Best Pressure Washers and How to Choose One

The best pressure washers can be hard to figure out, but I’ve got a breakdown on how to choose the one that’s right for you.

The best pressure washers can be hard to figure out, but I've got a breakdown on how to choose the one that's right for you. UncookieCutter.comSo, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  You can buy a pressure washer.  Yep.  Wait, you already knew that?  Well, let me tell you how much money and time I wasted renting pressure washers.  It was a lot.  During our courtyard makeover, I rented one twice and spent almost the amount of money it costs to buy one. They are actually pretty reasonably priced and there are a bunch of different options. I’m going to show you how to pick out the best pressure washers for yourself to help you narrow down your choices.

Ryobi provided me with a free pressure washer, however this post is not sponsored or endorsed by them in any way. This post contains affiliate links and you can see my full disclosure policy here.

So, first things first.  Are you a contractor? Are you washing houses and deep cleaning sidewalks on a regular basis?  I’m assuming if you are reading this blog you are an average DIYer or home owner like me who just wants to keep your house looking sparkly and clean. So, you can eliminate the semi-pro and commercial grade power washers pretty quickly.  In fact, I’m not even going to talk about those.  If you want to read more check out this article. You’ll probably want a consumer one like me.  See, easy peasy.  You’ve cut half your options out already.

The next thing to consider is how powerful you want this baby to be. What are you going to be doing with it?  Is your house and concrete pretty new and clean and you just want to update?  Maybe you are looking at the best pressure washers for keeping your vehicles clean. If this is the case, you probably don’t need much power.   However, if you are looking to keep barns clean, strip paint off wood or clean older siding, you might need a to look at higher pressure models.  I went smack dab in the middle.

There are two big differences – gas and electric.  The gas will generally have a higher pressure and will clean more. The electric are easier to maneuver but don’t have quite as much power.

Best Pressure Washers – Electric

If you are looking for general household upkeep and have decided on an electric model, than you can still get some pretty good power.  When I rented one for cleaning our front sidewalk off to get ready for a little concrete paint, I rented a gas one that only had about 1500 psi.  Psi stands for pounds per square inch and it’s basically how water pressure is measured.  The higher the number, the harder the pressure of the water coming out.  Anyway, at 1500 psi it did the trick – it got all the dirt and debris off my concrete pretty easily.  However, I hate dealing with gas. The electric model I choose to buy has 2000 psi. However, the model I choose has a lower CU, which is cleaning unit (basically less water is coming out at that pressure) so it does take a bit longer.  So, higher power but more work.  Still following me?

A while back we poured this slab of concrete and when it didn’t match the surrounding slabs, I tried to paint it.  With the kind of concrete stain that you are supposed to mix into the concrete.  I wonder why that didn’t work??  Anyway, for months that stain had been sitting on that slab and looked awful.  Luckily my new pressure washer did the trick!  Finally, the paint is off :).  So, you can get a lot out of an electric model. It’s still not the right color, but oh so much better!

So, you’ve decided on electric.  You still have a variety of options.  Handheld ones are nice for quick cleaning jobs that don’t need much.  The larger units with the most power will have things like cord holders, hose reels, wheels to pull them around and little tanks to hold cleaning soaps.  Like I said earlier, I decided to go with the higher end electric one.  One that I don’t have to deal with gas but will still clean my sidewalks and siding pretty well.

Best pressure washers – Gas

Gas will not only give you more pressure, but also more CU.  That means you’ll get the dirtiest work done fast.  The thing that does make gas more convenient is you don’t have to worry about the extension cord.  So, pick your poison as they say. Here again, the larger units with the more PSI and CU will clean more faster.  If you like the gas units and are looking for cleaning sidewalks and siding, you could go for a smaller unit gas powered unit.

So, don’t be like me.  Don’t waste your money on renting pressure washers.  As you can see, they are not to expensive and they’ll be great for helping you keep your house in top shape.

Hopefully this post is helpful in helping you decipher between the best pressure washers.  Please sound off below if you have any questions!


Best Pressure Washers and How to Choose One

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