Our tester is impressed with the straps. They are non-absorbent, wide and well padded. He finds them very comfortable and easy to adjust. However, the lack of a "tummy" strap means the sprayer slides around as you pump the handle.
Filling this sprayer is a breeze. The filler hole is wide (114mm) and close to the edge of the tank to minimise the risk of spills, and the filter is deep. Although it has a solid base, the depth of mesh on the sides of the filter should be sufficient to allow air to escape while filling and so avoid splashing. A scale on the tank's side measures litres and gallons.
The SP415 has an excellent carrying handle and, with proper clips on the pump rod, storage of the handle and lance is secure during transport. Other features that impress our testers are the in-tank pumping system and a paddle that operates to agitate the mixture in sequence with the pumping action.
"I like the paddle. As you pump, the paddle goes up and down to keep the chemicals agitated. That is useful," says the tester. The pressure mechanism on the SP415 has a large-capacity chamber to reduce pump strokes.
The pump handle is reversible for right- or left-handed operation - but you do need a spanner. Fortunately, the sprayer is supplied with a comprehensive "field service" kit including spanner, a good range of nozzles and replacement parts like washers and a spare trigger valve. That sounds good, but we find we can't get at the trigger valve because it is secured in place by a seemingly immovable flat-headed pin.
Maintenance is, however, likely to be minimal. The SP415 has been laboratory tested for the equivalent of 2,500 hours continuous use. It neither failed nor required maintenance.
What's more, the wide range of accessories could see you using the Shindaiwa more than you first imagined. There is a spray hood for the application of non-selective herbicides, and also various spray booms plus a wide choice of wand assemblies and extensions.
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