Best Pressure Washer Buyer's Guide

A man pressure washing a stone patio wearing gray pants and brown shoes. The patio has two stone planters with green bushes and a blurred out green background

Do you want to make outdoor cleaning projects faster and easier? Using a pressure washer does just that, but how do you know what kind of washer to get? With many options out there, it’s hard to choose what’s best for you and your next job, so we’ve put together some things to consider when looking for a pressure washer.

How does a pressure washer work?

Pressure washers are simple. They use pumps, either gas or electric, to amplify water pressure. Water enters the machine from a garden hose through a low-pressure connection, then runs through the machine's high-pressure hose that connects to a pressure washer wand and is sprayed out through a nozzle.

What is a Good PSI for a Pressure Washer?

Two colorful illustrated pressure gauges showing PSI and GPM

A pressure washer’s power is measured by the pressure output or pounds per square inch (PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the rating the better and faster the pressure washer will clean. Consider your projects at hand to determine how powerful of a washer you need.

What is the Best Pressure Washer to Buy?

A gray, red and black gas pressure washer on a residential driveway attached to a green garden hose. The owner is pressure washing a wooden bench in the background.

Light-duty (Consumer):

Usually rated between 1300 and 1900 PSI at 2 GPM, are best for smaller more delicate jobs around the house. Ideal for cleaning the car, patio furniture, and grills. Electric pressures are best for this kind of work.

Medium-Duty (Semi-Pro):

Rated between 2000 and 2800 PSI at 2-3 GPM. These washers tend to be gas powered, they are studier and more powerful making it easier to clean siding, fences, decks and driveways.

Heavy-Duty (Professional):

Rated 2800 or higher PSI at 3-4 GPM, are built with a stronger, more durable engine and pump, for everyday use. Use this type of washer for large-scale jobs like cleaning a 2 story building, removing graffiti or stripping paint.

Electric Washers

Gas Powered Washers



A man using a cement pavement pressure washer accessory to wash his sidewalk that is lined with colorful flowers

There are different kinds of attachments you can get for your pressure washer to help with specific types of cleaning. Brushes are good for scrubbing away dirt and grime on surfaces. Angled wands can help you clean out gutters. Surface cleaners use spinning jets to clean driveways and sidewalks. Extension wands and spray tips are best for hard-to-reach areas.

Safety and Tips

Using a pressure washer has its pros and cons. When using a pressure washer always remember to use the machine for its intended purpose. Read the user manual before getting started. Never spray another person, especially with a high pressure (zero-degree) tip, as it could cause serious injury. Test wash the surface you're cleaning in an inconspicuous area to find the right pressure tip.


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