What’s the dirtiest thing you’ve ever had to clean?
I’m not talking about me cleaning the sewage plant at work. Phew, that does stink, but apart from the embarrassment, if someone asks me what I do, it’s still not the worst.
If you’ve never had to clean one, you won’t know.
Here’s a clue.
You’ve had a party, and your home is in a state. Maybe you’ve got a hangover, or you’re just tired. So you take on all the easy jobs first and leave the worst for last.
What I’m talking about is the recently used oily and sticky-black barbecue grill. It’s covered in fat and what-not, and it’s gross to touch.
Getting it clean is the price you pay for the good time you had.
Luckily you’re smart because the day before, you’d bought the best electric pressure washer.
Without further ado, you slip on a pair of gloves and tie the grill to the back fence. A quick hose connection, plug in the power, and a minute later you’re blasting a powerful jet of water. The grill turns from black to silver-clean, as if by magic, in a matter of minutes.
I use a Karcher electric pressure washer to clean the sewerage pump filters at work once a week. Before that, I washed them by hand! Can you imagine?
Whatever the experts might say – gas or battery-powered pressure washers are stronger, less work, and so on – just ignore them. Mine is perfect for the work I do, and I don’t need anything else. In the five years, I’ve had the pleasure of using it, and it’s never let me down, not once.
How to Choose the Best Pressure Washer
For all your cleaning jobs around the house, all you need is an electric pressure washer.
It’s cheaper than gas and less hassle. A gas washer is more suited to industrial-type jobs. I’ll still take a bet that an electric one could even do the job of a gas one. The electric pressure washer is a straightforward plug-in-and-go machine with no hassle.
As simple as that.
State-of-the-art technology gives these smaller machines more power than their size implies.
Dynamite comes in small packages. And that’s what an electric pressure washer is – dynamite.
For me, cleaning power is crucial, so I calculated each one on the list to make it easy for you to choose. Here’s the sum to work out the cleaning power: the force of the water (the pound-force exerted on a square inch multiplied by the gallons, per minute, of water going through the system (PSI x GPM).
Cleaning power will determine the time you spend cleaning. Weigh-up your priorities, time, or money, find a balance, then choose.
On the list, you’ll see a couple of compact machines with a low center of gravity. I like them because they’re more balanced and easier to manage. Sometimes, when you pull on the hose, it can have a whiplash-effect that can topple a tall-standing pressure washer.
If you want a mobile machine, look at the wheel size. The bigger, the better. Next would be the reach of the pressure hose and the length of the power cord. The longer they are, the less you’ll have to plan, and the faster you’ll finish. Also look at the attachments you get. They give you many more cleaning options.
Other things you should consider are detergent delivery, connectors, wand, weight, and safety.
There’s plenty to consider before you buy the best pressure washer.
Here’s my list of the top ten pressure washers to help you decide.
Top 10 Best Pressure Washers
|Sun Joe SPX3000||4.6|
|Sun Joe SPX4000||4.5|
|Karcher K1700 TruPressure||4.5|
|Karcher K3 Follow-Me||4.5|
My best electric pressure washer is the Ryobi. It’s in the upper price bracket but worth every cent with the cleaning power of 2,760. The practical design makes it easy to use. It is powered by a brushless electric induction motor and coupled with smart pressure technology is in a league of its own. You’re looking at a handy and reliable machine to take on the hardest cleaning tasks around the house. Algae on the driveway or bird-droppings on the patio won’t stand a chance.
The metal support frame, with a comfy grip at the top, has enough space for everything to fit tidily. The wand, hose, power cord, nozzles, and soap dispenser, all within easy reach. Add the onboard storage compartment, and you’re left with a machine that uses space effectively. The motor is not enclosed by an outer plastic cover and stays cool longer as a result. Extra-large wheels make it an all-terrain and highly maneuverable machine. All these factors give it a rugged, no-nonsense look, and says that it means business.
It’s lightweight 18 lbs makes it easy to move around, and if moving isn’t your thing the 25-foot non-marring hose, and 35-foot power cord gives you a reach of over 60 feet.
At the sharp-end, the power nozzle on the 15-inch metal wand has a 50% faster-cleaning speed. The Powerfit surface cleaner attachment comes with a flow-control valve, which is easy to attach or remove using the quick-connect scuffler. You also have a choice of two different soap dispenser settings.
- Three-year warranty
- Easy storage
- Can roll over 4 X 4 terrain with ease
- Hose tends to be stiff
- Hard to empty the detergent tank after use
The runner-up is the SunJoe SPX3000 with a whopping 3,572 cleaning power and a middle of the range price tag. The many unique features, like the Total Stop System (TSS), which cuts the motor when you release the trigger prolonging the motor’s life and keeping your energy bills down, is why this pressure washer is an all-time favorite for many.
Its extra power and smooth running motor, even when faced with the most difficult of all cleaning jobs, sealed its great reputation. Those hard to remove stains on a cement or marble floor, or the accumulated grease under the hood of your truck won’t be a problem. Don’t be fooled by the standard appearance of this beast. Even though it has the weight of a beast, 31 lbs, the two oversized wheels make it easy to move around.
The 20-foot, high-pressure hose, and the 35-foot power cord give it a reach of over 55 feet. Now you can even reach those far-out dirty places you’ve been itching to blast. With five quick-connect nozzles and a patio cleaning rotating one, which you can attach to the 34-inch wand, this pressure washer is the ultimate all-rounder. Invest in one, and blast all the dirt off your property fast
The 9-liter, dual detergent tanks at the top are in two separate and removable chambers that you can even use at the same time, with a switch of a dial. Included is a needle clean-out tool.
It has a two-year warranty.
- Small to medium jobs
- Two cleaning tanks
- Not useful for big jobs
- Heavy to lift
- Hose storage is a hook on the side
- Short extension wand
In third place is another SunJoe with precisely the same mighty cleaning power of 3,572 as the previous one but slightly more expensive. This dirt-buster has the same robust frame as the Ryobi but, even with oversized wheels, has less ground clearance. The low center of gravity gives excellent stability and gives it 4 X 4 mobility over rough terrain. Although the machine looks smaller than the Ryobi, it has a third more power, and is 10 lbs heavier, weighing in at 27.8 lbs.
The 20-foot, high-pressure hose, and 35-foot power cord give it a reach of over 55 feet.
You can change the pressure setting to suit the job, and dial-in just the right amount of detergent to give your cleaning blast more oomph. You’re also given a choice of five quick-connect spray tips for the 34-inch wand, to help get rid of stubborn paving stains or to remove the hard-to-reach, unused wasps’ nest, high on the wall. There’s a safety-lock switch and Total Stop System (TSS) that will automatically shut-off the minute you release the trigger.
It comes with a two-year warranty.
- Connections are all metal
- Steady as you can find
- Very mobile
- Comes with a needle clean-out tool
- Small detergent tank
- The hose could be longer
Fourth on the list, and my personal favorite, is the Karcher. The cleaning power is a solid 2,040, and with a budget-price, it’s a steal. This is a brand that makes every conceivable cleaning tool and shows us again, with the innovative K1700, why they’re the leaders.
The compact, well balanced, pressure washer is built into a frame similar to the Ryobi. With the oversized wheels, you can maneuver this baby around any terrain with ease. Its low center of gravity, overall robust design, and high handle adds to the easy-going mobility. There’s also a storage bin for extra convenience. The extrusions are integrated metal and last longer, adding to its reputation of durability.
At 20.7 lbs, it isn’t heavy to wheel around the yard. Its reach, over 40 feet, is a bit shorter than you’d expect from Karcher. The hose and power cord are both 20 feet long, but you can add a 50-foot hose. An easy-to-wind mechanism makes quick work of reeling in the power cord.
Included with your purchase are three nozzles: turbo nozzle for maximum cleaning power on stubborn areas, 15° all-purpose nozzle and detergent nozzle. The 20-inch, Psi adjustable wand is the quick-connect universal type to which you can also attach different nozzles for different pressure requirements. For your safety, there’s a pressure switch on the trigger for automatic cut-out in the event you should drop the wand.
Another useful feature is the removable detergent tank for easier mixing.
- Three-year warranty
- Convenient on/off footswitch
- Five minutes to set it up without any tools
- Key ease-of-use features
- Trigger pressure cut-off
- Hard to remove the detergent tank
- Only has two attachments
Almost half-way, and we find the most expensive pressure washer on the list. It’s only a couple more dollars than the Ryobi but has the same 6,600 cleaning powder.
This versatile machine comes with every conceivable attachment, the ultimate all-rounder. Strangely enough, it does not have a hose extension, but I’m sure you’ll find a matching one from the many different brands out there.
There’s a detachable base with four miniature wheels, like the ones you see on a tea trolley.
The problem, if you want to carry the power washer, minus the wheelbase, is the 32 lbs weight. It does have an extendable handle for easier pulling.
The 30-foot highly flexible hose and 35-foot power cord give you a reach of 65 feet. With this one, you have a reach of 65-feet, 30-foot highly flexible hose, and 35-foot power cord, and the longest reach of all. What I love is the easy-wind, quick storage system. The onboard hose and cable storage is the key feature that saves you hours when you have to pack-up and store it. Your all-round pressure washer, with high or low power switch-dial, comes with five quick-connect, color-coded nozzles and a useful rotating patio attachment. For jobs like washing the car, all you do is attach the black nozzle to suppress the pressure. The instruction booklet gives a detailed guide to help you choose a suitable one.
The two stainless steel wands have a clip on the side of the unit for easy reach and safe storage. There’s also a Total Stop System (TSS), on trigger release, that stops the motor, saving energy and extending the life of your washer.
It comes with a one year warranty.
- Useful patio cleaning rotating attachment
- Has a GFCI plug and automatic safety valve
- Wrench to attach to the hose
- Double the cleaning power than most
- Small plastic wheels
- No extension hose
- Quite expensive
A nifty little pressure washer with the cleaning power of 1,800, high enough to blast away any household grime fast. It is also the best bargain in the list and one of the most popular ones. It’s all about convenience, with this little darling. This one, and the Karcher K3, are the lightest of all, weighing in at 16.3 lbs. But it still packs a tremendous punch, well above its weight. It can operate standing or lying down, and the large handle and wheels make this compact and sturdy washer easy to move or hold for a long time.
Together with its 20-foot-long reinforced hose and 35-foot power cord, it has a reach of over 55 feet. The on-board hose reel makes packing-up a tidy affair instead of trying to figure-out a twisted hose and cord resembling a spaghetti junction.
The brass turbo nozzle gives you a consistent water jet with the option to switch to 25 or 40° spray angles. It comes with a soap dispenser that attaches to the nozzle for a deep clean car wash. You can also attach a rotary brush to the 16-inch wand and have it look like a pro polished your car.
It also has an added safety feature to protect you from electric shock – a GFCI plug and automatic safety valve with low-pressure by-pass, which will drop the breaker in an instant. Included in your purchase are two removable 30 oz detergent tanks. It has a one year warranty.
- Lightweight but powerful
- 35-foot long power cord
- Smooth overall operation
- Low cleaning power
- Might overheat if used continuously
- No midstream detergent injection
- Can leak
Another well-known brand with a mid-range price tag with the strength of a high-priced pressure washer. It gives a potent blast with an incredible 3,010 of cleaning power. That’s forty-three times the power of a standard garden hose and uses eighty percent less water. Its compact build reminds me of a traveler’s carry-on suitcase, very easy to wheel around the place. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have the ground clearance of the Ryobi or the ‘big’ Sun Joe. But with its large wheels, telescopic handle, and low center of gravity, it stays balanced. Just stick to flat driveways when you’re moving it, and you’ll be fine. Whatever the gripes, it will make your wooden patio look like it’s been sand-blasted.
It’s quite a heavy machine weighing in at 25.6 lbs with a long reach of 55 feet. There’s a brass garden hose adapter with a filter to connect the soft and flexible 25-foot hose. The 35-foot power cord has an auto-reset GFCI module for extra safety. Both the hose and cord can be stored on the unit. The extendable metal wand has four quick-connect nozzles, as well as a nozzle holder on the handle for quick access.
It comes with a convenient foam cannon that attaches to the nozzle for car or window cleaning.
It has a two-year warranty.
- Auto shut-down trigger release
- Quick-release cord hook
- Easy to attach nozzles
- Long reaching water jet
- Takes time to build-up pressure
This, all-terrain 4 X4, is the fourth lowest priced. It is also the ultimate all-rounder pressure washer and has a cleaning power of 2,340. The design is highly compact, and all the bits and pieces fit neatly on the flat top for easier access and storage. The larger rear wheels are fixed, and the slightly smaller front swivel wheels steer it. The ease of moving from place to place without carrying it makes the job much easier. It gets past many obstacles in the way because of its high ground-clearance.
It has a reach of over 50 feet, the lowest on the list – the pressure hose is 15 feet and the power cord 35 feet- but the bargain price makes it. What gives it added value is quick-connect extra attachments. There’s also a dirt-blaster for a fifty percent extra boost giving you a lot more power to blast away the most stubborn stains like the greasy barbecue grill. In addition to this, there’s a long-reaching, 67-inch extension wand with a unique Vario pressure adjuster for those light-duty cleaning jobs. You also get an unusual right-angle wand and power broom scrubber, as well as a 9-inch rotating brush. It also has an onboard detergent tank.
The warranty lasts for two years.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Excellent value money
- Could get stuck on bumpy surfaces
- Short hose
- Plastic inlet
This pressure washer is one of the best bargains on the market with 9,100 cleaning power. The large wheels and lightweight unit, 18 lbs, makes for easy mobility. The rust-proof, heavy-duty metal and heavy-duty plastic connections add to its durability, ensuring you get long-term deep-cleaning power time-after-time.
The maximum reach, with its 19.7-foot, high-pressure hose, and the 32.8-foot power cord, is 51,7 feet. There are five interchangeable quick-connect nozzles made of stainless steel. This pressure washer has an automatic Total Stop System (TSS) that automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged, which extends the pump’s life, saves energy but mostly to keep you safe from electric shock. It also has a detergent tank and a needle cleaning tool. It has a one-year warranty.
- Tidy back bracket to roll up the hose
- Strongest cleaning power on the list
- Low-cost, high value
- No advanced attachments
- Cleaning power overrated
- Short hose
10. TEANDE 3500
In last place is the 3500, the least expensive with the cleaning power of 9,100.
Experts in the power tool industry question the validity of the high cleaning power claim, but whether they’re right or not, this little monster could strip the paint off your walls. Whatever the stats say it’s a very versatile and useful allrounder.
The high-standing, long-handled unit is worth its weight in gold. There are two kinds, one with, and one without, a hose reel. I’d go for the former – an untidy hose can easily trip you up.
The 19.7 foot, high-pressure hose and 32-foot power cord give it a reach of over 51.7 feet. Not bad at all for a bargain-priced power washer. For such a strong pressure washer, it’s incredibly light, weighing in at only22.1 lbs. I like all the safety features, like the trigger gun that has a lock to disable the trigger when you need a break, and you’re worried ‘junior’ might accidentally blast a hole through the window pane. The TSS feature shuts-down the engine when the trigger is not engaged for extended machine life and lower energy bills. It also has four quick-connect nozzles and an adjustable pressure nozzle, which clips in neatly on the side. The warranty lasts for two years.
- Built-in tools on the unit
- Low-cost, high value
- Variable pressure control
- Cleaning power overrated
- Too much plastic
- Short hose
- Plastic connectors
What can electric pressure washers do?
That depends on the cleaning power it has. For serious heavy-duty work, cleaning power above 9,000 would take the stains off a marble floor. For medium-duty cleaning, you’re aiming for a minimum power of 4,000 and up to remove the stains on a wooden patio. And for light-duty work, a cleaning power of up to 4,000 will do for jobs like cleaning the car.
What is the lifespan of an electric power washer?
There are many different answers to the same question. Mine is a medium-sized Karcher and still works perfectly even after five years of regular use. Some experts say, for example, a universal pump should last for three years and a water-cooled induction motor for eight. My honest answer, there’s no rule of thumb.
Look after it, don’t push it too hard, or for too long, and it should last long enough to make it a worthwhile investment.
Is it true they use less water than a garden hose?
Yes, that’s a fact. On average, a regular garden hose uses ten times more water than an electrical power washer. What happens is water is forced out the nozzle under extreme pressure, and that force is what cleans things and not the amount of water you use.
Are they dangerous?
Yes, they can take the skin off you in a second if you’re not careful. Always wear the recommended safety gear and keep spectators at a distance. Don’t ever forget that electricity and water is a lethal mix. That’s why you should often inspect your power cable, pressure hose, connectors, and everything else to do with the pressure washer. Check for any signs of damage. What I’m saying is to be proactive regarding its use and keep in mind the risks involved. Try to anticipate them rather than wait for an accident to happen.
They can also damage your possessions if you aren’t careful enough. You could take the paint off your car if the pressure is too high. There are different nozzles and attachments for various applications. It would be a good idea to make a note of the kinds of cleaning jobs they’re useful for. Always test run the force you want to use, on old tiles, or paving, before you start, to gauge the power. It’s very easy to get carried away with a pressure washer and end up causing more harm than good.
Is it difficult to set up?
Not at all. You don’t have to be a plumber. There are a few things you have to do, and you’re ready to start.
Connect the hose to the pressure washer. Push the hose with mild pressure, and it will lock into place. Next, you do the same with the garden house for your water supply. Attach the nozzle you’re using to the wand. Plug the power cord in, and you’re all set to blast away.
I was never fond of my supervisor. Then one day, he brought a brand new electric pressure washer to work. The same one I told you about before. That’s when things between us changed for the better. You see, I’m old old-school, and if you don’t smell of sweat or your body doesn’t ache, you haven’t worked.
Then my young boss came along with his educated, cold, engineering mentality and proved how far-off the mark I was. The bottom line, for him, was to utilize the most suitable tool that will help you do the best work in the easiest and fastest way.
Thanks to him, I had a major paradigm shift. It took an electric pressure washer to show me the folly of my old-fashioned ways.
I recently bought one for home. There was no other way for me to clean the oil and grime stained engine of my 29-year-old Mitsubishi Lancer. Now, when I look under the hood, it’s hard to believe it’s the same engine. Nothing but the best electric pressure washer could have done such a sterling job to remove the dirt from every nook-and-cranny.
Whatever you decide to do doesn’t matter as much the realization that it’s good to keep up with technology, it makes life easier and better.
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