Ah, cleaning – it’s the bane of any property owner and it’s annoying to do any way you flip it.
Thankfully, we’ve got technology and innovation on our side. In the living room, we have vacuum cleaners. In the yard, we have the ever-popular pressure washer.
If you don’t have a pressure washer in the garage, you should fix that right away; but don’t worry, I’m here to help. Take a look at this Greenworks vs Ryobi pressure washer showdown so you’re not stuck with a lemon you snagged just because it had the lowest price tag on the shelf.
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Pressure Washers: Why the Heck You’d Need One
Any homeowner worth their salt has a pressure washer handy. But why? The answer is simple. Power washers make outdoor cleaning jobs laughably easy to the point where I even consider it fun. There’s even an online community dedicated to sharing the satisfaction that these machines can bring.
Got grime all over your driveway? Blast it all away with water. Has the fence started looking like it belongs in the yard of a haunted house? An hour with a pressure washer can make them all look new.
Having one opens up a world of possibilities and the best part is that they can clean almost any surface or outdoor object. More on this in a minute.
It’s worthwhile to know what types of power washers you can buy. As a starting point, choose between the two types of power: Electric or Gas pressure washer. Each has its own advantages but even now you’ll begin to have a clue as to which one could be best for the home and yard.
Different models could have different pressure capabilities. The more pressure it can pump out, the quicker it’ll clean stuff but you’ll be paying a premium for that power.
Then there are hot-and cold-water models.
Hot water pressure washers are more for heavy farm and industrial use and consume detergent and cleaning chemicals more efficiently. Cold water models are typical in DIY or home-use models. They are lower cost, compact, but use up more detergent on bigger jobs.
The washer nozzle is another factor that could influence your decision. Washers are equipped with a spray wand with a threaded tip that allows it to accept a variety of nozzle types. Here’s a list of nozzle types and their functions:
- Red: 0 degrees is the most concentrated setting and blasts anything it hits with a jet of water that does not fan out nor sheet the water spray at all. Be careful when using this setting as it can really hurt people or chip off material and paint.
- Yellow: 15 degrees is used for heavy-duty cleaning and spreads the force resulting in a less concentrated jet but with wider surface cleaning capabilities.
- Green: 25 degrees results in even less pressure and is best for general cleaning purposes.
- White: 40 degrees creates the widest coverage and has enough pressure to clean fragile surfaces like on windows, vehicles, and boats without risking the paint job.
- Black: 65 degrees is used to apply soap to an area and is the lowest pressure setting.
If you’re in the mood for a short video, watch a handy one which quickly summarizes some specs you’ll want to consider:
Ryobi Pressure Washer vs Greenworks: What’s the Ultimate Choice?
The short answer is: well, it depends. One brand is good for casual DIY use while the other has years of experience behind it but the asking price is steeper. Choosing the best pressure washer boils down to the kind of job you need done.
Each of the brands I’ve mentioned here is respectable in terms of model variety and quality, which is why it’s going to be hard to recommend just one over the other.
Greenworks puts out promising models with the goal of lowering emissions without compromising on power, while Ryobi uses its expertise to get the job done efficiently.
That being said, there definitely are areas in which both brands differ. So take a look at some of these key differences to help you make your choice.
The number of available attachments you buy determines how useful your pressure washer will be. Greenworks’ offerings are somewhat sparse in this regard because apart from the included soap applicator, they don’t really have much in the way of accessories and attachments available. It’s not a total dealbreaker since you can buy universal attachments but compatibility may be a problem.
Ryobi has Greenworks beat in this department. From power control dials, foam blasters, and surface cleaners among other attachments, you can kit out your pressure washer with accessories that are guaranteed compatible and will work well with your washer.
Aside from the bits that help with the spraying, many washers include bells and whistles to make life even easier. Greenworks’ lowest-end washer has a 35-foot electric cable with GFCI for optimal safety along with 25 and 40 degree quick connect nozzles.
Some of Ryobi’s gas-powered washers have the ONE+ Electric Start feature for an easier start-up. I’d note that the 3,200 PSI model with said electric start feature has some finicky flaws in the design (gas tank too small, choke lever has a life of its own) but nothing that some quick workarounds can’t fix.
As far as similarities go, the common features in both brands are storage solutions built into their washers. Some pressure washers feature hose reels between the handlebars and include receptacles made to fit particular accessories. Other models have toolboxes for storage which slot into a special place in front of the washer body.
Gas or Electric Options
Greenworks’ entire lineup of pressure washers is all-electric. This means ultimate portability and efficiency since they focus on one type of power technology. One caveat I’ve seen is that the company doesn’t make any cordless options, but that hardly detracts from the appeal of a low-cost electric power washer that does a good job.
Ryobi boasts a mixed catalog of power washer types that range between electric and gas-powered while offering sub-varieties if you need commercial-grade models. Get a Ryobi gas washer if you see yourself needing lots of pressure in a remote area with no electrical power. As far as their electric washers go, they can get a bit pricey but have tons of features.
Being all-electric has its limitations. The most powerful Greenworks pressure washer can output 2,700 PSI of pressure at 1.2 GPM. While definitely not enough for a commercial operation, that’s more than enough for home use. For commercial use, check out our complete guide on the best commercial pressure washers.
Ryobi wins in terms of raw power with a 3,600-PSI model that’s got bad-boy Honda chops squeezing all that water out. However, their most powerful electric variant goes at 2,300 PSI only.
Price Ranges and Warranty
The all-important factor to me is the price, but one which presents additional considerations in the Ryobi vs Greenworks pressure washer debate.
I got the lowest price Geenworks power washer and it had enough power to clean my patio, driveway, car, you name it. The 1,500 PSI model is portable and has a 35-foot cable that should help me clean even my gutters. The real question is, how long will it last? Hopefully, the 3-Year Limited Warranty will help me through, but at its price point, the amount of energy saved should justify it.
Ryobi’s 1,500 PSI offering is a lot more expensive but makes up for it in added features. It’s a cordless machine that uses two (2) 40V 5.0Ah Li-Ion batteries, rolls on large 6-inch wheels, and has storage slots for all its accessories. The caveat is that power drops down as it loses battery power so you’ll need to factor in the cost of additional batteries if you plan to head out with it for a big job like cleaning the boat at the dock.
There’s no end-all-be-all power washer, but there’s always a perfect one for your use case.
If the budget is tight and you’ll only need a power washer a few times a year, stick with the Greenworks options. They’re practically zero-maintenance, plug-and-play, and will do minor to moderate cleaning jobs easy. What they lack in accessories they make up for in value because you won’t be using them to clean the exterior walls of a barn or house anyway.
The Three-Year Limited Warranty is pretty good considering the price of the cheapest model and you’re only paying a fraction of the price of its Ryobi counterpart.
If you’ve got deeper pockets and a penchant for tried and true hardware, the Ryobi catalog shouldn’t disappoint. The steeper price tag comes with more features and is backed by years of tool-making experience. You also get more Ryobi-branded accessories and attachments in their lineup to make you more productive with your washer.
I hope you found this Greenworks vs Ryobi pressure washer showdown informative. Whichever brand you end up choosing, you’re sure to enjoy an easier, more satisfying outdoor cleaning experience. Because there’s something about blasting away the dirt and leaving a rejuvenated surface for you to admire. It’s just so addictive.
Looking for other Greenworks products compared with other brands? Check out our Greenworks vs Ego lawnmower stand-off for help on which one to buy.