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Pressure washers are indispensable home improvement tools. A Ryobi pressure washer is an affordable, quality choice for most homeowners. Ryobi is a well-known brand of tools and power equipment marketed to the home user.
From blasting grime off patio furniture to making your deck look brand new, a pressure washer helps clean and maintain your home’s exterior and more. There are a lot of choices when it comes to buying a pressure washer. Units come in various power and flow ratings, and can range in price from around $100 to over $1,000.
The Ryobi Pressure Washer Solution
The different options available can be overwhelming. Which model fits your needs? Is it possible to get too much power? The Ryobi pressure washer product line helps homeowners choose the best model for their needs. We selected one of Ryobi’s most popular middle-range electric pressure washers and put it up against some of its toughest competition. Let’s see how well Roybi can make your home sparkle.
Pressure Washers 101
Before we dig into the specifics of the Ryobi pressure washer, let’s discuss some basics. A pressure washer is a powered cleaning system that uses your home water system to blast through hard-to-clean outdoor areas. Water from your garden hose is relatively low-powered. It might remove loose dirt and debris, but to clean mildew and set-in stains, you need more elbow grease. A pressure washer helps you power through cleaning jobs without having to scrub like a maniac. Here are different ways to put a pressure washer to work, and the different types of machines available:
Uses around the house
Most homeowners know that a pressure washer is a go-to tool for cleaning siding. Vinyl siding can acquire a green or brown film from ambient dirt, pollen, spider waste, and the general wear and tear a house faces year round. Try scrubbing the film off with a brush, and you’ll see why pressure washing is so popular. A pressure washer can also reach areas that your arms cannot. These tools have many more uses than exterior siding.
High-pressure water is the best way to clean decks, patios, walkways, and outdoor furniture, too. But that’s not all. Pressure washers, including the Ryobi pressure washer product line, allow for variable power. By holding back from its full force, or using a different nozzle, you can turn your driveway into your own private carwash. Boats, bicycles, and kids toys can all benefit from a blast of water as well.
Gas vs. electric
Like most pressure washer brands, Ryobi offers gas and electric powered washers. While a gas washer is a way to go for professional use, many homeowners prefer the convenience of an electric model. Electric pressure washers run clean. You don’t have to worry about gas, oil, and the mixture of the two that small two-stroke engines require.
If you need to work far away from your house, or source of electricity, you may want to opt for a gas model. We limited our review to Ryobi’s electric line since the technology and power of these models have increased greatly over recent years. Electric models provide most of the features of gas powered, are strong enough for most homeowner cleaning tasks, and are lower priced.
Ryobi Pressure Washer Product Line
Ryobi makes a wide variety of pressure washers. These range from light to heavy duty, electric or gas. Power ratings for the Ryobi pressure washer line appear in PSI, or pounds per square inch. This ranges from 1,600 PSI to 3,100 PSI. Some applications, such as washing a deck or car, will rarely need more than 1,600 PSI (and most experts recommend avoiding super high pressure for either job.) A good middle ground is the 2,300 PSI Ryobi pressure washer. It is electric, so it requires only minimal maintenance. Here are its specifics and how it stacks up against the competition.
RYOBI 2,300 PSI Brushless Pressure Washer
This Ryobi pressure washer is no lightweight. Even though it is electric, it performs as well as similarly-rated gas models. It is full of some of the newest technology and most sought-after features. It’ll power through most cleaning jobs, and is versatile for when a softer touch is needed.
This Ryobi pressure washer features a brushless motor. What, exactly, does this mean? Brushless electric motor technology has been around for a while, but only recently as a feature for power tools. Essentially, a brushless motor eliminates some of the inner mechanisms of a traditional motor. This simplification makes a more direct connection between controls and the motor’s power source. Brushless motors are more efficient than traditional ones because they respond to the job at hand. If you are using a lower-powered burst of water, such as for a post-cleaning rinse, the pressure washer motor senses this need and reduces power use.
While this pressure washer is corded, and therefore power usage is not a primary concern, the brushless technology also increases power significantly. Less power drain and fewer internal parts also make the motor more durable. Brushless motor technology is a vast improvement over older electric pressure washers that were prone to motor burn out.
In addition to its brushless technology, the Ryobi pressure washer comes with Ryobi’s Turbo Nozzle which allows for up to 50 percent more power when necessary. This power boost doesn’t tax the motor but comes from the specially designed flow. A zero-degree nozzle, this accessory rotates while pulsating a targeted water stream. While this adds a lot of cleaning force, it should be used only on hard surfaces, such as concrete.
Specifications and convenience features
The Ryobi pressure washer is rated 13 AMP, with 1.2 gallons per minute output. Other features include:
- 35-foot cord length with GFCI
- 25-foot hose length
- Axial-Cam pump with bypass
- Onboard detergent tank, which allows easy soap application
- 15 degree fanned nozzle and soap nozzle in addition to Turbo Nozzle
- Hand-truck design makes it easy to move and carry
- The quick-connect coupler provides for easier nozzle changes
Pricing, availability and customer reviews
Prices for the Ryobi pressure washer, 2,300 PSI electric model, range from $250 to $300. Although Amazon carries Ryobi products, they are more readily available at HomeDepot.com and through the Ryobi website. We collected customer reviews from these sites and more.
In general, users were highly impressed by the Ryobi pressure washer. Not only did customers like the high output of the 2,300 PSI motor and pump, but other features made this electric machine have the feel of a professional tool. The larger wheels, for example, impressed users looking for durability and easy transportation. Users also liked some of the simple touches, like the easy-to coil cord.
There were some negative comments, however. Some noted that the spray hose is challenging to recoil and stow. This is a common complaint with pressure washers. Others noted concerns about the detergent tank. Since cleaning chemicals can erode tubings and fittings if allowed to sit for long periods, Ryobi recommends emptying the soap tank after each use. The problem is that there is no drain plug for this process. If you want to adhere to manufacturer recommendations, you have to siphon out or tip the machine to drain soap.
Comparison with Other Brands
While Ryobi is a major player in the home pressure washer market, it is not alone. Other popular brands include Sun Joe and Greenworks. You can buy pressure washers from both of these brands on Amazon.
How we reviewed
We chose the models from Sun Joe and Greenworks that are most similar to the Ryobi pressure washer to see how each compares. We looked for models that had sufficient user reviews, that were electric, and had similar PSI ratings, to make sure that there was an even playing field.
Sun Joe SPX4000 2030 PSI 14.5 Amp Electric Pressure Washer
Sun Joe also makes an extensive product line of pressure washers aimed at the home user. Its specialty is lower-priced electric washers that combine simple design with convenience. Right off the bat, the Sun Joe has a stronger motor than the Ryobi pressure washer, although it does not have a brushless motor. The extra 1.5 amps likely do not add much power, especially since Ryobi’s design is more efficient.
The Sun Joe looks a lot like the Ryobi and has a similar hand truck design. The wheels are noticeably smaller, though. When switched on, this pressure washer has Sun Joe’s Pressure Select Technology, allowing to switch between low and high modes easily. This allows for a simplified approach when cleaning different surfaces, and reduces the risk of damaging delicate wood and plastics. Unlike the Ryobi, there are more than three nozzles included: 0, 15, 25, 40 degrees and one for soap application.
Customer reviews of the Sub Joe are generally positive. It is one of the best rated low-cost electric pressure washers on the market. Most positive reviews also come with some caveats that you get what you pay for regarding durability. Others also note that standard accessories and replacement parts, such as new nozzles and hoses, will not work. Only Sun Joe-branded parts work. A few negative reviews pointed out that the machine in no way replaces a gas pressure washer.
Sun Joe’s products are budget minded. The SPX4000’s price ranges from $135 to $190. That is a bit cheaper than the Ryobi and might be a worthwhile alternative.
Greenworks 2000 PSI 13 Amp Horizontal Electric Power Washer
This Greenworks is almost identical in power to the Ryobi, except for having 2,000 PSI vs. 2,100. The Greenworks pressure washer looks much different, though. It is smaller and lacks the convenient hand truck design that Ryobi has. It looks notably less powerful, too. The hose, however, is attached to a hose reel, which makes transporting easier.
Performance-wise, Greenworks is a bit underwhelming. It’s great for about 80 percent of the jobs a typical homeowner will face but plan to scrub a bit if trying to clean mildew off of siding. For most homeowners, however, the Greenworks is a good entry-level machine.
Reviews are mixed for this machine. Some say it does the job, while others complain of low power and leaking. Others noted that the soap dispenser doesn’t always work well, which is concerning for an electric machine that is geared towards car washing and other low-power jobs. Still, others said that the machine overheated, made strange noises and stopped working after just a few uses.
The Greenworks’ price ranges from $125 to $200.
Pros and Cons
After reviewing all of the details about the Ryobi pressure washer, researching customer reviews, and comparing with the competition, we came up with a list of pros and cons to help inform your purchase decision.
- Powerful construction and performance
- Strong, brushless motor is efficient and durable
- Easy to move about your grounds
- Turbo Nozzle increases performance
- Ryobi reliability
- Hose can get unwieldy
- A bit more expensive than other brands
- Need to switch nozzles to lower pressure
- Turbo Nozzle tech is just a nozzle — you can buy it and attach it to any washer
Does the Ryobi Pressure Washer Belong in Your Garage?
It is notable that the Ryobi pressure washer costs almost twice as much as the competition. For some, this might seem like an expensive choice for an electric pressure washer. Unlike the other models, however, the brushless motor and true pressure washer construction make it well worth the expense.
This is not a toy, and you won’t need to replace it every season. If a hose wears out, swap it for another one. The lower-cost models are less reliable, with motors that are more prone to breaking down and non-standard replacement parts. Also, in the case of the Greenworks pressure washer, its sealed construction makes replacing hoses next to impossible.
While it is costlier and is not a perfect machine, the Ryobi pressure washer will provide years of reliable cleaning power. Just make sure to be careful when blasting away at your house, on full blast with the Turbo Nozzle attached, you may blow a hole through your siding. This same warning accompanies most professional-grade pressure washers, which should indicate the Ryobi’s quality.