Matt is a professional painter and freelance writer, sharing his knowledge, house-painting tips, and product reviews.
The Simpson MegaShot model I own is gas-powered, producing 3,100 PSI (pounds per square inch) and 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute). I use this power washer to clean wood in preparation for paint or stain. Previously, I owned a Troy Bilt pressure washer that lasted many years until the water pump cracked. So far, after six months of occasional use, the machine has performed well, but there are pros and cons like anything else.
Simpson MegaShot Advantages
The washer fires up on the first or second pull of the cord, every time I use it, even after sitting in the garage during cold weather. One of the reasons I chose this machine was for the quality motor, which hasn't disappointed me so far.
I use this power washer mostly for paint and stain preparation (decks, siding, fencing, trim) with positive results. At 3100 PSI, mildew stains and loose paint wash off easily at close range. The water force is very powerful. I wouldn't want to exceed 3100 PSI for the wood cleaning I do anyway.
Steel spray wand
The spray wand on my previous machine was made entirely of plastic and eventually cracked. I don't have to worry as much about damage if I accidentally drop the steel wand.
The hose is too short, but it doesn't kink at all. The hose is also thick enough for protection against abrasion.
The gas tank is actually a bit small, but the machine will run for about one hour on a full tank of gas. I rarely run the pump that long anyway.
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Simpson MegaShot Disadvantages
Pressure hose length
The twenty-five-foot hose on the Simpson pressure washer is horribly short and impractical for a contractor. If you plan on using the washer regularly, buying the longer fifty-foot hose is a worthwhile investment, or you'll be wheeling the machine closer to you constantly.
No detergent tank
While the siphon tube that Simpson includes works fine, I still prefer the convenience of a mounted detergent tank. When I use the siphon tube, I have to fasten the container to the back of the power washer with a bungee cord to keep the container from falling over from vibration.
Pull cord location
Pulling the cord is a little awkward due to the cord being positioned behind the chassis bar on the front of the machine. The decorative foam padding on the chassis becomes torn and ruined from the cord scraping it.
Hose inlet location
The inlet for the garden hose connection is located directly below the pressure hose inlet, which makes it difficult to unscrew the garden hose at the end of the workday. There should be more space between the two connectors.
Pressure hose holder
The holder for the pressure hose is small and doesn't work well with the longer fifty-foot hose. Two brackets on the holder, instead of one, would keep the hose in place better.
Is the Simpson Pressure Washer Worth the Money?
The Simpson MegaShot is a good direct drive power washer for a painter or a homeowner for the price. For my painting business, it suits my needs. Most of the painting I do is interior, so spending a couple of thousand dollars on a fancy power washer is overkill, but if you plan to do a lot of pressure washing, a belt-driven pump will last longer than direct drive.
The main disadvantages I have encountered are mostly design flaws, especially the weird location of the pull cord and water inlet connector. A separate detergent tank would be nice, but the siphon tube works well. Once the tube is connected to the pump, using the black cleaning tip automatically siphons the cleaner through the machine for cleaning. When you're done cleaning, simply disconnect the siphon hose and remove the cleaner tip.
Most importantly, though, the washing capability is very good for cleaning wood and concrete. The MegaShot comes with five spray tips and a siphon tube for detergent. The power washer is almost ready to go out of the box, with the exception of adding the provided oil and assembling the top frame. Assembly took me two minutes. The weight of the machine also isn't too heavy. I can easily lift it into my pickup truck without destroying my back.