Paint spray guns are designed to speed up and improve your painting work.
These painting tools allow for even coverage of large surfaces regardless of the surface evenness. With a spray gun, you save a lot of time and effort and, as a result, you get a smooth and flawless coating without brush marks or unpainted areas that are hard to reach with a brush or roller.
So, let's look in detail at its benefits and where it is possible to use them.
Spray guns vs. airbrushes: what to choose
There are lots of hot discussions on social networks, an indefinite number of reviews and recommendations about what's better to choose an airbrush or a spray gun. Some advise in favor of airbrushes, others praise spray guns and if you're a newbie it's really difficult to understand who has a point there. Our answer is none. Or everybody. There's no right answer. It all depends on your purpose. Yes, these tools may seem to do the same thing. And no, you cannot just interchange them.
Spray guns are really good if you're looking for a painting tool to create a base coating or you need to cover with paint a pretty large area or lots of stuff in a short period of time. They hold more paint, provide quite an intensive paint flow and create large patterns.
Airbrushes are essentially different. They are more versatile and give more control for finer work and details. You can use them also for base coating but they will require more cleaning and will wear out faster.
Tips on choosing a spray gun
If you know a spray gun is the very thing you need but you still haven't chosen one, these tips can be of help:
- Consider an application of a spray gun. Airless spray guns are more difficult to use and require some training, they are rarely suitable for home projects.
- Take into account a surface you are going to paint. A type of paint should be compatible with a surface.
- Check if a chosen spray gun is appropriate for the use with that paint or other fluid.
- Keep in mind if you are able to ensure a proper maintenance of that spray gun.
Types of spray guns
Now the easiest part is over and it's time to move to a boring one and to find out what is exactly the difference between types of spray guns.
In a broad manner, paint guns can be divided into three types according to the way a medium is transferred to the gun. These are
- gravity feed spray guns,
- siphon feed spray guns, and
- pressure feed spray guns.
As you can see, the operating principles of feeding systems are the same as with airbrushes. So, we shall not dwell on them in detail here. To learn more about them, you can read our buying guide on Airbrushes.
According to the combination of design and actuation type, spray gun types are usually as follows.
Conventional air spray guns
Their operation is based on the process called atomization, that is they spray fluid by means of high-pressure air flow. These paint sprayers are available with the following options of feed systems: gravity feed, siphon feed, and pressure feed. The difference is in the way paint is delivered to the spray gun. When it comes to gravity or siphon feed system, a cup mounts to a spray gun.
In the spray guns with pressure feed systems, pressure feed device, such as a pressure tank or pump, supplies paint with the airflow under pressure. Because of the principles of their functioning conventional air spray guns require more air in comparison to other types. But what's tempting, they give the finest atomization and provide complete pattern control. This spraying equipment is a perfect fit for industrial applications due to their high productivity level.
HVLP paint guns (High Volume Low Pressure)
Just as conventional air spray guns these work by pneumatic fluid atomization but this type uses more air at a lower pressure and consequently create less fog or overspray. This feature allows for the more efficient use of paint or other spraying materials. That is how come HVLP spray guns have found their application for automotive, general metal, architectural coating, furniture finishing and other applications where a waste of paint comes at a cost. However, HVLP paint sprayers yield to conventional type on the fineness of atomization.
As in the case with the conventional type of sprayers HVLP paint guns have gravity, siphon, and pressure feed system options.
Compliant (trans-tech) spray guns
This type brings the fine atomization of air spraying equipment and the efficiency of HVLP paint sprayers together and can offer the same feed system configurations. But some US Environmental Agencies for high usage customers limit the use of compliant spray guns.
Airless and air-assisted-airless spray guns
These paint sprayers atomize fluid creating high-pressure flow due to a small nozzle. They provide a high flow capacity and allow for large patterns ensuring the fastest paint application. Owing to this such spraying equipment is in demand by house painting, coating for metal structures and construction equipment. In order to prevent the so-called "tailing" effect of the spraying patterns and make a finish finer, you can raise the pressure by adding air to such airless atomization (air-assisted-airless). Note that the rate of overspray is pretty high because of the high fluid output. Users need to be cautious while working with airless and air-assisted-airless spray guns as high pressure may cause injuries. To keep these spray guns in a good working condition ensure the maintenance of a high level.
Electrostatic spray guns
There are different options for atomizing paint with electrostatic spray guns from pneumatic (as with conventional air paint sprayers), fluid impingement (as with airless and air-assisted-airless spray guns), to rotary one. The difference is that due to charging the paint particles become more conductive to the surface you're painting. This allows even for coating the backside of a surface while spraying from the front, so-called a "wrap" around effect. But this doesn't mean that it is possible to use electrostatic paint sprayers only with the electrical charge, they can spray paint even unpowered. Moreover, this type of spraying equipment is more efficient in its performance rate and the amount of paint used. Besides, they require less cleanup.
These spray guns are used mainly for automotive, electronics, and construction finishing but they are also suitable for general metal, wood, and plastic applications. Note you may require special equipment for applying an excessively conductive coating.
Powder spray guns
These type of spray guns uses electrical power to charge free-flowing powder to apply powder coating to a surface. After that, such a finish must be melted or cured. Due to powder spray guns, the efficiency of using consumables can be optimized to a maximum as you can recycle powder overspray.
If you are still reading this, we're very grateful to have another new customer and we're glad to show you our selection of spray guns from industry-leading manufacturers.