A number of us here have actually used little paint sprayers in the past with limited success, so we wondered whether the existing batch was an improvement. We chose to check some to find out. We concentrated on little sprayers under $200 that might spray latex paint and other water-base surfaces.
A quick study of readily available paint sprayer reviews in two categories: airless sprayers with a little built-in pump, and high-volume, low-pressure HVLP sprayers that rely on a vacuum type turbine. In the past, most handheld sprayers were the airless type. They were typically nicknamed "buzz weapons" for the loud ringing noise produced by the pump. Recently, however, more consumer-grade HVLP sprayers have actually become available, and we decided to focus our efforts on this group.
Unlike airless sprayers, most HVLP sprayers in this price variety can't shoot unthinned latex paint. Plus, they put more surface on the task and less into the air, which is much better in numerous ways.
Our test exposed a substantial variation in spray patterns. The cheaper sprayers with smaller turbines and plastic shower suggestions produced a design that was expanded with foggy edges and excellent paint spatters. On the other end of the spectrum, the Wagner sprayer produced really high paint particles in a tight spray pattern with tiny spray beyond the edges, enabling you to get a super-smooth surface with great control.
Makers claim all kinds of functions, but here are the ones we believe are the most important. The functions we point out, you might see claims about easy cleaning or added adjustments. The fact is that all of these sprayers require disassembly for thorough cleaning, and the only changes you need are of the spray pattern and the paint circulation.
While airless sprayers are rated by the number of gallons per hour they can spray, HVLPs are typically ranked by the wattage of the turbine. The argument is that the higher the wattage, the more pressure the turbine can produce. And higher pressure allows better atomization of the paint and permits more viscous (thicker) metals to be sprayed. Wattage is just one part of the formula for an excellent sprayer, however in basic, more is much better. The Rockler turbine is ranked at 1,000 watts, with the Wagner PaintREADY System turbine being available in 2nd at 540 watts.
We focused on small sprayers under $150 that might spray latex paint and other water-base surfaces.
A quick study of readily available sprayers revealed two categories: airless sprayers with a small built-in pump, and high-volume, low-pressure HVLP sprayers that rely on a vacuum cleaner-- type turbine. Unlike airless sprayers, the majority of HVLP sprayers in this price range cannot shoot unthinned latex paint. On the other end of the spectrum, the Graco sprayer produced high paint particles in a tight spray pattern with minimal spray beyond the edges, enabling you to get a super-smooth surface with excellent control.