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Best Pressure Washer Under $400


Finding Affordable Pressure Washers

Over time, any surface, be it your sidewalk, building, roof, etc., can become dirty and dull. Exterior cleaning is mandatory to ensure that all the surfaces are clean and gleaming. Pressure washers are an excellent way to ensure your surfaces are clean of dirt, grime, mold, oil, mud, or almost anything else that may dirty up your belongings. The high-pressure spray employed by pressure washers are perfect to clean a variety of surfaces including buildings, homes, concrete, and vehicles.

The term power washing is sometimes used in place of pressure washing. A pressure washer is essentially a tool which consists of two to four high-pressure jets. These jets are attached to a rotating bar which rotates when water flows through it. These jets help in cleaning up the surface in a uniform, thorough, and swift manner.

Pressure washers are commonly used by both homeowners as well as businesses to clean areas such as roofs, decks, patios, driveways, gutters, parking lots, sidewalks, cladding, and siding. Some are even powerful enough to remove mildew from hard to clean areas like concrete driveways or wooden patio decks. They usually either use an electronic motor or a gas engine to power its pump, which in turn amplifies the pressure of the water. A nozzle is also affixed, through which the high-pressure water flows to remove all the dirt and dust. The pressure (higher or lower) and the ideal nozzle to be used depends upon the area to be cleaned. There are a number of pressure washer manufacturers throughout the world. Some of the most popular brands of power washers are Karcher, Hinda, Troy-Bilt, Generac, Simpson, and Ryobi. Finding the right washer to fit your needs can sometimes be hard with all the choices and price ranges. Read below to find which one we picked for the best pressure washer under $400.

Pressure Washer Comparison Table

MSH3125 Gas Pressure Washer

Schafter ST5


Sun Joe SPX3000

HonorsBest in ClassBest Value
The GoodPowerful motor, easy to use, 10 inch rubber wheels for improved mobility, high quality, 25-foot hose, quick-connect nozzles, large gas tankPowerful motor, high GPM, Total Stop System, quick-change nozzles, portability, easy installationCost effective, lightweight, intuitive design, good customer supportWell-designed wand and grip, easy to use accessories, quiet, energy saver
The BadNoisy, heavy, upper end of price rangeNot as powerful as a gas-powered, no holder for nozzlesAwkward button and water supply connection placementAssembly can be difficult, low-quality nozzle piece connector
OverallA powerful pressure washer that allows for heavy-duty cleaning. An affordable and high-performing piece of equipment that can be used at home or for small business jobs.Provides very good performance for a budget price. Gives the best bang for the buck of all washers reviewed.Good for those looking to save a buck. Not strong enough for some jobs, but will get most jobs done.A solid product for minor cleaning tasks around the house. Very versatile and forgiving for newcomers with the exception of the initial assembly.
Our Rating8.
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The Reviews

Best Choice


By: Simpson

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  • 3200 PSI/2.5 GPM
  • Welded steel construction frame
  • 5 quick connect nozzles
  • Honda GC190 engine
  • 10" pneumatic rubber tires
  • 25' hose
  • 2 year engine warranty
  • 1 year pump warranty
  • 5 year frame warranty

MSH3125 Gas Powered Pressure Washer

The MSH3125 power washer provides ample power, excellent mobility, and quality construction to allow you to do even the tough jobs for an affordable price. Gas powered pressure washers have a natural advantage over their electric cousins due to the additional power and water pressure the engines can provide. The Simpson MSH3125 puts out a maximum of 3200 PSI with a 2.5 GPM (gallons per minute) water flow. This is a considerable upgrade compared to electric washers. The additional power allows for versatile cleaning, be it home or small business jobs. Additionally, the Simpson uses 10″ rubber pneumatic wheels as opposed to the more common plastic wheels on electric pressure washers. The large rubber wheels allow the user to easily move over a variety of terrains without getting stuck or requiring you to pick it up and move it. Finally, liberal amount of steel construction and quality fittings are in place to ensure the MSH3125 lasts for a very long time.

With great power comes great respons…er…noise. A common drawback of gas-powered pressure washers is that they are louder than the electric versions. Furthermore, the steel construction and lack of plastic lends to the equipment being heavy and difficult to move if you are not rolling it. As the wheels provide excellent maneuverability, this shouldn’t be a problem, for the most part. As we are reviewing product that are under $400, the MSH just makes the cut in being under that threshold. The cost is easily acceptable considering the versatility and quality construction of this unit.

The Simpson MSH 3125 Megashot is the cream of the crop for power washers under $400. It provides all the benefits of powerful gas-powered pressure washers without costing you an arm and a leg. You can easily clean your home’s siding, driveway, patio, porches, or almost anything else around the house. Furthermore, if you intend to use it commercially, it is a capable machine, although bigger jobs may require a little more “oomph”.

  • Powerful motor
  • Rubber wheels
  • High quality construction
  • Long pressure hose
  • Various nozzles
  • Large gas tank
  • More noise than electric washers
  • Heavy and difficult to move without rolling
  • Upper end of price range
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By: Schafter

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  • 3000 PSI / 1.76 GPM
  • 1800W motor
  • Total Stop System (TSS)
  • Quick connector system
  • 5 nozzles
  • 16 ft power cord

Schafter ST5 Electric Pressure Washer

The Schafter ST5 is a budget-friendly electric pressure washer that puts out a powerful hi-pressure water stream while offering numerous convenience features. If you are looking for a pressure washer that works well around the house, but doesn’t break the bank, the Schafter power washer could be just what you need. While not as powerful as the gas-powered variety, it can reach up to 3000 PSI maximum pressure and 1.76 GPM to ensure you can clean almost anything you need. Additionally, the Total Stop System (TSS) is great at conserving electricity as it automatically turns off the washer when the trigger is not depressed. A variety of nozzles allows you to clean a variety of surfaces.

The ST5 does have a few drawbacks, especially if you need something a little more powerful. Keeping in mind this is a budget-model pressure washer, it will not be able to do everything a higher grade washer can do. It is great for small jobs such as cleaning a driveway or patio, but if you need to direct a high pressure stream at the second story of a home, you may find power is lacking for deep cleaning. Furthermore, the ST5 offers a wide range of nozzles, but does provide a designated area in which to store all those nozzles. While this isn’t a big problem with a little preparation, it would be nice to have the nozzles handy on the machine while cleaning.

Overall, the Schafter ST5 is a good indication of what electric pressure washers can do. While they have their drawbacks, they are a great alternative for homeowners who don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a gas-powered pressure washer. The ST5 provides solid workmanship, powerful cleaning for small tasks, and gives you a very good and affordable option to ensure your home, car, or driveway are always in top shape.

  • Powerful motor
  • High GPM
  • TSS to conserve electricity
  • Quick change nozzles
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to set up
  • Not as powerful as a gas model
  • Missing a nozzle holder
Full Review


By: Annovi Reverberi

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  • 1500 PSI / 1.5 GPM
  • 2 wands
  • 35 ft power cord
  • 20 ft. pressure hose
  • 14 oz detergent bottle
  • Quick connect garden hose adapter
  • 1 year warranty

AR Blue Clean AR383 Electric Pressure Washer

This electric pressure washer is lightweight, efficient, and extremely affordable. The AR Blue Clean AR383 is one of the most budget-friendly power washers you will find. It does a good job at small jobs such as cleaning vehicles, patios, or driveways. The lightweight nature of the machine (about the size of a vacuum) allows for good mobility and ease of movement to awkward areas. Moreover, efficiency is important to AR (Annovi Reverberi), as they claim the AR383 conserves up to 80% water while putting out 40% more power compared to similar models. Another great aspect of electric washers in general, is that they are whisper-quiet, unlike the gas models. This is a great thing in keeping your neighbors happy!

Although the AR383 is affordable, that often comes with a cost. The AR383 may not be able to do everything you need for it to clean. Especially if you have a tall home with unreachable siding. While the stream is easily able to shoot a pressured stream, you may find it difficult to properly clean objects from distance. Furthermore, the AR383 should do some user testing for their power button and water supply connection placement. Both are located in odd locations on the machine which leads to quite a bit of stooping and bending throughout use. Finally, the plastic wheels seem to have trouble rotating at times. Fortunately, as this machine is lightweight, it is a fairly simple task to just pick it up and move it when this happens.

The AR Blue Clean AR383 is a good machine for small jobs around the home, but it does have some problems potential buyers should take into account. If you are just looking for something for small jobs such as cleaning mud, dirt, and road grime off of your vehicle without needing to go to the car wash, this is the tool for you! It is affordable and is powerful enough to give your vehicle, driveway, or patio a very thorough cleaning. If, on the other hand, you need enough power to handle much more difficult jobs, you may want to look at a more powerful model.

  • Extremely affordable
  • Lightweight
  • Intuitive design
  • Excellent customer support
  • Awkward power button placement
  • Awkward water supply connection placement
  • Poor wheel movement
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Best Value


By: Sun Joe

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  • 2030 PSI / 1.76 GPM
  • 5 quick connect spray tips
  • TSS (Total Stop System)
  • Dual detergent tanks
  • 34 inch extension wand
  • 35 ft power cord
  • 20 ft pressure hose
  • 1800W motor

Sun Joe SPX3000 Electric Pressure Washer

This Sun Joe pressure washer has a number of benefits such as being on the lower end of pricing, powerful stream for an electric washer, and a wealth of convenient accessories. Putting out a maximum of 2030 PSI and 1.76 GPM, the Sun Joe SPX3000 gives the user quite a bit of power to clean even those tough stains. Be aware though, that you must be about 4-5 feet from the target area to get maximum cleaning power. This means that it will do a good job for first story home, but getting a second story cleaned deeply could cause issues. This pressure washer also has a number of features and accessories to help with your cleaning. Various nozzles, two detergent tanks, and a long pressure hose are just a few of the features that will make your job much easier as you clean. Ease of use, comfortable grip, and quiet operation make this a perfect model for newcomers to pressure washing.

One of the first problems you will notice about the Sun Joe SPX3000 is that it can be difficult to assemble, if you have never worked with power washers before. Instructions are provided, but they can be difficult to follow as they obviously expect at least some prior working knowledge. Another problem that is commonly reported is the fact that the nozzle piece connecting the body of the washer and the hose is made of low-quality plastic. While the rest of the machine seems fairly durable, this piece is cheap and easily replaceable, which could be a necessity if leaking occurs. Many report that they keep backups of this part, just in case it needs to be replaced and time is essential.

The Sun Joe SPX3000 is a well-respected pressure washer by its buyers. The included Total Stop System is excellent at conserving electricity and keeping your electricity bill down. Furthermore, the comfort and ease of use make this one of the better pressure washers for those who have never used one before. While it may not have the power for extremely tough jobs, it does a good job in a variety of situations.


  • Energy savings
  • Comfortable wand and grip
  • Easy to use
  • Quiet operation
  • Solid and durable construction
  • Difficult to assemble
  • Low-quality nozzle connector
Full Review

Pressure Washer Buying Guide

Washing car with soapThe weight and dimensions of any particular pressure washer often depend upon the pump and the motor. If the pump and motor are quite heavy, then you would expect that the body of the washer is also heavy, big, and strong. The body is one of the most important aspects as a power washer with a lighter and smaller body can be easily knocked over when you use the hose. The bigger and heavier the machine is, the sturdier and more stable it will be.

The body of the power washer contains integral components for the operation of the equipment. The power on/off switches and the fittings used to connect the hosepipe and washer hose are two such components. Ideally, a pressure washer using push-fit connections is preferred, as it will be easier and quicker to attach all the accessories, of which there could be quite a few. To manage the various accessories common to pressure washers, plastic moldings are often in place where the accessories can be safely tucked in when they are not in use.

The cleaning power of a pressure washer is measured in PSI and gallons per minute (GPM) rating. The PSI is used to measure the pressure of the water which flows through the pressure washer and helps to determine the power of the water stream. The GPM is used to measure the water’s volume which flows through the pressure washer. It is used to determine how quickly and effectively the pressure washer will clean the surface.

Pressure washers are available with different PSI and you should choose the one that suits your need perfectly. You can choose from:

Did You Know?

If you notice that a pressure washer has the PWMA logo, then it indicates that the respective pressure washer has been certified by the Pressure Washer Manufacturers’ Association. The PWMA is a non-profit trade association of manufacturers of pressure washers. The association develops standards for the manufacture of pressure washers and strive to educate the public about the best way to use power washers. Being a certified member of the PWMA indicates that a third-party testing program has been used to validate the manufacturer’s claims of their pressure washer’s performance.


Pressure washers usually come with one lance and one nozzle. Every washer comes with a trigger and handle for the water to flow through the nozzle once the trigger has been squeezed. A lance is basically a long plastic tube which connects the trigger and handle to the nozzle. There are some expensive pressure washers which come with multiple lances and nozzles. These expensive models provide varying power and jet spray shapes such as:

Some pressure washers are available only as standalone units and without any additional accessories while others are available with several useful accessories. A few of the common accessories that are usually available include:

Buyer Impressions

Simpson MSH3125 Megashot
Family Handyman | 5 stars

Family Handyman purchased this unit and says that it is the best pressure washer in this price range. The brass fittings for the hose fittings are much more durable than the plastic fittings that are common on many other brands. This allows Family Handyman to use the MSH3125 for his business as they do not strip like the plastic fittings. Moreover, Family Handyman recommends the Honda motor and Simpson pump as being well worth the money.

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Schafter ST5
Caleb Henry | 5 stars

Caleb is impressed with the perfect water pressure the Schafter puts out. He states that it is not too much pressure, but it’s perfect for washing his vehicle’s grime without stripping paint.

Amazon Customer | 4 stars

This customer compared the Schafter ST5 to other power washers they rented with 4000 PSI for approximately the same price this one costs to buy. The jobs they do are comparable and the hose reel on the Schafter is a nice feature. One problem experienced was that the customer noticed there wasn’t a ground-fault circuit interrupter on the machine. As most outlets have these in place, the customer assumes that is why one isn’t included.

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AR Blue Clean AR383
Bryan W | 3 stars

Bryan liked that this unit is lightweight and portable. The various attachments allow him to accomplish a variety of jobs around the home. He especially likes the adjustable tip on the wide-angled wand. Bryan often uses the AR383 to clean his driveways, decks, grills, and mower. Bryan was unimpressed with the leaking from the hose adapter. He corrected this by buying a brass male-to-male hose adapter and the problem was solved. He also disliked the hose reel as it gave him problems with tangling and trying to bend the hose into place.

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Sun Joe SPX3000
Tim S | 5 stars

Tim loves his Sun Joe SPX3000. He says that, power-wise, it competes with his gas-powered washer, rated at 2200 PSI. He enjoys that it is lightweight and whisper-quiet as he cleans. He suggests to get the multi-angle rotary attachment to get jobs done much faster using the 0 degree stream.

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Green water hose on the side of a houseQuick Tip

The pressure washer nozzles are usually color-coded, and they indicate the spray pattern’s narrowness and forcefulness. For example, a white nozzle means the pressure is 40 degrees, green indicates 25 degrees, yellow indicates 15 degrees while red is 0 degrees. A black nozzle is usually a low-pressure nozzle which is used for dispensing soap.

Commonly Asked Questions

Is the PSI more important or the GPM?

Both PSI and GPM are equally important when it comes to buying a pressure washer. Multiply the PSI and the GPM together to arrive at a standard measurement for all pressure washers.

Is it okay to use bleach or hot water in a pressure washer?

No, both bleach and hot water should be avoided as both can cause damage to your machine.

In a gas engine powered pressure washer, when should the gasoline be drained?

Always ensure that you remember to remove the gasoline if you are storing the pressure washer in your basement or transporting it in a vehicle.

Where should the pressure washer be stored?

Always store the pressure washer in a dry, clean and well-ventilated area. Ensure there are no open flames, sparks, or any kind of combustible materials around it. If you are placing it in an unheated garage, ensure that you winterize it before the first frost.

Picking the Best Pressure Washers for Under $400

Depending on your needs, there is a pressure washer for you! Finding the best pressure washer under $400 may be a tough task due to all those choices. After reviewing four of the more popular power washers, we have selected the Simpson MSH3125 Gas Pressure Washer as the best of the bunch. As it is a gas-powered washer (and an economical one at that!), it can project a powerful stream that can be used for business or home purposes. The big rubber wheels and long hose make it a cinch to use in a variety of places. If you are looking to get the best value out of your purchase, look no further than the Sun Joe SPX 3000. While it doesn’t have the same power as the Simpson, it is capable of a strong stream of pressurized water that can clean a variety of surfaces. Furthermore, the lightweight nature of the ST5 makes exceedingly portable and easy to use. You can’t go wrong with either one, but if you have the money, go with the Simpson and use it for years to come.