Our 2019 reviews & ratings of the Best Electric Pressure Washers, plus tips & tricks to get the most out of your new best cleaning friend
You have three choices when it comes to pressure washing your grimy outdoor surfaces: hire a professional, rent a unit, or buy one. Purchasing your own top-performing electric pressure washer can save you money down the road, especially if you’ll use it more than once or twice a year. Gas pressure washers are another option, but for most homeowners, a top-rated electric power washer will perform just as well as an average gas model.
Why Electric over Gas*? Here are the PROS:
- Smaller and lighter
- Easier storage
- Can be used indoors (depends on cleaning surface)
* Like all pressure washers, they can be dangerous if not used correctly. We’ll talk about safety tips that will prevent surface damage as well as injury to you, your family, pets and plants.
In general, you want to pay attention to the following characteristics so you’ll know which pressure washer will be right for the cleaning jobs at your home. We will touch on some of these in our reviews:
- PSI / GPM / CU (cleaning power)
- Extra nozzles (on board storage is a big plus)
- Plastic or stainless wand
- Wheels – larger and pneumatic wheels provide the best stability and maneuverability
- Plastic or brass couplings for hose attachment
- Cord and hose length – minimum 20-foot hose and 30-foot cord
- Hose and cord storage
Besides those criteria, we’ll mention noise levels, which surfaces benefit most from each model, and feedback from real customer experiences. Top models include brands such as Sun Joe, Greenworks, AR Blue Clean, Karcher & Ivation.More
Best Electric Pressure Washers – Our 2019 Ratings & Reviews
Best Value for Your Dollar
The Heavy Hitter
Most Versatile Usage & Storage
Lightest to Maneuver
BOTTOM LINEEasy-to-use washer that’s lightweight and powerful enough for most light to medium-duty cleaning. Comes with 2-year full warranty.
CU score: 3 573
BOTTOM LINEStrongest machine from Karcher’s K Series with patented pump and water-cooled motor. Good for light, medium and some heavy-duty cleaning.
CU score: 2 800
BOTTOM LINEThe most powerful machine from this brand with long hose and adjustable detergent dispenser. Good for medium and some heavy duty jobs.
CU score: 2 800
BOTTOM LINEThe latest of Stanley’s S-line of pressure washers is its most versatile in terms of storage and usage. Good for most light – medium duty jobs.
CU score: 2 870
BOTTOM LINEThe steel-welded frame and wide base give this unit a sturdy feel with less risk of tipping over. Good for light-duty tasks.
CU score: 2 160
BOTTOM LINEThis lightweight, light-duty machine is good for the elderly or those with mobility issues. It does well with light grime.
CU score: 1 920
BOTTOM LINEThis affordable machine has lots of onboard storage with plenty of nozzles and an extra wand. Good for light to medium-duty jobs.
CU score: 3 960
The Sun Joe SPX3001 is an upgrade to the SPX3000. With this one, you get 2030 PSI at 1.76 GPM for a CU score of 3,573. A 14.5-amp/1800-Watt motor provides plenty of power for most light to medium-duty tasks.
It comes with a 20-foot hose with hose reel, 35-foot power cord, 5 quick-connect nozzles, 40.6 oz. detergent tank, a 34-inch extension wand, and a 2-year full warranty.
This unit is super easy to assemble. It’s only 32 pounds, which makes it light enough to transport easily. The Total Stop System (TTS) automatically shuts off the pump when the trigger is released, which is a good safety feature and preserves the pump. The hose reel is an upgrade over the previous model.
With the 35-foot electric cord and 34-inch extension rod, you get a lot of reach for all those surfaces around your home.
While it’s supposed to be an upgrade, the only change is the addition of the hose reel. With the reel at the top and the tall profile of the machine, it can be unstable and prone to tipping over. The axial water pump is generic and not a well-known brand.
The long power cord is nice, but the holder for it isn’t big enough to keep it out of the way when you don’t need the full cord.
Customers like how light and easy this machine is to use. They also love the automatic shutoff. They’ve successfully cleaned many surfaces, such as siding, decks, cars, grills, driveways, and more.
Several customers agree that the hose reel is difficult to turn. The machine tended to tip over while trying to reel or unreel the hose. Some mentioned the power cord holder wasn’t big or well-placed enough to keep the cord out of the way, so they ran over it.
- Price: Average
The 1,800-Watt, 14.5-Amp motor provides 2,030 PSI at 1.76 GPM just like the SPX3001. The main difference here is the unique small design and Pressure Select controls that let you choose between low (1,450) and high (3,020) cleaning power. Also unique to this machine is the addition of a turbo quick-connect nozzle in addition to the 5 basic nozzles. There’s also a bigger 54.1 oz detergent tank that allows you to choose the amount of detergent flow. CU Score: 3 573.
- Price: Low
This is the earlier model that came out prior to the SPX3001, but now is available in blue, red, and black. It has the same 1,800-Watt, 14.5 Amp motor and produces up to 2030 PSI at 1.76 GPM. Two onboard detergent tanks (0.9 L) allow you to choose between the right cleaners for different projects. At only 31 pounds, it’s easy to maneuver. This one lacks a hose reel, but is less likely to tip over. CU Score: 3 573. Read Our Full Review of the Sun Joe SPX3000.
The K5 Premium is the most powerful pressure washer in Karcher’s K-Series lineup. Featuring a 25-foot hose, 35-foot power cord, and water-cooled induction motor, it can tackle light, medium and some heavy-duty cleaning tasks with 2000 PSI at 1.4 GPM.
It comes with two wands, weighs 32 pounds and comes with a 2-year limited warranty featuring a rapid exchange program for free, quick replacement of the whole machine.
The water-cooled induction motor makes this machine super quiet and prolongs the life of the motor by 5X. It has a patented N-Cor pump that protects the washer from corrosion and wear, prevents leaks, and guards against freezing temps.
Instead of nozzles to keep up with, there are two wands – dirt blaster and vario (adjustable pressure). It’s lightweight and simple to set up right out of the box.
The vertical design makes it want to fall face down. Plastic components and O-rings aren’t as durable as they could be. Once manufactured in France, they are now made in China.
The instruction manual print is pretty small, plus the diagrams aren’t clear enough to be useful. Proprietary parts mean you can only buy Karcher parts for repairs. Calling customer service can be a bit of a cat and mouse game.
Customers were happy with performance on light to medium duty jobs such as patio furniture, cars, vinyl siding, and decks. It did well on moss buildup so long as it wasn’t deeply stained.
One problem mentioned several times was that the soap didn’t dispense well (or at all) from the dispenser. For some customers, the tendency to tip over damaged the quick connect for the hose. Some thought the pressure wasn’t strong enough.
- Price: High
The K2000 delivers 2,000 PSI at 1.3 GPM. A few unique differences from the K5 are the on/off foot pedal and a storage bin for holding the spray gun or other accessories. It also includes 5 quick-connect nozzles and has a foldable handle for more compact storage. It’s a bit heavier at 44.5 pounds, but it’s also a wider, stockier machine with dual ½ gallon detergent tanks and a pressurized hose reel. This one also has a longer warranty of 3 years. CU Score: 2 600.
The AR390SS is the most powerful electric pressure washer from the AR Blue Clean brand. It has a max 2000 PSI at 1.4 GPM, a 30-foot hose, 35-foot power cord, and weighs 31 pounds.
Powered by a 14 Amp, 1.6 HP universal motor, this cleaner includes 4 nozzles (0, 25, soap and rotary/turbo) and is good for most light to moderate cleaning. It has a 1-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty.
This is a really quiet machine for its size and output. The 30-foot hose is generous and allows for a greater reach than most machines. The included rotating nozzle works pretty well for accumulated dirt/grime.
It comes mostly assembled, so setup is quick and easy. One nice feature is an adjustable detergent dispenser to control the flow of soap so it’s not used too quickly.
Onboard storage for nozzles is a bit unstable, so nozzles may fall off as you’re rolling it. The 1-year warranty is short but it does cover everything included in the box.
The hose reel is a bit too flimsy for such a stiff hose. There’s a tipping tendency, plus the hose tends to kink. Pressure with the soap nozzle is fairly low compared to other machines.
Several customers were happy with how quiet this one is, especially from a distance. Many commented on how easy the nozzles are to change. Customer service has been attentive and excellent with most issues.
By far, the biggest complaint was the weak cord reel, which can bend and break easily. The hose is also a sore point, with many saying it kinks too often and won’t lay flat.
- Price: Low
The AR383 is a light to medium duty cleaning machine that can tackle most cleaning jobs around the house. It’s a little less powerful than the AR390SS, but with 1900 PSI at 1.5 GPM, it’s still packs a wallop for the average homeowner. The 120V, 11 Amp motor drives the 3 axial-piston wobble-plate pump and is surprisingly quiet. It doesn’t have as much of a reach as the AR390SS. It comes with a 30-foot cord and 20-foot hose. But it’s considerably lighter at only 27 pounds. CU Score: 2 850.
The Stanley SLP2050, as its name implies, delivers up to 2050 PSI at 1.4 GPM. It’s the latest of 5 washers in the Stanley S line and has a unique modular design for more storage and usage options.
It comes with a 25-foot soft flexible hose, 35-foot cable, 5 nozzles (0, 15, 25, soap & turbo/rotary), a 28-oz. detergent tank, and weighs 36 pounds. This washer is covered by a 2-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
The most unique thing about this washer is that you can take it apart to use as a wall-mounted pressure washer in the garage, as a small portable unit, or on the roll cart. Wall-mounted storage also saves much-needed floor space in small spaces.
This washer is water-efficient as well, saving up to 80% over a standard garden hose with 40% more pressure. Professional-grade brass hose connections are sturdy and durable.
If you’re looking for heavy-duty or commercial-grade cleaning, this isn’t the machine for you. While it’s great for most light – medium duty tasks, it won’t hold up well to hours of daily use. Overuse could result in leaks or a worn out pump.
There is some confusion in that Annovi Reverberi (AR) actually manufactures these Stanley machines, and at least one customer got an AR Blue Clean washer instead.
Customers like how light and versatile this washer is. Also, customer service is usually very responsive and will gladly help troubleshoot problems over the phone. They’ll also replace any parts under their 2-year warranty, no matter where it’s bought.
Some customers thought there were missing nozzles, but they are actually already onboard in their holder when you unbox the item. Just unwind the power cord from the top of the machine to find them.
- Price: Low
The SHP2150 is a step up in cleaning power from the SLP2050. With 2,150 PSI at 1.4 GPM, this washer can tackle most medium-duty and some heavy-duty jobs around the home. It’s lighter than the SLP2050 at only 26 pounds, but has the same hose and cord length. The 28-oz. detergent tank also doubles as a foam cannon. This washer has 4 quick-connect nozzles (0, 15, 25, & 40) but lacks a turbo/rotary nozzle. It also doesn’t have a hose reel. CU Score: 3 010.
The 20680 is another storage-friendly washer with a foldable design for storing under shelves or workbenches. It’s best for light-duty tasks and produces up to 1,800 PSI at 1.2 GPM. A 20-foot hose offers good reach.
It comes with 3 quick-connect nozzles (15, turbo/rotary, & soap) and a ½ gallon detergent tank. It weighs 31.5 pounds. The 1-year full warranty covers all included parts and accessories.
A welded steel frame gives this washer a commercial-grade feel. The wide base prevents tipping. Plus, it’s not top-heavy like some washers. It thoroughly tackles light-duty jobs like patio furniture, car washing, walkway cleaning, etc.
The handle folds down to make it compact for storage, which is great for small, crowded garages. The included turbo nozzle cuts cleaning time by 40%.
Again, this is not meant for heavy-duty all day use. It’ll be fine for a few hours on the weekend to wash the car, the patio furniture, etc. If you want to use a different hose or any other nozzles or accessories not included in the box, just know these aren’t covered under the warranty.
Hose connections are really close to the frame, so if you have large hands, it’s hard to attach/detach the hoses.
Customers have been impressed with the performance of this machine. Though it’s not really meant for whole-house siding cleaning, some customers have cleaned a portion of their siding and were pleased with the results.
Customer service isn’t as responsive as other manufacturers. Some customers said they unboxed the unit to find water in the hose, which could mean they received a returned unit.
If you’re looking for compact and light, the Greenworks 1600 PSI is just right. This little portable washer has a 13 Amp motor that produces up to 1600 PSI at 1.2 GPM. It’s very affordable and designed for light-duty cleaning.
This unit comes with a 20-foot hose, 35-foot power cord, and 3 nozzles (25, 40, & soap applicator). It weighs only 17.5 pounds and is covered by a 1-year warranty.
This is a very affordable machine. You can use it either vertically or horizontally. It has no wheels, but it doesn’t need them since it’s so lightweight and easy to carry. People with less upper-body strength should have no issues moving this washer around.
Instead of always having an onboard detergent tank, the soap applicator serves as a removable tank, which decreases the weight even more when you’re not using it.
You’re getting a pretty basic package with this machine. There’s no hose reel or wheels and only 3 nozzles. All the parts are plastic, so you can’t treat this like a heavy-duty machine. You may have to apply detergent and let it sit to get the best results.
Larger jobs are going to require a lot more time with this machine. Be sure to store it inside over the winter so temperature changes won’t affect the seals.
For light-duty tasks, customers were mostly pleased with this machine. It cleans light grime and may take a little pretreating for tougher stains. It’s probably best for first-time pressure washer users, also for the elderly or those with less upper-body strength or mobility issues.
Customer service can be hit or miss when you try to contact them. A few customers have received returned units.
- Price: Average
For a power boost over the Greenworks 1600, the Greenworks 1950 may be just what you need for light to medium duty tasks. The 13-Amp induction motor produces up to 1950 PSI at 1.2 GPM. It comes on a two-wheeled frame and has a longer reach with the 25-foot hose and 35-foot power cord. Four nozzles are included (0, 25, 40, & soap). It has a fold-down handle and dual onboard detergent tanks. The hose reel is recessed in the top to make it even more compact.
Powerful and lightweight at only 25 pounds, this pressure washer produces 2200 PSI at 1.8 GPM with a 14.5 Amp, 1,600 Watt motor. Included are 5 nozzles (0, 5, 25, 40, & soap) and bonus turbo wand with high pressure and wide stream.
Great for most light & medium-duty cleaning, it has a 20-foot hose and 35-foot power cord and comes with a 1-year warranty.
Onboard storage for wands and nozzles helps keep all accessories in one place. A Total Stop System (TSS) shuts the machine off automatically when you release the trigger. Brass nozzle connectors are sturdy and easy to use.
One of the most unique features is a self-suctioning feature which can pump water from a stationary source such as a bucket or tank. Setup is simple, and the instruction manual is easy to follow.
The 20-foot hose isn’t as generous as some other brands. The handle and wand are a bit flimsy, so are prone to leaks and breakage after a few uses. Location of the hose makes it easy to roll over it when moving the machine.
The hoses and power cords can get tangled around each other. In hot conditions, the motor is more prone to overheating. It’s also not the quietest pressure washer you’ll find.
Customers who have well water reported good performance, even on long-neglected decks. They love the automatic shutoff. It worked well on various surfaces such as cement, stucco, and wooden decks.
The most common complaint involved the handle/wand. Several people reported that it busted or sprung a leak after a few uses or just after the warranty expired. It’s also louder than some customers would have liked.
Ah the joys of owning your own pressure washer. For most homeowners, electric models like the ones we listed here are plenty powerful enough for your average cleaning tasks. If you need something that will tackle really heavy-duty tasks like paint stripping, deep stain removal, etc. you should probably consider a gas pressure washer. We have a few suggestions for those too.
What are the PROS/CONS of Gas vs. Electric
- Cheaper (average $150 – $250)
- Easy storage
- Can use indoors
Electric pressure washer PROS:
- Cord limits reach
- Less power
Electric pressure washer CONS:
- More power
- Can be used anywhere outdoors, no power outlet needed
Gas pressure washer PROS:
- More expensive (average $300 – $500)
- Cannot be used indoors
Gas pressure washer CONS:
Play it safe with pressure washers
Safety is a big concern with any pressure washer. Some people don’t understand that pressure washers can be dangerous. The very high pressure produced from the water stream can seriously injure people and some surfaces like car paint or glass. We’re talking skin lacerations, even amputations, plus kickback forces that can easily knock a person off a ladder.
Pressure washers are a godsend for exterior cleaning, but you have to respect them. To stay safe, be sure to check out our beginner’s guide to using pressure washers safely.
Here are some basic safety tips for electric pressure washers:
- Read and follow the manual!
- Wear protective clothing – long pants, goggles, work boots or other sturdy closed-toed footwear
- Start spraying surfaces about 2 feet away and gradually move closer, no closer than 6 inches
- Stay off ladders!
- Never EVER point the nozzle at any part of you, other people, pets, or plants
- Do NOT use extension cords for electric pressure washers
- Always plug into a GFCI outlet
Nozzles and other attachments
Most pressure washers come with interchangeable nozzles that allow varying widths of water streams.
The typical types are:
- red (0 degree)
- yellow (15 degree)
- green (25 degree)
- white (40 degree)
- black (soap)
There are other attachments and accessories you may find helpful for your pressure washer. Some of these you have to buy from the washer’s manufacturer, while some are universal. Here are a few:
- Surface cleanerSpinning bar that delivers water stream over a big surface area. Good for large areas like a driveway.
- Rotary nozzleSometimes called a turbo nozzle, sometimes included as a bonus nozzle in the box. Produces a spinning narrow water spray. Good for stubborn stains and grime buildup.
- Pressure washing broomLike the surface cleaner, splits single jet into two or three for cleaning large areas. Good for car or boat washing.
- Wand extensionHelps you reach high areas so you don’t need a ladder.
- Hose extensionFor cleaners with shorter (20 ft or less) hoses, you may want a hose extension. Though this could lessen the pressure somewhat, it’s better than putting yourself in a dangerous position to reach an area for cleaning.
Troubleshooting Tips & Tricks
During our research, we came across customer and manufacturer suggestions for fixing various issues that may arise with a pressure washer. With electric models, the most common complaints involve the motor not starting and pressure loss. If you’re not confident with your fix-it skills, take your machine to a local repairman or call the manufacturer to see about a replacement. But for those fix-it folks among you, try these tricks.
For motors that no longer start:
- Check the reset button on the plug. It’s possible to trip it while plugging it into the power outlet outside.
- Try a pump protector lubricant after each use, like this one from Briggs & Stratton. Leftover water in the unit can seize up the pump’s internal gaskets. You screw the plastic threads on the lubricant bottle into the threaded garden hose inlet on the pressure washer and squeeze the trigger on the bottle. It’s especially good for use before extended storage (winter, for instance) and before first startup the next season.
- There could be an electrical issue within the GFCI plug of the power washer itself, especially if it’s left out in the rain or where there’s lots of humidity. With the unit unplugged, use a screwdriver to take the cover off of the cleaner’s GFCI plug. If you see lots of moisture trapped in the plug, that can prevent it from running. You can buy a replacement plug at the hardware store or one like this Leviton brand online. Just reconnect the wires to the new GFCI plug (black wire to gold connector, white to silver) and turn the screws to secure the wires. Screw down the “U” shaped stress clamps that come with the new plug. Then attach the new cover, and try starting up the machine.
For pressure loss:
- The nozzle may have a blockage. Turn the pressure washer off, and bleed air out of the system. Remove the nozzle. Hold the nozzle by the sides with the front of the nozzle facing you. Using the spray tip cleaning tool or a straightened paper clip, try pushing the clog back the way it came. Rinse the nozzle thoroughly front and back. Replace the nozzle and try washing with it again. If the nozzle remains clogged, remove it and repeat the process. If still clogged, try soaking the nozzle in hot water and then try washing again.
- Try a different nozzle – you might not be using the right one.
- Look to see if the hoses are kinked and straighten them out.
- Check the inlet and un-loader valves. If clogged, clean them or replace with new valves.
- For pulsating pressure, turn off the machine and try bleeding air from the hose by squeezing the trigger.