Schafter ST5 vs. Sun Joe SPX3000: Pressure Washer Comparison

Outdoor cleaning like spraying your driveway free of oily spills, pushing leaves out of gutters, and washing patio furniture are jobs nobody enjoys doing, but you can make the process slightly more enjoyable if you have a pressure washer at home. Pressure washers provide a ton of cleaning power while hardly using any water relative to what you’d regularly waste by using a traditional garden hose.

In today’s article, we’re going to compare the ST5 from Schafter against the SPX3000 from Sun Joe. The latter model is considerably more popular than the former, but does this mean that it provides better cleaning quality? That’s what we’re here to find out.

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Schafter ST5
When shopping for a pressure washer, the first thing to pay attention to is how much cleaning power it delivers and how much water it consumes. Take a look at the tool’s PSI and GPM ratings – electric pressure washers hardly ever reach over 3,000 PSI and use at most 2 GPM of water. The Schafter and Sun Joe included.

Both of these tools have a maximum PSI rating of 3,000 PSI and use only up to 1.76 GPM. Their operating PSI is rated at between 2,000 and 2,250 PSI, meaning that on average you’ll be able to do a lot of heavy-duty cleaning around the exterior of your home.

Quick-Connect Tips

Schafter ST5 and Sun Joe SPX3000
There are three main ways to alter the amount of pressure blasting out of the spray lance. These include a variable pressure dial, a twisting handle on the spray wand, or several quick-connect tips that change the spray area. Both the Schafter and the Sun Joe use QC tips.

Both of these pressure washers come with five QC tips: a red 0° tip for pencil-like precision with maximum cleaning power, a yellow 15° tip for high-pressure cleaning, a green 25° tip for rinsing, and a white 40° low-pressure rinsing and moving fallen leaves. The fifth nozzle tip is black and used for dispensing soap.

Detergent Tanks

Schafter ST5
One of the main differences between the Schafter and the Sun Joe is their respective detergent tanks. The Schafter features a 1-liter detergent located on the back-end of the tool. Large-capacity detergent tanks are great if you plan on cleaning a wide, single surface. Switching between surfaces or objects means swapping out soaps which can be a handful since you need to empty out the tank, rinse it clean, then fill it back up with another type of detergent.

Sun Joe SPX3000
The Sun Joe comes with two 0.9-liter detergent tanks. Having multiple tanks means not having to empty, wash, and rinse out a tank when swapping between two types of detergent. You can fill one tank with car soap while the other can be used for driveway or window cleaning detergents.

Conclusion: The number of tanks has more to do with convenience than anything else. The two-tank setup of the Sun Joe makes swapping between soaps hassle-free; all you need to do is set the machine to draw soap from the appropriate tank, and you’re good to go.


Schafter ST5
Being electric models, the Schafter and the Sun Joe aren’t meant to be taken into the middle of the wilderness. They need to be within the range of an electric outlet for their motors to run. When shopping for an electric pressure washer, keep an eye out for models with durable wheels, lightweight casings, and long power cords. The Schafter comes with two rear wheels, weighs less than 20 pounds, and a 16-1/2-foot-long power cord.

Sun Joe SPX3000
The Sun Joe weighs about 31 pounds, has two rear wheels, and comes with a 35-foot-long power cord. The extra-long cord gives you a wider movement radius from a power outlet compared to the Schafter, but the Schafter is lighter and easier to lift from place to place.

Conclusion: Of course, the easiest way to solve the problem of the short power cord is by using an outdoor-safe extension cord or cable. That’s one less thing to worry about, so all you need to pay attention to is whether the weight and design of the tool can keep the unit from toppling over when moving around. We’ve found that both models are easy to maneuver and won’t fall at the slightest tug.

Storage Space

Schafter ST5
Storing a pressure washer can be a difficult task. They come with a wide range of accessories that need to be stored properly to prevent loss or damage. Good thing the Schafter comes with enough storage space to hold onto all of the accessories, so they don’t get misplaced. One of the handier features is the onboard hose reel. This makes cleanup super quick and easy to do.

Sun Joe SPX3000
Just like the Schafter, the Sun Joe also has dedicated storage space for the QC tips as well as the spray wand and lance. However, there is no onboard hose reel in this model, making dealing with the 35-foot pressure hose a bit of a chore. But as long as you keep the hose properly coiled and store it in a safe, dry spot, you can get through life without a hose reel.

Conclusion: The only real difference between each of these tool’s dedicated storage space is the onboard reel which, if you’ve ever used a pressure washer before, is a real life and time saver. The pressure hose is perhaps the weakest part of the tool that needs proper attention and storage. If you don’t get the Schafter, be sure you have a plan on how to prevent the Sun Joe’s hose from tangling and tearing.

Water Temperature

Schafter ST5 and Sun Joe SPX3000
Most pressure washers are designed to let cold water flow through the internal components before being shot out of the spray lance, but both of these pressure washers are a bit different. They can pressurize water up to 104° F so you’ll have better cleaning power at lifting greasy stains from your driveways.


After reading this quick guide, you should have come to the conclusion that there are not very many differences between the Schafter ST5 and the Sun Joe SPX3000. So how can we decide which of the two would be the better option to go with? The good thing is that they’re both high-quality electric pressure washers, so performance-wise, you can expect them both to do you a lot of good.

Between the two, we feel that the Schafter ST5 might be the better pressure washer. You can extend its range of movement by using an outdoor-safe extension cord so the 16-foot-long power cord isn’t an issue. But the thing that really makes this tool better than the Sun Joe SPX3000 is its onboard hose reel. It adds nothing to the overall performance of the unit, but it makes cleanup and storage easy and worry-free.

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Last update on 2021-06-15 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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