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5 Best Electric Pressure Washers for Detailing on a Budget

Looking to wash your car, truck, or SUV…or even boat a bit faster? There’s no denying pressure washers are the way to go. They can wash your vehicle quicker, but they aren’t as expensive as you may think.

If you’re a beginner, an electric pressure washer is a very practical and affordable option that will allow you to use accessories like foam guns. Knocking off a lot of mud? You may want to spend a little more on a gas-powered unit.

Keep in mind most professional detailers use gas pressure washers due to better overall durability, but as long as you have access to a customer’s power (or a generator for detailing) electric is a good way to start.

Today I’ll share and break down 5 of the best electric pressure washers you can purchase for under $300 (in no particular order) I think are perfect for the average joe.

1. Sun Joe SPX3000

What I like

Popular, lightweight, and comes with wheels to make maneuvering easier

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Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

If you need a lightweight unit for regular maintenance washing, this unit is perfect. The build quality on Sun Joe units is a bit better than no-name competitors and I found it here on Amazon for under $150.  

This unit has a safety lock switch that shuts off the pump when the trigger is not engaged (to help prolong the life of the pump) which is nice.

Sun Joe is probably the most popular consumer-grade line of pressure washers out there, and if you want something with a higher GPM rating to wash a little faster, they make several models all under around $300 (including pick #5).

General Specs

  • Max PSI: 2,040
  • Motor: 1,800 watts| 14.5 amps
  • GPM (gallons per minute): 1.76
  • Weight: 31 pounds

Includes

  • 5 Quick-Connect spray nozzles (0º, 15º, 25º, 40º and soap)  to tackle any project.
  •  Dual Detergent Tanks (Two 0.9 liter onboard tanks that are removable to allow you to store different types of chemicals for certain applications)

Pros

  • Full two-year warranty
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Good power
  • 5 Quick-Connect nozzles and lots of accessories
  • Great reviews

Cons

  • Connector is plastic
  • Somewhat of a shorter hose (20 feet)

2. Briggs & Stratton S1700

What I like

Grand brand, quiet, and affordable

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Briggs & Stratton is known for making great pressure washers in general, and this electric model is no exception. This one features a max PSI of 1700 and is suited for lightweight projects in addition to cleaning your vehicle, and even comes with a detergent siphon hose.

This one is significantly lighter than #1 on at our list weighing 22.09 lbs while the Sun Joe SPX3000 weighed in at 31 lbs. Click here to check the current price on Amazon.

B&S is known for using quality parts, and the ergonomic design of this one definitely stands out from others in the category.

General Specs

  • Max PSI: 1,700
  • Motor: 1,650 watts| 13.75 amps
  • GPM (gallons per minute): 1.3
  • Weight: 25 pounds

Includes

  • 3 quick connect tips for soap, (15-degree sprayer, and turbo)
  • A hose for siphoning soap
  • 35-foot GFCI-protected cord

Pros

  • Collapsible hose reel
  • Very affordable
  • Good pump from a reputable brand
  • Lightweight and quiet
  • Very portable, stores easily

Cons

  • Not as powerful as some
  • 12-month consumer warranty
  • Only 3 quick-connect spray tips (15°, soap, & turbo)

3. Paxcess 2150PSI

What I like

Affordable, lots of accessories, built-in reel

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This Paxcess 2150 electric pressure washer on Amazon I was pretty impressed with for the money.  While I haven’t heard of this brand before, the power you get for the money is several hundred PSI greater than similar models, which I like.

You’re pretty unlikely to cause much damage with an electric pressure washer that tops out at around 2,000 PSI at max, but if you have a vehicle that traps mud in the wheel wells, having the extra pressure to tackle this job is really nice.

This one puts out almost 2 gallons of water per minute, which is great for washing larger vehicles quicker! I also like the fact that you can adjust the fan pattern, unlike other models which require you swap out tips. This model could have easily been my top pick.

General Specs

  • Max PSI: 2,150
  • Motor: 1,800 watts| 15 amps
  • GPM (gallons per minute): 1.85
  • Weight: 31 pounds

Pros

  • Free lifetime tech support via phone or the Paxcess website
  • Built-in foam wand
  • Adjustable fan and foam pattern (instead of removable tips)

Cons

  • Some have complained about the cord getting in the way
  • Cheaper reel
  • Some cheaper components

4. Stanley SHP2150

What I like

Powerful for an electric pressure washer, comes with foam cannon!

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This Stanley is another pretty powerful pressure washer on the list for the money.

The best way to describe this Stanley is just a slightly stronger version of the SPX3000. The arrangement is similar, the accessories are similar (although the SPX3000 has one additional Quick-Connect nozzle). This unit is a bit smaller and lighter at 25.6 lbs.

According to their website, this is the most powerful electric pressure washer they make. Stanley is really known for making quality tools, and the build quality (including wheels) just seems to be of higher quality and more rugged than most in this category.

I found this unit here on Amazon for less than $140 the last time I checked.

General Specs

  • Max PSI: 2.150
  • Motor: 1,560 watts| 13 amps
  • GPM (gallons per minute): 1.4
  • Weight: 26 pounds

Includes:

• High Pressure Foamer Included
• 4 easy to connect nozzles
• 2,150 PSI for powerful cleaning force

Pros

  • Comes with a foam cannon
  • Lightweight
  • Quality materials (brass attachments)
  • Trusted brand, easy setup, 2-year warranty

Cons

  • No hose reel on this model (others have one)
  • Siphon attachment (to suck from a bucket) not included
  • Would have liked to see higher GPM
  • Components cheaper compared to more expensive units

5. Sun Joe SPX3001

What I like

Dual detergent tanks, high GPM for electric, works well with foam cannon.

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Sun Joe makes its second appearance on my list with the Sun Joe SPX3001. This pressure washer has the exact same specs as the SPX3000, only with a few additional features: a PSI of 2030, 14.5 amps, and 5 Quick-Connect nozzles.

This one is nice because it comes with a detergent tank as well. While a foam cannon would be ideal, it’s a nice addition. This is a good starter unit, and one of my favorites by Sun Joe since it comes with a 2-year warranty. The brass attachments are nice, although the other components are made of plastic.

General Specs

  • Max PSI: 2,030
  • Motor: 1,800 watts| 14.5 amps
  • GPM (gallons per minute): 1.76
  • Weight: 38 pounds

Includes

  • 5 Quick-connect tips
  • 40.6-fluid ounce (1.2-liter) built-in detergent tank
  • 20 ft hose and reel
  • Two year warranty

Pros

  • Highly rated and good warranty
  • TSS pump shut-off feature to preserve pump life
  • Good power for the price

Cons

  • Hose reel can be hard to use, flimsy
  • Would have liked to see a longer hose
  • Lack of cord storage

Choosing a great electric pressure washer for detailing

If you decide to go with another model, there are a few other things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure it is PSMA certified. This organization (Pressure Washer Manufacturers Association) verifies the GPM and PSI ratings through testing. While some Chinese knock-offs may claim certain specs, this seal indicates it has been properly tested
  2. For detailers, Kranzle units are really the industry standard for commercial-grade electric pressure washers, and worth the money if you wash a lot of cars every week and need the durability
  3. Always make sure your electric unit is GFCI protected. These plugs protect against power surges and shock by shutting off whenever there is an imbalance between conductors – super important for anything near water.
  4. A PSI of around 1300-2000 will do the job for power washing your vehicle, just make sure to stand at least two to three feet away to make sure you’re only removing dirt and grime, and not paint.

Final thoughts

When looking at this list it’s all about what features you want when deciding on your pressure washer. All five can provide a great wash for your vehicle when used with the right equipment. If you want more mobility? Look at something by Greenworks. More power? Perhaps a Stanley.

Electric pressure washers are awesome to have, and one reason is that you can now use foam cannons! Check out my post, Foam Gun vs Cannons:  Beginner’s Guide fora complete breakdown.

The built-in foam tanks are a good feature on these electric pressure washers, but really don’t compare to a quality foam cannon.

Have any other suggestions or feedback? Let me know!

Baxter Overman is the founder of Carwash Country and has been been cleaning up dirty vehicles for nearly 20 years. Since 2017, he's helped thousands of beginners see better results by learning the fundamentals of washing and detailing. He's on a mission to make the car wash process more fun...and way easier.

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