Vintage Garden Syringe Sprayers    

Back Why Buy What To Buy Repair

If you buy a vintage syringe for use in the garden then you should be able to get one which requires minimal repair. A bit of cleaning and the replacement of the washers or packing should be all you need. However, there are many syringes about which haven’t been used for years, possibly inherited and with sentimental value. In these situations it might be worth going to a bit more trouble to get the syringe working so that it can be used rather than gathering more dust and grime. As long as the parts are all present then in most cases syringes can be put into working order. The most serious problems are dents, splits and bent barrels. Small dents can generally be ignored, but larger dents and splits are only worth repairing in the syringe is of special value. There is no way I know of fixing a barrel which has been bent, but fortunately this doesn’t seem to be a common problem. For more information on dealing with specific problems choose from the list below.   

Personally I think there is still a place in the garden for syringe and self supplying sprayers. Syringes take up a lot less space than the larger compression sprayers, and can be brought into operation far more quickly . I suspect that the poor quality of many of the syringe sprayers available in the 1950’s together with the high profile marketing of the plastic pressure sprayers in the 1960’s are responsible for the end of the syringe sprayers.

Self supplying sprayers are also very efficient and in many  situations  more suitable than compression sprayers. The long tubes make them difficult to handle in the confined spaces, but for spraying large areas or tree they  have a number of advantages.  

If you want to buy a vintage syringe to use in the garden then I suggest you look at the Abol Sprayers (No. 4/5/6), or the older Mysto or Spraygen sprayers with drip guards. These usually have  the cotton reel type pistons, which are easier to repair, and these sprayers are more robust, with the drip guards helping to prevent denting. Many come with a range of nozzles. If buying from Ebay then you can  go for an expensive refurbished sprayer (£25.00 up). Make sure it is advertised as working. Ask which type of piston it has and if it has been tested with water and confirm that there are no major dents. Alternatively take a chance and bid on unrestored models, which can be obtained for a few pounds plus delivery. I have managed to get working about 75% of the sprayers bought on Ebay. Also look out for sprayers at car boot sales. In this case take special care to look for dents and splits which can be hidden by grime. Solo Sprayers Ltd still supply  very  effective continuous sprayers.      

Cotton Reel Pistons - Packing

Cup Washer Piston Repair and Maintenance

Making Cup Washers

Nozzle and Quick Fill Valves - Repair and Maintenance

Dents and Splits



Most of the sprayers of the types covered here will not be worth a great deal (£3.00 to £30.00). As with most vintage items, condition and rarity most influence their worth. Always look for a manufacturers label or mark as many collectors only buy where there manufacturer can be ascertained. Don’t clean off the remains of marks as the even shape can be indicative.  When advertising distinguish between syringes and continuous sprayers. Looking through the pictures on this site and in my catalogue can help as if you don’t see the sprayer there then it could be rare. Please feel free to ask my opinion, but I will not give valuations. For Ebay auction sales don’t start too low. If a sprayer is of any interest, even if it just for spares, then it will be worth at least £3.00.  To be fair to buyers look for dents and splits and make sure these can be seen in photos or are mentioned in the text.  Remember that most self supplying sprayers need a valve/filter on the end of the hose. If this isn’t there then just attaching a hose will not give working sprayer.  Some syringe sprayers can be assembled incorrectly with the nozzle on the wrong end of the barrel. The handle should be on the end which has either the drip guard or the air vent.   


Self Supplying Filter/Valve


Fault Finding

Imperial/Metric Convertor