Gas vs. Electric Pressure Washers

Written by: Greenworks Blog Team

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Choosing the Right Tool for the Job: Electric vs. Gas Power Washers

A good pressure washer is essential for revitalizing outdoor spaces -- but with so many options available, how do you know which one is right for you? 


This guide will explore the key differentiators in the gas versus electric pressure washer debate, helping you choose which type of pressure washer best suits your cleaning needs. (Spoiler alert: we're partial to electric pressure washers, but you'll have to weigh the options and decide for yourself!). 

Person using Greenworks 60V 3000 PSI pressure washer

Differences Between Gas and Electric Pressure Washers

From power to ease of use, cost and everything in between -- let's dive into how gas and electric pressure washers stack up.


Gas Pressure Washers
Electric Pressure Washers
Cost:
$300- $600
$100-$400
Power (PSI)
2,000- 4,200 PSI
1,500 - 3100 PSI
Ease of Use:
Heavy; pull-cord start
Light; push-button start
Maintenance:
Medium
Low
Environmental 
Impact
High
Low
Woman using Greenworks pressure washer on swingset

1. Cost

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

Electric pressure washers often have a lower upfront cost than gas models, making them a more budget-friendly option for homeowners and DIYers. They also offer additional savings with zero fuel costs and low maintenance requirements. 


With fewer moving parts and no need for trips to the pump, electric pressure washers provide substantial long-term savings while delivering reliable cleaning performance. Recent advancements in battery and brushless motor technology have also made electric models more efficient and powerful, narrowing the performance gap compared to gas pressure washers.

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Higher power typically comes with a higher price tag. Though the initial investment may seem daunting, gas pressure washers can provide long-term value for users needing to tackle extensive or frequent cleaning projects. But keep in mind that ongoing expenses like maintenance and fuel can add up over time!

Person using Greenworks pressure washer on kayak

2. Power

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

While electric pressure washers may not always match the power of gas models, they easily handle everyday tasks like cleaning driveways or decks. Take the Greenworks Pro 3000 PSI Brushless Pressure Washer -- it delivers potent cleaning power at 1.1 GPM water flow, perfect for around-the-house tasks. Still, electric pressure washers may sometimes struggle with extremely heavy-duty cleaning tasks, so if you need professional cleaning power, gas pressure washers may be your best bet.

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Gas pressure washers are often praised for their raw power, making them ideal for heavy-duty cleaning tasks and the preferred choice of professionals who consistently tackle tough jobs. With higher average PSI ratings than electric models, gas pressure washers excel at blasting away stubborn grime and dirt. However, higher PSI can be overkill for the most common cleaning tasks and cause unwanted damage to your driveway, patio, car or home exterior if not used with the proper technique.

Woman using Greenworks portable pressure washer on car

3. Safety

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

With no gasoline or harmful exhaust emissions, electric pressure washers offer significant safety advantages compared to gas. Electric models also tend to operate at lower pressures, reducing the risk of injury or damage during use. 


However, users still need to be cautious when handling electrical equipment, particularly when operating near water sources (and yes, your electric pressure washer can safely get wet during use—just make sure it doesn't get submerged). Proper safety precautions, such as wearing protective gear and following the manufacturer's instructions, are essential to safely operate all pressure washers.

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Gas pressure washers add extra safety considerations because of their gasoline-powered engines. Exhaust emissions can pose health risks to users if used in poorly ventilated areas, and their fuel needs to be properly stored to prevent accidents or spills. 


Additionally, high water pressure generated by gas pressure washers requires careful handling to avoid injury or property damage, especially when using attachments or concentrated spray settings.

Person using Greenworks pressure washer to clean sidewalk

4. Maintenance

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

One of the beauties of electric pressure washers is their low maintenance requirements compared to gas units. With no internal combustion engine and fewer moving parts, electric pressure washers are easier to maintain and less prone to mechanical issues. Maintenance tasks for electric models may include cleaning filters, inspecting hoses and connections, and ensuring proper storage to prevent damage. Electric pressure washers offer a more user-friendly and hassle-free maintenance experience, requiring much less time and effort to keep them in prime working condition.

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Though their performance packs a punch, gas pressure washers need regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and longevity. This includes routine tasks like checking oil levels, inspecting spark plugs, and cleaning or replacing air filters. Gas engines may require periodic tune-ups and adjustments to maintain peak performance. Failure to perform regular maintenance reduces efficiency, increases fuel consumption, and causes premature wear and tear on the engine.

Man using Greenworks pressure washer on patio furniture

5. Ease of Use

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

Electric pressure washers offer a user-friendly alternative to gas models, with simpler operation and fewer maintenance needs. Most electric units feature push-button start, eliminating the need for manual priming or pull cords. Also, brushless engines allow for a lighter, more compact design with much less vibration, improving maneuverability and portability (though corded models limit how far you can move away from the outlet).

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Gas pressure washers are sometimes challenging to use, especially for inexperienced or first-time users. Starting a gas engine may require manual priming, choke adjustments and multiple pulls on the recoil starter, which can be frustrating and time-consuming. Also, bulkier gas engines add significant weight, making them harder to maneuver and transport for those with limited strength or mobility.

Person using Greenworks 2700 PSI pressure washer on concrete

6. Noise

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

Electric pressure washers operate much quieter than gas models, making them more suitable for noise-sensitive environments like residential neighborhoods or commercial settings. You'll love blasting away grime and dirt without any noise disturbance to your family or neighbors. 

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Combustion engines in gas units produce significant vibrations and exhaust noise, which can be a nuisance to users and neighbors, especially during early morning or late-night cleaning sessions. Extensive exposure to loud noise can also cause hearing damage and fatigue, so always wear hearing protection when using gas pressure washers.

Person using Greenworks 2100 PSI pressure washer on brick sidewall

7. Environmental Impact

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

With no fumes, emissions or smell, electric pressure washers offer a more eco-friendly option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. With continued advancements in renewable energy and an increasing number of local government incentives to ditch gas equipment, the investment in electric pressure washers is only going to get better with time.

GAS PRESSURE WASHERS

Because they rely on fossil fuels, gas pressure washers release harmful pollutants into the atmosphere and immediate air surrounding the user. These smelly fumes add to carbon emissions and pose a threat to our ecosystems and public health. Gas storage and refueling also increase the risk of leaks and spills — over 17 million gallons of gas are spilled yearly from lawn equipment alone! 

Which is Better: a Gas or Electric Pressure Washer?

If you're a maximizing homeowner or professional who frequently cleans particularly stubborn dirt and grime, consider a gas pressure washer for that extra oomph. For the regular homeowner tackling everyday cleaning tasks, we recommend going with an electric pressure washer because of advantages like cost-effectiveness, increased safety, low maintenance, ease of use and low environmental impact. 


Check out Greenworks' range of powerful and convenient electric pressure washers today to find the best fit for your lifestyle and budget. 

Greenworks Blog Team

Written by The Green Team, a creative arm within Greenworks Tools.


Our team of writers, designers and content creators bring a breadth of experience and a touch of fun to all things tools. With an assist from the Greenworks product teams and technology experts, we’re here to provide helpful and engaging content to make your yard (and life!) beautiful.

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