Pros and Cons to Consider for Gas Pressure Washers vs. Electric Pressure Washers

So the garden hose and bucket and brush aren’t cutting it anymore, and you’re thinking of buying a pressure washer to handle all those tough cleaning jobs outside the house.

Well, I may be a bit biased but I really like how you’re thinking! Personally, I constantly find new uses for my pressure washer, from cleaning the car to giving my home’s siding a quick-and-easy facelift. It’s practically addicting!

One question you’re probably asking is whether you should go with a gas or electric version. Honestly, at the end of the day it’s personal preference but some key differentiators can help you choose.

Gas – big power for big jobs

It can’t be debated, gas-powered pressure washers deliver more power, with water pressures starting around 2,000 PSI* and going up from there.

While the highest-powered units are overkill for most residential uses, many other models, including our medium-duty version, offer PSI levels that are great if you have a large driveway, patio and decks that need cleaning. Simply put: A gas model is going to get through jobs quicker than an electric model.

A gas-powered washer also is portable, since it isn’t tethered by an electrical cord. This is great if you need to clean a fence or shed farther from your home. Or, maybe you need to take it to clean your cabin and power sources are limited.

But all that power and efficiency comes with some requirements. You’ll need to perform some simple engine maintenance including monitoring gas and oil levels and draining or treating the fuel for storage. Gas units are also going to be louder than electric pressure washers. They tend to also be heavier, although all Briggs & Stratton models are mounted on wheels.

Electric – small-project warrior

Electric pressure washers are great for light-duty applications. They’re simple to use and maintain. If you have a small driveway or limited patio space that needs cleaning, this is a great option for you, as you likely don’t need the faster cleaning of a gas-powered version.

One thing we like about the electric versions are the fact that you simply plug them in and go. No oil or gas required. Another perk? They’re quieter than their gas-powered big brothers.

A downside is that they often aren’t as powerful as a gas-powered pressure washer. However, the Briggs & Stratton light-duty electric pressure washer has a max PSI of 1,800* and pumps out 1.3 gallons per minute.

Another limitation is the fact that they need a power source, making jobs away from the house a bit more difficult to tackle.

With all that said, it really does come down to the size of jobs and frequency of use planned for your pressure washer. Large surfaces and lots of cleaning: Go gas. Small jobs and infrequent use: Electric may be your best bet.

So now that you’ve got all the facts, take a look at our selection of both gas and electric pressure washers.

*Pressure washers are rated in accordance to the Pressure Washer Manufacturer Association (PWMA) standard PW 101-2010.