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Bleeder VS Non Bleeder Spray Guns

Certain Spray Guns will come with optional bleeder or non-bleeder styles.  Bleeder and Non Bleeder Spray Guns have their benefits and drawbacks. In this article we will cover what a bleeder spray gun is and what a non-bleeder spray gun is as well as how they work.

What is a bleeder spray gun

A bleeder spray gun has air that is continuously flowing from the air cap of the spray gun. Even when you release the spray gun trigger you will still have air flowing through the spray gun air cap. A bleeder spray gun is actually the original style of HVLP Spray gun used with turbine driven HVLP spray guns.

What is a Non – Bleeder Spray Gun

A non-bleeder spray gun will have the option to use just air or air and fluid together ( to achieve a spray pattern). When the trigger is released fluid stops flowing and then air. Unlike a bleeder style spray gun that will continually have air flowing from the air cap as long as the gun is connected to shop air.

Bleeder Spray Gun Pros

  • Instant atomization of any fluid that is released into the air stream as the air is continuously flowing
  • Instant atomization of all material can be a plus in certain applications
  • Reduce issues with air caps plugging – By having air constantly moving through the air cap a bleeder style spray gun is less likely to become clogged at the air cap

Bleeder Gun Cons

  • Can cause solvent to flash rapidly which can be problematic if you need additional time to apply a coating
  • Can have slightly greater limitations on air control – By not allowing for air and then fluid to flow you will often times have less fine control of the air from your spray gun with a bleeder spray gun.

Non Bleeder Spray Gun Pros

  • Control of release of fluid and air
  • Control over air being released which can be helpful if flashing off solvents prematurely is problematic

Non Bleeder Spray Gun Cons

  • Air cap doesn’t have air continuously moving which can help potentially keep any paint from building up


The choice of bleeder vs non bleeder spray guns will ultimately be one of personal preference. Both styles have their benefits and drawbacks depending on your application. The non-bleeder style guns are more common today but there are still bleeder style spray guns in use.


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