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Buyers Guide & Information

Best Small & Portable Pressure Washers Reviewed

Stay compact and mobile while cleaning with these highly-rated brands.

by

Buyers Guide & Information

Best Small & Portable Pressure Washers Reviewed

Stay compact and mobile while cleaning with these highly-rated brands.

by JohnL

by JohnL

When you think of pressure washers, you might imagine a large, gas-powered unit that requires an experienced user. In reality, however, there is an overwhelming range of electric, battery-powered, and small gas pressure washers that are easy for the average homeowner to use. There are even some you do not have to hook up to a hose. These portable pressure washer reviews will help you determine the best small pressure washer for your cleaning needs.

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Model

Maximum Flow Rate

Water Pressure

Weight

Check Price

Sun Joe SPX3200 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp 2030 PSI (Max)...

Sun Joe SPX3200

1.76 GPM

2030 PSI (rated 1450 PSI)

27.5 Lbs.

Greenworks GPW1502 1500 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric...

Greenworks GPW1502

1.2 GPM

1500 PSI

15.8 Lbs.

YARD FORCE YF1600A1 1600 Psi Compact Electric...

YARD FORCE YF1600A1

1.2 GPM

1600 PSI

17 Lbs.

Brizer X100 Electric Pressure Washer Machine...

BRIZER X100

1.6 GPM

1600 PSI

24.9 Lbs.

Sun Joe SPX6001C-CT iON 40V 1160 PSI Max Cordless...

Sun Joe SPX6001C-CT iON

0.79 GPM

1160 PSI (rated 800 PSI)

22.7 Lbs.

AR Blue Clean AR112 1,600 PSI 1.58 GPM Electric...

AR Blue Clean AR112

1.58 GPM

1600 PSI

18.2 Lbs.

WORX WG625.4 20V Cordless Hydroshot Portable Power...

WORX WG625.4

0.53 GPM

320 PSI

3.7 Lbs.

Simpson Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot Gas Pressure...

SIMPSON MSH3125-S

2.5 GPM

3200 PSI

55 Lbs.

How Portable Pressure Washers Work

Small pressure washers work the same as large pressure washers; however, generally smaller units provide less power and less water pressure. All pressure washers have an energy source that powers a water pump. Many small units are electric or battery-powered, but small gas-powered pressure washers have a small internal combustion engine.


Small Pressure Washer Pros & Cons

Most small pressure washers can adjust within a range of pressure levels. However, smaller units generate lower pressures. This is not necessarily bad: Higher pressures are more likely to damage property or even people. If you want to do basic residential cleaning, very high pressures might be more a liability than an asset.

Consumer Reports found that small electric units actually can handle tough stains and big jobs, but they will take longer. However, most homeowners just want to clean dirt off cars, small vehicles, bicycles, patios, and patio furnishings. Some might want to blast grime from exterior surfaces—medium-pressure portable washers (1600-psi) can do this.


Portable Pressure Washer Buyers Guide

Cleaning Needs/Purpose

The tougher and more frequent the cleaning tasks, the more powerful a pressure washer one needs, and the more likely one will have to resort to a gas-powered unit. Tar, oil, grease, and pigmented stains demand more pressure and more time. Superficial dirt, however, will come off quickly with a vigorous squirt.  

Pressure Level & Flow Rate

The best small pressure washers provide more pressure (psi) than you would get from a garden hose—usually by at least 5 times. Pressure washer pumps use the pressure from a given volume of water—ultimately doing more work with less water. However, higher psi values still coincide with higher flow rates (GPM).

Power Source

Most of the pressure washers reviewed here are electric—you plug them into a standard household outlet. A couple are cordless and powered by rechargeable battery; while this is convenient, and necessary if you do not have an outlet nearby, battery and charger systems do add some expense and maintenance. One reviewed here is gas-powered. Most homeowners like electric and battery units’ noiseless and fumeless operation, but if you really need high psi, you have to get a gas-powered washer.

Durability & Versatility

All washers reviewed here require cold water as a source; they cannot tolerate hot water (usually 104⁰F). (You can find the best small hot water pressure washers for enhanced cleaning.) A couple reviewed have features that allow you to use water sources other than a hose—a bucket or bottle of water, even a natural body of freshwater.

Weight & Dimensions

All washers on this list are well under 100 lbs.—all but one are well under 50 lbs. Some are very light and have a prominent handle, so you can carry them in hand as you wash. Others are a bit heavier but have wheels and usually some sort of small or fold-up handle on the body to make maneuvering comfortable. Most could be stored on a shelf; the largest unit is only about 3-ft in its greatest dimension.

Additional Equipment

  • Essentials:
    Basic pressure washer accessories are spray gun, nozzle, and high-pressure hose (extending from washer body to spray gun). Most also include a wand/lance (extension from gun to nozzle). Many come with a selection of nozzle tips that provide various angle sprays (the narrower the angle, the higher the pressure), while others have twist-adjustment nozzles.
  • Good-to-have accessories:
    Some come with a bottle for detergent—effectively turning the pressure washer into a foam cannon. A few washers come with a turbo (rotating) nozzle or specially-shaped cleaning brushes. A surface cleaner is a common sold-separately accessory. While it is recommended to match brand name when buying accessories separately, almost all small pressure washers use Quick-Connect fittings. This means you can mix brands, as long the attachment can tolerate the intended washer's pressure (psi).

Price & Warranty

All pressure washers reviewed here are under $500, with the cheapest hovering around $100. Even though extra batteries/charger (when not included) increase the total price of cordless units, they are still within the above range. Small pressure washers have, at minimum, a 1-year warranty on the pump and engine, but many guarantee all essential parts for 2-3 years.


8 Best Portable Pressure Washers Reviewed

1. Sun Joe SPX3200

Out Top Pick!

Power Source

Electric

Maximum Flow Rate

1.76 GPM

Water Pressure

2030 PSI (rated 1450 PSI)

Weight

27.5 Lbs.

Dimensions

19 x 11.56 x 24 Inches

Warranty

2-year (No questions asked)

The Sun Joe SPX3200 is the best portable pressure washer for most homeowners—and arguably, the best small portable electric pressure washer, overall. The rated 1450 PSI is more than enough for most residential tasks while also reducing the risk of property damage or injury. The SPX3200 has other safety features: GFCI on the power cord, excessive pressure reduction, trigger lock, and thermal sensor to prevent overheating. Also, for the pump’s safety, it has a Total-Stop System (TSS)—the pump will shut off if the spray trigger is not engaged.

Users of all sizes and physical conditions will appreciate that the SPX3200 is not only lightweight with a prominent handle along the back but also easy to roll along, with 2 pairs of wheels and 360⁰ swivel. Furthermore, it has a 35-ft electric cord, a 20-ft pressure hose, and a 34-inch wand. Sold separately, Sun Joe Patio Cleaning Attachment is a helpful accessory for basic surface cleaning.

This unit is also feature-rich. It gives you a choice of 5 nozzle tips: red (0⁰), yellow (15⁰), green (25⁰), gray (40⁰), and black (detergent). You can store the tips, hose, and cord on intended racks along the washer’s body. It has a 27-oz detergent tank built-in. Sun Joe offers a choice of 3 detergents for typical residential jobs: Sun Joe® HOUSE + DECK WASH (SPX-HDC1G), Sun Joe® SNOW FOAM AUTO WASH (SPX-FCS1G), or Sun Joe® HEAVY DUTY CLEANER (SPX-APC1G).

Some users are disappointed that the company advertises a somewhat higher max pressure than the actual one: Sun Joe explains this by reporting that the 2030-psi value is a CSA test value right from the pump; they acknowledge that the nozzle pressure is less. However, Sun Joe does have an unusually good warranty—you do not need to fight for repairs or replacements.

Pros

  • Simple to set up and use
  • Good safety features
  • Excellent warranty
  • Very easy to move around
  • Works for most residential tasks

Cons

  • Pressure is less than advertised

2. Greenworks GPW1502

Best portable electric pressure washer

Power Source

Electric

Maximum Flow Rate

1.2 GPM

Water Pressure

1500 PSI

Weight

15.8 Lbs.

Dimensions

6.8 x 15.0 x 10.9 Inches

Warranty

1-year

The Greenworks GPW1502 is the best portable electric pressure washer overall: It is the lightest and most compact among similar-pressure-level units on this review list; almost anyone can use it, and it has all the features a homeowner needs. Moreover, its max pressure is impressive for its size, yet not enough to damage surfaces.

This Greenworks portable pressure washer is PWMA-certified (Pressure Washer Manufacturers' Association); despite its small size, it has a 35-ft GFCI electric cord and a 20-ft pressure hose. While it comes with only two nozzles—25⁰ and 40⁰, you can get a kit of Greenworks nozzle tips that gives you 0⁰, 25⁰, 40⁰, and detergent. Greenworks also offers a soap applicator that can attach to the nozzle, which many users prefer to the internal detergent tank.

The GPW1502 has straps and hooks for the hose and cord, but—likely because it is so small—some users find it hard to really keep the coils neatly on the unit body. Somehow, this well-rated model is absent from the Greenworks website; however, there is also the functionally similar GPW1501. (The GPW1501 has the same GPM and PSI values, but the build is a little different.) Greenworks offers a more thorough warranty than most, even paying shipping charges for flawed product returns.

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Not likely to damage surfaces
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Powerful for its size
  • Great for physically limited users

Cons

  • Sometimes comes with defective nozzle
  • Comes with only 2 nozzle tips

3. YARD FORCE YF1600A1

Best portable pressure washer For Cars

Power Source

Electric

Maximum Flow Rate

1.2 GPM

Water Pressure

1600 PSI

Weight

17 Lbs.

Dimensions

16 x 12 x 12 Inches

Warranty

2-year (pump and motor); 90 days (other parts)

The Yard Force YF1600A1 is the best portable pressure washer for cars and one of the best small electric pressure washers. It is easy to move around in every way: It very lightweight, has small wheels, and a fold-down top handle; plus, it has a 35-ft GFCI electric cord and 19-ft non-marring PVC hose. Furthermore, its body has a closed compartment/slot for every accessory.

Yard Force pressure washers are PWMA-certified and made in the USA, with their customer service center in Atlanta, Georgia. The company is straightforward about psi values: The rated pressure is the advertised 1600 psi, while the max pressure is 1750 psi.

While only 3 tips are included (25⁰, soap, and turbo), you can get a Yard Force Universal-Fit Quick-Connect Spray Tip 3-Pack (0⁰, 15⁰, 40⁰, Soap) to give you more options. However, many users like the turbo tip and really do not need more than those included. Despite its small size, the YF1600A1 has the largest built-in detergent tank (32 oz.) on this review list and a drainage opening to release unused detergent.

Users are happy to find that they can wash all exterior parts of their car—along with almost all exterior parts of their home—with the YF1600A1. Sometimes, users struggle to coil the hose into the dedicated compartment on the unit; however, there is sufficient space if one finds the right method.

Pros

  • Great customer service
  • Simple to set up and use
  • Light and compact
  • Elaborate built-in detergent tank
  • Good value for cost

Cons

  • Cumbersome on-board accessory storage

4. BRIZER X100

Best portable commercial pressure washer

Power Source

Electric

Maximum Flow Rate

1.6 GPM

Water Pressure

1600 PSI

Weight

24.9 Lbs.

Dimensions

15.8 x 12.5 x 11.2 Inches

Warranty

30-day (No questions asked)

With its convenience and compactness at an economical price, the Brizer X100 is the best portable commercial pressure washer and one of the best small electric pressure washers. At just under 25 lbs.—most adults can carry it easily by the large handle integrated with the washer’s body. While the 15-ft pressure hose is a little shorter than those of similar psi on this review list, some might actually see this as a plus: There is less hose to carry, wrap, or otherwise juggle, while you are cleaning.

With the X100, there is no need to switch nozzle tips: the nozzle is adjustable by twisting. For yet more convenience, the unit comes with an accompanying foam cannon. However, the connections are universal—if you want, you can use a detergent bottle/foam cannon, or even spray gun, from another brand with it. This is also a great portable pressure washer for cars; Amazon frequently sells the well-rated Chemical Guys Snow Foam Car Wash with the X100.

As an electric pressure washer, this unit is quiet and produces no fumes. Its size and shape make it easy to store in a small space and unobtrusive when sitting out. The lack of company website makes it difficult to learn much about this brand; however, this pressure washer seems to be on par with those of similar build and psi.

Pros

  • Adjustable nozzle—no switching tips
  • Foam cannon included
  • Suitable for workers of all sizes
  • Can add other-brand accessories
  • Prominent handle across top

Cons

  • Relatively short warranty
  • Relatively short pressure hose

5. Sun Joe SPX6001C-CT iON

Best portable pressure washer with water tank

Power Source

Cordless/Battery

Maximum Flow Rate

0.79 GPM

Water Pressure

1160 PSI (rated 800 PSI)

Weight

22.7 Lbs.

Dimensions

18.5 x 16.1 x 22.5 Inches

Warranty

2-year (No questions asked)

For at-home jobs, the Sun Joe SPX6001C-CT iON is the best portable pressure washer with water tank. Moreover, it can be used entirely unconnected, since it is also cordless—powered by a 40-V rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This unit is rated by Consumer Reports.

Some users are frustrated by Sun Joe’s over-reported psi values: In reality, this unit has 3 rated pressure levels of 507 (low), 650 (medium), and 800 psi (high)—controlled by a dial. While these are relatively low pressures, they are generally sufficient. (For instance, users agree that this is a great pressure washer for auto detailing.) Plus, lower psi values make this pressure washer safer for both people and property.

The SPX6001C-CT iON is very portable, with two pairs of wheels and a handle to pull it along. You can take the 5.3-gallon tank off and hook the unit up to a hose if you prefer. It comes with 0⁰, 15⁰, 25⁰, and 40⁰ spray tips, plus you can attach a soap sprayer, even potentially one from another brand, to the 34-inch wand. Sun Joe All-Purpose Heavy Duty Cleaner is a well-rated detergent option, too.

You can purchase the Sun Joe iONMAX iCHRG40 EcoSharp Battery Charger, and Sun Joe iONMAX iBAT40 EcoSharp Battery (4.0-Ah) or iONMAX iBAT40XR EcoSharp Battery (5.0-Ah) Sun Joe EcoSharp batteries separately. For safety, the charger has heat, current, and voltage overload protection, and EcoSharp promises steady power flow. The 4.0-Ah battery delivers at least 20 minutes of runtime per charge on this model.

Pros

  • Adjustable nozzle—no switching tips
  • Hose or tank option
  • Good selection of nozzle tips and accessories
  • Lightweight
  • No cord to deal with

Cons

  • Over-reported pressure value
  • Battery/charger adds to cost

6. AR Blue Clean AR112

Best portable bike pressure washer

Power Source

Electric

Maximum Flow Rate

1.58 GPM

Water Pressure

1600 PSI

Weight

18.2 Lbs.

Dimensions

7.5 x 10 x 18 Inches

Warranty

1-year

Well-suited for most light-medium cleaning tasks, the AR Blue Clean AR112 is the best portable bike pressure washer and one of the best portable electric pressure washers. It has a no-nonsense design—its solid-blue body, under 20lbs., is one of the lightest on this review list. It has an on/off button; slots/hooks to store spray gun, hose, and cord on the body; and a large handle across the top.

The AR112 has all the necessary features, and then some: It has a 35-ft power cord with GFCI, a 20-ft pressure hose, Total-Stop System, and a twist-adjustment pressure nozzle; plus it comes with a turbo nozzle and 14-oz detergent bottle that attaches to the spray gun. Users agree that this washer gives what it promises and that the Annovi Reverberi (AR) customer service is unusually helpful.

Annovi Reverberi is an originally Italian company that specializes in pumps—including industrial, agricultural, and commercial; AR Blue Clean is their line of consumer pressures washers, and their United States headquarters is AR North America. Their pressure washers are Kiwa- and CSA-certified and Accredia-accredited.

You can get AR Blue Clean Car and Truck Wash as a detergent for vehicles, and, unlike other brands, AR sells its own AR North America Pressure Washer Pump Saver for winterization. If you are interested in AR’s latest update of the AR112, look at the AR Blue Clean AR112S (1500 PSI).

Pros

  • Very lightweight
  • Prominent carrying handle
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Adjustable nozzle—no switching tips
  • Easy setup and use

Cons

  • Weak hose connections

7. WORX WG625.4

Best portable pressure washer under $300

Power Source

Cordless/Battery

Maximum Flow Rate

0.53 GPM

Water Pressure

320 PSI

Weight

3.7 Lbs.

Dimensions

36.2 x 9.6 x 3.3 Inches

Warranty

3-year

The WORX WG625.4, with its unique, feature-rich build, is the best portable pressure washer under $300. It has the lowest max pressure on this review list, but still increases the incoming pressure of a garden hose 5-10 times. By twisting the nozzle, one can get 0⁰ (max), 15⁰, 25⁰, 40⁰, and shower/plant-watering sprays.

This WORX portable pressure washer is the very lightest on this list—the spray gun essentially is the body of the unit. You can hook it up to a hose, use the included siphon tube to suck water up to 5 ft out of a bucket, or you can use the included bottle cap connector to pull water from a 2-L bottle. In some instances, this is an improvement over a portable pressure washer with a tank.

The WG625.4 comes with an unusual number of accessories one can attach in place of the wand: a 13.5-oz detergent bottle with a nozzle that attaches to the spray gun; a rotary cleaning brush; and an auto power scrubber. These features make the WG625.4 one of the best pressure washers for small vehicles, bikes, and kayaks. However, if you would like a little more power, consider the WORX WG630.2 20V 4.0Ah High Flow Hydroshot (350 PSI).

Since the battery runtime is only 15 minutes but charge time is 5 hours, you might want to have a replacement battery. This might seem like a drawback; however, these PowerShare batteries are relatively inexpensive, plus they can be used with all WORX devices.

Pros

  • Adjustable nozzle—no switching tips
  • Comes with accessory brushes
  • Works with hose, bucket, or bottle of water
  • Very lightweight
  • Great value for cost

Cons

  • Battery has short runtime
  • Comparatively low pressure

8. SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125-S

Best small gas pressure washer

Power Source

Gas

Maximum Flow Rate

2.5 GPM

Water Pressure

3200 PSI

Weight

55 Lbs.

Dimensions

26 x 18 x 35 Inches

Warranty

5-year (frame), 1-year (pump), 90-day (accessories), 2-year (Honda engine)

The Simpson Cleaning MSH3125-S is the best small gas pressure washer. While it is the heaviest on this review list, it is light compared to other gas-powered washers. Furthermore, it does not need to be carried during use: It has 10-inch traction pneumatic tires that make it suitable for rough or slanted surfaces.

The MSH3125-S has the highest max pressure and is the most heavy-duty on this review list: it has a 25-ft. MorFlex™ non-marring pressure hose and a powder-coated (corrosion-resistant) steel frame; it is CETA-certified, and made in the USA. Many users choose this model especially for its Honda GC190 engine—Honda has a stellar reputation as a maker of small engines for pressure washers, snow blowers, generators, etc.

The MSH3125-S also has many familiar pressure washer features—5 nozzle tips, 16-inch wand, spray gun, and onboard hooks to store accessories. If you are doing light patio cleaning, the Simpson Cleaning 3600 PSI Universal 15’’ Surface Scrubber is an accessory to consider.

One consequence of gas-powered devices is noise. However, most users found this washer to be on par with its peers—no louder than a small lawnmower. Another tradeoff for the (usually) greater power of a gas engine is the complication of maintaining and starting a combustion engine: the on/off switch, recoil, and choke system—plus being sure there is appropriate fuel and oil. However, most users found this one relatively easy to maintain and use.

Pros

  • High power/pressure
  • High-quality engine (Honda)
  • Long, durable pressure hose
  • Can be used on rough/uneven ground
  • Good customer service

Cons

  • Excessive vibration
  • Gas engine maintenance, fumes, and noise

Portable vs. Standard Pressure Washers

Standard pressure washers are medium-to-large in size, pressure, and flow rate. Standard pressure washers typically have a pair of large wheels, giving them some transportability during use. For a very strong person, the Simpson gas-powered unit (#8 of these small pressure washer reviews) is portable—you could call it a miniature standard pressure washer.

Also, Simpson sells small pressure washer trailers to allow easier transport to a worksite. However, for most people, the other electric and battery-powered units on this list (under 30 lbs.) are truly portable—the drawback being that they do not provide the professional-level psi needed for some advanced jobs.


How to Operate a Portable Pressure Washer

Compact pressure washers do not require much setup/assembly—most people have them out of the box and ready to go in 15 minutes. However, it is imperative, for convenience and safety, to read through the instructions before use.

Consumer Reports advises against the use of a 0⁰ tip because it can sometimes pierce skin; however, this is less applicable to portable, low-psi units. They also recommend ear protection, but you probably don’t need it with most of these, since electric and battery-powered devices produce little noise.

Despite the lower power of portable washers, you should wear solid shoes and eye protection, and keep other people at least 10 feet away during use. The CDC gives more details about pressure washer hazards and how to avoid them. Use standard engine safety measures with gas-powered pressure washers: Do not start the engine in an enclosed space.


Pressure Washer Care & Maintenance

The best rule of thumb is, do not store pressure washer accessories wet: If it has a water tank, empty it, and let it dry, wipe off and let wetness evaporate. Some users even like to use WD-40 after water is wiped and evaporated, especially if the unit is going into storage. For long periods of storage, especially if the storage climate could get extreme, consider a pump saver/pump protector—a non-corrosive, non-toxic anti-freeze solution designed for piston pumps.


People Also Ask (FAQs)

What kind of detergent should I use with my portable pressure washer?

Most pressure washer brands sell a line of detergents, often for categories like general-purpose, degreasing, and vehicle cleaning. Simple Green has a well-rated line of pressure washer detergents, as do Briggs & Stratton and Karcher.

How much PSI do I need to clean my car? The driveway? A Deck?

Pressure washers for cars should provide 1000 psi or more. A deck or driveway demands 1000 psi to blow debris off, but at minimum 1600 psi to blast grease or stains off. Be sensitive to the material of a surface: test a small hidden area to be sure it can handle the pressure.

What are the Top Brands of Portable Pressure Washers?

Sun Joe is the most popular brand of affordable portable pressure washers, but Ryobi, AR Blue Clean, Yard Force, and Greenworks also have similarly well-rated, certified lines of small pressure washers.

How far from the surface should I hold the nozzle?

Generally, start about 2 feet away and move in as needed. You can then proceed with your task at this safe and functional distance.

How do you determine the power of a portable pressure washer?

While PSI is predominantly the value to consider for most purposes, some advertisements and resources multiply PSI by GPM and use the product to report overall power rating for pressure washers.


Conclusion

The Sun Joe SPX3200 (#1 of these small pressure washer reviews) is economical, lightweight, and gives sufficient power for the average homeowner's needs, making it an excellent investment for almost anyone. No matter your age, strength, or experience level—there is a portable pressure washer you can use. For many, these become an invaluable multi-purpose device to clean exterior surfaces and furnishings.

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