Cordless paint sprayers are increasingly popular, and for obvious reasons. Cordless power tools of any kind are incredibly convenient. When it comes to painting and finishing, a cordless tool gives you the range to stain decks where outlets aren’t easy to find, or to reach into awkward or high places without worrying about the cord behind you.
This guide will introduce you to current cordless options, and talk you through our opinion on this latest spraying tech!
Here’s a quick snapshot of the most popular models out there. They’re all made by Graco, who have put the most energy and effort into developing cordless spray tech.
Best for Fine Finishes
- Our Rating: 2.2
- Popularity: Low
Best for Thick Paints
- Our Rating: 3.1
- Popularity: Low
- Our Rating: 4.7
- Popularity: Low
Before we jump into our reviews, we want to clarify a few things. Since they’re such a new addition to the paint sprayer market, we think it’s important to put these tools in perspective. We love the idea of cordless paint spraying, but do the tools on offer right now really live up to their promise?
You’ll notice that there are far fewer tools featured in this guide than we’ve included in our other guides. They’re also all made by Graco. That’s not a brand preference–Graco is the only manufacturer currently making these tools. Ryobi and a few other brands have offered models at one time or another, but they’ve all been discontinued.
Also, please don’t mistake our hesitance about some of these products for a lack of enthusiasm for the category. We’re really excited about where these tools are headed. However, only one tool on the market right now is actually good enough for us to recommend (it’s our third recommendation).
Even at their best, we think these are handy extra tools for folks who have the money, but they shouldn’t be relied on as workhorse sprayers. If you’re on a budget, we’d also suggest that their iffy reliability makes them a risky use of your money.
We’ll get further into detail with why these tools are still flawed, and how to make the nice ones work for you, in our buying guide at the bottom of the page. In the meantime, let’s see some of the actual tools!
Best Cordless & Battery-Powered Paint Sprayer Reviews
- Graco TrueCoat Pro Fine Finish Paint Sprayer
- Graco Ultra Max
- Graco Ultra
1. Graco TrueCoat Pro Fine Finish Paint Sprayer
This Graco is the original cordless unit. It’s now offered alongside the Pro II version below, but this model is better for fine finish materials of lower viscosity. It’s designed to be an all-purpose, all-in-one spray system just like Graco’s corded handheld models. Unlike the Pro II, it’s also compatible with all solvent-based materials.
This one is designed to spray everything in the fine finish category, from lacquers to enamels and and stains. It even works with solvent-based materials, including “hot” solvents! That’s not the case with the Pro II or Ultra models below.
It’s also more versatile in its adjustments and settings. The Fine Finish model has 2 speed options, while the Pro II and Ultra have just one. It also has a flow control knob which adjusts pressure–a feature which the Pro II and Ultra feature as well.
You’ll have to go all the way up to the brand-new (and hard to find) Graco Ultra Max to get that range of capabilities and adjustments, so it’s pretty impressive with this older model.
The Fine Finish is also relatively versatile in terms of the tip sizes it can accept. It supports 208-412 sizes, and comes with both 210 and 312 reversible tips. Those are both on the fine finish end of the spectrum. If you get some closer to the 412 limit, though, it does perform decently with latex and other thicker coatings. Plan on doing a lot of thinning, though.
It’s suction-fed from 24oz cup, which comes with a cover for storing paint between phases of a project. The cup is meant to be squeezed when you start spraying to easily prime the pump. That’s a common feature among all Graco’s handheld models, and it works decently on this model.
While the original version of the Fine Finish had a bulkier, weaker 18V power pack, this updated model has 20V lithium ion power pack, just like you’d find in a typical cordless drill. It comes with two batteries along with a charging port. The batteries run for an average length of about 1.2 hours per charge.
The Fine Finish model has a smaller frame slightly lighter than the other Graco cordless models, which makes it more ergonomic and better-suited to work on smaller areas.
You get some accessories in addition to the gun:
- a repair kit for solving basic problems
- 5 cup liners, which are reusable or disposable, as you prefer
- a Pump Armor storage fluid product for when you’re not using your sprayer
- a carrying case for the tool
It’s all made in the USA!
We also think it’s worth noting that while a lot of non-professional brands make generic, unimpressive handheld sprayers, Graco is a legitimate paint sprayer company which makes everything from DIYer handhelds to full, industrial-grade airless systems for pro painters. Even if this isn’t their best model, the sprayer know-how is there, and it’s better than the knock-offs which come out periodically.
It’s covered by a 1-year warranty.
This model isn’t compatible with anything marked as flammable, which rules out some categories of lacquers and varnish materials. You’ll have to stick with water-based lacquers for the most part, or natural-base coatings.
As a finish tool, that does limit its potential. Thankfully, the newer and more expensive Ultra Max can do finish projects and use flammables. We’ll be putting together our review of that model as soon as it’s widely available.
It’s also only decent for latex, and needs a lot of thinning, even though it is technically compatible with your thicker coatings. You wouldn’t want to paint whole walls with this one, or plan on doing any latex projects with less than a few coats. If you’re planning to do more latex projects, and don’t need to do fancy finish work, look at either the Pro II or the Ultra models below.
While it’s theoretically easy to clean, since you can run water through the system, some users thought it was a pain. The nozzle tends to get the most clogged, and it’ll require some scrubbing if materials are left on it for any time at all. Overall, it’s just not as great a design as the newer models or the more powerful Pro II.
It can be pretty heavy on the wrists, especially when you add in the weight of your coating material.
The suction system is also not the best, and it sometimes requires refills before you get to the end of a cup. That’s not a problem with more powerful tools like the models below.
It’s not built for professional use or big coverage jobs. The rated service life is about 100 gallons, which is very much in hobbyist territory. Don’t try and paint your whole house with one of these, and don’t expect to use it professionally aside from for smaller finish jobs.
It doesn’t have a good track record for reliability. Most issues are with the power pack system, or units which simply die with no clear explanation. As you’ll see, we recommend skipping over this model unless you absolutely need a fine finish tool that’s cordless, or have the money to take a chance on this tool.
2. Graco Ultra Max
This model isn’t quite as old as the Fine Finish, but it’s also not among the latest Graco models. Again, we’re including it because the newer models aren’t widely available yet, and this remains a popular, affordable option. The Pro II is a slightly larger, more powerful cordless gun than the Fine Finish. It’s a better choice for latexes and other thicker coatings.
As you’d expect from a sprayer designed to handle thicker coating materials, the Pro II supports larger tip sizes than the Fine Finish. It’s compatible with tips ranging from 311-517 in size, and comes with a 515 in the box. 515’s are generally what we look for with an all-purpose thick coating sprayer, especially for latexes.
Between the larger tips and the more powerful motor on this one, it doesn’t require any thinning! You can feed paints through straight from the can, though it’s always best to filter materials before using any paint sprayer, no matter how powerful.
It has an adjustable pressure dial, just like the Fine Finish model. That helps you refine your spray settings to go between latexes, enamels, and other thicker coatings.
This one also has a better suction tube than the Fine Finish, even though the overall design isn’t wildly different. It works at all angles, and it does a better job of finishing each up. The improved design also makes for easier cleaning, since you can simply run water through the system, and the motor can usually blast clogs out of the nozzle.
It uses the same rechargeable, lithium ion, 20V power pack as the Fine Finish. Just like that smaller model, the Pro II comes with two batteries and a charging station in the box. It gets close to the same runtime out of each charge as the Fine Finish, and is recommended for small (1-2 gallon) projects.
This one also has a more modular build. It makes for easier repairs and therefore a longer working life, if you choose to fix components rather than getting a new sprayer.
As with the Fine Finish, the Pro II is also made in America and covered by a 1-year warranty.
It comes with the same accessory kit, too:
- basic repair kit
- 5 spare cup liners, reusable or disposable as you prefer
- Pump Armor storage fluid product for keeping things running well in storage
- a carrying case for the tool
The Pro II isn’t as adjustable as the Fine Finish model. There’s still a pressure adjustment dial, but there’s no second speed setting. That doesn’t affect you too much with thicker coatings, but it does preclude you from working well with most thinner materials.
It’s slightly heavier than the already-heavy Fine Finish. The Pro II is close to 7 pounds without paint.
Unlike the Fine Finish, the Pro II isn’t compatible with solvent-based coatings like many lacquers. This one’s also not compatible with flammables.
As with the Fine Finish, the Pro II is not for professional or large-scale use. It’s not built for intense use–in fact, it’s only rated for 50 gallons per year–less than the fine finish model!
The occasionally uneven pressure and pattern produced by power issues and an imperfect design do sacrifice finish quality if you’re not extremely careful. That’s a key reason we recommend skipping over it and going for the Ultra below.
Even with the updated 20V power supply, it’s still a bit short in terms of battery life. 1 gallon per charge is about all you can expect to spray with this unit.
While the Fine Finish comes with two tips in the box, the Pro II only comes with one tip.
While it’s repairable thanks to the modular design, we’d recommend just going for the Ultra, which is more reliable and less likely to need repairs in the first place.
3. Graco Ultra
Graco’s biggest issues with their completely in-house cordless models have historically been the charging, electronics, and batteries. It was a welcome surprise to see that the company is now partnering with Dewalt for its latest cordless offerings!
We’re not a fan of every Dewalt tool on the market, but their cordless battery packs are a universal boon. The new Graco cordless units are still made in the USA and use all Graco spray components, but they’re powered by 20v Dewalt batteries! That’s great news for anyone who uses Dewalt cordless tools already, since you can share batteries with all your other units.
We think the new Ultra is the best thing to happen to the lineup. It balances the adjustability of the TrueCoat Fine Finish with the extra power and latex capabilities of the Pro II. In fact, it can spray straight un-thinned paint!
The whole thing’s been redesigned to address a lot of the problems with the two models we’ve looked at above. This model is simply better in every way when you compare it to the older Graco’s. It’s more powerful, more user-friendly, and more reliable.
Here’s why we’re excited about it:
The modular design is even better on this model. That’s because it’s equipped with ProConnect: Graco’s replaceable pump system. Replacing pumps is super easy, you only need a screwdriver. It takes only a minute or two, so if you put a lot of wear on your cordless unit, you can just have an extra pump on hand. They’re pretty reasonably-priced, too.
Thanks to the swappable pumps, this one is actually rather feasible for contractors and other pros to use regularly for small professional projects where bringing in a full airless setup is inconvenient. It’s also easy to repair when you have non-pump issues, just like the Pro II.
The biggest departure on this model is that instead of the Graco batteries used on the older model, the Ultra is powered by Dewalt lithium ion batteries. They’re the same batteries used in any other 20V Dewalt tools, and they make for a much, much more reliable power supply than the older Graco’s. Graco are great at pumps and sprayers, but not so much the power end of things.
It’s also a more convenient way to make the Graco fit into your tool ecosystem if you’re already a Dewalt owner. You can share batteries between all your other cordless tools!
The latest Dewalt batteries, which are used for the Ultra, have LED gauges to show you how much change is left in a battery. It’s a handy extra feature for folks who have quite a few batteries to rotate through, since you’ll inevitably forget whether one or two are fully juiced.
This one also benefits from a completely redesigned spray system. It’s got a miniature airless pump system inside, based around the same platform as the full-scale Graco airless systems. There’s a triple pump, made from rugged stainless steel and carbide.
It has much more reliable starts and primes than the models above. That’s one reason it lasts longer, and produces better results, since there aren’t any jitters or stalls. We’ll chalk that boost in pump performance up to the improved inlet valve design, with no check to jam up, as well as the automatic outlet ball knocker.
Between the improved pump and power supply, this is a much more consistent sprayer, which makes for more consistent, professional results!As with the other Graco’s there’s also adjustable speed control to help you navigate between different finishes.
The 32 oz capacity gives you a bit more to work with than the other models, even though it’s not overwhelmingly heavy. You can also convert up to a 42oz capacity if you prefer.
The weight isn’t listed in the specs, but we’d say it’s about even with the Fine Finish.
The Ultra is perfectly capable of spraying un-thinned paints, even thicker household latexes. Anything water or mineral-based is fair game with this system! It occupies the same niche as the Pro II, but it does a better job of everything.
It’s the only one of Graco’s cordless offerings to use standard tips. So, if you have a larger airless system, you can swap tips between that and your cordless unit! .008-.016 sizes are accepted, and they’re all reversible, so it’s very easy to blast out a pesky clog.
You get a few extras in the package:
The Ultra comes with 4 32-oz paint bags, which you squeeze to prime the pump. It can also work with an optional 1-gallon backpack kit, if you’ve got ground to cover and don’t want to bother with cords and hoses. The backpack is a very handy option to have if you’re working up a ladder, or in a hard-to-reach spot.
This one comes with 2 batteries, just like the other Graco’s. The big difference is that they’re both Dewalt’s!
Lastly, it comes comes with Pump Armor product to maintain the internals, and a storage bag. The spare paint bags and batteries all fit inside quite nicely.
Everything’s made in the USA, covered by a 1-year warranty, and (as yet) no reliability issues!
It hasn’t been on the market long enough for it to have much of a track record as far as reliability. We’re excited to see that it’s a much better performer out of the gate than the older Graco’s, but time will tell how it holds up over the long term.
You can’t use flammable materials, such as “hot” solvents, with the Ultra. The brand-new Graco Ultra Max can, but it’s pretty hard to find right now. We’ll be sure to have our review for that added to this guide as soon as it’s widely available!
We don’t think it’s a great choice for finish work, since it’s an airless pump system that won’t give you an HVLP-like spray for varnishes or lacquers. However, it can do a great job with all your color coats and household paints. Again, the Max should have better capabilities in that department.
While the power packs from Dewalt are a lot more reliable, they still don’t give you a super long life. You can get through about a gallon per battery, so bring a few and cycle through them as you work.
We’re surprised this one doesn’t come with a hard case, given that the older models do. That’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but definitely a missed opportunity.
At this point in our guides, we usually ask: which one of the models we’ve recommended should you buy? This case is a bit different, since we’re only confident in recommending one of the models on the market at the moment.
So, let’s ask a different question: should you take the plunge and invest in one of these cordless paint sprayers, or wait to see what the future holds for new and improved models?
If you’re intending to do fine finish work with a cordless model, our answer is that you should almost certainly hold off. The Graco Fine Finish model we’ve looked at here simply isn’t reliable or consistent enough for professional finish work. If you’re a DIYer, it might work well for you, but given its spotty track record and high price tag, we’d only recommend it to home users with plenty of cash to spend.
The more reliable Ultra model isn’t appropriate for fine finish tasks, and it also can’t handle the flammable materials that are often used for finish tasks. If you can find an Ultra Max model available, it would be a good choice, but we haven’t found any retailers with stock to refer you to at the moment.
When it comes to more standard painting and staining jobs, we do recommend the Graco Ultra model we’ve looked at above. It’s an encouraging sign that the major design flaws in the TrueCoat models can be fixed, and that the future is bright for cordless paint sprayers.
We’d suggest it to anyone, professional or DIYer, who has fairly straightforward wall, trim, or stain jobs to tackle. Any thicker coatings are super easy to handle with this one, and it comes the closest we’ve seen so far to fulfilling the promise of cordless paint sprayers.
However, we do make one caveat: there aren’t any reliability issues we’re aware of with the Ultra, but it’s only been on the market for a short period. It’s definitely a good idea to hedge your bets and go for some extended warranty coverage if you buy it.
Here’s to hoping for revamped versions of the TrueCoat Fine Finish and Pro II using these improved Dewalt power packs! They’d see a big boost in reliability, which is their main flaw.
Be aware that you’ll pay a premium:
Like cordless vacuums, or cordless versions of anything, you’re going to pay more for the convenience of a cordless paint sprayer. While most handhelds are under $200, cordless versions don’t start until $500, and they can cost as much as $1000. It’s a steep price to pay for convenience, so make sure you’re actually going to get your money’s worth out of your unit.
The premium price tag is one major reason we’re so cautious about recommending these. Only the Graco Ultra seems like a good long-term investment at this point. At the price of the older Graco’s, you could easily buy yourself several handheld paint sprayers and extension cords, with hundreds of dollars left over. While that obviously defeats the purpose, the point is to say that they’re not sound investments without lots of external warranty coverage.
Know your expectations:
Cordless paint sprayers can seem like miracle tools from the outside. They work anywhere, and it’s tempting to want to use them for every task.
However, many have limitations in terms of materials. A lot of cordless models can’t work with flammable or “hot” solvents, and the majority are meant for either fine finish materials or thick paints, not both. So, it’s important for you to be super clear up front about what your cordless unit can and can’t handle.
Most also have relatively short ratings as far as usage, too. The majority of cordless sprayers aren’t professional-grade, and they’re not designed for the amount of paint or finish coatings that pros spray on a daily basis. That’s one reason we’re so keen on the new Ultra, given its replaceable pumps and modular designs. The older Graco’s, and all the other models we’ve seen from competing manufacturers, have very low usage ratings.
Be as cautious as possible with reliability:
Our most important piece of advice is that you absolutely should protect your purchase with additional warranty coverage if you buy one of these. As we’ve seen, they can work quite well most of the time, but when they go wrong, you could be eating a big price tag. So, we think that for something so expensive, it’s more than worth tacking on $50-$75 or so in extra warranty coverage from a third party. You’ll avoid having to deal with the manufacturer, and you’ll get much longer coverage than you would from the factory warranty.
We hope this guide has given you a useful perspective on the emerging batch of cordless paint sprayers on the market right now. As we’ve said, they’re an exciting new type of tool, but there’s still a long way for most of them to go!
We’re not confident enough in either the Fine Finish or Pro II to recommend that you go out and pick them up, but if you want to check them out for yourself, just click on the links in our reviews!
We would definitely recommend having a closer look at the Ultra, though, if you’re seriously considering a cordless paint sprayer. Again, just click on the links in our review to see the best prices, and all the relevant specs.
Interested in more of our reviews and recommendations? Head to our homepage! We’ve got all the paint sprayer info you could want, whether you’re a full-time pro or a weekend warrior!