Pressure Washer vs Power Washer: What’s the Difference?

In this buying guide, we’re looking at pressure washers and power washers. When you’re finished reading this buying guide, you’re going to know what the difference between a pressure washer and a power washer is, and which one is right for you.

Pressure Washer vs Power Washer

What Is A Pressure Washer?

In essence, a pressure washer is a machine that takes water from your garden hose water line, and accelerates the pressure of that water. This accelerated pressure speeds up the water, which strengthens it.

When water comes out of a pressure washer, it comes out at a very high-pressure and speed. This allows the water to break down and remove things like stains, messes, gunk, and grime, as well as many other materials, from a multitude of different surfaces.

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What Is A Power Washer?

In many ways, a power washer is just like a pressure washer. To use a power washer, you must attach the machine to your garden hose water line, and water will flow from that water line into the power washer.

Pressure Washing vs. Power Washing

When water flows into the power washer, it passes through a pump that enhances the pressure of that water. This enhances the speed of the water, so that when you shoot it out of the power washer, it’s capable of breaking down all kinds of different stains and messes from a variety of surfaces.

What’s The Difference?

There is only one major difference between a pressure washer and a power washer, and that difference has to do with the temperature of the water that’s coming out of those machines.

When you are using a pressure washer, all of the water that flows from your garden hose water line and out the pressure washer remains at a consistent temperature. This temperature is the same one the water was at while in the garden hose water line.

When you are using a power washer, all of the water that flows from your garden hose water and out the power washer does not remain at a consistent temperature. In fact, the power washer actually heats up all of that water. Since the water is at a higher temperature, it’s more capable of breaking down things like grease, salt residue, mildew, mold; along with plenty of other materials.

The Difference Between Power Washing vs Pressure Washing

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Which One Should You Purchase?

Pressure washers are incredibly useful for removing materials such as moss, dirt, mud, loose paint, and dust. But, they lack a heating element, which means that certain materials – mold and mildew, for example – won’t come off that easily.

Power washers are just like pressure washers, but they use a heating element. This heating element makes it much easier to remove things like mold, mildew, grease, and salt residue.

If you are going to be cleaning materials that a pressure washer works well for, buy a pressure washer. But, if the heated water would be useful, then spend the extra money and buy a power washer.

Power Washer vs Pressure Washer


Pressure washers and power washers are excellent machines. In order to determine which machine is right for you, you must consider what you are going to be washing.

Recommended Electric Pressure Washers
Best of the BestMost PopularAlso Great
Sun Joe SPX3500 2300-PSI 1.48 GPM Brushless Induction Electric Pressure Washer w/Brass Hose ConnectorSun Joe SPX3000 2030 PSI 1.76 GPM Electric Pressure Washer, 14.5-AmpKarcher 1.603-361.0 K5 Premium Electric Pressure Power Washer, 2000 Psi, 1.4 GPM
Sun Joe SPX3500Sun Joe SPX3000Karcher K5
 • 2300 PSI
 • 1.2L tank
 • 1.48 GPM
 • 46.5 lbs
 • 2030 PSI
 • 0.9L tank
 • 1.76 GPM
 • 31 lbs
 • 2000 PSI
 • 1.0L tank
 • 1.4 GPM
 • 32 lbs

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