Sun Joe® Cordless Go-Anywhere Portable Pressure Washer (SPX6001C): Product Review
Cordless, portable (no garden hose required!), adjustable PSI, good performance, great warranty. A good option for light-duty power cleaning.
Available on Amazon
This review is of the new Cordless Go-Anywhere Portable Pressure Washer (model SPX6001C) from Sun Joe® (part of the Snow Joe® company), a battery-powered pressure washer that incorporates a water bucket so you don’t need to hook it up to a spigot. Here’s what we discovered.
- Battery Voltage: 40 Volts DC (Direct Current)
- Battery Capacity: 4.0Ah (Amp hours)
- Charge Time Max: Approximately 3 hours
- Battery Run Time Max: Approximately 21 minutes
- Motor: 600 Watt (brushless)
- Weight (unit + battery): 22.7 lbs.
- Water Source: Removable bucket or garden hose
- Removable Bucket Capacity: 5.3 gallons
- High-Pressure Hose Length: 20.3 feet
- Soap Dispenser Attachment Capacity: 8.5 fluid ounces
- Max. Rated Flow: 0.79 GPM (Gallons Per Minute)
- Pressure Selections:
- Low – 500 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch)
- Medium – 650 PSI
- High – 800 PSI
- Max Pressure: 1160 PSI (This is the maximum pressure the pump is rated for but not the usable pressure (the unit tops out at 800 PSI). Manufacturers de-tune the max pressures so as not to burn out the pump prematurely).
With a maximum usable pressure of 800 PSI and a low flow rate (0.79 GPM), this unit would more accurately be called a power cleaner, rather than a pressure washer. The specs are comparable to other battery-powered washers (such as the WORX Hydroshot), but don’t expect it to have the same performance as you’d get from an electric (corded) pressure washer. The PSI on consumer grade corded (and gas) units typically ranges from 1400 to 2200 PSI, while flow rate is closer to 2 GPM.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at the Sun Joe® Cordless Go-Anywhere Portable Pressure Washer.
The unit is packaged in a strong, well-made cardboard box. Graphics surround the outside of the box (except the bottom) making it very clear what’s inside it. The unit was shipped to me in its normal packaging and came through without a scratch.
The physical parts of the pressure washer are expertly packaged using cardboard spacers and sheets to isolate any movement. This provides additional separation of individual parts, thereby preventing damage in what can be a rough and rugged shipping process.
Before I attempted assembly, I laid all the parts out and made sure everything was included. They were.
ASSEMBLING THE SUN JOE PORTABLE PRESSURE WASHER
Assembly is straightforward thanks to a very well written (and diagrammed) Operator’s Manual. As a side note, it’s worth reading the entire manual. It’s not just a legal treatise but provides a wealth of information about what (and what not) to do, Lithium-Ion battery technology, practical safety measures, maintenance, trouble shooting, and of course complete assembly instructions.
Basically, all I had to do was attach the trigger gun holder to the water bucket, attach the high-pressure hose to the base unit and spray gun, and assemble the trigger gun. I didn’t bother attaching the water bucket with the bucket buckles when I first set up the unit (as the manual suggested) as I’d have had to take it right off again to fill it with H2O.
Adding the battery was a piece of cake. All I had to do was open the battery cover in the base unit and slide the battery into the battery compartment as far as it would go. To remove the battery, I just depressed the push lock button and the battery slid out without a hitch.
40 VOLT LITHIUM-ION BATTERY & Charger
The heart of the pressure washer is the 40 Volt (4.0 Ah) Li-Ion battery. This makes the unit truly a “go anywhere” power washer (well, as long as it’s used with the removable 5.3-gallon water bucket).
The kit comes with one 40 Volt Li-Ion battery and a battery charger. Just plug the charger into any 120 Volt electrical outlet and insert the battery by pushing it from the back end of the charger to the front end (where the charging indicator lights are located). The battery is on a rail system. It’s virtually impossible to install it incorrectly.
The charger is equipped with two LED lights at the front of the unit. When the red and green lights are illuminated simultaneously, it means that the battery is charging. When both lights turn green then the battery is fully charged.
The Operator’s Manual says that it takes a maximum of 3 hours to fully charge a battery. When I received the brand new battery and installed it into the charger, it only took 2 hours to fully charge. I attribute this to the battery being partly charged when coming from the factory.
The battery itself is also equipped with three LED lights that show how much power it has remaining.
The Operator’s Manual is clear that it’s important not to let the battery discharge to zero as it can affect the battery’s ability to recharge. See our article on Lithium-Ion Batteries FAQs for details on why that’s the case. Sun Joe recommends that the battery be recharged when only one of the three LED lights on the battery is illuminated.
DIFFERENT QUICK-CONNECT NOZZLES & SOAP DISPENSER
The Model SPX6001C pressure washer comes with four Quick-Connect nozzles:
- 00 (orange) – Be careful with this nozzle! It’s extremely narrow, powerful and can quickly cut through softer surfaces. It’s best used to get into crevices and to cut through heavy dirt deposits, or stubborn stains like tar or grease. Don’t use it on soft material. It’ll also clean hard-to-reach areas, such as the second story of a building or undersides of lawn mowers and tractors.
- 150 (yellow) – This nozzle is good for intense cleaning jobs on hard surfaces. Applications include stripping peeling paint (it won’t remove paint that’s not already loose), removing oil stains, grease, and mildew.
- 250 (green) – Use this as a general-purpose nozzle for tasks like cleaning home siding, brick patios, wood decks, driveways or sidewalks.
- 400 (gray) – This is the widest spray angle and least powerful. Use it to clean more “delicate” items, such as cars, trucks, boats, patio furniture or lawn equipment.
Also included in the kit is an 8.5 oz. soap dispenser. Unlike most pressure washers, the dispenser on the Sun Joe model attaches directly to the spray gun (replacing the spray wand) instead of being attached to the base unit.
While the soap dispenser isn’t heavy (it’s only about ½ lb when full), it’s a bit of a nuisance to use. Because you cannot let soap dry on whatever you’re washing, you have to keep switching between spraying soap (from the dispenser) and spraying water (using the spray wand). Each time you switch, you need to unclip the spray wand and then clip on the soap dispenser, or vice versa – over and over again. I prefer having the soap tank on the base unit – that way, you just need to change out the nozzles to switch from “soap mode” to pressure washing.
At only 8.5 fluid oz., the spray gun soap tank is a little on the small side. I had to reload it when washing a small SUV. For a larger vehicle or boat, you’d probably have to refill it several times.
As with all pressure washers, ONLY use a detergent that’s made specifically for pressure washers. Sun Joe® offers its own brands of detergent – a House + Deck Wash (SPX-HDC1G), Snow Foam Auto Wash (SPX-FCS1G) or a Heavy Duty Cleaner (SPX-APC1G). There are other pressure washer cleaning agents on the market that will also do the trick.
UNIQUE DESIGN COMES IN HANDY
No Garden Hose Required
The most obvious benefit of the Sun Joe portable pressure washer is that it’s totally cordless (or “tetherless”), making it easy to use virtually anywhere, even if there isn’t a water spigot nearby. Let’s say you have a boat that needs to be cleaned but you don’t want to take it out of the water. Just fill the bucket with lake water, slip a battery into the base unit, and hose off all the dirt.
Be careful with the water you put in the bucket though. Although there’s a filter between the bucket and the pump that should screen out most debris, it won’t stop silt or fine sand from going through and clogging up the machine. Use clean water and never use salt water as it will corrode the motor and any other metal parts.
I loved that I didn’t have to drag around a garden hose as I positioned the unit near my work area. To me, fighting with a garden hose that kinks, gets stuck, or crushes my plants as I try to get the power washer in place is always one of the most frustrating things about using a pressure washer.
Garden Hose Adaptor
The Sun Joe portable pressure washer also comes with a garden hose adapter if you want an endless supply of water. In general, smaller cleaning tasks (which is what this machine is best for) don’t usually need that much water, but it’s nice to have the option.
The other consideration with the bucket is weight. Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon. With the bucket’s capacity of 5.3 gallons, you’re carrying just over 44 pounds of water. I’m a pretty big guy and had no problems with this, but a person of lesser strength might struggle.
That’s why I like the garden hose adaptor. As long as the garden hose is long enough to reach the base unit, you have the option of lugging water – or not.
Also unique is that the Sun Joe® SPX6001C has a control panel on the base unit (something I haven’t seen on other pressure washers I’ve tested) with a power ON/OFF button and three pressure selection options (Low (500 PSI), Medium (650 PSI), and High (800 PSI)). By pressing the plus and minus buttons on the control panel, I was able to select the appropriate PSI for the job. I found that each setting had its cleaning “sweet spot” so I could choose a nozzle and PSI combination that worked best for each job.
FIRING IT UP
There is a specific protocol for starting up the pressure washer. It’s a combination of both safety and operational procedures. Without going into a long-winded description, just read the Operator’s Manual to make sure you get it right.
Basically, it’s a straightforward process of installing the 40 Volt Li-Ion Battery into the base unit, filling the water bucket, pulling the trigger on the gun handle for a few seconds to purge air from the pump and high pressure line, and then turning on the pressure washer at the ON/OFF control panel.
Attaching a Nozzle
To attach a nozzle, first turn OFF the unit at the control panel, remove the bucket of water or shut off the water supply, pull the trigger (to release any built up pressure in the pump/high pressure hose), and activate the gun’s handle lock.
Then you can install a pressure nozzle into the Quick-Connect collar. When it “clicks” you’ll know that it’s properly connected.
Next, perform all the startup operations above and the pressure washer is ready to go.
TOTAL STOP SYSTEM (TSS)
The Sun Joe® Cordless Go-Anywhere Portable Pressure Washer (Model SPX6001C) touts its “special technology” called the Total Stop System (TSS). Basically, it’s a piece of electronics that shuts off the high-pressure pump when the trigger of the gun is released. This prevents the pump from overheating and prolongs its life.
I’m not sure if this design is a unique engineering advantage or just a name used for marketing. All other electric pressure washers I’ve tested stop when the trigger handle is released (including the motor). Whether the TSS does something in addition to other competitive electric pressure washer pumps, I’m not sure. But if it does and prolongs the life of the pump, I’m all for it.
Sun Joe claims that the battery will last a maximum of 21 minutes before needing a recharge. The bucket holds 5.3 gallons of water and pumps at a max flow rate of 0.79 gallons/minute. That means that it takes 6.7 minutes to empty a bucket while the unit is running continuously and you should be able to empty 3 buckets on one charge.
In my testing, I found Sun Joe’s estimated run time to be pretty accurate.
For example, I ran the portable pressure washer almost continuously when washing a car at the high pressure setting (800 PSI) using a 400 nozzle (the recommend nozzle for car washing). At that power setting and flow rate I was able to run three full buckets of water through the machine without running out of power. The battery ran for over 35 minutes and still had one LED of power left in it (although this is the recommended time to start recharging it).
HOW WELL DID IT PERFORM?
The Model SPX6001C portable pressure washer performed very well for a cordless unit. Again, this isn’t a full-powered pressure washer, but more of a power cleaner. You simply aren’t going to get the large volume of water at the same pressure as you would with a corded machine.
I ran it through its paces using different nozzles at different pressures. The ability to control PSI gives a lot of flexibility to find just the right nozzle and pressure combination to tackle a wide range of jobs.
In a nutshell, here’s what I found:
- It’s an excellent choice for things like washing patio furniture, cleaning a mud-covered mountain bike, washing windows, removing cobwebs under rafters, and getting baked-on residue off the grill
- The 10 nozzle will reach as far as the second story of a house, but the water stream is more dispersed at that distance
- It does a nice job of cleaning a concrete walkway, although it may not remove oil stains or fully get rid off all evidence of mold
- Because of the limited run time, it’s fine for cleaning a smaller patio or deck, but you’d run out of power on a larger space or trying to clean siding on a house
- With the low flow rate (0.79 GPM), it won’t strip paint or take rust off steel (things that a higher-powered machine can do with a 10 nozzle)
I also tried the base unit hooked up to a garden hose. The unit performed flawlessly.
And finally, I tested its maneuverability with the caster wheels on the front of the base unit. The pressure washer backed into tight spaces without having me lift it into place, and it towed behind me without a problem. I have a sloped driveway and found the unit tended to roll on its own. Bring a rock, stick or whatever to chock either one of the rolling casters or one of the fixed wheels.
Flimsy Trigger Gun Holder
There was one item that I found troublesome – the trigger gun holder on the side of the water bucket. It had a tendency to pull out of the slots molded into the side of the water bucket when removing the spray gun. Overall, it’s rather flimsy and disconnects easily even under the best circumstances. Be prepared to fiddle around with this piece or leave it off until it’s time to store the unit.
The Operator’s Manual is loaded with a plethora of safety advice and warnings. Some of the more notable are:
- Don’t subject the pressure washer to wet conditions (I guess that means don’t hose it down while it’s running or use it in the rain).
- Keep bystanders at least 49 feet away from the high the pressure spray (49? Why not 48? Or 50?).
- Wear gloves.
- Wear hearing and eye protection. I always recommend Wiley-X glasses. Depending on what you’re power washing, it’s pretty likely that you’ll get debris flying back at you.
- Wear non-slip footwear (I’d add that they should be close-toed – you don’t want to accidentally take off your toenails while wearing flip-flops).
- Read the owner’s manual (I’ll second that!).
According to the company, “Snow Joe® + Sun Joe® warrants to the owner that if this Machine fails within 2 years from the date of purchase due to a defect in material or workmanship or as the result of normal wear and tear from ordinary use, Snow Joe® + Sun Joe® will send a replacement part or product, as needed, free of charge and with free shipping to the original purchaser.”
“If, in Snow Joe® + Sun Joe®‘s sole discretion, the failed Machine cannot be repaired with a part, Snow Joe® + Sun Joe® will elect to either (A) send a new Machine at no charge and with free shipping or (B) refund the full purchase price to the owner.”
What a great concept – a completely self-contained, battery-powered pressure washer that doesn’t need a nearby spigot, hose or electrical outlet. What’s not to like about that?
For a 40V power washer, the run time is excellent, averaging over 21 minutes even on high power. That gives you enough time to put at least three 5.3-gallon buckets of water through the unit. It has all the industry-standard spray nozzles and a soap dispenser attachment, and it has the flexibility to be run off a garden hose if you want an unlimited water supply. With the ability to control PSI on the base unit, you can find the perfect nozzle and PSI combination to tackle any job. The wheels make the unit easy to move (no need to lift it) – just grab the handle and pull it along behind you. And, with the exception of the trigger gun holder, the machine feels solid.
Just be aware that this isn’t in the same class as a corded, electric pressure washer. It provides a lot of flexibility, but that comes at the cost of power, run time and a higher price. Still, for jobs that don’t require the PSI rating or flow rate of a mid to large size pressure washer, this portable unit gets the job done.
WHERE TO BUY
The Sun Joe® Cordless Go-Anywhere Portable Pressure Washer (Model SPX6001C) is available on Amazon. It’s also available directly from the Sun Joe® website where it currently sells for $279.00 + free shipping. You can check out the full line of Sun Joe electric and cordless pressure washers on the Sun Joe website.
Last update on 2019-04-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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