Things to Know Before Buying a Knapsack Sprayer
Anyone with a large garden will know how much of a full-time job it can be to effectively eliminate weeds and pests.
Hauling bottles and buckets of weed killer around with you is exhausting, and if your weed killer spills onto your plants, it may kill them too!
Introducing a knapsack sprayer into your life for these jobs will be a real game-changer – you can safely carry your weed killer or fertiliser around with you and the weight will be comfortably distributed across your back.
If you’re considering purchasing a knapsack sprayer but not sure what to look for, take a look at these top tips:
Material and Durability
It’s essential that your knapsack sprayer is made from thick materials that won’t corrode when exposed to harsh chemicals.
Most knapsack sprayers are made from sturdy, hard-wearing plastic, and you should ensure that the hose, lance, fittings and seals are all made of good quality materials too.
No matter the quality of your knapsack sprayer, it won’t last as long if you don’t wash it out well between uses. If you’re using any chemicals, such as weed killers, make sure that none of the solution is left in the tank after use – it could corrode the plastic over time.
If you plan on using your sprayer for a few years, it’s good practise to check that you can easily replace broken parts. Ultimately, this will save you money in the long run.
Keeping the sprayer out of direct sunlight will also help extend its life – plastic will degrade quicker when exposed to UV, so it’s best to store it away as much as possible.
Choosing the Right Capacity
The size of the sprayer you need will depend on what you hope to use it for.
Generally, a 5 L tank will be best for small areas. So, smaller gardens, patios, and standard driveways. A 5 L tank will also mean a lighter unit when full, which might be more suitable if you aren’t able to support heavy weight for a long period of time.
Of course, with a smaller tank capacity you will have to fill it more often if you plan to do larger jobs.
For large driveways or gardens that need a lot of care and maintenance, a larger tank will save you time as it won’t need refilling as frequently. Keep in mind that a larger tank will add a considerable amount of weight to the unit when full.
A 12 L knapsack sprayer can weigh in the region of 15 kg when full of water (given that the unit itself also weighs something to begin with).
Choosing the right capacity ultimately comes down to how large the area you want to treat is, and how much weight you can comfortably support.
In terms of task-completion time, you may find it more effective (and safer!) to have a smaller unit which you can move around with more easily, rather than a larger one.
Look for Adjustability and Comfort
Following on from the subject of sprayer weight, you’ll find it far easier to carry a full knapsack sprayer if it’s comfortable.
Backpack-style straps are generally more comfortable than shoulder straps, especially if you’re going to be using the unit for a long period of time.
If the sprayer has adjustable and/or padded straps it shouldn’t dig in as much – especially important with units that have a higher capacity. An ergonomic pump handle and trigger will also reduce the strain on your hands.
Look for a trigger that can be locked in an ‘on’ position. This will mean you won’t have to constantly apply pressure to create a continuous flow. It will therefore prevent aching hands and blisters.
Length of Lance and Hose
Finally, take a look at the length of the lance and hose.
A hose that’s too short will mean you are stooping continuously whilst working. This will cause pain and may also slow tasks down because you’ll have to constantly stop and stretch.
Make a note of the lance length in the product description and measure this against yourself. If you have to bend so that this measurement reaches from the floor to your hand, the lance may not be long enough for you.
The nozzle should also be adjustable so that you can choose the right setting for your requirements – at the very least you’ll want a jet option and a spray option for different jobs.
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Knapsack Sprayer FAQs
How can I make my knapsack sprayer last as long as possible?
To ensure you get the best out of your sprayer you should clean it thoroughly after every use. This will remove potentially corrosive chemicals from the tank, hose and lance.
You can buy special pump cleaners, alternatively or flush the unit through with clean water. In addition, you should store your unit in a dry, frost free location.
Lubricating the joints and seals can keep them from drying out and cracking. Always remember to check for leaks before filling your sprayer with chemicals.
When is the best time to use my sprayer?
It is best to spray weeds on a dry day when no rain is forecast. Rain can wash the weed killer away before it has a chance to work. You should also choose a day that is not windy to avoid the weed killer being blown onto adjacent areas and damaging other plants.
Can I use the same sprayer for weed killers and pesticides?
It is not recommended that you use the same sprayer for both pesticides and weed killers. This is because, even with thorough cleaning, your sprayer may contain traces of weed killer. This could harm your plants if applied to them alongside pesticide. To be on the safe side, keep a specific sprayer for weed killer and don’t use it for anything else.
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