Top 8 Best Electric Pressure Washers
By | Last updated: June 5, 2020
best electric pressure washers

It’s totally not a filled-with-soap myth that a clean car runs better, right? Except for off-road rigs. They run best when caked with a thick layer of sticky mud and dirt.

But even the gnarliest 4×4 can do with a good spritz now and then. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few decades, pressure washers amplify the force of water delivered through a standard garden hose. An electric motor powers a pump which accelerates the water being delivered from said garden hose and pushes it into a long wand. Pulling the wand’s trigger introduces some air and creates a path through which the – now pressurized – water can flow.

It’s never a bad idea to test your pressure washer on an inconspicuous area of the surface you plan to clean before attacking the thing with vigor. This will ensure it doesn’t harm the surface you’re washing. A good pressure washer can strip away flaking paint from a rusting car, for example. And, as always, RTFM before turning the thing on.

1. Editor's Choice: Karcher K1700 Cube Electric Power Pressure Washer

Measuring just a foot tall and weighing 20 pounds, this cube is a great option for those who don’t have a lot of storage space yet still want to keep their ride spic and span. Rated at 1,700 psi, this bundle includes a trio of nozzles for varying levels of cleaning intensity.

Karcher receives its share of internet flack, thanks to the sheer number of products they sell, but your author has had no complaints with the pressure washers he’s used and owned from this brand over the years. Reviews for this particular unit are positive, so long as people keep their expectations in check and didn’t try to power wash an entire tractor-trailer in 52 seconds.

Pros/Good brand, convenient size
Cons/Complaints of hose length and quality (insert joke here)
Bottom Line/Manage your expectations

2. Ryobi 1600 PSI Electric Pressure Washer

Good for light-duty jobs, this pressure washer from Ryobi is suitable for occasional car washing duties and cleaning off the likes of patio furniture or bikes. Its dimensions are similar to the Karcher unit listed above. Note that it cranks out just 1,600 psi.

Despite this, plenty of customers report being pleased with its operation showing real-world pictures of them cleaning various household surfaces. Just don’t follow the lead of the person who used it to obliterate hornet nests, ok?

Pros/Convenient size
Cons/Smallish gallon-per-minute and psi output
Bottom Line/Great to have for a variety of jobs

3. Greenworks 1500 PSI Pressure Washer

An electric pressure washer for under a hundred bucks? Ok, then. As you might expect for that price, its *ahem* 25-foot hose isn’t very long but the 35-foot power cord makes up for some of that deficiency. It includes two cleaning nozzles that are listed at 25- and 40 degrees. In case you’re wondering, smaller-degree nozzles result in a more forceful clean.

Reviews and ratings are about what you’d expect for a budget machine, with some customers choosing to pair this pressure washer with wands or hoses from other sources. Compliments on the unit reveal it is light, compact, and simple to use.

Pros/That price
Cons/Cleaning nozzles aren't precision units
Bottom Line/Exceeded the expectations of many customers

4. Homdox 3000 PSI Pressure Washer

Here’s a pressure washer that features a more traditional upright design, complete with an axle of wheels to permit rolling the thing around during use. A series of interchangeable nozzles include 0º, 15º, 25º, and 40º. This is great for a ton of applications; just watch it with that zero degree nozzle. A dedicated soap nozzle is a rarity in this price bracket.

The seller says users can choose high- or low-pressure operation to wash various surfaces, which is an advantage over the all-or-nothing operation of other units. Its motor is more powerful as well, cranking up the wick to a very handy 3,000 psi of water pressure.

Pros/Great pressure, lots of nozzles, excellent ratings
Cons/Unknown brand
Bottom Line/Big power in a standard sized package

5. Stanley SHP2150 Electric Pressure Washer

This is the first power washer on our list that includes a high-pressure foamer. Commonly called a ‘foam cannon’ (which sounds like a lot more fun), these things are specially designed detergent bottles capable of getting out tough stuff loose or removing deep-down stains.

Its water connection points are advertised as being leakproof, an assertion your author would very much like to test. The hose is only 25 feet long but there are a quartet of nozzles and the aforementioned foam cannon/detergent tank. It’s rated as being able to deliver a maximum of 2,150 psi of water pressure.

Pros/Foam cannon included
Cons/Not overly compact
Bottom Line/Spray-n-go

6. Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

Despite bearing a mix-n-match brand name and deploying a wildly rounded-up number in its model name (3,000 doesn’t mean that much PSI in this instance), this machine is one of the most widely reviewed units of its type on Amazon, garnering over ten-thousand reviews for an aggregate 4.3/5 rating.

Maximum pressure is just north of 2000psi with a typical working load of about 500 psi south of that figure. Dual detergent tanks are a handy feature – twin 0.9 L onboard, removable tanks can carry and store different types of detergent to simultaneously tackle different cleaning projects. The ad says there are five different nozzles included but fails to mention their degree size.

Pros/Very popular, on board detergent tanks
Cons/What are those nozzle sizes?
Bottom Line/Read the reviews carefully

7. mrliance 3500PSI Electric Pressure Washer

Bereft of any and all capital letters in its brand name, this washer comes with several common attachments includes a handy reel with which to collect the pressure hose when you’re finished up the cleaning duties. Also on board are a scrub brush and four angle nozzles.

Fill the soap tank up with your detergent of choice to give this pressure washer a little extra cleaning power. Like most others on this list, it features a safety automatic total stop system that automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong pump life.

Pros/Good pressure rating, plenty of accessories
Cons/Slightly more expensive than comparable units
Bottom Line/That reel is real handy

8. Westinghouse ePX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

Your author will freely admit he thought the Westinghouse brand went out with the Reagan administration, at least insofar as making household appliances. It turns out that they, or at least the name, are still very much a going concern, with this pressure washer being but one of the products.

Sitting the thing on four casters instead of two wheels is a smart decision, permitting the user to move it around the driveway with less hassle. The hose is short but nylon braided, drawing praise for its ease of use compared to cheaper options. There is a soap tank onboard as well.

Pros/Positive feedback, better-than-average-hose
Cons/Price
Bottom Line/Retro in brand name only

From time to time, TTAC will highlight automotive products we think may be of interest to our community. Plus, posts like this help to keep the lights on around here. Learn more about how this works.

(Editor’s note: This post is meant to both help you be an informed shopper for automotive products but also to pay for our ‘90s sedan shopping habits operating expenses. Some of you don’t find these posts fun, but they help pay for Junkyard Finds, Rare Rides, Piston Slaps, and whatever else. Thanks for reading.)

[Main photo credit: Krasula / Shutterstock.com. Product images provided by the manufacturer.]

17 Comments on “Under Pressure: Best Electric Pressure Washers...”


  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    One has to be careful with a pressure washer. I’ve known people who have damaged paint on their vehicles. I’ve seen damage to bearing seals, bearings and brakes. I’ve even run across radiator damage and water blown into the exhaust system. Most of that has been with motorcycles but similar incidents can occur with cars.

    Avoid aiming directly at any sort of seal, exhaust outlet or directly at radiators.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      It seems like damage is most often from using the wrong nozzle or standing too close.

      There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube that go over best practices on pressure washers. It is a a good idea for people to check those out if they are first timers.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    When is Tesla coming out with a pressure washer in their implements line?

  • avatar
    Don Mynack

    How you not have the only electric one anybody owns, the 1750 PSI 1.3 GPM Corded Electric Pressure Washer from Portland sold only at Harbor Freight?

    https://www.harborfreight.com/1750-psi-13-gpm-corded-electric-pressure-washer-63254.html?_br_psugg_q=pressure+washer

    Bring your 20% off coupon and it’s like $75!

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      I like my Portland unit well enough. Since I retired last year I’ve been power washing myself silly, nearly everything outside (fence, driveway, house, gazebo, etc etc). Good unit and very reasonably priced. I just wish I could find an extension for it so I can get the upper story of the house….

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Our Greekworks just crapped out after about 10-years of once a year house washing. It has spent a few 7-hour days recently washing the driveway. But the freeze-thaw winters in the unattached garage cracked something internally and it wouldn’t hold pressure.

      I’ll have to check out the Portland as the FIL uses it now too.

  • avatar
    JMII

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Greenworks-1800-PSI-1-1-GPM-Cold-Water-Electric-Pressure-Washer/1000818624

    Its cheap enough, rolls nicely thru the grass to reach the back patio, has the soap dispenser and 3 nozzles. Only complaint is the hose wants to coil back up resulting in twists and tangles. The built in circuit breaker on the plug is brilliant, no more tripping the GFI in the garage and the cord is LONG. It runs for hours without overheating. Its powerful enough to clean the patio and blast thru brake dust and other track day crud but doesn’t harm the vehicles paint. It makes short work of cleaning the boat too. Uses way less water then washing with a garden hose as a bonus.

    I burned up one of cheap Karcher models, it was that taller style which I found tipped over often on my sloped drive. It would overheat and shut down constantly. Hated the darn thing. No such problems with the GreenWorks I linked above.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I have the Toro ICE-powered pressure washer from Lowe’s, which replaced two $100 electric units whose pumps burned up easily. The 1700 psi electrics were too weak for my 2nd-story house siding.

    ALWAYS run low-pressure water through the system BEFORE operating the pressure pump. Dry pumps have a lifespan of minutes.

    • 0 avatar
      bullnuke

      I bought one of those electric powered pressure washers at Lowes for around $100 and it crapped out after about 5 or 6 uses. My youngest son was Lowes employee at the time and when I mentioned it to him he wouldn’t stop laughing – he said that I got more use out of it than most who purchased electric power washers at Lowes.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Touche!

      Electric pressure washers are to ICE powered ones, what electric snowblowers are to ICE powered ones.

      You can get three phase ones which do manage to flow useful amounts of water at decent pressure for awhile before crapping out. But those are more expensive than even industrial grade, comparable ICE ones, and really only make sense where ICE engines for one reason or another cannot be used.

  • avatar
    kkop

    As a current Kaercher owner, I can only give one piece of advice: do NOT buy their consumer-grade pressure washers. They are absolute junk, and do not stand up to even occasional prolonged use (washing a deck, or our two trucks, for instance). It needed to be repaired within two years of acquiring it, and is now again on its way out. Add to that that the proprietary nature of some of their accessories, and I’ll never buy anything from Kaercher again.

    FYI: In a previous professional life I used commercial-grade Kaercher washers, and they were bomb-proof.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    For “real” pressure-washing jobs (siding, driveway, etc.) I paid good money for a Generac 3100psi ICE unit. I do *not* use this machine on vehicles (inconvenient and overkill, potentially too much pressure for paint and parts). [This replaced another ICE unit which had a Honda engine which was the single worst engine I’ve ever had on a piece of power equipment.]

    Still on the topic of not-cars, try a ‘turbo’ style nozzle for these, and also a ‘rotating surface cleaner’ – life changing. (And maybe an extension wand, but it gets heavy.)

    –> For cars, I got a super-cheap “Sun Joe” 1500psi electric unit last year. Using the 40 degree nozzle, it is really too weak to damage the vehicle (this is a good thing). It includes a so-so foam gun. It excels at some things (ex. getting crud out of lettering and ‘creases’ on neglected vehicles) but for regular washing on a vehicle that has already been cleaned up (wash/clay bay/machine polish/wax), I usually just reach for the bucket and long-handled brush.

    The gasoline pressure washer lives in the shed which means Briggs & Stratton Pump Saver after every use – it is also loud. The electric pressure washer lives in the house (so no chance of freezing), is much quicker to set up and is relatively quiet (but does make an annoying whine every time the pump turns off).

  • avatar
    monkeydelmagico

    Can Recommend the Ryobi. I’ve got the 1,800 psi version. Use it mostly to clean the siding. Have dropped it off the first story roof and was rather surprised that it continued to function. Been in service for twice annual siding cleanup and occasional car wash for 4 years now.

    before storage suggest spraying the high pressure nozzle with WD-40 otherwise its a rusty mess the following year. Otherwise solid little unit.

  • avatar
    brn

    The Ryobi is rebadged (true badge engineering). Just about everyone that has a house brand, has this unit. Build quality is mediocre. I’m on my second (warranty) in less than year and it’s starting to misbehave again. I guess you get what you pay for.

    As I stare at the components of the Ryobi and the Greenworks, they appear to be made by the same company.

  • avatar
    Yankee

    I think SCE to AUX’s comment about always running water through it first before turning it on is spot-on. I have the older version of the Ryobi one listed, which is nice because it has little loops for securing the cord on one side and the hose on the other and the whole thing fits neatly on a shelf in my garage. I used it very seldom for car washing, mainly for cleaning my deck and scrubbing my garage floor and mats, and entryway area rugs. (Blast ’em off in the driveway then hang them over the fence to dry and they look like new!) I got rid of my gas powered one a long time ago because it was a pain to use and more than I needed. Bought this little one at Home Depot about 4 years ago and have been using it ever since. Hose and power cord are both long and very durable. It’s not something you can use to clean siding high up, but for cleaning up around the house, yard, and garage, it’s just about perfect.

  • avatar
    SuperCarEnthusiast

    I went with a Honda Commercial ICE 3800 psi? and still working going on 12 years now! Was very expensive, $2500.00!

  • avatar
    Avnut

    I purchased a Greenworks 1600 from Lowes in early 2016. I use it about 2-3 times a year. The only issue is that it leaks/drips where the garden hose attaches. I opened it up and threaded fastener for the garden hose could be clamped better. After using, I spray WD-40 in the turbo nozzle to keep the ball inside of it from sticking. It was a good purchase.

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