Choosing the right pressure washer for your needs can be dependent on a variety of factors. We won't bore you with all of the fine details of how pressure washers work in this article, but we will share some of the more important factors that will help you determine which pressure washer is right for your particular job. Throughout our Pressure Washer Buying Guide series we'll cover the different types of jobs you might need a pressure washer for, the types of pressure washers (gas vs. electric), the type of temperature you'll need (hot or cold), pressure washer pressure and flow (psi and gpm), and important recommendations to help you determine your price range or budget.
Types of Jobs You Might Use a Pressure Washer For:
We hear from a wide variety of customers about the different types of jobs they want to use a pressure washer for, though we thought Matt LeBlanc's use of a Karcher pressure washer was definitely entertaining (though we don't recommend using them in this fashion). Some of our customers user their pressure washer for washing their vehicles, for washing the exterior of their house, some for cleaning their construction and agricultural equipment, and some for washing their boat or entire fleet of vehicles. Others use their pressure washer for more industrial purposes such as restoring historical and governmental landmarks, cleaning entire buildings to be renovated, or keeping hotels and apartment complexes looking clean on the exterior. We have so many great customers that use their pressure washer to keep things clean!
When thinking about the type of job or application you're going to be using a pressure washer for, we recommend going into it knowing the answers to these questions:
Do you know if you'll need a gas or electric pressure washer?
For instance, if you'll be using the pressure washer indoors or in a confined space, an electric pressure washer might be a better option than gas due to emissions and noise. However, you'll have to have sufficient electrical power supply to run your pressure washer. Voltage and amperage will be determined by pressure and flow. A gas pressure washer may be better suited for you if you're going to be using the pressure washer outdoors due to gas, emissions and noise. In some cases, gas-powered pressure washers can be less expensive to purchase than electric.
Does the job include heavy dirt and debris that will need to be cleaned and rinsed away?
If so, you'll need a pressure washer that has a higher GPM (gallons per minute). This is explained in our Pressure Washer PSI and GPM article detailing what each of those means and why they're important
Does the job include less dirt and debris but may be hard to remove it?
In this case, you'll need a pressure washer with more PSI (pounds per square inch), or pressure.
Here's an example if the job entails cleaning heavy equipment such as earth moving, construction or farming equipment:
Higher GPM to rinse away debris is more important than PSI. This type of debris takes less pressure to break up and will need the higher GPM to get it rinsed away.
Think of it like this, when you rinse your hair in the shower, (if you still have some) would you rather have a trickle of water or full stream to rinse?
Here's an example if you are cleaning concrete or metal with hard to remove stains or debris:
Higher PSI to impact the surface and remove the caked-on substances and the lower GPM will still rinse them away.
Still not sure what type of pressure washer might be best for you? No worries- we have more great information for you! Learn more about the Benefits and Disadvantages of Gas and Electric Pressure Washers.
Other Pressure Washer Buying Guide Related Articles:
Hot vs. Cold Water Pressure Washers
Pressure Washer PSI and GPM: What They Mean and Why They're Important
Recommendations for Buying a Pressure Washer