Spot sprayers are a simple sprayer that has a lot of versatility. There are several manufacturers that make and sell their own version of this sprayer type. They are all very similar but the subtle ways in which they differ do matter. This is why I put together a chart comparing dozens of the most common spot sprayer manufacturers and the different variations that they sell.
|Manifold for boom add-on? Y/N||Max GPM||Max PSI||Hose Length (ft)||Vert Spray Dist (ft)||Manifold for boom add-on? Y/N||Pressure Control? Y/N||Notes|
|Chapin 97361||15||2.5||60||15||Yes||Yes||Separate chemical tank|
|Chapin 97561||25||2.5||60||15||Yes||Yes||Seperate chemical tank|
You can see the basic details are pretty straightforward: tank capacity, length of hose that comes with, and the maximum flow of the pump, but some of these other details require a little more explanation. Here’s a breakdown of what information is displayed in each column and why it matters to you.
The “tank size” column refers to the capacity of the tank on the sprayer. Most ATV and spot sprayers have either a 15 or 25-gallon tank but there are other sizes. The larger the tank obviously means you can cover more area without refilling, but it means more weight, and usually sprayers with larger tanks are more expensive. If you are not sure what size sprayer you need, be sure to read this detailed article on how much area different sprayer sizes can cover.
Most common spot sprayers are equipped with a 12 V diaphragm pump. They range from about 1-5 GPM (gallons per minute) maximum flow rate. This is not the actual amount that will come out of the spray gun or nozzles each minute, just the maximum possible flow the pump will achieve.
The nozzle size on your boom or spray gun and the operating pressure will ultimately determine the actual flow rate of your sprayer. The flow rate can be adjusted, if you are a beginner, be sure to check out this guide to adjusting sprayer output.
The max PSI column refers to the maximum pressure that the pump will achieve. The actual operating pressure of the sprayer will vary slightly depending on the nozzle size and length of the hose on the sprayer. For more information on what operating pressure you should use, check out this post about sprayer pressure.
Manifold for Adding a Spray Boom
Some spot sprayers have a manifold or an outlet in addition to the spray gun that allows you to easily attach a spray boom. If this column contains “yes” it means that there is an outlet port on the sprayer.
A regulating valve is an important component of a sprayer. It gives you control over the operating pressure and helps you to operate a demand-style pump without pulsing or surging. Demand pumps are the most common type of 12 V pump used on spot sprayers. If you are unfamiliar with demand pumps or why they need a regulating valve, I wrote this post to answer the question “Why is my sprayer pump surging”, it explains 12 V demand pumps and their operation.
Horizontal Spray Distance
The distance that a sprayer can actually “shoot” or “throw” liquid is an important feature of a spot sprayer. The “horizontal spray distance” column shows the estimated distance the sprayer can potentially reach under ideal conditions and with the appropriate nozzle type. You can learn more about getting the right nozzle in this post about how far a sprayer can spray.
Vertical Spray Distance
Where horizontal spray distance is how far away a sprayer can throw liquid, and vertical spray is how high straight up in the air a spray can spray. This is more important for tree spraying, or softwash applications such as cleaning houses, etc.
Some spot sprayers have extra features that are not typical. These are described in the “notes” column in the chart. An example of this is the Chapin “Mix on Exit” sprayers. These are spot sprayers but they differ from other types in that they have a small dedicated chemical tank. The large tank holds water only and as you spray your chemical is added to the water as it gets sprayed out of the wand. This keeps chemicals out of your pump and main tank.