Milwaukee SWITCH TANK
The Milwaukee M18 Switch Tank 4 Gallon Backpack Sprayer is designed for the user who changes chemicals often. A dedicated gardener, farmer or professional landscape crew will reap the benefits of storing chemicals in different tanks and quickly putting them on the power base and heading out spraying. Cross-contamination of chemicals is hard to avoid with a single sprayer and this was one of the main points Milwaukee Tool aimed to solve. The Pump, Hose, and Wand are separated from the power base so when a tank is changed there is no chance of contamination.
The battery-powered backpack sprayer sustains a constant pressure in each of the 5-modes allowing pressure to be adjusted from 20 to 120 psi with 0.10 to 0.51 gallons per minute. The 5-mode pressure adjustment knob can be reached while the backpack is being worn, although knowing what level you are in cannot be seen. The handle of the wand and trigger are plastic with a metal sprayer extension and brass adjustable tip. The wand has a trigger lock to help with larger spraying projects where one would want the trigger pulled at all times.
The 4 Gal. Sprayer Tank Assembly has a dual diaphragm pump and chemical resistant seals. There is a strainer in the wide mouth of the tank to stop debris from entering the tank. The tanks connect to the base with two hooks on the top of the tank and two tension levers front and back. Changing a tank takes less than 30-seconds.
The Milwaukee Tool Switch Tank is comfortable to wear with the wide straps. The motor system and straps weigh in at 17 pounds. Add in a small battery, the tank and wand and 4-gallons of water and you are cresting 50 pounds. This feels very normal to us as we are used to carrying a 5-gallon manual sprayer. For some, this is a lot of added weight. To be completely comfortable, make sure to adjust the straps so the weight is carried against your back and not hanging off on an angle backward. Incorrect adjustments can make this tank and any other backpack tank uncomfortable.
While in use, the sprayer maintains a good constant pressure. We found the adjustments to be very precise and user-friendly. Some of the levels may not work for everyone. Level 5 is great for spraying fruit trees and long distances, but won’t work well for spot spraying weeds. Adjust the tip and the pressure to your needs. Near the end of the tank, the user will have to move the fluid around to try to empty the tank. With some moving, or dancing, you can get the tank down to about 6 ounces left. If you do not dance at the end, it will leave about a 1/4 gallon left that can be drained through the plug in the bottom of the tanks.
Battery life was excellent. The battery compartment can hold the 12.0 Ah battery but it is not needed and would just be extra weight. We found that one can spray 15 gallons of chemical per amp-hour of battery. For many, a small and lightweight compact battery will be all that is needed. Milwaukee states that this will spray 25 feet and it will come very close. If you are spraying in an upward direction, expect the spray to shoot about 10 feet beyond the wand tip.
Overall this backpack sprayer is a game changer for professionals or others who are in need of changing chemicals quickly without the worry of cross contamination. Pricing shows this is a pro tool with a bare sprayer priced at $299. You can get the kit with a 3.0 Ah battery and charger for $399. It is obviously not worth getting the kit unless you need a battery as a 3.0 Ah battery is an older style. Extra tanks are currently $149 each. For the person who will use it, this will well worth it.