For washing concrete and other surfaces that require serious power, you need a model like the DEWALT 4400 PSI Gas Pressure Washer. This tough piece of machinery is designed for professionals, and with the help of its premium Honda GX390 engine, it can blast away dirt, grime, mold, paint, and more with ease.
This DEWALT Pressure Washer delivers 4,400 PSI at 4 GPM, and it boasts a 50-foot steel-braided hose that’s durable, non-marring, and three times more abrasion-resistant than rubber hoses. It has a AAA industrial triplex plunger pump that drives higher pressure to the nozzle for improved cleaning performance, and it’s easy to direct the ergonomic spray gun and switch out the five quick-connect nozzle tips.
Everything You Need to Know About Buying a Pressure Washer
Pressure washers are an incredibly helpful tool to have around the house. These machines amplify the power from your garden hose, using water to blast away all sorts of tough stains on a variety of surfaces. You can use a pressure washer to clean your car, remove mildew from your deck, get oil off the driveway, wash your home’s siding, and much more—without ever having to break out a scrub brush.
How do pressure washers accomplish these tasks with such ease? When connected to a hose, the machine uses either gas or electricity to power a pump that amplifies the water pressure, shooting water out with 30 to 80 times more pressure than it would have just from the hose. This force can effectively loosen dirt, grime, paint, and more from a variety of surfaces, helping to streamline many of your household chores. Some models even have built-in soap tanks that mix with the spray for even more cleaning power.
However, shopping for a pressure washer can be a bit confusing, especially if you’re not familiar with the common terminology. You’ll need to find a pressure washer with an appropriate water volume and cleaning force, measured in GSM and PSI, respectively—to make this decision a little easier, pressure washers are often described as light-, medium-, or heavy-duty. Additionally, you’ll have to choose between gas- and electric-powered options, each of which has pros and cons.
The following guide will help you better understand the nuances of pressure washers, giving you the information you need to pick the best option for your home.
What to Look for in a Pressure Washer
There are several features you’ll want to consider as you shop for a pressure washer. These factors will determine not only how well the machine performs and what tasks it is best used for, but how expensive it will be, as well.
Water Pressure: One of the most important factors to consider when buying a pressure washer is how much force it creates. After all, more pressure equates to more cleaning power.
This pressure is measured in PSI, or pounds per square inch. Generally speaking, lower PSI means less pressure. However, that doesn’t mean you should simply buy the highest PSI machine you can find—depending on how you intend to use your pressure washer, a lower PSI may be perfect for your needs.
Consumer pressure washers often start at around 1,300 to 1,800 PSI. This type of light-duty machine is great for small residential jobs like washing cars, cleaning shutters, washing down lawn furniture, and spot-cleaning mold or mildew. The next step up is around 2,000 to 3,000 PSI, and these machines are often considered heavy-duty, as they can be used to clean house siding, driveways, decks, and other tough stains.
Finally, machines with 3,000+ PSI are considered professional-grade and are used for industrial cleaning, paint stripping, graffiti removal, and more. These high-end pressure washers are the most expensive, and in general, most homeowners don’t need this much power.
Gallons Per Minute:The other key factor that goes hand-in-hand with PSI is GPM, or gallons per minute. As you might have guessed, this measures the volume of water that goes through the pressure water. Models with a higher GPM will clean faster and more effectively since they’re using more water.
GPM is directly correlated to PSI—the higher the pressure, the more water the machine will use per minute. Light-duty machines may only use 1.5 GPM, while professional-grade models can reach up to 4 GPM.
When shopping for a pressure washer, you’ll want to look at PSI first, but keep an eye on GPM, as well. Depending on what you’re using for a water source, you might not be able to support a high-GPM machine.
Power Source:You’ll also want to look at how different pressure washers are powered. There are both gas and electric models available, and each of these styles has its own pros and cons.
Electric-powered pressure washers are typically less expensive, lighter, and easier to maintain. Additionally, they run quieter and don’t create any harmful air pollution. However, electric models are generally less powerful than gas ones, and you have to use them near an electrical outlet. This type of pressure washer is often best for small jobs around the house, such as cleaning cars, patio furniture, and grills.
The other option is a gas-powered pressure washer. These machines are much more powerful, and because you’re not confined by a cord, they’re more portable and versatile. The downside is that gas machines require regular maintenance, and they’re louder and worse for the environment.
Pump Type:The pressure washer pump is arguably the most important part of your tool, as it’s what creates the high water pressure. There are two types of pumps that are commonly used: axial pumps and triplex pumps.
Axial pumps are great for beginners, as they’re easy to use and require little maintenance. They’re best for small tasks around the house and ideal if you only plan to use your pressure washer once in a while.
Triplex pumps, on the other hand, are a bit more heavy-duty and will serve you well if you plan to use your pressure washer frequently. However, these pumps require more maintenance.
Water Source: What type of water source are you planning to hook your pressure washer up to? Municipal water? Well, water? Maybe you don’t have a water source at all!
This is an essential—yet sometimes overlooked—a consideration when purchasing a pressure washer, as the GPM of the machine has to be equal to the pressure of your water supply. For instance, if you purchase a pressure washer that uses 2.5 GPM, your water supply needs to be able to consistently provide that much water. Otherwise, you will likely burn out the motor of your new tool.
In general, most pressure washers can be safely run on a city water supply, but the same can’t be said about well water. If you plan to hook your pressure washer up to well-supplied water, you’ll want to measure the GSM to ensure it can support the needs of the machine for the duration of the time you’re using it.
What if you have no water supply? You have a few options. First, you could invest in some type of water tank to run your machine off. Second, there are some small pressure washers that have built-in water reservoirs that you can fill up in the sink or shower. Keep in mind that both these options will give you a limited runtime.
Noise: Some pressure washers are noisier than others. If you have neighbors close by, you may want to opt for a quieter version—electric pressure washers are typically much quieter than gas ones, as their motors run silently.
Portability: Do you plan to use your pressure washer just around the house? Or will you be taking it to various job sites, as well?
There are several features that impact a pressure washer’s portability. First, the weight of the machine will dictate how easy it is to transport. Further, some models have wheels that make them easier to move from location to location.
Cord Length:If you’re planning to purchase an electric pressure washer, make sure to look at how long its power cord is and whether it’s compatible with extension cords. Many pressure washers recommend that you don’t use extension cords, and this means you’ll be limited to the length of the existing power cord.
Soap Tank: Depending on how you plan to use your pressure washer, it might be beneficial to find a model with a built-in soap tank. This will allow you to simultaneously spray water and soap onto surfaces for a more thorough wash job. However, if you plan to use your washer to remove paint and clean driveways, you may not need a soap tank.
What is the Best Type of Pressure Washer for Me?
There are several types of pressure washers to consider as you shop.
Gas-Powered: As discussed above, gas-powered pressure washers are both powerful and portable. They’re great for tackling larger jobs, such as washing siding or cleaning sidewalks, but they’re also noisier and require more maintenance. power washer
Gas pressure washers typically start at around $200 for low-end models, and they can range upward of $2,000 for commercial-grade options.
Electric-Powered:Pressure washers that run on electricity are generally lighter and quieter. They’re great for small jobs around the house, as they typically have a lower PSI and GPM. However, they’re not as powerful as gas models, and when using them, you’re constrained by the length of the power cord.
Electric pressure washers are some of the least expensive options, starting below $100 and topping out at around $300.
Pressure washers are often categorized as light-, medium-, or heavy-duty, and this describes the types of jobs they can tackle. Light-duty models typically have a PSI under 1,800, and they can be used for small jobs, such as washing cars and boats and cleaning patio furniture.
These models are typically electric, and they will cost between $50 and $200.
Medium Duty: The next step up is medium-duty machines, which have between 2,000 and 2,800 PSI. These pressure washers are helpful if you want to clean your home’s siding, remove dirt from a fence, or clean mold off your deck. These middle-of-the-line options are arguably the most popular with homeowners thanks to their versatility, power, and relatively affordable prices.
Most medium-duty pressure washers are gas-powered, but there are some electric models, as well. You can pay anywhere from $200 to $500 for this type of machine.
Heavy Duty: Heavy-duty pressure washers have more than 2,800 PSI, and they’re used to tackle the biggest, toughest jobs, such as prepping houses for painting, cleaning driveways, and washing second-story exteriors.
These are the most expensive models, costing anywhere from $500 to several thousand.
Multi-Duty: Most pressure washers operate at one PSI and that’s it. However, if you’re willing to spend more, you can get a multi-duty or all-in-one pressure washer, which allow you to adjust the pressure flow to suit various tasks.
These units start at around $400 and are generally gas-powered.
Commercial: You may come across some pressure washers with 3,500+ PSI. These units are designed for commercial or professional use. Some applications include paint stripping, graffiti removal, and industrial cleaning.
These units will cost $500 or more, and they’re generally unnecessary for homeowners.
Hot Water: The majority of pressure washers use cold water, but you can actually clean more efficiently with hot water. As such, there are certain models
that heat up the water before spraying it.
The downside is that hot water pressure washers are very expensive, costing $2,000 or more. As such, they’re typically only used for farm and industrial purposes.
As you shop for a pressure washer, you’ll likely come across several well-known brands.
Karcher: Karcher pressure washers are some of the most popular thanks to their innovative features. This company offers both electric and gas models, and its electric models are designed to be more eco-friendly. One unique feature of some Karcher models is their four-wheel “Follow Along” design.
DeWalt:This well-known tool brand offers a few pressure washer models, the majority of which are gas-powered. DeWalt pressure washers are known for their power and performance, but many of these models are extremely high-end, costing $1,000 or more.
Simpson:Simpson is a manufacturer of pressure washers, and while some of their machines are sold under the brand names DeWalt and Briggs & Stratton, the company also sells its own line of the tools. Simpson pressure washers are recognized as a great value because they are well-made machines without the price markup that comes with a well-known brand name.
Generac: Generac offers several high-end, gas-powered pressure washers, starting at around $400. This company designs and manufactures many of its engines, and its models have some of the highest average customer ratings.
Ryobi:Ryobi offers both electric and gas-powered pressure washers, and its electric models are a bit more expensive than other brands thanks to high-quality fittings and hoses that are designed to make them perform better and last longer.
Craftsman:Another household tool name, Craftsman makes both electric and gas-powered pressure washers. However, its gas models are known to perform better and be more reliable than electric ones.
Sun Joe: Sun Joe may be a more affordable pressure washer brand, but don’t count it out just yet. This brand sells several electric-powered models that are highly-rated by homeowners who use them for basic tasks around the house.
There are several accessories you can purchase for your new pressure washer to upgrade your machine. For instance, you can find new fittings and new hoses to replace cheap pieces on inexpensive models—this will help to ensure your sun joe pressure washer performs its best and lasts longer.
Perhaps some of the most popular pressure washer accessories are new nozzles or spray tips. There are specially designed nozzles that change the size and intensity of the spray, allowing you to tackle more precise jobs or cover more area at once. As an added bonus, these additional nozzles or spray tips are generally quite affordable.
Another popular accessory is the surface cleaner. This attachment features around deck on wheels, typically equipped with rotating spray nozzles, that lets you clean a variety of floor surfaces quickly and more efficiently. Additionally, there are a variety of other pressure washer attachments, such as brushes and surface cleaners that can help you tackle specific jobs.