The WEN PW31 is gas pressure washer designed for homeowners. A well-balanced model with a practical set of features for all of your home projects and cleaning needs, and yet, still very affordable. WEN is company that makes products that homeowners can afford but designed with the right amount of functionality. The PW31 is another hit from WEN, as they have managed to have hit the sweet spot with this durable pressure washer.
Sometimes, washing an area with a standard garden hose or scrubbing it manually just won’t get rid of stubborn dirt and grime that has been stuck onto the surface since ages. In these situations, to make life easier you need a pressure washer. Thankfully, over the past few years it has become much more affordable to own one of these bad boys which means more and more homeowners are using pressure washers to clean their cars, driveways, decks, vinyl siding, porches, etc.
But not all pressure washers are the same, and you need to choose the right one based on your specific requirements. If all you need is something to wash away the dirt and mud from your car tires, there is no need to invest $400+ on a premium gas powered 2600 psi pressure washer. You can easily get the job done with a much lighter and highly affordable electric pressure washer in the range of 1500 to 1900 psi. But what if you have a large fence around your property and need a pressure washer that isn’t tethered to the power outlet? In that case, you have no other option but to purchase a gas powered model since it has the range and raw power to wash away even the toughest stains.
VIDEO | What to Consider When Buying A Pressure Washer
In this article, we are going to review the WEN PW31 which is our personal favorite in the affordable gas powered pressure washer segment. No other company offers such a capable pressure washer at this price point, and the best part about the WEN PW31 is the fact that it isn’t simply affordable (and it is for a gas washer) but also quite well built, having a tubular steel frame, and commercial grade engine. You get all the attachments that are needed for basic pressure washing jobs, and since it is so cheap to begin with, you can invest some of the money you saved in accessories such as a turbo nozzle or surface cleaner to further improve your cleaning experience.
VIDEO | A Closer Look At The WEN PW31 (3100 psi)
We also review the SIMPSON MSH3125 MegaShot, which is a commercial grade heavy duty pressure washer intended for professional use. And to finish things off, we take a look at the Generac 7019 OneWash which on paper should perform very similarly to the WEN PW31 due to its pressure and GPM (gallons per minute) rating. Of course, there is much more to a pressure washer than just psi and GPM which is why are going to talk about the various steps you need to go through before deciding which pressure washer is best for you.
Before shopping for a pressure washer, you need to ask yourself these questions : What features do you need? Are there any attachments (apart from the various nozzles) that can boost your pressure washer’s cleaning performance? We answer these questions and much more, so stick around and read the entire review.
WEN PW31 Review
Gas Powered 3100 PSI Pressure Washer. Two-year warranty. Best gas powered power washer for the money and if you’re on a budget.
- Powerful 208 cc 4-stroke OHV engine pumps 2.5 gallons per minute
- Includes five quick connect nozzles: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, and soap
- Axial cam pump provides a reliable spray while maximizing the lifespan of the unit
- 12 inch wheels move effortlessly throughout a variety of tough terrains
- Includes a 30-foot reinforced hose, an onboard soap tank ( 1.2 L (0.32 gallons), a quick-connect spray gun, and a two-year warranty
- Soap nozzle for cleaning cars, RVs, and boats. Aside from the soap nozzle, this package also includes 0°, 15°, 25°, and 40° nozzle.
✔ View or download the MANUAL for the WEN PW31.
Ask any professional pressure washer operator, and they will tell you that 3100psi is more than you need for regular cleaning tasks around the home. WEN is famous for making reliable, high- performance products and selling them at affordable prices. Their PW31 pressure washer is probably the most value for money option if you want an affordable gas powered pressure washer to take care of your driveway, patio, car, or wooden deck. With 5 different quick connect nozzles, the WEN PW31 is equipped to take on any pressure cleaning job. It can handle the toughest of stains and clean even the most delicate surfaces.
VIDEO | How to Setup & Use the WEN PW31
With an onboard 0.32 (1.2L) gallon soap tank, you can load up the WEN PW31 with pressure washer detergent for those tricky jobs which require you to get rid of grease and grime that has settled onto the concrete.
The 0° red nozzle comes in handy when you want to strip paint, clean rust, or get into the spaces between the tiles on your walkway/ driveway. For high intensity spot cleaning on walls, drains, gutters, garage floors, etc. you can use the 15° yellow nozzle. It also does a fine job removing grease stains or marine growth from boats. The 25° green nozzle works best for removing caked up mud from the wheel wells of your car, you can also use it to clean up mold and mildew from a wooden deck. Make sure the wood panels aren’t too old, or else you might want to use the general purpose 40° white nozzle since it won’t strip or scar softer surfaces. Use the 40° nozzle for cleaning your car, home windows, patio furniture, and other light jobs. The 40° nozzle also provides a nice sweeping action in a wider area for quick rinsing after applying detergent.
Powering the axial cam pump of the WEN PW31, is an OHV 4- stroke 208cc engine manufactured in-house by WEN. While it doesn’t quite match the Honda motors in terms of reliability and fuel efficiency, you don’t need to worry too much since WEN has the PW31 covered with a 2- year warranty. The frame is designed to make this pressure washer as compact and lightweight as possible, while still retaining commercial grade sturdiness.
Onboard storage for the quick connect nozzles is a nice addition, and there is a spot behind the handles where you can store the 30’ hose. Accessing the fuel filter, carburetor, spark plug, and air filter is extremely easy which allows you to carry out quick DIY maintenance in case your PW31 doesn’t start or fails to deliver adequate pressure.
Tech Specs :
- Max. Pressure : 3100 PSI
- Max. Flow : 2.5 GPM – 3100 PSI
- Nozzles : 0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, Soap Nozzle
- Gun to Lance Connection : M22 Threaded
- Gun to Hose Connection : M22 Threaded
- Lance Length : 20” Stainless
- Lance to Nozzle Connection : Quick Change
- Pump : Axial Cam
- Detergent Tank Capacity : 0.25 Gallon
- Hose Diameter : 5/16”
- Hose Length : 30’
- Wheel : 12”
- Weight : 67 lbs
ENGINE (Honda GC190) :
- Engine type : 4 stroke, OHV, single cylinder with forced air cooling system
- Spark plug gap : 0.7 – 0.8 mm (0.028 – 0.031 in)
- Spark plug torque : 1/2 – 3/4 turn after gasket contacts base or 15 ft.lb
- Displacement : 208 cc
- Fuel tank capacity : 0.9 gallon 87 octane minimum
- Oil capacity : 15.3 fl. oz (450 ml)
- Lubrication system : Splash lubrication
- Noise rating : 63 dB at 22 feet
- Spark plug : NGK BP7ES
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125 — 3200 psi
Powered by a Honda engine (GC190). Well-balanced. Affordable. Plenty of power.
Ideal for cleaning : Decks, patios, driveway, house siding, outdoor furniture, and prepping home exteriors for painting.
For your home, workshop and garage.
- 3200 PSI @ 2.5 GPM
- HONDA GC190 engine : 187cc / 5.2 hp
- Maintenance-free OEM Technologies™ axial cam pump
- MorFlex Hose 1/4″ x 25′ is non-marring, kink and abrasion resistant and is equipped with threaded M22 connection
- Ergonomic spray gun designed for comfort and control
- 5 Quick connect nozzle tips: 0°, 15°, 25°, 40° and Soap
- Heavy-duty welded steel construction frame
- 10″ Premium pneumatic tires
✔ View or download the MANUAL for the SIMPSON MSH3125.
Includes : Pressure Washer, Hose, Gun, Wand, 5 Quick connect nozzle tips, Detergent siphon tube with filter, Engine oil, Quick start set up guide, Owner’s manual
If you’re willing to fork out a bit of extra cash for a super reliable commercial grade 3200PSI pressure washer, the SIMPSON MSH3125 “MegaShot” might be perfect for you. During the early years, every SIMPSON pressure washer was 100% hand assembled which resulted in incredible quality and attention to detail. Now they use power tools to put together their products in order to cope with increasing demands, but the focus on delivering reliable products is as strong as ever. And they specialize in gas- powered pressure washers, so you know the MSH3125 is going to be ahead of the competition when it comes to performance.
We believe, that the single most important part of any good pressure washer is the engine- and SIMPSON scores a perfect 10 in our books thanks to their use of the Honda GC190 motor. The GC190 is extremely lightweight and fuel efficient, yet incredibly durable. You can run it for several hours each day, every day of the week, many years in a row and it will still start up within 2 pulls of the cord no matter the conditions outside.
While you certainly shouldn’t use the MSH3125 in freezing temperature, it has no trouble starting up in slightly cold weather. We consider this pressure washer to be the ultimate spring cleaning machine for residential users and small startup businesses who need something relatively affordable for their first commercial pressure washer.
DIY enthusiasts and workshop owners will appreciate the consistent performance, and rugged nature of this machine. While on paper it produces just a tad bit more pressure than the cheaper WEN PW31, in reality the SIMPSON MSH3125 does a far better job of cleaning large properties and extremely long driveways or fences. Because you can run it for much longer without overheating the engine or wearing out the pump, this pressure washer allows you to cover much more area. You also spend less time cleaning tough grease stains on concrete or brick surfaces because it produces up to 3200psi of pressure.
Along with an excellent engine, the SIMPSON MSH3125 uses a very well designed pump from OEM. While this is also a direct drive axial cam pump much like the one in the WEN PW31, it is sturdier (uses brass for the pump head instead of aluminum) and will last much longer with sustained daily usage. We also found that the ¼” 25 foot long MorFlex high pressure hose that is provided with this SIMPSON pressure washer is of extremely high quality and is easier to stretch compared to the hose you get with the WEN PW31. The onboard nozzle storage is also designed better, since the nozzles don’t rattle around when the engine is running (this is an issue on the WEN PW31, some of the nozzles may even fall out of their storage holes).
All the Included Accessories for the Simpson MSH3125
And finally, we must applaud SIMPSON for going with a horizontally mounted crankshaft and pump, which lowers the overall height of the machine along with the center of gravity. This results in even weight distribution and allows you to easily roll the pressure washer around, even on uneven surfaces like gravel. The only downside to this pressure washer is no onboard detergent storage. You must connect a siphon hose with an external detergent container of your choice (it dispenses 1 gallon of soap solution for every 7 gallons of water pumped).
Generac 7019 OneWash
Designed with an easy-to-use spray gun with an integrated PowerDial, allowing you to easily change the pressure required for four common tasks – car, wood, concrete and soap.
- Integrated spray gun holder : holds spray gun securely during transport and storage
- Quick-change nozzle tips : 0 ̊, 25 ̊, 40 ̊ and soap
- High pressure hose connects to the rear of the spray gun for maximum convenience
- Easy maneuverability engine and pump are perfectly balanced over the axle for almost effortless maneuverability
- User friendly controls all in a single location, including on/off, choke, and fuel shutoff
- Generac 196cc ohv engine for maximum cleaning performance
- 1/2 gallon on-board detergent tank
- Never-flat wheels : easy transport on rugged terrain and up stair
- Quick-change nozzle tips – includes 4 tips : 0°, 25°, 40°, and soap applicator.
- User-friendly controls – easy access to engine controls – on/off, choke, and fuel shutoff.
- 25′ high pressure hose – connects to the rear of the spray gun for maximum convenience.
- Integrated spray gun holder – holds spray gun securely during transport and storage.
If we are talking about user friendliness and versatility, no other pressure washer in this price segment even comes close to the Generac 7019. The standout feature of this machine is its “POWERDIAL” spray gun which has a rotating dial on top that can adjust the water pressure, so you always have the perfect amount of force for every job. Need to blast some grease stains off a concrete floor? No problem — just set the dial to “CONCRETE” mode which employs all 3100 psi of muscle to blast away even the most stubborn of stains. If you want to wash your car, you can simply select the “CAR” mode on the dial which will lower the pressure significantly and create slightly more turbulence in the stream to cause a foaming effect.
On wooden furniture, decks, siding, patios, etc. you can use the “WOOD” setting which generates medium pressure and is perfect for removing soot, dust, mold, etc. If you want to use detergent, switch to “SOAP” mode which uses a level of pressure similar to the “CAR” mode but with much more turbulence that creates a significant frothing effect when used in combination with the black soap applicator nozzle.
Afterwards, you can use the 40° white general purpose cleaning nozzle to rinse off the detergent. The GENERAC 7019 comes with 4 quick connect tips- 0° red tip for extremely tough stains on concrete and bricks, 25° green tip for pavement and spot cleaning, 40° white tip for furniture and windows, and the black soap applicator tip. There is no 15° yellow tip, which would come in handy if you wanted to remove extremely tough stains such as caked grime on your barbeque grill or crud from within a gutter.
The onboard detergent tank will hold up to 0.5 gallons of soap and is located on the front of the tubular steel frame for easy access. The wheels are pretty good but with that skinny axle and those thin tires, we don’t believe it is nearly as rugged as the SIMPSON MSH3125. So, don’t take the Generac 7019 into a construction site where it will be subject to bumps and rocky terrain. This pressure washer uses a horizontal shaft engine which enables the pump to be mounted behind the engine instead of underneath, this facilitates easier maintenance and hose attachment. It also lowers the height of the unit and lets you load the Generac 7019 much more easily into a truck bed.
Learn more about Generac products by visiting their site.
How does a pressure washer work?
Essentially, it is a pump attached to a power source. The power source can be an electric motor or an internal combustion engine. The pump is similar to what you use in the well over at your home but optimized for much higher pressures (60 times more than your garden hose). Typically, pressure washers either use an axial cam pump (residential units) or triplex pump (commercial and industrial units). The pumps in residential models such as the ones we reviewed are almost always driven directly by the crankshaft, so they spin at the same speed as the engine. This causes swifter wear over time and doesn’t allow you to run the pressure washer for long periods of time because the pump will heat up faster and the moving parts wear down quicker.
VIDEO | How Does A Pressure Washer Work?
But on heavy duty models you will find a belt drive or reduction gearbox drive. A typical reduction gearbox drive will spin the pump at half the speed of the engine, and the pump itself is usually going to be larger and built from sturdier metal alloys compared to residential pump units. With a pressure washer, you need to have a minimum amount of pressure (20psi or more) in the garden hose and a minimum flow rate of 5 to 7 gallons per minute, otherwise the pump will not be able to function properly.
Nozzles further amplify the water pressure coming out of the wand, and the wider angles allow for a larger spread of water at the expense of reduced pressure. The 0° red nozzle delivers an extremely concentrated stream of water, and this is the nozzle which allows the pressure washer to hit its maximum psi rating (all maximum psi ratings are measured with the 0° nozzle installed). Be careful though, because you can easily cut a hole through your boots or slice into your fingers if you accidentally point the 0° tip at yourself.
Typical uses for a pressure washer
Pressure washers can be used to clean cars and trucks, as well as ATVs that are covered in mud. They are particularly good at getting rid of built up grime and dust from the wheel wells, and you can also use the pressure washer to clean up your motorbike. Algae and other marine scum accumulated on the hull of your boat can be easily cleaned with a pressure washer, just make sure that you’re using either a low pressure setting or a 40° white tip.
Apart from cleaning vehicles and boats, pressure washers are excellent for getting rid of mold and mildew growth on the exterior of your home. They will restore your wooden decks and patios to brand new condition, and with the proper attachment you can even clean up entire driveways within minutes. Wooden, vinyl, and aluminum fences can all be cleaned with a pressure washer.
Garage and shop floors, pools, walkways, stairs, etc. can be cleaned easily with a pressure washer. You can even use a pressure washer to clean up your chainsaw or lawnmower. Or your barbeque grill.
Gas vs Electric Pressure Washer —
Which is right for you?
If you want convenience and don’t use your pressure washer very often, an electric model might be perfect for you. But they do suffer from one major limitation- and that is lack of range. An electric pressure washer is tethered to an outlet and the cord is usually around 30 feet long. This isn’t an issue if you have an outdoor GFCI protected outlet near whatever it is that you are washing, but let’s assume you are on a farm with several hundred feet of fence to maintain. Clearly it is impossible to use an electric pressure washer, because the only way you are washing that fence is if you hire a guy to push a generator behind you wherever you go (as you can see, it is very impractical).
Another time you will face issues with range on that electric pressure washer, is when you’re power washing your 209” long Ford F-150 or a 231” long Chevy Silverado. Cleaning large SUVs and full size pickup trucks can be an issue with that power cord holding you back, especially when you start on one side of the vehicle and transition over to the other side. An electric pressure washer is also limited to under 2000 psi of pressure and 2GPM of flow, which is fine if you just want to clean the patio furniture and driveway but can be slightly underwhelming if you want to do paint prep or remove oil stains from concrete.
Gas powered pressure washers have the advantage of power and range but are also heavier and louder. Not to mention, a pain to start after you leave them sitting in the shed for a few months. Because to be honest, most homeowners don’t really use their pressure washers all that often. Maybe you take it out once in a while to clean the driveway or pool but then it sits in the garage for months until next spring. And during that time, the gasoline starts to decompose within the carburetor and fuel lines, gumming up everything nearby. The next time you pull that cord, it may not start. Which is why we recommend you purchase models with fuel shut off valves that let you shut off the fuel line and run the engine till all fuel has been expended from the lines. You also need to add fuel stabilizer before you stow away your pressure washer for the winter season.
With an electric model you don’t have to deal with buying and filling gasoline or engine oil, nor do you have to mess around with fuel stabilizers and chokes. All you do is press a button and the motor starts, every single time without fail no matter the temperature or how long it has been sitting idle (unless your dog chewed up the power cord).
Boosting the cleaning power of your pressure washer
Two attachments are absolutely essential if you want to use the pressure washer on a somewhat regular basis — a surface cleaner and a turbo nozzle (also called rotary nozzle). The surface cleaner attachment looks like a vacuum cleaner head and has two spinning nozzles underneath the housing that rotate like the blades on a helicopter. These nozzles spray water at an angle to the ground, and the spinning action makes sure that you cover a much larger area when compared to a regular fixed tip.
Briggs & Stratton 14″ Rotating Surface Cleaner
Before buying a surface cleaner attachment, make sure that it uses the same fitting as your spray wand (usually ¼” quick connect or M22 threaded connection), and the pressure rating has to be close to the maximum rated pressure of your pressure washer (doesn’t have to be exactly the same, but close). With a surface cleaner, you can cover much more area in less time compared to regular tips. If you are cleaning flat surfaces like driveways, pools, patios, etc. do yourself a favor and get one of these.
Turbo nozzles allow you to get the power of a 0° tip with the coverage of a wide angle tip. Basically, it contains a spinning nozzle that rotates approximately 30,000 times per minute to create a cone- like spray of water that gathers up dirt and grime like a miniature tornado. It is so effective, that you can even strip away the little weeds and grasses growing in between the pavement of your driveway with just one pass of the wand. Once again, make sure that the turbo nozzle is rated for the same pressure (or close to) as your pressure washer unit, and it must use the same connection (M22 or ¼” quick connect). If you want to take tough stains off the workshop floor or tiles, but don’t have all day to point a tiny 0° stream at the surface, get a turbo nozzle. It will speed up your work exponentially.