Compbrella Guide for Choosing the Best Electric Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are great tools for outdoor cleaning projects. They can strip paint and grime off of even the dingiest surfaces. There are many options on the market, particularly between electric and gas brands, but this review will focus on electric power washers.
What is an electric pressure washer?
Pressure washers work by taking compressing water, either with a gas or electric motor, and shooting it out of a nozzle at high pressure. The pressurized water is powerful enough to strip paint and most residue that has built up over time and use. Gas-powered washers tend to be more powerful and mobile than electric washers, but electric ones are more suited for your average home user. They cost less and run quieter than gas models, start with a flip of a switch instead of a crank, and weigh less and are easier to store than gas models. They may be a little less powerful but they’re perfect for jobs like cleaning patio furniture, grills and stripping paint.
What features to look for when buying an electric pressure washer?
There are a few consideration when purchasing a pressure washer:
- Cleaning power is measured in PSI (pounds per square inch) and GPM (gallons per minute). PSI measures how powerful the water coming out of the nozzle is. This will help you determine how strong the stream will be. GPM measures the volume of water you use. This will help you determine how fast the washer will clean and strip away debris. For home use, we recommend an electric model with 1300-1800 PSI and up to 1.5 GPM. This is ideal for home use like car washing, mildew removal, and shutter cleaning.
- Duty rates are another way pressure washers are measured. They go from light-duty to heavy-duty, with light-duty being the most appropriate for home use. If you’re looking for something a bit more powerful but still useful at home, you can go up to medium-duty, but be aware that these are usually gas-powered so they’re more expensive and require more maintenance.
- Cold vs hot water is another feature to be on the lookout for. Cold water is the most common for home use and less expensive than hot water pressure washers. Hot water is more important for industrial use, so if you have a farm or industrial space you may consider it, but for the rest of us, cold water pressure washers are the ideal.
How can you work safely with an electric pressure washer?
Pressure washers are not toys! Just like a power saw or nail gun, they are tools that should be used properly or you may risk serious injury. Pressurized water is powerful enough to strip even the toughest grime off surfaces, so a few tips:
- Never point at someone! The human body is a lot less durable than that metal pipe that you’re stripping. Pointing the pressure nozzle at flesh can cause serious lacerations and even slice off a finger.
- Anchor yourself! Remember Newton’s third law from high school science? Probably not, but just remind yourself: for every action, there is an equal reaction. That means the kickback on a pressure washer is equal to the power of the water surging out. So make sure you’re standing firm to control the force of nozzle otherwise you may just fall back and injure yourself (for example, if you’re using the pressure washer on top of a ladder, you should probably tie yourself down to avoid injury).
- Wear safety equipment! It’s easy to hurt yourself so be prepared. Gloves and boots to protect your skin; ear protectors for your hearing (those engines can get pretty loud); goggles to make sure you don’t poke your eye out from flying debris or pressurized water from a badly aimed nozzle.
Compbrella Pick for Top 3 Electric Pressure Washer
- Best overall: Sun Joe SPX3000, Powerful, versatile and easy to use, the Sun Joe SPX3000 is strong enough to take on a variety of jobs while still being lightweight and easy to store.
- Best design: AR Blue Clean AR2N1, Easy to use and truly mobile, this pressure washer is smart enough to come with a range of quick-change nozzles to make sure that you’re always ready for the task at hand.
- Best value: Greenworks 1700, Affordable and powerful, the Greenworks power washer will blast through any grime you put in front of it while still being one of the quietest pressure washers on the market.
Why you should trust us
Compbrella was founded by a group of entrepreneurs with over twenty years of experience working in retail, electronics, and e-commerce. Over the years, we have spent endless hours writing and revising consumer guides, interviewing customers about the products they enjoyed using and talking to an untold number of technicians about why some products fail and others don’t. We draw from our own experiences about what products a household needs and what we use in our everyday lives. If we’re reviewing a product, it means we one of us has it in their home and thinks it, or a different version would be a great addition to your homes. We stand by our recommendations because we make them to each other first.