2 gallon vs. 1 gallon sprayer

I need to order a pump sprayer. I’m deciding between the 1 gallon and the 2 gallon capacity.

For some weird reason, something is telling me the 1 gallon last longer, because bigger things break more easily. Is there any truth to this? Or is it just an irrational belief on my part?

I would prefer to get the 2 gallon size and not need the extra volume rather than get the smaller one and need another refill to finish the yard.

Weight is the issue. The 2 gallon is 17+lbs and not near as easy to move around and carry. I say its one gallon or 4 gallon backpack in order of what you should get.

I would get a higher quality one so it lasts i do not think that the 2 gallon would break more than the one gallon by any means.


At the risk of sounding judgmental, I’m going to vote for irrational belief on your part :grin:

I have multiple sprayers for different things. The 2 gallon sprayers are much more convenient, and I haven’t noticed any of them breaking sooner. The only reason I would purchase more 1 gallon sprayers is to save on storage space.


I have around ten different small pump up sprayers (1 to 3 gal. size) and two backpack sprayers (4 gal.). I have two electric tank sprayers, one 100 gal. pto sprayer, and one 400 gal. airblast sprayer. I think that just about covers it, lol.

I can’t seem to go by a garage sale without buying another cheap pump up sprayer.

Smaller sprayers don’t necessarily last longer. For pump up sprayers, the parts which go bad are the hoses (they get brittle, kinked and leak). Sometimes the plastic trigger mechanisms break if they freeze. Now, I run a very small amount of antifreeze through them before winter to prevent this.

The seals in the pumps will sometimes wear. You can generally lubricate the seals to keep them going. I’ve had one or two where the pump just broke and I had to throw the sprayer away.

I’ve never had a tank go bad or explode. The plastic they use for those is pretty good. They make some with metal tanks, but I wouldn’t bother with those. Not worth the extra cost, imo. Plus, they weigh more.

On the small pump up sprayers weight isn’t a consideration until you get to the 3 gallon size. If an extra gallon of water is an issue to carry, just fill a 2 gallon sprayer half full. I would get one which has an efficient pump. Some pumps are too small and you have to pump too much to get them to pressure up.

If you are going to buy new, I’d get a sprayer which has a small filter in the trigger handle. Most cheap sprayers don’t have those, which is annoying when the tips plug up.

I have one 3 gal sprayer which the pump handle comes unlatched easily, so the tank drops down to the end of the pump stroke. Kinda frustrating. I think it’s a Chapin.

Generally speaking cost=quality on sprayers. Low cost will get you by, but is going to be junkier.

One of the best sprayers for the buck bang is this one, imo.


You can get them on Amazon for around $45, if you want to feed the Amazon monster.

I own two of them, and they are my favorite. I’ve used them for 4 years now. They have a filter in the trigger. Hose is big and flexible. Because of the tear drop shape, they don’t tip over as easily in the back of my pickup. Pumps are efficient. 2 gal. size is about right.

A couple of things I don’t like about them. One is that the pump can be hard to unscrew. When this happens I just lubricate the seal.

I also don’t like the funnel top of the tank. This is a common issue with many hand sprayers. Manufacturers make the top like a funnel, so you can easily pour liquids in the tank. But the disadvantages are greater, imo. When you unscrew the pump under pressure, some liquid wants to spray your body, and sometimes in your face. Plus the funnel top is just a place to capture dirt, so when you unscrew the pump, some dirt falls down inside the tank. Not a huge issue, but a disadvantage.

I prefer the tanks which have pumps which cover the threads of the tank. In other words, the pump threads are on the outside of the tank, instead of on the inside. But unfortunately most of the sprayers made that way are cheaper sprayers.

Here’s a picture of a cheap one where the threads are on the outside of the tank.


I have one of the smith 2 gallon sprayers and it has worked very well for me for several years. I mostly spray surround, so it doesn’t get a ton of use, but surround is definitely a challenge for my cheap 1 gallon I have, but the smith never blinks. I actually left it in my garage all winter with surround still in the tank (and the tube and nozel) and, with a good shaking to get the surround mixed up again, it sprayed just fine this spring. I don’t recommend doing that, but I was very pleasantly surprised when it just started working after such abuse.

I got the db smith 1 gallon contractor sprayer from the orange store. I think I might return it for the 2 gallon sprayer. I’m thinking because it’s better to have extra and not need it, rather than possibly not have enough? And only $6 more.

I know most of the time I won’t be needing much spray. I’m not a crazy sprayer. Only the peach needs scheduled spray because of OFM and PC.

It will take a while before my cucumbers and melons get big and need BT spray for pickle worm.

But the 2 gallon sprayer comes with a shoulder strap.

How often are you re-pressurizing the pump? With the 1 gallon pump, I’m having to re-pressurize frequently. I have to do so between every tree.

I decided to look up Surround after reading your post, and googled it. It sounds like a super effective product. Does it expire? If no, that would be amzing. It seems like there is a lot in one package to last a long time if it doesn’t expire. 25 pounds.

Surround is basically just clay that is very finely milled, so I don’t see how it would ever go bad. It works based on irritating the bugs so they don’t want to be on the plant or fruit with the surround on it. I bought the 25 pound bag 3 years ago. I’m adding some spinosad this year for a peach tree and hoping that the surround takes care of the PC and the spinosad takes care of the OFM. I definitely recommend the 2 gallon sprayer for surround, since you often need to go over the trees and fruit a few times to make sure you get good coverage.

I can’t put too much effort into the peach, since the squirrels basically steal them all anyway. Last year there were probably 150-200 peaches to start, thinned down to about 75 by me, then down to 2 by the squirrels. I felt fortunate to get the 2. I’m wondering if I keep surround on the peaches if that might deter the squirrels as well, but that is probably just a dream.


I’m glad I don’t have squirrels, thanks to all the neighborhood cats. Or maybe because there aren’t any nut trees around.

3 years. That’s a heck of a deal. How many plants do you spray with it?

Mostly it is for my 3 (previously 4) romance cherry bushes, plus one peach tree. But when I have it in the tank, I also hit some of my dwarf (very dwarf) apples and some of my pears. I’m getting more pest pressure as I go along, so I’ve found more plants need to be covered.

I will say I’ve also started to mix it thicker, going to 4.5 cups per gallon, since it is hard to get good coverage on the very smooth exterior of the cherries.

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I have multiple one gallon sprayers, a 4-gallon backpack sprayer, and a 15-gallon battery powered ATV sprayer. I think my least favorite is the backpack. It’s unwieldy and is a pain to get on and off. It’s also awkward to pump. The ATV sprayer is great but is overkill for a fruit tree orchard the size of mine. The 1 gallons are convienient but sometimes a little too small. I would actually like to have a 2 gallon sprayer. You can also use it as a 1 gallon sprayer if you dont need that much liquid.

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It’s hard to say. “Frequently” has different meanings to different people. Any hand pump is going to have to be pumped quite a bit, but the Smith sprayer is one of the better ones, requiring less pumping per gallon of spray, than many other sprayers.

It’s probably a good idea to return the sprayer for the bigger one. When I first started, I bought a pump up sprayer to spray trees, then bought a 4 gal. backpack, then went to an electric motorized sprayer, etc. The trees grew and I kept adding larger sprayers so I wouldn’t have to refill as much.

It turns out, we use just about all the sprayers anyway, except for the backpacks. We use the hand pump sprayers to spray herbicides around small trees or plants.

I agree with Speedster, the backpacks are also my least favorite sprayers to use. The pumping isn’t all that efficient, and the angle of pumping isn’t very ergonomic compared to regular bottle pump up sprayers. He’s also right on the part about getting them on your back. It’s a pain. Many times I’d rather fill up two 2 gallon bottle sprayers and spray with those, than spray with a backpack.

However, the disadvantage to spraying trees with pump up bottle sprayers is that you have to wield the bottle around with one hand while trying to spray the tree with the other. So a backpack is nice in that regard.


I started with one gal hand-pumped sprayer and graduated to a 2 gal hand-pumped as a number of trees grows. I used Surround and it clogged my sprayer.

I have more trees. I bought a 4 gal backpack sprayer. The built-in pump is very convenient to use and it also agitates the spray mixture as I pump. There is a strainer which is useful for Surround.

It is a lot easier to use this backpack sprayer than a hand-pump one. The only issue is I am a small person. I can’t carry more than 3 gal mix at a time.