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The Pro's Guide to Pressure Washer Lances

The Pro's Guide to Pressure Washer Lances

Dual & Insulated & Flex Lances, Oh My!

With so many options, deciding on the right lance to power up your cleaning operation can be difficult. The following guide should help narrow your search and inform your purchase.

Remember, If you have any questions, your local dealer expert is on standby to assist you.

What Are Pressure Washer Lances?

Lances, also referred to as wands, connect to your trigger gun to extend the reach of your high-pressure water jet to clean surfaces such as sidings, concrete, machinery, and vehicles. Essential components for many pressure washing jobs, they enable comfortable cleaning without requiring users to be in close proximity or bend over.

Types of Pressure Washer Lances

When it comes to pressure washer lances, there are several types to consider based on their design and functionality.

But first, let's zoom out a bit.

Commercial lances are most often detachable from the gun, offering the user more options to customize their equipment to fit their needs. Since these make up the bulk of the professional market, when we talk about lances, we are typically referring to these.

That said, we would be remiss to ignore all-in-one lances. These lances are integrated with the pressure washer gun, providing a compact and convenient solution for users who prefer a single unit for their cleaning needs. These are common in consumer-grade machines since they are convenient for most users, but they tend to be harder to repair and are less customizable.

Keep in mind that these are not the same as the gun/lance combos that we offer- which are bundles of commercial-grade guns & lances designed to handle the abuse of high-pressure machines.

Do I Need an Insulated Pressure Washer Lance?

Non-insulated lances are suitable for standard cold-water pressure washing tasks, and are typically more affordable than insulated options. But if you are running a hot water pressure washer, standard lances won't cut it- you need something that will insulate you from high temperature water.

This is where Insulated lances come in. Designed to handle hot water applications, these offer protection to the user and ensure optimal performance and control.

There are 2 insulated lance grip types: Molded and vented.


Molded grips are most common, and often come with hot water pressure washers. As implied by the name, these solid plastic grips are molded to the outside of the lance, giving users better control, and offer decent heat protection to the user. Due to the solid design, heat is still transferred to the user, so expect a bit of warmth to get through to you.

On the other hand, vented lances use a free floating handguard design, allowing for much better ventilation and comfort. Quality vented lances can comfortably handle the flow of hot water for hours without any significant discomfort to the user.

Why Use a Bent Lance Instead of a Straight Lance?

Most manufacturers offer lances in both straight and bent variations. Bent lances offer a bit of ergonomic relief in concrete cleaning applications, allowing you to maintain a more comfortable posture while cleaning concrete, and also hard-to-reach areas like the sides of trucks and buildings. Bent lances are commonly used in car wash applications, to help reach the undersides of wheel wells and the roofs of cars.

What Length Lance do I Need?

Picking the right length lance is important for both comfort and safety, so which size is right for you? This boils down to your application and use case, but here are some pointers to help you decide.

Most pressure washers come with lances ranging anywhere from 36” - 45” as standard. As a general rule, the longer the lance you choose, the safer the user will be. The closer your spraying end is to you, the more likely you are to injure yourself with a high PSI water blast. And keep in mind- The longer your lance, the further you are from backspray, and the dryer you will stay. Long lances are great to reach higher areas with ease, like the sides of buildings or large machinery. 

If you work in confined areas like a car wash bay, shorter lances are easier to maneuver. 12” and 20” lances are commonly used in car washes for this reason, and they make great companions to foam cannons.

Preferred wand length varies greatly amongst users, and can depend on use case, operator height, and attachments used. If you are unsure of the right length lance for you, your local dealer expert is ready to assist you.

Important Ergonomic Lance Features:

Depending on your application, you may want to consider for lances with ergonomic handles, lightweight designs, and comfortable grips to minimize user fatigue during prolonged cleaning sessions.

Operators often find lances with foregrips to be the most comfortable in controlling the direction of water flow over long durations. Depending on your lance, you may even be able to add a side handle attachment for additional comfort and control. Our A+ lance handle can even convert a handle-less cold water lance into a vented lance with side handle for hot water applications!

Do I Need a Single or Dual Lance?

Dual lances feature two barrels for increased cleaning power and efficiency, making them suitable for larger surface areas and heavy-duty cleaning tasks. The top tube is responsible for your high pressure water, while the bottom can be used to spray chemicals or soap onto your surface with a valve integrated into the grip. This allows you to switch between barrels on the fly with ease. Pay attention to the connection on the end- Most will come with a threaded end, but some will offer a QC socket for your nozzle.

Besides being less expensive, single lances are a great option for most operators. Single lances have a single nozzle for a focused blast, ideal for most cleaning tasks and targeting stubborn stains or grime.

Nozzle Compatibility and Quick-Connect Systems:

When it comes to connection options, most lances will come with a standard ¼” male thread at the input, which will screw directly into a standard trigger gun. When it comes to the output end, most lances will also feature the same ¼” male thread, while some offer a QC end to accept your QC nozzles or foamers.

Disclaimer: While some operators like to run a quick connection between the gun and the lance, we don’t recommend this practice. Not only does adding an additional connection add a new potential point to leak, but a QC socket on a gun makes it easy to run a nozzle directly from the gun, a dangerous setup prone to cause user injury.

Quick-connect systems facilitate fast and effortless nozzle changes for increased efficiency. If your Lance doesn’t come with a quick connect end, you can add one with our Legacy FPT QC Socket.

Specialty Lances

If your cleaning task strays a bit from the standard driveway clean, you may need to look into specialty lance options. These lances are built to tackle niche cleaning tasks that normal lances don’t quite cut it.

Telescoping Wand:

One example is the telescoping wand. These are able to extend through a length range, from a solid 6’ to as much as 24’ on some models. These are great for washing windows, high sides of trucks, or even gutters.

Gutter Cleaning Attachments:

Gutter cleaner attachments also fall into this specialty lance category- a much safer and reasonable alternative to getting up on the roof to clean.

Flexible Wand

A great option to get to those hard to reach surfaces, flexible lances are commonly used in vehicle cleaning applications. On the shorter end, around 18-24 inches, flex lances work great to get around trim and into those wheel wells.

Determining Which Lance is Compatible With Your Pressure Washer

Before purchasing a pressure washer lance, it's crucial to determine compatibility with your pressure washer machine. Using a lance insufficient to handle your machine’s specs could lead to a loss of performance, or even injury.

Consider the following factors:

Temperature: If you're using a hot water pressure washer, choose an insulated lance that can withstand high temperatures to prevent damage or injury in hot water cleaning applications. All lances should be able to handle at least 140°F, but for hot water pressure washers, you want to look for lances that can handle at least 300°F.

PSI and GPM: Ensure that the flow rate and pressure rating of the lance matches your pressure washer's GPM and PSI numbers to maintain consistent performance and avoid damage to the equipment.

Connection Types: Verify that the lance's inlet thread is compatible with your gun. The standard fitting is ¼” thread, so most operators will have no issue.


Lances are a staple component of most pressure washing machines, but not all lances are built the same. Hopefully this guide has answered any questions you may have about deciding which pressure washer lance is the best for you! Click here to browse our lineup of pressure washer lances!

If you're still unsure which lance you should get, don't hesitate to contact your local dealer for personalized assistance from one of our pressure washer experts. Don’t waste time on the wrong part for you - your dealer will answer any questions and ensure you find the right fit, every time. Click here to find your local pressure washer parts dealer.

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