The Best HVLP Spray Guns of 2022

With the right HVLP spray gun, you can achieve a professional finish with paint, stain, and varnish in less time than with a brush or roller.

By Bob Beacham | Updated Jun 3, 2022 9:16 AM

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The Best HVLP Spray Gun Options

Photo: amazon.com

Spray guns have a reputation for being tricky to use, but modern HVLP (high volume, low pressure) versions aimed at DIYers and hobbyists are easy to use, can dramatically reduce the time it takes to stain or paint, and help create a beautiful and even finish without brush or roller marks.

With their growing popularity, several different types of HVLP spray guns are now available, so it can be challenging to know which is the right one to buy. To help solve that conundrum, the following is a detailed look at how to choose the best HVLP spray gun along with a list of some of the best options on the market.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: NEU MASTER 600 Watt High Power HVLP Paint Spray Gun
  3. UPGRADE PICK: Earlex HV5500 HVLP Spray Station Paint Sprayer
  4. BEST COMPACT: HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Paint Sprayer
  5. BEST PRO: Master Pro 44 Series High Performance HVLP Spray Gun
  6. BEST HVLP SYSTEM: Fuji Spray 2203G Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System
The Best HVLP Spray Gun Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best HVLP Spray Gun

HVLP sprayers fall into several different brackets. These make a considerable difference to their suitability for particular tasks. To help arm you with the information needed when shopping, the following sections include a range of technical and practical aspects, including how each type of HVLP spray gun functions.

Type

HVLP spray guns can be divided into three basic categories: compact models, turbine models, and compressor-driven models.

  • Compact models simply plug into the nearest power outlet. They have a small onboard pump that provides air to atomize the material being sprayed. They are best for small areas. Cordless HVLP spray guns of this type also are available, though most are very expensive and only run for about a half-hour between charges.
  • Turbine models are similar in style to pro tools in that a separate turbine supplies air, making them much more powerful than compact models. The turbine is a relatively lightweight unit, but it can be a larger machine to move around. Turbine HVLP spray guns are great for furniture work, small decks, and siding. They can be used for rooms, but they’re a relatively slow choice for a whole house.
  • Compressor-driven models are full-on professional tools often found in automotive body shops. Because these are “low pressure” spray guns, they don’t need a large compressor and many home users may already own a suitable model. However, even relatively small compressors aren’t particularly portable and need regular maintenance. The big advantages of professional HVLP spray guns are the increased adjustability and long-term durability. They also are fast, so this may be the best choice for regularly painting large areas. They do have more of a learning curve, but the quality of finish can be virtually flawless.

Both turbine and compressor-driven spray guns need a hose to deliver air, but a short hose can prove restrictive. With professional models, it is possible to purchase a longer hose. However, that’s not usually an option with turbine models, so it’s an important feature to check before buying.

Fluid Nozzle

At the business end of an HVLP spray gun, there is the fluid nozzle or air cap with a central hole for the fluid to spray through. It also has two “horns” on either side that force air into the fluid stream and atomize it, turning it into a fine spray.

The size of the central hole is usually measured in millimeters, and it’s extremely important as it determines the kind of material that can be sprayed. To get the best possible finish, it may need to be changed from one project to the next. Every stain, varnish, primer, and paint has its own viscosity, which indicates the thickness of the liquid. Low viscosity (thin) materials like wood stain may only need a very small hole, perhaps 1 millimeter. High viscosity (thick) materials like latex paint need a larger hole, around 2 or 2.5 millimeters. Some car body primers need a 3-millimeter nozzle hole.

Some HVLP spray guns come with just a single general-purpose nozzle. While other compatible types are often available at extra cost, there are spray gun kits that include several different nozzles. Professional HVLP spray guns usually have a separate air cap, fluid tip, and fluid needle, which are all interchangeable. These components provide much of their advanced adjustability.

The fluid nozzle also will control the spray pattern. Professional HVLP spray guns have lots of adjustability, whereas DIY models tend to offer a choice of vertical, horizontal, and round patterns.

Adjustable Controls and Ease of Use

While the fluid nozzle controls the shape of the spray pattern, pressure control impacts the size of that pattern. More material is atomized with higher pressure, so a larger area is covered. Compact models often lack variable pressure control.

There’s a second element to consider. If the pressure is raised and the fluid flow stays the same, there will be wider coverage with a thinner coat. To compensate, flow control is required. The flow control is usually on the spray gun, where it is easy to reach for adjustments.

None of these devices require special power considerations. They all can run off a household supply. With compact and turbine models, the wattage of the motor may need to be checked. Anything under 300 watts might struggle to move high viscosity material, and durability would also be a concern.

Noise is another issue. None of these machines are particularly quiet, though actual decibel ratings are seldom provided. Ear protection isn’t necessary, but it is recommended if spraying for extended periods.

Maintenance 

Cleaning HVLP spray guns is not a difficult procedure, but it can be time-consuming, as a certain amount of disassembly is necessary. Perhaps not surprisingly, compact models are the simplest to clean, and professional models are more complex to clean.

It’s important that cleaning is done immediately after the spraying is finished. It needs to be done thoroughly, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Any material that dries inside the gun, particularly around the fluid nozzle, can cause it to spit or clog. A bristle brush, which is usually included with the spray gun, can help with this. Complete aftermarket HVLP spray gun cleaning kits are readily available and inexpensive.

When not in use, it’s a good idea to store an HVLP spray gun in a cupboard or cabinet where it won’t get dirty or dusty. Gun racks are often used to store spray guns in professional environments, but there’s little chance of dirt buildup problems, as these guns are typically used daily.

Our Top Picks

Now that you’ve had a chance to learn about the various facets that will impact your choice, it’s time to check out some of the best HVLP spray guns on the market. These top picks offer a range of price and performance options, so there’s something here to suit every kind of user. Each model is assigned to a category to help you quickly find the best HVLP spray gun for particular tasks.

Best Overall

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Wagner Spraytech Control Spray Max HVLP Sprayer
Photo: amazon.com

It’s not easy to pick a single best HVLP spray gun, but for its ease of use and all-around performance, versatility, and value, it’s tough to beat this Wagner Spraytech model. It will spray all manner of stain, varnish, and most paints. It comes with a 1.8-millimeter nozzle, so thicker paints like latex may need to be thinned, but larger nozzles are available. It offers horizontal, vertical, and round patterns with easy adjustment of both air pressure and fluid flow.

The Wagner Spraytech comes with 20 feet of hose, so there’s little issue of being cramped or constantly moving the turbine unit around. It only weighs 11 pounds and has a built-in handle, so it’s very portable. Two paint cups are supplied: a metal one that holds 1 quart and a plastic one that holds 1.5 quarts. The Wagner Spraytech is among the quieter HVLP spray guns of its type and is easy to clean.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Turbine
  • Tank Capacity: 1 quart
  • Nozzle Size: 1.8 millimeters
  • Wattage: 250 watts
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Suitable for painting, varnish, and staining
  • Horizontal, vertical, and round spray patterns
  • Adjustable air pressure
  • 20-foot hose
  • Built-in handle

Cons

  • May be tricky to maneuver compared to similar products
  • Latex paint may require dilution before spraying
  • Pricey

Get the Wagner HVLP paint sprayer at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: NEU MASTER 600 Watt High Power HVLP Paint Spray Gun
Photo: amazon.com

The NEU MASTER HVLP spray gun combines the power advantages of a turbine with the low cost normally associated with compact electrical guns. A 600-watt motor provides good performance and reliability, plus two interchangeable nozzles allowing a wider range of material usage than is usually found on budget spray guns.

There are three spray patterns: horizontal, vertical, and round. While air pressure is not adjustable, flow control is adjustable. The paint cup holds 30.5 ounces, a fraction under a quart. The 6 feet of hose seems a little restrictive at first, but the compact turbine can be fitted with a shoulder strap for increased mobility. The interesting interlocking head setup makes for easy cleaning.

The NEU MASTER HVLP spray gun is of great value for painting and staining furniture, doors, and other medium-size projects, although it is not a tool for fine detailed work.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Turbine
  • Tank Capacity: 30.5 ounces
  • Nozzle Size: 2 to 3 millimeters
  • Wattage: 600 watts
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Interlocking head setup
  • Interchangeable nozzles
  • Horizontal, vertical, and round spray patterns
  • 6-foot hose
  • 1-pound construction

Cons

  • Not suitable for fine painting or detailing

Get the NEU MASTER paint sprayer on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Upgrade

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Earlex HV5500 HVLP Spray Station Paint Sprayer
Photo: amazon.com

The Earlex HVLP Spray Station is compact, portable, and powerful. The metal gun and 1-quart paint cup offer both excellent durability and more consistent finishing because they aren’t subject to fluctuations in air pressure that can affect plastic. Rather than a single fluid nozzle, this tool employs the fluid tip and needle setup found on professional spray guns. It allows more precise fluid flow control, which is tuned by a knob on the gun and by trigger pressure.

A 2.0-millimeter multipurpose nozzle is provided, with 1.5- and 2.5-millimeter options available. There’s a 650-watt motor and 13 feet of hose that stores neatly within the unit, as does the power cable. The high-quality spray gun sits on top when not in use, and there’s a convenient carry handle. While more expensive than many rivals, the Earlex HVLP Spray Station offers consistent performance, which makes it easier to achieve a high standard of finish.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Turbine
  • Tank Capacity: 1 quart
  • Nozzle Size: 2 millimeters
  • Wattage: 650 watts
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Professional-grade construction
  • Fluid tip and needle design
  • 13-foot hose
  • Built-in carrying handle

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Some users report ineffectual use

Get the Earlex paint sprayer on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Compact

HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Paint Sprayer
Photo: amazon.com

Suitable for those that are new to HVLP sprayers can benefit from the HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Paint Sprayer. This compact model is easy to use and comes with vertical, horizontal, and round spray patterns for small- to medium-sized paint jobs on furniture, cabinets, trim, walls, and more. For added convenience, this pick comes with a cleaning kit for post-use.

This affordable handheld paint sprayer comes with a single 2-millimeter brass spray tip and nozzle to handle your paint project and the small paint cup holds up to 27 ounces of latex, chalk, and milk paint as well as thicker paints and products like primers, sealers, polyurethane, stain, and varnish. Depending upon the area you are spraying, the air pressure can be adjusted with a handy knob located on the side of the unit.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Compact
  • Tank Capacity: 27 ounces
  • Nozzle Size: 2 millimeters
  • Wattage: 400 watts
  • Ease of Use: Easy

Pros

  • Vertical, horizontal, and round spray patterns
  • Cleaning kit
  • Suitable for use with many types of paint products
  • Adjustable air pressure
  • Affordable

Cons

  • May not be suitable for large painting projects
  • May not be suitable for oil-based paints

Get the HomeRight paint sprayer on Amazon.

Best Pro

The Best HVLP Spray Gun Option: Master Pro 44 Series High Performance HVLP Spray Gun
Photo: amazon.com

The Master Pro is what’s called a gravity feed HVLP spray gun. The paint flows from a 1-liter (1.05 quart) aluminum cup fitted above the gun. Air comes from an air compressor that’s fed up through the handle. Knobs at the back of the spray gun make fine adjustments to air pressure and fluid flow, allowing for precise control of spray pattern size. An air pressure regulator is included to manage air from the compressor.

The Master Pro comes with four needle/fluid tip combinations from 1.3 to 1.8 millimeters. While primarily targeted at automotive paints, a wide range of woodworking stains and finishes can be applied, including thinned latex paint. It’s a gun that can spray materials over substantial surfaces quickly, or it can focus on small areas when necessary.

This is not a cheap HVLP spray gun, and the need for an air compressor will add to the price. When compared to similar high-performance models, it is very competitive and should provide many years of reliable service.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Compressor
  • Tank Capacity: 1 liter
  • Nozzle Size: 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, and 1.8 millimeters
  • Wattage: Not specified
  • Ease of Use: Moderate

Pros

  • Multiple needle/fluid tip combinations
  • Air pressure regulator
  • Suitable for woodworking and automotive use
  • Can spray large and small surface areas

Cons

  • Pricey compared to similar options
  • Air compressor not included

Get the Master Pro HVLP spray gun on Amazon or at Walmart.

Best Hvlp System

The Best Hvlp Spray Guns Options: Fuji Spray 2203G Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System
Photo: amazon.com

If you are looking for a high-quality sprayer that holds its own on the job site or for a home renovation, the Fuji Spray 2203G Semi-PRO 2-Gravity HVLP Spray System could be just the ticket. This option is constructed with an HVLP gun and turbine case, the gun itself is made with an ergonomic handle to limit hand fatigue. Plus, there is a handy gun holder attached to the turbine case for easy storing.

This 1,400-watt 2-stage motor is one of the most powerful options on the market, making this top pick reliable and long-lasting. The adjustable fan controls the direction and spray pattern as you work, ranging from a small to large circular spray pattern, while the air control valve reduces the risk of overspray. It also comes with a 25-foot hose and carrying handle making it easy to move from room to room as you paint. However, some may find this model tricky to move around due to its 25-pound construction.

Product Specs 

  • Type: Turbine
  • Tank Capacity: 40cc
  • Nozzle Size: 1.3 millimeters
  • Wattage: 1,400 watts
  • Ease of Use: Moderate

Pros

  • Powerful 2-stage motor
  • Ajustable fan controls
  • Air control valve
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Gun holder and carrying handle

Cons

  • Pricey
  • May be tricky for first-time users
  • Heavyweight

Get the Fuji Spray System at Amazon, Walmart, and The Home Depot.

Our Verdict

For a reliable HVLP paint sprayer that works for a variety of projects, the turbine Wagner Spraytech sprayer produces vertical, horizontal, and round spray patterns with its 1.8-millimeter nozzle, and 1-quart tank capacity for taking on painting, varnishing, and staining. Alternatively, for a budget-friendly, easy-to-use option for first-timers, the compact HomeRight paint sprayer comes with a 27-ounce tank, a 2-millimeter nozzle, and a cleaning kit.

How We Chose the Best HVLP Spray Guns 

HVLP paint sprayers can reduce the amount of time and stress it takes to complete a small or large paint job while delivering good coverage every time. We researched the most sought-after HVLP paint sprayers in their respective categories and discovered that the best models are determined by their type, nozzle size, tank capacity, wattage, size and weight, ease of use, and other useful features included by top brands.

Based on the above list, the turbine, compact, and compressor-driven HVLP paint sprayers are favored among users for their versatile nozzle sizes and high tank capacities of up to 1 quart. Most of the above models have wattages of 250 to 1,400 watts for precise, even vertical, horizontal, and round spray coverages during large or small spray painting projects. Many of these HVLP sprayers also come with adjustable air pressure and fan controls, built-in air pressure regulators, and multiple nozzles.

As for the size and weight, the above HVLP sprayers range from 1- to 25-pound constructions making them easy to move around. Plus, select models come with carrying handles, gun holders, and long hoses for added maneuverability and ease of use while painting cabinets, furniture, walls, trim, and more.

FAQs 

The information provided so far has included details to increase the understanding of the HVLP technology and real-world examples of the best HVLP spray gun for different tasks. However, it’s a complex subject and you may still have questions. The following are answers to some of those questions that crop up frequently.

Q: What’s the difference between an HVLP, a conventional sprayer, and an airless spray gun?

HVLP stands for high volume, low pressure, hence an HVLP spray gun can move a lot of material quickly. Different models run off a pump, turbine, or compressor.

Conventional spray guns use higher pressure and require a dedicated compressor. They are less efficient than HVLPs, so they can waste more material.

An airless spray gun uses a piston to create high pressure. They can be very fast, but fluid control can be difficult. They are OK for spraying a wall, but not for spraying details like window frames.

Q: Can I spray polyurethane with an HVLP gun? 

Many HVLP spray guns can spray polyurethanes, but it does depend on the model. It’s important to check the capabilities before buying. If it has a 1.8-millimeter nozzle or larger, it should be OK. Smaller nozzles would struggle with the viscosity, though the polyurethane could be thinned if necessary.

Q: Do I use a compressor with an HVLP paint sprayer? 

Professional HVLP spray guns like those found in auto body shops need a separate compressor. Some DIY models come with turbines. Small electric models have a built-in pump.

Q: What are the best safety practices for using HVLP spray guns?

Always wear safety glasses and respiratory protection. A good-quality half mask has much better filtration than simple disposable paper masks. It’s a good idea to wear lightweight nitrile gloves and some form of ear protection, especially if you’re going to be spraying for an extended period. Never point the spray gun at people or animals.