What Is The Best Airless Paint Sprayer You Need To Know Before Buying?

DIY paint jobs can be a mix of fun and challenge rolled up into one learning experience. Spray painting is a fun experience when properly done using the appropriate equipment. Before delving into the whole spray painting business, it is important to understand the concept of spray painting, the types of spray painting techniques and the advantages and shortcomings of one technique over another. This helps to appreciate spray painting better and will definitely help to discern better what the best airless paint sprayer is.

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This article highlights the differences between airless spray painting and air assisted spray painting and mainly focusing on the airless spray painting technique. This goes to better help differentiate their respective modes of action. Each is a unique style of painting with its specific merits and shortcomings. By the end of this article, you will be knowledgeable on the general topic of spray painting and will be in a great position to choose the best airless sprayer specific to your needs.

** Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Spray painting has its roots traced to the 1880s during the construction of the Southern Pacific Railway. The earliest models of a spray painter consisted of a hand pumped system that delivered water paint through a nozzle. This device instantly became popular owing to the fact that it took considerably less time to apply a coat of paint compared to traditional paint brushes.

Jose A. Brown
Founder Of Eztoolhub

How Does Spray Painting Work?

Spray painting involves the use of specialized equipment known as air guns. Paint is fed to the air gun and depending on the type of air gun, and the paint may be propelled via the use of pressurized air. The pressurized air is used to atomize the paint. In other types of air guns, the paint itself may be pressurized eliminating the need for pressurized air.

airless paint gun

Airless paint gun

By definition, the latter process is called airless spray painting. In some instances, the paint may be subjected to an electrical charge in electrostatic spray painting. This is achieved via several ways. One method is the direct introduction of an electrode into the container holding the paint. A second method is via the charging of the spray gun’s outlet nozzle. Paint particles gain the same electrostatic charge which forces the paint particles to repel each other. This provides a finer paint spray jet.

In airless spray painting, a solenoid-piston apparatus located in the spray head which pumps the paint in upstroke and downstroke motions. Most airless spray paint heads have an inlet and an outlet valve. Airless spray guns operate at extremely high-pressure ranges that lie between 350 to 8000 pounds of force per square inch. This value may go as high as 3000 PSI.


Why Choose Airless Paint Sprayer Over Air-assisted Paint Sprayer?

While making this choice, it is important to bear in mind the specific needs of your paint job at hand. Factors such as cost effectiveness, safety and the size of the area to be painted are most often considered.

Outdoor Painting Jobs

  • In many cases, airless paint sprayers are used for outdoor paint jobs due to the amount of overspray emitted and of course the noise produced.
  • Air-assisted spray guns are better suited for indoor paint jobs mainly because they have an impressive paint transfer rate of over 90 percent.

Via: Amazon.com

  • Airless spray guns, on the other hand, are particularly useful in covering vast spaces and are also very portable.
  • While using an airless spray gun, the paint doesn’t need thinning because the pressures used here are extremely high. Air assisted guns need properly thinned paint and are also sensitive to enamel and latex paints. This is due to the paints’ thick consistency. Since no thinning is required, no solvents are released into the environment during the use of airless spray guns.

Benefits Of Airless Paint Sprayers

  • Airless spray paint guns produce a thick and uniform coat of paint that reduces the number of coats applied.
  • When using airless spray guns, the paint penetrates the hard to reach areas such as cracks, crevices, and pits.
  • Due to the use of unthinned paint, the wet coat applied results in perfect adhesion creating a perfect and evenly colored surface.
  • For large scale manufacturers of articles such as wood or sheet metal, airless spray paint guns are used to effectively apply large volumes of paint or varnish within a short duration of time while saving costs since a minimal number of staff is required to operate the equipment.

Safety Tips

Minimal practice and experience are required to produce a smooth finish while using an airless spray paint gun. The downside to using airless spray guns, however, is that extra care during use is of utmost importance. It is incumbent upon the user to first of all read through the accompanying literature and to better understand the equipment’s specifics.

Safety warning accompanies the airless spray gun’s instructions in the literature. It is of utmost personal importance not to put any body part in front of the sprayer during its operation. As discussed earlier in the article, airless spray paint guns pack immense power. The operating pressure in airless spray guns is sufficient to easily cut through layers of rust and old paint coats. Human flesh, therefore, doesn’t stand a chance against this piece of equipment. There is a serious risk of amputation and/or permanent injury if not properly used. On the brighter side, being aware of the dos and don’ts goes a long way to ensure personal safety and the proper functioning of the airless spray equipment.


Important Features Consider When Choosing An Airless Sprayer

Different manufacturers incorporate different designs and functional parts in their airless spray guns. The main differences between the various brands of airless spray guns is that there are some that are powered by electric motors, diesel motors, pneumatic motors or hydraulic motors. In some brands of airless spray guns, the piston is replaced by a diaphragm.

Newer electric models have digital interface controls while others are operated by an electric clutch in gasoline engine models. Below are some of the basic factors one needs to consider before settling on one type of airless sprayer over another.

1. Size and nature of the paint job: While buying airless sprayers, the size of the paint job will determine the choice of an airless sprayer. How much area requires a coat of paint? What are the surface characteristics of the area needing paint? Airless sprayers, come in different power ratings and physical designs. Large paint jobs are better suited to use industrial grade airless sprayers.

2. Ease of operation: For beginner painters, it is important to find an airless sprayer whose operation, maintenance, and general handling is manageable.

3. Price versus power: This is an important note to take considering airless sprayers have specific operating pressure range. Overpriced airless sprayers don’t always mean additional features. The only difference comes in with the size of the motor.

In the next segment, I am going to sample and review some of the best airless spray guns currently available on the market. It is important that you keenly scrutinize each model while making references to the nature and specific needs of your paint job.


Which The Best Airless Paint Sprayer Should You Get

1. Graco Magnum 262800 X5.

best airless paint sprayer

Via: Amazon

This top selling airless sprayer features a durable and lightweight design, an ergonomic and comfortable handle and consistently reliable power. This airless spray gun is popular with homeowners with constant painting needs. It can be used in painting floors, fences, decks and exterior walls by professional painters and DIY enthusiasts like me.


Pros

  • The Graco Magnum 262800 X5 has an electric motor that delivers up to 3000PSI of pressure.
  • This airless spray gun is useful for paint jobs aimed at covering stains, acrylics, and thick latex.
  • This model is easy to clean and has an auto primes feature that is particularly handy when it comes to sprayer cleaning and problems associated with nozzle hardening. It is worth mentioning that this particular model doesn’t have a compressor but instead relies on its 1/2 horsepower electric motor to deliver results. The resulting paint job is a smooth and even finish that is pleasant to look at.
  • Another feature that makes the Graco Magnum 262800 X5 a favorite to most DIY painters is its ability to suck paint directly, from the paint can as opposed to the traditional cup design, without the unnecessary endless refills.

Cons

  • The 1/2 horsepower electric motor on the Graco Magnum 262800 X5 may be a little underpowered for large painting projects. Its use is therefore limited to home painting and maintenance projects.
  • Owing to its lightweight design, The Graco Magnum 262800 is easily amenable to causing injury to the user. A bit of practice and additional safety steps are necessary before using this particular product.

2. Wagner 0518080 HVLP Sprayer

wagner 0518080 sprayer

This particular piece is most popular to beginner DIY painters embarking on routine exterior wall paint jobs and also fence and deck painting. Fuji is renowned manufacturer famed for uncompromising quality and standards in machinery and equipment. This airless sprayer is designed to meet the needs of small scale home paint jobs and medium maintenance paint jobs.


Pros

  • This Wagner spray painter boasts a 1400 watt twin stage turbo that delivers up to 3000PSI worth of pressure.
  • This product is designed to withstand a beating and perform optimally. This is made possible by the heavy duty metal casing it is made of. This makes it all the more durable and easy to maintain.
  • This spray painter has an adjustable tip that easily turns toggling from a half inch configuration to twelve-inch spray patterns.
  • The Wagner 0518080 features a two-stage turbine system that minimizes paint wastage ensuring the paint is effectively delivered up to the last drop.
  • The nozzle has an anti-bleed feature that works in tandem with a fan control knob ensuring that the painter doesn’t experience overspray.
  • The Viscosity cup feature on this spray painter allows paint thinning only as far as is needed.

Cons

  • The downside to this wonderful piece is that owing to the metal that comprises the nozzle and most of the spraying gun, it easily corrodes. However, this can be addressed by applying the film of mineral oil that stops the oxidation process.
  • TheWagner 0518080 is designed to be a lightweight to medium weight airless spray painter. Where the painting needs are industrial scale, this product may be overwhelmed.

3. Homeright C800766 Max Fine Finish Sprayer

HomeRight C800766

The Homeright C800766 earns its place in this list by incorporating a brass spray needle and housing in one package. The Homeright brand designed this particular piece to work in both indoor and outdoor applications. It is a perfect choice for individuals seeking to apply a new coat of paint on both interior and exterior walls, art pieces such as statues, casts and furniture as well.


Pros

  • It minimizes paint wastage through overspray by balancing the amounts of pressure it operates on.
  • For beginner painters and individuals with no prior experience with airless spray guns, the Homeright C800766 is designed to be fairly easy to use. This makes it popular among contract painters embarking on small to medium sized paint jobs which may include painting doors outdoor exterior trims, decks, and gates.
  • It is a lightweight and extremely portable airless spray gun.
  • The Homeright C800766 is powered by a turbine with a power rating of 650 watts that produces a pressure output that varies between 2500 PSI and 3000 PSI depending on the user’s configuration.
  • The brass tip nozzle has a spray pattern adjustment feature that allows the painter to vary the spray pattern depending on the nature of the paint job.

Cons

  • This product is designed for light to medium weight use. It is underpowered hence cannot take on large paint projects. The 650 watts power rating is best suited for undertaking lightweight home-based painting projects.
  • Owing to the paint cup design incorporated in this spray painter, the amounts of paint applied at a given time is limited to the volume of the cup.

4. Wagner 0529010 Indoor/Outdoor Sprayer Kit

indoor / outdoor paint sprayer kit

This Wagner power product is an airless paint spray gun that packs an impressive 3000PSI worth of pressure. It is suitable for both outdoor and indoor painting jobs. The Wagner 0529010 is popular with professional contract painters that take up paint jobs covering large areas of space such as a house’s exterior walls and roof, wooden floors that need a fresh coat of varnish and another medium to large projects.


Pros

  • This airless spray painter is 20% lighter than most handheld airless sprayers. This means that its portability and ease of access to areas such as the attic and tight spaces are among its best features.
  • It has a durable design incorporating easy to use equipment and is also light. The latter feature renders this particular product easily portable for paint jobs that require constant moving.
  • Thanks to its removable tips, this Wagner spray paint gun is easy to wash and maintain. Tip hardening is reduced to a large extent preventing blockage of the nozzle.
  • Its ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold ensuring maximum fun while undertaking a particular painting project at home or on a contractual basis.

Cons

  • The Wagner 0529010 has been reported to more than often experience electrical glitches. This is because this particular product is easily amenable to short circuiting. Repair costs associated with this product are considerable with some individuals suggesting that it would be easier to buy a new airless prayer than to repair.
  • The power rating on this product may not be compatible with the household power ratings in some countries. This means that its supply may be only limited to compliant power rating states. In the event this product is used at a lower or higher power rating outside the specified range, complications are abounded to occur.

5. Graco Magnum 262805 X7

Graco Magnum 262805 X7 HiBoy Cart Airless Paint Sprayer

Being already introduced to the Graco brand earlier, the expectations on this particular product are high.Amateur painters upon purchase of this product receive accompanying literature and instructional DVD disks.


Pros

  • This product is designed to be a medium duty paint sprayer that is easy to operate to beginners.
  • The Greco magnum 262805 has a power flush feature that auto-cleans as soon as you’re done painting.
  • The Graco Magnum 262805 has an impressive 150 feet worth of hose that comes in handy while applying paint in hard to reach areas such as the attic.
  • The TheGraco Magnum 262805 runs on powerful 3/4 horsepower motor that produces over 3000PSI.
  • As far as pressure control is concerned, this airless sprayer has a knob that allows the user to toggle the operating pressure hence determining the spread of the paint and the pattern.
  • Once a learning curve has been established, using the Graco Magnum 262805 X7 is an easy and pleasurable experience.
  • It is suitable for use in DIY vehicle paint jobs amongst other things owing to the fact that the hose is several times longer than any other brand’s.It is popular with large scale property maintenance jobs and similarly to DIY home painters. This particular paint sprayer features a 3/4 horsepower generator that can easily run on 15-ampere household current.

Cons

  • The 3/4 horsepower generator is a bit too much for basic home paint jobs. The excess power means that there will be overspray hence paint wastage.
  • The excessively long hose that is featured on this particular product increases the odds that spills will occur at some point. Special care is required while moving around with the spray hose. Otherwise, the whole experience could turn clumsy.

Conclusion

Our Pick: Graco Magnum 262800 X5

Airless Spray painters come in varied brands and designs. The perfect airless spray painter combines the aspects of portability, power delivery and easy cleaning and maintenance. The Graco Magnum 262800 X5 achieves all the above. It is a light to middleweight sprayer that effectively gets the job done.

Compared to its competitors, The Graco 262800 scores the most points in the design, delivery, and power. Its 1/2 horsepower motor is home and user-friendly. Its optimal operating pressure of 3000PSI generally averages the competition’s meaning that, for a spray painter of its caliber the expected results are easily way above average. For an airless sprayer of its specifications, The Graco Magnum 262800 X5 is the best value for your money.

Jose A. Brown
 

Jose A. Brown is a mechanic engineer and an enthusiastic blogger whose mission is to provide the readers with the best tips, guides in the Home Improvement, DIY Project, and Industry.

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