When it comes to cleaning efficiently, doing it manually is certainly not a smart option.
Even a hosepipe is not the best route to gleaming surfaces. They waste water and don’t really get the job done to a high standard.
The market today is filled with pressure washers in all shapes and sizes. These cleaners simply pump water then shoot it through a nozzle onto a dirty surface. While the premise is simple, the results are first-class.
Today, we’re going to report our findings on some more heavy-duty cleaning appliances.
If you’re on the hunt for the best commercial pressure washer, read on to discover the market-leading units most suitable for larger jobs. If you want to do more than give the decking a quick once-over, these commercial and professional washers are just what the doctor ordered.
We started off our testing with 10 products but whittled them down to the top 5.
Our object here is to make your life easier and nobody wants to go through too many very similar products.
Head directly to the reviews if you have an idea what you are looking for. If not, we’ll first walk you through some basics about pressure washers and what to look for when buying one.
Pressure Washers: Terminology
Before we get started with a glance at these nifty cleaning powerhouses, there are 3 simple terms that you need to be familiar with:
- GPM: Gallons Per Minute
- PSI: Pounds Per Square Inch
- CP: Cleaning Power
Flow rate is most commonly quoted in GPM.
The greater the flow rate, the larger an area you can clean in a given time.
If you are looking for a commercial pressure washer and you want to complete as many jobs a day as possible, opt for a high-GPM machine.
The pressure of the unit is measured in pounds per square inch or PSI.
Most pressure washers fall in the range of 1000-3500 PSI. Commercial pressure washers are at the higher end of the normal range and often exceed 4000 PSI.
The figure relates to the pushing force. In reality, the true force on the surface is also influenced by the nozzle you’re using and the distance of the nozzle from the surface.
Cleaning power (CP) is sometimes referred to as cleaning units.
This figure is arrived at by multiplying GPM and PSI.
The CP of your unit gives you an indication of the volume of work you’ll be able to carry out.
Why Use a Pressure Washer?
Before we show you what to look out for when you’re buying the best commercial pressure washer, why use one in the first place?
You Save Time
This is perhaps the key selling point for commercial pressure washers.
Whether you need to clean up on a construction site, in a concrete business or in any other commercial setting, time very firmly translates to money. You cannot afford to take all day on a small cleaning job.
In addition to speed, you’ll also eliminate much of the bending and stooping needed if you’re cleaning with a hosepipe.
In terms of efficiency, a garden hose normally gives just 8 GPM at a modest 60 PSI. This gives 480 cleaning units. Most commercial jet washers will use far less water while delivering way more cleaning power.
If time is of the essence and you need a large volume of cleaning done briskly and efficiently, it’s time to upgrade to a commercial pressure washer.
You Can Save Money
The first saving is in the amount of water you use. With a pressure washer, you’ll actually use far less water than if you were trying to clean up with a standard hose pipe. So, not only will you get the job done quicker, it will cost you less into the bargain.
Depending on the scope of jobs you have in mind, frequently cleaning surfaces can extend their lifespan significantly. Not only will you make short-term savings, you can also keep those savings rolling in.
Get The Job Done More Thoroughly
As well as time and money, there’s one other element that counts: results. It’s futile getting a job done rapidly and cheaply if the quality is lacking.
The bottom line is that a pressure washer will ensure that whatever you clean ends up absolutely sparkling.
The choice is yours…
Use hot, soapy water and the best commercial pressure washer or spend hours on end scrubbing away by hand.
OK. Now we’ve looked at why you should invest in one of these ingenious devices, what should you look for when you’re buying one?
We’ll break down now some of the most important considerations to help you on your way.
What To Look For in a Commercial Pressure Washer
For the purposes of this article, we’ve disregarded electric powered pressure washers. They are perfectly fit for most residential jobs but for commercial purposes, there’s no substitute for a gas-powered jet washer.
Engine size is given in cubic centimeters (cc) and the power is labeled in HP or horsepower.
The larger the engine, the more power you’ll have at your disposal.
190cc engines, often Honda, are fairly standard for a commercial unit.
Think about the reliability of an engine rather than focusing purely on the raw power available. There’s no sense in buying something with more performance than you need but it’s equally pointless to sell yourself short.
Entry-level machines use a wobble pump which is the least effective type of pump. These are not repairable and impossible to replace. They are only of much use for light and irregular cleaning.
Regular commercial pressure washers use an axial cam pump. This is an acceptable mid-range pump but certainly not the best option. They will last 2 or 3 times longer than a wobble pump, though.
Triplex plunger pumps are superior and most of the more expensive commercial washers come with this variety. Lasting up to 10 times longer than an axial pump, these are essential if you’ll be using your jet washer all day every day.
Hot or Cold Water?
There’s no argument that hot water cleans better than cold. You don’t do the dishes with cold water or use cold water in the dishwasher do you?
With hot water pressure washers, room temperature water is heated to more than 60 degrees thanks to an onboard heating coil or burner.
The downside of these hot water cleaners is that they will cost much more than their cold counterparts.
Think carefully about exactly what you will be demanding from your washer and buy accordingly.
You will get at least some degree of pressure regulation with a commercial washer.
For maximum versatility, look for models with a pressure dial allowing you to control the PSI output in line with the jobs you have in mind.
Nozzles or spray tips allow you the flexibility to adjust the pressure and area covered.
Here are the main options you’ll have to choose from:
- O° - Red and used to deliver a very fine jet of water
- 15° - Yellow, a high performance nozzle
- 25° - A multipurpose green nozzle
- 40° - Perfect for sensitive surfaces, use this white nozzle for delicate cleaning
- 65° - Black for low pressure applications with detergent
Whether you want to use a wider spray to get rid of mold and mildew or a sharp and concentrated jet tip for no-nonsense blasting, a decent range of spray tips give you all the flexibility you need.
Hoses come in many lengths and widths. The materials used for connectors also varies along with the way in which they connect.
¼-inch diameter hose is good enough for normal residential cleaning while most commercial washers have 3/8-inch hose. This uprated hosing is designed to cope with the increased flow rate on professional cleaners.
Plastic hose, often reinforced, is perhaps the most common. You pay considerably more for a polyurethane hose but it is far better.
Look also for hoses that are built to be resistant to kinking and bending. A good hose is worth its weight in gold.
Many larger commercial pressure washers can accommodate a detergent tank on board.
This is a superb time-saver. You will not need to smear the detergent over the surfaces you want to clean.
Think about how you will be using your jet washer and how important this feature is to you. If it’s something you can’t live without, be prepared to dig a little deeper.
Various attachments make your life even easier.
If you regularly need to clean large areas in a hurry, shoot for an attachment with a pair of rotating nozzles set inside a round unit.
A brush attachment is great for agitating any solid dirt without worrying about using too much pressure.
As with all attachments, don’t get hung up on numbers. Think instead about those which will be of genuine use and hunt for a washer that delivers these for you.
Price should always be a factor in any purchasing decision but it should not be the only or even the deciding factor.
Think about overall value for money and how this will benefit your business in the long-term.
There’s no point in overspending or putting yourself in financial jeopardy but don’t underspend either.
Fix a budget and buy in line with this. Getting this in place before you start your research will narrow your search and help you to focus on the most appropriate models for your needs.
Commercial Pressure Washers: Our Top 5 Reviews
PSI x GPM
Topping our list of the best commercial pressure washers is the Simpson MSH3125-S, also known as the MegaShot.
The capable Honda GC190 engine is powerful enough for commercial duties. Honda engines have a reputation for seldom letting you down. Performance alone is not enough. You need something reliable. This is especially important if you are using your washer in a commercial setting where time is money.
You’ll get an impressive flow rate of 2.5 GPM with water pressure of 3100 PSI. That’s enough water at adequate force to take care of the messiest jobs in no time.
The MegaShot is a really user-friendly unit. We found the instructions clear and easy to follow.
It does kick off some noise which is understandable. The relatively compact nature of the MegaShot means that sound is muted to some extent and it’s not intrusive.
The lightweight hose is built to resist kinking and can withstand pretty rugged conditions.
There are 5 different nozzle tips:
Build quality is first-rate. With a welded steel frame built to last and pneumatic wheels fit for even rough terrain, the MegaShot is both portable and dependable. The weak point to watch out for over time is the axial pump. Expect to replace this every couple of years.
If you choose to use the MegaShot at home, be extremely careful. The water pressure is such that you’re best to keep it well clear of your car. If you choose to clean your vehicles, be careful and use the 20° or 40° attachment which will dial back the pressure slightly and increase the spray area.
The MegaShot works well on a range of floors from wooden through to marble or tiles. Windows, fences, garden furniture, roofs… Imagination is your only limitation with this pressure washer. It’s a highly versatile piece of kit.
One snag with Simpson is that parts tend to go missing. Check carefully when you receive your package. They’ll make good but you need to chase it up.
You’ll get a 2-year limited warranty which lets you buy with peace of mind. The pump is covered for 1-year while the frame has a 5-year guarantee. This package shows the faith Simpson place in their products. Let’s face it, the manufacturer doesn’t expect to lose out with these guarantees. They know their products generally perform admirably.
Overall, if you’re looking for a combination of performance, reliability and affordability, the MegaShot takes some beating.
It’s our pick for the best commercial pressure washer 2017.
Type: Gas | Our Rating: 5/5 | Best Budget Choice
A much more expensive option is up next, the Simpson PowerShot. While this is by no means cheap, think of a pressure washer like this as an investment.
Like the MegaShot, this Simpson is also powered by a highly efficient Honda GX390 commercial series engine. PowerBoost technology means you fire it up by simply pushing a button. As with all Honda engines, you’ll be rewarded with the utmost reliability. Since it’s commercially rated, you’ll also have ample power for your cleaning needs.
An excellent engine feature is the oil alert system. If there is insufficient oil, the engine will shut itself down preventing any damage from occurring.
Flow rate is a generous 4.5 GPM. The PowerShot delivers 4200 PSI which is more than enough pressure for even the grimiest commercial cleaning project.
One of the drawbacks of many commercial jet washers is that the power comes at the expense of maneuverability. Although it packs a considerable punch, the PowerShot is not too unwieldy and works well on a variety of surfaces.
With 13-inch pneumatic tires, you can move this washer around the job site even if the ground is uneven.
A negative across the board with gas-powered pressure washers is the noise they make. The PowerShot is certainly not quiet. It’s difficult to make yourself heard when the engine is on. Think about how and where you’ll use your washer and decide how important the noise factor is to you.
You’ll get the same 5 nozzle tips as with the MegaShot:
The soap nozzle is very useful for cleaning stubborn areas. The other options cover all main bases. A siphon tube makes applying detergent a breeze.
All commercial washers need to be rugged and built to go the distance. With a heavy-duty welded steel frame, steel axle and engine plate and bulky pneumatic tires, the PowerShot will run all day long without letting you down.
The hose has quick connectors for your convenience. This is also steel braided for maximum durability.
You won’t lose your accessories thanks to the handy onboard storage. Keep the spray gun, nozzles and hose tucked safely away.
The AAA triplex plunger pump has pistons coated with ceramic. Much of the success of a pressure washer rests on the pump and the Simpson will not disappoint.
In the event of any problems, you’ll need to pursue engine-related problems with Honda. With everything else, Simpson will handle things for you efficiently if anything goes wrong. There’s a limited 1-year warranty but this doesn’t cover the engine. The warranty can be extended at extra cost.
If you need a solid and effective commercial pressure washer from a brand you can trust, the Simpson PowerShot is well worth popping on your shortlist.
We ran into no problems at all testing it and found it to clean to an extremely high standard. From wood and decking through to tiles and marble, the PowerShot hits the spot. If you want to churn through your cleaning duties double-quick, think seriously about this Simpson.
Type: Gas | Our Rating: 5/5
Karcher have a well-deserved reputation for producing top-notch appliances at an affordable price-point. Although it could hardly be labeled cheap, it’s certainly not expensive for a commercial pressure washer.
Karcher have a very simple strapline for their cleaning equipment: “Cleaner. Quicker.” That says it all, really. When we put this pressure washer through its paces, it impressed us with the speed and effectiveness.
You’ll get the same GC190 Honda engine as you find on the Simpson MegaShot. This develops 187cc which is more than enough juice for even ambitious cleaning jobs.
Water flow rate is 2.5 GPM with a pressure of 3000 PSI. The overall cleaning power comes out at 7500 units which is more than enough for most normal projects. To put these figures into perspective, it’s more than 50 times as powerful as a regular garden hose.
The axial cam pump comes with a brass head. This offers a superb combination of performance and consistency.
The hose gives you more than enough room for maneuver at 25 feet. This should allow you to clean everything you need without needing to unplug and find another power outlet.
There’s no variation on the standard 5 nozzle tips bundled with most pressure washers:
Onboard storage keeps everything you need close at hand.
Setting this pressure washer up is a pain. Once you have struggled through attaching the hoses, things get easier. Start-up is a breeze and operating it is equally as simple.
No pressure washers are silent but, for a commercially-rated machine, the Karcher is fairly restrained in the noise department.
Maintenance is something you need to take into account. You’ll need to winterize it for best results. This is particularly important since Karcher do not supply spare parts and if you do not winterize it, they will not accept responsibility for any faults. Check out this guide to winterizing your pressure washer.
10-inch pneumatic tires could be bigger but are still adequate for moving this pressure washer around the job site. At 75 pounds, it’s not light so make sure you are confident working with this kind of weight.
You’re covered by a 2-year limited warranty for both pump and engine. This means you can buy with confidence knowing Karcher has your back.
If you are in the market for a jet washer that gets the job done fast and fuss-free without costing you a fortune, you can’t go far wrong with this Karcher. Check it out today and get all those cleaning jobs out of the way.
Type: Gas | Our Rating: 5/5 | Best Overall Choice
4 Generac 6565 Gas Pressure Washer: 4200 PSI at 4.0 GPM
Generac has a great track record and they’ve been in the game since the 50s. They consistently offer first-class products without charging the earth.
This manufacturer puts out a broad range of pressure washers and the 6565 is at the lower end of the range in terms of power. This is also reflected in a competitive price tag.
Just like the Simpson PowerShot, you’ll be rewarded with an ample flow rate of 4.0 GPM. Pressure is a highly notable 4200 PSI. These figures give you more than enough power for even awkward cleaning projects.
You can tweak the water pressure by turning a dial. Massive power is all well and good but not all jobs are equal. If you need to exercise a lighter touch, this feature is welcome.
The shutdown feature brings things to a halt if you are running out of oil. This is a nice touch that can save a costly breakdown.
The triplex pump is the best option and it is built to last. These last much longer than axial pumps and are better suited to commercial units.
The same 5 nozzle tips give you a wide choice of spray angles:
These type of pressure washers are regularly used on construction sites. The jumbo pneumatic tires dampen down vibration and allow you to move the bulky unit around with relative ease.
With a welded steel frame and integrated holster, the Generac is strong enough to go the distance.
Often, manufacturers needlessly cut the hoses too short. Nothing could be further from the truth with the Generac 6565. You’ll get an exceptional 50 feet of steel reinforced 3/8-inch hose that won’t bend or kink and will keep going for years.
Since this kind of commercial cleaner is designed for prolonged use, it needs to be comfy. With a soft grip on the adjustable handle, you can work for extended periods without blistering your hands. We found it extremely comfortable to use.
Although it’s not a small piece of equipment, the handle folds down to at least minimize the amount of storage space required.
There’s a full 3-year limited warranty from Generac which means you don’t need to stress about things going wrong.
Whether you’re looking for a pressure washer to handle all your household cleaning tasks or you need something for business purposes, the Generac 6565 is a keenly-priced option that delivers comparable performance to much more expensive alternatives.
Instructions are concise, it’s easy and comfortable to use and it’s equipped with all the power you need for even the filthiest cleaning jobs. What more could you ask for?
Type: Gas | Our Rating: 5/5
5 SIMPSON 95000 Mobile Gas Pressure Washing System with 7 Foot Trailer: 3200 PSI at 2.8 GPM
We’ll round out our commercial pressure washer reviews with a real beast, once again from the industry giant Simpson.
The 95000 is a mobile unit coming on a 7-foot trailer. This is absolutely not a cleaner for everyone.
It’s not for light home use. If, on the other hand, you have the budget to stretch to it and want a true sledgehammer of a jet washer, the 95000 is worth looking into…
Don’t be fooled by the fairly pedestrian flow rate of 2.8 GPM and the restrained 3200 PSI. This machine is no lightweight and is ideal for contractors and resort work.
If you are looking for something with a little more grunt, there are several other models available at considerably more cost. Think carefully about your needs and buy the most appropriate washer for the jobs you have in mind.
With a 5.5 HP commercial engine from Honda, the GX200, you’ll get more than enough power to keep you cleaning all day long. Oil alert prevents you from running on when the level is too low for comfort.
The 50-foot 3/8-inch hose allows you to roam around and clean even large areas without needing to hunt down a new power supply. This is crucial if you are working outside in larger spaces.
The water tank holds an incredible 100 gallons and it’s got steel straps for security. This tank will add almost 900 pounds in weight to the trailer when it’s filled to the brim.
The trailer comes with LED lights and a metal license plate holder so you’ll be good to take to the road without putting yourself in danger.
You’ll get 6 nozzle tips rather than the usual 5.
Regular pressure washers are designed to perform a range of applications. This commercial unit, on the other hand, has one core purpose: to get the job done as swiftly and efficiently as possible.
Although it looks like an unwieldy set-up, getting up and running couldn’t be easier. Pull away within 100 feet of your working area. The spray gun and steel wand connect to the pressure hose in an instant. Press the button to fire up the engine and let the highly pressurized cold water do the work for you.
If you have a concrete business or a similar large-scale operation that demands regular and rapid cleaning, opting for this comprehensive commercial pressure washer from Simpson could be the best investment you make all year.
Type: Gas | Our Rating: 5/5
We very much hope this guide has simplified your hunt for the best commercial pressure washer.
Whether you need to clean up on a large scale at home or at work, sometimes a regular cleaner is just not man enough for the job.
Invest in one of these heavyweight commercial cleaners and you’ll get the job done in no time without straining yourself.
Get in touch with any feedback or questions you might have. We love to hear from our readers and we’re here to help any way we can.
If there are any products you’d like us to look into testing, just contact us here.
Table of Contents
- Pressure Washers: Terminology
- Why Use a Pressure Washer?
- What To Look For in a Commercial Pressure Washer
- Commercial Pressure Washers: Our Top 5 Reviews
- 1 SIMPSON MSH3125-S Gas Pressure Washer: 3100 PSI at 2.5 GPM
- 2 SIMPSON PS4240H Gas Pressure Washer: 4200 PSI at 4 GPM
- 3 Karcher G3000OH Gas Power Pressure Washer: 3000 PSI at 2.5 GPM
- 4 Generac 6565 Gas Pressure Washer: 4200 PSI at 4.0 GPM
- 5 SIMPSON 95000 Mobile Gas Pressure Washing System with 7 Foot Trailer: 3200 PSI at 2.8 GPM