Pressure Washer Reviews 2013
Here you’ll learn which are the best gas and electric pressure washers for general use around the home, farm, garage and job-site. All you need to do is choose the list below that most aligns with your buying criteria:
Featured Pressure Washer Reviews, Guides
|The Best Pressure Washers||Power Washer Comparison|
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|Best Light-duty||Best Medium-duty||Best Heavy-duty|
|- Less than 1700 PSI|
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|- 1700 to 2800 PSI|
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|- 2800 PSI and up|
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Pressure Washer Features That Matter
A pressure washer is a piece of mechanical equipment that pressurises water to remove grease, grime and dirt from surfaces.
- The engine in the power washer powers the pump.
- The pump speeds up and pushes the water through the hose and nozzle.
- The nozzle further speeds up and shapes the water into a forceful jet stream.
- The stream has enough force to separate the grease, grime and dirt from the surface you’re pressure washing.
Here’s the basic rundown of features in a pressure cleaner:
- Engine – You can decide to get a gasoline or electric powered engine. It’s best to choose your pressure washer based on the PSI rather than looking at the power specs of the actual engine. However, if you buy gasoline make sure it has low oil pressure alarm / shutoff protection.
- Pump - Like PSI for the engine, pick your cleaner based on GPM provided by the pump rather than the details of the pump. Also, a feature of some pumps is the ability to siphon up still water – like from a rainwater collection sump. So if you want that make sure it’s specified in the features.
- Nozzle – You can get different types of nozzles that are best for different jobs. Usually the nozzles are specified as angles or degrees. The bigger the angle the wider the sheet of water it sprays. So a 0 degree nozzle will just shoot a straight, direct flow of water at the target. A 45 degree angle will spray a wide sheet of water and thus cover a wider area (but at the cost of less pressure).
- Hot / Cold Water (or both) - All pressure washers that I’ve seen take an input of water up to 40 degrees Celsius. But most of us will be giving the washer room temperature water. Some heat up the water you give it to 70 degrees C. Hot water will clean the surface faster just like it does in your dishwasher. If you’re buying one to remove frost from surfaces then of course you’ll be on the lookout for this feature.
Terms You Need to Know:
- PSI (pounds per square inch): This is force the water hits the surface with. The higher the PSI, the more stubborn stains, surface grime, dirt you can remove.
- GPM (gallons per minute): This is the amount of water that flows from the nozzle per minute. The higher the GPM, the bigger a job you can complete for a given PSI.
- CP (cleaning power): CP is PSI x GPM. It is a value that is representative of the “cleaning power” of the pressure cleaner. The higher the PSI and GPM means the CP is higher and thus you can clean more. And more dirty jobs too.
Types & Uses of Pressure Washers
The best way to pick your power washer is to know beforehand how you will use it. The bigger the jobs – the more powerful a unit you’ll need. In general, the least powerful and least expensive gasoline powered pressure washers are about the same power and cost as the most powerful and most expensive electric units. Here’s a list of the best pressure washers available.
A small job would be your bike, car or boat. A medium job would be a deck, fence or walking pathway. Larger, dirtier jobs like your driveway, house siding or maybe farmhouse or stable require more powerful power washers.
Instead of choosing gasoline or electric – choose the size of unit you want. Do this simply because you can’t get electric pressure washers at 4000 PSI and 4 GPM like you can gasoline powered ones (You can but they’re very expensive – see this example for $5500).
- Gasoline Power - More powerful. More expensive. Noisier.
- Electric Power – Less powerful. Less expensive. More compact. Quiet.
There’s quite a few different sizes of units so I made a comparison database here. But in summary the sizes come in 3 categories (with a bit of variation for gas and electric washers):
- Small Jobs/Light-duty (up to 1700 psi): This is the car, boat and barbecue surface jobs. Higher pressures may damage the surfaces.
- Medium Jobs/Medium-duty (1700psi to 2800 psi): Here we’re looking at fences, sidewalks and driveways.
- Bigger Jobs/Heavy-duty (2800 psi and up): These bigger jobs are sped up with more powerful units. Things like barns, stables, house siding and badly stained driveways and garages.
Overall Benefits of Power Washing
Let’s say you’re still cleaning your car by hand – with a sponge, bucket of soap and garden hose. How long does it take? 30 minutes for a decent clean? Well, imagine next time you have a pressure washer. It’ll take 5 minutes. And be cleaner.
You wheel it out into the driveway after you plug it in inside your garage. And this pressure washer has car-safe detergent injection after the pump. You turn it on and squeeze the nozzle to start the flow. Because it’s 50x + the pressure of a garden hose – all the dirt and dust just melts away with ease and little effort on your part. All you have to do is get to each curve and crevasse and you’re done.
I’ve noticed people in my area pushing dirt and pebbles from their driveway with a garden hose and their fingers shaping the water flow to speed up the garden hose water.
Have you seen people do this?
Yeah, with a power washer this act is effortless. And at the same time you’re actually cleaning deep into your driveway surface – removing dirt and grime, and making your driveway look brand new again. Imagine the look on your neighbours face. They’ll be asking for the number of the contractor that put your new driveway in
A pressure cleaner is probably most useful for bigger jobs that are too labour intensive. Think: house siding, barns, stables and oil stained garages.
Let’s look at the house siding example.
Would you rather spend $200 – $300 for a medium size power cleaner and 3 hours on a Saturday doing the cleaning. Or, $30 – $50 on cleaning product, a long handle brush and strong sponge mop (assuming you own a ladder to get to the hard to reach spots) and the whole weekend doing the cleaning. Which one would you choose?
Personally I’d go with the pressure washer option. And not only would it be easier, but like we just talked about – faster and a deeper clean.
Because the nozzle on a cleaner speeds up the water so much that water has a huge force to remove dirt from surfaces… you end up using less water than a garden hose and hand clean because you’re using that water more efficiently.
Have Pressure Washing Questions?
I hope the above pressure washer reviews helped you find your pressure washer fast. If you’re still looking around for answers to some questions you have, cool. I’d love hear what info you’re after – I’ll even join in and try to find you the answer. I’m on Facebook here.
Look forward to hearing from you. Cheers, Jamey