Our ratings and reviews of the Best Gas Powered Pressure Washers of 2021
If you need heavy-duty cleaning power for exterior surfaces, nothing beats a top-rated gas pressure washer. From cars and oil-stained driveways to mildewed decks, patios and walkways, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can make them look like new with the right power washer.
Our gas pressure washer reviews and buying guide will help you find the right machine for your specific cleaning needs. We’ll look at several important tests, including price comparisons, engines, cleaning power, accessories, ease of use, length of hoses and what jobs each machine is best suited for.
Here are the pros and cons of a gas pressure washer:
- No power cord to limit reach, no power outlet needed
- Great for cleaning large areas quickly
- Best for removing very tough stains
- Versatile for a wide variety of applications
- More expensive (~$300 – $500 for residential models)
- Can’t use indoors due to exhaust
- Requires winterizing – must drain all water and add antifreeze
When looking for the right model for you, pay attention to these criteria:
- PSI / GPM / CU (cleaning power)
- Extra nozzles (on board storage is a big plus)
- Plastic or metal wand
- Wheels – larger and pneumatic wheels provide the best stability and maneuverability
- Plastic or brass couplings for hose attachment
- Hose length – minimum 20-foot hose is best
- Hose storage
- Engine type and power
- Noise output
We’ve listed several top-rated gas pressure washers from brands such as Champion®, Ford®, WEN®, Simpson®, and Generac®. Browse the listings and compare to find the machine that’s right for you.More
Best Gas Pressure Washers – Our 2021 Ratings & Reviews
You’ll notice that gas pressure washers are also a lot heavier than electric. But that’s due to the added weight of the engines, which weigh at least 25 pounds on most models. They’re also bigger so they can support the engine and gas tank.
Buy only what you need
When looking at all the numbers in the specs, keep these in mind:
- PSI – pressure per square inch (how strong the spray is)
- GPM – gallons per minute (how much water is used)
- CU – cleaning power units = PSI x GPM. For example 3200 PSI x 2.5 GPM = 8000 CU
Look for the machine that will get the job done most efficiently for whatever surfaces you have to clean. They all have different features that will help you in one way or another. For instance:
- If you’re tall – look for washers with fold-down handles that will extend far enough so you don’t have to bend over every time you move the machine. Folding handles also make for easy storage.
- If you have back trouble – look for a lightweight machine. Remember that adding gas, water, and oil will increase the listed weight.
- If you have many kinds of surfaces to clean – look for machines with several different nozzles, adjustable pressure, and attachments included.
A note about warranties
Most gas pressure washers will come with a 2-year limited warranty. This is usually just for the engine. Other parts like the pump and accessories can have widely-varying warranties, from 1 year to just 90 days.
And the “limited” part means they guarantee the machine is “free from manufacturer’s defects in material and workmanship.” This basically leaves it in the hands of the service rep to decide whether the defect is the manufacturer’s fault or yours.
Some companies are surprisingly generous in handling these issues. WEN is one of those. Other manufacturers like Simpson, for instance, can be hit or miss. Always contact the retailer first if you have any issues. They’ll often accept returns a lot quicker.
Helpful tips and tricks to keep your Pressure Washer going strong
When we researched customer experiences, we gathered up a lot of useful real-world tips for troubleshooting problems that may arise with your pressure washer. You’re investing a good chunk of change on this machine. So take care of it, and it will take care of you. We’re listing some good troubleshooting tips below for your reference.
- READ THE MANUAL – This should go without saying, but then those Tim Allen types… seriously, just read through the manual over your morning coffee and highlight important info so you know what’s what.
- Oil leaking during shipping – This seemed to be a common problem with several machines. Oil can leak and soak into air filters which will choke out the engine if you try to start it. Check your air filter upon arrival. If it’s soaked with oil, wash the filter with Purple Power. Let it dry, then replace and see if it will start.
- Fittings & other connections loose – Check all these before start up. Tighten anything that’s loose but do NOT overtighten or you could crack the housing or strip the bolts.
- Prime the pump – Air trapped in hoses can damage the pump. Let the water run through it for at least 30 seconds (even a couple minutes) before you start spraying. If you have longer hoses, it can take longer to get primed.
- Post-op care – When you’re finished (especially after long jobs), don’t just turn off the machine and stick it in the garage. Take some time to do a little maintenance. Take the pump hose off and inject some pump saver to protect the inner workings of the pump. You just attach it on the inlet side and spray the can until it comes out the high-pressure hose side. It will prolong the life of your pump big time.
- Change that oil – After every 10 to 20 hours of use (more frequently for new machines), change both the engine and pump oil. New machines can have loose metal shavings that will come off in the oil, and you don’t want too many accumulating and running through the engine.
- Use the right oil – Normal 30W oil sold for automobiles can be bad for pressure washers. You need small, air-cooled engine oil, so make sure you’re using the right thing and not just grabbing whatever you put in your truck. Always use the oil recommended in the manual.
- Think about extensions – Wand extenders and longer (~50’) hoses are great for reaching those upper stories and gutters. They keep you off ladders and keep you from having to move the machine around so often. If you’re tall, a wand extension can really save your back when working on ground level surfaces.
- Do you have big hands? – Sometimes it can be hard to fit your hands in to detach the hoses from the machine with everything in tight quarters. Try putting on a quick disconnect adapter so it’s easier to detach.
- Don’t over tighten anything – We said this in #3, but just don’t. If you overtighten the inlet hose to the washer, for instance, you’ll probably have leaks. Remember, stronger isn’t always better!
- Finesse the choke – Many machines have manual chokes that need a little finessing before you use the pull-start. After you pull once or twice, move the choke lever a little bit, then pull again. Repeat if necessary.
- Be mindful of hoses when moving the washer – If they’re long and tend to get in the way, hold both inlet and high-pressure hoses near the washer handle when you’re moving the machine. This will prevent running over hoses or getting them tangled.
- Make sure your nozzles are securely attached – Many people have popped a nozzle onto their wand, pulled the spray trigger, and wheeeeee – the nozzle flew across the yard, never to be seen again. This is a real challenge if you lose a green tip in your green grass. So be sure the nozzles are firmly on before you start spraying.
Winterize that baby
For those of you who have cold winters, you must winterize your gas pressure washer before storing it so you’ll be able to start it again come spring. To do this, follow your owner’s manual instructions. Basically, you’ll be filling the pump and internal tubing system with RV-type antifreeze. If storing for over a month, drain the gas from the fuel tank as well.
Here’s a handy video to show you how: How to winterize a pressure washer.