Sun Joe vs Karcher: Electric Pressure Washers

Pressure washers are some of the handiest outdoor tools you could ever own. If you’ve ever mumbled under your breath about how painstakingly difficult it is to scrub driveways clean of oil spills, then you’d appreciate the supreme power and efficiency that a reliable pressure washer can offer. When choosing between gas or corded-electric pressure washers, electric wins every time (less expensive, more environmentally friendly, portable to an extent, and doesn’t release toxic fumes).

Sun Joe Pressure Washer

Sun Joe SPX3000

In this article, we’re going to compare two amazing corded-electric pressure washers – the Sun Joe SPX3000 and the Karcher K5. They’ve both collected a tremendous amount of positive reviews from customers, they’re easy to use and maneuver, and they offer enough power for most – if not all – outdoor cleaning jobs. However, between the two popular brands, which of these models offers more value to its users. Let’s find out by jumping right into our comparison.

Karcher Pressure Washer

Karcher K3

Pressure Washer | Recommended

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pressure Washer | Recommended

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

PSI and GPM Ratings

Sun Joe SPX3000
PSI and GPM ratings indicate how much power the pressure washer delivers and how much water it needs to do it. A balance between pressure and water usage is what makes a great machine. The Sun Joe offers up to 2,030 PSI and 1.76 GPM. This means you have enough power for caked-on messes while also delivering low-pressure streams for delicate surfaces such as windows and pushing away leaves.

Karcher K5
As for the Karcher, you get a slightly lower PSI and significantly reduced GPM ratings. This machine produces up to 2,000 PSI and 1.4 GPM. These indicate that this device can produce almost as much power as the Sun Joe with about 20% less water consumption. However, many customers found that this simply doesn’t provide enough water for most cleaning tasks.

Conclusion: Regarding performance, we agree that the Karcher doesn’t deliver enough water for such a high-pressure device, whereas the Sun Joe has that balance between power and water usage. Unfortunately for Karcher, this is one of the most important features to consider when looking for a pressure washer, and Karcher has already failed to perform.

Sun Joe Pressure Washer

Sun Joe SPX3000

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Quick-Connect Nozzles vs Adjustable Wand

Sun Joe SPX3000
There are two main setups for adjusting how much pressure is exerted from the wand – quick-connect nozzles and a twisty handle. The Sun Joe comes with five quick-connect nozzles that offer four different levels of pressurized water and a soap-dispensing nozzle. The connects are easy to attach to the tip of the wand and have their own dedicated storage spaces at the back of the unit’s handle.

Karcher K5
As for the Karcher, you get two wands: one specifically for blasting a pencil-point stream of water for the toughest oil spills and caked-on grime, and another that features a twisting handle for adjusting pressure levels. Detaching the wands from the 25-foot hose is easy to do, and the machine is designed to house the wands for easy storage.

Karcher K5

Karcher K5

Conclusion: It all comes down to personal preference. Some users like using quick-connect nozzles while others prefer a twisting wand for adjusting water pressure. They’re both easy to use, and easy to swap and deliver their advertised spraying width and range.

Hose Storage

Sun Joe SPX3000
When owning a pressure washer, one of the most important things to do is keep the hose in a safe place. This means either detaching the hose and coiling it or reeling it in using a built-in hose reel. The Sun Joe doesn’t feature a hose reel so you’re left manually coiling the 20-foot long hose by hand and either placing it on the hook of the machine or elsewhere where it won’t get damaged.

Sun Joe SPX3000

Sun Joe SPX3000

Karcher K5
As for the Karcher, you get a handy hose reel that coils the 25-foot-long hose in seconds. We found that with the hose reel, you’ll never experience any tangling or damage. Winding and unwinding the hose is effortless.

Conclusion: Between manually coiling the hose and reeling it in, we prefer the latter. There’s no substitute for a hose reel when it comes to proper storage. However, with care, Sun Joe’s flexible hose won’t get damaged when manually winding it up after a long day’s work.

Weight and Maneuverability

Sun Joe SPX3000
Without wheels, the weight of the Sun Joe SPX3000 is the only thing standing of portability. In general, heavier-duty machines will weigh more due to their beefy engines. The Sun Joe is rather lightweight, weighing in at only 31 pounds, making it easy to lift and carry to wherever pressure cleaning is needed. In addition, the machine comes with a 35-foot-long power cord and a 20-foot hose, giving you around 50 feet of movement away from an electrical outlet.

Karcher K5
The Karcher weighs in at 32 pounds, making it just as portable as the Sun Joe. In addition to the weight of the unit, you get a 35-foot long power cord and a 25-foot hose, giving you five extra feet of movement (immaterial but worth noting).

Conclusion: Both of these machines are lightweight and come with super-long power cords and pressure hoses. If you need five extra feet of movement, then the Karcher can deliver. However, in most cases, it won’t make a difference, and these two units are pretty much identical in this regard.

Karcher K5

Karcher K5

Water Inlet Temperature

Sun Joe SPX3000 and Karcher K5
We just want to take the time to talk about an overlapping spec quickly. Unlike many other models on the market, even including some Sun Joe- and Karcher-made units, both of these machines can use water of up to 104°F. Warm water dissolves stains much quicker than cold water does, so we consider this feature to add value to these pressure washers.

Sun Joe SPX3000

Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp...
  • [POWERFUL]: 14.5-Amp/1800-watt motor generates up to 2030 PSI (at initial discharge per CSA internal pressure...
  • [VERSATILE]: Tackle a variety of cleaning tasks: homes, buildings, RV’s, cars, trucks, boats, decks,...
  • [TSS (Total Stop System)]: Automatically shuts off pump when trigger is not engaged to save energy and prolong...

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best Electric Pressure Washer: Buying Guide

Sun Joe vs Karcher: Bottom Line

Between the Sun Joe SPX3000 and the Karcher K5, it’s clear that we’re fans of the former. First of all, it delivers as much and as little pressure as you need, whenever you need, with the proper amount of water usage without sacrificing performance. Unfortunately, we can’t really say the same for Karcher’s unit.

Indeed, the Karcher’s built-in hose reel is something that’s missing in the Sun Joe, but we can’t excuse lack of performance for added features. In addition to Sun Joe’s superior performance, the machine also comes with the company’s own Total Stop System which turns the pump off whenever the trigger is disengaged, cutting down on electricity and water consumption.

Best Power Washer Under $200

Karcher K 5 Premium 2000 PSI 1.4 GPM Electric...
  • POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: The K 5 last longer than universal motors and delivers exceptional cleaning results!...
  • PRESSURE REGULATING: Use the Vario Power spray wand for light-duty jobs, and a patented Dirt Blaster spray...
  • HIGH-PRESSURE HOSE: Comes equipped with a generous 25' kink-resistant high-pressure hose that offers plenty of...

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Related Pressure Washer Articles

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Best Electric Pressure Washers
Best Sun Joe Electric Pressure Washers

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Comparison Articles
Sun Joe SPX3000 vs SPX4000 vs SPX4001
Karcher K1700 vs K1800 vs K1900 vs K2000

Info Guides
Gas vs Electric Pressure Washer
What is a Good PSI for a Pressure Washer?

A Longer Guide on How to Use a Pressure Washer

Pressure washers are handy cleaning tools that can be used for a variety of cleaning tasks. Pressure washers shoot out a fine spray of water at an alarming pressure, allowing you to clean grime or dirt off a common garden or home items.

Pressure washers run through electric or gas motor that powers a pump. This pump generates and increases pressure on water coming out of a typical household garden hose.

This high-pressure water then travels through another hose and comes out via a handheld wand that is aimed at the cleaning surface.

Electric Pressure Washers
Best suited for light and small projects, such as cleaning vehicles and patio furniture. Electric models are also quieter than their gas counterparts.

Gas Pressure Washers
More powerful and function better than regular pressure washers in the market. These washers are suitable for more robust and larger jobs, such as cleaning the decks, patios among others.

The cleaning power of a pressure washer is measured by gallons per minute (GPM) and pounds per square inch (PSI). These ratings help you determine how powerful or fast the stream of water will be.

Water Pump: The water pump is among the most important components of a pressure washer and is considered the heart of a pressure washer.

Water Inlet: You will probably find a filter located in the inlet to prevent dirt from entering the washer and clogging up the system.

Gas and Electric Engine: Bigger pressure washer models feature gas engines whereas smaller models are powered by electricity.

High-Pressure Hose: A high-pressure hose is a tube that extends from the washer and connects to the cleaning attachment you have decided to use.

Cleaning Attachment: Depending on the brand and model you are using, you can switch from a simple device to a rotating brush to a spinning wand spray that offers better cleaning.

BE CAREFUL not to invest in a machine that is more powerful than you need.

Light-Duty Machines (1,200 to 1,900 PSI)
Capable of cleaning up to 10 to 40 feet in about 10 minutes. These machines are best suited for cleaning garage floors, vehicles, and patio furniture.

Medium-Duty Machines (1,950 to 2,600 PSI)
Capable of cleaning up to 40 to 90 square feet within 10 minutes. Best suited for cleaning larger areas, such as sidewalks, decks or driveways.

Heavy-Duty Machines (2,650 to 3,800 PSI)
Capable of cleaning 90 to 190 square feet in about 10 minutes. This type of machine is best suited for cleaning sidings and fences.

Evaluate The Spray Nozzle
A telescoping wand makes it easier for homeowners to clean sidings and other raised areas. The width of the spray can be adjusted by turning and twisting the nozzle to accommodate different tips.

Evaluate The Accessories
Evaluate all the accessories before purchasing the product, such as a broom attachment and rotating scrub brush for cleaning gutters.

Consider The Weight Of The Machine
Keep in mind a heavier unit will be difficult to move around and will require two hands to operate.

Consider A Cleanser
Sometimes you might need little extra help. Rest assured, you won’t require soap unless there are mold and mildew.

Clean In Sections
If you are only working with water, start working from top to bottom.

Prep For Spray
If you are about to clean the windows, consider preparing them to make the task easier. Start by shutting and locking all the windows.

If you live in a place where you experience winter, it is best you take precautionary steps to prepare your power equipment for hibernation.

Protect The Engine
The engine is the single most important component of the pressure washer. If you have a gas powered pressure washer, use a fuel stabilizer.

Flush And Drain Your Machine
Use instructions and warnings printed in the user manual.

Safeguard The Pump System
To prevent rust and protect the pump system against freeze damage, use lubricants and pump saver anti-freeze products.

Ensure Proper Storage
Store the pressure washer in a cool, dry place to protect it from elements outside.

Use The Right Tools Ensure the machine is powerful enough to complete the job.

Safety First
Read the instruction manual carefully and watch a couple of videos online to learn how to use the machine properly.

Protect Surrounding Items
Plants and vehicles, such as bicycles and cars, remain vulnerable to high-pressure chemicals and streams.

Pressure Washer | Recommended

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Pressure Washer | Recommended

Last update on 2023-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This website is supported by readers. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

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