When searching for the best pressure washer to rent or buy, even someone who has used a washer before may have a hard time selecting the right model for the job. After all, you’re hit with so many options in your search: hot water, cold water, belt drive, direct drive, gas, diesel, electric, trailer mounted. Mix that with specs like PSI and GPM, and it could feel like the choice is just too convoluted. It can help to break down these terms to get a better idea of what you’re dealing with and therefore, what the right pressure washer for you may be.
A common question asked by people looking into pressure washers is about the difference between belt drive pressure washers and direct drive pressure washers. Both varieties have their strengths and benefits, and we’ve given some straightforward definitions to help you determine which choice fits your needs.
Belt Drive Pressure Washers:
A belt-driven pressure washer’s pumps run on a gear reduction pulley system, allowing pumps to turn at a lower RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) than a direct drive pump. This reduces the heat and vibration and lessens the wear and tear associated with consistent use. Heavy use pressure washer applications will demand a belt-driven pump. That’s why a belt-drive pressure washer is a good investment if you plan to use it on a regular basis, as they hold up well over time. Belt drive washers are a solid choice for commercial or industrial applications.
Belt-driven benefits include lower RPM, absorption of vibration, lower operating temperature, and a longer lifespan on average. The machine’s belts will typically last for several years at a time, but may need to be replaced eventually after continuous use or noticeably lower performance.
Direct Drive Pressure Washers:
In a direct drive pressure washer, the pump is connected directly to the engine, making the pump RPM equal to the engine RPM. Because of this composition, direct drive washers are often quite compact and simple in design, making them easy to transport. However, because the pump spins at the same speed as the engine, the machine may wear down a bit quicker depending on use (but note that many of today’s washers are built to withstand many hours of operation). But this is also what makes them a good option for those who don’t plan to use their washer every single day for several hours. Since direct drive pressure washers have a cheaper price tag up front, they can be very cost-effective if you only need them for casual use.
Whether you still have questions or you’ve made up your mind already, we’ve got you covered. WET’s technicians are happy to discuss your options with you and give you a free quote on pressure washing equipment. Contact us today to find the perfect solution to all your cleaning needs!