While the Ryobi couldn't quite keep up with the gas-powered versions in our review as far as performance goes, it wrecked shop when put side-by-side with the other electric models. Although it's noisy and hard to transport, the fact that the Ryobi brushless motor is chomping at the heels of 4 stroke engines earned it an Editors' Choice award. We definitely recommend this pressure washer to anyone who's tired of gas cans, pull cords, and oil leaks but still want a machine with some raw power.
Ryobi RY142300 Review
Pros: Very powerful for electric, large wheels, huge soap tank
Cons: Heavy, constantly runs
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The RY142300 may not display the most amount of cleaning power that we've ever seen from a pressure washer, but as far as electric models go, it is top-notch. It is loud when compared to most electric washers, but it's quieter than all of the gas models that we've tested. The Ryobi isn't the easiest to transport in a vehicle due to its size and weight but its extra-large wheels and beefy handle help the user roll it around on the ground with ease.
The first thing we did when we got our hands on these tools was go to town washing things. Cleaning is the primary task for these machines, so we chose to let this metric account for 45% of the total score. For this assessment, we observed how well each model can clean gutters, sidewalks, and fences to get a feel for its spraying power. We then conducted a set of measurements and experiments in order to attach a numeric value to each machine's cleaning power and performance. To gain a better qualitative feel for how well each unit worked we dumped a given amount of activated carbon on a clean carpet to see how quickly and efficiently the machines could remove it. The Ryobi RY142300 did well, especially considering that it is an electric model.
We measured PSI as well as gallons per minute of flow — the multiplication of these two figures produces "cleaning units" (CU). With a maximum measured PSI of 1975 and a flow of 1.1 GPM, the RY142300 produced 2172.5 CU. This puts it well above the average for the group, and at the top for electric versions.
To get a more visible representation of the pressure and volume of water each machine produced we built a wooden trough that we adjusted to an angle of 24 degrees to see how high each model could sustainably hold a standard bocce ball. The RY142300 was, again, one of the best for electric models — it was able to hold the ball 3.75 feet up the incline.
To score portability we broke the metric down to three different parts — weight, maneuverability, and size. We know that being able to load or unload the machine into a vehicle is important to some people, but having a model that is simple to cart around a property is what matters more to others, so we paid close attention to both. We allotted 30% of the total score to this metric.
The Ryobi ended up right about in the middle of the pack for our portability tests. At 51 pounds, it's closer to the heavy end of the field. This makes it a bit of a pain to lift in and out of a truck or up and down stairs, especially on your own. For this reason, we deducted a few points from its score.
Despite its weight, once you get the RY142300 to your property or job site, it's very easy to move around thanks to its large wheels. It's very well balanced on its axle, and the large metal handlebar is at a comfortable height. This machine is easy to both push and pull, which gives it a great degree of maneuverability.
The Ryobi is a bit on the bulkier side — It's 31.5" x 21.5" x 17.5" without the wand. The handle disconnects fairly easily, but it's still going to take up a bit of real estate in your shop or garage.
The next 15% of our total score is dedicated to the perception of loudness and intensity of the sound produced by each pressure washer. To score this metric we used a sound meter to measure decibel levels right next to each machine while running at full power, and again at a distance of 25 feet. Because decibels levels do not describe pitch, we used a panel of judges to determine if there were any especially bothersome sounds emitted from any of the washers.
At 25 feet the RY142300 registered 65.1 decibels, which is totally bearable. Next to the machine was a different story — we measured 82.5 decibels, which isn't bad but isn't great either.
Regrettably, our panel of judges concluded that the sounds produced by the Ryobi were whiny and annoying.
Ease of Use
We committed the remaining 10% of the total score to how easy each pressure washer is to use. For this assessment, we used a combination of quantitative measurements and qualitative judgment. We looked at the hose connections and hose storage, the length of the high-pressure hose and the length of the cord, potential maintenance issues, stability, nozzle storage, and the location and volume of the soap tank.
The RY142300 scored well for this metric, but it did lose some points for a few small details here and there. The garden hose and high-pressure hose connections are right next to each other and there is not much room between them — there's barely enough room for your hand which makes it difficult to get the connections tight.
With a hose length of 25' 4" and a cord length of 34' 6" the Ryobi affords plenty of distance from the power source and a decent amount of play for the user to move about without having to move the machine too often. There's a velcro strap and a plastic hook with a bungee to store the hose and cord — the user can decide which one they'd rather use for which purpose. We found that it was nice to have the hose looped up with the velcro strap on the back of the body and then use the plastic hook for the cord.
As far as maintenance goes, with an electric model, there shouldn't be any, which we consider to be a huge benefit to going electric. The RY143200 is very wide and stout — it would be difficult to pull or knock the machine over. This model has great nozzle storage just below the top of the handle. The included nozzles are a 15 degree, a turbo, and a special nozzle for soap, there is also an extra holder for any aftermarket nozzles you may want to buy.
This model comes with a massive 1-gallon soap tank with an oversized cap to help you fill it with ease, and not very often.
While the Ryobi RY143200 offers great performance, especially considering that it's electric, it comes with a hefty price tag. There are models for much cheaper that can handle a lot of household jobs.
If you want a heavy-duty pressure washer, but don't want to add another fumy engine to your garage, the RY143200 is an awesome choice. This brushless electric motor blasted the rest of the electric field away and performs just short of gas-powered versions.
— Austin Palmer and Ross Patton