Choosing the best petrol pressure washer can be quite complicated.
Not long ago your choice was limited and many of the models were more for professionals. Now, a homeowner can affordably purchase a petrol power washer for home use.
With this newfound availability also comes a lot of choice. This gives rise to Model Comparison Fatigue. If you suffer from this affliction then I hope this guide will alleviate your pain.
Here’s a quick summary of the best ones
Read on to find out what you should know about petrol pressure washers before you buy and then what I think are the best petrol power washers for your home.
Petrol Power Washer vs Electric Power Washer
If you are buying your first pressure washer, then you likely are asking yourself which type of power washer should you buy. Electric or Petrol?
There is no wrong answer to this question, of course. It all depends on your needs since the two types have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Breaking down each one by category should give you a clearer picture of which one best suits your needs.
The maximum power you can expect to get from an electric pressure washer is 180 bars. Which is more powerful than most home clean up projects would likely require. Typically an electric washer comes in around 110 bars. Again, this will suffice for most jobs around the house.
A petrol pressure washer can offer up to 150 at a minimum going up to about 275 bars. This is a lot of power and you likely won’t really need that much if you just plan to wash your windows or bicycle.
It is nice to have that extra power in the chance that you need it. It’s better to have the extra psi and not need it than to not have the power when you do actually need it.
Petrol power washers can give you more litres of water per hour than electric, but most of the non-professional models have about the same rating as electric. Expect to get 360 litres per hour on the lower end for an electric and 600 litres per hour on the higher end for either electric or petrol.
You will have more options for higher water flow when you are shopping for a petrol power washer, however. If you have a large job then it makes sense to have a petrol pressure washer to handle a bigger area in less time thanks to a potential higher water flow.
Besides the higher power of a petrol washer, this category is where they stand out. A petrol pressure washer is more durable than an electric. A petrol washer is made with more metal parts and higher grade materials than electric in general. With proper maintenance, you can expect to get many years more from a petrol washer than electric.
This is where electric outshines a petrol washer. Since electric pressure washer run off your mains supply, they don’t have as complex a motor.
Petrol motors require changing oil, filters and buying the petrol needed to power the unit. Rubber fuel lines can dry out and crack and need to be checked regularly.
If your petrol power washer sits for long periods of inactivity then you’ll need to use a fuel stabilizer to prevent the tank from oxidizing since old petrol can corrode the metal.
Spark plugs also need to be checked regularly and changed.
This may all sound like a lot of work, but we are talking about minutes of your time every once in a while. It’s best to not neglect the maintenance of a petrol pressure washer as regular upkeep will extend years of life to your machine.
Though both types of washer can be compact and easy to store, the fact that one is petrol means that storage has to be carefully considered.
An electric model can be stored in a closet if you really needed to so that. Obviously, with wet hoses and leaks, you may not want to do that, but there is no danger in storing one in a closet as you would a vacuum cleaner.
Petrol washers, on the other hand, cannot be stored in a house or apartment. You need to keep it in a shed or garage since there are fumes and the petrol is obviously highly flammable.
If you don’t have a safe place to store your petrol power washer, then you should consider an electric one.
If you’re interested in an electric pressure washer then check out either my article on the best car pressure washers or the best patio pressure washer. If you’re looking for a general round the house washer then have a look at the patio article.
Safety Precautions for Petrol Power Washers
I already noted the storage issue with petrol washers, but it bears repeating. Never store your petrol pressure washer inside the house as fumes can be toxic and there is a major fire hazard.
Also, never run your petrol power washer indoors. Always leave it outside in a well-ventilated area. It will emit exhaust that can give you CO2 poisoning.
Lastly, never run your power washer in close proximity of any objects, like the side of a house for instance. The motor runs hot and gives off some considerable heat which can not only damage your house, car or other structure, or worse, start a fire.
It should also go without saying that you should not touch the motor while it is running as you can risk injury, such as burns. Give it time to cool if you need to touch the motor for any reason.
My Picks for Best Petrol Power Washers
Waspper Portable Car & Patio
- 3.5 litre fuel capacity
- 145 bars
- 420 litres per hour waterflow
- Compact design
- 18.8 kilo weight
- 6.5 meter hose length
- 5 year guarantee
- Ergonomic trigger gun handle
- Quiet for a petrol 4 stroke motor
- No wheels
- No water filter
- Only comes with one nozzle
If you’re short on space then this Waspper pressure washer is an excellent compact washer that can find a home in the smallest of storage areas. It’s so small it can be carried with one hand allowing you to get it into some otherwise inaccessible areas.
It is also small enough to fit into just about any car boot to take on the road to your off-grid cabin or to help a friend out at his house.
That doesn’t mean it is weak, though. It boasts 145 bars of pressure and 420 litres an hour of water flow.
The one drawback is that it only comes with one nozzle, a 15-degree jet version. This is a good nozzle for most jobs but when you need to do a gentle job you may want a nozzle with about a 25-degree angle jet. For instance, you shouldn’t attempt to clean a painted surface with that nozzle.
The motor runs quiet and it has 4 rubber studded feet. This cushions any vibration to alleviate any rattling noises. There are also rubber bumpers between the motor and the frame. It also runs cool, as the motor has fins to help it air cool and not emit too much exhaust heat.
I really like the trigger gun handle. It is easy to operate one-handed with a large trigger that is very responsive. This little power washer is easy to use and is ready to go right out of the box. No assembly required.
To cover a lot of area in a little time then this is an ideal small petrol power washer.
Wilks TX625 Petrol Pressure Washer
- 272 bars of pressure
- 720 litres per hour waterflow
- 8.0 horsepower engine
- Soap discharge dial
- Includes 5 nozzles
- Ceramic nozzles never erode
- Drain cleaner attachment included
- On board nozzle storage
- Durable frame
- Runs quiet
- Heavy at 32 kilogrammes
For a more powerful petrol power washer you would have to buy a professional one. For at home use, it can’t be beaten for power.
With 272 bars of pressure you have as much power as you would need to tackle just about any job. Clean your patio, driveway or concrete. Clear a drain. Strip paint from siding.
With 5 included nozzles you have the right tool for any kind of job. A 0-degree nozzle gives you a laser-focused stream of water to get into any hard to reach cavity or crevice. A 15-degree nozzle gives you power cleaning in a concentrated jet. Great for stripping, as well. A 25-degree nozzle gives you a very focused clean and a 40-degree nozzle can clean up a large area gently. Lastly, there is a detergent hose to spray foam to soak a surface before you tackle it with a cleaning nozzle.
The nozzles are made of ceramic for long life. They will never corrode or rust and best of all, they snap right into place. There is even a dedicated storage area on board for all of the nozzles for easy access.
It has an easy to start pull mechanism making it a snap to use.
Whether you want to plug into your mains or a water butt, you have some versatility. This makes it ideal to take off-grid or to a campsite, for example. A 25-metre hose will also get you a good cleaning radius.
For versatility, this unit really is not easy to beat. On top of everything, it also runs quiet and is very fuel efficient.
Parker Petrol Jet Washer
- 200 bars of pressure
- 550 litres per hour waterflow
- Includes 4 nozzles
- Pistol handle trigger
- Long hose
- Sturdy wheels
- Runs loud
- Tricky to start
For a budget petrol power washer, you may want to consider this powerful unit by Parker.
At under £200, you get quite a punch with some nice versatility.
At 6.5 horsepower, the motor is quite robust. This does mean that it can be loud, however.
The pressure of 200 bars is also just short of professional, so you can cover just about any project around the home (and beyond, since it doesn’t require an electricity hookup) that requires a pressure washer.
Luckily there are nozzles which can reduce the pressure so you aren’t limited to blasting the surface off your cleaning area. A low-pressure nozzle can act as a soaker for detergent for a pre-wash. A pencil spray nozzle will focus on a small area to get into cracks and crannies. The narrow spray nozzle can be used to strip paint or blast grime off a deck or patio. And the wide nozzle covers all of your other cleaning needs.
All the nozzles are handily stored on the frame for easy access.
The pistol grip handle makes it very comfortable to work for long periods. The trigger is easy to pull and hold and there is a ridged grip to hold onto that won’t slips if your hands are wet.
Start up is a bit tricky. If you find it isn’t starting straight away, then check the oil level. It needs to be at the full line for the motor to turn over. Assuming it is full, it will start right away.
Spending £200 might not seem like a budget option, but petrol pressure washers generally go for much more. Considering the power that you get with this Parker pressure washer, it will seem like a bargain. It’s versatility also means it won’t sit in storage for most of the year collecting dust. The more you use it, the more value you get for the money, as well.