Solo Vs. Stihl Backpack Sprayer (Key Differences Compared)

Backpack sprayers are one of the safest and most effective ways to apply weed killer, insecticides, herbicides, or fertilizers over a large area with minimal effort. Unfortunately, it's a crowded market, and it isn't always easy to know which is the best backpack sprayer for you. In these cases, we find it's usually good to go for a brand you know and trust.  

Solo and Stihl are both well respected backpack sprayer manufacturers. This guide will give you the breakdown of Solo vs. Stihl backpack sprayers and help you understand all the similarities and differences.  

Solo has been around for 70 years, and that in itself is a testament to the company. They started with a few handheld mechanical devices that made lives easier, and they’ve now expanded with a massive range of sprayers, backpack blowers, and saws.  

Solo is well known for their backpack sprayers. They’ve combined efficiency with quality to create some rugged sprayers which are made to last. Their sprayers have large tanks for easy filling and cleaning, advanced nozzles, and comfortable fittings to avoid any strain. Maintenance is a lot different than cleaning regular backpacks. It needs more care but knowing this difference will help you maintain your backpack sprayer better which will make it last longer. 

These sprayers are often the preferred choice for farmers and landscapers, but the durability of Solo backpack sprayers has given them a lot of loyal customers internationally. This brand of backpack sprayer is normally compared with echo backpack sprayers as there features are most often than not almost the same.

man spraying grass

Solo Backpack Sprayer Pros & Cons 

Benefits 

  • Durable
    Solo has a real focus on quality, and their backpack sprayers are made to last. They will outlive similar brands at the same price point.
  • Large Tank
    Solo backpack sprayers have larger tanks, so you can fill and clean them more easily and store more liquid for larger jobs.
  • Efficient
    Solo manual sprayers can produce over 60 PSI. This allows you to spray effectively over a larger area quickly.
  • Long Reach
    Solo sprayers have a 48-inch nylon hose and a 28-inch wand to direct and control the spray. This gives you a really long reach when you’re working.
  • Four Nozzles
    Solo includes 4 different nozzles with each sprayer so you can customize how you use it. These are the fan spray, hollow cone, jet spray, and plastic adjustable. Other nozzles and accessories are also available.

Drawbacks 

  • Heavier
    Solo backpack sprayers, when empty, can weigh 15-20 pounds, which is more than other brands. Make sure this is a weight you can comfortably manage.
  • Short Warranty
    Solo does create durable products, but they only offer a 1-year warranty. This is considerably less than other brands.

Stihl Backpack Sprayers (Product + Brand Overview) 

Stihl is another company with a long history dating back to the 1920s. They wanted to make solutions that removed the physical strain on workers and made labor more efficient, and in 1926 they released their first electric saw. They’ve now got an impressive range of power tools, including backpack sprayers, which they have continued to expand and diversify over the years.  

Stihl has a real focus on power, and that’s clear from the specifications of their backpack sprayers. They have a mix of gas-powered sprayers for larger jobs and manual sprayers for smaller jobs, but they all use mechanisms that maximize their power and reach. This does mean that the sprayers are larger, but it makes them well suited for professionals jobs.  

This brand also make backpack and handheld leaf blowers that are also used by farmers and landscapers. Their sprayer products are also mostly compared with echo blowers as they can contend toe to toe when it comes to its features.

stihl sprayer

Stihl Backpack Sprayer Pros & Cons 

Benefits 

  • Powerful
    Stihl backpack sprayers are powerful and have some larger, motorized models that stand out against other brands.
  • Accurate
    Despite the higher power, Stihl has developed sprayers which are easier to control with specialist nozzles that help you direct the liquid wherever it needs to go.
  • Easy Use
    Stihl has taken the time to understand their customers and created some very easy-to-use controls.
  • Multi-purpose
    The different nozzles and settings of Stihl backpack sprayers mean they can easily be shifted between spraying and misting. This makes them better all-round sprayers than some other brands.
  • High Pressure
    Stihl backpack sprayers offer upwards of 70 PSI. This allows you to get the fine mist which is ideal for treating crops and will enable you to spray a large area effortlessly.

Drawbacks 

  • Heavy
    The downside of the Stihl power is that their sprayers are bigger and weigh more. When filled, some of their sprayers could weigh over 40 pounds which could cause strain or injury.
  • Expensive
    Stihl sprayers aren’t expensive in the grand scheme of things but compared to similar sprayers, they are more costly.

Solo Vs. Stihl Backpack Sprayers (Key Differences & Which Is Best?)  

Solo and Stihl produce backpack sprayers which, on the surface, are very similar and even their branding is pretty similar. There are, however, some key differences when you investigate in more detail.  

Both Solo and Stihl make sprayers that are multi-purpose, but Stihl has more powerful models which are better suited for larger jobs. Solo backpack sprayers are definitely more durable, but Stihl sprayers have a slightly longer warranty to protect your investment. Stihl backpack sprayers tend to be larger because they have more power, and even though Solo and Stihl are similarly priced, Solo sprayers are a little more affordable.  

There are a couple of other factors to consider when buying a backpack sprayer that might impact the brand you choose: 

1. Piston Vs. Diaphragm 

Both Solo and Stihl offer both piston and diaphragm pumps in their backpack sprayers. This gives you two different options for how you pump the liquid from the tank, so it sprays in the way you want.  

Piston mechanisms can reach up to 90 PSI which makes the droplets of liquid smaller. This allows them to reach a lot further and means you can generate a mist which is useful if you want the liquid to rise up. Piston sprayers have a lot more impact, though, so they’ll need to be repaired or replaced more often.  

Diaphragm sprayers are slightly different. They use a wide, flat internal diaphragm which is pumped up and down to create pressure. This generates about 60 PSI which means the droplets are larger and easier to control and direct. This type of mechanism is a lot less strain on your device and helps to improve the longevity of the sprayer.  

Diaphragm sprayers are best if you’re spraying down, like if you’re targeting weeds, and piston sprayers are better if you want to create a mist that travels further, like if you’re spraying insecticide in a field. Both brands offer sprayers with either, so it really depends on what job you need them to do. 

2. Manual Vs. Motorized 

Motorized backpack sprayers are slightly newer but are becoming more common. They typically use either gasoline or a battery back to power them and remove the need to pump any of the liquid manually. This is better for larger jobs and gives you more power with minimal effort. These sprayers are usually more expensive, though, and cost more to run.  

Manual sprayers rely solely on your pumping motion to pressurize the liquid. This typically gives you a shorter reach because there’s less power, but it’s often the best option for smaller jobs.  

Stihl produces a better range of motorized backpack sprayers, so if that’s what you need, then they're the better brand for you.  

3. Tank Capacity 

Both Stihl and Solo have large tanks which allow you to carry a lot more liquid in one go. This makes them easier to fill and clean but can make the overall device heavier when it’s filled up. There really isn’t much in it on this one, but Solo makes some backpack sprayers with very large tanks, which can be useful.  

4. PSI (pounds per square inch) 

PSI stands for Pounds per square inch (PSI), and it shows you how much liquid a backpack sprayer can fire through its nozzle. Essentially, it shows the pressure generated and gives you an indication of how far the liquid will go. Typically, the higher the pressure, the finer the droplets, and if you apply enough pressure, it’s more like a fine mist.   

If you have too much pressure, then the sprayer will be hard to handle, but too little, and the spray won’t be even. Typically, you want a backpack sprayer that can reach 70 PSI and but Solo and Stihl do this comfortably. Stihl offers models which offer more PSI, particularly with their motorized range.   

5. Power & Speed  

The power and speed of a backpack sprayer help you determine how long it will take to get a job done. Both Solo and Stihl offer some decent power, but Stihl versions are slightly more powerful. This makes them the better choice for larger jobs where you need to get it done quickly.  

6. Ease Of Use 

Backpack sprayers need to be user-friendly and should be simple for anyone to use. Both Stihl and Solo understand that, and none of their sprayers are particularly complicated to use. However, some Stihl models have a few extra features which can be intimidating at first, and Solo backpack sprayers are probably better for beginners.  

7. Price 

Both Stihl and Solo are in the low/mid-range when it comes to backpack sprayers, and there isn’t much separating them in terms of price. Solo sprayers are generally more affordable and produce durable products, which make them pretty good value for money. Stihl costs a little more, so you might opt for a Solo if you have a tight budget.   

8. Overall

Overall, Stihl offers more power and has larger sprayers for larger jobs. However, Solo backpack sprayers have large tanks, and the superior build quality makes them the preferred choice for most professionals. Stihl backpack sprayers are more likely to be used by amateurs or DIYers.  


People Also Ask (FAQs)

Where Are Solo Sprayers Made? 

Solo sprayers are made in Germany but are available internationally.  

Who Owns Solo Sprayers? 

Hans and Heinz Emmerich (Solo’s founders) named the company because they made solutions to be operated by a solo individual. Since then, Solo has remained its own company under that name. 

How Do You Lubricate A Pump Sprayer? 

To lubricate your sprayer, you're best off using a silicon spray-on lubricant. Make sure the sprayer is properly cleaned before you apply the lubricant.  

How Do These Brands Compare With Others? 

Both Solo and Stihl offer affordable and effective backpack sprayers. They offer a lot more than some of the cheaper brands and should give you greater longevity. Brands like Berthoud or Ryobi offer more durability, but they are noticeably more expensive. Solo and Stihl provide good value for money.  


Conclusion

You want your backpack sprayer to be efficient, easy to use, reliable, safe, and good value for money. Both Stihl and Solo produce good backpack sprayers which comfortably meet these requirements.  

Stihl offers more power and has a more impressive range of sprayers which will make light work of tough jobs. Solo offers a great deal of value to money with durable and reliable products that are very affordable.  

Professionals tend to go with the reliable choice of Solo, but Stihl has a lot of benefits too. You can’t really go wrong with either of these manufacturers, but hopefully, this guide has given you some useful information to make an informed choice.  

  • Updated November 6, 2021