If you need to find the best power washer under $300 (since you’re not trying to break the bank), this list was made for you. It’s 2017 and pressure washers have come a long way. You have options that can give you great cleaning for a reasonable price. We’ve created the best list of cheap power washers you can buy right now and get the cleaning performance you need. Check it out.
We’ve got two major categories for you: Gas vs. Electric
Below is a full description of the difference between the two. Look around and make the right choice for you and your needs.
And if you’re actually in the market for a higher end commercial-grade product, check out our list of top commercial power washers here.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Best Power Washer Under $300 – Comparison Chart
- 2 The Best Power Washer Reviews
- 2.1 Generac 6922 – Best Gas Power Washer Under $300
- 2.2 Karcher G 2700 – Good Pressure Washer Under 300
- 2.3 Briggs & Stratton 20545 – Quality Power Washer Under $300
- 2.4 Sun Joe SPX3000 – Best Electric Power Washer Under $300
- 2.5 AR Blue Clean AR390SS – Most Water Efficient Pressure Washer
- 2.6 Karcher K5
- 3 Pressure Washer Buyers Guide
The Best Power Washer Under $300 – Comparison Chart
The Best Power Washer Reviews
The Generac 6922 is our choice for the best gas pressure washer under $300. It combines everything most people need in a power washer including power, cleaning ability, on board soap and durability. Remember, this is great for home use (like driveways and decking), but not great for things like removing paint or siding (those are commercial grade pressure washers).
The Engine: The Generac 6922 has a 196cc motor made by Generac themselves. It is a horizontal OHV (overhead valve) engine which is durable and cheaper than others. The 6922 has a large fuel storage tank at 3.2 quarts which is larger than most in the $300 range.
Cleaning Power: The Generac 6922 comes with great cleaning power. Cleaning Power is defined as the PSI pressure multiplied by the GPM (gallons per minute) of the power washer. The 6922 model has 2800 PSI and 2.4 GPM which gives a strong Cleaning Power Unit (CPU) of 6720 CPU. Very strong for this price range!
The Pump: This Generac model has a strong AR Axial Cam Pump to give the Cleaning Power. Axial pumps are not the absolute best on the market, but they are a strong and cheap option to provide decent durability. Axial pumps typically last between 60 – 150 hours, and more if well taken care of.
The Design: The 6922 model was ergonomically designed to be fairly compact which still providing mobility and versatility. It weighs a little more than some other units at 57 lbs., but that’s because of the stronger engine attached. It does have strong steel design with 10″ never-flat wheels which makes it easier to maneuver. But it probably won’t be great dragging up a bunch of stairs. It has a manual choke and pull start design which is pretty standard for this power washer price range.
The Extras: The Generac comes with a ton of great extra little features. The hose is 25 feet and resists tangling. There are 4 different spray nozzles (0, 25, 40 and detergent nozzles) for a variety of jobs, and they are a quick-change design to never slow you down. Lastly, one other great feature of the Generac is a 1/2 gallon detergent tank attached to the unit. That’s quite large for this price range.
The Negatives: Nothing is perfect, and the same is true with this Generac. Some people have commented on how it should include a pressure regulator to give even more versatility. Unfortunately, the only way to change pressure is with a different nozzle. Still other people have mentioned they would prefer a faster spinning head to improve performance. Overall, these modifications would be nice, but they would probably push the Generac over $300. It’s somewhat of a personal decision.
You can see more about the Generac 6922 here on Amazon.
Karcher G 2700 – Good Pressure Washer Under 300
Our second choice (which honestly could be #1 depending on your preference) is the Karcher G 2700. Karcher is a somewhat unknown brand for people unfamiliar with pressure washers. For those who have done a little research on power washers, Karcher is a well known brand and has strong performance.
The Engine: The Karcher comes with a 4 cylinder Karcher engine that puts out 196cc. The OHV engine is common in all these best gas power washer under $300, but the fuel tank is only 1.05 quarts. So it holds quite a bit less unleaded gas than the Generac, but it puts out more power.
Cleaning Power: The Karcher is the strongest for cleaning power on this list. At 2700 PSI and 2.5 GPM, it comes in at 6,750 CPU which is slightly larger than the Generac model. If power is what you need from this pressure washer (aka really tough jobs), this is the model you should consider.
The Pump: The Karcher also uses the axial cam pump commonly found in pressure washers of this price range. Axial pumps are strong contenders for reliability and durability. And it will hold up well in the Karcher model. The pump has a 1 year warranty from Karcher that should give you confidence.
The Design: The Karcher has a standard upright design we commonly see on these gas pressure washers. It’s overall size is nearly identical to that of the Generac. The two main differences are the Karcher as smaller 8-inch wheels compared to the Generac and the weight. The tires shouldn’t be a huge difference, unless you are constantly dragging the power washer through difficult terrain. For example, if you have a large farm house and need to drag the power washer around the dirt/grass to wash your siding, these 8-inch wheels will be noticeably harder. But if you’re just using it around a city house and driveway, this won’t make a difference. The weight is a bigger difference as the Karcher weighs only 48 lbs compared to the Generac’s 57 lbs. That’s definitely noticeable.
The Extras: What’s great about the Karcher is it comes with the most variety of spray nozzles. You have 5 choices of spray nozzles here with 0, 15, 25, 40 and detergent (65) degrees. These nozzles give you the different pressures you need depending on the job. It also has a nice folding handle which improves the storage of the unit. You can really pack this Karcher away during the off season. It also comes with the standard on-board detergent tank for easy cleaning.
The Negatives: A majority of the reviews on Amazon show positive experiences with the Karcher. A few have had some tough experiences. For one thing, don’t overfill the engine with oil. One reviewer read in the small manual to fill the oil up 3/4 of the dipstick. For those of us who know better, that’s way too much oil and it caused a lot of problems for him. Another person found that during assembly, a few shafts had warped and could not fit as instructed. These have been rare issues, but important to note.
You can see more about the Karcher G 2700 here on Amazon.
Briggs & Stratton 20545 – Quality Power Washer Under $300
Another quality company in Briggs & Stratton coming in the rank for quality power washers. It comes in slightly cheaper than the Generac power washer, but it’s also slightly less powerful and effective at cleaning. If you’re looking for a perfect middle of the road cleaner in terms of power and price, this Briggs is excellent!
The Engine: Briggs $ Stratton build their own engine for this pressure washer and it’s 140cc. So you can see how it’s slightly less powerful than the Generac at 196cc. The engine is a common OHV style that we also found in the Generac model. Unfortunately, the 20545 has a much smaller fuel tank of only 1 quart. So the Generac model will run twice as long with more power.
Cleaning Power: As mentioned before, Cleaning Power Units are the PSI multiplied by the GPM. So the Briggs & Stratton has 2200 PSI combined with 1.9 GPM. That gives a total of 4,180 CPU. That’s over a 35% decrease in cleaning power compared to the Generac. Again, it’s personal preference based on what you need here.
The Pump: The 20545 comes with a maintenance-free axial cam pump. Again similar to the units found in this price range. Axial pumps are durable and work pretty well. They aren’t the highest quality on the market, but they do very well.
The Design: The 20545 does have a slight size benefit over the Generac. The B&G pressure washer is slightly smaller in overall design, but still made with the two-wheel steel cart design. Since the engine is slightly smaller here on the 20545, the overall weight of this power washer is lighter at 50lbs. That’s a bit more manageable for most people compared to the Generac. One nice little feature about this B&G design is the hand rail on the front of the washer. Typically we see rails on the back, but they also included a small handle on the front for quick adjustments on the fly.
The Extras: The Briggs & Stratton comes with a 25-foot hose that is resistant to kinking. It comes with three different nozzles to adjust the hose pressure: 0, 25 and detergent nozzles. Unfortunately, this is slightly less variety than the Generac. The Briggs & Stratton cannot be used for lighter duty cleaning like on cars, but the Generac can.
The Negatives: There have been some reviews out there showing the Briggs & Stratton sometimes has issues starting up. Some people just seem to have gotten lemons and they had numerous issues. Obviously, we recommend the Generac washer above because it’s just better. It’s slightly more expensive, but we believe it’s more than worth it.
You can see more about the Briggs & Stratton here on Amazon.
Sun Joe SPX3000 – Best Electric Power Washer Under $300
The SPX3000 comes in as a #1 Best Seller on Amazon for electric pressure washers, so it’s no surprise to see it here on our list of great power washers under $300. It is electric by design and that comes with multiple different pros and cons depending what you need. The biggest benefit of electric is the much smaller price tag!
The Motor: Electric power washers don’t have engines (that’s why they’re electric), and instead have motors that you connect to an outlet. The SPX3000 has a 18W / 14.5 amp motor that generates up to 2,030 PSI from 1.76 GPM of water. That’s an impressive PSI from such a small amount of water.
Cleaning Power: As to be expected with electric pressure washers, the cleaning power is slightly less than that of gas pressure washers. For most residential type users, this won’t be a huge deal. It really matters if you’re doing large scale or difficult jobs. The SPX3000 comes in with 2,030 PSI and 1.76 GPM so the Cleaning Power is 3,573 CPU. Clearly a big difference in overall number from gas, but it’s still a solid choice for the money.
The Pump: The SPX3000 has a direct drive axial cam pump that is slightly less powerful than those found in gas pressure washers. But it has the same durability and slightly better life expectancy. Overall, it’s still a solid pump in a washer that’s much cheaper.
The Design: Electric power washers are definitely lighter than gas engine power washers. The SPX3000 weighs in at 31 lbs which is much lighter than any gas model listed here. It is made pretty much out of plastic so it’s not as rugid as a gas engine, but the it doesn’t need to be. It has a 30-foot power cord so you can reach some far away places. It only has a 20-foot hose though so it’s a little less than the gas models.
The Extras: There are two really great extra features on teh SPX3000. First is the full range of spray nozzles (5 in total) ranging from 0 degrees up to 65 degrees for detergent. This is the most variety we’ve seen on electric power washers and a great little bonus so you can have more control over the cleaning power. The second feature is the Total Stop System (TSS) that is uniquely designed to turn off the pump when you aren’t squeezing the spray trigger. This is a fantastic energy-saving design that turns off the most intensive component when not directly in use.
The Negatives: There have been two noticeable downfalls of the SPX3000. The first is obvious and that’s the lack of power compared to the gas models. Most people don’t believe it actually delivers the 2,000 PSI and estimate it more in the range of 1,400-1,500 PSI. Again, if you have really tough jobs and serious grim built up over time, consider a gas model since it’s got the power you need. If not, a cheaper electric model will do just fine. The other negative noted in the reviews is the poor connector for the hose. The connector is plastic and is known to break easily. The fix for this is to register your washer online and contact the manufacturer asking for the brass replacement. A slight inconvenience, but good to note!
You can see more on the SPX3000 here on Amazon.
AR Blue Clean AR390SS – Most Water Efficient Pressure Washer
Ranked on Consumer Reports for electric pressure water tests, the AR is an ideal model for at home use. The AR is a great electric washer under $300. It’s very environmentally friendly using 80% less water than a standard garden hose for washing.
The Motor: The AR Blue Clean runs on a 14 amp motor that can definitely deliver decent power for your home needs. While slightly less powerful than the SPX3000, the AR still delivers good power to get most normal jobs done.
Cleaning Power: The AR has a little less total cleaning power than most units on this list. It is far below the gas models (as to be expected), but also noticeably less than the SPX3000. The AR Blue has 2000PSI combined with 1.4GPM for a total 0f 2,8000 CPU. Now, cleaning power isn’t the “perfect” way to judge a pressure washer, it’s just the easiest way to normalize across the models.
The Pump: The AR pump is a tri-axial cam pump which is basically the same type of pump we saw in the SPX3000. Nothing crazy or special here. It delivers a solid 2000 PSI off only 1.4 GPM of water usage. If your interested in a water-saving style of pressure washer, the AR is definitely a great choice!
The Design: The AR is an all-plastic design that is pretty standard on electric power washers. It has a large 48 oz detergent tank that should easily last a full round of cleaning and it has a nice long 30 foot hose. Combine this with a 35 foot cord length and you can really stretch to get away from a power socket! It comes on wheels like most do, but this AR unit weighs a whopping 42 lbs. That’s noticeably heavier than many other electric models out there.
The Extras: What’s nice about the AR is the pump hose rewinder. Just turn the crank and it will rewind the hose for you! It’s got 4 quick connect nozzles that we’ve seen in other models, but these all have their own storage spaces on the washer which we don’t see much of.
The Negatives: In terms of performance, there are very few negatives about the AR Blue. Most all the reviews were stellar in terms of performace for an electric pressure washer. Just remember, it’s electric so it has limited power. The biggest negative we did find was the unit tips over often. Because of the extra weight from the rewinder on top of the unit, it has a tendency to tip over if pulled too hard. This isn’t a huge issue as long as you manage it. Some people also claimed the rewinder is a little clunky to operate.
You can see more about the AR 390SS here on Amazon.
The Motor: The Karcher K5 has a unique feature that it uses a water cooled induction motor to power the pump. Water cooling a motor is an excellent way to extend the life of the motor. Cooler motors always last longer as the usual heat they product wears out bearings quickly. This water cooling design limits the heat.
Cleaning Power: The Karcher K5 produces 2000 PSI while using 1.5 GPM of water. That gives it a total of 3000 CPU. While not awesome compared to gas, it’s a decent performer in the electric power washer race.
The Pump: Another axial cam pump as we see continuously here in this electric space under $300. Nothing new or groundbreaking here.
The Design: The K5 is also designed of mostly plastic throughout. Only the pump is made of aluminum (for extended durability), but all the exterior components are plastic. The K5 also has the auto rewinder to help control those hoses.
The Extras: The Karcher K5 comes with a 35 foot cord to reach all the areas you could imagine. Combine it with a 25 foot hose and you’re set to go. What really makes the K5 attractive is the two wands it comes with. The DirtBlaster wand is designed to bring maximum pressure for you. On the other hand, the Vario wand bring a little less pressure, but you can easily adjust the pressure on the fly by simply rotating the wand clockwise or counterclockwise.
The Negatives: There have been a few. Some people have talked about the quality concerns of this Karcher model. Some people have had bad experiences. Like a few other electric power washers, it doesn’t stand up very well when you’re trying to pull the hose. It can fall down and damage somewhat easily. This is definitely a trend with these electric washers.
You can see more about the Karcher K5 here on Amazon
Pressure Washer Buyers Guide
So what should you look for when buying your $300 power washer? Here’s our basic thoughts list:
- Do you need a lot of power to clean super tough jobs? (aka tall siding on a house, oil marks on the driveway, etc.) Gas models offer way more power than electric models.
- Are you comfortable with gas engines? Gas engines require maintenance. If you live in cold environments, they’ll need to be stored properly in the winter like you should be doing with your lawnmower. If this is unfamiliar to you, check out the easier electric models.
- Are you on a tight budget? If you’re really looking to save on a washer, look electric. Across the board they are cheaper and won’t also require gas to operate.
- Do you have storage space? Gas models are just a bit bigger in overall size. If storage space is a big concern, consider the electric models since they are smaller and more compact.
- Do you live on rugged terrain? Consider the gas models that are built more solidly and can handle some abuse. Electric models are mostly plastic and will break if tossed around or beat up at all. Gas models can take it.
We hope you enjoyed this simple and easy list of the best power washer under $300. If you have any other considerations or experiences we should know about, feel free to drop a comment! Love to hear from ya.