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Low Cost (budget) vs Professional Paint Spray Guns A Complete Guide (With Video)

A question we often are asked is why purchase a spray gun for $200 – $500 dollars when they you can purchase a spray gun for $10 – $30 from a variety of stores with popular options including Harbor Freight among others. Ultimately both a budget spray gun and a professional paint spray gun have their place and in this article we review a Harbor Freight HVLP Spray Gun including its price as well as performance and compare it to a professional Binks SV 100 spray gun so you can better understand which type of spray gun will be right for your painting needs.

Low Cost Harbor Freight Spray Gun Price

It goes without saying that the greatest benefit to a Harbor Freight Paint Spray Gun is that it is economical you can often purchase a Harbor Freight HVLP Spray gun for $10.00 when coupons are available. With such a low price it can be used for a single job and then thrown away.

Low Cost Harbor Freight Spray Gun Performance

While the Harbor Freight spray gun is very affordable the performance is significantly different than a professional spray gun. A few key differences include how fine of a finish the Harbor Freight Spray Gun provides, the size of pattern that is given, and limitations on customizing how the gun sprays. As shown in the video below the Harbor Freight Spray Gun offered a significantly smaller spray pattern of about 4 inches compared to the 8 – 12 inch pattern that we obtained from the Binks SV 100 Spray Gun. Additionally, the Harbor Freight Spray Gun didn’t atomize paint as well, however it did do an ok job which depending on the project could be sufficient. Fine atomization is what provides a glass like appearance to your paint.

Binks SV 100 Professional Paint Spray Gun Overview compared to Harbor Freight Spray Gun

The Binks SV 100 is priced at $220 and offers a variety of tip sizes. It is also rebuildable making it useful for a long time (the Harbor Freight gun is not repairable). The variety of tips offer greater control of your spray. The needle in a Binks SV 100 and most professional spray guns is tapered allowing for control of material flow in the trigger pull and giving you the ability to feather your trigger to control your spray pattern. The SV 100 also had a significantly larger spray pattern (about 8 – 12 inches) which allows for faster painting of a project. However, the SV 100 is significantly more expensive than a budget spray gun. The SV 100 spray gun atomized material more effectively which ultimately gave a better appearing finish.

Deciding between a budget spray gun and professional Spray Gun

The professional spray gun offers greater performance and the potential to finish your work faster. It also offers greater control of your painting.  However, you do have the additional initial cost. A budget spray gun is a great low-cost option to spray but may not deliver the same results depending on how thick your paint is.  An alternative you can consider is to spend a bit more on a used professional spray gun but then you have to consider if the used spray gun will need any parts to work properly (more on buying used spray guns here). Ultimately both a budget spray gun and professional spray gun have their benefits by comparing the two options you can better understand which may be best for your painting needs.

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