|Review by NiteWalker||posted 12-01-2011 09:03 AM||6491 views||2 times favorited||4 comments|
This detail gun is absolutely fantastic.
After doing much research online pairing my compressor (Makita MAC2400) with an hvlp gun for spraying the finishes I use, I came to the conclusion that I’d be best served with a “touch-up” gun (also known as a “mini” or “detail” gun). I originally wanted an Asturo or Qualspray from Homestead Finishing, but the price was pretty high and I needed something to hold me over while I saved some cash for the more expensive guns. I ran across the Tool Force A-C2 doing an amazon search and was very pleased with the reviews here, and more importantly, the price. Under $20 for a detail gun with all positive reviews? Sign me up for one!
The gun arrived in a very small box; at first I thought something was missing, but packed neatly in the box was everything pictured on the product page. Not included is an in line air/oil filter, so I bought one from amazon as well (SG Tool Aid 99000 Filter Separator). Also not included was a mini regulator, but I just adjust the pressure at the compressor, so I didn’t need one of these. After cleaning the gun with mineral spirits and ran some denatured alcohol through it. I was now ready for testing. I use cardboard panels hung on a nail for testing. The finish I used for testing was Zinsser SealCoat (a 2lb. cut of dewaxed shellac). I used this for testing because I use it on pretty much every project I finish in my shop except for those that I paint. I set the pressure at the compressor to 45 psi and then fiddled with the fan pattern, gun pressure and fluid delivery until I arrived at a spray pattern I was pleased with. It didn’t take much; a few seconds of adjustment and test sprays on the cardboard and I had the pattern I was looking for: even coverage with no runs or drips. A lot of this has to do with technique as well; I highly recommend Jeff Jewitt’s Spray Finishing Made Simple book and DVD set. It goes through everything a new to spray equipment user (like me) would need to spray various finishes with great results.
In use the gun preforms flawlessly. I’ve used the above mentioned SealCoat as well as Crystalac water borne finishes and am extremely pleased with the results. I haven’t sprayed paint with the gun yet (for that I’ve been using rattle cans), so I can only comment on the experience of those two products. It doesn’t take much to get a desirable spray pattern with the SealCoat; since it’s a sealer coat and gets sanded anyway, I don’t have to be as picky with the spray pattern. I do aim for minimal runs or drips though, as I’d have to apply some extra effort to sand those out.
For the Crystalac though (a great water borne finish; I highly recommend it), I have to be more careful with my settings at the gun. If the pressure is too high, I get orange peel; too low and I get dry spray. Once the gun settings are dialed in, it sprays great and lays down even coats (again, technique plays a big part here; I can’t move the gun too fast or slow).
My only gripe with the gun is the cup size. I wish it was a bit bigger (8 oz instead of 4 would be perfect). I manage though. I only spray small boxes and usually only have to refill the cup once for the clear coats.
One problem I had with the gun was my own fault; after disassembling the gun and cleaning it, the next time I went to use it, it was sputtering like crazy. I disassembled and cleaned it again but the problem persisted so I read through the manual and it mentioned this problem, and the cause being the fluid nozzle not being tight enough. Sure enough, I removed the air cap, used the included wrench to tighten the fluid nozzle a bit and replaced the air cap and the gun was spraying beautifully once again.
Not much else can be said about the gun.
It sprays beautifully, disassembles and cleans easily and is a pleasure to use.
I’ve even put the more expensive gun purchase on hold since this on has been serving my so greatly.
Buy with confidence, and note that you don’t need a giant compressor to run it. I imagine even a pancake compressor will have no trouble with this blue wonder of a spray gun.
I love this little gun so much I plan on giving the Tool Force A-C1 HVLP Spray Gun a try. I like that it comes with two needle sets (1.4 and 2.0mm).
-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.