5 Items to Look for when Buying a Pressure Washer – Pressure Washer Buying Guide



Our goal this year was to do a pressure washer shoot out, but if you know Dan and myself, we tend to be a little slow on these things.  However we did feel it was important to put something out there about pressure washer buying tips, since we received a lot of questions about our pressure washer reviews.  Yes we did get some of our pressure washer reviews out in time such as the Pressure Washer, Dewalt and the Mi-t-m.  Ok so here are the top five things to look for when buying a pressure washer.

1. Gas vs. Electric

Electric and gas pressure washers pressurize water differently.  The biggest different is the speed and strength.  If you own both an electric and gas powered lawn equipment such as hedger, than you know the difference.   The gas powered items are usually louder, but produce more power.  While electric is quitter, but usually have less power.  Electric is good for those who don’t want to mess with gas and are cleaning small areas. The gas pressure washer allows more pressure for bigger areas to clean such as driveways, decks and homes.

2. Hot Water vs. Cold Water

Cold pressure washer, which you see at most stores, are less complicated than hot water pressure washers.  Also the cold water pressure washers are more portable.  The key with the cold water is they rely more on the pressure.  Hot water pressure washers can clean better primary because they use hot water.  They also clean faster and use less soap.  Another advantage is they sanitize much better than cold water.  Hot water pressure washer are great for industrial or farm use.  If your a homeowner, you should go with a cold water pressure washer, unless you have a meat locker at home and need to clean it out all the time.  If you do have a meat locker at home, drop me a line, I would love to come over for dinner.  Don’t worry I won’t bring Dan.

3. Warranty

There are all sorts of warranties out there.  Some claim they have the longest warranty, while the next box over states they have the longest warranty.  Just read the fine print.  What does the warranty cover.  Does it just cover the frame or does it cover the engine and pump.  You might be surprised how some manufactures can state their warranty.  You want to make sure the warranty does cover the engine and pump.

4. Power

Pressure washers state their fact two ways, some do show three ways.  Pounds per square inch(PSI) and gallons per minute (GPM).  It’s hard to determine which washer can be better if you don’t find the third stat called Cleaning Units (CU).  This is a great test to see which washer is truly better and measure each washer apples to apples.  If you don’t see the CU posted about the washer, it is easy to figure out.  Just multiply the PSI by the GPM.  This will tell you the CU.

5. Portability

Portability is very important.  How easy is it to wheel around and store.  There is nothing more frustrating than buying a washer only to find out that it is a pain to when around or worse yet, won’t even roll over a the hose without some force.  Look for a washer that is easy for yourself to wheel around and store.  What may be easy for someone, might not be easy for someone else.  So don’t take someone’s word for it.  Go to the store and try them out.  If you have to wheel it all around the store, go to town or whatever, just make sure you can use the washer yourself.

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These are five things we could think of, which isn’t saying much as Dan and myself have enough brain power to light up a five watt bulb.  So if you can think of anything we missed, drop us a line or leave a comment below.  Yes we do know we didn’t touch on engine manufacturers or pumps, but that’s only because everyone can swear by a different pump or engine.  Some have had great experience with certain engines, while others have not.


  1. Thanks for the great information on buying a pressure washer. We want to get one so we can wash our vinyl siding and windows more effectively. I didn’t know there were three measurements for power on each unit. We’ll be sure to keep our eyes out for that.

  2. What models come with the necessary attachments to reach my gutters that are 20’ above ground level. And I would need the hook attachment that is angled so it would spray debris from the gutter. Also are there any attachments that are “must have” for cleaning a variety of surfaces.

  3. I totally agree with you. Especially when you have mentioned about the Warranty. I had a pressure washer before that gave up after a month of using because something was broken inside the pump. Good thing it was covered by the warranty and they sent me a new one.


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