The 10 Best Pump Sprayers
10. Chapin Lawn
9. Solo 418
8. Chapin Turf Pro
7. Roundup 190314
6. Canca Garden
5. Chapin Euro
4. Smith Performance R200
3. Meditool Knapsack
2. My 4 Sons Backpack
1. D.B. Smith Field King
The Surprisingly Versatile Pump Sprayer
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.
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.