When you have the right sprayer for the job, painting difficult areas and repetitive items require less time, providing huge savings in labor as well as a smoother, more professional finish.
Whether you are a do-it-yourselfer or a contractor, a spray applied finish is often preferred because of the savings in time, superior coverage and smoother, more uniform look.
If you don’t know the difference between an airless sprayer, an HVLP sprayer, or a cup gun it can be confusing when it comes time to selecting the right one for you. Even contractors who use these machines on a regular basis are not always sure about the latest features or where to purchase their new sprayer at the best price. The paint sprayer reviews found on this site will give anyone, even the seasoned pro… hands-on information to help in deciding what to buy.
Top 5 Chart Of The Best Paint Sprayer
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Graco Magnum X5 Airless Paint Sprayer
Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP Paint Sprayer
Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer
Wagner 0525032 Power Painter Max
Graco Magnum ProX9
A good sprayer can put paint, sealers and stains onto a surface a lot faster than when they are are put on by hand. Using a brush to paint a window shutter, or a louvered closet door is difficult and slow when compared to spraying it out. In many cases, spray application can give your project a smoother and more professional look because you won’t have to contend with frustrating drips and runs as you frantically try to catch all sides and edges with your brush before the paint sets up on you.
Paint Sprayer Reviews – The Pros and Cons of Spray Application
Here’s a few more examples of projects made a lot easier by using a sprayer… Have you ever tried painting wooden shake shingles by hand? Or how about exposed rafters on the overhang of your house? What about lattice skirting, patio furniture or wrought iron gates?
All of these are examples of surfaces that can be painted much faster and with less aggravation when using a sprayer.
Before reading any of my paint sprayer reviews, it’s important to know the differences in the types of sprayers that are available. Deciding on the right paint sprayer is a pretty straightforward task for anyone that has used these rigs before and knows what questions to ask.
Before reading any paint sprayer reviews ask yourself the following
- How often will you be operating this machine?
- What will be your primary type of surface or project you will be using this sprayer for?
- What type of paint will you be mostly spraying with?
- Will you be doing small jobs or big jobs?
- What is the viscosity (thickness) of the coatings you plan to apply?
Be sure to know the answers to these questions and use them as a reference. The paint sprayer reviews contained on this website should help you to make the right decision in choosing the best paint sprayer for your situation.
Be Careful! Airless Paint Sprayers Are Not Always The Best Way to Apply Paint…
With the examples above, I’ve pointed out some project types where a sprayer could really save a lot of time. Let’s face it, I’d rather get a root canal before trying to paint by hand all the louvered shutters on anybody’s home. But… it’s also important to know that in some cases hand applications of paints or sealers is the best way to go.
Depending on your sprayer and how difficult it is to clean, small jobs could fall into this category. Other situations would include some interiors or exterior repaints where the risk of overspray is prohibitive or the time to mask and cover just doesn’t make sense when compared to minor taping, throwing down a drop cloth, cutting it in and rolling it out. Those examples simply don’t warrant the need for a sprayer.
Skilled professionals will often use a hybrid approach known as back-rolling and back-brushing. Back-brushing is a technique where you use the sprayer to wet out the surface but you use a paint brush to work it in and smooth it out. Back-rolling would be the mirror image of this only with a roller instead of a brush. I’ve posted a video demo and short description of this in a previous article on this site for you to check out.
Choosing the Best Airless Paint Sprayer for You…
There are several different types of sprayers on the market today, but generally, they include cup sprayers, air sprayers, airless sprayers, and HVLP sprayers. These sprayers are used for different types of projects and are engineered to help you complete the task quickly and professionally. Understanding the differences in these designs will help you to select what is most suitable for you.
Paint Sprayer Reviews – Understanding the different types of sprayers and what they’re used for:
Hand-Held Cup Sprayers: These versatile, little sprayers have really come a long, long way over the years. Ideal for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers, these sprayers are small and have the paint container (cup) attached directly to the gun. Electric, they are considered an airless because they do not use air to atomize the paint as it leaves the tip. They are built for frequent, daily use but can be used occasionally for projects and touch-ups.
Airless Paint Sprayers: Used almost exclusively in the residential and commercial painting industry, the airless spray pump is the work horse behind most jobs getting done. The smaller rigs are great for homeowners and handymen alike, but are also used by pros for smaller jobs or where carrying a sprayer up a ladder is required. The difference in coverage, versatility and over-all quality are much better and more easily achievable with this type of sprayer.
Air Sprayers: This type of sprayer (also known as a conventional sprayer) looks a lot like the cup sprayer described above. The difference is that there an air compressor is used as the primary mechanism behind atomizing the paint. This causes the paint to be mixed with air, and tends to shoot the paint in a much finer mist. These tools are used for painting everything from automobiles to cabinets and will provide very slick, glossy finishes when used correctly. Despite being the preferred sprayer for auto-body painters… the overspray is difficult to control and the output is slow when compared to an airless or an HVLP.
HVLP Paint Sprayers: HVLP stands for high pressure low volume and is almost a hybrid between an airless and an air sprayer. These rigs have become very popular because they are so versatile when painting items like doors, shutters, iron work, fences, furniture and shelving. HVLP sprayers don’t put out as much paint as an airless, but they can give an excellent finish when painting trim, doors or shelving. You should consider an HVLP if small items that need to look smooth and professionally painted are your primary tasks.
Understanding the different uses and intended applications for these types of sprayers prior to reading my paint sprayer reviews should help you in making the right decision when choosing the best paint sprayer for your next project.
1.Graco Magnum X5 Airless Paint Sprayer
The Graco Magnum X5 pump has received high ratings here at Paint Sprayer Reviews for a lot of reasons. This machine supports longer hose lengths so you can extend your reach on the job, and the Piston Pump assures dependability and longer sprayer life. At the end of your work day, simply connect it to a garden hose and clean the pump, hose and gun in minutes.
This makes your equipment maintenance much easier, and when you consider the price and Graco’s reputation for durability and superb engineering within the paint industry this is a good machine to consider.
Graco has long been the go-to airless for professionals and contractors. Despite being a smaller version of most Graco models, the Graco Magnum X5 is a work horse when compared to a lot of other sprayers out there. Small enough to put in the trunk of your car, and small enough to carry onto a roof if you need to, this airless is perfect for the contractor who needs an airless for occasional small work that also needs to be light and portable… or the homeowner who wants a better quality, more powerful piece of equipment for personal projects. The power and portability of this machine, combined with it’s affordable pricing is a big reason it has been listed on Paint Sprayer Reviews.
Other features worth noting on the Graco Magnum X5 : The pump and motor both stop operating when the gun’s trigger is released. This reduces the chance for overheating and excessive wear and tear on the piston and packings. The stand is heavy duty and very stable… it won’t move around while in operation, and the flexible pick up hoses allow you the option of pumping paint from a single or five gallon bucket. And finally, the control/pressure knobs are clearly marked, easy to understand and user-friendly.
Graco Magnum X5 – Technical Details
- Recommended Gallons Per Use: 125 (Max delivery rate is .24 GPM)
- Gun Included: SG10, Tip included 221-515 (Max Tip size .023)
- Motor: 1/2 HP, Max Pressure: 2800 PSI
- Hose Included: 1/4 IN x 25 FT, Max hose length is 75 FT
- Sprays light to medium coatings from stains to latex
The Graco Magnum X5 is portable, very easy to carry, and simple to store, yet still pumps from a stainless steel piston for exceptional power for a small sprayer. Another feature we like at Paint Sprayer Reviews is its zero-maintenance, lifetime lubricated pad with single-set packings. By not having to worry about the packings you eliminate 90% of the down time repairs with most piston driven spray pumps.
For the price, its tough to find one machine that can spray paints, stains, enamels and even thick elastomeric if need be. It makes painting projects much shorter and easier to complete. Be sure to cover and tape everything properly, pour your paint into a five gallon bucket (through a nylon strainer), and get busy (be sure to check out Paint Sprayer Reviews How-To series). Once you’ve developed the right timing and rhythm for triggering the gun you’ll be painting like a pro in no time.
Here’s what one owner of the Graco Magnum X5 Sprayer had to say:
“The sprayer came with everything I needed to complete my job: sprayer, 20ft hose, instruction manual and DVD. Graco is the brand my local paint store carries, so I knew if I needed/wanted extra tips or accessories, I could get them there. After doing some research on airless sprayers and having a not so good experience with another sprayer I decided I would spend a little more money and get a sprayer I could rely on.”
2.Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP Paint Sprayer Reviews
The Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP model is an excellent machine and was an easy choice as one of Paint Sprayer Reviews top picks. Easy to maintain. Perfect for professional or beginner. This is an industrial-rated, quiet 3-stage turbine system at an unbeatable price. The Mini-Mite 3 system with Gravity Gun include s all the same features as the mini mite model but with the addition of some patented noise reduction. An economical way to own a quieter HVLP system.
The Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP uses the same powerful 3-stage turbine motor as used in the MM3 and Q3 Models. The Super 3 turbine develops approximately 6psi. This is more than enough pressure to spray all known coatings (when properly thinned) and all the newer water-based coatings.
The system includes the Mini-Mite 3 turbine, hi-flex hose, Xpc Gravity non-bleed spray gun with 400cc cup, paint strainer, viscosity cup, cleaning brush, and 20 page User Manual. The size of the gravity cup is 400cc (.85 pint). Please note that this system includes the 9600-G XPC Gravity Spray Gun that features a pattern control knob to adjust the fan size from small to large and everything in between (fully incremental).
The noise level for the Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP is in between that of the MM3 and Q3. The controls let you do almost anything from small to large areas. Even with your first time professional results are easily attainable with this machine. This HVLP is one of the better machines we’ve been able to recommend at Paint Sprayer Reviews. The spray pattern is consistent, easy to control and atomizes very well with virtually no orange peel texture once you get used to it.
Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP – Technical Details
- Professional spray gun now features pattern control knob to adjust size of fan pattern from small to large
- Professional Spray gun has 100 percent stainless steel fluid components, ergonomic handle is insulated – never gets hot.
- Non-bleed spray gun for less blowing around of shop dust
- High-efficiency air cap installed for reduced overspray
- 25ft hose includes air control valve to reduce overspray and bounce back
If you are looking for an HVLP that has been designed for professional results this machine is the bomb! Most of the HVLP rigs in this price range can provide fine finish work too, but not as quickly, not as consistently, and not very easily for the part time spray man or woman. Paint Sprayer Reviews loves the steady low pressure paint flow from the gun. Allowing for superior atomization of the paint, stain, enamel, or varnish coatings you may need to apply.
The Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP model is a bit more expensive than some other models, but if smooth, professional finishes are required than you would do well to spend the extra money for this unit. Easy to clean and store, this sprayer will save hours of work while delivering high quality finishes at the same time. Less prone to orange peel textures, spitting and overspray, the dollars spent to upgrade to this machine is money well spent and is why it remains a top rated HVLP rig at Paint Sprayer Reviews.
Here’s what one of the owners had to say about the Fuji Mini Mite 3 HVLP Spray System:
“This is my first HVLP system, and I am sooo happy I made the change. I decided to look at HVLP systems, and eneded up finding the mini mite. As far as finish quality goes, this thing is top notch. Once you figure it out, the finish quality is far better than Ive seen on any compressor unit. I have had this Sprayer for several months now, and I have absolutly nothing bad to say about it. The stainless gun alone is worth over $300.00… “
3.Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP
The Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer is great for do-it-yourselfers and homeowners alike, the sprayer includes two air filters that protect the finish from dust, a 1-quart, contractor-grade viscosity cup, and a larger 1-1/2 quart plastic cup. Lightweight yet powerful, this handy tool sets up in just minutes.
It features a viscosity cup that lets you measure the density of the material you’re using and adjust the spray pattern as needed. With the Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer, you can spray a variety of different paints, primers, lacquers, and stains. Paint Sprayer Reviews likes the two large air filters that prevent dust from marring the finish, so the result is smooth and even.
This sprayer provides three spray patterns for versatility, and a 20-foot flex air hose to extend your reach. Variable air pressure control (1.50 – 2.63 PSI) and a metal spray gun combine with a powerful two-stage turbine to spray interior latex paint, yet reduces overspray of thin materials such as lacquers and stains. Variable flow control allows you to transition from working with a large spray surface to more detail-oriented projects, like painting trim or windowpanes.
Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer – Technical Details
- Powerful Two Stage Turbine sprays latex, as well as thinner materials such as lacquers and stains
- Variable Air Pressure Control means less overspray with thin materials
- 20 Foot High Flex Air Hose extends your reach
- 3 spray patterns – select the best pattern for your job
- Variable flow control covers large spray surface down to detail work
HVLP sprayers operate differently than an airless sprayer in that they shoot a lower total volume of paint in a much finer mist or spray pattern. Paint Sprayer Reviews recommends using them for the painting of louvered or paneled doors, shutters, trim or other surfaces where you need less paint and greater control.
Airless sprayers are designed to pump at a much higher total volume of paint and work better when coating large surfaces. That’s not to say that the Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer can’t be used for entire walls (in fact, it works quite well on shake shingle siding) but it will be slower because of the lower amount of paint it puts out per minute.
Paint Sprayer Reviews consider the Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer a mid-range unit for the professional painter, due to it’s inability to produce ultra-smooth results with all paints as easily as the Fuji. However, for the do-it-yourselfer or for the contractor that doesnt mind a subtle orange peel texture with some latex paints this unit is a great value and I highly recommend it.
Here’s one of the owners had to say about the Wagner 518080 Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer:
“I have used spray paint in the past but never had good luck with it because I always ended up with uneven results that had runs. I had no issues with runs and it was very easy to apply the primer evenly. After priming, I applied a coat of paint and diluted it to the equivalent of 8 ounces of distilled water per gallon per the paint manufacturer specifications. The latex paint had a mild spray texture to it (not like the orange peel texture described by another reviewer) which is fine for baseboards but probably not as ideal for crown molding which are much more visible. For the crown molding, I want the finish to be as smooth as glass. Per the manufacturer Q&A, this machine can be used indoors with latex paint even though the sticker on the unit states it is for outdoor use only.”
4.Wagner 0525032 Power Painter Max
This Wagner Power Painter Max sprayer is a top rated power painter for homeowners or small project contractors. The Max includes a one and a half quart Twist Lock paint cup, and a five foot suction hose to draw paint directly from a one gallon can. Ideal for spraying stains, sealers, oil paints, and latex paint. Along with that, this Wagner Power Painter comes with the Optimus Dual Tip for greater control, reduced overspray and much better coverage.
Power painters are designed for the do-it-yourselfer painting tricky to paint items such as lattice panels or shutters as well as large surfaces including the exterior of a home. This Wagner Power Painter Max is ideal for homeowner applications and in some cases it can come in handy for touch-ups and small jobs for contractors as well.
As a homeowner, can you paint your exterior with the Wagner Power Painter Max? Of course you can… the only difference is that it is slower than a larger airless spray rig used by most contractors. Paint Sprayer Reviews found that this little hand held sprayer will work just fine for projects around the house. And since you’re not using it all day every day, don’t hesitate to use it for painting entire walls, rooms or the complete exterior of your home.
Wagner Power Painter Max – Technical Details
- New EZ tilt flexible suction tube for continuous flow when spraying up, down, or sideways
- Optimus dual tip for better control and superior coverage
- Two speed electronic control for going from large surfaces to small detailed projects
- Low level indicator alerts user to refill the cup before running out of material
- Twist lock 1 and 1/2 quart cup for convenience and mobility
The Wagner Power Painter Max works great on the spray application side, and clean up took me less time than if I were to clean out one brush. Paint Sprayer Reviews also found that the dual tip really does work well and when used with the flexible pick-up tube to draw your paint this little sprayer works like a champ. It also comes with a heavy duty black, durable-plastic case with real hinges and very rugged, sturdy design.
These cases are nice because they force you to properly clean the unit before storing it away, otherwise it probably wouldn’t fit back in the case very well. Remember, proper clean-up is the key to your sprayer working well for a long time.
I like the Wagner Power Painter Max for small jobs or occasional large do-it-yourself type jobs. We used to carry one of these on our trucks when we didn’t want to break out the larger spray pumps, so I know that it works fine for smaller applications. If you’re a homeowner and you’re looking for an inexpensive sprayer that will work around the house we recommend this little sprayer as a great choice.
In this “How To” series of Paint Sprayer Reviews we’re going to take a closer look at the Wagner Power Painter Sprayer. These small spray guns are designed for small jobs, touch-ups, or occasional use for slightly larger jobs like siding, soffits and overhangs, etc. It’s very easy to use, easy to clean and is the perfect tool for homeowners, property maintenance personnel or even the professional contractor when breaking out the bigger spray pump just doesn’t make sense.
The Wagner Power Painter has been the standard for this type of sprayer for many years and this particular model, with all of the features demonstrated in the video has really improved and evolved from the early years. The Dual Tip technology is great because it allows the gun to spread a greater volume of paint per minute over a slightly larger area with much better coverage than before.
Another very cool design feature is the flexible pick-up tube within the attached paint cup. Other power painters have always used a rigid plastic tube to draw paint from the cup into the gun. But as you’ll see from the demo, the flexible tube allows the pick-up filter to follow the paint no matter what angle you have to tilt the gun. This allows you to use more of the paint inside the cup before having to refill it.
Here’s what one of the owners had to say about the Wagner Power Painter Max
“Does a very nice job, I suggest using either the back pack for this or the included 1 gallon paint can adapter, It puts out a nice even spray. Never had a paint sprayer before, I live in a apartment complex and I wanted to paint the place with some new nice paint. This paint sprayer works excellent. I didn’t have to thin the paint and cleaning and lubricating it is easy as well. ”
5.Graco Magnum ProX9 Paint Sprayer
Another top rated airless paint sprayer, the Graco Magnum is a heavy duty, well built spray pump designed for property maintenance, residential house painting, light commercial, or general handy man type work. An excellent and powerful rig, it’s still only designed for occasional monthly use versus a larger sprayer that can handle pumping paint all day every day.
However, this airless is a very powerful spray rig and is often found in the arsenal of painting contractors. The Graco Magnum sprayer comes complete with an in handle filter spray gun, swivel connectors for your pressure hose, fifty feet of Duraflex high pressure hose, a 5-15 orifice tip, eight ounces of storage lubricant, a foldable hi-boy cart, and an informational DVD explaining how to operate the sprayer properly and a helpful start up guide.
Another great feature we like with the Graco Magnum series are the two easy access purge valves that make it much easier to keep the paint clean and to remove any dirt or debris that could cause clogs in your spray tip reducing down time and allowing for a smoother finished product. Perfect for home exteriors, interiors, apartments, rental properties, shutters, doors, eves or siding.
Graco Magnum – Technical Details
- Maximum delivery rating: 0.38 gallons per minute gallons per minute, pump directly from 1 or 5 gallon paint containers
- Maximum operating pressure: 3000 psi – pounds per square inch
- Maximum tip size: 0.019-Inch
- 7/8 Horsepower – runs off a 15 Amp household current or 1500 Watt generator
- Maximum hose length: 150 feet
Graco Magnum Airlesss Sprayers have been the preferred spray pump for professional painters for many years. In fact, my first sprayer was a used Graco 333 pump that I used almost daily for another 10 years.
This model is not quite the work horse of the old 333 model, but for the serious craftsman that will need a quality sprayer on a regular basis… this is an excellent machine for the money making Paint Sprayer Reviews top pick for an inexpensive upright carriage model.
The technology behind the stainless steel pump rod and the packing set has vastly improved since those days, making the maintenance and potential down time less frequent and less of a hassle.
This rig comes with a 5-15 tip, but I would recommend also purchasing a 5-17 and a 5-19 for greater flexibility and performance for different paints and stains. Most of the coatings today are latex (water based), which makes clean-up fast and pretty straightforward using just water.
The advantage to a more powerful sprayer like this one is that when using the right sized tip, it’s much easier to get a really smooth, professional finish because the added PSI allows for greater atomization of the coating as it exits the spray gun. This reduces unwanted orange peel texture or other flaws that can develop with the less expensive sprayers. This is why I’ve listed this pump on Paint Sprayer Reviews… it’s a work horse for the money.
Here is what one of the owners had to say about the Graco Magnum Pro X9:
“I am a contractor and have an hvlp sprayer, and the Graco Magnum was a nice addition to my business. It has plenty of power for not a lot of money. I look forward to buying more tips and filters for it but overall it’s a nice unit and a good spray gun.”