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Backpack Sprayer vs Garden Sprayer: How To Choose?

Backpack Sprayer vs Garden Sprayer

Backpack Sprayer vs Garden Sprayer

If you need to remove weeds from your garden or do some lawn fertilizing, you may wonder if it’s better to use a backpack sprayer or a garden sprayer to complete the task. Each tool has a unique set of pros and cons, and we are going to take a close look at both to help you determine which one you should use.

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Garden Sprayer Overview

The traditional garden sprayer came first, and it’s the one most gardeners are familiar with and have experience using. It’s usually an airtight container of any size that sits on the ground. It will have a hose coming out that leads to the sprayer and a top with a handle on it. You place the chemicals inside and replace the top. Next, you use the handle on the lid as a pump to add pressure to the container. With the container pressurized, you squeeze the trigger on the wand to spray the chemicals. When the pressure gets low, you can pump it back up if you have more spraying to do.

TABOR TOOLS Lawn and Garden Sprayer

The positive aspects of the traditional garden sprayer is that they are often very durable. It can be virtually any size to meet any need, and it’s easy to use. It doesn’t require electricity and is fairly inexpensive.

The downside to using a traditional garden sprayer is that they can be quite clumsy and difficult to move around your yard, especially the larger ones. They can be quite heavy, so many people place them on a trailer or a wagon they can pull around, but this is an extra expense and doesn’t always make it easier to move. Wagons are easy to tip, especially in soft dirt, leading to a dangerous chemical spill.


  • Available in any size
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Inexpensive
  • Hard to move
  • Heavy
  • Possible chemical spills

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Backpack Sprayer Overview

The backpack sprayer is virtually the same as a traditional garden sprayer, and it works similarly. The primary difference is that it sits on your back, and instead of pumping the handle on the lid, there is usually a handle that extends out from your side that you use to pump pressure into the tank. The spray nozzle is the same on both devices.

man using Solo 425 4-Gallon Professional Piston Backpack Sprayer

The backpack sprayer’s positive aspect is that it’s much easier to move it around your yard and deploy the chemicals where they are needed. With the spray nozzle in one hand and the handle to add pressure to the tank in the other, you can work until the task is complete or you run out of chemicals without stopping or breaking your focus. With the device attached to your back, there is also less risk of an accident or spill.

The downside to backpack sprayers is that they are limited in size to a few gallons, or it would be too heavy to carry. It’s harder to choose a good model because you have to worry about the fit, comfort, and durability of the straps. It’s harder to see how much product you have left while working, and the backpack sprayer is often more expensive.


  • Easy to carry
  • Complete tasks without interruption
  • Less risk of accident
  • Expensive
  • Limited in size
  • Harder to choose
  • Hard to know when you are low on chemicals

divider 1 The Most Important Factor to Consider

Battery Power

One modern feature that you can find in both types of sprayers is battery power. Battery power eliminates the need to pump pressure into your tank manually. It allows you to maintain a constant pressure for an even chemical spread that’s not possible by hand. In many cases, these devices will spray further, requiring less movement on your part, and since it has the power, it might provide you with an LED readout or an alarm to let you know when your chemicals are running low. Since you have more pressure, the sprayer may also include more nozzles for different spray patterns.

The downside to battery power is that it’s expensive, often doubling even backpack sprayers’ cost, and some people might find it too expensive for such a simple device. You will also need to keep the batteries charged, and if they lose charge too quickly, you may need to postpone your spraying. However, if you find it difficult to pump enough pressure into your tank, you may find battery power exactly what you need.


  • Consistent pressure
  • Powerful spray
  • Extra features
  • Expensive
  • Could interfere with work

Which Sprayer Is Right For Me?

We recommend the backpack sprayer for most people. The backpack sprayer often holds enough chemicals to kill weeds or fertilize your lawn without refilling it. The ability to maneuver around your yard without breaking your concentration is vital to making sure you don’t miss spots or double cover an area, and it’s worth the slightly higher cost.

We recommend a traditional garden spray to someone with a large yard that requires frequent treatments of more chemicals than can fit in a backpack sprayer.

We recommend battery power to someone who has a hard time manually pumping enough pressure into the tank. It’s also useful for someone who has sensitive plants that require the even and consistent spray that batteries can provide and doesn’t mind paying extra.

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We hope you have enjoyed comparing these two useful tools and found the answers to your questions. We feel the manual backpack sprayer wins out as the most helpful tool for the money, and we hope you agree. If we have helped you choose your next purchase, please share this shootout between the backpack and traditional garden sprayer on Facebook and Twitter.


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