What’s the Difference Between an Axial Cam Pump vs Triplex Pump?

When choosing a pressure washer you may have questions about an axial cam pump vs triplex pump.  I'll explain the differences in these two pump types, share troubleshooting tips and review some of the most popular replacement pumps on the market.

You can check out my top axial pump recommendation: the Generac Universal Pump on Amazon.

An axial cam pump connects directly to the engine of the pressure washer.  This is referred to as a direct drive pump.  With a direct connection to the engine, the pistons of the axial pump move at the same speed as those in the engine of the pressure washer.  Axial cam pumps have less parts but, in general, will not last quite as long as a triplex pump.

You can check out my top axial replacement pump choice:  the Generac universal pump on Amazon. This horizontal Generac pump is a universal fit - so it will work with any pressure washer brand or engine up to 3000 PSI with a horizontal mount.

It's shipped to you completely sealed - and the Generac Universal pump is ready to be installed right next to your engine.  No leaks or mess! Extra easy & fast installation for you. 

You can check Amazon's price on the Generac Universal Pump.

One advantage to an axial pump is that they are usually cheaper than other triplex pumps.  However, just because an axial pump is a more economical option for a pump doesn't mean that it can't handle your cleaning jobs.  An axial pump will produce more than enough PSI/pressure for most household cleaning applications.

Want to know more how to compare an axial cam pump vs triplex pump?  Let’s talk about triplex pumps and their advantages:

Triplex Pump Explained & Review

A triplex pump has three plungers built into the pump.  These 3 pistons are how triplex pumps gets their name.  By design, a triplex pump has more parts & is built with higher quality components.  These pumps will generally last longer than an axial pump and they are the most popular pressure washer pump of choice of professionals.  Pros love a triplex pump because of its reliability and the fact that triplex pumps produce a higher PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) rating.  On average, the price of a triplex pump is higher due to the heavier components, reliability and higher PSI.

I highly recommend this AR North America Triplex pump on Amazon as my #1 triplex replacement pump choice.

I really appreciate the heavy-duty construction: it's made of a special alloy aluminum with a bronze base to give you maximum strength and working hours. I love the high-quality stainless steel plunger rods on this AR triplex pump available on Amazon.

This horizontally mounted AR triplex pump works well with all gas pressure washer models up to 4,000 PSI and 3 GPM. And it doesn’t take long to get set up because it has a 3/8” quick connect. And you can check Amazon’s price on the AR Triplex pump.

Axial Cam Pump vs Triplex Pump: Which Should I Buy?

I would personally recommend that you buy a triplex pump if you plan on using your pressure washer frequently, say, more than 40 hours of running time in a year. 

Best Pressure Washer Pump Comparison Chart

Most Popular

Highest Power

Generac Universal Horizontal Mount Pump on Amazon

Himore Universal Vertical Mount Pump on Amazon

AR North America Triplex Pump on Amazon

Quick Review of the Best Replacement Pumps

  • Horizontal Mount
  • Up to 3,000 PSI
  • Comes sealed with fluids 
  • Universal and works with all washer brands
  • Vertical Mount
  • Up to 2,700 PSI
  • Comes Sealed & Ready to use
  • Works with all brands
  • Horizontal Mount
  • Triplex Pump
  • Up to 4,000 PSI & 3 GPM
  • Stainless Steel Plunger Rods
  • Heavy Duty Construction
  • Price  

    Check today's price on Amazon 

    Check today's price on Amazon

    Look up today's price on Amazon 

    Best Pressure Washer Pump Comparison Chart

    1. Quick Replacement Pump Review:

    Most Popular

    Generac Universal Horizontal Pump on Amazon

    • Horizontal Mount
    • Up to 3,000 PSI
    • Comes sealed with fluids
    • Universal & works with all washer brands

    Himore Universal Vertical Mount Pump on Amazon

    • Vertical Mount
    • Up to 2,700 PSI
    • Comes sealed & ready to use
    • Works with all brands

    AR North America Triplex Pump on Amazon

    • Horizontal Mount
    • Triplex Pump
    • Up to 4,000 PSI & 3 GPM
    • Stainless Steel Plunger Rods
    • Heavy Duty Construction

    2. Price

    I also have a tip you should think about when confronted with axial cam pump vs triplex pump decisions.  If this pump is bought as a replacement you should look at current specifications of your old pump.  If you match the existing parameters such as PSI, GPM and the mount type it will be that much easier to install.  You should even look at how the pump is mounted to your current pressure washer.  This can be either horizontal or vertical attachment.  The actual brand isn’t as important as matching these specifications.

    Axial Cam vs Triplex Pump – Important Maintenance Tips

    With any piece of machinery it is important that you take care of it.  Maintaining your pressure washer and pump in the right way will ensure that it lasts for as long as possible. 

    If you’re running a gas operated pressure washer you’ll want to consult your owner’s manual.  The manual will tell you how to check your pump’s oil level.  This should be done often.  It may even be a good idea to do so every time you fire it up.  You should also change the oil every year.

    Don’t forget, check the owner’s manual to be sure you’re following all the right directions that may be specific to your pump model.

    I hope this article has explained the differences between an axial cam pump vs triplex pump and how to decide which one is right for a replacement in your pressure washer.

    Questions? Contact Me

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    Best Replacement Pumps Comparison Chart Here!