Pressure washer nozzles – using the right tip for the job

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So you’ve got yourself a pressure washer and you aren’t sure which spray tip to use? Or you’ve decided that you want to upgrade the included pressure washer tips and are looking to find out what the best pressure washer nozzles are? 

I’ve put together a list of unbiased pressure washer nozzle reviews, as well as a buyers guide. I’ll walk you through when and why to use each nozzle tip. 

If your pressure washer doesn’t use quick-connect tips, and instead has a turbo nozzle or spray nozzle, not to worry I’ll be covering these as well.

In a hurry – here are my favorite nozzles, I personally use the Briggs & Stratton B4847GS Pressure Washer Tips and for that extra punch when I come across a tough stain I use my Briggs & Stratton 6196 Quick-Connect Turbo Spray Nozzle.

Choosing the right spray nozzle tip is more important than you may believe, you need to match the nozzle to the surface you are cleaning, this will ensure a fast and thoroughly clean with no damage.

Choose the wrong one and you could:

  • Strip the paint off of your car
  • Damage your wood fence or deck
  • Even punch through the mortar of your brick driveway which leads to costly repairs.
PRODUCTDETAILS
Briggs & Stratton B4847GS Pressure Washer Quick- Connect Spray Tips

Briggs & Stratton B4847GS Pressure Washer Tips

  • Up to:4000 PSI
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SIMPSON Cleaning Replacement spray tips 4500 PSI

SIMPSON Cleaning Replacement spray tips

  • Up to:4500 PSI
View On Amazon
Twinkle Star Pressure Washer Nozzle Tips Multiple Degrees, 1/4 INCH (2.5 GPM)

Twinkle Star Pressure Washer Spray Nozzle Tips

  • Up to:4000 PSI
View On Amazon
Tool Daily Pressure Washer Nozzle Tips Multiple Degrees, 1/4 inch, 5-Pack (Orifice 3.5)

Tool Daily Pressure Washer Spray Nozzle Tips

  • Up to:4000 PSI
View On Amazon
Briggs & Stratton 6197 Quick-Connect 5-in-1 Nozzle for Pressure Washers, Black

Briggs & Stratton 6197 Quick-Connect 5-in-1 Nozzle

  • Up to:4000 PSI
View On Amazon
Briggs & Stratton 6196 Quick-Connect Turbo Spray Nozzle for Pressure Washers up to 4000 PSI

Briggs & Stratton 6196 Quick-Connect Turbo Spray Nozzle

  • Up to:4000 PSI
View On Amazon

Best pressure washer nozzles reviews

Briggs & Stratton B4847GS Pressure Washer Quick- Connect Spray Tips
 
  • Quick-connect spray tips
  • Black for low pressure cleaning solution application
  • High Pressure tips included are White (40 degrees), Green (25 degrees), Yellow (15 degrees) and Red (0 degrees)

This set of color-coded nozzle tips from Briggs & Stratton are my favorite, made entirely from brass, they support up to 4000 PSI and both hot and cold water pressure washers.

No matter what comes with my electric pressure washers, I always switch out their tips for these.

Pros

  • Support up to 4000 PSI
  • Can be used with other brands
  • Made entirely from brass, no steel nozzles

Cons

  • Bit pricey, though I think they’re worth it

View the price on Amazon   

On Sale - 38% off Simpson Cleaning Universal Pressure Washer Spray Nozzles, Set
 
  • Universal to fit most gas pressure washers with quick connect spray wands
  • Fits standard 1/4Qc wand connection
  • High pressure stainless steel quick connect nozzle tips

These spray nozzles are made by Simpson Cleaning so you know you get going to get good quality straight away.

These are fantastic, and if you have a gas pressure washer that supports just cold water, which let’s face it are the vast majority, then these are perfect for you.

unfortunately, because these are made from steel, they won’t work well with hot water.

Pros

  • Full set of high-quality nozzles from a well-known brand
  • Support up to 4500 PSI!
  • Can be used with other pressure washer brands

Cons

  • Cold-water only

View the price on Amazon   

 
  • Complete set--1 Black Brass soap nozzle,1 Red Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (0 Degree),1 Yellow Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (15 Degree),1 Green Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (25 Degree),1 White Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (40 Degree).
  • High quality-- our nozzle tips are constructed from high quality stainless steel and brass.
  • Pressure washers rated-- 1/4 inch quick connection design 2.5 GPM, up to 4000 PSI.

These spray nozzle tips are made from stainless steel for the red, yellow, green and white nozzles, and brass for the black soap nozzle. The construction is high-quality.

These are cheap, but yet somehow delivering a quality product, I like that!

Pros

  • Cheap yet surprisingly good
  • A full set of 5 tips
  • Supports up to 4000 PSI

Cons

  • Not compatible with all quick-connect systems

View the price on Amazon   

 
  • ATTENTION: Please see Image 2 and find the orifice you need based on working pressure and flow rate (GPM). The orifice of these nozzles are 3.5. The working pressure is up to 4000 PSI.
  • Different angle allows you to clean hard-to-reach areas quickly and easily
  • Nozzle Tips set includes: 1 Red Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (0 Degree), 1 Yellow Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (15 Degree), 1 Green Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (25 Degree), 1 White Stainless Steel Nozzle Tip (40 Degree), 1 Brass soap nozzle tip (65 Degree). Choose different angles nozzle according to the actual need

This is the first Tool Daily product I’ve used and it won’t be the last, these are fantastic.

Made from steel except for the soap tip which is made from brass, these will work well for hot and cold pressure washers.

These can handle up to 4000 PSI and are bloody cheap!

Pros

  • Can handle up to 4000 PSI
  • High-quality tips

Cons

  • Some are made from steel and that not the best

View the price on Amazon 

On Sale - 52% off Briggs & Stratton 6197 Quick-Connect 5-in-1 Nozzle for Pressure Washers, Black
 
  • Combines 5 pressure washer nozzle spray patterns into one - just push, turn and click
  • Switch between spray patterns easily with the locking dial and button
  • Spray nozzle angles include 0 degrees (Max), 15 degrees (General), 40 degrees (Delicate), Soap, and Flush for a variety of cleaning jobs

Stepping away from the set of quick connect nozzles, here is a Vario style nozzle. It’s an all in one, or rather a 5 in 1.

Just push the button, turn until it clicks and boom, that’s it you are using a different spraying angle, it couldn’t be easier. This covers  0 degrees (Max), 15 degrees (General), 40 degrees (Delicate), Soap, and Flush for a variety of cleaning jobs

I love being able to use just a single nozzle tip, rather than carrying a bunch of nozzles, now a lot of pressure washers have onboard storage, but they always just end up in my pocket.

Pros

  • five in one, all the nozzles you’ll typically need at a push of a button
  • Up to 3200 PSI
  • Works with many brands

Cons

  • A bit pricey compared to buying the individual nozzles

View the price on Amazon   

Briggs & Stratton 6196 Quick-Connect Turbo Spray Nozzle for Pressure Washers up to 4000 PSI
 
  • Whirls a powerful pinpoint jet stream for intense cleaning
  • Cleans up to 40% faster than standard pressure washer nozzles
  • Use with most brands of gas pressure washers up to 4000 PSI

This turbo nozzle from Briggs & Stratton supports pressure washers which produce up to 4000 PSI. This is nozzle packs a punch, so far no matter the stain, whether oil, grease or paint, this has managed to rip it off of my concrete.

Apparently this will help you clean up to 40% faster, that may well be true, I’m just not crazy enough to try and clean my yard with a nozzle tip, I prefer to use a surface cleaner, so I can’t say that claim is correct, but having used this often, it wouldn’t surprise me!

Pros

  • Supports up to 4000 PSI
  • 40% faster than using a nozzle tip alone
  • Kicks dirts butt

Cons

  • It’s not cheap

View the price on Amazon   

Pressure washer nozzles buyers guide

When it comes to purchasing a new set of quick-connect tips, and you will be purchasing some as they do wear out through use. You need to make sure that the tips support the pounds per square inch (PSI) and the gallons per minute (GPM) water flow of your pressure washer.

You’ll find that the tips are rated “up to” a certain PSI range, that means that if you have a pressure washer which produces 3000 PSI and you buy a tip which handles up to 2500 PSI, well it’ll wear out quickly, though work case is it’ll be destroyed as soon as the water passes through it.

However, if you purchase a tip rated for 4000 PSI while your unit only produces 3000 PSI, then that’s perfect.

Now, if you’ve ever used sandpaper you’ll know that there is a range of different grits you can use when sanding down wood. It’s the same with pressure washer tips, there are 7 different types of nozzles to choose from and you use a different nozzle for different jobs

The 7 Types Of Pressure Washer Nozzles

When you purchased your pressure washer you will have found that it came with 3-4 color-coded nozzle tips, where a pressure washer uses the quick connect system it’s normal to get up to around 5 tips.

  • The 0-degree (red) – shoots a high-pressure direct jet of water onto the surface. When this jet hits the surface, it’s contained to the area roughly the size of a quarter coin. It does not sheet or fans out the water spray at all.
  • The 15-degree (yellow) – creates a 15-degree wide fan spray of water. Because the water is spread over a wider area, the force produced on the surface is reduced.
  • The 25-degree (green) – is an even larger sheet of water than the 15-degree nozzle so even less pressure is applied to the surface
  • The 40-degree (white) – is the most gentle tip. Held at the right distance, you would use the 40-degree nozzle to clean windows and other fragile items.
  • The 65-degree Soap (black) – is a top specially designed to work with pressure washer detergents and soaps, it ensures they foam up.
  • Turbo/Rotary Nozzle – Think of the red nozzle + green nozzle with rotational force.
  • Adjustable/Variable Nozzle – this is common in Karcher’s, Nilfisks, etc, It’s 5 nozzles in one usually, and with a quick twist, you can adjust the spray pattern without stopping.

When washing delicate items with a high-pressure washer, such as a gas pressure washer, you should keep the tip around 8 inches away from the surface otherwise you risk causing damage.

If you notice that 8 inches aren’t enough, you can increase that distance, the further away from the nozzle the less force is applied to the surface. 

  • The general rule is that a doubling of distance is a halving of force.

So that’s the 7 types, you may find that your pressure washer comes with two attachments, which are spray wands, one will be a turbo the other a vario-esk type, they follow the same pattern, as these quick connect versions.

Right, let’s get into each of these in more detail.

 quick connect spray nozzle tips

0° Red Tip Nozzle – Maximum Blast

  • This one is Rarely used. Its spray pattern covers a very small area and the force it produces can make it unsafe to use on surfaces and it will take forever to clean anything.
  • If you have a section of very tough caked-on dirt and grime such as from construction equipment, rust, or even stains in concrete, this tip will power through and remove the dirt and stains where others will fail.

15° Yellow Tip Nozzle – Medium Stripping

  • Used this tip for preparing surfaces for painting
  • Used at the right distance it can be great at removing tough mud and dirt from surfaces, such as 4×4 vehicles

When I have to deal with stubborn stains and oil, I find that the 15-degree nozzle is a great choice. 

The pressure washer yellow nozzle spreads the water out at a 15-degree angle in a fan spray style, it produces less force than the red nozzle because the water is spread out, but it is very effective at cleaning dirt and stains.

This for me is the best pressure washer nozzle for cleaning concrete and other porous materials. Got a stain in your concrete? This is the tip for you. 

Some people even consider this to the best pressure washer tip for removing paint and I tend to agree, though if you are removing paint or rust, then I highly suggest taking a look at pressure washer sandblasting kits.

25° Green Tip Nozzle – Gentle Lifting and Cleaning

  • The most commonly used nozzle tip 
  • Great for boat, car, patio furniture, and driveways
  • The nice wide sheet of water allows you to clean large areas quickly think house siding

This is a very popular choice for home use, it produces enough force to remove dirt without damaging the surface, while also covering a wide area into a single pass. 

I use the green nozzle for cleaning my outdoor power tools such as my lawnmower, it’s also handy for patios, decks, and fences, quickly removing seasonal dirt.

40° White Tip Nozzle – Minimum Spraying

  • Great for fragile surfaces like windows, blinds, and damaged paint or wood.

The white nozzle tip produces a gentle spray. The water is spread out at a wide-angle, because of this the water pressure is gentle enough to use on surfaces such as your glass windows, wooden decks. 

Color-wise, this one is usually white, though sometimes it will be grey.

65° Black Tip Nozzle – Soap, Detergent or Snow Foam

  • The soap nozzle is rather special, not just because it has the widest spray pattern at 65-degrees, but its orifice is also the largest. The reason for this is the larger orifice decreases the velocity of the water, which increases the pressing the high-pressure washer hose. This increase in pressure is what pulls the pressure washer detergent into the line, so that you can apply soap to the surface for an easier clean.

If your pressure washer doesn’t come with the black tip you can either purchase it separately or you can purchase a snow foam cannon, I love these for washing cars, it’s rather fun to make a “snow car” 

Turbo/Rotary Nozzle

What is a Turbo Nozzle
  • If you are dealing with tough stains, this is one of the most useful nozzles because it combines the force of the 0-degree red nozzle with the spray area of a 25-degree green nozzle plus it adds in a pulsing action by rotating the water jet at 1800 – 3000 rpm, though some are 5000 – 9000 RPM!.
  • When it hits the surface it creates a round cone shape (it rotates the jet so quick it appears as a cone-like an orange safety cone coming from the nozzle tip), this will leave spray pattern marks on concrete so make 

Adjustable/Variable Nozzle

  • This is a single nozzle which is an all in one. It combines the 5 spray nozzles into a single tip. With a quick twist, you can change the spray angles, so no need to stop, just twist and attack the stain.

This is you all-in-one nozzle. You’ll find this type in light-duty and medium-duty pressure washers such as Karcher, some Sun Joe pressure washers

With one nozzle head you can quickly adjust the water pressure coming from the hose and there’s less chance of losing the tips, mine have gone through the wash a few times as they’ve been placed into my pockets.

See this video for more information about the different  types of pressure washer nozzles and the amount of force each can produce.

The Importance of Nozzles During Pressure Washing

Picture this, you’re out in your front yard with your garden hose in your hand, water flowing from the tip, perhaps you’re watering the garden, perhaps you are spraying the kids during the hot summer.

You need to reach your plants with are 15 feet away from where you are. The problem is, the water stream coming from the hose to reach that far, it barely reaches 5 foot, so what do you do? 

You use your thumb to block off ¾ of the hose opening, the water is forced to exit the smaller orifice. 

What does the water do? Well it speeds up, thanks to the Mr. Isaac Newton and his laws of motion. We know that more velocity means more distance. By using your thumb, you can reach those plants 15 foot away, spraying your child who was hiding behind them pulling funny faces at you.

This is exactly how spray nozzles work, they restrict the water flow rate, which in turns increases the velocity. That increase causing the force of the pressure washer water spray increasing the cleaning power.

How To Pick The Perfect Nozzle Type For Your Cleaning Task

When you choose a tip, you need to follow these four steps before you begin pressure washing any surface.

1. Use common sense when selecting a nozzle – If you are about to clean a wooden deck or vinyl siding, then choosing the red 0-degree nozzle tip doesn’t make any sense. Neither does using the 15-degree tip unless the surface is absolutely filthy or you are preparing it for paint or stain.

2. Start with a wider angle nozzle – Starting with a wide nozzle such as the 40-degree white tip, allows you to get a feel for how much pressure you need without causing damage by hitting the surface with too much force.

3. Keep your distance at first – I suggest starting with the spray wand about 24 inches away from the surface. You can then gradually move the tip closer to the surface until you see the result you are looking for. Though never get closer than 6 inches from the surface. If at 6 inches you’re still not removing the dirt, then switch to a more narrow angled nozzle.

4. Always test on a small area of the surface – Look you don’t want to accidentally do damage to the surface, so experiment on the corner of the deck where your bbq grill usually sits for instance, a spot where no one will notice, that way if it gets damaged, at least the damage is hidden.

If this is your first time pressure cleaning, then you’ll notice pretty quick just how intuitive this is and will become. 

You don’t want to damage the surface you are cleaning, so keep the spray wand at a distance, and as you get comfortable, edge it closer to the surface, making sure that you don’t start to cause damage.

If the stain is turning out to be stubborn, I suggest first you move the tip closer to the service (never closer than 6 inches), as this is the best way to quickly adjust the effective pressure.

If however you get to 6 inches and the stain is still there and the surface isn’t being damaged, then switch out to a more narrow nozzle tip, and start again from a distance moving in closer. 

It sounds a bit of a pain to adjust the distance but it takes seconds in reality.

How To Care For Your Nozzles

To keep your nozzles lasting as long as possible you need to care for them like any other pressure washer parts, or pressure washer accessories.

I suggest following these easy steps below, these steps are also valid for turbo nozzles and vario/adjustable nozzles.

Caring for your pressure washer nozzles is simple and easy. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Remove the nozzle from the pressure washer wand or trigger gun.
  2. Prepare a basin with lukewarm water and soak the nozzles to break up any dried dirt. 
  3. Once the nozzles have soaked for a minute or so drain the basin and collect the nozzles.
  4. Get a pin and use it to push out the remaining deposits left in nozzle tips.
  5. Wipe and dry with a soft cloth and store safely.

Changing the nozzles on the spray trigger gun/wand is easy, you can see how to switch out a quick connect tip in this youtube video.

Pressure washer tips FAQ

Are pressure washer nozzles universal or interchangeable?

The connection may be interchangeable so yes you can use quick connect tips on other pressure washers that support quick-connect tips. 

But the orifice or opening will change in size usually from 3.0-60 in .5 increments. 

Each nozzle will be stamped with a 5 digit number which identifies it’s fan spray angle and nozzle size. For example, a tip with 40055 has a 40-degree fan pattern and is 5.5 in size.

If a machine is designed to run a 3.0 nozzle and a 6.0 is used instead, effectively the amount of pressure will be reduced by 50% so when purchasing nozzle tips make sure to choose the right orifice size for your pressure washer. 

In this image, you can see the nozzle size guide, across the top of the PSI and the vertical is the GPM.

nozzle size selection chart

What do the colors mean on pressure washer nozzles?

The spray nozzle tips are universally color coded, to identify the angle degree and pressure released from the nozzle tip. 

The majority of pressure washers come with red, yellow, green and white spray tips and usually also the black soap tip. 

You need to select the right color to match the best pressure suited to your situation. Here’s a guide.

Power Washer Tip Colors

How do you clean pressure washer nozzles?

I’ve mentioned this above, but simply. Soak the nozzle tips in warm water for a minute or so, then use a pin to dislodge any dirt from the nozzle tip. 

What is a turbo nozzle for a pressure washer?

The turbo nozzle is a combination of the red nozzle and green nozzle, plus a pulsating, rotating force, spinning anywhere from 1800-9000 RPM. If you are dealing with tough stains, this is one of the most useful nozzles. 

When the water jet from the turbo nozzle hit’s the surface it creates a round cone shape, and will strip away any dirt.

Which Pressure Washer Nozzle Is For Vinyl Siding?

I find that either the 15-degree nozzle or the 25-degree nozzle work best for cleaning vinyl siding

Though my advice is to start with the wider angled nozzle, the 25-degree, check the pressure coming out is enough to remove the dirt from your siding, play with distance as well, if you get to 6 inches and the dirt is still there, then switch it up and you the 15-degree.

Which Pressure Washer Nozzle Is For Decks?

When cleaning decks you want to use a nozzle that’s gentler, which is why I suggest using the 40-degree and 65-degree nozzles.

However if you how tough stains the 25-degree green nozzle can usually help shift them.

Which Pressure Washer Nozzle Is For Cars?

This isn’t an easy question to answer. The tip you would use depends entirely on which part of the car you are washing.

I personally start with the 40-degree nozzle to rinse the car, switching over to the soap to get a layer of snow foam over the car. 

Rinse again with the 40-degree, for built-up dirt areas, I might move to the 25-degree (think alloys and brake dust). 

But I wouldn’t use anything more aggressive than the 40-degree on the windows and mirrors

How To Determine Pressure Washer Nozzle Size?

The best way to do this is to follow the sizing chart of your pressure washer nozzle brand. 

Otherwise, you can read the numbers on your pressure washer nozzle tip which show you exactly what you should be using.

Each nozzle will be stamped with a 5 digit number which identifies it’s spray angle and nozzle size. For example a tip with 40055 has a 40-degree fan pattern and is 5.5 in size.

You can use that information to get the right-sized replacements. Your pressure washer manual will also state the required size.

Why Do Tips Affect Water Pressure?

The way pressure washer tips work is to control the V-shape angle of the spraying wand and how much water exits the opening. 

While the tips will affect the water pressure, they cannot increase the pressure above the pressure washers capacity. 

The nozzle tips with smaller orifices and shallow V-shape angles such as 0-degree will spray at a higher pressure than those with a wider opening. 

Best pressure washer nozzles comparison table

PRODUCTUp to PSI
Briggs & Stratton B4847GS Pressure Washer Tips4000
SIMPSON Cleaning Replacement spray tips4500
Twinkle Star Pressure Washer Spray Nozzle Tips4000
Tool Daily Pressure Washer Spray Nozzle Tips4000
Briggs & Stratton 6197 Quick-Connect 5-in-1 Nozzle3200
Briggs & Stratton 6196 Quick-Connect Turbo Spray Nozzle4000

Wrap up

Hopefully, you’ve learned everything there is to learn about pressure washer tips. 

Tips wear out over time it’s just the nature of the game, and there’s no point replacing them with cheap inferior knock offs, I personally spend that little bit more to get a named brand, just because I want to know that they will last and won’t disintegrate the second I turn the pressure washer on. 

The unbiased pressure washer nozzle reviews hopefully will have guided you to purchasing a replacement set or even an upgrade over what you had.

If you have any questions or a set tips I really should review, please let me know in the comments section below.

Pressure washer nozzles – using the right tip for the job

Last update on 2020-08-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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