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5 Best Garden Sprayers (Electric or Manual Pump) – Reviews & Buying Guide

I always found it hard to get a good level of saturation when I’m applying products to my flower garden. Recently, But a high quality garden sprayer can make all the difference in the world when gardening and keeping a garden pest and weed-free. As many gardeners have had similar issues, let’s take a look at some of the best garden sprayers that’ll keep your flowers beautiful and make your fruits and veggies scrumptious.

In a Glance:

Image

Product Name

Capacity

Price

Rating

My 4 Sons Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

4 gallons

$$$$$

A+

Smith Contractor 190216 Sprayer

2 & 3 gallons

$$$

A+

Chapin 20000 Poly Lawn and Garden Sprayer

1 & 3 gallons

$

B

Solo 418 One-Hand Pressure Sprayer

1 liter

$

A

Chapin 26021XP ProSeries Sprayer

2 gallons

$$$

B

Our pick

THE BEST GARDEN SPRAYER

My 4 Sons Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

Despite being 14 pounds, the device is relatively easy to carry around in a big garden (plus, you don't have to pump it). The battery lasts for hundreds of spray sessions, so you don't have to worry about recharging. If you're looking for a powered sprayer, this is the best option.

Our pick

THE BEST MANUAL SPRAYER

Smith Contractor 190216 Sprayer

Smith 190216 is crafted with high quality plastic that will last for as long as you need it. It comes in 2 different sizes so you can choose whichever one you need without ended up carrying too heavy or too small of a sprayer. The best part about Smith 190216 is the handle. Unlike most sprayers, it's not weak and won't break after repeated use.

Buying Guide: Types of Garden Sprayer

Before you buy your garden sprayer, you should make some considerations first about which is best for your needs. There are a few types of sprayers out there; each with its own positives and negatives, so let’s take a look at what each type offers a gardener.

Battery or Gasoline Powered Sprayers

These types of sprayer use a battery or gasoline as a power source to expel the solution without the need of building pressure through a pump. These sprayers can be very versatile and can easily be fitted with extra attachments like hoses, spray nozzles, and booms.

These types can typically hold more liquid, but can also be a bit more expensive than non-powered models.

Pump Action

These are also called compression sprayers. Within the tank of a pump action garden sprayer, there is a pressure difference that dictates how much of a squirt of chemical you’ll get when spraying your garden. If there’s too much air in this style of sprayer, the solution will come out with less force.

To prevent the accumulation of oxygen, pump action spraying gardeners have to expel the air through a pump. This type of sprayer is very affordable, especially compared to a powered unit. As a rule, these are typically better for quick jobs where you’ll need a bit of maneuverability.

Backpack Sprayer

This style of sprayer is ideal for those who may have arthritis or might be more comfortable trekking a large amount of solution on their backs rather than in their hands. Many of the backpack-style sprayers come with a pump action system, but with these types, the pump typically uses lever operation.

You won’t be able to easily get in close under the leaves with this type, but for general spraying of large gardens, this is one of your best options.

Handheld Sprayer

Handheld sprayers typically have two ports; one for a hose and another for the solution. Simply plug in your solution to the bottommost port and plug the hose into the port on the rear. Once connected, simply squeeze the trigger and you’ll have a mix of solution, water, and ideally, spreader sticker that you can then apply to your perennials.

Some handheld sprayers will even let you measure out the amount of solution that you want to apply per gallon of water, which is really handy for getting a handle on your mixture.

Wheeled Sprayer

These are easy to truck from place to place and are ideal if you have arthritis or back problems that preclude heavy lifting. Simply wheel your sprayer to your garden and spray away, but this type definitely is less maneuverable, so if you need to get low under a leaf, pick a more handheld option.

For an easy to understand video on three types of garden sprayers, check out this quick guide on Youtube.

Other Considerations

Other than the type of the sprayer, there are a few more consideration when choosing the right garden sprayer for you and your garden.

Spreader Sticker

Spreader sticker is amazing for gardening as it helps your solution adhere to your plants. Water has a tendency to bead, so adding this solution to your water and herbicide/pesticide mixture, will cause the water to adhere in a more flat configuration, so that it won’t simply run down the leaf.

This layer of protection will ensure that you’ll have longer overall coverage for your plants, which in turn, will help you need to apply it less regularly.

Cleaning

I find it particularly useful to have a sprayer that’s easy to clean, especially considering the volatility of some weed/pest-killing products. After each application, with most types of sprayers, you can simply buy an extra tank or fill your current tank with soapy water. Once filled, simply spray as you usually would.

This process cleans the nozzle of any remaining chemical, ensuring that your herbicide and pesticide doesn’t mix at the applicator level, which provides a safer application for your growing things.
Tank Capacity: This is a major consideration for any sprayer user because a larger tank means that your sprayer will be heavier to truck around your garden. With the exception of wheeled units, large tanks that are higher than three gallons are going to be tough to use without setting them down first.

Always take this into account when purchasing a garden sprayer; you don’t want a product that’s going to weigh you down. On the other hand, a larger tank capacity will ensure that you’ll have to refill less often.

Adjustability

Some of the products out there have some really adjustable features that make some types of garden spraying very easy. These types have adjustable nozzles, so that you can easily spray under leaves and in hard to reach places without having to get down on your knees.

Adjustability is a great quality-of-life feature that I recommend to any gardener. It simply makes the whole process simpler.

Tank Capacity

Sprayer tank sizes range from 1 quart to more than 3 gallons. Handheld sprayers generally have the smallest capacity and backpack sprayers have the largest, although there are smaller size of backpack sprayer too.

Choosing tank capacity depends on the size of your garden. If you have a huge garden, you'd want to choose sprayer with a big capacity.

Materials

There are three common materials for a garden sprayer; stainless steel, polyethylene plastic, and galvanized steel. Plastic material is the lightest, cheapest, but less durable than steel materials. On the other hand, steel sprayers are heavier but more durable.

Most of the time, plastic is often good enough for a non-powered sprayer. They can last for years unless you don't use it the "normal" way.

Reviews: The Best Garden Sprayer

Now that you know all the consideration when choosing a garden sprayer, we'll review some of the best ones on the market based on all the factors discussed above. If you're not sure which one to buy, this can be a great place to start.

1. My 4 Sons Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

This device is a backpack sprayer, but at the same time this device doesn’t used a compression system to pump solution. It’s actually a fully powered unit, but the convenience of the device can’t be denied.

One of its nicer features is its extendibility. The device comes with an adjustable lance that’ll let you extend you nozzle from 16 inches to 32.

Also with extendibility in mind, the device also comes with a 15 foot extension cable; just in case you want to set the backpack down and spray your plants that way. The device does also feature a handle at the top, so that you can carry it and set it down at will.

In addition to this, the My 4 Sons sprayer also has several nozzles so that you’ll have options when it comes to spray type. Couple this with the pressure per square inch (psi) switch, and you’ll have no problem completely controlling the output of this sprayer.

What we like:

  • There’s a lot of adjustability with this device
  • It has a dual filter system
  • The LED light at its base helps you not waste charge
  • Large battery capacity so you don't need to keep recharging this sprayer

What we don't like:

  • It’s a little heavy; it’s 14 pounds without solution
  • Expensive for casual gardeners

2. Smith Contractor 190216 Sprayer

This D.B. Smith sprayer is designed with professional level jobs in mind but still works perfectly on the homestead. First, this is a compression type, so you will have to pump to build pressure. Secondly, this is also a handheld unit, but has a two gallon capacity, which might make it heavier for some individuals.

D.B. Smith included five nozzles with this product; each designed to tackle a different aspect of gardening and yard work. These range from an adjustable, multipurpose nozzle to low and high flow attachments. All in all, this is a very versatile machine.

What we like:

  • There’s a pressure release valve that prevents chemicals spraying everywhere when you open the tank
  • This device can be used for additional yard work, like staining fences
  • Durable; it’s crafted of hard plastic that’ll hold up for years

What we don't like:

  • May have trouble with thicker solutions

3. Chapin 20000 Poly Lawn and Garden Sprayer

Our third product does a great job at bridging the gap between professional and home use. Firstly, its 1.3 gallon capacity makes for a relatively easy carry; it even has straps that you can toss over your shoulder.

Secondly, the spray system is very reliable. Users can easily spray a plethora of gardening and yard work chemicals that would either cause damage or get too stick to be sprayed by other sprayers. While this product doesn’t have additional nozzles, it does a great job of helping you track your chemical levels with the diagram printed on its body.

What we like:

  • This can stand up to the most caustic substances like muriatic acid
  • The strap makes this sprayer relatively easy to tote
  • Available in 1 and 3-gallon capacities
  • Affordable

What we don't like:

  • The pressure generated by the pump dissipates quickly
  • Plastic feels flimsy (but good enough for its price)

4. Solo 418 One-Hand Pressure Sprayer

Solo’s garden sprayer is a great, low-capacity sprayer for small gardens. It has a great feature in its fully adjustable sprayer, which has a 90 degree pivoting range of motion. This allows you to easily get under leaves where pests can be hiding.

This pump sprayer also has an adjustable stream that ranges from a focused beam of liquid to a light mist. As a one liter unit, it’s also really easy to carry this from plant to plant and maneuver to where you need to spray.

What we like:

  • It has a small form factor for ease of transport
  • The pivoting head makes for easy gardening
  • Excellent for small gardens
  • Affordable

What we don't like:

  • You’ll have to pump this constantly to get good pressure
  • The locking trigger is easy to accidentally engage

5. Chapin 26021XP ProSeries Sprayer

This pump action Chapin product does a great job at providing quick garden spraying via its angled sprayer extension. The extension allows for you to spray higher areas without losing the efficacy of the spray angle.

Additionally, the sprayer, wand, and tip are all crafted of brass so that they will last long years of use. One of the nicer features of this product is the ergonomic handles. This adds ease of use for this two gallon product.

What we like:

  • Great to reach higher areas
  • This sprayer has a heavy duty hose that won’t leak
  • Great materials, looks durable
  • 3-stage filtration makes it easier to clean
  • Ergonomics design

What we don't like:

  • This product doesn’t work for caustic chemicals
  • The brass spraying tip can turn green after multiple uses

Conclusion: Our Top Pick

All of the sprayers that we’ve featured here in our guide work well when used in the garden or in the yard. Some allow for heavier duty use with caustics and harsher chemicals, but for my money, I really like our first selection, the My 4 Sons 4-Gallon Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer best.

Our pick

THE BEST GARDEN SPRAYER

My 4 Sons Battery Powered Backpack Sprayer

Despite being 14 pounds, the device is relatively easy to carry around in a big garden (plus, you don't have to pump it). The battery lasts for hundreds of spray sessions, so you don't have to worry about recharging. If you're looking for a powered sprayer, this is the best option.

I understand that not everyone can afford (and need) a battery-powered garden sprayer. Because of the price, My 4 Sons sprayer can be too much for casual gardeners. That's why, I also picked another one:

Our pick

THE BEST MANUAL SPRAYER

Smith Contractor 190216 Sprayer

Smith 190216 is crafted with high quality plastic that will last for as long as you need it. It comes in 2 different sizes so you can choose whichever one you need without ended up carrying too heavy or too small of a sprayer. The best part about Smith 190216 is the handle. Unlike most sprayers, it's not weak and won't break after repeated use.

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