As the days get warmer and brighter, it’s time to venture outside again after a long winter hibernation. All that rain and cold weather have played havoc with your outdoor space, and it doesn’t look its best. Your yard is going to need some attention, especially as weeds and water stains aren’t going to shift themselves from your paths and driveway.

Pressure washers are effective at shifting ground in dirt and stains that often collect during the rainy season, and you’d be amazed at how refreshed your driveway will look. In this article we review four pressure washers to see if they are as good as the manufacturers claim to help you decide which one is right for you.

  • Five QuickConnect spray tips
  • 1,800-watt motor
  • 2,030 PSI at 1.76 GPM
  • Dual detergent tanks
  • 2-year warranty

  • 1,500 PSI at 1.2 GPM
  • Soap applicator
  • 35 ft power cord
  • 20 ft pressure hose
  • 1-year warranty

  • Five quick connect nozzle tips
  • 10” pneumatic wheels
  • Powered by a Honda GC190 engine
  • 3,200 PSI at 2.5 GPM
  • 1-year pump warranty + 2-year engine warranty

  • 2,000 PSI at 1.4 GPM
  • 25 ft pressure hose
  • Patented water-cooled induction motor
  • Detergent tank
  • 2-year limited warranty


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Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure Washer

This pressure washer is by far the biggest seller on Amazon, and for that reason it makes it onto our list and is worthy of our scrutiny. It has an 1800-watt motor that generates 2,030 PSI at a rate of 1.76 gallons per minute, so even the most stubborn surfaces will sparkle. It comes equipped with a Total Stop System (TSS) so that when you release the trigger, the unit shuts down to save you energy.

It also has five QuickConnect spray tips that range from zero degrees to 40 degrees, and it is equipped with two 0.9 liter detergent bottles to ensure that you get the right mix of cleaning solution. The Sun Joe also comes with an array of accessories that include a 34-inch extension wand and a needle for cleaning out the interchangeable spray nozzles.

On the downside, many report that the hose attachment doesn’t fit standard hoses, and when you do find one that fits, it leaks like a sieve. In addition, many question the quality of the materials used in construction.

Pros

  • Great purchase price
  • 2,030 PSI
  • 1.76 GPM
  • Dual detergent tanks

Cons

  • Hose connector isn’t standard size
  • Leaks like sieve
  • Build quality issues


While this Greenworks pressure washer lacks the power of the Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure Washer, it still produces 1,500 PSI at a rate of 1.2 gallons per minute so should always cope with removing the most stubborn of marks quickly. At such a low price point, this Greenworks pressure washer had to be crowned our Budget Pick, especially as it retails for less than half the price of some pressure washers on the list.

It has a 35-foot power cord, that fits all outside power sources, and a 20-foot hose with a twist on universal connector. This unit can be used horizontally or vertically, making it versatile, and because it has an attachable soap applicator, you can be sure that those muddy car wheels will be gleaming in no time.

Overall, this pressure washer is lightweight, weighing in at 17 lbs, which means that it is maneuverable and won’t put undue strain on your back. On the downside, though, because the price is so low, the manufacturer has used the cheapest materials possible. Furthermore, some have complained that it leaks.

Pros

  • Very cheap to buy
  • 1,500 PSI
  • 1.2 GPM
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Build quality issues
  • Prone to leaking

This Simpson model is the first gasoline pressure washer to make the review. Because you don’t need to plug it in, it is a go-anywhere machine, so using it remotely is an option. This makes it the ideal pressure washer to buy if you have a boat or trailer that you keep away from the house.

This pressure washer is powered by a Honda GC190 engine that comes with a 2-year warranty, and it generates a massive 3,200 PSI at a rate of 2.5 gallons per minute. If you are looking for the ultimate power washer, this could be the one.

This Simpson model sits in a robust steel frame that has two 10’ pneumatic tires to make it maneuverable, and it also has five nozzle attachments ranging from zero to 40 degrees.

The 25-foot MoreFlex hose is kink and abrasion-free and comes with an M22 connector, and should you wish to add detergent; there is a soap nozzle that allows you to dispense cleaning agents.

This model is far heavier than other pressure washers featured, weighing in at 55 lbs, but its large wheels make it easier to maneuver. It isn’t going to be the quietest pressure washer you’ve ever used, though, and there is the added cost of gasoline to factor into your budget. In addition, the washer vibrates so much when operated that it bounces along the driveway, leaving rubber marks in its wake.

Pros

  • Go-anywhere pressure washer
  • Powerful PSI
  • 2.5 gallons per minute
  • Feels substantial and robust
  • Kink-free hose

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Needs gasoline
  • Vibrates violently

Karcher is a leading name in the pressure washer industry and produces some of the most universally loved products like this K5 model. It produces 2,000 PSI at a rate of 1.4 gallons per minute, and because the motor gets cooled by Karcher’s patented water cooled system, they claim that the lifespan will increase fivefold. Because it is a water cooled system, it reduces the noise levels of the motor and increases its energy efficiency.

It also benefits from a Vario Spray adjustable wand that allows you to get the desired jet of water without having to fiddle about with interchangeable nozzles. Plus, this Karcher model has an onboard detergent tank and an integrated hose reel for convenience and ease of storage. The model featured comes with two wands: the previously mentioned Vario Spray and the Dirtblaster wand, which tackles the most stubborn dirt in half the time of other similar washers in its class.

This pressure washer isn’t the cheapest option, retailing at over four times the costs of the Greenworks GPW1501 Pressure Washer, but with the added expense comes added quality. Karcher is confident that this pressure washer will last the distance, but should something go wrong, they have introduced the Rapid Exchange Program that bypasses the traditional warranty repair route and automatically ensures that you are sent a new model as long as the malfunction is within the 2-year warranty.

As a negative, Karcher has created connectors that only work with their accessories, and so you are entirely at the mercy of the company and their prices. Plus, the customer support is just not there, with many experiencing little or no after service when there was a malfunction.

Pros

  • Water cooled motor
  • Vario spray wand
  • 2,000 PSI
  • 1.4 GPM
  • Quieter than other pressure washers

Cons

  • Build quality issues
  • Karcher specific connectors
  • Poor customer support

Comparison Chart

Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure WasherGreenworks GPW1501 Pressure WasherSimpson MSH3125 Gas Pressure WasherKarcher K5 Pressure Washer
PSI2,0301,5003,2002,000
GPM1.761.22.51.4
Weight (lbs)3116.555532
Dimensions15.6 x 13.5 x 33.911.4 x 17.1 x 9.434.8 x 21 x 23.334.3 x 13.1 x 16.8
Hose length20 ft20 ft25 ft25 ft
Nozzle attachments525Vario Spray wand
Watts 1,8001,560N/A1,560
Price$$$$$$$$$
Warranty2-year1-year1-year pump + 2-year engine2-year limited

Buyer’s Guide:

Pressure Washers

Pressure washers can be handy to have for the dirtiest of cleaning jobs. If you own a car, for instance, the cheapest and most efficient way to get rid of the dirt and grime is to use a pressure washer. You can also use it to keep your patio, driveway, and paths free of that slippery green fungus to prolong their life and transform the curb appeal of your home. If you are the outdoors type, a pressure washer is one way to keep your equipment free from mud, especially if you like going off-road. Finally, if you run a business like construction or landscaping, you are going to benefit from a pressure washer to keep your tools and machinery in peak condition.

Gallons per minute (GPM), or flow rate as it’s sometimes known, is the measurement of how many gallons of water flow out of your pressure washer every minute. This is a good gauge of the power of your pressure washer. Essentially, the higher the GPM, the more water gets delivered to the pressure washer head and the better the strength.

PSI, or pounds per square inch, is a measurement of one pound of force applied to an area of one-square-inch. The higher the PSI on a pressure washer, the more powerful the jet of water and the better it is at performing its tasks.

In truth, most pressure washers are pretty loud. To put it in perspective, a pin dropping is roughly 10 dB, while a conversation is 60 dB, and an electric pressure washer runs at around 85 dB. If you are thinking of buying a gas-powered model, then you can expect your pressure washer to run at 100 dB, because you have to take into account the sound of the petrol engine too. Given that they are noisier than vacuum cleaners don’t expect your neighbors to thank you if you decide to wash the car first thing on a Sunday morning.

Whether you own a pressure washer already and are looking to upgrade, or you are taking your first steps into the pressure washing world, there are advantages and disadvantages to owning one.

Pros

  • Efficient – For the fastest way to get results, a pressure washer is hard to beat
  • Removes tough stains – Nothing removes ground in dirt like a pressure washer
  • Multiple uses – Use it on boats, cars, bicycles, motorbikes, patios, and driveways

Cons

  • Noisy – There is nothing quiet about pressure washers. The will disturb the neighbors
  • Storage – With long hoses, they can be hard to store away
  • Cost – Some pressure washers will set you back hundreds of dollars
Pressure washers

Pros

  • Efficient way to clean
  • Highly effective at shifting dirt
  • Multiple uses

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Hard to store away
  • Expensive

  • How do you winterize a pressure washer?
  • The best solution would be to store it inside where the temperature never drops below zero, but if that isn’t possible, you should make sure that the pressure washer gets drained of all water. Disconnect the inlet and outlet hose and briefly run the pump to extract any excess water, and then stretch out the high-pressure hose to its full length and allow the water to drain away. You can squeeze the valve if that helps to remove the water.

  • Can I use any detergent in my pressure washer soap tank?
  • Check the manufacturer’s handbook to see which detergent they recommend. Most makers insist that you use a dedicated pressure washer detergent rather than bleach or dish soap, and it would be a good idea to follow those guidelines, especially if you want to preserve the warranty period.

Final Thoughts

Outdoor cleaning tasks are not for the faint-hearted, especially when you are dealing with grime and mildew from a season of bad weather. Plus, keeping your car clean can be an expensive exercise, so investing in a pressure washer could be the most cost-effective way.

And think of the satisfaction it gives; nothing quite compares to seeing dirt lift off in front of your eyes as you make a visible improvement. If money were no object, the Karcher K5 Pressure Washer would be high on our shopping list, but our HowToHome Pick has to be the Sun Joe SPX3001 Pressure Washer. It offers a powerful 2,000 PSI, delivers 1.76 gallons per minute, and all at a great price.

For those with a keen eye on the purse strings, then look no further than the Greenworks GPW1501 Pressure Washer for the best value for money. It has a lower PSI than the others, but it costs far less and will still get the job done. Whichever pressure washer you choose, remember that getting those spring chores done sooner rather than later means that you can relax and enjoy that refreshed patio for an entire season without having to fret.

Further Reading