A stained car, a dirty facade, or a worn swimming pool are some of the situations encountered daily by many people. Cleaning these surfaces usually requires a lot of effort and time on your part in order to obtain a flawless result. To remedy this problem, the pressure washer can be your miracle solution.
Thanks to intense water pressurization, these machines are able to tackle any dirt in record time and without the slightest effort. Find out everything you need to know about pressure washers to find the model that’s right for your needs.
How does a pressure washer work?
A pressure washer is a cleaning machine that propels water at very high pressure using an electric or gasoline engine. The projected water makes it possible to overcome stubborn dirt that can be found on many surfaces (cars, walls, terraces, swimming pools, etc.).
What can be cleaned with a pressure washer?
Pressure washers are very useful accessories that allow you to clean many things.
Here are some examples of tasks you can perform with a pressure washer:
- Wash a car, bicycle, tractor, or any type of means of transport with encrusted dirt,
- Clean your patio
- Wash the facades of your house,
- Clean your swimming pool basin,
- Wash your garden furniture,
- Wash your exterior joinery,
However, it is recommended to be very careful when washing windows, especially if they are old. The water pressure may be too strong and may break the glass. We advise you to start with very low pressure for cleaning windows or other fragile objects.
What are the best pressure washer’s Consumer Reports?
We have selected for you five of the best pressure washers available in 2022. Whether you are more interested in an electric model or a gasoline model, you will certainly find the cleaner that will meet all your expectations.
This SPX3000 electric pressure washer from the famous brand Sun Joe combines performance and versatility at a particularly affordable cost. You can get rid of all the dirt-encrusted on your car, your terrace, or the facades of your house in no time.
Featuring a powerful 1800 watt motor, this machine is capable of generating water pressure of up to 2030 PSI. The washer also has a double tank (2 x 0.9 liters) allowing you to store two types of cleaning products separately.
Using a simple dial, you can select the cleaning product of your choice depending on the task at hand. The length of the hose is 34 inches in order to offer you a very large freedom of movement and to allow you to reach more difficult places.
You receive five-colored nozzles to adjust the jet output pressure to suit your needs. The pump stops automatically when you do not press the gun trigger. The device is equipped with wheels and is very light, which greatly facilitates your movements.
- Excellent value
- Relatively quiet washer
- Double tank for cleaning products
- Robust construction
- Not suitable for very heavy cleaning tasks
This Westinghouse WPX3200 gas pressure washer is incredibly powerful with up to 3200 PSI of pressure. It is very suitable for intensive use and heavy cleaning work, thanks to its 212 ccs 4-stroke engine and generous 3.8-liter fuel tank.
In just a few minutes, you can tackle any type of dirt. The WPX3200 is relatively heavy, but it has wheels and a large lance offering surprising maneuverability given the size of the device. A 2.5-liter detergent tank is integrated. You receive a kit with five colored nozzles to adjust the pressure to your liking.
- Very powerful machine (3200 PSI)
- Easy to maneuver
- 3.8-liter fuel tank
- Excellent durability
- Noisy washer
The Simpson 60972 Gas Pressure Washer is powerful, compact, and surprisingly light compared to most gas models available on the market. With a 149 cc engine, it is capable of delivering a pressure of 2400 PSI. This allows you to perform almost any household cleaning task effortlessly.
The frame of the 60972 is foldable for space-saving and easy storage. It is also equipped with wheels to facilitate transport. You receive three nozzles (0°, 25°, nozzle for applying detergent) to adjust the water pressure.
- Compact and lightweight cleaner
- Very good power
- Solid construction
- Good value for money
- Unergonomic gun
The Wholesun Electric Pressure Washer features a powerful 1600 watt motor capable of generating pressure up to 3000 PSI. All the essential elements of a good electric pressure washer are gathered on this device: transport wheels, four nozzles to control the pressure, and a hose reel to avoid knots. In addition to the classic accessories such as nozzles or a lance, you also receive a brush nozzle.
In order to save you from wasting water and using the washer pump unnecessarily, Wholesun has equipped the device with the automatic start/stop function. The power cord is 8.5m long and the high-pressure hose 6m. This gives you more than enough freedom of movement to work efficiently.
- Powerful for an electric model
- Ergonomic gun
- The pipe is long
- Light and compact
- Rigid hose and rolls up easily
- Lots of plastic
- No detergent tank
If you’re looking for a pressure washer for occasional use and light cleaning tasks, the Sun Joe SPX1000 is an ideal choice. With its 1400 watt motor, it is capable of generating a pressure of 1450 PSI. Note that it will take you longer to overcome some dirt with a pressure lower than 2000 PSI.
The main advantage of this pressure washer is its unbeatable price. Its performance is also very good for light use. The pressure adjustment is done directly on the lance in a jiffy. You can easily switch from a concentrated 0-degree spray to a softer 45-degree spray. Light and compact, transporting the SPX1000 is very easy.
- Unbeatable price
- Light and compact
- Pressure adjustment directly on the lance
- Low power, although correct considering the price
- No auto start/stop function
- No detergent tank
The different types of pressure washers
There are two main types of pressure washers: electric models and gasoline models.
Electric pressure washers
Electric pressure washers offer powerful pressure that is very suitable for home use. In addition, they are generally compact, light, and less noisy than gasoline models. You have almost no maintenance to perform with an electric model. You only need to check the filter and make sure to clean the device from time to time.
The power of electric pressure washers, expressed in watts (W), determines their pressure as well as their flow rate. Note that this power is usually between 1000 and 1400 watts.
Gas pressure washers
Gas-powered pressure washers generally give you higher pressure, flow, and overall power. They have a large fuel tank allowing you to use them for long periods of time. In addition, they do not depend on a power supply to operate. You don’t have to worry about having an electrical outlet nearby or having to use an extension cord. The power of gasoline models is usually expressed in horsepower (1 HP = 0.736 W).
Some gas-powered pressure washers can run on hot water. This is very handy for performing more difficult cleaning tasks.
In return for these non-negligible advantages, gasoline pressure washers have engines that tend to consume a lot of oil and gasoline. In addition, you must carry out regular maintenance (changing the spark plugs, oil change, cleaning the filter, etc.). They are also heavier and noisier than electric models.
We recommend that you only buy a gas-powered model if you plan to use it intensively. Gas-powered pressure washers are usually used by professionals (construction, industry, community, gardening, etc.).
What are the characteristics to analyze to make your choice?
When you have to choose a pressure washer, we advise you to analyze and compare the elements explained below.
Pressure is very important because it lets you know what your pressure washer is capable of. The higher the pressure, the more effective the cleaning. You will find it much easier to remove stubborn dirt with high pressure.
Be careful that too much pressure is not suitable for all surfaces. You should choose a device that has multiple nozzles or pressure adjustment controls so that you can treat any surface safely. The pressure is expressed in PSI: pound/per square inch or pound per square inch in French.
The length of the pipe
The hose is an essential part that connects the main unit to the lance. You should definitely check the length of the hose so that it is suitable for all the jobs you plan to do with your pressure washer. Preferably opt for a cleaner with a hose of at least four meters.
The lances are attached to the gun and allow the flow of water to be controlled. Be aware that there are several types of lances with different lengths allowing access to more difficult places. Depending on the lance equipped, you can increase or decrease the pressure, without increasing your water consumption.
Pressure washers are either:
- equipped with a variable jet lance allowing you to adjust the water pressure in a jiffy,
- delivered with a set of several interchangeable nozzles to control the pressure.
Nozzles are generally classified by color as follows:
- red nozzle (0 degrees) which corresponds to the most powerful and concentrated setting,
- yellow nozzle (15 degrees) which is suitable for heavy cleaning work,
- green nozzle (25 degrees) for classic cleaning work,
- white nozzle (40 degrees) for cleaning a car, garden furniture, or surfaces that can easily be damaged,
- black nozzle (65 degrees) for cleaning very fragile surfaces or applying cleaning products.
Auto start/stop function
The automatic start/stop function is very useful for reducing your water consumption and preserving the washer pump. Models with this feature start the water flow when you press the gun trigger. Thus, when you stop pressing the trigger, the water flow is automatically cut off.
Most manufacturers include accessories with a pressure washers. We usually find:
- A detergent tank,
- car brush,
- A rotating brush,
Take the trouble to check the included accessories to be sure that you can perform the expected cleaning tasks.
Other Features to Consider
In addition to the essential characteristics explained above, we advise you to check the following points:
- Handles or wheels for transport,
- The possibility of using hot water,
- The duration of the warranty,
- The weight,
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