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HVLP vs Fine Finish Airless Paint Sprayer Tips

When it comes to finishing their are so many choices of how to apply our product from conventional & HVLP to Airless or AIr Assist airless. Each method of application has its benefits and drawbacks. The intent here is to cover the difference between HVLP, Fine Finish Airless, and Standard Airless paint Sprayer Tips as well as the pros and cons of each application method. Before we cover the differences between HVLP and the fine finish/ standard airless tips you can learn more about HVLP and Airless equipment here. 

What is a fine finish Airless Paint Sprayer Tip and What are it’s Benefits/ Drawbacks

  • A fine finish airless tip will provide greater break up of a coating then a standard airless paint sprayer tip. The benefit is that you will receive a finer finish which will yield a better paint job
  • The smaller paint particles also can help improve the transfer efficiency of your equipment which helps reduce paint waste.
  • The main drawback to a fine finish airless tip is that they are not available in the larger opening sizes that a traditional airless tip is which makes them a little bit slower for production than a traditional airless paint sprayer tip
  • An additional drawback is that the fine finish tip can plug easier than a traditional airless paint sprayer tip which means it cannot work with many medium to heavy viscosity coatings.
  • A final draw back to a fine finish ariless tip is that they cost more than the standard airless tips

What is HVLP and What is it’s Benefits/ Drawbacks

  • HVLP uses air rather than fluid pressure to atomize coatings. As a result, it yields a superior finish quality compared to airless spraying (even when using a fine finish tip). It also has a higher transfer efficiency (about 65% vs about 40-50% tops for airless spraying)
  • The primary drawback to HVLP over an airless application is that it will not apply heavy coatings and it is much slower than airless spraying .

What is a standard Airless Tip

  • A standard airless tip is the most common tip to come with your airless paint sprayer. It provides break up but not the extent that an HVLP or fine finish airless tip will provide. Its primary benefit is having little to no limitation on the viscosity of coating your spraying and being available in large opening size options making it the perfect high production option
  • The primary drawback to the standard airless tip is that it is not very transfer efficient and does not yield a fine finish

When is HVLP right for Me?


When is a fine finish airless tip right for me?

  • When you need production but also a fine finish. This is often applicable to wood finishing where you are aiming to coat a product rapidly but with good break up of your stain or potentially paint (if it is not to viscous)
  • When you need airless like production but better control of over spray (like when painting an exterior of a building and trying to avoid any over spray getting on neighboring structures.

When is a traditional airless paint sprayer tip right for me?

  • When your primarily need speed of production
  • When you are working with high viscosity or medium viscosity coatings
  • When you do not need a fine break up of your coating

So there you have it the pros, cons, and uses of HVLP, fine finish airless, and traditional airless paint sprayer tips. When have you used each type of tip and what have your reasons for using them been?

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