Finding the right Electric Sprayer for you task can be confusing. In the last 5 years, there has been a huge increase in available options, but as we will see shortly, not all battery backpack sprayers are the same. While there are many options to choose from, it is important to make sure you’ve checked these 5 points before making your decision.
Lugging 12-20L of liquid around on your back all day sounds like a chore – and it is if you don’t pay attention to comfort during your purchasing decision.
TANK SIZE: Backpack sprayers come in a range of sizes usually from 12 to 20L. While 12L is great for smaller jobs around the garden, 16L strikes a happy medium because 18-20L is simply too heavy to carry on your back comfortably.
STRAPS: Most backpack sprayers have some type of strap. Make sure these are padded and easily adjustable while you have the sprayer on your back. Jacto Lithium-Ion sprayers feature easily adjustable padded straps.
TANK DESIGN: Tanks that hang a long way out from your back and carry the bulk of the liquid further up your back are never going to be as comfortable as slimline designs that keep the weight close to your lower back. Good backpack sprayer designs feature contoured tanks that conform to the shape of your back and reduce pressure points on the operator.
With a confusing array of features & benefits being thrown at customers by manufacturers, it's difficult to decide what is important for easy operation. Terms such as “Infinitely variable speed control” and “Easy to use trigger grip” can be confusing. When considering ease of use, think about the points below:
PUMP OPERATION: While simple battery backpack sprayers just have an on/off switch, other models feature some form of pump control so you can control the speed of the pump output to suit your spraying needs. Choosing between these options comes down to your spraying needs but more importantly, make sure these controls are easily accessible when the sprayer is on your back.
SPRAY LANCE & TRIGGER: The spray lance and trigger should be lightweight and durable. Stainless steel is an excellent choice for lances and the best battery backpack sprayers such as the PJB-16 series feature trigger mechanisms that are field serviceable without any tools.
TANK FILLING & MIXING: An often overlooked point, tanks should have large filler openings to help make filling and mixing. The Jacto Lithium-ion range features extra deep filter baskets to help prevent liquid splashing back in your face when filling. Mixing is often done by inserting the lance into the tank for a few minutes to create liquid flow. While this does the job at the start, the contents of your tank can start to settle within minutes reducing the effectiveness of your spray. The Jacto Professional model features a built-in venturi agitator which can be operated continuously to provide 100% effective mixing of contents – crucial if you are spraying wettable powders.
TANK CARRY HANDLE: Make sure your chosen backpack sprayer has a carry handle. The best carry handles form part of the straps meaning they fold away when you’re trying to fit it under that shelf in the garage, but are there ready when you need to lift your sprayer onto the back of the ute. easier.
Battery backpack sprayers can come with several different battery types, the most common are “Sealed Lead Acid” (or SLA) and Lithium-Ion. SLA batteries are the cheapest but are very heavy by comparison with the more modern Lithium-Ion batteries. Lithium-Ion batteries also outlast SLA batteries by up to 4 x the run time. The best battery backpack sprayers feature run times of 3 to 8 hours continuous running and weigh less than 4kg which is very similar to a manual pump backpack. Beware of battery backpack sprayers weighing 5kg or more – once you’ve put 16-18L in the tank you are trying to carry over 20kg on your back!
Some battery backpack sprayers also feature removable batteries, so you can charge the battery inside without having to bring the sprayer in.
Most battery backpack sprayers feature diaphragm pumps. These little pumps are generally reliable if cleaned after each use but make sure your choice of sprayer also comes with a choice of readily available spare parts. That $200 sprayer might have seemed like a deal at the time, but if a replacement pump is unavailable you are looking at an expensive upgrade.
Most backpack sprayers have a 12-month warranty and a lifespan to suit. The best battery backpack sprayers such as the Jacto model range feature a 3-year warranty including the battery itself which can cost up to 50% of the value of the sprayer alone.
Purchasing a good deal on an unknown brand from a local hardware store could see you unable to obtain support or replacement parts in 12 months. Purchasing a worldwide brand from a reputable dealer gives you the confidence that your product will be supported for years to come.
When considering a battery-powered backpack sprayer there is a lot to think about! Although there are a lot of features you will come across in your search, getting the basics listed above right will ensure your purchase lives up to expectations.