Hose end sprayers are a cheap way to turn your hose into a useful tool that’s capable of tackling many jobs. Whether you’re washing your car or house, killing weeds, applying pesticides, watering your garden, or anything else, they can get the job done effectively without breaking the bank. But not all hose-end sprayers are created equal. Look online and you’ll see more models of sprayer than you might imagine.
Rather than guessing which one will do the job, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to make the decision easy for you. The following reviews will compare the nine we thought were worth mentioning. All these are capable devices, but only the first three have earned our recommendations. Following the reviews will be a short buyer’s guide to help you remember which traits to keep in mind when deciding which sprayer will be best for you.
|Model||Price||Container Capacity||Editor Rating|
|Ortho Dial N Spray|
|Blue Mule All-Purpose||128 gal||4.50/5|
|Green Thumb||100 gal||4.45/5|
Out of all the hose-end sprayers we tested, the Chapin International G362 combined the best quality, performance, and price to earn our number one recommendation. With 16 mixing ratios to choose from, it’s easy to dial in the right mixture. There’s no adjustable nozzle, unfortunately, but you get a stream and a fan pattern to work with. With the stream, we could reach distances over 20 feet. This may not matter so much if you’re just fertilizing your garden, but if you’re using this to wash your home, then the extra reach may be a major selling point.
The bottom detaches without affecting the sprayer, so you can refill your chemicals without having to detach the whole device. This saves time and adds to the convenience of the unit. It’s pretty light overall, coming in just under a pound. However, it’s a bit top-heavy and fell over if we tried to leave it standing. Though it’s packed with features, it’s still one of the most affordable models we tested. In all, this sprayer from Chapin International is the one we’d suggest for most situations.
The Ortho Dial N Spray hose-end sprayer was both the cheapest and lightest unit we tested, though it still managed admirable performance. We think it qualifies as the best hose end sprayer for the money. Thanks to the all-plastic design, this whole sprayer weighs in at just 11 ounces. We didn’t like the weird angle of the handle and the small plastic trigger, but the three different spray patterns and 14 mixture settings provided plenty of versatility for completing a variety of jobs around the home.
While it has its own cannister for mixing chemicals, we liked the ability to screw Ortho concentrate bottles directly to the sprayer instead of the cannister. This makes for a really simple solution for killing weeds if that’s your intended use. We noticed that the spray reach of this sprayer was much less than most of the others we tested, only travelling about 10 feet. If you’re looking for a sprayer to assist in washing your home or car, this one probably isn’t it. But for any type of yard work, we give it a thumbs up and our second-place recommendation.
The Gilmour 362 professional sprayer is very similar in design to our first-place choice, but it costs over three times as much. We think it’s a bit overpriced, but we could see the improved quality with this model. This sprayer gave the longest, most concentrated stream, reaching around 30 feet in our testing. While this will depend on your water pressure, we tested all of these on the same system to avoid such variables. The Gilmour has a very nice robust feel to it. It’s light and balanced in your hand, and it feels good to use.
Its 16 mixing ratios allow you to dial in your precise mixture. You don’t need to premix anything with this sprayer, just pour in your concentrate and spray. We liked the easy operation that didn’t require any extra steps. Altogether, we think it was one of the most robust and well-performing models we tried. The price tag is higher than we could overlook, which is why it didn’t earn the top position. It’s a step up from our top pick, but not as much as the price would lead you to believe.
At first glance, the Blue Mule Spray-All looked like would be a top-performer. The attached chemical container is very solid and seems far more heavy-duty and durable than most of the other designs we’ve seen. Moreover, the chemical container itself has a very large opening that makes it easy to add chemicals or dry powders without making a mess and wasting them. Compared to the tiny hole on some of our favorite models, this large hole is a nice advantage.
If that were everything, this sprayer would probably top our list. However, there are a few key flaws that hold it back from a top-three placing. First, it’s very expensive, one of the most expensive models we tested. Despite the high price, there is very little versatility with the Blue Mule. You don’t get all the spray patterns and mix settings that are selectable on other models. This is a big drawback that prevents you from dialing in your mix for different substances. At the price, we’d like to see some mixture options available with a knob to earn one of our top recommendations.
Featuring a design very similar to several other models we tested, the Green Thumb 60000GT hose-end sprayer had adequate performance and mid-range pricing. It has 16 mixing ratios for you to choose from. You can pick between a stream and a fan spray pattern, but we’d prefer to see an adjustable nozzle with multiple spray patterns. The stream is supposed to reach up to 30 feet, but it fell far short of the advertised distance in our tests.
We achieved solid performance every time with the Green Thumb sprayer. But it wasn’t noteworthy or special in any way. It was outperformed by competitors with a very similar design and a slightly lower price. If an adjustable nozzle with multiple spray patterns was added, or the stream lived up to the 30-foot claim, this sprayer would probably be a top-three choice. As is, it’s stuck in the middle of the pack with a price that’s too high for the mediocre performance.
Constructed entirely from plastic, the Bonide 51 auto mix hose-end sprayer weighs just 11 ounces. We didn’t mind the plastic build since it is so light, but the on/off switch that replaces the traditional trigger was a nuisance that we didn’t like. In the end, it’s one thing that really held this sprayer back. Offering 12 mixture settings and three spray patterns means this sprayer is one of the more versatile models. However, the most concentrated spray it will produce is just 2.5 tablespoons per gallon. If you need a more concentrated mixture, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
Though it gave us 12 mixture settings, we didn’t feel that they adjusted the mixture much when we turned the dial. Maybe it’s because the highest mix is still pretty low by our standards, but we just didn’t feel the Bonide sprayer gave us much control of the mix. Despite the flaws, this was one of the more expensive options we tested, another reason it won’t be climbing to a higher position on our list.
Our favorite feature on the JR Peters 50000 hose-end sprayer is the easy chemical mixing it provides thanks to the wide mouth on the chemical container. Compared to some models with small openings, this made life much easier every time we had to refill our chemicals. This sprayer is built from all plastic, so we expected it to be lightweight like the other plastic sprayers we tested. Instead, this was one of the heaviest models we got our hands on, weighing in at a full pound. Spray with this for more than a few minutes and you’re bound to feel that extra weight beginning to wear out your muscles.
Most of the models we tested are trigger operated. The JR Peters sprayer opts for a thumb slider for on/off instead, with the mix being controlled by dial. You get gentle rain, flat spray, or stream as spray choices. This doesn’t give you much control of the flow though. We prefer the trigger operated sprayers since we get so much more control of the stream. This is also on the more expensive end of the price range, so you can save some money by getting a better unit.
One of the simplest sprayer designs we tested was the Hudson 2100 hose-end sprayer. We wanted to like it for the simplicity, but it wasn’t one of the better performers. It is cheap, sitting at the very bottom of the price range. Once you use it, it’s not that hard to see why. First, it has very weak suction that didn’t want to pull the concentrate from the container. This is a real problem since the sprayer doesn’t function if it doesn’t suck up the chemicals!
Once we got the chemicals to pull through and join our water, the sprayer clogged up after just a few minutes. This was a problem that repeated itself continuously and became annoying very quickly. Turning it off and on became an issue in short order as well. The dial jammed and didn’t want to turn either way. This simply added to the frustration from dealing with the suction issues. In the end, we can’t recommend this product. The Ortho Dial N Spray in our second position offered much better performance and was almost the same price.
The RL Flo-Master 36HE6 was the cheapest hose-end sprayer we tested, so we didn’t expect too much from it, though we wanted it to perform well. Unlike many of the other all-plastic models, this one has a trigger, a feature we were initially excited about. But the trigger was a disappointment, operating in a strange way that never felt comfortable. You get fan, cone, and stream spray patterns, but they all performed very weakly.
Our biggest problem with the RL Flo-Master was the cheap plastic construction that fell apart after just a few uses. We experienced leaks the first time we hooked it up. This was disappointing, but the sprayer still worked. When we tried to use it, several pieces came off all at once, making it feel like it had practically exploded, spewing water everywhere. Though we appreciate the budget price, we think you’ll find better value spending only a few dollars more on a sprayer that does its job as advertised.
Now that you’ve seen how the nine best hose-end sprayers stack up against each other, let’s take a moment to discuss what traits we were comparing them on. Though they all serve the same basic function, their methods differ drastically. Prices, operation, variability, weight, plus more are all features that should be kept in mind when deciding on which hose-end sprayer to purchase.
If the sprayer you purchase doesn’t last for more than a few uses, is it doing you any good? Most of us would agree that it’s not. A majority of these units will hold up for extended use, but the plastic ones always make us wary. The all-metal sprayers have better longevity since they’re made from a much more durable material. That said, with proper care, even the plastic ones should last for a long time if they’re treated well.
Most normal hose spray nozzles are trigger operated, and many hose-end sprayers are as well. We like this style the best since the trigger gives you control of the flow during operation. Some devices instead use an on/off dial that lets you turn to which setting you’d like. This is annoying to use while the machine is running. It also gives you no control over the flow during operation. Another method of operation sometimes used is a thumb-operated on/off switch. This is a little better than a dial, though it has most of the same inherent problems. We suggest looking for a trigger operated model instead since it will give you the most control.
With the heaviest sprayer we tested weighing just one pound and the lightest we tried weighing just 11 ounces, there’s only a 5-ounce difference between the heaviest and lightest models. That said, after a solid 20-30 minutes of spraying, you’ll feel the extra weight from the heavier sprayers. The plastic sprayers were often very light, but some of them were still quite heavy. Many of the metal sprayers could achieve very light weights.
If you just plan to kill weeds with your hose-end sprayer, then stream distance may not matter much to you. If you’re wanting to wash your car or home with the sprayer, then an improved spray distance is a feature you may want to prioritize. Some models we tested managed streams up to 30 feet while others barely managed 10 feet. Decide what you need from your sprayer before picking it so it will live up to your specific needs.
We’ve covered a lot of information between our reviews and buyer’s guide at this point. You should be ready to pick which hose-end sprayer you will use by now. Just to make sure it’s all fresh on your mind, we’re going to summarize our recommendations once more. The Chapin International G362 was our pick for best overall. It provides versatility with 16 mixing ratios to choose from, a powerful 25-foot stream, and it’s priced affordably.
For the best value at a budget price, the Ortho Dial N Spray hose-end sprayer was a clear choice. It’s versatile with 14 mixture settings and 3 spray patterns to choose from. It’s also very lightweight thanks to the all-plastic build, and it’s one of the most affordable models we found. For our premium pick, the Gilmour 362 has some features that make it impressive. 16 mixing ratios is nice, but the 30-foot stream is the best of the bunch. It’s also very lightweight despite the durable metal build. Overall, we’re confident recommending all three hose-end sprayers and think they’ll all serve you well.
Featured Image Credit By: Blue Mule Hose-End Sprayer, amazon
Hi there! My name is Adam and I write for HealthyHandyman. I have a great passion for writing about everything related to tools, home improvement, and DIY. In my spare time, I'm either fishing, playing the guitar, or spending quality time with my beloved wife. You'll also often find me in my workshop working on some new project!