I spoke to my wife’s uncle today, and he mentioned that he had just ordered a pressure washer from Amazon. I looked up the brand, and it’s some no-name company with a ton of reviews from only this year.
The no-name brand power washer claims:
- 120V AC
- 2000W power
- 3000 PSI
- 2.8 GPM
It was priced at $170.
I sowed doubt in his mind, by conveying how I dislike the idea of buying equipment from no-name zero-credibility brands. This brand doesn’t have any online presence, and their reviews are all from this year. Acually, they do have an “official website,” with empty top-menu categories for pressure washers, swimwear, dresses, and shoes.
He called me back a little while later, and here’s where I’m in a bind. He cancelled the order and now needs a good recommendation.
So, what kind of pressure washer would you recommend for around $200?
My first instinct was to think about Ryobi – they have quite a few very popular options, and I know they stand behind their products.
But are there are other suitable recommendations?
3000 PSI and 2.8 GPM doesn’t seem to be achievable for electric pressure washers in the $200 price range. It’s unclear how the no-name brand achieves this, or they could be inflated and fake.
I looked at Karcher, which I thought was a very reputable brand when it comes to electric power washers, but a lot of negative user reviews make me hesitant. I don’t know if I could trust this brand’s sub-$200 models when so many recent user reviews are overwhelmingly negative.
It seems that the capabilities for an electric pressure washer in the $200 price range max out at around 1800-2000 PSI and around 1.4 GPM.
What have your electric pressure washer experiences been like? Do you have any recommendations?
If I had to pick one to try for myself, and I wasn’t looking for the most compact model, I’d take a gamble on this Ryobi machine, RY142022VNM.
- 2000 PSI
- 1.2 GPM
- Extending handle
- 13A pump
- Spray want with 1/4″ quick-connect coupler
- Turbo nozzle 15° nozzle, soap nozzle
- 25′ non-marring hose
- Compact vertical storage
But is this the best option for under $200? I think it’ll be a relatively safe bet, but I’m hoping some of you have other recommendations to throw into the mix.
I have a under $100 ryobi special from HD that has been great for cleaning around the house and did fine with a surface cleaner on concrete.
Allow me to introduce the most detailed breakdown of power washers.
True to their name, Obsessed Garage took comparing power washers to the obsessed level.
Justin W. Hunt
This will be all the information anyone needs. Most of the specs printed online and on the boxes on these retail machines are optimistic at best. The numbers on the spreadsheet are TESTED results from actual purchased units.
The Project Farm guy does great tool testing:
Love project farm and his videos. The Cat pressure washer he tested seems to be a great deal and out performed the rest.
I’m satisfied with my Sun Joe SPX3000. I use it to wash the car, front walk and deck. If I needed a more powerful one, I would look at Northern Tool. They use Cat pumps, recently added start/stop, but replaced the Leeson motor with Weg.
+1 for the SunJoe SPX3000. I did a ton of research and this one was a good mix of pressure, GPM, and price. It got my driveway super clean after months of landscaping dirt being piled on it. I’m usually a Ryobi guy, but a friend mentioned he cross threaded the hose on his Ryobi and they had to replace the entire unit.
Yet another thumbs up for the SJ SPX 3000. Siding, slate, asphalt, decking…. Did a stellar chemical feee job on the oven racks yesterday. Literally sparkling!
I bought the Stanley SHP1600 for $81.99 on Amazon last year and absolutely love it. I was blown away how well it worked for that price. It has 4.5 starts with over 1200 reviews. I DO have a gas pressure washer, but I find myself grabbing the Stanley more times than the gas pressure washer.
The Greenworks models are PWMA certified, so I think their numbers are accurate. I’ve been happy with the lower tier version, now only $150. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Greenworks-2000-PSI-1-2-GPM-Cold-Water-Electric-Pressure-Washer/1000731276
i have the Sun Joe SPX3000 as well. I think it is a good product and powerful enough for what i need. I use mine for primarily car cleaning, as well as outside cleaning, prepping a shed for some painting etc. It has been great.
I just upgraded my setup with a foam cannon for the car washing, a slightly longer hose (25ft) and i switched over to all quick disconnects. If you use it a lot screwing and unscrewing hoses becomes a real chore and the quick disconnects are great. Makes setup and stowage a breeze no matter what pressure washer you get.
25′ is your new LONGER hose? What the heck did it come with?
20 foot is the standard length that comes with the SPX3000 & i think you will see it is the same for a lot of budget pressure washers. If i wanted to i could put both hoses together for 45 feet. But 25 foot is a better length to stick in front of a full size car and get the opposite side without a problem and without moving the pressure washer.
The quick connects also swivel so while my original Sun Joe hose didn’t kink it would get these loops that was a pain to remove. The swivel eliminates that. Basically adding the quick disconnects and hose eliminated my (very) minor inconveniences with it.
I have the same Sun Joe. I never measured the hose, but I knew I’d never use it. I ordered quick connects, a 75′ foot 3/8″ hose, and a new gun with a swivel at the same time I ordered the PW.
Five extra feet + swivels – yes, those two would actually make a big difference.
Oh, and – has anyone found a set of guides to stick under tires that will actually stay under the tires and actually do what they’re supposed to do? 😉 All the ones I saw on Amazon had a noticeable number of very bad reviews.
do you have a link to the Guides, i’m not familiar with those
I got a Ryobi model on clearance a couple of years ago. It works well enough for my needs, and to be honest, I neglect the heck out of it (it’s been sitting out back covered by a trash bag since last year.
I have the water broom and deck scrubbing attachments and can vouch for them being worth the money. They’d probably work even better with a more powerful washer.
just makes sure you don’t leave any residual water in it if you store it outdoors and it freezes by you. There is supposedly something you can put in there to winterize them but i have never done it.
I have a Sun Joe and connections being at the bottom should drain mostly & of course i store with the hoses disconnected.
I bought a Menards house brand Masterforce 2700psi model this year and love it. Seemed like a slightly superior pick to the equivalent Ryobi.
My specific one was like $270 but they have a bunch of cheaper modela around 200 or less. Worth a consideration.
I just bought a pressure washer and considered the $199 Ryobi you are considering. I ultimately went with the $149 Ryobi:
Here’s why. The two models are almost the same, both have a 13A motor, both are 1.2GPM, and there’s only 100PSI difference between them. The one I choose is practically the same thing but slightly more compact, can be stored standing up or sitting flat (good if you want to put it on a shelf) and $50 less.
The reviews for the one I bought seemed to be shared with various other Ryobi pressure washers on HD’s website.
I’ve been eyeing those same two models as well. One other improvement for the $199 version is the metal wand. I’m still leaning towards the $149 version though.
I would argue that neither wand is worth it. I have a heavier duty Craftsman gas washer and the wand still kinda sucks. The hose also sucks and is too short. I’d save the $50 and invest in accessories that will make using the washer more enjoyable. I bought a surface cleaner for doing the driveway and patio. I also bought a foam cannon because it makes washing the cars and house a ton of fun.
I bought the surface cleaner with it too. You are right, you can always upgrade the wand.
How much washing has to be done?
How much power do they need?
I am on my third homeowner pressure washer, in that price category, and my best one is the smallest one because it rolls on the ground on 4 wheels (compared to the two tall models, which always tipped over) and has a high & low power setting, as well as a pressure power dial. Something not found on most pressure washers.
Since I do a fair bit of car cleaning and other washing which does not require blasting stone & concrete … it is the best one ever. Small to put away and store. Light to carry. With a super light hose and extension cord, it follows along. I have a very gentle setting to soap and brush things that are delicate, like cars, decks, walkways, furniture … and then can put on high and dial it up, if I were to have to.
I’ve had an AR Blue Clean 383 for about 6 years. It was used in a semi commercial setting for many years before I upgraded to a bigger unit. I still use it around the house and that thing just won’t die. It is in the price range you’re looking at. I think they have a “stainless steel” upgrade for it which would be slightly above $200.
Seconding the AR Blue Clean. Had mine for almost a decade, still going strong. The only downside is it doesn’t use standard quick connects for the wand, so you have to get an AR surface cleaner for example. Not a problem if it’s your only pressure washer. The included spot-to-fan adjustable nozzle and turbo nozzles are decent.
If I didn’t have the Annovi Reverberi, I’d likely be looking very hard at the various Ryobi options. I know several people with their compact $99 model who love it. The 2000 psi 1.2GPM electric is commonly in stores by me at 199, but the RY141920 is arguably a better deal IMO, it’s 149 online, drops the PSI to 1900, but still 1.2 GPM. I’d rather have the $50 savings to spend on an extra nozzle or surface cleaner or something.
Definitely would also recommend the AR Blue. i have the 390SS and it’s been great. Unlike most of the others in this price range, the numbers are PWMA certified (I believe Ryobi is as well), there are no proprietary fittings, and everything is well made. I paid 200 exactly for it, but looks like 220 right now. The slightly lower pressure 383SS is pretty much the same other than pressure (same volume) and under the budget. I think the previous comment on non-standard connectors refers to either an older or cheaper model, but the SS models use standard fittings. I have both Chemical Guys and Ryobi attachments that work just fine.
Mine is older and had proprietary fittings. I bought an adapter so I could use a standard hose and wand.
I’ve been really pleased with the Ryobi 1600 psi 1.2 gpm pressure washer that I picked up around Christmas last year for $69. It’s been perfect for washing vehicles, 4-wheelers, and the mower. I used it to wash the driveway and sidewalk once, and it worked fine, if a bit slow – more flow would’ve made it quicker. I like it so much better than my gas pressure washer for small tasks, and it’s really small (for storage) so I can put it up on a shelf and not take up extra floor space.
I bought this model: https://www.homedepot.com/p/RYOBI-1-600-PSI-1-2-GPM-Electric-Pressure-Washer-RY141612/301004462
The Craftsman CMEPW1700 at $99, just for it’s size. It’s just so compact. Though it doesn’t have a soap/detergent reservoir.
If I was choosing between this and the Ryobi $99 models, I would take the Craftsman. 100 more PSI and a soap bottle at the same price. But they both are nice little machines for $99.
I bought a Sun Joe electric power washer from Amazon to wash my boat. Horrible decision. It broke within 5 hours of use. I returned it & Amazon replaced it with another one. The replacement broke within 4-6 hours of use. I purchased a cheaper Simpson gas pressure washer from Sam’s Club & now have two years worth of use in a coastal environment with no issues. Skip the cheap electrics and buy a gas.
You really can’t go wrong with Ryobi. I have tons of their stuff and only 2 gripes. One battery bit the dust a long time ago. The other was a corded blower/vac that I loved, but couldn’t get a replacement bag for. Urr. Anyway, I got the 3000 PSI Pressure Washer with the Honda engine and it’s rock solid. Works great.
I have a Sun Joe 3000. No complaints.
I did put some Teflon lube on the pressure washer hose threads. They got really hard to screw on and off. After that, I haven’t had a problem.
I bought it directly from Sun Joe. Free shipping.
I see that Amazon has it for less that Sun Joe.
I got an additional discount but I can’t remember how.
you might consider get quick disconnects. I agree having to screw everything together becomes a pain. I just did mine recently.
Sunjoe all rhe way. Best value & reviews in electric pressure washers. I bought one for myself and another for my father in law. Great performance and ease of use for the price. They have several models to chhose from. I bought the spx 3000 which is all that most homeowners need.
I purchased the bigger ryobi one. It wasn’t worth a #%%^. I returned it within hours bc it was very weak. I like ryobi, but this was a bust.
Sunjoe here. Pretty good. They have some new models that are brushless. Any of the ones that end in a 1, i.e., 3001 have a reel. The reels are chintzy and not worth the extra cost.
Ask him what he wants to use it for. The electric ones are fine for certain tasks but they are all limited by the electric pump. I have the $99 special Ryobi. The $200 Ryobi is better quality/featured with slightly better performance. The best answer may be renting a gas one once a year if he has a big job in mind.
Just bought another SunJoe SPX3000 after a couple years of having one at the shop. Runs like a champ. Have run hot water through it a lot. Very good unit for the price.
$169 gets a great reconditioned model from Ryobi.
If he could manage another $80 over that $200 threshold, he could have the full warranty and comfort of a pristine and unabused model.
The 2300 loses the compactness battle, but is much more manueverable. I have the next model down (RY141900) with 2000psi and no brushless motor but still heavy duty frame and built-in hose reel.
ClearForce 2000. Sold here at Home Depot in Canada. The electrical cord and water hose retract into the unit. I’ve had it for a few years and it works flawlessly.
My Ryobi Electric Pressure Washer is a little different than the one pictured, but basically the same specs 2,000 PSI and 1.2 GPM. I think mine is about 5-7 years old. I used to borrow my dad’s gas powered pressure washer and we would dink with it for ages to try and get it running. I finally got fed up and bought an electric pressure washer and I couldn’t be happier. I break it out once a year in the spring and clean the house and lawn furniture. Unless you’re using these on a more regular basis a solid electric pressure washer may last a homeowner a lifetime. I’ve been very satisfied with my Ryobi.
I picked up a SunJoe SPX3500 as a Amazon lightning deal last year that I’ve been happy with. It claims 2300 PSI. It does have a slightly lower flow rate than the SPX3000, and a single detergent tank vs the 3000’s dual setup. But it works well enough for me. Amazon has it right now for 179: https://www.amazon.com/Sun-Joe-SPX3500-Brushless-Induction/dp/B076TLS7F6
I can’t speak to the many models available, but Karcher probably started the pressure fad in the late 70’s, early 80’s . What they were then and what they are now could be very different, depending on how the company has evolved (reputation and good product or making the most profits and appeasing shareholders).
I have gone through many PWs as they never last me more than 3-5 years. I live in heavy freezing winter zone, so leaving the PW in an unheated shed or garage is risking problems.
My last one I bought and has been doing a very good job is the small Bosch
It isn’t the most powerful, but more than enough for what I need. What is great is the size, everything wraps up into a brief case size which can go on any shelf, so storing inside is easy compared to the average sized PW which are usually a pain “for me” to store inside. So for it is going on my 4th season and if it holds for at least a few more, this will be choice the day I need to replace it.
Have you ever tried pump saver? That stuff works great. Not only does it lubricate the pump but it will prevent it from freezing. When that’s not available I’ll use RV antifreeze which is safe for pump use. Haven’t had to replace a pump due to freezing since I started doing that.
Never tried it but I typically always bring them in for the winter. I once forgot it in my shed, and sure enough, it froze and cracked a metal line.
The others all failed for who knows what reason. The Karcher, about 30 years ago, and the other models since then, just died and I did not have the time to fix them, so just bought another.
The little Bosch Aquatek I have is small and easy to throw on a shelf, and it has decent specs, 1500 watts, 1700 psi and 1.54 gpm. Not a beast by any means but for cleaning deck, sidewalk, car, and just about anything I need a PW for, it does the job. Relatively inexpensive, if it goes beyond 5 seasons, it has paid for itself, but most of all, I love the small footprint for when I am not using it.
When I bought my Sun Joe it cost an extra $10-15 to extend the warranty to 5 years. That’s a no-brainer. If you use a cheap electric PW even semi-regularly and can get 5 years out of it you should consider yourself lucky.
I gave up on the cheap power washers, bought a Mi-t-m from sherwin Williams. Been a good investment so far!
What did the Mi-t-m cost you? I heard they will last you a lifetime even with heavy use and abuse. They seem to be more targeted for commercial use, and with a hefty price tag .
I have the electric 1500 psi with 2.0 gallon a min but requires a 20 amp t blade receptacle/circuit. Yes it has only 1500 psi but with the 2.0 gallons a minute it gives 3000 cleaning units. It works better than my busted green works with 2200 psi, not sure what the gpm was though. Got it for 850$ and an extra 50’ hose. Also it comes with all quick connections!
I just noticed that one of my local Home Depot stores (Jantzen Beach, Portland, OR) has the SunJoe SPX3000 on clearance for $99.00. I mention the local store because I don’t see that price on the HD app.
There is a really good deal on woot on a sun joe electric
I’ve bought a Powerstroke 1900 psi pressure washer from costco 5+ years ago for $129
Still going strong
I have a greenworks model electric one – similar spec to that Ryobi one. 2000 psi and 1.2 GPM – works quite well but I wouldn’t recommend alot of cleaning with it.
IE doing a medium sized house for example will take alot of time. trying to do a entire 2 car wide 50ft long driveway will take some time. 30 degree angle head while it works well – doesn’t get very far.
So if he’s wanting to do alot and is looking for specs like that fake electric one then he need to get a gas one. To get that much out of electric you’d need a more than 13 amps pull – continuous. (pressure and flow rate = Hydraulic power, from there add on your motor losses and cord loss and you start to see how any more than that will need either a very very efficient motor or more draw
Sun JOe I think is a rebadges Greenworks – both I think are good. I’d bet other than packaging the Ryobi one is too – hard to say. but those 3 brands would be my first check other than paying more for a Kartcher.
Problem with cheap machines are the plastic pumps. 24hr total usage and they are done, which is probably years of cleaning a few cars.
Do you have Nilfisk pressure washers in the US? Their machines are brilliant, and all have metal pumps.
I needed mine to clean a house and with their sandblaster attachment I cleaned off millimeters of paint put on over 70 years. That was a decade ago and it’s still going strong. I’ve also used it for patios, driveways and cleaning the house roof off. Copes with sustained usage, I did most of the roof without taking my finger off the trigger. I have one of the 150psi models.