Finding the Best Garden Sprayer
Everything Gardeners Need to Know About Garden Sprayers
Thinking of using a garden sprayer in your garden? Here is everything you need to know
THE BEST GARDEN sprayers make covering your lawn or garden a breeze.
If you are like me and constantly fighting to get just the right amount of insecticide, fungicide, or fertilizer on your gardens and lawn, you know just how frustrating this can be.
The only real problem is that with so many garden sprayers to choose from, finding the right one can be challenging. It was with this in mind that I set out to find the best of the best so that you could spend more time in your garden and less time wasting your money on sprayers that simply don't perform.
Before You Spend a Dime
I have always found that money is hard to come by. The last thing I wanted to deal with when shopping for a garden sprayer was continually buying junk ones that didn't work and wasting time and money returning them.
There are in fact several different types of sprayers on the market, each of which has its good and bad points. So, before we go over what you should be looking for in the best garden sprayers, let's take a quick look at the different types of sprayers on the market.
How Will Your Sprayer Be Powered?
Gasoline or Battery Power
One of the first things to consider is how your garden sprayer is going pump the spray from the tank to your garden. With these types of sprayer, all the pressure needed comes from either a battery or gasoline powered pump. These highly versatile units can make the job of spraying large areas much easier and typically offer a wide range of accessories, including longer hoses, spray bars, booms, and a variety of nozzles. Many have larger tanks than manual models, but all of this does come at a cost as they can be relatively expensive.
Manual Pump Sprayers
Often referred to as compression sprayers, the tanks of these units contain a manually operated pump that is used to build up pressure inside the tank. The more pressure you build up within the tank, the more chemical you will be able to spray and the longer you will be able to spray it. One thing to keep in mind with this type of sprayer is that the more air you have in the tank, the less chemical and pressure you will get at the nozzle. These sprayers are far more affordable in comparison to electric or gas powered models. They are also significantly lighter and in many cases more maneuverable.
How Will You Transport Your Sprayer?
Moving your sprayer around the garden can be challenging at the best of times. But, how your sprayer will be moved around is a very important consideration. However, you are likely to spend many hours using yours, I know I do.
These sprayers are the simplest on the market and have a place on the tank to connect the hose and another to fill them up with your solution. Most are manually operated and have markings on the side to help you dilute your chemicals more accurately. To use them, simply pump up the pressure and squeeze the trigger on the spray nozzle.
If you have a large yard/garden buying a backpack sprayer might be worth thinking about. They are also good for those who have arthritis and may not be able to use their hands to carry a heavy sprayer. Some of these sprayers use a manual pump while others use some form of powered pump. While you might not be able to get under low spaces with one of these babies strapped on your back, they are perfect for large areas.
These are the easiest sprayers to move around, as long as your yard/garden is relatively smooth. They are ideal for those with back problems that make heavy lifting difficult. All you have to do is roll the sprayer to where you need to spray and get the job done. These sprayers typically have a battery or gas powered spray pump. Bear in mind that due to their size, these units are not as maneuverable and may not be best suited for gardens with a lot of low overhanging branches.
Going Beyond the Type of Sprayer
In order to find the best garden sprayers to meet your needs, there are few more things you need to consider.
No matter what type of sprayer you finally decide to purchase, this may be one of the most important factors you need to think about. A smaller tank may not carry enough to let you complete the job in one pass. Larger tanks will certainly hold more, but at the cost of being much heavier. Tank capacities range from as low as 1 quart all the way up to 12 gallons.
You should never put your sprayer away dirty, this can damage the pump or plug the spray nozzle. The easiest way to do this is to fill the empty tank with soapy water and use it to rinse the tank, hose, and nozzle. However, since it is possible for your sprayer to become clogged, you should look for one that is easy to disassemble for a thorough cleaning.
Take a good look at how adjustable the spray nozzle is. Can you quickly and easily adjust the spray nozzle for the size of spray and flow rate? Some also allow you to use the trigger to adjust the flow rate. Some of the best garden sprayers also have a nozzle that you can adjust to different angles, making it easier to get under bushes and shrubs.
What Is the Sprayer Made Of?
Sprayers are typically made from one of three materials, galvanized steel, stainless steel, or polyethylene (plastic). Plastic sprayers are the most common and the least expensive but at the same time the lack the durability of steel models.
Bear in mind, that while steel tank sprayers are more durable, they are also heavier and more expensive. For most homeowners, those sprayers with plastic tanks are a good choice.
Type of Pump
Finally, you will find there are two different styles of pump used in garden sprayers.
- The diaphragm pump, which is the more durable of the tow and can be used for a wide range of spray formulas.
- The piston style pump offers greater spray pressure and is typically found being used in handheld sprayers.
A Note About Safety
As you can tell from the images, the people operating the sprayers are using masks and tyvek suits to help protect their skin, lungs and face from any pesticides that are in the air. Before you spray it is important to read the label on what you are spraying and take note of the safety advice given to you.
However, it is very unlikely that a garden sprayer (used correctly) will result in any safety concern
My Pick for the 7 Best Garden Sprayers
Now that you have at least some idea of what you should be looking for in a garden sprayer, it's time to take a look at my pick for the 7 best garden sprayers I could find.
Hudson 13854 Never Pump Bak-Pak 4 Gallon Battery Operated Sprayer
Up to 10 hours of spraying fun on a single charge
For those of you looking for a battery powered pump, this is a great choice. You can spray for up to 10 hours on a single charge. The 4-gallon poly tank is lightweight and features a 4-inch opening that makes filling it up quick and easy.
It also has a screen to help filter the garbage out. The 20-inch long wand is attached to full 72 inches of non-kinking hose. The tank is also translucent to help you keep a close eye on how much spray you have left. Nozzle pressure is 60 psi from start to finish.
Battery powered lasts for 10 hours
Pump is difficult to clean
Translucent tank lets you see how much you have
Batteries have a limited lifespan
Continuous 60 psi.
Whole unit is a bit heavy
Chapin 20000 Poly Lawn and Garden Sprayer
Lightweight and simple to use
If you are on the other hand looking for a simple garden sprayer that is more than capable of getting the job done, this one might be just what you are looking for.
The one-gallon translucent tank holds just enough to get the job done without being too heavy for you to carry around. It comes with 28 inches of reinforced hose and a 12-inch wand. The ergonomic handle makes carrying and pumping up the pressure comfortable and easy.
Twist lock carrying handle makes extra work
Simple to use manual pressure pump
Seal leaks air if not properly seated
SureSpray® Anti-clog filter
Brass parts contain lead
Smith Performance Sprayers 1 Gallon Stainless Steel Sprayer
Old-fashioned looks great modern quality
Have you ever seen one of those old-fashioned copper sprayers? Chances are good that if your grandparents owned a garden, they probably had one. This little beauty is made for home use, but strong enough for professionals to use. It features a 1-gallon stainless steel tank with integrated hose and wand storage. This sprayer comes with 50 inches of chemically resistant hose and a 4-way jet nozzle. Equipped with a brass spray nozzle and Viton seals for maximum durability.
Tank is made from ANSI-304 grade stainless steel
Spray trigger is slow to release
No-drip valve stainless steel wand
Could use a longer wand comes with an 18-inch wand
Viton seals and gaskets
Plastic threads on hose difficult to screw into tank
Field King 4 Gallon Professional No-Leak Backpack Sprayer
Extra-capacity for those with larger lawns or gardens
This garden sprayer is ideal for anyone who has a larger yard or garden. It features a leak-proof translucent four-gallon tank with a built-in pump that ensures you never have to worry about chemicals dripping down your back. The backpack straps are padded for comfort.
Comes with a 50-inch hose, a 21-inch poly wand along with 3 different nozzles (foaming, flat fan, and brass adjustable). The frame is made from steel and powder-coated for added durability. All seals are Viton for added durability.
Well-sealed to prevent leakage
When full this sprayer weighs over 30 lbs.
Padded frame and straps for superior comfort
Large capacity means lots of frequent pumping
Easy to use pump and spray wand
Foaming head does not work well
RL Flo-Master 1.3 Gallon Battery Powered Sprayer
Easy fill + battery power = a great combination
If you hate having to manually pump your sprayer, this might be a good choice for you. It is powered by 4 D size batteries (you get one set with the pump) that will allow you to completely empty the tank up to 14 times.
It comes with a telescoping wand that extends from 16 inches all the way out to 35 inches and a nozzle that can be adjusted from a full stream all the way down to a fine spray. The pump can be switched into reverse so that you can empty the hose back into the tank. Comes with a shoulder strap.
Easy fill tank
Low power spray
Uses non-rechargeable batteries
Comes with a set of D-cell batteries
Not for larger gardens or lawns
Master Gardener Rechargeable Cart Sprayer
Roll this sprayer anywhere you need to go
When you don't want to carry your sprayer around and have a large garden, this fully portable and has a 9-gallon chemical resistant tank. It rolls around on a pair of 12-inch wheels, you can push it easily by hand or hitch it up to the back of a tractor/ATV/UTV using the included hitch. You can use the wand for spot treatment or the broadcast spray nozzle built right into the tank for larger areas.
The powerful pump uses rechargeable batteries and can spray up to 18 feet horizontally or 15 feet vertically. Maximum spray width for the tank mounted spray nozzle is 50 inches. The rechargeable 12-volt battery pack will last for up to 2 hours on a single charge. You can compare it for yourself here
Large wheels make it easy to move even when full
Hose is very stiff
Easy to assemble
Battery pack could last longer
Long/wide spray ranges
Wand is poor quality
Solo 451 3-Gallon 66.5 cc 2-Stroke Gas Powered Backpack Mist Blower
Pure power perfect for large lawns and gardens
With its 66.5 cc gasoline engine, this garden sprayer is perfect for applying chemicals in places such as orchards, vineyards, and large gardens. It can be used to apply pest/parasite control chemicals, weed killers, fertilizers, and more. The gasoline engine provides 824 cfm of air and is designed to work in virtually any climate.
The backpack frame and straps are well-padded for added comfort during long use times. Reduced noise levels and fuel consumption make this a great choice for homeowners and contractors alike.
High airflow means long range spray
Weight poorly balanced when tank is full
Great for large area work
Only a mister not a sprayer
Easy to assemble
Plastic hose clamp breaks, however, easy to replace
Good to the Last Drip
No matter what type of garden sprayer you decide to buy, it has to get the job done right and most importantly of all not leak. After spending countless hours looking at the different brands and models on the market, these are what I consider to be among the best garden sprayers I could find. I hope the information I have provided helps you find the one you need. For me, the Field King 4-gallon unit works perfectly to keep pests and weeds under control.
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