Which is better: Electric or Gas-Powered Pressure Washer Engines?

For those of us with cleaning projects, there are two types of engines commonly offered on pressure washers sold to homeowners: electric or gas-powered.

And you can check out my top gas pressure washer recommendation: the Generac 6596 on Amazon.


The advantage of a pressure washer with an ELECTRIC MOTOR is that they are very popular with homeowners, are inexpensive, are generally smaller and lighter, do not emit any gas fumes and produce less noise. They can be used in an unventilated area, like a garage or basement. Electric motors are measured in amperage (amps). The higher the amps, the more power.

And you can see my top electric pressure washer recommendation: the AR Blue Clean AR383 on Amazon.

The AR383 will give you 1,900 PSI, 1.5 GPM with a 14 Amp electric motor. It has a 20 foot hose and only weighs 27lbs! You'll be able to carry this lightweight, but powerful, pressure washer wherever you need to clean.

But what I really love about the AR Blue Clean is that it has a built-in hose reel! Having a hose reel is incredibly handy. Genius.

Check Amazon's price on the AR Blue Clean AR383.

But the disadvantage of an electric pressure washer is that they offer slighly limited power and pressure, need a nearby electrical outlet and are really designed for occasional cleaning duty like washing a car, outdoor furniture, etc. If you have a really large cleaning job, or are a professional pressure washer, an electric pressure washer probably isn't right for you.

The advantage of a pressure washer with a GAS-POWERED ENGINE is that they don't need an electrical outlet, they offer much more power, they take less time & effort to clean large areas and they generally have a longer life than electric motors.

My #1 best gas washer recommendation is the Generac 6596 washer that's available on Amazon.

Hands-down, it's my top all-around best gas washer choice. It has a quality Generac engine, an axial cam pump you can count on and it'll give you 2,800 PSI and 2.5 GPM. This Generac gas pressure washer has the kind of power that will easily tackle any home or yard cleaning project you have.

And this Generac 6596 also has Never Flat tires, which I love. No more flat tire hassles!

You can check Amazons price on this recommended Generac 6596 pressure washer.

The disadvantages of a gas-powered engine is that they require more routine maintenance, are a bit heavier and make more noise. Because of their fumes, they must be used outdoors or in an extremely well-ventilated area.

Gas-powered engines are rated in horsepower (HP). The higher the HP, the more power.

I hope my list of advantages and disadvantages with help you make your own choice!

If you want to choose among the models with a gas-powered engine, please note that there are two main types of gas-powered pressure washer engines: Side Valve (L-head) and Overhead Valve (OHV).

SIDE VALVE (L-head) engines have been around since the 1950's and are very cheap to produce. However, the running life of this engine is very limited and prone to many problems! Avoid this type of engine at all costs.

OVERHEAD VALVE (OHV) engines are the newest generation, offering an improved engine, more power, less noise, longer life AND better gas efficiency! Always look for the OHV engines.

Want to become familiar with the most popular pressure washer Engine Manufacturers? Read this for information about brand name engines like Honda, Briggs & Stratton, etc.

Or do you need to find a local warranty or service center? I've compiled this super-handy list of local service & repair centers for pressure washers.

Or read Choose Your Pressure Washer for important pressure washer ratings, and more, BEFORE you buy.

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