Three Things To Know When Buying A Portable Sprayer

Portable sprayers are among the most versatile tools you can have—perfect for fertilizing plants, spraying weeds, watering crops and numerous other chores.

Water cans
Ready to hang up the watering can?Robby McCullough via Unsplash

When you need to fertilize, kill weeds or even water a lot of plants at once, few tools are as versatile, or as useful, as a portable sprayer. Whether at a home in the city, at your hunting property or on a farm, there is a model that will fit your needs to a “T.” To choose the perfect portable sprayer, you need to consider how big of job you will use it for, what power source you prefer and how you will move it while in use.

What Size?

Chapin sprayer
This one-gallon sprayer is best suited for smaller jobs.Amazon

One of the most important considerations you'll have is what size sprayer to buy. If you do lots of small jobs around your urban yard, you won't need a large, fancy sprayer. If your job is liable to be a big one, though, make sure you buy enough sprayer. With too large a sprayer, you can still get the job done. But with a sprayer that is too small, you'll waste a lot of time traipsing back and forth to the garage or shed to refill, making the job more difficult.

What Power Source?

backpack style sprayer
This backpack style sprayer is powered by a light, rechargeable battery pack that yields up to six hours of spray time.Amazon

Most small portable sprayers are powered by pumping the handle to build up internal pressure, which forces the liquid out of the sprayer when the trigger is depressed. Others are powered by small, rechargeable battery packs. Some models—mostly larger ones—are powered by an electric motor that requires a large battery. If you plan to walk around carrying your sprayer, you won't want to carry a heavy battery with you. In that case, a pump or rechargeable battery pack sprayer is best. But if your sprayer is on wheels or even mounted on an ATV, a heavy-duty electric sprayer is faster and more convenient. That leads us to our next question.

How Will You Move It?

Vivosun compression sprayer
Featuring an adjustable shoulder strap, this sprayer can be carried by the pump handle or over a shoulder.Amazon

Portable sprayers come in models that can be carried by hand, slung over your shoulder, worn like a backpack, pulled behind a lawn tractor and even mounted to a trailer or ATV. How you plan to move around with your sprayer will be a deciding factor in which model will serve you best. If you have a small lawn, a handle-carried model will suffice. But if you are spraying several acres of weeds by hand and have access to a trailer or ATV, a large model with an electric motor is your best bet. Medium-sized jobs might be more suitable for backpack type sprayers like those used by lawncare professional.