I’m looking for a new pressure washer.

My current one is 13HP, 4000 psi and 13 litres a minute.

Most of the ones I’ve been looking at are lower PSI (3000 - 3200psi mostly) but with flow rates of 15 to 21 litres per minute.

The sales guy is telling me that the extra flow rate more than makes up for the lower pressure,… is this true?

my budget is also limited, so I’m torn between an electric start direct drive model, or a recoil start gearbox pump,… what do you guys think is best?

Gallons per minute is much more important than PSI. It’s very desirable to have a machine with at least 4 GPM. PSI is less important especially if you are doing soft wash which is THE way to do residential cleans.

Don’t be concerned about electric start. Use that money to make sure you get a belt drive machine instead of a direct drive machine. The direct drive wears out pumps much sooner. I just had a 4 GPM 3,000 psi direct drive machine blow a motor last week. I ordered a new machine that is 4 GPM, 4,000 psi, and belt driven.

For your own good, spend a little extra money now on the belt drive and save a lot of money in the long run.

I clean a lot of really dirty footpaths & driveways, black with algae & grime. Will the drop in PSI be noticable on this kind of work?

You’ll need an adequate unit that can push or handle a surface cleaner which is hooked up to your power washer. Cleaning concrete with a wand is very slow and you get inconsistent results.

I plan to get a surface cleaner soon myself. I have many residential custys ask for it.

3k Psi is great for concrete cleaning. I had a 3k Psi, 5.5. gpm hot water pressure washer and it cleaned concrete GREAT. Let the chemicals do the hard work.