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Generac 5997 Review

Generac 5997

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generac 5997

For big commercial cleanup jobs, you are going to want to make sure you have a pressure washer that is up to the task. That means you need a pressure washer that has a high PSI and flow rate, a cleaning power rating that is above average, and a powerful engine and pump backing everything up. Smaller electric pressure washers are fine for easy jobs that do not require that kind of extra power. But for serious jobs – the kind you are used to doing on work sites – you are definitely going to want a pressure washer that has a bit more ability. The Generac 5997 is precisely that kind of pressure washer. It has the kind of serious PSI and flow rate that produce a cleaning power rating that is well above average for commercial pressure washers. It’s easy to use and durably constructed. This is the pressure washer you want on tough jobs.

Review Summary

review summaryThe Generac 5997 is an extremely powerful pressure washer that is designed to handle the kind of big jobs you generally encounter on subcontracting or other job sites, and it is perfect for those. It has a cleaning power rating that is well above average, and for that reason it is well equipped to deal with the tougher jobs you usually find on job sites. You can strip loose paint from most surfaces with the Generac 5997; you can use it to quickly clean up drywall dust; you can prep job sites before starting work, and use it to clean up afterwards. The Generac 5997 cuts the amount of time you have to spend on these tasks by a huge fraction.

But because the Generac 5997 has five nozzle options with progressively higher pressures, you can also use it for plenty of cleanup jobs around the house and yard as well. You can select the lowest pressure setting for delicate jobs like washing your car or cleaning your windows. The soap dispenser option is perfect for these types of jobs. The Generac 5997 is an all around very versatile, high performance pressure washer that has more applications than I can count, and it is great for home or commercial use.


review specificationsThe Generac 5997 is a gas-powered commercial grade pressure washer that weighs 165 pounds and has dimensions of just 28 x 28 x 33 inches. It has an engine made in-house by Generac specifically to drive its axial cam pump. The engine has a displacement of 420 cubic centimeters and an overhead valve design.

Dimensions28 x 28 x 33
Engine ManufacturerGenerac
Engine420cc OHV
Power Rating16000
PumpEasy-access axial cam
Spray GunProfessional grade
Nozzle5 (0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap)
Hose3/8-inch x 35-foot
Hose MaterialSteel reinforced, non-marring rubber
Wheels12-inch pneumatic
Weight165 pounds
Warranty3 years

The Generac 5997 has a maximum pressure of 4000 pounds per square inch and a flow rate of four gallons per minute, giving it a cleaning power rating of 16000. It produces a cold water spray through its professional grade spray gun, which comes with five nozzle options. The Generac 5997 has a 35 foot steel-reinforced hose and 12-inch pneumatic wheels. It comes with a 3 year warranty.


review descriptionAs soon as you get the Generac 5997 out of its box, it is very apparent that this is one pressure washer that is going to be ready for just about any job you could think to use it for. It is a big, fairly heavy machine with an engine that has a higher displacement than most pressure washers in its class. Its axial cam pump, which is mounted higher on the frame of the Generac 5997 for easier access, has a sleek design and can produce a high pressure spray of up to four thousand PSI.

That high pressure spray is going to be able to cut through just about any stain you could encounter, and because the flow rate on the Generac 5997 is nearly twice the average on commercial pressure washers, the spray will be fairly broad as well. That means you are going to be able to get big jobs done in less time than they would take you if you were using a pressure washer with a lower flow rate. You can use the Generac 5997 to cover big areas quickly, which will cut down on your prep and cleanup work on job sites.

The Generac 5997 is designed to stand up to the demanding environment of a commercial job site as well. It has a durable steel frame and tough pneumatic tires. Its spray wand is professional grade and the Generac 5997 has solid brass fittings. Perhaps best of all, it has a hose that is reinforced with steel. This is a pressure washer that is ready for the toughest conditions. But because it is also so versatile, you can use it around the home on easier, lighter cleanup jobs as well. It is one of the best all-around pressure washers out there, and it has a great price, too.


review prosThere are a lot of great features that make the Generac 5997 such an outstanding commercial pressure washer. The durability of its build makes it ready to stand up to the toughest conditions. It has an engine that delivers the kind of serious power you need for big jobs. And it has a PSI and flow rate that are head and shoulders above what other pressure washers can offer. There are plenty of reasons this is a great pressure washer: here are the top five.

  1. Extremely powerful engine : Typically, commercial pressure washers tend to have engines with displacements of between 200 – 250 cubic centimeters. That’s generally more than enough to deliver solid torque and horsepower. But the Generac 5997 has a displacement of over four hundred cc’s. That extra power is what gives it the ability to deliver superior pressure and flow rate, and it is why the Generac 5997 is one of the best commercial pressure washers on the market today.
  2. High PSI and flow rate : The pressure on the Generac 5997 is well above average for a commercial pressure washer – at four thousand PSI. And the Generac 5997 has a flow rate that simply blows the competition away; at four gallons per minute, it is nearly twice the industry average. Those features combine to give the Generac 5997 one of the highest cleaning power ratings you can find on a commercial pressure washer today, and they mean it will be able to handle the toughest jobs easily.
  3. Durable build : If you know your way around a construction or commercial job site, you know that it is a demanding environment. There are all kinds of accidents waiting to happen, and if a power tool is not built very durably, it can easily be damaged or wrecked any minute. That’s why the Generac 5997 is built to withstand a lot of abuse. The Generac 5997 is crush-proof, impact resistant, and won’t break down even in the face of constant use.
  4. Five nozzle options : No two cleanup jobs are exactly the same, and for that reason it is very important to have plenty of options on your pressure washer. You want to have the freedom to choose a low pressure misting spray when you are cleaning surfaces that would be damaged by a high PSI. But you also want to have the option of that high PSI – and plenty of options in between. With five nozzles, the Generac 5997 gives you lots of choices.
  5. Versatile applications : Because the Generac 5997 has such a high maximum pressure as well as five nozzle options, it has a wide array of applications. You can use it for the toughest jobs on a construction site, but you can also use it around the house on delicate jobs as well. Select the soap dispenser and one of the lower PSI nozzles and you can wash your car or windows with it. Crank it up high and blast grease out of concrete. There is no limit to what it can do.

I think you will probably agree that the Pros on the Generac 5997 are quite impressive. This is a commercial pressure washer that is well ahead of the pack in terms of what it has to offer. No matter whether you are looking for a pressure washer to use under the tough conditions of a job site, or need one to use around your home and yard, the Generac 5997 has everything you need to get big jobs done fast.


review consWith all of those outstanding features, you may be a bit surprised to find out that there are still a few areas in which the Generac 5997 could use a bit of improvement. Of course, there is no such thing as absolute perfection when you are shopping for anything, and pressure washers are no exception to that. And the few drawbacks the Generac 5997 does have are all fairly minor in my opinion. But let’s take a look.

  1. Cold water only : On a heavy duty commercial pressure washer like this one, you would hope to see that it has a hot water spray option. With the size and power of its engine, the Generac 5997 could easily support a hot water option, and it’s always nice to have one, especially when you are dealing with more obstinate stains. Still, the extremely high cleaning power rating the Generac 5997 has should more than make up for this oversight.
  2. Requires periodic maintenance : On any machine that has an overhead valve engine like the one under the hood on the Generac 5997, as well as an axial cam pump, you will have to occasionally do a bit of maintenance to keep it running smoothly. That doesn’t involve much, though: you should periodically check the oil and change it, and every once in a great while you have to swap out the spark plugs. But none of this is particularly difficult.
  3. Not CARB compliant : This is also common to machines with overhead valve engines: because they produce a relatively high volume of exhaust, they are not compliant with California Air Resources Board regulations governing carbon emissions. This is not really a problem for the user – although you shouldn’t use the Generac 5997 in an enclosed space without good ventilation. But it does mean that readers in California will unfortunately not have the option to purchase this outstanding pressure washer.
  4. No electric starter : For a big engine like the one the Generac 5997 has, it can prove to be a bit of a challenge to get it started up with just a recoil starter cord. There is no Easy Start option on the engine, and it is not equipped with an electric starter, either. That means it may take a few good rips of the recoil cord to get it going. But this is not a Con so much as it is a minor inconvenience.
  5. Takes a bit of practice to get used to it : The Generac 5997 does take some getting used to before you are able to operate it easily. It’s necessary to set the pressure valve to the lowest setting before starting the engine. You also have to engage the choke if you are trying to shut down the Generac 5997 from an idling position. There are a few other minor tricks to operating the Generac 5997, but these are all covered in the manual.

As you can see, the Generac 5997 does not really have any of the kind of serious problems that other commercial pressure washers often present Most of these issues are minor inconveniences, if anything, and none of them take away from all of the excellent Pros the Generac 5997 has to offer in any meaningful way. In spite of these Cons, the Generac 5997 remains one of the best commercial pressure washers I have come across so far.

Product Comparison

review comparisonWhile you can certainly learn a great deal about a product from Pros and Cons lists, they do not tell you much about how it stacks up to similar models made by the competition. The best way to do that is with some savvy comparison shopping. That is the best way to find out whether a particular product like the Generac 5997 really is the best one in its class. The following table looks at the Generac 5997 and two similar pressure washers.

 Generac 5997Generac
BlackMax BM80919MOBlackMax
Briggs & Stratton 20553Briggs & Stratton
Dimensions28 x 28 x 3323 x 22 x 37.525 x 22 x 24
Engine ManufacturerGeneracHondaBriggs & Stratton
Engine420cc OHVGCV160 161cc OHC158cc OHV
Power Rating1600062103960
PumpEasy-access axial camAxial camAxial cam
Spray GunProfessional gradePro-stylePro-style
Nozzle5 (0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap)6 (0°, 15°, 25°, 40°, soap)3 (0°, 25°, soap)
Hose3/8-inch x 35-foot1/4-inch x 25-foot1/4-inch x 25-foot
Hose MaterialSteel reinforced,
non-marring rubber
Steel reinforced,
non-marring rubber
Wheels12-inch pneumatic12-inch never flat10-inch pneumatic
Weight165 pounds65 pounds55 pounds
Warranty3 years1 year1 year

As you can see, the Generac 5997 has a much higher PSI and flow rate than either of the other pressure washers, and because of that, it simply blows the other two away where cleaning power rating is concerned. To support this, the Generac 5997 has the biggest engine of the three models. It also has the longest hose, which can be quite convenient. The only drawback is that the Generac 5997 is heavier and bigger than the others – but that is to be expected.


review conclusionThe Generac 5997 really has a lot more to offer than most commercial pressure washers, and when you compare it to similar models, there is virtually no competition. But before you make up your mind to purchase it, I think it would be a good idea to take one more quick look at the Pros and Cons.

Conclusion Pros

  1. Extremely powerful engine.
  2. High PSI and flow rate.
  3. Durable build.
  4. Five nozzle options.
  5. Versatile applications.

With one of the more powerful engines you can find on a commercial pressure washer today, the Generac 5997 is able to support a much higher PSI and flow rate than the average model. It is built tough enough to hold up to the rigors of a construction site, but versatile enough that you could use it around the home and yard as well.

Conclusion Cons

  1. Cold water only.
  2. Requires periodic maintenance.
  3. Not CARB compliant.
  4. No electric starter.
  5. Takes a bit of practice to get used to it.

While it would be great if the Generac 5997 had a cold water option, that is really the only area in which it is lacking. The other Cons that I could find are mostly pretty common to all commercial pressure washers, and none of them seriously affected its performance in any way.

Final Word

For the toughest jobs, you want to make sure that you have a pressure washer that is going to be able to deliver high PSI and flow rate and provide a serious cleaning power rating. The Generac 5997 can do just that: not only does it have a max PSI that is well above average, its flow rate is nearly twice the industry standard. Because of that, you get a spray that is not only very high pressure but quite broad as well, so you can clean up big surfaces in less time.

The Generac 5997 is great for commercial job sites, but you can use it just as well on residential chores too. Because it has five separate nozzles delivering a range of pressures, you can use the Generac 5997 to clean your home, car, and garage just as well. This is a great pressure washer with lots of uses.

Best Price

review pricesOne of the best features on the Generac 5997 is its price tag. For a high quality commercial pressure washer like this one, you could easily expect it to carry an above average price. But surprisingly enough, the Generac 5997 is actually priced below average for pressure washers in its class. Yet it does not feel or work like an inexpensive pressure washer. It is still very durable and powerful, and provides serious cleaning power. The extremely reasonable price is really a steal when you consider everything the Generac 5997 is capable of. This is a great pressure washer at an outstanding price.

Generac 5997

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