Electric Power Washers versus Gas Power Washers

A Gas Power Washer vs. Electric Power Washer Review

By Mark J. Donovan

Last year I bought an electric power washer and wound up returning it the same day. Last week I bought a gas power washer from Craftsman, and what a difference.

The electric power washer put out about 1600 psi of water pressure and came with only one attachment, whereas the gas power washer from Craftsman puts out 2200 psi using a 4.5 HP engine and came with 4 different head attachments for the wand. There is one attachment specifically designed for soap and three other heads for various uses; e.g. car washing, house siding, and sidewalk cleaning.

Besides the benefit of the higher water pressure, the gas power washer also has one less wire/hose to drag around (the electric extension cord), has a lower center of gravity and can be rolled around.

The electric power washer on the other hand sat like your typical vacuum cleaner and tipped over easily. Also, the one plastic head clogged within 5 minutes of use and I spent much of my afternoon with it unclogging it.

The cost of the gas power washer was about 50% more than the electric power washer, but it was money well spent. The electric power washer was more of a toy than a tool and I spent more time playing with it than actually getting any work done with it.

The only downside I found with the 4 separate attachments is that you could loose them if you are not careful. I wound up keeping the soap and house siding attachments in my pocket and kept switching between the two as I power washed my home.

One final note: When using a power washer, make sure you use safety glasses. The high water pressure could seriously injure an eye if the wand / nozzle were accidentally directed towards your face and the trigger pulled. This is more likely to happen then you might think as you switch between the various attachment heads. The gas power pressure washer from Craftsman did have a safety switch to prevent inadvertent pulling of the trigger, but the user has to make a conscious effort to set the switch.

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