best spray gun?

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Forum topic by airman posted 10-01-2010 01:37 AM 9599 views 3 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View airman's profile


51 posts in 3243 days

10-01-2010 01:37 AM

Can any one suggest a web site where I can get information what to look for in a spray gun and or a site where I can compare guns? I have found site that compare prices but not the actual guns. Also I would love to hear what you folks think I should look for. I am a hobbyist, would be spraying mainly shellac and lacquer and maybe occasionally paint. If possible I would like to keep it under $100. Thanks for any and all info

8 replies so far

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2853 days

#1 posted 10-03-2010 05:06 PM

You can get nothing or performance like the top guns for $100. Spraying shellac I would buy aerosols. Don’t use the same gun for paint and lacquer. Little bits of paint will soften and plague your clears. Try woodweb lots of info there.

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 3461 days

#2 posted 10-03-2010 05:24 PM

I can recommend the Earlex 5000, but it costs more than $100, but is well worth it.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#3 posted 10-03-2010 05:32 PM

woodcrafts woodriver spray gun has been getting good reviews:

for you WOULD need a big a$$ compressor to keep it running.

If you want a self contained turbine, the Earlex has a couple of good models, the 5000 seems to be the best quality for the hobbist. while the 3500 is selling for $130 ( which is a really good price, at the cost of a lesser gun and turbine than the 5000.

I personally use the CH2500 which is comparable in specs to the Earlex 5000 and is working great. you can check my review here on LJ.

EDIT I edited the 3500 model number and price

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View ajb's profile


29 posts in 3088 days

#4 posted 10-06-2010 03:29 PM

I know, I know I will get flack for this but after you get past the harbour freight name its not that bad
I hve been using This h.f. one I have three, for differant uses in each. It is only 14.99 on sale.
Is it top of the line, No.
is it under a 100, and is fairly easy to use? Yup.
It has worked great. I bought it in the first place to find out if I liked spray finishing projects and planned on buying a better one later but a year later I am still using it and have bought 2 more to avoid issues with contamination between differant finishes. once you get the gun running the way you want it is pretty rock solid.

View Jonnyfurniture's profile


59 posts in 2853 days

#5 posted 10-08-2010 12:40 AM

I hear ya ajb. I got lucky with some inexpensive guns that had given me years of use. I also have a top notch SATA gun that is outstanding. Until the finisher understands how to get the viscosity, retarder, humidity. spray technique etc. right then a decent gun that managed to avoid the manufacturing flaws that come with a batch of budget guns will do fine. One thing to consider is the transfer efficiency of the entry level guns. That overspay will end up in a lot of places besides on your project.

View TexasTodd's profile


24 posts in 3634 days

#6 posted 10-08-2010 01:05 AM

I bought an Earlex 3500 a couple of months ago and it is fantastic. I had been struggling with a compressed air gun for years and finally got fed up. It was way too finicky to get consistently good results for me. Granted, my compressor was undersized for the job. The Earlex 3500 is $150 at Woodcraft and comes with a 1.5 mm tip. I am amazed at how it has elevated my finishes!!! It is not pro grade, ie, it is almost entirely plastic. But for the budget conscious, I would say this is a hard to beat value equation. At least for me, This is a fantastic setup. I use it almost exclusively for spraying lacquer and it is fantastic!! If you can step a little over budget, you won’t regret getting this turbine setup.

-- Todd in Houston, Texas

View POGO's profile


19 posts in 2911 days

#7 posted 10-08-2010 02:10 AM

You may want to visit the Woodworking section at Spraygun World. This website is dedicated to various types of spray coating systems from the inexpensive to professional systems. If you plan on spraying all types of coatings be prepared to spend considerably more than $100. Although you can achieve good results from an inexpensive gun, generally they don’t last and you will find that you spend more time trying to keep the cheaper products working properly. All of the spraying system have positive and negatives it depends what you are willing to accept. I suggest reading the information on vendors website before you purchase any gun or system.

Also bear in mind that when you atomize a coating there is more than just the cost of the spray system that should be considered. You need to have a dedicated area either temporary or permanent to contain the air-bone coating and exhaust to an area which will not be harmed by over-spray. Include the cost for respirators, cleaning material, strainers, work support tables, filters etc. All of this stuff adds up and is a necessary part of any spray setup.

-- Arvid, Spring Texas

View Gofor's profile


470 posts in 3813 days

#8 posted 10-08-2010 03:29 AM

Ditto on what POGO said.

I used spray guns in the acft industry for about 40 years. You can easily find an inexpensive spray gun for lacquer and shellac. You can thin varnish and poly and still get by with an inexpensive gun. HVLP guns take more air, but the saving grace is a lot less overspray. For most furniture work, a small “detail” HVLP spray gun will fit the bill without breaking the bank for the compressor. I would never spray a flammable coating in my garage, in my shop attached to my house, etc. The overspray that lands on the surrounding items is also very flammable, so any build-up is a fire waiting to happen. Without a dedicated booth and exhaust, it is a crap shoot safety wise. As for a recommendation for a top quality HVLP gun, the Binks Mach 1 conversion gun is excellent, and DeVilbiss (who now own Binks) have always made a very good quality spray gun. Both are professional grade and expensive, but those are the only ones I can personally vouch for, having used them extensively.

For those spraying with compressor guns, one aspect you may not have tried is a small pressure pot. HF has an inexpensive 2 qt one (best to wrap the threads on the cup with teflon tape so you don’t need a massive pipe wrench to get it off). The advantage to it is that it feeds the paint to the gun under a small pressure, so that whichever way you turn the gun,(sideways, upside down, etc) to get into those tight spots, the gun never loses fluid and you don’t spill any paint. The pot can set on the table or hook on your belt. DeVilbiss makes one of better quality. This works best with guns that siphon feed, altho you may be able to use it with gravity feed. If you put it on a siphon feed gun, you will need to reduce your fluid setting. You can also spray with a little higher viscosity, cutting overspray. The caveat is that if you get trash in the fluid needle, the paint under pressure will still come out even when you release the trigger. Got to use strainers and flush the hoses.

None of this applies to water-based coatings. Water is a large molecule that is very difficult to atomize, and it takes a large orifice gun, or very high pressure to get a decent result spraying water-based coatings. That is why most house painters spraying latex use “airless” spray guns that pump the fluid pressure up to about 3000 psi. And then they still back roll with a conventional roller many times to even out the coating.

I have heard the Earlex will do a passable job with the acrylic (water-based) coatings, but have not tried it or seen the results, so cannot comment yeah or nay. The physics of it leave me in doubt.



-- Go

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