegaShot 3100 PSI 2.5 GPM Gas Pressure Washer
The Simpson MegaShot 3125-S was a strong contender for the number one spot on this list of top 5 best power washers but missed out because it can get extremely noisy when you run it at high pressures. Other than that, it’s a terrific machine.
The 3125-S is powered by a premium Honda CG190 gas engine, which runs smoothly and requires very little maintenance. The combination of a welded steel frame, an abrasion-resistant MorFlex hose and premium pneumatic tires means that this washer will unquestionably stand up over the long haul.
As for performance, there’s not much more you could ask for in a home power washer. With a maximum output of 2.5 gallons per minute at 3100 PSI plus PowerBoost technology which increases pressure at the machine’s nozzle, this MegaShot unit can blast the dirt and grime off of everything from siding to decks with ease, not to mention those stubborn oil stains on the garage floor.
A total of five stainless steel nozzles come with the washer, so it’s versatile enough to handle all functions. We also like the fact that the MSH3125-S has a system which injects detergent downstream, making better use of the cleaning solution than most units.
If this machine were a little quieter and had an adjustable pressure control, it could easily have been our top choice. The Groom+Style review team still like it a lot.
A check of the specifications for the Simpson MSH3125-S MegaShot 3100 PSI 2.5 GPM Gas Pressure Washer:
• Capacity: 2.5 gallons per minute, 3100 PSI
4. Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer
Convenience. That’s what stands out to us about the Sun Joe SPX300 – from the dual detergent tank system which lets you simultaneously store two different types of cleaner and easily switch between them with the click of a dial; to the 34-inch extension spray wand you can attach to the 20-foot hose. This pressure washer is meant to provide flexibility as well as a strong stream of water.
This unit is a powerful for a lightweight electric washer, delivering more than 2000 PSI to effectively blast dirt from just about any surface; in addition to easily cleaning siding, pavement, and equipment, it can remove most heavily-caked mud and steel rust without a problem.
Groom+Style hate to repeat ourselves, but we found the extension wand an incredibly convenient addition to the system because it lets you reach the second stories of buildings or automobile undercarriages without breaking a sweat. It also comes with a garden hose adapter, a nice touch not included with many washers.
If it weren’t for a little nozzle leakage and construction that isn’t quite as sturdy as the Blue Clean, the review team would have no problem ranking the Sun Joe right alongside our top-rated electric power washer – it fell short by just a bit.
The specifications for the Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer:
• Capacity: 1.76 gallons per minute, 2030 PSI
5. Campbell Hausfeld PW183501AV Electric Pressure Washer, 1900 psi
No top five list would be complete without a “bang for the buck” entry, and the Campbell Hausfeld fits that bill perfectly. This quiet electric unit only weighs 27 pounds so it’s a snap to move around, particularly with its big wheels.
Despite its size, it still blasts out 1900 PSI at about 1.65 gallons per minute, with an adjustable spray nozzle (rather than the five different nozzles standard for most power washers in this category) and a conical sprayer to meet most needs an average homeowner would have.
The PW183501 doesn’t have the same heavy-duty motor, large array of nozzles and multiple tanks as more expensive models, and it may not be able to blast away some of the most stubborn oil stains on your driveway (although we wouldn’t bet against it), but for every other purpose it works perfectly and quickly, for a much lower price.
A quick look at the specs for the Campbell Hausfeld PW183501AV Electric Pressure Washer:
• Capacity: 1.65 gallons per minute, 1900 PSI
Note the previous number five model was the “Campbell Hausfeld PW1825 1800 PSI Electric Power Washer” – the Campbell PW1825 has been discontinued.
Power Washer (Pressure Washer) Buying Guide
How Much Power Will You Need?
First things first. Shopping for a pressure washer isn’t like looking for a lawnmower or snowblower because you don’t have to be overly concerned with a power washer’s horsepower or battery power. What’s really important is the power of the spray that comes out.
Here’s what we mean. It’s true that a washer’s engine or motor is used to drive the pump that blasts water at high pressure through a nozzle – but the nozzle concentrates the stream even more before it reaches the dirt, grease or grime you want to clean. By the time it comes out of a pressure washer’s nozzle, the water is traveling at a force that can be 75 times greater than that of an ordinary garden hose. So the numbers that count can’t be measured simply in horsepower or volts because the type of nozzle on the washer also plays a huge role in the force of the stream. Water power is what matters.
There are two ways to measure the power of a pressure washer: pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM).
The PSI measures the power of the stream delivered through the nozzle; the more pounds of pressure per square inch, the stronger it will be. That doesn’t tell the entire story, though. The GPM number tells you how much water the machine can deliver, which determines how fast it will clean and how effective it will be. In other words, a large volume of water will do the job better and faster than a small amount, when they’re delivered at the same power.
PSI and GPM usually increase hand-in-hand as you move up the quality ladder. If you want to rigorously compare models of power washers, just multiply PSI by GPM and you’ll have a single number to use in your comparisons.
How much power do you need? We’ll get to that shortly, after first considering one other important question.
Gas or Electric Power Washer?
In most cases, gas pressure washers are more powerful than their electric brethren, making them a better choice for cleaning large areas or tough-to-clean substances like tree sap.
However, they also come with a laundry list of issues that many would consider deal-breakers. Gas machines are heavier and larger, they’re noisy and emit pollutants, you have to worry about gas, oil, and maintenance (including winterizing them in cold areas), their increased power can cause damage to lightweight materials – and they generally cost twice as much as electric power washers.
Before those potential negatives convince you that electric is the way to go, consider that lower-powered electric models will be less-effective on stubborn dirt and will require more time to get a job done, will usually have plastic parts prone to breakage over time, and the length of their power cord will limit how far from an outlet you can move.
For smaller jobs like cleaning patios, walks, and furniture, an electric pressure washer is going to be more than sufficient. Blasting grime off a large driveway or the siding on a home, however, can be an arduous task unless you have a gas machine.
Nozzles Matter, Too
Nozzles aren’t always interchangeable between brands of power washers, so it’s important to make sure your chosen model can accommodate the type of nozzle you prefer.
When you buy a unit it will either have an adjustable nozzle that allows you to change the width or pattern of the spray (much like the nozzle on your garden hose), or a set of interchangeable nozzles that will handle various types of jobs. For example, a 0° nozzle (creating a straight blast of water) may be necessary for stubborn dirt, 25° is a good all-purpose nozzle, and 40° is best for cleaning materials that could be damaged easily. There is also a low-pressure nozzle available with many washers which lets you combine water with a detergent contained in an onboard tank.
An adjustable nozzle is usually more than sufficient for casual use. For regular or industrial use, you can’t beat the flexibility of nozzles that can be chosen for specific jobs.
So How Big a Power Washer Do You Need?
These are ballpark numbers but should give you an idea of the size and type of washer to consider.
- Electric: 1300-1800 PSI, Maximum of 1.5 GPM. Suitable for small household jobs, spot cleaning, and cars.
- Consumer Gas: 2000-3000 PSI, Maximum of 3.0 GPM. Suitable for large or tough household jobs, pavement, and siding.
Professional Gas: 3000-4000 PSI, More than 3.0 GPM. Suitable for paint stripping, mold, and mildew, stubborn stains, and graffiti.
Wrapping Things Up
The team at Groom+Style hope you found a pressure washer that met your requirements. Just in case you need a little nudge its good to remember that, at the end of the day, no one really needs a power washer. The thing is though, ask anyone who has one if they regret buying it, and the answer will be a definitive NO! They are just that much fun, you will end up just finding things to clean for the sake of it. Happy, pressure washing.