When you’re painting and finishing professionally, using the right gear is incredibly important. You’re shortchanging yourself and your clients if you use subpar gear for your projects!
To help you achieve the best results with all your painting and finishing work, we’ve put together this set of professional-grade recommendations! The models featured below are rugged, reliable, and precise enough for any pro user.
Read on to see which models we recommend to professionals, and to find out which workhorse is the best fit for your jobs.
Airless vs HVLP vs Compressor Gun
There are several types of paint sprayer available to pro users.
For most general contractors and folks who do house painting, the obvious tool is an airless paint sprayer. Airless systems cover ground fast, and are great for larger projects inside and outside of buildings. For walls and ceilings, there’s nothing better.
If your work involves fine finishing, furniture resprays, and any kind of clear coats, you’ll want to use an HVLP turbine system, or an HVLP-style spray gun attached to an air compressor. You’ll achieve better precision and waste fewer materials. Unless you’ve got a very capable compressor on hand, we think you’re better off using an HVLP turbine system. You don’t steal airpower from other tools, and you end up with a quieter setup overall.
Best Professional HVLP Paint Sprayer
Fuji’s Q5 HVLP system is our top recommendation to all professionals in fine finish work. It’s ideal for working on furniture, fixtures, and even automobile coats. This is a complete HVLP system, which includes a turbine unit, extended hose, and a spray gun. You can use it for any number of applications. It’s ideal for any project where the smoothness and evenness of your finish is of paramount importance. As far as we’re concerned, you can’t do better!
Why We Love The Q5
It’s very quiet. When you work in a shop all day using a paint sprayer or other power tools, your ears take more of a beating than any other part of your body. Get more than one tool running at a time, and things get unpleasant (and unsafe) in a real hurry). That’s why the Q5’s noise-dampening system is so phenomenal. It produces just 50% of the noise of a standard HVLP turbine, despite the fact that the 5-stage motor is also the most powerful we’ve ever reviewed!
It comes with a superb spray gun. The T-75 is Fuji’s flagship model. It’s ergonomic, built like a tank, and offers the kind of finesse that pros drool over. As far as we’re concerned, it blows away anything the competition are making these days.
It produces the smoothest coats of anything we’ve reviewed. There’s an adjustment knob on the turbine itself, as well as on the gun. That allows you to adjust the output before it even reaches your gun! Between the turbine adjustments and the precise T-75 gun, you get impeccable consistency on all your finishes. It’s ideal for clear coats, but you’ll appreciate the results on pretty much any application. There’s very little we wouldn’t do with this system, aside from big coverage projects where going airless makes more sense. This is as good as it gets for furniture shops, auto projects, and custom metalwork, among other applications.
It wastes very little. When you work with fine finishes, every droplet counts. You can keep overspray to a bare minimum when you use the Q5, which saves on costs and helps you stay more competitive with your pricing.
It’s solidly made and very, very reliable. There’s a reason we only recommend Fuji models in the HVLP category! Their systems (semi-pro and professional) are true workhorses in every sense of the word. We’ve actually never heard of a single issue with the Q5. How often can you say that about a tool? And if you do happen to have trouble a few years in, the company has excellent customer service and warranty coverage. All in all, while the Q5 is certainly an expensive system to buy, it’s an incredibly solid investment for your business.
Best Commercial Airless Paint Sprayer
Graco are currently making the best airless paint sprayers on the market, as far as we’re concerned. Their DIY-grade models offer tremendous value to amateurs. Their professional models, such as the Pro210ES, are killer workhorses that can save you time, money, and considerable effort!
Why We Love The Pro210ES
You can swap out the pumps. As any pro knows, pumps are the first thing to go on an airless system (unless you use a super cheap model with plastic parts on the gun). Without a pump running, your business comes to a standstill. That’s why the Graco Connect system is so handy. You can keep replacement pumps in the truck, and just swap them out when you wear one out.
The whole process has only 4 steps, and none of the connecting parts are loose, so there’s nothing to lose track of! We’ve run into plenty of swappable pump systems that are gimmicks but this is the real deal. It’s easy, intuitive, and saves a heck of a lot of time.
The whole system is very practical for pros who work on houses and other projects where industrial hookups aren’t handy. The 1HP DC motor runs on long extension cords without causing safety issues and you only need 120V hookups.
It’s a serious workhorse. This thing can crank out almost half a gallon per minute, and up to .021 spray tips are supported with ease. While there are certainly a few heftier models available from Graco and other manufacturers, we don’t see why you’d want one. This one’s compact and manageable, while still spraying to compete with the big boys.
You can spray just about anything from it, too. Anything from stains to heavy latex and acrylics is very manageable. As with any good pro setup, you can work straight from buckets of material.
This is a very well-equipped setup right out of the box. You may want an extra tip or two, but practically everything you need is included. It comes with a 50-foot hose and 515 spray tip, as well as an all-metal gun you won’t ever feel the need to upgrade.
At 66 pounds and mounted to an ergonomic cart, we’ve found that this one’s very easy to get around your jobsite. There’s a solid metal frame and large wheels with pneumatic tires to handle any bumps and jolts, but it’s still compact and maneuverable enough for you to work around homes without any trouble.
For more expert reviews and recommendations covering all your paint and finish needs, head to our homepage! Or, click on any of the links in the reviews above to find out more about the models we recommend to commercial users.