Sun Joe SPX3500 Review
Pros: No gas, minimal noise, good wheels
Cons: Larger than many electric types, less power than gasoline
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The SunJoe SPX3500 is one of our favorite models, especially as far as electric versions go. This device produces a solid amount of pressure and best of all, it is very quiet. When it comes to transporting this model we found it to be especially easy to cart around thanks to the good grip on its handle and its large plastic wheels.
To kick off our testing process we began by assessing the cleaning power of each model — the amount of the total score that we allotted for this metric is 45%. For the first portion of cleaning, we subjectively scored the washers on their overall feel while spraying fences, sidewalks, gutters, and vehicles. We then moved on to a more objective experiment where we poured a given amount of activated carbon onto a section of clean carpet to see how swiftly and efficiently the pressure washers could remove the substance. The SunJoe did fairly well during all of the aforementioned exercises.
To measure PSI we employed an inline hydraulic pressure meter. The SPX3500 1650 PSI using the 15º and 40º nozzles but dropped to 1600 PSI when the 25º was attached. To measure gallons per minute of flow we filled a water tank with each washer for 60 seconds and then weighed it to calculate gallons. Cleaning Units (CU) is the combination of PSI and GPM — this model showed an impressive 1782 CU during our assessment.
In order to acquire some hard data, we created a wooden testing apparatus that allowed us to measure how high each washer could sustainably suspend a standard bocce ball up a 24-degree embankment. The SunJoe SPX3500 was one of the stronger electric pressure washers for this assessment — it was able to hold the ball 3 feet up the ramp.
For this metric, we broke the score down into size, maneuverability, and weight. For some folks, the difficulty to load or unload the machine into a vehicle will hold more value than the difficulty to move the pressure washer around a given site and vice versa for others. We paid attention to both of these factors. This metric accounts for 30% of the total score.
The SPX3500 finished near the middle of the pack for this metric. It is a bit on the heavy side — we measured this model to be 42.6 pounds. We opted to dock the SunJoe a few points for this attribute considering that it will be much harder to lift in and out of a vehicle or tote up and down a set of stairs.
Regardless of its weight, the SPX3500 is pretty easy to move around once it is on-site thanks to its large wheels. We found it to be a bit of a bumpy ride in rough terrain due impart to this model's rigid plastic wheels, but all in all the SPX3500 has a great balance and is perfect for decks or pavement.
The SunJoe SPX3500 is slender, but it's also fairly wide and is especially tall. We measured this pressure washers dimensions to be 35.5" tall, 16" wide, and 15" thick. Although this machine is definitely smaller than gas-powered models and even more compact than a couple of electric versions we still think it's a bit on the bulkier side.
We dedicated the next 15% fo the total score to noise. To acquire data for this metric we used a sound pressure level meter to read decibels from directly next to each pressure washer and again from 25 feet away. Next, we used a panel of judges to determine if there were any odd or annoying sounds in terms of pitch.
The SunJoe SPX3500 was quite impressive during this experiment. Right next to the device the SPL meter showed 70 decibels, at a distance of 25 feet this noise levels dropped to 65.2 decibels. Our judges didn't find any bothersome sounds emitted by this model, and we love that it only makes noise when the trigger is depressed.
Ease of Use
The final 10% of the overall score is dedicated to how easy each pressure washer is to use. This metric combines subjective and objective observations in regard to hose length, hose storage, power cord length, power cord storage, storage of nozzles, foreseeable maintenance issues, and the usability and volume of the soap tank.
The SPX3500 was awarded a solid score for this metric although we did dock some points for a few tiny details. First of all, the hook on the back of the machine is fairly shallow, so you need to have some good cord-wrapping skills to keep it all bundled up. There's also nothing that secures either the cord or the hose so they tend to flop around during transport-- some models have velcro strap or a bungee in place to deal with this issue. The high-pressure hose on the SunJoe SPX3500 is only 20 feet — it's one of the shortest that we've seen. However, the 35-foot power cord helps to mitigate a bit of the hose's shortness.
A huge advantage of purchasing an electric model rather than a gas-powered washer is the stark difference is routine maintenance. With fossil fuels, you'll be dealing with extra gas cans, checking and changing oil, and cleaning an air filter — with electric pressure washers you don't have to worry about any of these things.
The attachments and accessories for the SPX3500 include four nozzles of varying degrees as well as a large soap dispenser. We love the configuration of the garden house input nozzle on the front of the device as well as the high-pressure output on the back. This arrangement works well to keep the hoses from tangling, and it makes sense to have the high-pressure attachment on the back where it is ready to attach to the wand, the various nozzles, and the large soap dispenser.
The SPX3500 has a comparable price tag to other electric pressure washers with similar specs on paper, but what our tests have shown is that it outperforms the others that are slightly more expensive. If you require the utmost performance out of an electric model we think this machine is worth the cost.
If what you seek is a high-performance pressure washer that doesn't bring extra noise and fumes, we recommend the SunJoe SPX3500. When it comes to brushless electric motor driven washers, this model jets the rest away.
— Ross Patton and Austin Palmer