I love tools and one that I find myself reaching for frequently is my pressure washer. From ridding the patio of winter grime to blasting mud off your truck to (uh oh, I need to do this) cleaning windows, you’ll find a pressure washer useful for lots of jobs.

Electric models tend to be more lightweight and deliver moderate water pressures (20-40 pounds)—perfect for car cleaning and smaller jobs around the house, whereas gas models may produce up to 100 pounds of pressure and can handle much larger cleaning tasks. As with many tool buys, think about the tasks you want your pressure washer to perform, then let that drive your purchasing decision. Here are three quick hints that will help you narrow the field.

Extra-Long Hose

This super portable, lightweight, and compact model will get the grime off you car in no time. There are multiple nozzles for specific types of cleaning. Amazon

For small jobs around the house (cleaning cars, decks and patio furniture) a small, electric hand-carry unit is great to have. They are reasonably priced, don’t take up a lot of storage space and they’re amazingly efficient.

Heats and Sprays

This unit can blast hot water (up to 104 degrees) at more than 2000 pound per square inch. Amazon

For larger jobs, like blasting grunge and algae from flagstones or power washing clapboard in preparation for painting, you’ll need more pressure. Look for wheeled units (easy to move around) that generate more than 2000 psi and dispense upwards of two gallons of water per minute. Some units feature removable tanks that are great for storing different cleaning agents.

25-Foot Hose

This 80-pound option has a 1 gallon fuel tank, holds detergent, and will shut off automatically if your oil level gets too low. Amazon

For really large projects or commercial use, you’ll want to look seriously at a gas-powered model. The 224cc single-cylinder OHV engine on units like this generate 3200 PSI while dispensing 2.4 GPM. They come with more nozzle options to handle jobs big and small, longer and stronger high-pressure hoses, beefier pumps for steady water pressures, and larger detergent tanks.