TOH tested: Pressure washers

Under Pressure

The best cleaning tools for tough tasks like concrete stain removal or washing entire houses is elbow grease. The pressure washers are faster and more efficient than you and your brush.

1. A handle with slots for tips, hose and wand that can be collapsed for storage.

2. PVC versions will not last as long as a steel-reinforced rubberhose.

3. The engine is protected by a robust, tubular steel frame.

4. Service is made easy by an easily accessible pump

Attention: Pressure washers are not garden hoses. Spraying the spray at any living thing can cause it to maim. Always wear boots, long pants and gloves.

Cleaning units

Do not be enamored by psi. You may find yourself with too much pressure and not enough flow. Instead, multiply psi with gpm to calculate cleaning units (CU). This will give you a better idea of your cleaning power. The higher your CU, the more you can clean and how fast it will go.

Pro Tip: Run an $8 can Pump Saver through the pressure washer before storing it for winter. This will protect the pump from drying out and prevent the seals of the pump from drying out. –Bill Mikenis, Pressure Washers Direct

Troy-Bilt 020413

The basic gas model is ideal for jobs that are too large for an electric unit. You can clean most things with the 25-degree fan tip. But, please leave the 0 degree tip for more serious cleaning jobs. The machine is easy to maneuver thanks to its large wheels. The sealed axial pump is consumer-grade and requires no oil changes. However, it may need to replaced after seven years of use.

Fine print: 2,500 psi, 2.3 gpm, 190cc engine, 60.7 pounds

Karcher K 5.540

This unit can produce 2,000 psi, which is the maximum for a 110-volt electric washing machine. It also features a durable water-cooled pump. Practical features such as the integrated hose reel and adjustable spray head (no fan tips to drop) will be appreciated. An attachment that creates circular patterns, which increases cleaning efficiency by 50%, is also available. This can be used for cleaning brick walkways.

Fine print: 2,000 psi, 1.4 gpm, 13-amp motor, axial pump, 60.7 pounds

Craftsman 75286

The compact washer comes with two wands: one for the steamer and one for pressure washer. This is a clever way to remove grime from grill grates and muck from car tires. The heating element converts distilled water into hot vapor in about 20 seconds. The pressure washer is great for light-duty cleaning such as patio furniture.

Fine print: 1,700 PSI, 1.3 gpm. 12.5-amp motor. Wobble-plate pump. 22.5 pounds

Nomad MCOR35

This unit is more of a cordless cleaner that a pressure washer and won’t revive a deck. It can blast dirt, sand and gunk from boats, cars, and even Fido without causing injury. The 18-volt battery can run the 3.5-gallon tank up to three times on a single charge. The sprayer functions just like a garden hose, and can adjust from 90 psi up to a soft fan.

Generac 5993

This gas-powered pressure washer is a good choice for consumers. It compresses water using a triplex pump. Ceramic-coated heads produce less heat and last for hundreds of hours more than standard axial pumps. Side grips allow you to direct the spray and keep your hand away from the tip. The user who needs to be able to clean all of their houses and neighboring properties.

Fine print: 3,000 pounds per square inch (psi), 2.8 gallons per minute (gpm), 212cc engine, 113 pounds

How to clean wood with care: Siding

Use the soap-dispensing tip on the wand to spray the siding. Then, use a cleaner to clean the siding. Rinse with water using the 25-degree tip. Keep the spray fan perpendicular and the tip at 12-18 inches from the siding. To prevent water from getting behind siding, angle the wand slightly down. If you have a smaller unit, move closer.

How to clean wood with care: Decking

Spray a cleaner designed for decks. Use the soap-dispensing tip to spray and then follow the cleaner’s instructions. Hold the 25-degree tip 9 to 12 inches above the deck and move the wand along the grain. Do not linger as you may damage the wood.

Upgrade Your Wand: Clog Buster

Attach the flexible drain flusher to your wand and snake it down a blocked pipe. Then, pull the trigger. Two rear jets push the snake forward, while one jet clears the blockage.

Surface cleaner: Upgrade your Wand

This disk can be pushed over a patio to leave a 12-inch-wide clean path without streaks and no spray.

Telescoping Wand Upgrade

This wand can be extended up to 18 feet. Spray a cleaner onto second-story windows. Rinse them off with the ground.

About the Author


Darius Matsumoto

Hi, i am Darius. Woodworking is my another hobby for the last five years. I love to write woodworking project and also ideas.

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