If you use a pressure washer for work, we’re sure you know how laughable a lot of so-called “commercial” models are in practice. We’ve all put up with power tools which have lots of “commercial” branding without actually having the build quality or power to perform on the job.
We know how frustrating it is for pros to find decent tools these days, so we’ve created this guide specifically for you! In it, you’ll find all our favorite commercial-grade pressure washers. These are the real deal. They’re rugged, reliable, and powerful machines.
In our reviews, we’ll show you why these models easily outclass the competition. We’ll also help you get a sense of what types of work each is suited to!
These our favorite commercial washers on the market today:
Best Commercial Pressure Washers for Sale Today
- Ford FPWG3100H-J (3100 PSI/2.5 GPM)
- NorthStar Electric Cold Water Pressure Washer (2000 PSI/1.5 GPM -or- 3000 PSI/2.5 GPM)
- NorthStar Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer (4000 PSI/3.5 GPM)
1. Ford FPWG3100H-J (3100 PSI/2.5 GPM)
the least you can pay for something powerful and rugged enough for professional users!”
Ford’s FPWG3100H-J gas-powered pressure washer is the least expensive model we recommend for commercial use. There are certainly cheaper models marketed to commercial users, but we don’t think any of them are up to snuff. This is the least you can pay for something powerful and rugged enough for professional users!
It’s very powerful, especially for the price. For half the cost of the NorthStar gas model, which is our top commercial pick, you get a big 7 HP, 212cc engine. It’s EPA, CSA, and CARB-approved. Ford’s expertise with gasoline engines needs no introduction, and this one lives up to their high reputation! If you need lots of power for commercial projects, but are focused on your bottom line, this is a relatively small investment to make.
We like it for more than its brawniness, though! There are lots of powerful motors on the market, after all. The Ford’s real advantage is that it pairs brute power with smart design tweaks which ensure the kind of longevity commercial users need. This engine has a horizontal shaft for extended running life (up to 30% longer than vertical designs), and it’s overbuilt for the size of the machine.
The Ford’s real advantage is that it pairs brute power with smart design tweaks which ensure the kind of longevity commercial users need.”
This is a bit more powerful than needed, which is actually what we suggest to commercial users. That’s because you don’t want to be using a motor at max output for hours at a time. The Ford has to work less hard to achieve the same results as smaller systems. That’s why it runs so smooth and confident!
Between the design and build quality on the Ford’s engine, it achieves excellent reliability, and relatively good fuel efficiency (compared to others in its price bracket–the Honda engines on NorthStar models are more efficient still).
It’s paired with an excellent pump, too! The Ford’s is a brass-head, axial cam pump designed by the Italian Annovi Reverberi firm. It cranks out 3100 PSI at 2.5 GPM. That’s enough for most projects around properties, which is why this one’s a good choice for commercial operators who do residential upkeep work. It’s great for all but the most industrial applications.
good choice for commercial operators who do residential upkeep work.”
The Ford is a great value when it comes to versatility. While many systems at or above this price only come with 2 nozzles, this one comes with 4 nozzles, plus 1 for soaping! That’s as many as the top-notch NorthStar gives you. It’s also convenient for commercial buyers to not need to find compatible nozzles separately.
More than the different nozzle sizes, though, we like Ford’s tweaked nozzle spray channels. Ford’s nozzles have a turbo design, which oscillates the water stream as it passes through. It works on any angle setting, and even with the soaping attachment! This sounds gimmicky in the marketing, but translates into very effective cleaning results! That’s one reason this system performs above its actual cleaning power ratings.
Using detergents is a key part of commercial pressure washing. The Ford makes it a lot easier than other affordable options. There are actually two chemical compartments, so you can mix multiple solutions and keep two onboard at once. That’s an excellent feature for folks who use different soaps and cleaning ratios.
So, far, we’ve mostly looked at what’s under the hood. The Ford is outstanding on the business end, too! It has a rugged metal wand, with brass bearing trigger control. It’s practically as good as the NorthStar wands, even though the Ford is a much cheaper system.
Connecting everything is a 30’ nylon/PVC hose, which gives commercial operators lots of room to operate. And, of course, the fittings are standard quick-connects, so you can add extensions as you need.
The Ford has excellent build quality compared to other models at its price. That’s obviously a huge selling point for commercial users! It features brass connections for all the water fittings, and the whole thing is fixed to a powder-coated steel frame. It might be slightly less industrial than the NorthStar’s, but it’s perfectly good for all but the most demanding commercial applications.
In addition to being capable, the Ford is very maneuverable. It’s ideal for commercial operations where you have to move your pressure washer around to different locations on a regular basis. The handle folds down for easy storage and loading, and it has 10” oversized, foam-filled tires that do very well on ramps and steps.
Plus, the Ford relatively light, so it’s easy to get around wherever you are. The whole thing is only 70 pounds.
It’s great for indoor use. The flat tires make steps a breeze, and we especially like the balance “feet” on this one. Installed across from the wheels, they reduce rattle and keep the whole thing quiet and sturdy.
The Ford has a superb reliability record (as you’d expect). We haven’t found any longevity issues with it at all. It’s covered by a 1-year warranty, too.
We have mixed feelings about no-flat tires. They’re good on stairs, and low-maintenance, but they’re not great on rough terrain outdoors.
The Ford only comes with a 1-year warranty, whereas the NorthStar’s give you more coverage out of the box. You’ll want extended coverage, so be sure to use the links in our review when you buy the Ford! We’ve specifically linked to an Amazon listing which offers a few different extended policy options.
The Ford is well-designed and reliable, but it’s not as powerful as the gas-powered NorthStar below. If you need even more oomph, go for that one! The Ford isn’t as good as the NorthStar for cleaning big equipment or covering lots of ground fast. It’s better for commercial pressure washing fleets, or other relatively light-duty commercial users.
As with most systems below $500, it doesn’t offer adjustable pressure. You still have plenty of options, thanks to the nozzle set, but this system won’t give you the kind of finesse that you can get with the pricier NorthStar.
This one’s pricier than some other gas models with the same specs. We think its reliability and durability make it worth the extra investment, though!
Like any gas-powered system, the Ford isn’t ideal for indoor applications. If you want something you can use inside your garage, barn, or depot, you should go for one of the NorthStar electric models below.
2. NorthStar Electric Cold Water Pressure Washer (2000 PSI/1.5 GPM -or- 3000 PSI/2.5 GPM)
the best electric models on the market”
NorthStar’s electric pressure washer comes in two different models. The cheaper of the two is designed to run on standard household electricity (120V). The other runs on an industrial hookup (230V), for a slightly higher price.
We’re recommending both models for commercial users. Since they share many of the same features, we’re also going to discuss them all in one review. These are the best electric models on the market, and excellent choices for commercial operators who don’t want to go the combustion route.
The 120V model is an excellent choice for commercial users who do work on the go, since it’ll run wherever you can find an outlet (as long as there’s a 20A breaker behind it). The 230V model is the better choice for commercial users who operate mainly in one location, where an industrial hookup is readily available
the only electric models we’ve ever reviewed that we can confidently recommend for commercial use!”
These are by far the most brawny electric models we’ve ever reviewed. In fact, they’re the only electric models we’ve ever reviewed that we can confidently recommend for commercial use! If you’re a commercial user who’s always liked the idea of electric, but needed the brawn of gas-powered engines, we think these are worth a look!
The 120V NorthStar model offers 2000 PSI at 1.5 GPM, thanks to a 2HP motor. That’s enough to compete with any other electric models on the market–except the 230V model, of course!
It runs on standard household electricity, so it’s ideal for commercial operators who do residential work on the go. You can use the client’s outlets, without having to worry whether you’ll find enough voltage onsite.
The 230V version cranks out a whopping 3000 PSI at 2.5 GPM. That’s performance practically on par with the gasoline-powered Ford! That’s all thanks to a 5 HP motor, which makes for the most high-powered electric model we’ve ever reviewed.
This model is the better choice for anyone who works in locations where 230V power is readily available. Many working garages, warehouses, or barns do have industrial hookups, so if you have one, it makes sense to use it! You get a massive boost in output!
It’s worth noting that the 230V model gives you a lot more volume as well as higher pressure. Its spray holds 2/3 more volume than the 120V model, so you can cover lots of ground fast. Combine that with 1/3 more pressure, and you have an electric model which can handle tougher tasks than anything else which plugs in!
an electric model which can handle tougher tasks than anything else which plugs in!”
Both models of the NorthStar use CAT pumps. They’re as close as indestructible as you can get, with triplex designs that have far greater lifespans than axial models like the Ford.
That’s in addition to the fact that they have easy-start features, which reduce pressure when you turn on your system. It’s not something you can see easily from the outside, but it can make a big difference in extending the useful life of your pump!
They’re built extremely well, too. These pumps have brass manifolds and ceramic pistons, which are the gold standards for pump construction. The frames are rugged steel roll bars, and every component feels rugged and sure. We don’t think you can find sturdier electric models anywhere.
We don’t think you can find sturdier electric models”
They’re incredibly versatile. You might think that because they only include two nozzles, they’re less versatile than the Ford or other models. Nope! Both NorthStar’s have adjustable pressure on board. You can dial in the exact setting you want, without having to approximate by changing nozzles. It’s the most precise level of control you can get on an electric model.
Not only does that give you more precision, it eliminates some of the annoyances of the traditional nozzle-swapping approach. Since you can tweak the pressure at the source, you don’t have to constantly change your distance or angle to get the right approach. That makes for more even results on decks or fences, and fewer headaches for folks who use their systems for hours at a time.
You still get nozzle options, though! The 120V model includes a 15-degree tip, and the 230V version comes with a 25-degree tip. Each comes with a soaping nozzle with a wide fan as well. And if you find that you want more nozzle options, sets are available from NorthStar.
Both electric NorthStar’s have split-lance guns that slightly edge-out the Ford in the quality department. These are nearly all-metal, with excellent ergonomics and balance. You won’t find anything better on the market, besides the wand/gun on the gas-powered NorthStar below.
the best range of motion on the electric market”
The NorthStar’s give you the best range of motion on the electric market as well! They’re equipped with 25’ non-marking hoses, as well as 36’ power cords. Between those and the wands, you’re looking at an effective cleaning range of more than 60 feet!
These are very quiet. Of course, they’re not anything close to silent! Still, they’re vastly less noisy than any gas models. Because they’re both quiet and powerful, they’re the ideal systems for indoor spaces like garages or barns.
You can get the power of a gasoline system without all the noise! Folks who use pressure washers for hours at a time will find that their ears are much happier with these!
the power of a gasoline system without all the noise!”
They’re ideal for working on the go. The 120V model is the lightest system here, and even the 230V model is lighter than our top recommendation–the gas-powered NorthStar.
They’re both mounted to steel carts, which are every bit as good as the gas-powered model below. The carts have push-down handles for leverage. We’ve found that they’re both rugged and maneuverable.
That’s mainly thanks to the wheels. Unlike the Ford, the NorthStar’s have 10” pneumatic tires, which gives you better handling on rough ground.
They’re simply outstanding in the reliability department. There aren’t any more long-lasting electric models out there, in our opinion. All you have to do is keep them oiled and clean.
They’re covered by 2-year warranties out of the box, and we’ve linked to an Amazon listing where you can get an extra 4 years of coverage for a relatively additional charge.
These are big power draws. Even the 120V model does require a 20A breaker, so it may not work on every outlet. You’ll need to be careful using it with extension cords, too. The 230V model requires an industrial hookup with a 30A breaker.
As with any electric models, you’ll be limited to locations where power sources are available.
While both of these are very powerful, they can’t touch the gas-powered NorthStar for sheer cleaning capability! If you consider yourself a demanding user who needs maximum pressure and volume, you should consider that model instead. These are the best you can do on electricity, though!
3. NorthStar Gas Cold Water Pressure Washer (4000 PSI/3.5 GPM)
the NorthStar gives you the oomph and coverage to get your work done faster.”
NorthStar’s gas-powered pressure washer is our top recommendation to commercial users, hands down! While those who want to go the electric route should stick with the 230V NorthStar above, this system offers massive flow and pressure improvements that only gas power can provide (Understand PSI and GPM more).
This is overkill for many commercial users, since you can do most typical pressure washing tasks using the Ford. Still, for those who do demanding, heavy-duty tasks on a regular basis, you the NorthStar gives you the oomph and coverage to get your work done faster.
The NorthStar is the best choice for washing heavy machinery, cleaning large areas quickly, and working on rough-and-tumble job sites.
It gives you by far the most power and volume of the bunch! The NorthStar can produce a whopping 4000 PSI, at a massive 3.5 GPM. That’s much as anyone needs. Such a strong flow makes the NorthStar the ideal tool for cleaning heavy machinery, mucking out barns, etc.
Having such a high PSI means it can do the heaviest-duty tasks, and remove stains or caked mud which other models won’t touch. It also gets them done more quickly, thanks to the boost in volume.
the best on the market for tough jobs and larger areas.”
For all intents and purposes, it’s the best on the market for tough jobs and larger areas. There are one or two Simpson models which edge this one in specs, but they’re woefully unreliable. The NorthStar is the only model we’ve found which can both crank out a massive spray and do it day in and day out.
It packs a fantastic engine: the Honda GX390 389cc. It’s even better than Ford’s offerings, and gives you superb reliability and efficiency. This thing starts at the first pull, and has an easy-start feature to prevent pressure when you yank the cord. Like the Ford, it has a horizontal shaft design, which ought to last up to 5 times as long as vertical format models.
The Honda engine is paired with a direct-drive Comet pump, which matches the electric NorthStar’s CAT pumps in every respect. It has a forged brass manifold and thermal protector as well as ceramic plungers.
The best part of the gasoline NorthStar is that it’s refined. After all, there’s no point in having so much power if you can’t control it properly! This one also provides a lot of finesse, since it has adjustable pressure controls. It’s essentially the same as the electric models above. You can find the exact setting for each task and surface, rather than approximating with nozzles.
Unlike the electric NorthStar’s, this gasoline-powered model comes with a full complement of nozzles, too! You have a full set of 5, marked by degrees of fan width (0, 15, 25, 45, and 65/soap). Those, combined with the adjustable pressure settings, give you infinite fine tuning!
the best range of the bunch”
The NorthStar has the best range of the bunch. Of course, since it’s gas-powered, you’re not tied down to any outlets. Still, you can go quite a long way from the engine and pump unit! This thing has a 50-foot hose out of the box, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting where you need to work.
It’s built like a tank. That shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve read our reviews of the NorthStar electric models above. Still, this is in a league of its own. It’s nearly all metal, from the frame to the fittings. An ultra-rugged roll-bar frame protects all the important components, making it perfect for a busy job site!
The NorthStar is surprisingly manageable for such a beast of a machine! It has 10” pneumatic tires and a push-down cart frame, like the electric options above. There’s enough storage room for the entire hose, and you can store the wand onboard as well.
It’s a stainless steel implement a lot like the ones on the electric models. Industry-best build quality, as far as we’re concerned. The ergonomics are also a lot better than you’d expect for such a big, powerful tool!
Between the reliable engine and the rugged build quality, this should last for years of daily use. We haven’t heard any complaints about this over the long term, and we have yet to find anything that even compares to the NorthStar for build quality and performance. It’s covered for 2 years by the company, but as with our other picks we’ve linked to an Amazon listing where you can find several more years of coverage for a bit more money.
It’s massive, at nearly 150 pounds. The roll-bar frame also makes it bulkier than the Ford or the other NorthStar’s. This isn’t something you can get into a truck by yourself unless you use a ramp.
It’ll probably cost you more than a grand, depending on current prices. This is no casual investment, and it’s not for the small business owner with a tight budget. Be sure you’ll get your money’s worth before you pull the trigger!
This is overkill if you just do residential work and don’t need industrial performance. Many people can get by with the Ford without feeling like they’re missing anything. If you’re a very demanding user, though, this will be worth it to you in the time and effort it saves!
As with any gas-powered model, you have to do proper upkeep to make sure the system lasts as long as it ought to.
for hot water and steam cleaning
While the recommendations in our reviews above are capable of just about any pressure washing task, none are made to handle hot water or steam. Most of us don’t use hot water anyway, but for those who do, we want to direct your attention to NorthStar’s heat-integrated system.
This model takes the company’s outstanding build quality and reliability, then adds a boiler system. This diesel and electric hybrid setup will do all the heating itself, and it’ll pump out water at up to 250 degrees F. Check it out if you need a hot water pressure washer system!
Which Commercial Pressure Washer is Right for You?
Each one of these high-powered machines will be well-suited for long, intensive work. The right pressure washer for you among these choices will largely depend on your budget, the specific tasks you have in mind, and which format (gas or electric) makes the most sense for your operation.
If you’re on a budget, or simply don’t need the kind of industrial output that the NorthStar provides, the Ford is a very respectable option. It has commercial-grade build quality, plus as much power as you’ll get from the 230V NorthStar model. This is an excellent and affordable choice for commercial users who don’t do anything particularly industrial and want something travel-friendly.
The electric NorthStar’s are our top picks for any commercial users seeking plug-in systems. They’re both very capable systems, and have flawless build quality. We suggest them to indoor users, particularly. You’ll want to choose the one that’s appropriate for your power supply. As with the Ford, though, neither of these can touch the gas-powered NorthStar for sheer strength.
The gas-powered NorthStar is our recommendation to the most demanding commercial users. It’s the most powerful machine here by a long shot! This is the best option on the market for cleaning heavy machinery or tackling massive projects. It makes short work of absolutely anything! Just be aware that it’s very expensive and quite heavy. If you don’t need all this power (and most folks don’t), the Ford is a better choice.
Don’t need quite the same amount of power for your home or small business? Check out our Best Gas Pressure Washers for our medium-duty power washer reviews. Or, if you’re just looking for a small, portable and inexpensive model of pressure washer, consider our Best Electric Pressure Washers. Read more on the best pressure washers here!