How To Buy The Best Pressure Washer

best pressure washer

How to choose the best pressure washer for the job

Pressure washers are amazing tools when you need to get dirt and grime off of outdoor surfaces. It’s also extremely handy if you want to clean a muddy vehicle prior to applying car wraps. Finding the best pressure washer for a particular job takes a bit of research, however. They come in all shapes and sizes, from easy cleaning tools to full-blown weapons. We’re going to take a look at the different kinds of pressure washers, as well as how they work, in this article. Enjoy!

How does a pressure washer work?

By applying pressure, obviously. Pressure washers are essentially a big water pistol for adults. It holds water in the tank, which a powerful motor is pumping through a tiny nozzle to create a powerful ray of water. This makes it an ideal way to clean patios, garden furniture, driveways, and decks. It makes the entire process many times faster than if you had to fill a bucket of soapy water and scrub it off manually. What you need to keep an eye out for when shopping for the best pressure washer are its water flow and bar pressure.

What is a lance?

The nozzle on a pressure washer is called a lance — although some places will refer to it as a wand. It is a steel rod that is connected to the hose, tank, and pump. You will have a trigger by the handle of the lance, so you can control when to release the water from the pressure washer. Different jobs require different kinds of lances. Some can push out the water in a pencil-thin ray, while others can create a fan of water. Cleaning off the stubborn grime from outdoor surfaces can require the thin ray of water. Cleaning a car, on the other hand, will require the fan lance as to not damage the paint.

Where should you store your pressure washer?

Store your pressure washer in a dry and ventilated place, just like any other machine. Although pressure washers are water tools, you don’t want water to get into the wrong places. You will also want to avoid your pressure washer being exposed to frost during the winter months. This could potentially damage the pump if there is still water in the tank.

What detergent should you use?

Although you can get quite a few cleaning jobs done with nothing but pure water, there are some jobs that require detergents. Fortunately, most manufacturers of pressure washers also produce detergents. You might even be able to get a package deal when you buy your pressure washer.

What is the water flow?

Water flow is a pretty straightforward concept: it is the amount of water that flows out of the nozzle of the lance and hose. The higher the water flow, the more water is being forced out and used during the cleaning process. Water flow is measured in liters, and pressure washers can push out anywhere between 300-600 liters of water in an hour.

What is the bar pressure?

Whereas water flow indicated how much water is being used, bar pressure tells you how much force that water is pushed out of the nozzle with. Bar pressure is very relevant to the kind of job you’re doing. If you’re preparing a vehicle for applying car wraps, then you don’t need a lot of bar pressure. If, on the other hand, you need to clean petrified chewing gum off of stone tiles, then a high bar pressure is needed. Beware — pressure washers with high bar pressures can quickly become dangerous if not handled properly.

Which one is the most important?

Both are equally important and relate to the kind of work you need to get done. Stains and dirt that has been on outdoor surfaces for years can be really hard to get off and will require both high levels of water flow and bar pressure. Cleaning more delicate surfaces where you don’t want the paint to scrape off will require less bar pressure. Many pressure washers will also allow you to adjust either bar pressure or water flow, or both.

What else should you be aware of?

It is important to note that pressure washers aren’t simply water pistols for adults — they’re real power tools. A pressure washer pumps water through the lance at 30-80 the pressure of a regular garden hose. You need to be particularly careful if you’re using a very narrow nozzle — you’ll essentially be shooting liquid needles. It is, therefore, a good idea to look at tutorials on how to best handle pressure washers. we’ve included a video that shows you that exact thing right here below:

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Which is the best pressure washer for you?

Buying, rather than renting, a pressure washer can be an expensive endeavor. That’s why you should consider all the possible jobs you’ll be using your pressure washer for. You might want it to clean your car, but what if your patio needs cleaning later on, You will want to invest in a pressure washer that can handle more than one kind of job. We’ve provided a brief overview of what kind of pressure you need for what kind of job here below.

Small jobs (100 bar)

  • Bicycles
  • Motorbikes
  • Trash cans
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Gardening tools

Medium jobs (110-130 bar)

  • Vehicles
  • Boats
  • Fences
  • Pools
  • Lawnmowers

Big jobs (130+ bar)

  • Brick walls
  • Decks and patios
  • Tilework
  • Driveways

As you can see from the above list, the different job requires different bar pressure and water flow. Use too much pressure on cleaning your car, and you might have to get a new paint job afterward. Trying to clean a driveway or brick wall with too low pressure, and you will end up spending all day on cleaning it — which defeats the purpose of a pressure washer.

What kind of pump should you have?

Pressure washers are either powered by gas or electricity. Electrical pressure washers tend to be the most common ones, as they are affordable and suitable for small to medium jobs. Larger jobs will require a gas-powered pressure washer, as these models can create a much higher pressure.


As mentioned, electric-powered pressure washers are great for cleaning your garden furniture, as well as the patio. The advantages of electrical pressure washers include being quiet and light-weight. They also don’t pollute, and they are easy to store. Because they’re cheaper than the gas-powered models, they are also less sturdy and some lances are made of plastic rather than metal. You also need to stick to the instructions regarding the power chord — water and electricity don’t mix!


This model is more suitable for heavy-duty work, and can swiftly clean your driveway and brickwork without needing strong chemicals. Even if you use a fan nozzle, a gas-powered pressure washer can deliver the same strength as an electrical one using a narrow nozzle. The disadvantages include that these machines are quite noisy and produce exhaust. The pump can also overheat if left alone for too long, and you will need to winterize it during the cold months.

Additional tools and accessories

You might want to invest in additional accessories for your pressure washer, depending on your needs. Some of the attachments are designed for specific uses. There are different nozzles for cleaning patios and vehicles. You can also find brushes that will allow you to rinse and scrub surfaces at the same time. You will also be able to use extensions for the lance so you can reach difficult areas you want to clean. Some lances are angled so that you can get into all the nooks and crannies. Finally, there is a range of detergents and chemicals you can use in the water to increase the efficiency of your pressure washer.

Which one do we think is the best pressure washer?

Reaching a consensus in our office was difficult, so we had to opt for a top 10 list of the favorites! Check them out here:

Best Pressure Washer #1: Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe 2030

Get it in just two days with Amazon Prime.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Joe 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer

Best Pressure Washer #2: Sun Joe SPX3001 203

Get it in just two days with Amazon Prime.

Sun Joe SPX3001 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5 AMP Electric Pressure Washer with Hose Reel, Green

Best Pressure Washer #3: Sun Joe SPX1000 1450

Get it in just two days with Amazon Prime.

Sun Joe SPX1000 1450 PSI 1.45 GPM 11.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer

Best Pressure Washer #4: Sun Joe SPX4000 2030

Get it in just two days with Amazon Prime.

Sun Joe SPX4000 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer w/ Pressure-Select Technology

Best Pressure Washer #5: Champion 3200-PSI

Get it in just two days with Amazon Prime.

Champion 3200-PSI 2.4-GPM Dolly-Style Gas Pressure Washer

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