Piston VS Diaphragm Backpack Sprayers: What are the Differences?

  • May 2, 2018

man with a backpack sprayer

Are you in the market for a backpack sprayer but are not so sure about what you should be looking for? You’ve probably seen a lot of talk about piston and diaphragm pumps and you’re wondering which is best.

If that explains your situation than we are here to help. Read on to find out the difference between a piston and a diaphragm pump.

So, What’s the Difference:

Basically, the biggest difference between the piston and the diaphragm pump is that the piston delivers a little bit more power.

The piston is able to generate 6 bars of power while the diaphragm is only able to generate 4.

The piston is also easier to repair because you get access to the pump simply by removing a couple of screws. The diaphragm, on the other hand, is a closed system which means accessing the technical components is a little bit more challenging.

These things said, the diaphragm system is more chemically resistant, which means if you are working with corrosive chemicals you will need the diaphragm pump.

When it comes to price the piston pump generally also tends to be more affordable making it an economical option for the typical user.

For these reasons the piston pump generally enjoys greater popularity among casual users.

That said it is also limited in that it can’t handle every chemical, meaning if you require some versatility from your sprayer you will have to go with the diaphragm.

Which Pump is Better

It’s really not a matter of better or worse. Both pumps are good at what they do. If you need power affordability and easy maintenance, it’s the piston pump all the way. On the other hand, if versatility is what you require you will need to go with the diaphragm. You can read more in-depth about this in our backpack sprayer buyer’s guide.

Some readers have also asked us about the differences between traditional garden sprayers and backpack sprayers. You can read this article here: https://healthyhandyman.com/backpack-sprayers-vs-traditional-garden-sprayers-which-to-pick/.

About the Author Adam Davis

I’m the founder of HealthyHandyman, a website dedicated to teaching thousands of people about tools and DIY. I love fishing, playing the guitar, and spending time with my beloved wife. You'll often find me in my workshop working on some new project!