Cleaning with one of the best electric pressure washers.

A pressure washer is the tool of choice for cleaning decks, patios, and walkways. But don't assume you need a big gas-powered machine.

“In our most recent tests, we saw outstanding cleaning results from electric pressure washers—in some cases, better than gas models,” says Dave Trezza, who oversees CR's pressure washer tests.

Electric pressure washers are lighter, more nimble, and far quieter than their gas counterparts. Plus, you don’t have to mess with oil, fuel, or fuel stabilizer.

More on Pressure Washers

Gas or electric, all pressure washers can be dangerous, particularly when used with a zero-degree tip or nozzle. These nozzles can direct a stream of water with such force that it can pierce skin and even cut through protective gear, including boots. So if you buy a model with a zero-degree nozzle, toss the nozzle in the trash to make sure nobody ever uses it.

To test pressure washers, we measure how much pressure each model can produce, in pounds per square inch (psi), giving a higher rating to those with a higher psi. Then we use each pressure washer to strip paint from painted plastic panels, timing how long it takes. Models with a higher pressure output tend to perform better in this test. We also measure noise and have found that almost all gas pressure washers are loud enough to require hearing protection. Many electrics aren't as noisy.

Last, we size up ease of use by evaluating features such as a built-in hose reel and judge how convenient the machine is to operate, transport, and store.

Best Electric Pressure Washers

Before you shop for a pressure washer, check our pressure washer buying guide for the lowdown on different types. CR members can also browse our pressure washer ratings of nearly three dozen electric and gas models or read on for ratings and reviews of the best electric pressure washers from CR's tests.

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