While most outdoor lovers are quick to share about their favorite activities and purchases, few talk about the work that goes into maintaining a functional and stylish outdoor space. It includes fixing any basic wear and tear, setup and tear down, and, of course, cleaning your outdoor furniture and tools. These tasks aren’t the most fun and exciting parts of outdoor life, but they are essential!
In this guide, we are going to look at the cleaning needs in your outdoor space. More specifically, we are going to discuss the best power washers for your lifestyle. These underrated tools are often viewed as being solely for commercial use. However, they can make your cleaning routine far easier, freeing your time to kick back and enjoy your deck, patio, or backyard.
In addition to discussing how to choose the best option for your needs, I have also included the top 5 power washers according to the Backyard Boss team to get you started.
The Backyard Boss Top Power Washer for 2021
|Mi-T-M HSP-3504-3MGH HSP Hot Water Gasoline Direct Drive Pressure Washer||Check The Price!|
|Easy-Kleen Professional 1500 PSI Commercial Pressure Washer||Check The Price!|
|Simpson MB1518 Diesel Fired Hot Water Pressure Washer||Check The Price!|
|North Star Proven Performance Electric Power Washer||Check The Price!|
|Easy-Kleen Professional Gas Pressure Washer with 12V Burner||Check The Price!|
Why You Can Trust Us
Here at Backyard Boss, we love all things relating to the outdoors, including outdoor travel, gardening, creating functional outdoor spaces, and more. With this comes an interest in the many tools that are available to support our outdoor-loving lifestyle.
Having set up our own ‘backyard oasis’ at our home, my husband and I have spent the last few years focusing on how to properly maintain and care for this investment of both our time and money. After all, a beautiful backyard setup doesn’t come overnight! As part of this, we did significant research into the power washers on the market to clean our decks and patio furniture.
During the investigation process, we were able to connect with many people who regularly used their power washers. We asked why they chose these particular models, how they came to that decision, and what would change if they were to purchase a new washer. I have combined their tips and advice with my own experiences to create this guide.
Best Gas-Powered Power Washer
Powered by a 389cc Honda OHV gas-powered engine and capable of heating water to a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit, this power washer can tackle tough messes with ease.
Why We Like It: Gas-powered with a diesel or kerosene-fired burner, this power washer is capable of being transported anywhere without having to concern yourself with finding a power hookup.
This unit makes use of the patented Electro Magnetic Firing (EMF) system, which allows the burner to operate without the need for a 12V battery. It features a high-quality fuel filter/water separator to ensure a clean fuel supply, a complete system diagnostic board, a simple on/off burner switch controlling a diesel or kerosene fired burner, and reliable safety controls for both pressure and high-limit factors.
The easy coil drain makes it simple to remove all excess water between use, preventing freezing in the hose or within the power washer itself during the colder winter months. The washer is mounted on a powder-coated steel tube frame for long-term durability, and the pressure hose is protected by steel water braiding, swivel, and bend restrictors. To ensure operator safety, the professional trigger gun features a safety lock-off.
Who Should Buy It: If you’re looking for a durable pressure washer that operates free from external power sources or in off-grid situations, the Mi-T-M HSP-3504-3MGH HSP Hot Water Gasoline Direct Drive Pressure Washer is a great solution.
Best Corded-Electric Power Washer
This 1500 PSI power washer is a great solution for homeowners, offering power and reliability in a lower cost and easy to transport unit.
Why We Like It: Easy-Kleen Pressure Systems LTD is a well-known and trusted brand that manufactures pressure and power washers for personal and commercial use.
The Easy-Kleen Professional 1500 PSI Commercial Pressure Washer is one of the smaller units they offer, running on corded-electric power and providing enough pressure for most smaller-scale projects. While the unit does weigh 400lbs, the easy-grip handles on the rear of the unit and 13” pneumatic tires make it easy to move this washer from location to location.
Operating with 1500 PSI and 2 GPM, it is more than capable of performing basic household cleaning tasks, including decks, outdoor furniture, driveways, and siding. The 36” pressure gun assembly includes a quick coupler system, downstream chemical injection, and five quick-connect nozzles, allowing you to better customize the pressure stream to suit each job.
Who Should Buy It: Homeowners searching for a smaller power washer for basic household tasks will find that the Easy-Kleen Professional 1500 PSI Commercial Pressure Washer is a great fit.
Best Lightweight Power Washer
A compact and lightweight power washer that provides reliable water pressure and up to 100-degree heat rise with a clean-burning, fuel efficient burner system.
Why We Like It: The Simpson MB1518 Diesel Fired Hot Water Pressure Washer is powered by a 120V Induction Motor with a 35-foot power cord, while the water is heated by clean-burning kerosene or diesel-fired burner that can provide up to a 100-degree heat rise for improved cleaning power.
The water is pumped through the unit with the use of a highly reliable AAA Triplex pump. This whole setup is mounted on a welded, powder-coated steel frame with 13” premium pneumatic tires to make it easier to maneuver across any terrain.
The 50-foot Armor Hose is steel-braised for protection and uses quick connect fittings for easier attachment to the 48” insulated grip spray gun. The unit also includes three different stainless-steel quick connect nozzles. It also soaps the nozzle to allow for easy adjustment of the spray patterns for various tasks.
Who Should Buy It: This lightweight and reliable power washer is a great solution for those looking for an easy maneuver and transport solution to meet all their cleaning needs.
Best Power Washer Add-On
This power washer add-on attaches to your existing pressure water to provide the ability to heat the water up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit for improved cleaning capabilities.
Why We Like It: For those that already have a high-quality pressure washer and are interested in an upgrade to a power washer, this unit from North Star Proven Performance is a great solution.
This corded-electric unit is designed to provide up to 4000 PSI and 4 GPM while attaching to your pre-existing pressure water unit. It uses a schedule 80 heating coil diesel burner with a 4-gallon fuel tank to heat the water to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
The heating unit included in this power washer add-on gives you control, allowing you to set the water temperature to the optimum working temperature for the task at hand. It easily connects to your pressure washer using a 5-foot quick-couple hose, making the process of combining the two as quick and easy as possible.
Who Should Buy It: The North Star Proven Performance Electric Power Washer is a great add-on solution for those who already own a pressure washer and are looking to upgrade to a power washer.
Best Heavy-Duty Power Washer
A larger power washer suitable for both personal and commercial uses, this heavy-duty unit is both reliable and highly versatile.
Why We Like It: Another option from the well-known brand Easy-Kleen, the Easy-Kleen Professional Gas Pressure Washer with a 12V burner, is a powerful and reliable power washer for your most challenging tasks.
This unit will provide you with 4000 PSI and 3.5 GPM, using a 14 HP Kohler Gas Engine. The water is heated by a 12 Volt, 350,000 BTU oil-fired burner. All of this is mounted on a rugged heavy-duty, fully welded, and powder-coated frame with 13” pneumatic tires for portability.
The 36” pressure wand assembly offers many water pattern options for each job with 5 quick connect nozzles. It is secured to the power washer with a 50-foot high-pressure hose that includes both a quick coupler system and downstream chemical injection. All of this combined makes this the most popular unit currently offered by Easy-Kleen. It is a great option for farms, shops, garages, and even around the home.
Who Should Buy It: If you are preparing to tackle some bigger tasks that will require a heavy-duty power washer, the Easy-Kleen Professional Gas Pressure Washer with 12V Burner is worth the investment.
How to Choose a Power Washer
If you are reading this, you are likely in the market for a pressure washer or power washer. A quick search online will reveal many different options available, which may leave you feeling a little overwhelmed. How do you know which option is best for you and your lifestyle? To make that decision, there are a few specific factors to consider.
Gas or Electric
One of the biggest choices is whether you want a gas or electric pressure washer. Each of these options comes with benefits as well as weaknesses to consider. There is no one-size-fits-all best option. Instead, look at which will best fit your needs.
For most people, an electric washer will offer enough power for their basic tasks. They are designed for smaller jobs and are generally lower power than the gas alternatives. Electric washers run quieter, without the excess noise created by gas washers, and require less maintenance.
If you are planning on larger cleaning projects, electric washers are known for getting hot and even overheating. It is where a gas washer is often preferred. The gas engine provides these washers with more power to break down tough stains and messes. It also gives the ability to run for longer periods without any complications. These are often used when cleaning heavy equipment such as farm or construction machinery.
Maximum Water Pressure: Pounds per Square Inch (PSI)
The maximum water pressure (PSI) refers to the force of the water coming from the washer. The higher the PSI, the stronger the flow of water. It allows it to tackle tough stains and heavy-duty cleaning projects. It isn’t to say that every buyer should seek out the highest PSI. Take a moment to take stock of the jobs that you are planning to complete with your washer. For smaller, more detailed jobs, a lower PSI washer may be a better fit.
Maximum Flow Rate: Gallons per Minute (GPM)
Similar to the PSI, the maximum flow rate is a way of measuring the power of a washer. In this case, it refers to water that moves through the washer during use. A power washer with a higher GPM is designed to clean faster and more effectively by powering your cleaning efforts with more water moving through the high-pressure hose and nozzle. Alternatively, a lower GPM, much like a lower PSI, is a better fit for a smaller and more delicate job.
For the most part, PSI and GPM are directly correlated. However, there is some variation to consider when shopping. Depending on the water source that you have available, you may not be able to support the highest GPM machines. In this case, it would be important to select something that runs at a slightly lower flow rate.
While almost all power washers can be moved as needed to different projects, there is no denying that some are far easier to move than others. If you want to purchase a washer to clean vehicles, you don’t need lots of portability. Smaller, lightweight machines often offer a lower PSI. However, they are easier to transport to different areas.
If you require a more powerful washer, look at the features associated with portability that they have addressed. Power washers that include a larger fuel tank may appear lower weight until you factor in the weight of the fuel. It may include comfortable hand grips, pneumatic wheels for uneven surfaces, and on-unit storage for parts and accessories.
Water Temperature Controls
The secret to the cleaning abilities of a power washer compared to a basic pressure washer is the temperature. Unlike a pressure washer which relies on the pressure of the water to lift dirt and grime, a power washer combines high-pressure water with steam. It allows lifting stuck-on messes, grease, and set-in stains that a pressure washer can’t remove.
Many power washers have an ‘on’ and ‘off’ control, turning on the heating element or turning it off. However, if you are looking for more control, some pressure washers allow you to adjust the water temperatures needed for different cleaning tasks.
While the additional features offered by some models may not make or break your choice in a washer, they can offer a better experience when completing certain jobs. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to look at what the different options have to offer as they relate to the tasks that you plan on tackling.
One common selling feature is the inclusion of additional nozzles, allowing you to customize the stream of water to best fit the project at hand. Some washers also include cleaning brushes that attach to the washer for cleaning automotive wheels or other tasks that require scrubbing. A foam cannon will allow you to tackle tougher stands and projects and additional detergent bottles to store and carry different detergent types to plan for multiple projects.
At the end of the day, you want to find the options that best suit your needs, making your job easier while staying within your budget.
How We Picked
In creating this guide, I wanted to ensure that there were options for a wide variety of different uses and lifestyles, ranging from those that are just addressing the most basic household tasks right up to those that may be tackling some heavy-duty cleaning. It meant exploring the features and capabilities of a wide variety of different washers.
After creating a list of the different situations that I wanted to cover, I started looking at the specific capabilities of the many power washers on my list. It included assessing the portability, washing power, engine types, options/features, and overall value. With all of this in mind, I narrowed down my list settling on the top 5 power washers highlighted here.
Our Pick for the Best Overall Power Washer
Selecting the best power washer is largely dependent on the tasks that you are preparing to tackle. Concerning the PSI and GPM of the different options, some users will require the additional power of a high PSI and GPM unit while others may be better suited to the lower cost and lighter weight washers with a lower PSI and GPM.
Additionally, some tasks need more time and water to complete, requiring a full fuel tank to heat the water appropriately. In short, there is no one-size-fits-all solution, which is why we have highlighted 5 different options here.
However, if we did have to identify one of the five that stood out for most situations, we would select the Mi-T-M HSP-3504-3MGH HSP Hot Water Gasoline Direct Drive Pressure Washer. The gasoline-powered design of this unit gives you full portability without having to concern yourself with the availability of an electrical hookup. It also provides a higher PSI and GPM suitable for tackling the more difficult tasks that you may face.