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Choosing a Pressure Washer: How to Compare Models 

Choosing a pressure washer that's perfect for YOU can be a challenge. There are dozens of manufacturers making hundreds of pressure washer models suited for the DIY'er/homeowner market.  

And you can also follow this quick and invaluable 5-point checklist which will help you choose the best pressure washer from among all the others:

Easy 5 Point Checklist for Choosing a Pressure Washer

#1 - CHOOSE YOUR POWER SUPPLY: Electric or Gas-Powered Engine? 

The pressure washers best suited for homeowners are powered by either an electric or gas engine.

ELECTRIC pressure washers are generally lightweight and very inexpensive & well-suited for small cleaning jobs like washing a car, etc. And they can be used indoors.

Electric pressure washers are more economically priced than gas pressure washers, which helps make them so popular with homeowners.

And you can see my top electric pressure washer recommendation: the AR Blue Clean AR383 on Amazon.

The AR383 will give you 1,900 PSI, 1.5 GPM with a 14 Amp electric motor. It has a 20 foot hose and only weighs 27lbs! You'll be able to carry this lightweight, but powerful, pressure washer wherever you need to clean.

But what I really love about the AR Blue Clean is that it has a built-in hose reel! Having a hose reel is incredibly handy. Genius.

Check Amazon's price on the AR Blue Clean AR383.

GAS-POWERED pressure washers are many times more powerful than electric models, don't require an electrical outlet, are more durable and they take less effort & time to clean projects.

My #1 best gas washer recommendation is the Generac 6596 washer that's available on Amazon.

Hands-down, it's my top all-around best gas washer choice. It has a quality Generac engine, an axial cam pump you can count on and it'll give you 2,800 PSI and 2.5 GPM. This Generac gas pressure washer has the kind of power that will easily tackle any home or yard cleaning project you have.

And this Generac 6596 also has Never Flat tires, which I love. No more flat tire hassles!

You can check Amazons price on this recommended Generac 6596 pressure washer.

 #2 - CHOOSE A WATER SUPPLY: Hot or Cold? 

Pressure washers that use a HOT WATER supply are truly great for extremely heavy-duty industrial or farm applications. 

Pressure washers that use a COLD WATER supply - which is a garden hose & outdoor faucet - offer excellent cleaning power for the homeowner, are easy to move, use and are economically priced. 

For the average homeowner/DIY'er, choosing a cold water supply is a no-brainer.


Take a moment to think about what engine you'd want to power your pressure washer.

I recommend that you choose a pressure washer with a brand name engine!  Brand name engines like Karcher, Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Excell, Generac, AR Blue, etc. My best advice is to NOT to choose a pressure washer with a no-name engine. Or an engine that says it's built "just like a Honda"!

In my experience, you're just asking for problems with performance, warranty coverage and repair/replacement part problems by going with a pressure washer using a no-name engine.


Remember, the quality of the pump is just as important as the quality of your engine. The pump puts the pressure into the water, which gives you most of your cleaning force and power.

The best type of pump for a homeowners pressure washer is an axial-cam pump. Some brands of quality axial cam pump brands include: Karcher, Comet, CAT, General, AR and Briggs and Stratton.  


Ok, you've chosen your power supply, a hot or cold water source, your engine brand and your axial pump brand. Now what?

Now you can begin comparing pressure washer models using the three basic pressure washer ratings:

PSI or Pounds Per Square Inch is the force that the washer is able to produce. I recommend choosing a pressure washer with a minimum of 2,250 PSI.

GPM or Gallons per Minute is the rate of the water flow.

The more PSI and GPM, the more cleaning power you will have. You'll be able to finish your cleaning job more quickly - but higher powered units do have a higher price tag than lower priced units.

That's it! Good luck with your pressure washer hunting!

Renting a Pressure Washer? Read this first!


 Pressure Washer Pump Oil 101

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Pressure Washer Reviews

Thinking about getting a new pressure washer? Before you buy, get my pro review of the best pressure washers on the market! My expert reviews will save you time & money. Just click on one of my photos, below, to get the information you need:

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