The 10 Best Pump Sprayers

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This wiki has been updated 38 times since it was first published in August of 2015. Whether you work in a nursery, own a landscaping business, or just like to exercise your green thumb on your own plot, these pump sprayers make it easy to distribute weed killers, insecticides and liquid fertilizers. They come in a variety of designs with different capacities, so anyone, from those with small urban gardens to professionals, should be able to find a suitable option. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. My 4 Sons Backpack

2. Smith Performance R200

3. Sports God Pressure

Editor's Notes

November 09, 2020:

Most changes made during this update were stylistic rather than substantive, though we did add and remove a few items, and the positions of a few others have shifted slightly. We did try to make the list a bit more diverse so that it could be helpful to a wider array of people. As a relatively broad category, we wanted it to be representative of the many products on the market, as opposed to the more specialized list of powered backpack sprayers.

Prior to this update, we had no wheeled options, which is why we decided to add the Vivosun Lawn and Garden. The wheels are large enough to be effective on rough terrain, making it a viable option, even for those with rocky yards. Backpack units like the Roundup 190314 and Chapin International will spare you some of the efforts that come with carrying, though they can still be heavy, especially when full. The compact Solo 418 could be great for indoor use, or just for someone that's looking to avoid bulkier units and doesn't need a high-capacity tank.

In terms of utility, the Roundup 190314, D.B. and Smith 190216 both offer a range of different nozzles, allowing you to easily adjust the size and density of your streams. The latter of the two also offers a foaming nozzle, which creates a visible foam that helps you see what you've already covered. And for those who don't want to pump manually, the My 4 Sons Backpack is battery-powered, making your job that much easier.

One thing to note is that certain hazardous chemicals are not recommended for all sprayers, so before putting anything potentially corrosive or dangerous into the tank, be sure to verify that the sprayer is approved to handle it. There are many stories of gaskets eroding, leading to leaks of harmful substances, so be sure to verify you're purchasing one that fits all of your needs before adding it to your list of garden tools.

April 19, 2019:

Due to a lack of availability, removed the Meditool Knapsack and Canca garden from the list. We also did away with the Chapin Turf Pro due to complaints of serious, consistent leaking issues. Investigated the Tabor Tools N-50 as a possible replacement option, but encountered a plethora of user-reported problems: the pump handle easily breaks off, it’s difficult to adjust the nozzle, and its overall durability is highly questionable.

Opted to move the Chapin Lawn out of the bottom slot into a more appropriate ranking, as user reports indicate that it consistently maintains good pressure with very few leaking issues. While some do note that it requires frequent cleaning and maintenance to ensure it remains in good condition, it’s definitely worth considering at its affordable price.

Added four new models to the list, highlighted by the Sports God Lawn — it’s nothing advanced or fancy, but it’s sturdily built and maintains its pressure well, and its adjustable nozzle and shoulder strop offer some added convenience. While the stainless steel Longray Hand offers superior durability, some users expressed frustration that the wand tends to lag at times, meaning that liquid continues to spray briefly after the lever is released, which is the primary reason it doesn’t rank higher in the list.

Special Honors

Kings Sprayers 100 Gallon 4-Wheel If you're looking for something truly heavy-duty, the aircraft-grade aluminum frame and a 5.5-horsepower pump capable of spraying up to 9.5 gallons per minute should be enough for most people to take this powerful unit into consideration. And if that's not enough for yo, it also comes with a 150-foot hose and a 5-year warranty on the frame and the tank.

4. Chapin International

5. Vivosun Lawn and Garden

6. Chapin Lawn

7. Longray Hand

8. D.B. Smith 190216

9. Solo 418

10. Roundup 190314

The Surprisingly Versatile Pump Sprayer

When an exterminator sees this same tool, he or she will see a great way to apply a liquid pest repellent or poison.

When a gardener looks at a pump sprayer, he or she likely sees a way to water plants with specialized care needs. When a painter sees a pump sprayer, it's more likely he or she thinks of a great way to apply stains, varnish, or clear coats. When an exterminator sees this same tool, he or she will see a great way to apply a liquid pest repellent or poison.

And so on and so forth; the fact is, for almost any thin liquid -- including water, fertilizer, stains, and so much more -- a pump sprayer is a great way to make short work of the job. It offers both precision and ease of use in one tool.

For most home gardeners, and for the employees of smaller nurseries or farm centers, a pump sprayer is primarily used for watering plants. Also known as pressure sprayers, these tools help you to deliver a precise amount of water, whether measured by the duration or a watering session or by watching the water level in the sprayer's reservoir. The precision and control offered by these units is perfect for nursing young plants, like freshly sprouting flowers or edible plants, and allows for the cautious care required for raising delicate plants like orchids.

Ironically, a pump sprayer is both the best way to water delicate plants like a bonsai trees or a seedling, and is also the best way kill off hearty but unwanted plants like weeds and crab grass: the same tool can be used to precisely deliver water or chemicals like glyophosphate (the main ingredient in defoliants like grass and weed killer Round-Up). Just make sure to use extreme caution washing and rinsing out your pump sprayer if it is to serve both purposes, or better yet, get one pump sprayer just for water, and another for more use with those more caustic fluids.

For other applications, such as those common in painting, specialized industrial cleaning, and in pest control, sprayers are also great tools. People considering a sprayer for these purposes should look to models with wants and hoses as opposed to the smaller units where the spray nozzle rests atop the reservoir itself, though; while all pump sprayers use the same basic principe of a pressurized reservoir and a directional sprayer, not all sprayers are equally suited to various jobs.

Choosing The Right Pump Sprayer

For most smaller watering applications, such as for indoor plants or potted plants on a deck or patio, a smaller hand-held pump sprayer without a wand or hose will serve fine. If you have hanging plants or plants that are hard to reach, then one of the lower cost models with these features will serve adroitly.

However, when you'll be dealing with chemicals or stains/varnishes that you need to more carefully consider other elements of the sprayer, such as the unit's materials. Some rugged sprayers have brass wands that can easily resist corrosion even from harsh chemicals, for example, while others have large reservoirs that contain plenty of liquid, handy for treating large patches of weeds or for completing large sections of a paint or stain job at once, helping to ensure an even finish to the project.

Just make sure to check the specifications of a sprayer before you buy it, as the manufacturer will know best how their not can safely be used.

Pump Sprayer Use And Maintenance

If you are going to use a pump sprayer for multiple applications, consider establishing a system of marking the tool so you always known its contents. This could be as simple as using a dry erase marker to note the contents of your sprayer each time you fill it, or you could get two different units and clearly mark one as always for water and the other to be used with, for example, weed killer. The last thing you want to do is kill a plant by accident, and potentially compromise future use of a watering sprayer at the same time thanks to carelessness.

If you are going to use a pump sprayer for multiple applications, consider establishing a system of marking the tool so you always known its contents.

It's important to frequently change the water in a pump sprayer if you don't empty it fully during each use, and before an extended period of disuse, make sure to fully drain a sprayer and let it dry out. Sprayers left with liquid inside them could see the build-up of dangerous mildews and molds.

Always make sure to assemble your sprayer following the guidelines provided with the unit; if it's not properly fastened together before each use, you will be unable to create the seal necessary for proper pressure. Check the threads of the unit to be sure they are clean, as dirt and debris can prevent a proper seal from being formed.

Make sure to exercise appropriate caution when using a pump sprayer to deliver any dangerous (or even potentially dangerous) liquid. This includes chemicals like pesticides or grass/weed killer, paints or stains, as well cleaning agents. Use gloves, wear long clothing, and consider covering your eyes with goggles and your mouth with a mask and/or filter. Don't let that wand fool you: you are still in close proximity to the liquid you're dispensing, and especially with gusts of wind or potential leaks, it won't take much for the chemical or other fluid in the sprayer to find its way onto your person.

Sam Kraft
Last updated by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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