CommunityBuying a Pressure Washer: Tips on how to select the best pressure washer for your needs

Buying a Pressure Washer: Tips on how to select the best pressure washer for your needs

We've been thinking about buying a pressure washer to clean the siding and walks around our home. I've started to look around but the number of options makes it extremely confusing. Can you tell me where to begin?

The Money Pit Answer

Pressure washers are a good tool for cleaning a variety of items in and around the home, such as cars, boats, patio furniture, decks and sidewalks. To pick the right pressure washer for your house, just remember the Three P's: Water Pressure, Gallons Per Minute and Price.

Water Pressure: How much pressure you needs depends on the type of job you're going to be doing, so it is imperative you choose the right unit. A basic light duty pressure washer (1300 - 2000) is 30 times as powerful as a garden hose, but a good choice for cleaning boats, cars and siding. Medium duty machines (2000 - 2600 PSIs) are good for cleaning grease and grime. Heavy-duty units (2,700 - 4,000 PSI) work well for stripping surfaces for repainting.

Gallons Per Minute: The larger the Gallons Per Minute rating, the more surface area a pressure washer can clean. A higher GPM flow rate can clean a larger area faster.

Price:  Pressure washers range in price from a low of $100 to more than $2,000. If you've decided what pressure and GPM you need for your cleaning jobs, the price range you need to look in will naturally fall into place.

A good place to compare pressure washer manufacturers, features and prices is The web site sells a wide variety of pressure washers and has a comparison tool to make it easy to review pressure washer's side-by-side.