How to Choose the Perfect Pressure Washer

Now that spring is winding down and the rainstorms are slowly replaced with sunshine, the time for cleaning decks, patios, and vehicles is here. Instead of having to buy an assortment of hazardous chemicals and brushes repeatedly over the course the season there is a simple alternative that not many people have considered—pressure washers. With all of the jargon of varying PSI (pounds per square inch), GPM (gallons per minute), and CU (cleaning units, which is simply PSI x GPM), the process of picking the right pressure washer can seem pretty daunting. So in order to help you find the correct pressure washer we've compiled a handy list explaining the differences between the assortment of models available and whether you might want to consider getting a consumer, semi-pro, or full on commercial level pressure washer.

The way that pressure washers function is actually pretty simple, through either a gas or electric engine water is pressurized anywhere from 500 to 7000 PSI before being released through a specialized hose and nozzle. The resulting stream of high pressure water is strong enough to clean off even the most stubborn of grease stains or mold without having to worry about toxic chemicals washing into your yard or accidentally consumed by pets all with one simple purchase.

Whether you are a new restaurant owner, or simply someone that loves spending time barbecuing in your backyard, purchasing a pressure washer can save you time and over the haul money while you maintain a perfectly presentable outdoor area. With the time saved and limited use of resources you enjoy your time outdoors without worrying about what friends, family, or customers might think about grease stains or mold. Now that you know how useful a pressure washer can be we'll be going over the features of each type to help you decide on the perfect model.

CONSUMER

Overall the consumer level pressure washers are a perfect fit for those that only occasionally need to use them. They are still an affordable and effective choice, just know that they aren't made for frequent use, and since the quality of parts put into the washers isn't as high they are much more likely to break down over time. Also buying a higher cost machine ends up being cheaper than buying a lower quality one if you factor in the cost of repairs.

ELECTRONIC WASHERS

        
Pros
•    Great for small scale jobs like washing cars or cleaning grills
•    Really quiet
•    Most Affordable (Usually goes for $100.00-$200.00)
•    Easy to maneuver
•    No harmful emissions (Safe to use inside)
•    Moderate CU—cleaning units (1000-3200
Cons
•    Not as powerful (1000-2000 PSI)
•    Can be very time consuming when trying to tackle bigger jobs like patios or decks
•    Cold water only

GAS POWERED WASHER

Pros 
•    Has much more power (2000-4900 PSI)
•    Takes much less time on bigger projects
•    Less effort and less water used on large projects
•    Better CU—Cleaning Units (5280-16000)
•    Low price point ($200.00-$300.00)
Cons 
•    Can be very noisy while operating
•    Cold water only
•    Harder to move
•    Requires gasoline
•    Not designed for everyday use
•    Maintenance will be required

SEMI-PRO 

You'll notice a lot of the similarities between the consumer and semi-pro washers; however, the differences that ARE there are big ones, those being quality of parts and the PSI output. They are more durable, have higher PSI, and are great for almost any non-commercial jobs.

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

Pros 
•    Easy to maintain
•    Great for small scale jobs like washing cars or cleaning grills
•    Really quiet
•    Easy to maneuver
•    Durable
•    No harmful emissions (Safe to use inside)
•    Higher quality parts (You can tackle bigger jobs without worrying about something breaking down from stress of use)
•    Good price to range of use ($200.00-$400.00)
•    Decent amount of CU—Cleaning Units (2000-4000)
Cons 
•    Not as powerful (1000-2000 PSI)
•    Cold water only

GAS POWERED WASHERS   

Pros 
•    Has much more power (2500-4900 PSI)
•    High CU—Cleaning units (5900-16000)
•    Takes much less time on bigger projects
•    Less effort and less water used on large projects
•    Can easily tackle larger jobs (Farm equipment can be cleaned in no time flat!)
•    Good price to range of use ($200.00-$350.00)
Cons 
•    Cold water only
•    Harder to move
•    Requires gasoline

COMMERCIAL

Now we've come to the commercial pressure washers. There is a greater variety and specializations available on the commercial spectrum, and with almost any variety it's more durable and has more power than any other pressure washer. There is almost no cleaning job too big for these to handle.

ELECTRIC PRESSURE WASHERS

There are a lot of options with commercial pressure washers, there are handheld models and wall mounted models, both of which can come in hot water or cold water. They are great for use in industrial kitchens, auto garages, or just about anywhere indoors. 

Pros 
•    Quiet
•    Versatile (Can be used indoors and outdoors)
•    Hot or Cold water units available
•    Higher PSI than consumer or semi-pro models (1000-4900)
•    High CU—Cleaning Units (2200-14000)
Cons 
•    Can be pricey ($600.00-$800.00)
•    Not as much power as gas powered pressure washers

GAS POWERED PRESSURE WASHER (MOBILE)

Commercial gas powered pressure washers are made with the best parts available and also come in a variety of options, with hot water, cold water, and belt powered models available. They are built to take a beating and to clean almost anything. From large houses and warehouses to largest of agricultural equipment, a commercial gas powered pressure washer can handle even the biggest of projects in a quick and timely manner.


Pros 
•    Has a variety of models and addons in order to be as versatile as possible
•    High PSI (1300-17000)
•    Great CU—Cleaning Units (20000-28000)
•    Extremely durable
•    Easy to fix
•    Powerful engines
Cons 
•    Requires gasoline
•    Difficult to maneuver 
•    Outdoor use only
•    Most expensive ($3000.00-$4000.00)

And there you have it, everything you need to know about pressure washers. Whether you want to be a weekend warrior and get around to the chores you've been putting off, or want to start your own pressure washing company, you have all the information you need before you head off to your local hardware store.

Looking for the best pressure washer? Read our latest reviews here: Best Pressure Washer Reviews 2017