Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best garden sprayers TESTED that are heavy duty for high pressure
This article was last updated on September 9th, 2022 at 3:41 am
You probably would be surprised to know, but in my personal testing, I actually favoured a garden sprayer over a fence sprayer for some fence paints. And that goes for shed paint too. No power requirement, a reasonably even spray, and miles quicker than a brush makes this an unlikely favourite – it was just a bonus that my Spear & Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer cleans up nicely and had no problems spraying the weed killer in that test too. After using my garden sprayers for so long and effectively as I have. I’d like to share a few thoughts from my experiences.
But, as with all good products it would be unfair not to test and compare others. So this time round I decided on a similar sized 5 Litre garden sprayer by Ansio. However, I am absolutely justified in still naming the Spear & Jackson top dog as it proved out yet again for best garden sprayer. And seeing as the Ansio set me back a few quid more than the Spear & Jackson I won’t be changing the order of my reviews anytime soon but I’ll definitely be putting it as an alternative as apart from one super annoying total enraging flaw it was a super bit of kit too. More on that in the full tested review of the 5 Litre garden sprayer by Ansio!
So with that in mind, here are my top picks for the best garden sprayer:
Best garden sprayer: my top picks from 15 years experience and personal use:
Best garden sprayer: Spear & Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer – best of the best garden sprayer and my go to for weed killers, fence paints and stains, as well as sheds. This is personally tested and proven to hold pressure for ages when spraying weed killer
Sensible alternative: Ansio 5 Litre Garden Sprayer – decent choice if the Spear and Jackson isn’t big enough (8L and 11L options) or available [personally tested and proven]
Best back-pack garden sprayer: Faithfull Pressure Sprayer Knapsack 16L – best if you need a large garden sprayer [personally tested and proven]
Commercial heavy duty pick: Faithfull Pressure Sprayer Knapsack 16L [personally tested and proven]
Budget: Garden gear pressure sprayer
What you should be considering when buying a garden sprayer
There’s a few really important things to think about when buying a garden sprayer. They are definitely not all equal. The crucial thing for me is even pressure and compression so you get an even spray. Then there’s size, container thickness, shoulder straps, pressure release valves, and all important variable nozzle settings to change your flow from a squirt right through to a full on mist. So with that in mind let’s look a little close at some of those issues.
Size is an important factor – are you looking for a small medium or large sprayer? If it’s large there’s no question you go for the the Faithfull Pressure Sprayer Knapsack 16L. If you’re after mid size for weed killer for example, then the Spear & Jackson or the Hozelock sprayer is ideal.
The Faithfull is definitely for commercial work and it really packs a punch too!
Pressure translates into spray
It’s important to remember not all pressure pots are equal. The more pressure your garden sprayer can hold, the better it’ll be equipped to provide an even spray. My Spear and Jackson is considerably more powerful than the average. And on that note, you have to watch for over pressurising your sprayer – in the past I’ve broken cheap ones pumping them too much. Just wait for resistance to build as you pump – you’ll feel it and you’ll feel what pressure is sensible. Then you can adjust the nozzle to workout how you want to spray. Let’s look at the adjustable nozzle and I’ll include a video of the pressure and the nozzle adjustment below.
Adjustable nozzle for a variable spray setting
One of the biggest things on the spray nozzles is the adjustment. My Spear and Jackson really works for that. In fact it is extremely sensitive and therefore takes a bit of getting used to. Even though I’ve used mine for years this still happens:
As you can see it doesn’t take much getting used to and very easy to use – but remember not to spray weeds with a mist too fine in windy conditions as a herbicide in the lungs is not good! So always aim on the cautious side, and with Creocote I don’t care how rough it looks, I let it spurt out – there’s no way I am ingesting those fumes again. I felt really rough even though I wore a mask. So now I let it squirt out and run. No problem with that. I do not set the nozzle fine:
Here are, what we consider, the seven best garden sprayers reviewed for you. We’ve chosen products that we think give you the best value for money, and that are affordable for everyone.
Pressure release valve
The next thing to consider is the pressure release valve. You want to release the pressure gradually as the main pump section can be very difficult to open if there’s too much pressure. Whereas the smaller valve is relatively easier to open and control. Here’s a close up look at that valve:
Most come with a shoulder strap but some are too short. The cheap garden sprayer I have doesn’t comfortably loop over my other shoulder, whereas the Spear and Jackson has a longer strap and is far more comfortable to wear – it’s only when you test many of these sprayers that you realise just how useful they can be! Here is me demonstrating just how long this strap really is – it’ll comfortably go over any shoulder:
It’s got variable straps too so if you’re shorter or prefer it up higher then no problem at all.
With those points looked over – here’s a rundown of the best garden sprayers:
1. Spear & Jackson Pump Action Pressure Sprayer, 5 L
When I initially wrote this review a couple of years ago I had this best-selling product from Spear & Jackson. It is our first garden sprayer review and it is available on Amazon and is still the best garden sprayer. It has a 5 litre translucent tank that has markings to help you get the right mix of any non-viscous soluble or water based products that you wish to use. You can even shoot Creocote through this garden sprayer as I demonstrate here:
Connected to the tank by a 1300mm hose is the plastic watering lance that measures 560mm, giving you a decent amount of reach for getting at those hard to water spots. The wand is adjustable and will give you either a jet, wide spray or a fine mist. The jet isn’t super powerful but for weed killer, specifically pet friendly weed killer, it is superb and holds a decent spray for ages, just take a look:
The trigger can be locked in the ‘on’ position for when you are doing a particularly long spraying session to save you aching hands. Wasting water should always be something we mean to avoid, and Spear & Jackson have included a water flow regulator in this garden sprayer for just that purpose.
To prevent premature damage by the user, the pump piston has been given a well lubricated o-ring, and this also helps keep the pumping action smooth and easy. There is also a pressure release valve to stop you accidentally over pumping and damaging the sprayer.
An adjustable shoulder strap has been included to aid you in carrying the weight of the tank around your garden and allowing you to have two hands free.
- Low price but good quality plastics
- Well marked bottle for measuring and mixing
- 1300mm hose and 560mm wand with adjustable spray
- Easy pumping action thanks to the O-ring that also prevents wear and damage
- Lockable trigger for prolonged spraying and water flow regulator
- Shoulder Strap to aid in mobility
- Pressure release valve will prevent accidental damage
2. Garden Sprayer 5 litre Pressure Sprayer Pump Action
I was straight on the back foot with the Garden Sprayer 5 litre Pressure Sprayer Pump Action. Why? The worst possible thing happened and bear in mind I am an experienced user. I started undoing the pump to drop in some weed killer (I would add pet friendly weed killer as I was treating my front garden) and as I undid it, I thought, that’s weird why did they seal the lid with a bit of grease or silicone lubricant. Yep you guess it, I actually undid the pump mechanism itself! Here’s a look at that:
No sooner had I begun to pour in weed killer pre mixed and diluted with water than I realised what was going on. I got that hollow sound you get when a container nears full. So that got me worked up off the bat. I don’t know if I am getting more cynical as I get older, or when other products function as they should I become way more critical. I would highlight this is not a mistake I have been able to make with it’s direct competitor, the Spear and Jackson in two years of use!!
So with the only real genuine negative out the way I experienced from testing, I am going to say there are some parts I actually preferred to the Ansio, and I would definitely say over the Hozelock garden sprayer which is also a nice bit of kit. Firstly the distribution rod / hose is decent quality. Your nozzle adjuster is what looks like brass with a stainless steel rod. This is a big step up from the plastic of the Spear and Jackson:
There’s a problem with this though. Look at the picture and you see all the other components are plastic 🤔. You know that tells me the only purpose is to reduce leaks. You can’t connect a high quality brass to a cheaper plastic fitting and call the product higher quality surely? There’s definitely some contradiction going on there – please feel free to message in if there’s any logic behind that (@manufacturer).
The strap is nothing fancy. It works just fine but for me at 5 foot 10, it was too short to sling over my neck though, it could only hang from my shoulder – which was fine with a 5 litre pot. If you’re using the 11 Litre version this becomes a problem as carrying that much weight isn’t comfortable and I can imagine it trying to slip down. This isn’t just a criticism of Ansio though, the same issue was found with the Spear and Jackson.
If I was going to be doing the kind of work that required lugging 11 Litres about repetitively (to the point filling 5 Litres frequently would be too arduous), I might consider the Faithfull Pressure Sprayer Knapsack 16L however at the pricing, this makes for a far far better deal when you weigh that conundrum up.
Overall I was happy with the quality, definitely happy with the spray pressure and adjustment, but I’d have to stick with Spear and Jackson on price point at the moment. In fact that’s it right there, I’ve said it. Whichever one of the top two picks is the cheapest, would be what would sway my purchase. Both work great and have proven to do loads of work without failing.
3. Hozelock Multi Purpose Pressure Sprayer 5 Litre
The Hozelock multipurpose pressure sprayer is another best-selling product on amazon, but is a fair bit more expensive than the Spear & Jackson model above, and is priced at around 27 pounds at the moment, which is a saving of 54% off the recommended retail price.
So what do you get for the extra money?
Well, overall the quality is just better. The materials used for example, are stronger and more robust than cheaper models, especially the main bottle and pump handle. Even the lance, if a little on the short side, feels stronger and more durable. I would recommend buying a telescopic lance from Hozelock for 10 quid extra to give you better reach unless you’re only thinking of spraying at waist to shoulder height. A problem with a lot of garden sprayer tanks is that there is always some liquid left in the bottom that you can’t use, but Hozelock have managed to design this model so that you get every blast drop out of it.
As mentioned, the pump handle is large and heavy duty, and also smooth in operation. About 20 pumps is enough to give you very good spraying pressure for a fair while and there’s an integrated pressure release nozzle for safety. A nice feature is that this garden sprayer has a separate filling space so you don’t need to unscrew the pump handle. The tank is translucent and is graduated to help with the correct levels. An integrated dosing cap also helps with getting your mixes right. Instructions are printed on the tank, and a holder for the hose and wand are also part of the design, as well as a shoulder harness.
- Very good quality. Strong and robust
- Wide base for stability when filling and pumping
- Designed so you can use every last drop of fluid in the tank
- Separate filling hole, no need to unscrew the pump handle.
- Large and heavy duty pump handle for easy operation
- Shoulder harness included
- Space on tank for storing wand
3. Faithfull SPRAY16AV Pressure Sprayer Knapsack 16L
If you have a large garden and need something that will keep you spraying for a long time, then this knapsack garden sprayer from Faithfull might the right tool for you. First of all, it has a large 16 litre capacity tank so you won’t have to stop to refill unless you your garden is enormous when compared to my favoured Spear and Jackson as well as being a backpack! Here’s a look at that:
Another handy feature is the fact that you can use the hand pump to pressurise this garden sprayer on the go without having to take the backpack off. This keeps things moving fluidly and really is a time and energy saver. The tank has a good sized filling mouth with a removable filter.
The tank and other parts aren’t made out of the same quality plastic as the Hozelock, but if you spend a few minutes before you use this sprayer to screw everything tight and check the components, you won’t get any leaks. With a 140cm hose and 90cm spray wand, you get plenty of range and reach, and the spray nozzle can be adjusted between 4 settings. There are also spare nozzle heads included in the pack.
The shoulder harness supplied with this 16 litre sprayer is ok, certainly better than our two previous reviews but because of the extra weight when the large tank is full, I’d recommend buying a better one with nice padding. This garden sprayer is available for under 30 pounds at the moment.
- Large 16 litre tank means you don’t have to stop to refill
- Keep this sprayer pressurized on the go, no need to take off the backpack
- 140cm hose and 90cm wand
- Spare nozzles including a double headed nozzle
- 4 spray settings
- Double shoulder harness included
- Large filling mouth with removable filter
4. Garden Gear Garden Pressure Pump Action Sprayer
On sale for a penny under ten pounds is this garden pressure sprayer from Garden Gear. It has a five litre translucent tank with markers for you to see the level of the liquids inside, and can be used with any soluble fluids. The plastic construction is of a decent quality for the low price, especially the large d-shaped pump handle which feels particularly robust and easy to use. The tank has a safety valve for releasing excess pressure and preventing damage which is fairly standard these days.
A 170cm hose is attached to wand that has a thick and comfortable handle with a lockable trigger. The hose nozzle is fully adjustable and gives you a selection of spray patterns to choose from. At only 655 grams, this is a lightweight product but of course it will get heavier once completely filled with liquid and that’s where the free shoulder strap comes in. This product comes with a 12 month guarantee.
- Good quality for under 10 pounds
- Large and robust pump handle is easy to use
- Pressure release valve
- 170cm hose and Spray lance has a comfortable handle
- Lockable spray trigger
- Fully adjustable spray nozzle
- 1 year guarantee
- Shoulder strap
5. Ansio 2L Garden Sprayer
A 2 litre garden sprayer is a good size for lighter gardening tasks such as spraying the underside of leaves or for use indoors. Their smaller size and weight means that they can be used in one hand and can be stored under the sink or anywhere else for that matter. This compact sprayer from Ansio does everything the larger models do. You can still use it to water, fertilize, spray pesticides, and fungicides. It still works on a pressure system that you need to pump up before use, and it still has an adjustable spray nozzle and pressure release valve, just like the others.
The difference is, this 2L garden sprayer doesn’t have a long hose or spray lance so it is best suited for smaller spraying jobs. It also doesn’t produce as much pressure as larger models, but that is a good thing if you are spraying indoors as it gives you more control and you won’t accidentally damage your plants and flowers. As we said, this is a lightweight garden sprayer that can be comfortable held and used in one hand. The large ergonomic handle and thumb trigger give you a good grip and operating position that feels natural. The plastics used in this tool’s construction are high quality and it comes with a 2 year warranty.
- Compact and lightweight and perfect for indoor use or light garden work
- Ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold
- Good quality plastic construction
- Pressure release valve for safety
- Can be used comfortably in one hand
- Easy to store away
6. Solo 5L 45psi Piston Pump Manual Pressure Sprayers with Spray Lance
This 5 litre garden pressure sprayer from makers Solo has been designed with a 3 bar operating pressure to keep you spraying for longer between pumping stops. The 270 cubic cm pump has a strong handle and a smooth action and doesn’t take long to get to full pressure. Once fully pressurized, the sprayer will be able to operate until the 5 litre tank is almost empty. There is a space on the handle to securely store the spray wand when you are not using it
A ribbed handle on the 50cm spray lance keeps your grip secure and two spray nozzles are included with the sprayer, a flat jet and a hollow cone. You can quickly stop the nozzles spraying by simply twisting them which is handy. The transparent tank is made from UV proof polyethylene so it’s durable and doesn’t leak, and it also has a good sized filling aperture that can be used for cleaning the tank out.
This is a good quality garden sprayer, made in Germany and has Viton seals, ensuring a leak free gardening experience. This garden sprayer’s dimensions are 19 x 19 x 50 cm and it weighs 1.5 Kg. There is a shoulder strap included to help handle the weight.
- Good quality garden sprayer
- 3 bar operating pressure means you can work for longer
- 50cm spray lance has a good non slip handle and lockable trigger
- Large filling aperture can also be used for cleaning the tank out
- Large pump handle works smoothly
- 2 spray nozzles included- flat jet / hollow cone
- Free shoulder strap
So, there you have it. Our best garden sprayers reviewed for you. We hope you have enjoyed reading our reviews and have somehow aided your decision. If you want to know more about any of the products, simply click on the links we have helpfully provided for you.
If you have time, please feel free to view our other pages and see our reviews of other gardening products.
Why a garden sprayer over an electric sprayer?
Versatility and mobility are two words that come to mind when I think of garden sprayers – you heard me mention in the intro how I prefer a garden sprayer over an electric sprayer: they are versatile because they are able to help you distribute water, fertiliser, fungicides, pesticides, wood preservers, stains, teak oil, and paint, onto the parts of the garden that need them most with minimal waste. I even used my garden sprayer to seal in the tiles in my bathroom I just renovated – you could easily do the same with a patio sealer and brush for ease too.
Most quality garden sprayers make things easy with a shoulder strap, decent pump compression for even high pressure, and have measurement markings on them to make sure that you use the correct amount of the chemicals and a variable nozzle from a squirt to fine spray also helps prevent you using too much – though I caution against a mist with fungicides without proper PPE for pesticides. I think of mobility when I think of garden sprayers as you don’t need to connect them to a mains water supply like a tap when you are using them. You simply fill the tank to the desired level and then either carry them in your hand, or on your back with the help of a harness, or pull them around on wheels. The most common design is the compression garden sprayer, where you activate the pump handle on top of the sprayer to build pressure and then use the hose and spray nozzle until the pressure needs to be topped up again.