Best Pressure Washers 2018 – Reviews & Buying Guide
If you’re reading this, you’re probably interested in buying a pressure washer. Unfortunately, the market is cluttered with a ton of products with each one offering their own mix of features and performance rating. So, picking the best pressure washer to meet your needs isn’t easy. But, we’re going to make your life easier. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about buying a pressure washer.
We’ve structured this article into two parts. First, we’ll go through our list of the best pressure washers of 2017. Next, we have an in-depth informational section, covering all the details and factors related to buying a pressure washer. Using what you learn from the two sections, you can easily find the product of your choice. So, if you’re ready, let’s get things started with our top pick – the Sun Joe SPX3000.
Best Pressure Washers 2018
|MODEL||PRODUCT DIMENSIONS||ITEM WEIGHT||USER RATING||PRICE|
|Sun Joe SPX3000||33.9 x 13.5 x 15.6 inches||31 pounds||4.3/5||$$$
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|AR Blue Clean AR390SS||17 x 38 x 16 inches||33.6 pounds||4.2/5||$$$$
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|GreenWorks GPW1501||9.45 x 17.13 x 11.42 inches||17.5 pounds (shipping weight)||4.1/5||$
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|Ivation IVA-9175L ||12.5 x 12 x 32 inches||25 pounds||4.0/5||$$$
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|SIMPSON Cleaning PS4240H||27 x 24 x 37 inches||141 pounds||3.8/5||$$$$$
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1. Sun Joe SPX3000 – Our Top Pick
The $100 to $150 price bracket is full of popular electric pressure washers. But, the SPX3000 trumps all the other options in terms of pricing, customer satisfaction, quality, brand value, and features. So, it’s not surprising that this is the best electric pressure washer on the market.
With an impressive 2030 psi at 1.76 GPM, this pressure washer delivers both power and speed. In addition to this, the 0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap Quick-Connect nozzles let you channel the power according to your specific needs, giving you absolute control over the cleaning process.
Another feature you will greatly appreciate is the 34-inch extension wand. The extension wand amplifies the range of the pressure washer, making it possible for you to clean even hard to reach locations. Plus, the 35-foot power cord and the 20-foot hose give you the freedom to move the equipment with minimal restrictions.
The SPX3000 has two detergent tanks. So, if you use multiple cleaning solutions, you can avoid emptying, cleaning, and drying the detergent tank each time you want to switch solutions. And, while you use the machine, the Total Stop System deactivates the pump when the trigger is off, thereby saving energy and extending the pump’s life.
On top of everything else, you get a two-year warranty for the product. So, the SPX3000 deserves the phenomenal popularity that it enjoys. The only area of concern is the garden hose adapter. Make sure you get the brass adapter, not the plastic one. If they send you the plastic one, you can exchange it for the metal adapter by contacting customer service.
- Affordable price
- Powerful and fast performance
- Excellent reach and range
- Durable construction and design
- Useful features and accessories
- Two-year warranty
- Plastic garden hose adapter defect
2. GreenWorks GPW1501 – Best For The Money
Priced 30 percent less than the SPX3000, the GreenWorks GPW1501 is a popular low-cost pressure washer. Generally speaking, there are two ways in which a company brings down a product’s cost. They tone down the performance or they tone down the quality. Very few budget-friendly products manage to find a happy compromise between performance and quality. The GPW1501 is one of them, making this pressure washer the best for the money.
The pressure washer exerts a maximum pressure of 1500 psi at 1.2 GPM. Given these ratings, this machine is best suited for residential purposes only. Even so, the pressure may not be enough to handle tough jobs, such as preparing a surface for painting, removing rust, or degreasing surfaces.
As for the accessories, you get a 25 nozzle and a 40 nozzle, along with an external soap applicator and wand. So, you get everything you need to get started right out of the box. But, if you want to extend the product’s functionality, you should buy the required accessories separately.
In summary, this pressure washer is best for people who do regular weekly cleaning. Frequent use reduces the amount of dirt accumulation, making it easier for this relatively low-powered pressure washer to handle the job.
- Good build quality
- 1-year warranty
- No special features
3. SIMPSON Cleaning PS4240H – Best For Commercial Use
While the majority of the products on our list cater to residential and light-commercial cleaning jobs, not addressing pressure washers in the commercial segment would leave this section incomplete. In this regard, the best gas-powered pressure washer for heavy-duty cleaning jobs has to be the Simpson range of industrial pressure washers.
The PS4240H is the most powerful pressure washer in this line-up. Courtesy of the Honda GX390 engine, this pressure washer produces 4200 psi at 4 GPM. Thus, its cleaning power is essentially 8 to 10 times that of residential pressure washers. For this reason, this is a tool for experts. In the hands of an inexperienced user, this machine is downright dangerous.
Since the pressure washer works under extremely high pressure and flow rate, all parts of the machine are designed and constructed to tolerate high stress. Also, the company provides excellent warranty coverage for all critical components.
As far as the accessories go, the PS4240H comes with five nozzles: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, and soap. It has a safety lock-out to prevent accidents due to unintentional use. Also, unlike other models on our list, which have wobble plate pumps, this washer has a triplex pump. The triplex pump adds a significant boost to performance and durability.
The same machine is also available in lower pressure and flow rate configurations. And, the price ranges from $400 to $900. So, if you’re shopping for a commercial grade pressure washer, consider buying a pressure washer from this range.
- Extremely high pressure
- Very high flow rate
- Excellent built quality
- Good purchase protection
- Very expensive
- Not suitable for inexperienced users
4. AR Blue Clean AR390SS – Worth Considering
In the process of selecting our top pick, we came across a couple of pressure washers that nearly made it to the top. The AR390SS is the first of these two products. So, what makes this product so great, and yet not great enough? Let’s find out.
With a maximum pressure rating of 2000 psi, this pressure washer measures up in terms of power. However, the maximum flow rate is 1.4 GMP. This brings down the overall performance of the machine. Although, it’s as powerful as the SPX3000, it’s not as fast as our top pick.
Also, the AR390SS does not offer a full selection of Quick Connect nozzles. This product comes with a 0°, 25°, and soap nozzle. However, the AR does include a rotary nozzle. The rotary nozzle combines the cleaning power of a 0° nozzle with a greater coverage area. Although the rotary nozzle is a nice addition, the AR390SS isn’t quite as versatile as the SPX3000 is.
Lastly, this product is at the higher end of the price spectrum for residential pressure washers. And, the warranty is only for a year. For all the above reasons, the AR390SS missed the top spot, despite being a good pressure washer.
- High pressure
- Rotary nozzle included
- Good construction quality
- Does not include full range of nozzles
- Low flow rate
5. Ivation IVA-9175L – Worth Considering
The second product that I would describe as good, but not the best, is the Ivation IVA-9175L. Well, this product offers a full complement of accessories, an impressive pressure rating, and an excellent flow rate. So, how come it’s not our top choice? Let me elaborate.
The IVA-9175L comes with five Quick Connect nozzles: 0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap. And, you get a turbo wand too. This pressure washer produces a maximum of 2200 psi at a flow rate of 1.8 GPM. So, this machine is powerful and fast.
Well, so far so good. But, the IVA-9175L does have a few problems. First, the product costs more than our top choice. Secondly, this product offers only a disappointing one-year warranty.
Although the performance parameters of this product are impressive, the IVA-9175L didn’t make it to the top because of the reasons I mentioned. However, many customers have given this product extremely good ratings on Amazon. Although the ratings don’t come close to the SPX3000’s ratings, it does beat almost all other products. So, considering the power, speed, and social proof, this product deserves an honorable mention.
- High pressure
- High flow rate
- Full range of nozzles
- Turbo wand included
- One-year warranty
- Weak brand
Factors To Consider When Buying a Pressure Washer
In this part of the comprehensive guide, we will discuss how to align your personal requirements with the correct product specifications. For instance, if you’re a home user, is a 1500 psi and 1.2 GPM pressure washer enough? Well, it’s hard to tell unless you understand the practical significance of these numbers. But, don’t worry – every aspect associated with buying a pressure washer will become crystal clear by the time you finish this section. So, if you’re ready, let’s get going.
What are the benefits of a pressure washer? Do I really need one?
The pressure washer is one of the best tools to maintain your outdoor environment. If you’ve struggled with cleaning places such as wooden decks, cement driveways, concrete patios, fences, sidings, and curbs, you’ll appreciate the efficiency of a power washer.
A pressure washer uses an electric or gas pump to compress water and shoot it through a nozzle. The high-pressure water exiting the nozzle hits dirty surfaces with incredible force. The force dislodges the dirt and the water washes it away. Consequently, you get a dirt-free surface in a quick, effortless, and environmentally friendly way.
So, if you’re looking to enhance the external appeal of your property, buy a pressure washer. But, before we discuss the factors that lead to a sound purchase decision, I would like to briefly go over the two types of pressure washers.
Should I buy a gas pressure washer or an electric pressure washer?
Although the two types of pressure washer operate on the same fundamental principle, they differ in power, speed, mobility, uptime, cost, maintenance, and safety. With these parameters in mind, here’s a quick comparison between the two types:
- Power: Companies express the power of their pressure washer in psi or pounds per square inch. The higher the psi, the greater the cleaning power of the pressure washer. In general, gas-powered pressure washers operate at a much higher psi than electric pressure washers.
- Speed: To understand the speed of a pressure washer, you must look at the flow rate. The flow rate, expressed in gallons per minute or GPM, indicates the amount of water exiting the nozzle in a given period. The higher the GPM, the greater the speed at which the pressure washer operates. Again, gas-powered pressure washers offer a higher GPM than electric pressure washers.
- Mobility: An electric pressure washer needs a constant supply of electricity to operate. Therefore, it has a limited range. Gas-powered pressure washers, however, have a built-in power source. So, they have unlimited range.
- Uptime: Uptime determines the duration for which you can use the pressure washer continuously. Electric pressure washers have unlimited uptime. However, a gas-powered unit will stall when its fuel tank becomes empty.
- Cost: Electric pressure washers are meant for residential and light-commercial use. Therefore, they are more economical than gas-powered pressure washers, which are mainly used for commercial purposes.
- Maintenance: An electric pressure washer is easier to maintain than a gas-powered pressure washer because electric motors have less moving parts than gas engines.
- Safety: Water is an excellent conductor of electricity. Thus, you must be extra cautious while using an electric pressure washer. But, as long as you follow all the safety instructions, you’ll remain safe. The gas-powered pressure washer, however, does not pose the threat of electrocution.
Now that you know how the two types differ, you can easily choose the right type for you. But, no matter what type of pressure washer you pick, you should make sure they uphold good performance and quality standards. So, let’s look at these factors next.
What are the important factors I must consider before buying a pressure washer?
For residential use, the best electric pressure washers fall in the $100 to $150 range and the best gas-powered pressure washers cost between $350 to $400. So, with the home user in mind, let’s see the identifying characteristics of good products in this price range.
- Pressure Rating: The pressure rating, expressed in psi, indicates the cleaning power of a machine. For residential users, 1800 psi to 2200 psi is enough. Companies advertise the maximum psi. During operation, the pressure may fall to between 60 and 80 percent of the maximum pressure.
- Flow Rate: The flow rate, expressed in GPM, indicates the speed at which the pressure washer cleans the surface. A flow rate of 1.5 to 2 GPM is adequate for home users. Again, be aware that manufacturers display the maximum flow rate. So, the flow rate during operation will be less than the advertised value.
- Nozzle Types: The nozzles add versatility to the pressure washer. By increasing the spray angle, you can adjust the pressure and coverage area. For example, the zero° nozzle concentrates the flow into a thin and powerful stream. But, the 40° nozzle spreads the flow into a wide and moderately powerful stream. When you buy a pressure washer, make sure you get the required nozzles.
- Hose Length: The length of the hose determines the range of the pressure washer. For electric pressure washers, the length of the power cord is an added limitation on the range. I recommend that you experiment with a regular garden hose to determine the length appropriate for your use.
- Detergent Dispenser: Built-in detergent dispenser tanks allow you to spray a mix of water and detergent on the dirty surface. This is a useful feature to have when cleaning oily and greasy surfaces.
- Extension Wand: If you live in a two-storey building, you may need an extension wand to clean high surfaces. If this is the case, check whether the pressure washer has a compatible telescopic extension wand.
- Service: To keep your pressure washer in top condition, you must get it serviced periodically. But, this becomes inconvenient if you buy pressure washers that don’t have service station near you. So, while you’re shortlisting products, give priority to brands that have an authorized service center near you.
- Warranty: Most of the pressure washers on the market come with a one-year warranty. However, some brands offer a two-year warranty. But, I have not seen any company offering more than a two-year warranty.
Using these factors as the basis for your comparison, you can whittle the list of pressure washers to a manageable number and then select the product that best addresses your needs.
Awesome! Do you have any product recommendations for me?
Since this article addresses a wide audience, we’ve included the top products for different customer profiles. So, our list would be the first place to start. You will most likely find what you’re looking for there. But, if you want more options, you can use the information in this section to conduct your own research. Be sure to check the full line of products from Snow Joe, GreenWorks, Ivation, Arksen, and Karcher.
After compiling our list of the best pressure washers of 2017 and from studying our informational section, it is clear that the first decision you must make is choosing between a gas-powered pressure washer and an electric power washer. If you’re interested in buying a gas-powered pressure washer, one of the machines from the Simpson range is the best option.
If you’re going for an electric power washer, you should choose one of three options: the Sun Joe SPX3000 for overall performance, the GreenWorks GPW1501 for economy, and the Ivation IVA-9175L for power and speed. Alternatively, you can explore options beyond the ones suggested in this article. The information in the second part will help you do so.
The pressure washer is not a newly invented piece of equipment. They’ve been around in commercial circles for many decades. But, the rise of the DIY culture has prompted companies to produce residential versions that do everything a regular user would need. That’s one of the main reasons for the huge variety of products on the market.
If you’re not careful, you may end up making the wrong investment because of the staggering number of choices. But, if you know all the facts and understand the principles, you can make the right purchase decision with confidence. The purpose of this guide was to bring to light these facts and principles. And, I hope we have succeeded in doing so and helped you find the right pressure washer for your needs!