Electric vs Gas Pressure Washer: The Ultimate Guide(Debate) 2021

By Power Tools

September 2, 2019


Perhaps one of the more difficult decisions when buying a pressure washer…

electric vs gas pressure washer

Difficult because there is no wrong answer.  Even more difficult because the is not a right answer, at least if your needs are multi-purpose.

My first experience of buying a pressure washer started with this same question. It took me a week to decide as I stumbled through every possible electric vs gas pressure washer review online.

This research ended when I reached out to my neighbor.

A couple of years ago, when I was looking for a pressure washer, this gas or electric confusion took me to my neighbor. He had a pressure washer already.

After spending some time with him and chit chatting he asked me some questions that helped me realize something: “I’m gonna wash my car. That’s my criteria.” And so I  ended up with an electric pressure washer.  Sure pressure are multi-purpose and so we think about all the things we can use them for.  But to answer the question of Gas pressure washer or electric, you need to decide your one thing.

That one thing your really want a pressure washer for.  And for all those other tasks you’ll just make do with the one you pick.

This is not going to be a case study, I am just going to share my thoughts and experiences .

Identify Your Pressure Washer Uses

The first step is to identify for which purpose you need a pressure washer.

A pressure washer can be used for many purposes:

  1. Driveways
  2. Car or vehicle
  3. Fence
  4. Deck or patio
  5. Removing Tree Sap
  6. Windows
  7. Tiles
  8. Outdoor furniture
  9. Grills
  10. Toilet
  11. House or vinyl siding

Ring any bells? These are the most common uses of a pressure washer. Read here for some more pressure washer uses and hacks

You need to identify what exactly you are going to do (mostly) with your pressure washer.

Pressure Washer Cleaning Power

I hope you already know what you are going to do with your pressure washer.

This is the time you get an idea about pressure washer’s cleaning power.

Simply, Cleaning power = PSI X GPM. You can understand, the more the cleaning power the more work a pressure washer can perform.

For example: If a pressure washer has 3000 psi with 2.8 GPM the cleaning power will be 3000 X 2.8 = 8400

Now you can easily compare gas vs electric pressure washer on your own. The harder the cleaning job it is, the higher the cleaning power you are going to need.

Electric vs Gas Pressure Washer: Final Consideration

You might have gathered some knowledge of gas and electric pressure washers. Let’s have a look in details about the two types of pressure washers.

Electric Pressure Washer

Electric pressure washers are popular in the market. Because they are very efficient in lightweight cleaning jobs.

Statistically, someone who owns a car owns an electric pressure washer. Cleaning car is a lightweight job and there is no necessity of huge cleaning power.

Splitting the pros and cons of electric pressure washer would give us a greater perspective in this.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Price is very low in comparison with a gas pressure washer
  • No harmful smoke
  • Can be used indoor
  • Less noise level

Cons:

    • Not powerful for every job
  • Built quality is moderate
  • A power connection is mandatory

As you can see, electric pressure washers are the best option for lightweight works. In my opinion, this is the type of washer that can is perfect for every homeowner.

In my case, I had issues with my neighbor just because of his gas pressure washer extreme noise. Definitely, I bought an electric pressure washer. Cleaning my car was the only priority for me.

Related: Collection of Great Pressure Washer for Cars

This type of pressure washer is a good fit for car cleaning, patio, tiles and window cleaning. A maximum of 2000 psi with 1.8 GPM pressure washer is more than enough for this kind of works.

Does any of these jobs are working in your mind? Then an electric pressure washer is the right one for you.

Gas Pressure Washer

This is a matter of power. Gas pressure washers are extremely powerful.

For any type of cleaning work around the house, a gas pressure washer is an excellent choice. The gas engine generates more power than the electric motor, making it a better choice for a heavy cleaning job.

Heavy cleaning job like cleaning mildew from vinyl siding is a good job for gas pressure washer. This type of cleaning job requires a healthy amount of cleaning power.

Let’s focus on the pros and cons to get a clear look on this category.

Pros:

  • Great cleaning power
  • Better engine
  • No need of power cord and electric port
  • Can be used far away from the house with no electricity
  • Good for cleaning large surfaces

Cons:

  • Bulky
  • Noisy
  • Produces smoke
  • Mishandling can cause damage
  • Costly

The fun part is, electric pressure washers range around 2000 psi maximum. Gas pressure washer psi range starts from here. 3000 psi gas pressure washer is the most common range.

Final Verdict

Selection of pressure washer depends on three main points:

  • Power
  • Noise
  • Price

Both electric and gas pressure washers offers great values. You need to stay on these points and find the best one for you.