There are many people who believe a gas pressure washer is the only way to go. Sure, these are noisy machines that belch noxious fumes, but they provide the power that one needs for heavy-duty cleaning. An electric power washer can never compete, albeit a quieter and easier to use alternative.
When discussing pressure washers, there are two basic factors that we’re looking at: pressure, measured in Pounds per Square Inch (PSI) and water flow, expressed as Gallons per Minute (GPM). This is achieved by using a high-pressure pump, which can be either an axial cam or triplex pump. These pumps work by means of reciprocating pistons (or plungers) that compress the water into a chamber. To increase the pressure and the smoothness of the flow, it’s best to use three pistons. The water is controlled by valves and is moved from one piston chamber to the next, each time increasing the pressure.
Top Rated Gas Power Washers
In the end, this is a conversion of energy. The mechanical energy provided by an electric motor or gas engine is converted into a physical force that moves and pressurizes the water. Therefore, it’s logical that the energy input will determine the energy output. Horsepower input is converted to PSI and GPM output. So it’s obvious that a gas engine with more horsepower is going to give us the greatest output.
We’re going to be reviewing 5 really great gas-powered pressure washers. They’re pretty powerful machines with a pressure spec ranging from 2700 PSI to 3200 PSI and water flow of 2.5 to 2.7 GPM. As far as gas-powered pressure washers go, this is on the lower end of the power scale, but this makes them more affordable and perfect for the small to medium shop, farmer, or the home user with higher than average expectations from a power washer.
Naturally, the models with the best performance will seem like the obvious choice, 3200 PSI with a flow of 2.7 GPM gives you the advantage of good water volume, even at high pressure and the ability to get more done in less time. Though these power washers don’t all cost the same and some may be looking for a cheaper option. There’s also the size of the machine to consider and your running costs. A larger gas engine is going to use more fuel and, therefore, cost more to own. If you don’t need the most powerful power washer, a more economical option would make better sense.
So regardless of personal preference, you should find exactly what you’re looking for if you need more from a pressure washer than the average Joe. Even the smallest and least powerful of these gas pressure washers outperform the commonly available electric models.
1. DuroMax XP3100PWT 2.5 GPM Gas Powered Power Pressure Washer 3100 PSI
The DuroMax brand has earned my respect, I’m quite familiar with their generators and the XP3100PWT gas pressure washer meets my high expectations based on what I’ve come to know about their products. What impresses me about DuroMax (this power washer included) is the high level of quality that you get from a machine that costs so little. This is the cheapest pressure washer in this review and, for the most part, matches even the really expensive models when it comes to quality and durability.
When I said that this pressure washer is of a high quality standard, there are two areas where I feel this isn’t entirely the case. For one thing, I don’t particularly like those thin plastic wheels. Though if you look at most of the other power washers in this class, the wheels are not always their strong point. The other area where the DuroMax XP3100PWT doesn’t display the level of industrial build quality that I’d like to see is in the plastic rivets used for some of the mounting points. Though, in general, these are more like petty issues. Neither the wheels nor the hangers for the pipe and wand are crucial to the operation of the machine. For what this pressure washer costs, I’d be happy to replace the wheels (if needed) and the plastic rivets with steel bolts. Neither of these tasks take much effort and won’t cost anything worth mentioning. It still remains excellent value for money.
If we ignore these minor issues and look at the actual machinery (which is what really counts), the DuroMax really comes into its own. The 7HP engine is a truly capable unit and starts effortlessly. This runs a 3-piston axial cam pump with a solid brass head. Like any self-respecting modern gas engine, it has low oil shutoff protection.
Using the pressure washer is an absolute pleasure, it certainly has the power that one is looking for – 3100 PSI maximum pressure and a water flow of 2.5 GPM. This is close to highest power spec for a gas power washer in this class, it’s one of the better performers in this review. The wand is great with plenty of reach and a soft grip handle with an easy to use trigger. A good-quality 30 FT high-pressure hose comes with it and there’s a storage hanger on the frame for the hose. The wand also has a neat storage position, as do the nozzles. An excellent selection of 6 quick connect nozzles is as good as it gets. It’s supplied with 0; 15; 25 and 40 degree nozzles, as well as a soap and a turbo nozzle. This gives you the perfect water flow and pressure combinations for any application for which you’d want to use a high-power pressure washer.
High-quality brass connectors always impress me and this is what you’ll find on the DuroMax XP3100PWT. The water intake connector has a mesh filter to protect the pump from harmful abrasive particles in the water supply. The metal frame also looks tough enough and it’s nice to see a large metal gas tank. The soap dispenser is safely tucked away under the base of the frame. It has a filler that’s easy to access with a decent sized opening, so you won’t be spilling detergent all over the place. Soap is supplied to the pump outlet by means of a clear hose, you can see when it’s flowing.
So with the exception of the minor issues I mentioned at the beginning, this is one impressive piece of machinery. It’s a great pressure washer, capable of meeting the needs of any auto shop, farmer or serious DIY enthusiast. It would be hard to dispute the excellent value for money that you get from this power washer. It’s as cheap as you can hope for, with no real compromise when it comes to quality. Apart from a broken spark plug and a damaged choke lever component, I haven’t found any legitimate complaints about the DuroMax XP3100PWT. In both these cases, I wouldn’t blame the manufacturer, this probably happened during transportation and both are easily rectified problems. A 1-year parts warranty is pretty standard, though this is nothing to brag about and it comes with a 30-day replacement warranty.
In the past, I’ve had some issues with Briggs & Stratton engines. They never seem to die and will keep chugging for years, but they used to be somewhat temperamental. I often used find myself pulling on the recoil starter with no luck. Check all the obvious things, sparkplug and carb – but still nothing. Then, for no apparent reason, the engine will suddenly spring to life with one pull. Once running, they would purr without a hiccup. Though this is history, late in 2016, Briggs & Stratton unveiled a completely new range of engines. They haven’t been around long enough for me to say that they hold true to the Briggs & Stratton reputation for engines that seem to last forever, but I see no
reason to doubt that they are very durable engines. They’ve certainly improved on the starting problems that I mentioned. The new Briggs & Stratton engines, start like a dream, even in very cold weather. This makes the Briggs & Stratton 20655 pressure washer a mighty contender as one of the best.
If first impressions are anything to go by, then this power washer can only be described as wow! It has a seriously thick tubing frame with massive, tough 10” wheels and a bumper at the front to protect the engine. The engine and pump are mounted to a sturdy pressed steel base plate. It certainly looks the part – ready to take on the tough conditions of any busy shop.
As I mentioned in the intro, Briggs & Stratton have really improved their engines and the CR950, 208cc variant used to power this pressure washer delivers on this promise. The heavy-duty axial cam pump is perfectly matched to the impressive engine to deliver 3200 PSI pressure and 2.7 GPM water flow. In this class of power washer, you won’t easily find a better spec than that. It has a great ratio of pressure to flow rate. At its maximum rated pressure (3200 PSI), the Briggs & Stratton still has a great water flow of 2.4 GPM and if you’re going for the maximum flow of 2.7 GPM, you’ll still get a pressure of 2600 PSI. These pressure specs have been verified by the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association (PWMA).
The 30 FT high-pressure hose looks like it’s going to last for some time and stores onto the frame. The wand is equally great and also stores on the unit. Four nozzles are slightly limited, but should be versatile enough for most people. You’ll get 0; 15 and 40 degrees and a soap nozzle. There’s no detergent tank, just a siphon hose that you can place directly into your soap container, which works just fine. The brass head and quality fittings on the pump are up there with the best of them and add to the general high-quality look and feel of this, already impressive, pressure washer.
The Briggs & Stratton 20655 is far from being the cheapest in this lineup. But with a powerful engine, excellent pump and all-around high level of quality, it’s certainly worth its price tag. The pressure and water flow specs are higher than most and this makes it great for demanding work situations. The warranty is also above par, being 2-years for residential use and 3-months for commercial use.
For generations, we’ve come to know Ford as a name that that stands for reliability and no-nonsense dependability. In developing their power products, Ford has collaborated with Pulsar, another brand with the same common sense values. These brands, together, have an important common ground: supplying products that you can depend on at a price that makes them accessible to everyone. Ford power products are not aiming to be the cheapest, yet they’re far from being the most expensive. This means there are no cost-cutting measures that compromise their quality standards, at the same time keeping the price well within the norm. You just need to think of the legendary Ford F250 pickup to know what I mean by this. While we’re talking about a pressure washer here, not a pickup, the basic philosophy remains the same.
Every time I look at any of the Ford power products, the 8-year-old kid in me gets excited by those shiny, chrome-finished wheels. Though my adult brain soon comes to reason – spraying a cool chrome paint on the wheels is attractive, but this is going to get scuffed and the allure of brilliance will fade. So, when it comes down to it, I want to know how this machine is going to perform and will it stand the test of time? The Ford branding always gives me a sense of comfort and the FPW2700H-J pressure washer certainly inspires confidence.
The general sense of quality is displayed in every part of this power washer. The frame is expertly designed, well-made and remarkably tough. The 10” wheels are not only cool-looking and suitably large, they’re also tough and durable. These wheels actually deserve some mention because they are quite remarkable, apart from being tougher than most. You usually have the choice of solid rubber (never flat tires) or pneumatic (air-filled) wheels. Solid wheels are maintenance-free but can be a hassle when moving the machine over bumps or stairs. By filling their tires with foam, Ford gives you the best of both. They have the soft forgiving nature of pneumatic tires without the hassles of leaks and punctures.
There’s a great handle for moving the machine, with thick foam padding. The storage solutions for the pipe, wand, and nozzles are also well thought out and display the same level of quality that you see throughout the pressure washer. This engine is CARB certified and runs a magnificent 3-piston axial cam pump.
If you’re looking for the most power from your pressure washer, the Ford FPW2700H-J is going to fall short of your expectations. The pressure spec of 2700 PSI and a water flow of 2.3 GPM can best be described as average for a pressure washer in this class. However, as far as economical running goes, the Ford is probably going to come up tops. The 180cc, 5HP, OHV engine is a really tough and reliable machine, it won’t break unless seriously abused. This engine is quite a bit smaller than many of the others and this should mean better fuel consumption. If you’re going to be saving even $5 a month in gas bills, the pressure washer is likely to pay for itself over its lifetime. I suspect the Ford FPW2700H-J is going to keep working reliably for many, many years, in which case it will more than pay for itself in gas savings over time. So this is food for thought if you’re a budget-minded buyer.
If you’re not put off by the slightly lower pressure and water flow spec, the Ford is a fantastic option. The brass and stainless steel fittings are of the highest standard and the wand impresses me more than most. It has a great handle and trigger. Though, more importantly, it looks like it’s going to work well for many years. The same can be said for the 25-foot braided high-pressure hose. The soap tank is nothing short of enormous, it has an excellent filler cap and is protected from knocks by the thick tubing frame. A total of 4 quick connect nozzles is pretty standard. I’m not sure, but I think the spray angles are the regular 0; 15 and 40 degrees, as well as a low-pressure soap nozzle.
While I would have preferred to see more power, I cannot fault the Ford FPW2700H-J in any way. Like all Ford products, this pressure washer has been met with great enthusiasm from consumers. It’s, as they like to say, “Built Ford tough”. My guess is that it will be one of the most economical power washers to own, both when it comes to maintenance and gas costs. This, despite the rather average 1-year warranty.
4. Generac SpeedWash 7122 3200 PSI 2.7 GPM 196cc Gas Powered Pressure Washer System
So the price of the Generac SpeedWash 7122 is well above average for this caliber of power washer. My first question was: is it worth the extra money? Depending on your needs, the answer is probably yes. This is especially true for home users because it has some extra attachments that will make your life a lot easier. It’s the best power washer to clean your driveway, deck, or patio and this review will reveal why. The Generac name also carries quite a bit of weight and many are prepared to pay a little extra, based on the brand reputation alone.
Firstly, I like the engine power to pump output ratio. The 196cc, OHV engine is reliable and isn’t the largest that you’ll get. Despite having a few ccs less than some others, this engine delivers excellent power and it utilizes a super-efficient high-pressure pump. The result, an excellent pressure rating of 3200 PSI with a maximum flow rate of 2.7 GPM. This is exactly the same as the Briggs & Stratton 20655 which has a larger engine. Big up to Generac on the energy efficiency side of things.
The general quality of this power washer is, without a doubt, among the best. The frame is strong, with thicker than average steel tubing. The pump, with its brass head and quality fittings is certainly a durable item and looks incredibly easy to service, with easily accessible bolts. The super-durable 30-foot hose is fantastic. It’s kink-free and stores very compactly onto a steel hanger. All the other components, like nozzles and the wand store with the same ease. This wand is also better than most, with high-quality plastic and stainless steel components.
When it comes to quick connect nozzles and other attachments, the Generac beats the rest in a big way. You get 3 regular nozzles (0; 25 and 40 degrees), no big deal. But there’s a whole more, the turbo nozzle is truly awesome and cleans with great efficiency. The soap nozzle is also extraordinary, it has a wide directional spray head and sprays much further than any other. Then there’s the bonus broom attachment that has a wide 12” floor-cleaning head. This makes it the best power washer for cleaning any large floor area, like the driveway, deck, patio, or around your pool. This is a marvelous addition to an already superior pressure washer.
I’ve seen some customers grumbling about the service they’ve received from Generac, though this defies the general impression that most people have of the brand. Not only are their products known to be among the best, but their service is also seen as being better than most in the industry. A 3-year warranty is certainly nothing to complain about and seems to suggest that Generac are out to look after their customers for the long haul.
Yard force is known to supply quality affordable products for the home user. Though as an economical option for the light to medium-duty shop or a farmer, the Yard Force pressure washer is a great option. It’s in the lower to the mid-price range and offers exceptional value for money.
The 208cc engine is quite a brute with a lot of power. Their EZ start technology holds true to its name, this engine is simple and quick to get going and then purrs like a baby. The axial cam pump is just as great, giving you 3200 PSI maximum pressure and 2.7 GPM water flow.
The frame is very impressive and the handle folds down for quick and compact storage. The quality 30-foot rubber high-pressure hose is also designed for ease of use. The hose is permanently connected to the pump, so there’s no connecting and disconnecting. It stores on a caddy with a handle so you can unwind only as much pipe as you need to use and then quickly and easily retract it again. This makes yard cleanups as effortless as possible. All the other components store just neatly onto the frame. The 12” wheels are bigger than just about any other and this makes it very easy to move over rough terrain.
You get 15-degree and 40-degree quick connect nozzles, as well as a soap nozzle and a turbo nozzle with an adjustable rotating spray for intensive cleaning. The soap dispenser is large enough for most purposes and easy to fill. You also have to option of placing a siphon hose directly into the detergent container if this is easier for you.
So for affordable quality and a good deal of versatility, the Yard Force is also one of the best power washers. They have very friendly and helpful service agents, which is reassuring and you get a 2-year warranty on the engine as well as the pump.