What is Pressure Washer PSI?

If you're shopping for a new pressure washer you might have seen pressure washer PSI ratings listed. Let's talk about what a PSI rating really means - and the two other standard power washer ratings you should use to compare pressure washer models. Know these ratings before you buy!

Pressure Washer PSI Explained

Pressure washer PSI (Pound per Square Inch) rates the force, or power, of the water that the pressure washer pump is able to produce.  The pump, powered by an engine, is the part of the washer that pressurizes the water that flows out of the nozzle.  And the higher the PSI rating, the more pressure. And more pressure means more cleaning power.

To give you a good example, as a starting point, the average rating of the water coming out of a typical garden hose is 40 PSI.  But, pressure washer PSI ratings for electric units start at around 1,500 PSI. And you can find gas pressure washer PSI ratings of 4,000 plus! All that extra PSI, or water force, is what removes the dirt, stains or paint from dirty surfaces around your yard, home or shop.

GPM (Gallons per Minute) is another rating that you should use to compare pressure washer models to help you decide which one to buy.  Just like the PSI rating, GPM is a rating that applies to the pump of a unit. GPM measures the rate of the water flow through a pressure washer pump. The faster the water flows through the pump, the faster the dirt can be washed away.

To give you another example, the average garden hose has  5 to 10 GPM.

A  pump with 4 GPM will get the job done twice as fast as a unit with a 2 GPM rating. Pro's pay attention to the GPM ratings because time is really money, when they're working on a job.

Some manufacturers and pros calculate & compare another pressure washer rating: CU (Cleaning Units).  CU is the rating that you can use to understand the power of combining the PSI and GPM.  The CU rating is calculated by multiplying PSI by GPM. So, a power washer with 2,200 PSI and 2 GPM has a 4,400 CU rating.

So, now that you know about the three standard ratings (pressure washer PSI, GPM & CU) you're armed with great information that will help you choose the best unit for your cleaning jobs and your budget! Here's my handy pressure washer comparison chart to help you choose wisely:

Best Pressure Washers Comparison Chart

AR Blue Clean AR383

#1 Best All-Around Electric Washer for light to medium home & yard cleaning jobs.

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

Great value and suited for light cleaning jobs around your home and yard.

Simpson Mega Shot 3125 Best choice if you want a Honda engine for medium to heavy cleaning jobs.

Generac 6596

Best suited for medium & heavy cleaning jobs using a Generac engine.

Pressure Pro E3027HC Best suited for pros and serious homeowners. Tackles all cleaning & paint stripping jobs.

Quick Pros/Cons

Detailed Review

My Detailed Review Here

My Detailed Review Here

My Detailed Review Here

My Detailed Review Here

My Detailed Review Here

Engine Type

Electric

Electric

Gas - Honda

Gas - Generac

Gas - Honda

PSI

1,900 PSI & reviews on Amazon

1,800 PSI and more specs on Amazon

3,100 PSI & reviews on Amazon

2,800 PSI & more reviews on Amazon

2,700 PSI and more specs on Amazon

GPM

1.5 GPM

1.5 GPM

2.5 GPM

2.5 GPM

3.0 GPM

Pump

Wobble

Wobble

Axial Cam

Axial Cam

Triplex

Water Temp

Cold

Cold

Cold

Cold

Cold

Weight

27 lbs

25.2 lbs

65 lbs

61.5 lbs

95 lbs

Dimensions

11.25 x 12.25 x 28"

13 x 11 x 31"

23.5 x 34.75 x 21"

23 x 16 x 40.25"

32 x 22 x 25"

Hose Length

2o ft

25ft

25 ft

25 ft

50 ft

# of Nozzles or Wands

2 wands

2 nozzles

5 nozzles

4 nozzles

5 nozzles

Warranty

1 year

1 year limited

2 year limited

2 year limited

3 years on engine, 5 years on pump

Price

Check today's price on Amazon

Check today's price on Amazon

Check today's price on Amazon

Check today's price on Amazon

Check today's  price on Amazon

Best Pressure Washers Comparison Chart

1. Quick Pros/Cons

AR Blue Clean AR383

  • Great Price
  • Very Quiet
  • Hose Reel
  • Shorter Hose
  • 1,900 PSI, 1.5 GPM
  • Wobble Pump
  • 20 ft hose
  • 27 lbs

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

  • Good Value
  • Built-in Soap Tank
  • Handy Longer Hose
  • 1,800 PSI, 1.5 GPM
  • Wobble Pump
  • 25 ft hose
  • 25.2 lbs

Simpson Mega Shot 3125

  • Strong Honda Engine
  • Brass Head on Pump
  • Mark Free Hose
  • 3,100 PSI, 2.5 GPM
  • Axial Cam Pump
  • 25 ft hose
  • 65 lbs

Generac 6595

  • Generac OHV Engine
  • Never Flat Wheels
  • Easy to Move Frame Design
  • 2,800 PSI, 2.5 GPM
  • Axial Cam Pump


Pressure Pro E3027HC

  • Honda Engine
  • Quality CAT Pump
  • Long Hose
  • Heavier Weight to Move
  • 2,700 PSI, 3.0 GPM
  • 50 ft hose
  • 95 lbs

2. My Detailed Review

AR Blue Clean AR383 Review

Read My Review Here

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

Read My Review Here

Simpson Mega Shot 3125

Read My Review Here

Generac 6595

Read My Review Here

Pressure Pro E3027HC

Read My Review Here

4. PSI

5. GPM

AR Blue Clean AR383

1.5 GPM

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

1.5 GPM

Simpson Mega Shot 3215

2.5 GPM

Generac 6595

2.5 GPM

Pressure Pro E3027HC

3.0 GPM

6. Pump

AR Blue Clean AR382

Wobble

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

Wobble

Simpson Mega Shot 3215

Axial Cam

Generac 6595

Axial Cam

Pressure Pro E3027HC

Triplex

8. Price

AR Blue Clean AR383

Check todays price on Amazon

Campbell Hausfeld PW1825

Check todays price on Amazon

Simpson Mega Shot 3125

Check todays price on Amazon

Generac 6595

Check todays price on Amazon

Pressure Pro E3027HC

Check todays price on Amazon

My Top Recommendation for the Best Electric and  Best Gas Pressure Washer:


I highly recommend the AR Blue Clean AR383 as the best electric pressure washer for any homeowner! Here's why I think it's the best electric unit:

It provides 1900 PSI which gives you very good cleaning power & speed - and  it has an Annovi Reverberi Triplex 3 axial piston pump!  As a pro, I know very well that the quality of your pump is critical for good cleaning results, consistent performance & long life. This Annovi Triplex pump is a much higher quality & longer lasting pump than you'll see on other electric washers.  And you can read other customer reviews on Amazon.com.

And I  know you'll really appreciate that this AR Blue Clean has a hose reel! Finally - you can get a hose reel on an electric unit! Trust me, the fact that you can neatly & quickly store your 20ft hose on the unit will help you work faster & more safely. And it's also easier to store. You can check this item at Amazon.com.

And comparing power, speed, quality & price, I highly recommend the Generac 6596 as the #1 gas pressure washer! Here's why I think it's the best gas unit:

You'll get a whopping 2,800 PSI with 2.5 GPM - which is a powerful amount of cleaning power! You'll be able to clean much faster than if you were using an electric unit.

And I want to say that I really like the strong & high quality 196cc Generac OHV engine and it's sturdy axial cam pump. It's built to last. And you can read other customer reviews on Amazon.com.

I also want to let you know that the spray gun is molded so it's comfortable in your hand - even if you're using it for a long time. And I really like the oversized, Never-Flat tires. Goodbye to irriating flat tires while you're working.

The Generac 6596 is an excellent gas pressure washer at a great price.  You can see it on Amazon.com.

Questions? Contact Me

Best Pressure Washers Comparison Chart Here - Quick & Easy!

Best Replacement Pumps Comparison Chart Here!