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Electric pressure washers vs. gas pressure washers

Should you get an electric or gas pressure washer? 

Pressure washers offer convenience and efficiency for all types of clean tasks such as cleaning the driveway, car, or home exterior. They can remove mold, grime, mud, loose paint, road debris, mildew, algae and more. There are different types and brands of pressure washers available. The two major types of pressure washers are electric or pressure washers. With an electric pressure washer, you get an easy-to-use tool with decent power and a quiet operation. With a gas pressure washer, you get more power but they can be heavy and expensive.

Electric pressure washers

As the name suggests, Electric pressure washers use an electric motor to power a water pump which forces high-pressure water through a nozzle. To spray the water, the user has to squeeze the trigger. Most electric pressure washers are going to offer between 1000-2000 pounds per square inch (psi) of pressure. This is enough pressure for most household cleaning tasks. The weight of an electric pressure washer is going to be between 20-45 pounds, making them relatively light. Some models of electric pressure washers come with an adjustable or replaceable nozzle so users can change the spray angle. The price range for a good quality electric pressure washer is around $130-$250.

Electric pressure washer pros

  • Electric pressure washers are easy to use. Just attach a water supply and plug into the socket, and they are ready to be used. They also need zero maintenance, unlike gas pressure washers.
  • The lower pressure of electric pressure washers means they can be safely used to clean any surface that requires a more delicate job such as cleaning a car.
  • The lightweight electric pressure washers make them more portable and easy to store.

Electric pressure washer cons

  • The lower cleaning power means that electric washers might not be enough for tougher cleaning tasks.
  • The cabled version of the electric pressure washers offers a limited range. An extension cord can be used but longer cables can be dangerous. 

Best electric pressure washers

Karcher K5 premium electric washer

Offering 2000 pounds per square inch (psi) and 1.4 gallons per minute flow, the Karcher K5 is one of the best electric pressure washers on the market. This product comes with two variable speed wands for heavy-duty and lighter cleaning tasks.

Sold by Amazon

Ryobi pressure washer

With its unbeatable price and compact design, the Ryobi pressure washer offers the best bang for the buck. The smaller size of this washer offers great portability and it can even be stored in the car. The 1600 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure is strong enough to clean most types of grime.

Sold by Home Depot

Gas pressure washers

Powered by a gasoline engine, gas pressure washers are big and heavy, making them less portable, but they offer extra high pressure for stubborn spots that seem impossible to clean. They can also be noisy, although modern motors are becoming increasingly quieter. The options for nozzles on a gas pressure washer are similar to those found on electric pressure washers. Most types of gas pressure washers are fitted on a sturdy frame with large wheels. You can expect to pay between $300-$1000 for a good quality gas pressure washer.

Gas pressure washer pros

  • The extra cleaning power of gas pressure makes it ideal to clean stubborn spots. 
  • As gas is less expensive than electricity, gas pressure washers are cheaper to use.

Gas pressure washer cons

  • The extra power of the gas pressure washer comes at a significantly higher price compared to electric versions.
  • The gasoline engine requires regular maintenance for optimum efficiency and performance of the pressure washer. 
  • The bigger size and heavier weight mean there is limited portability with gas pressure washers.

Best gas pressure washers

Champion power equipment gas pressure washer

This gas pressure washer offers an impressive 3200 pounds per square inch of water pressure. It comes with five nozzles and a quick-connect wand. This product is heavy but comes with large wheels for easy maneuverability.

Sold by Amazon

Simpson CM60912 gas pressure washer

This inexpensive gas pressure washer by Simpson offers 2400 pounds per square inch (psi) pressure. It comes with three nozzles including a 25-foot high-pressure nozzle.

Sold by Amazon

Should you get an electric or gas pressure washer?

Choosing between an electric or gas pressure washer will depend on the application. If you plan on using the washer to clean your car or driveway, then an electric pressure washer will offer enough power. If you plan on using the washer for heavy-duty use such as getting rid of stubborn spots then a gas pressure washer is worth the extra price and limited portability.


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Ali Azhar writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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