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Choosing an Airless Paint Sprayer Tip (Along with Calculator)

The size of your airless paint sprayer’s tip will determine the speed at which you can apply coating, it will also determine the thickness of coating you can successfully apply with your airless paint sprayer. With so much being tied to choosing the correct airless tip, it is important to consider the following.

How to Read the Airless Paint Sprayers Tip Information

The tip of your airless paint sprayer will have 3 numbers at the end of the tip like 515, The first number doubled will give you the approximate size of the spray pattern. The second two numbers provide the size of the tip oepning in thousands (15 thousandiths in this case). The tip pattern assumes you maintain  12- 14 inches of distance between you and the product.

Size of Your Airless Paint Sprayer

  • Your airless unit has a maximum amount of Gallons per minute of Paint that it will be able to successfully provide for you to paint with. Ideally, you want your airless paint sprayer to only run at about 70% of its maximum gallons per minute capacity. This is so that as the tip wears you are not excessively running your airless paint sprayer pump, which can cause frequent breakdown and issues with how the coating sprays The size of your airless tip determines the amount of paint the sprayer will be able to apply at a given time. Once you know your airless GPM review the chart below to ensure the tip size is appropriate for your sprayers capacity. 

Choosing an Airless Paint Sprayer Tip

Chart Courtesy of Titan Tool

Desired Paint Pattern

The pattern of your spray will vary from 2″ up to 14″. A larger pattern will be able to paint faster but with the potential for additional waste. Ideally, you should try to keep the pattern to a size that will allow you to cover the product in as few passes as possible but with the smallest amount of the pattern being larger than the target. For example if your target is 12 inches wide you would want to consider a tip that would allow for a 6 – 8″ pattern. You can use a larger tip size but this would supply excessive coating, which may cause runs or other paint defects.

Desired Production Level

The speed which you will be able to complete projects will be mostly related to the spray pattern and fluid flow rate which will provide the speed which you can cover a certain target. You can use the calculator below to find the right tip size or consult this link for an additional calculator for determining the fluid flow rate needed. With that number in mind you can select an airless tip to meet your production goal, though it is recommended to try the tip first to see if it is providing to much paint for you to move fast enough to prevent runs or other finish defects.



Coating you Are Spraying

Different coatings will have different requirements for airless tips. Certain coatings will require a larger tip regardless of the volume of painting being done to being excessively viscous or thick. Your coating should have a technical data sheet that will provide the airless tip sizes the company recommends.  However as a general principal heavier bodied coatings (lzincs, epoxies, ) will need a larger opening and thinner coatings (stains, lacquerers) will need a smaller opening. You can often talk to an equipment provider and they can give you a estimate of the proper tip sizes for various coatings.

Airless Tip Type

Airless sprayer tips come in a few different styles including reversible and flat tips. Reversible airless tips allow you to quickly clear a clog that can happen. They allow for higher production.  Flat Airless Tips will typically be cheaper however they will not allow you to clean out a clog as easily.

If you need help with picking out a airless paint sprayer tip let us know and we are glad to help.

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