Commercial pressure washers are premium products designed for frequent use, long hours and handling the hardest jobs in the shortest amount of time. They start around $1,000, but they are well worth the investment for professionals, or anyone who wants professional results.
- 4,200 PSI and 4.0 GPM
- Honda GX390 engine (13HP)
- CAT 67DX triplex plunger pump
- 50 ft. hose, 31” wand and 5 nozzles
- Downstream detergent injection
- Warranty varies by part (3-10 years)
- 3,000 PSI and 4.0 GPM
- Baldor TEFC motor (230V, 1PH, 32A)
- General EP1812 triplex plunger pump
- NEMA 4X control box with 35 ft. cord
- 50 ft. hose, 20” wand and 5 nozzles
- Detergent injection via siphon
- Warranty varies by part (3-10 years)
- 3,000 PSI and 4.0 GPM
- Hot water and wet steam up to 250° F
- Honda GX390 engine (13HP)
- CAT 66DX triplex plunger pump
- Beckett ADC burner and SCH80 coil
- 50 ft. hose, 18” wand and 6 nozzles
- Downstream detergent injection
- Warranty varies by part (1-5 years)
The best commercial gas pressure washer
The DeWalt DXPW60605 has the best components from the most trusted brands and includes every must-have feature we look for when buying (accessory storage, downstream detergent injection, etc.). You can find some of the same components and features on other products, but this is the only one that has it all, making it easy to see why it has such a high recommendation rate.
The DXPW60605 has a 99% recommendation rate (based on 100+ verified reviews from four sources). It’s the highest-rated commercial pressure washer at Home Depot and top five at Pressure Washers Direct.
The DeWalt DXPW60605 has the most desirable engine and pump in the industry: the Honda GX390 and the CAT 67DX. The GX390 has a proven track record across many types of commercial power equipment, with an overhead valve design, forged steel crankshaft and cast iron cylinder sleeve. It has an automatic decompression system that makes it easy to start (the exhaust opens when you pull the starter to reduce drag), and it’s easy to maintain because the oil, air cleaner and spark plug are all in accessible areas (the engine will also shut down automatically if the oil gets low). The 67DX is equally proven, with a signature blue epoxy-coated crankcase, forged brass manifold and solid ceramic plungers. It makes 4,200 PSI at 4.0 GPM and has both an unloader valve and thermal relief valve to manage internal heat and pressure (this allows the pump to run continuously); the unloader can also be used to adjust pressure and it includes a chemical injector so detergent is drawn downstream.
The engine and pump are mounted on a heavy-duty steel cart frame, which has 13” pneumatic wheels on a solid steel axle and two guards that provide protection from front impacts and falling objects. The entire setup weighs 140 lbs, but it doesn’t feel like much because the frame has good leverage and rolls smooth. Accessories are stored in a custom dashboard near the handle, with rubber grommets for all five nozzles, an over-under clamp for the spray gun and a large hanger for the hose. The accessories are all professional-grade (durable spray gun, steel wand, steel-braided hose) and have quick-connect fittings for convenience.
The DXPW60605 has everything you could want from a pressure washer, with no serious (or even minor) drawbacks to mention. If we had to nitpick something, it would be the use of a recoil starter when the GX390 has an available electric start, but that’s not the end of the world.
Note: this review can apply to both the DeWalt DXPW60605 and DXPW60606. These two products are basically the same; the main difference is the 60605 is direct-drive and the 60606 is belt-drive. Focus on the reviews for now, we’ll talk about how to choose a drive type later.
The best commercial electric pressure washer
The DeWalt DXPW3000E has many of the same features we love about the DXPW60605, but with an electric motor for power (and it’s one of the most powerful available). It has UL/CSA certified electrical components and follows important standards set by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, which is something other products either don’t mention or fail to do.
The DXPW3000E has a 95% recommendation rate, however there are a limited number of verified reviews on this model (less than 50) so take this estimate with a grain of salt.
The DeWalt DXPW3000E has a totally enclosed fan-cooled (TEFC) motor from Baldor, one of the largest manufacturers of electric motors. It is specifically designed for pressure washers, with two capacitors to balance electrical current (this allows the motor to cycle frequently and run continuously) and a thermal overload device that will automatically break power if it gets too hot. The power switch is secured inside a NEMA Type 4X weatherproof enclosure, and it’s wired to a 35 ft. heavy-duty power cord with an inline ground-fault circuit interrupter and NEMA 6-50P plug. The General Pump EP1812 is very similar to the CAT 67DX on the DXPW60605; it has a forged brass manifold and solid ceramic plungers, along with an adjustable unloader valve and thermal relief valve. It’s rated for 3,000 PSI at 4.0 GPM, but the brand says the advanced manifold can actually handle up to 4,000 PSI.
The motor and pump are mounted on almost the same heavy-duty steel cart frame as the DXPW60605. It’s over a foot longer to accommodate the length of the motor, but it’s the same maneuverable design (even considering the heavier weight; this setup weighs 254 lbs) with the same accessory dashboard bolted to the top of the handle. All the same professional-grade accessories are included too, although this spray gun also has a vertical foregrip to help with aim.
The DXPW3000E is just as powerful and reliable as any competing gas product, the main drawback is the price (this applies to any electric product though, not just this one). Electric components are expensive, so you’re basically paying twice as much for equal performance.
The best commercial hot water pressure washer
The NorthStar 157310 has one of the best heating systems in the industry, capable of both hot water and wet steam at some of the highest temperatures available. Some competing products can reach the same high temperatures, but this one has the most functional design and several exclusive features, along with all of the best standard components (engine, pump, etc.).
The 157310 has a 94% recommendation rate (based on 100+ verified reviews from three sources). It has more reviews than any other hot water pressure washer, making it the most popular.
The NorthStar 157310 has the same engine and almost the same pump as the DeWalt DXPW60605, but this Honda GX390 includes the electric start, and the CAT 66DX has an older crankcase and valve design compared to the 67DX (the design was simplified to reduce size and weight, but according to CAT, both pumps still have similar performance).
The heating system is manufactured in-house, with a heavy-duty heat exchanger and an oil-fired burner from Beckett, one of the largest manufacturers of combustion products. It’s operated using a control box mounted by the engine, which includes a heat switch, thermostat and two diagnostic lights to show you things are working properly (the system-wide circuit protector is also found here). The heat switch turns on the burner, which can then be controlled by the thermostat to heat water to any desired temperature between 118-250° F. The burner can run on diesel, kerosene or heating oil, and it has an 8.75 gallon that can last 4-12 hours depending on your selected temperature. The heat exchanger has a custom-molded refractory ceramic combustion chamber that makes heat transfer fast (this insulates the coil), and both an aquastat and rupture disc to manage internal heat and pressure (this allows it to run continuously).
Everything is secured on a heavy-duty utility cart frame with four pneumatic wheels and special features for each component, like an anti-vibration plate for the engine and pump and impact guards for the heat exchanger. The accessories can be stored onboard as well, and of course, each is designed for hot water; the spray gun is both insulated and ventilated and the hose has high-tensile braiding.
The 157310 has just about every feature you can get on a pressure washer, the only thing it’s missing is some type of lift hook. Weighing 547 lbs, it requires some muscle to move and it would be helpful to use a lift in certain situations. It also doesn’t come with a battery, which is pretty normal, but worth noting.
How to choose a commercial pressure washer
Learn what to look for when buying a commercial pressure washer. We’ll help you choose the best power source (gas or electric), drive type (direct or belt), water temperature (cold or hot) and features (engine, pump and more). Keep in mind, this advice is generalized, so there may be some exceptions.
Gas vs. electric
Commercial pressure washers are powered by heavy-duty engines (gas) and motors (electric). Both are powerful and reliable, but each has pros and cons in other areas. Use the list below to compare gas and electric pressure washers and choose based on what’s important to you.
- Gas models are more cost-effective. They are nearly half the cost for the same amount of power.
- Gas models are more portable. They weigh considerably less and have no power cord.
- Electric models are easier to use. They start with the push of a button and have no maintenance.
- Electric models are more environmental. They make very little noise and produce no emissions.
Direct vs. belt-drive
Commercial pressure washers can be direct-drive (the pump is mounted to the drive shaft of the engine or motor) or belt-drive (the pump is connected to the engine or motor using a pulley system). Both are reliable and efficient, but belt-drives run cooler because they turn at a lower RPM. They are worth the money if you plan to use your pressure washer daily; otherwise, direct-drives are the better investment.
Cold vs. hot water
Commercial pressure washers can be equipped with heating systems to produce hot water. There’s no question that hot water cleans better and faster than cold water, but these products are twice the size, weight and cost of others. They are worth the money if you frequently deal with hard jobs involving ice, grease or germs (heat naturally sanitizes surfaces); otherwise, the extra components aren’t necessary.
Features to look for
Commercial pressure washers have many available features. Some are good for everyone (like adjustable pressure), while some are only good for certain people (like heating components). Review the list below and see which features you should look for.
- Reliable power source. The engines and motors in this category are generally from name brand manufacturers, like Honda, and they are already designed for heavy-duty use. Still, many options vary. With engines, look for a good starter, good fuel efficiency, simple maintenance and some type of low oil protection. With motors, look for UL/CSA/NEMA components, thermal protection and a long, heavy-duty power cord (also be sure to consider electrical requirements).
- Reliable pump. Similar to above, the pumps in this category are name brand and heavy-duty, but options vary. Look for forged components, ceramic plungers, an unloader valve (with adjustable pressure) and a thermal relief valve.
- Maneuverable frame. Frames can have many designs, but overall they should be easy to roll, lift and transport. Look for good leverage, good lifting points and big wheels with a solid axle. Aside from mobility, also check for accessory storage (surprisingly, some frames include nozzle storage but nothing for the spray gun or hose).
- Professional accessories. Accessories can have many styles, and they sometimes aren’t pictured so you may have to dig for details here. Look for a rear-entry spray gun, steel wand, steel-braided hose and quick-connect fittings. Business starter kits are also available with more options.
- Downstream injection. Detergent can be injected before or after water enters the pump, known as upstream and downstream. Look for downstream injection (this reduces wear and allows you to use a wider variety of chemicals).
- Heating components. For those who want hot water, the system has two main components: the burner and the heat exchanger. The burner is generally from a name brand, but heat exchangers are either manufactured in-house or by an unknown third party. Look for a heavy-duty coil, good insulation, adjustable temperature and some type of protection from excess heat and pressure.
- Warranty. Each major component has its own warranty, which can be unusual to some people. If applicable, look at what’s covered and for how long.
Frequently asked questions about commercial pressure washers
Get answers to some of the most common questions about buying a commercial pressure washer. For additional help, you can reach out to us at any time. For questions about specific products, we’re happy to offer advice, but depending on the question, you may need to contact the manufacturer.
How much is a commercial pressure washer?
Commercial pressure washers can cost between $1,000-20,000, it all depends on what you’re looking for. Power source, cleaning power, water temperature and more can affect pricing. The average buyer should expect to pay $1,000-3,000, with added cost for better features like higher pressure or hot water.
How to start a pressure washing business?
There’s a lot to be said about starting a pressure washing business. It’s not too difficult and it can be very rewarding, but like any other business, it must be planned and done right. Review the list below and see what you need to get started.
- Learn about pressure washers. Get familiar with how they work and how to use one. Every job has different requirements, and you should know how to wash any surface correctly and quickly.
- Decide your services. You can expand later, but focus on one field first (residential, commercial, etc.) and build a specialized menu (driveways, parking lots, etc.). Consider what you have access to and determine your fees based on what other companies in your area are charging.
- Register your business. In just about every city and state, you will be required to have certain licenses, permits and insurance. The documents vary based on local laws, so contact your city council to find out exactly what you need.
- Get equipment. Based on the services you chose earlier, get any commercial pressure washing equipment you need to complete them. Consider both machines and accessories.
- Start marketing. There are many creative ways to get customers: tell your friends and family, make a website, post on social media, etc. Everything can work, and it’s all worth trying.