Tired of looking at your weathered deck or riding around in your dingy car? A pressure washer is the perfect tool to get things clean and looking like new. However, finding the best pressure washer within your budget can be a lot of, well, pressure. They are complicated, nuanced tools with often expensive price tags. If you don’t know exactly what you want or need, you may end up wasting time and money. But don't worry! We did the hard part and researched everything you need to know about buying the best electric pressure washer under $200.
Electric Pressure Washers vs. Gas Pressure Washers
Finding the best pressure washer for you comes down to one simple question: Should you go for gas or electric? Gas pressure washers tend to be more powerful, but they’re also more costly and difficult to start. So, if you opt for a gas-powered option, expect to spend most of your day fidgeting with it and most of your money refilling it. Not only are electric pressure washers less expensive, but they also leave a smaller carbon footprint. So unless you are going into the car-washing business, go for an electric pressure washer. (However, either way they make for very satisfying power washing videos.)
How much pressure (PSI) do you need?
Before you make any purchase, one of the most important things to do is to find out how much water pressure you need. Water pressure is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch, and GPM, or gallons per minute. If you don’t have the right pressure for what you are trying to clean, you are going to have a tough time getting the job done.
Most pressure washers will operate somewhere around 1200 to 2000 PSI and 1.2 to 1.6 GPM. For a frame of reference, the faucet in your kitchen probably sprays at 50 PSI and 2.5 GPM. A higher GPM is great for pressure washers, but the PSI is more important. For cars and decks, anything above a 1500 PSI electric pressure washer should get the job done. Houses and driveways take a bit more, but water pressure higher than 1800 PSI can clean them with some work. Get a 3000 PSI electric pressure washer if you want to clean the side of your home, boat, or all-terrain vehicle. If you want to strip paint, remove graffiti, or clean industrial equipment, you need a 4000 PSI electric pressure washer.
That begs the question: What do you need to wash? If you’re only looking to clean your deck, anything on this list will work for you. If you’re trying to clean your car, the Karcher K1800 ($169, Walmart) will get the job done. If you’re looking to clean your house and driveway, scroll to the bottom to see which model can ultimately meet most everyday household needs.
Best Pressure Washers Under $200
Just like picking one of the best pool vacuums, selecting a pressure washer can be time-consuming because different jobs require different features, and each model comes with its own set of technical details. But with your new arsenal of information, you're well on your way. Keep scrolling to check out some of the pressure washers we reviewed and find the perfect the best electric pressure washer for you today.
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