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on September 27, 2012
I bought this with a light dose of skepticism but have been *extremely* pleased with it thus far. I've used it once a day to coat small items with various powders I already have.

I also own the Harbor Freight unit that requires an air compressor but at the moment don't have my air compressor setup and only wanted to coat small items that would easily fit in a toaster oven that my wife graciously donated to the project (after I purchased a new one for her, of course.) I had already read some of the reviews on here complaining about the back blast when the trigger was pulled all the way, so I devised a simple gasket made from 2mm thick foam sheet (available at most any hobby store and even big-box stores in the hobby section.) Simply take the cup and mash it down on the foam to create the inner circle, cut it out with a hobby knife and cut the outer with a pair of scissors. Note that this unit has a variable trigger to it, it's not a binary trigger.

I've seen on the interwebs where people were concerned about getting additional cups, but it turns out that this same gun is still available under a variety of names for far more than it's available here on Amazon (hence the title to my review!) It turns out that Summit Racing also sells the cups, and I picked up an additional four cups at ~$10 each with another ~$10 in shipping. The cup that comes with the gun comes with two foam plugs to put in, in case you don't want to empty the cup out but want to store it. The additional cups ideally would come with them, but did not. I fabricated up some simple plugs of my own with some packing foam and sticks and now have 4 colors on hand, leaving my last cup in the gun - empty - for whatever color suits my fancy when the others don't.

FYI, Sears did not "discontinue" this product - they just slapped their name on it as they did not make them. They simply quit selling them because at $180, no one was really buying them despite how great they work. Quite frankly, I think it's a stroke of genius design as all others require a huge high voltage power supply (very clunky and large) and an air compressor (far larger and clunkier, sometimes not portable at all!) I'm actually able to coat my items on a small desk in my office and use a toaster oven to bake the parts; the desk is next to a door so if it starts to smell or smoke, I just open the door and put a fan in the way. The power supply is relatively small (it's like a big wall-wart, about the size of a couple of boxes of kitchen matches) and has two cords coming out - one for the gun, and a slim green one with an alligator clip for the ground. The cords are easily 10ft+ long so you're not tethered too close to an outlet, making it very easy to work with.

While some may complain about the "cheap plastic" feel of the unit, I for one appreciate the insulation of plastic to keep me from being inadvertently tazered by the unit (remember, this unit uses 15kV DC to create the static charge needed to make the powder stick! Don't touch the tip while you're spraying!) The cups are made of pretty hard plastic too - I suspect if they were dropped hard enough they may shatter so be careful.

I'm not sure what "screw" breaks but there is a cup lock (the red twist knob on the left side) that locks the cup in place so it doesn't fall out while you're coating; just need to be aware of what position it's in when you want to install/remove it and you'll be fine. If you make the gaskets I mention above, you might have to push the cup back with a little force to get it into place. The whole unit comes in a real nice blow-molded plastic box that also includes a small roll of silicon masking tape and silicon plugs for masking off areas you don't want to get the coating in. (Remember, powder coat melts into a single form.)

Other than the minor issues, this thing is excellent! There are no "specific" or "Sears" powders that need to be used with this unit either - any powder coat from anywhere will work fine. Harbor Freight, Columbia Coatings, Powder by the Pound, Eastwood and Caswell all sell the powders. You can get anything from plain-jane white, gloss black, base colors, or even translucent colors and metallics. (There's even a real nice single-stage chrome available!) I already had a variety from larger car restoration projects but I'll be getting more for the smaller things. Don't balk at getting this unit, you won't regret it! Use your favorite search engine and you can find just about any color you dream up (and even more!)
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on December 27, 2011
Yes screw will break if you have GORILLA FINGERS.

Otherwise, this is quite a good buy for the money, and will be more than sufficient for the person who only coats a few items here and there.

Next most economcal would be an item from harbor freight for around $80, BUT you also would need to have an air compressor.

Most useful for the GUN Hobbyist who wants something like Dura coat on a weapon.

Sending out, can be VERY costly.

Purchase a dedicated toaster oven, large size, or the following infrared unit for larger items:Optimus H-5210 Infrared Quartz Radiant Heater

ONLY the metal (not the air temp) needs to come up to temp for about 20 minutes, so larger items may require two infrared units. But for the total investment at under $100, this cannot be beat,

Columbia coatings is a VERY good place to acquire the coating powder, especially the specialty powder for firearms.

ENJOY..
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on May 10, 2012
I normally try to avoid rating an item 5 stars, but do so without hesitation on this powder coat gun. The whole process is simple as can be and with an additional $50 expenditure for your toaster, a field expedient paint booth (I used a plastic storage tub), and a jar or two of powder, you'll be set up and ready to rock and roll. Regardless of your experience level, you'll get great results (well, if you prep properly and follow the instructions)and you will most certainly have friends that will keep you busy PCing their stuff as well. Charge 'em for it and you'll make back the money spent on this very quickly. :)

This is an unbelievable bargain for this price. If there's one complaint I have about this gun is that it feels cheap. It's very light and some of the parts might not mesh together (the powder cup to the body, for instance) as tight as maybe they should, but that's a laughably minor quibble.

If you've ever once in your life considered powder coating, get this setup. You won't be sorry.
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on January 22, 2012
Product was as advertised and shipped in a reasonable amount of time.
When I got it, it was well packaged and all items listed were there.
When I tried it, it worked very well with the only problem being the powder "leaked" around the back end of the cup if I accidentally pulled the trigger all the way. This could potentially make a mess.

Bottom line, it does what I want and would buy it again if I needed one.
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on June 3, 2012
I already own a powder coating gun that hooks to an air compressor but sometimes you always don't want to set up all that, well I can say this gun works pretty good for what it is. I was unsure how it would be but it left me impressed on how it lays out the powder, the trigger switch controls the fan speed but as far as I can tell it does not control how strong the spark is.

Yes the cup does not hold much but that is to be expected.. Also the cup can be hard to screw back on because of the powder that gets into the groove locks I find that just cleaning them out helps.

My cup lock has yet to break after 4 uses, don't force things to fit and you should be ok!
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on December 14, 2012
:EDIT: Noticed my first one also had hairline cracks along the handle. This unit was returned. The replacement has a functioning cup release, but also has hairline cracks. I'm going to deal with the cracks and use the product as-is. Electrical tape around the handle is a perfect match for the gun's black plastic. You can barely see the tape job. :END EDIT:

Mine arrived appearing brand new. None of the plastic was ripped, etc and unit was immaculately clean. However, my pump cup release was broken upon arrival and fell into my hand. The reviews from everyone else saying the release is weak and flimsy are spot-on.

One of the clasps on the outer plastic case is also broken. Not a huge issue, but not something I appreciate.

It looks like someone received this, noticed the two damaged plastic pieces and immediately returned. I, however...

Despite these two broken pieces, I decided to try the unit out. It does work well. The one-star reviewer has no idea what he's talking about. The powder flows freely and quickly. The cords are plenty long enough and being tied to an electrical socket should NOT dissuade you in any way from purchasing this. Units that require an air-compressor are similarly attached to a stationary object, so this is no different.

The gun has a wide flat base which is appreciated.

Additional cups are available here on Amazon.

I would give the product 4.5 stars if I could. It would be five stars if not for the incredibly weak pump cup release.
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on January 7, 2013
Mine arrived broken. It would rattle inside when I would move it. I took it apart and the bracket to hold the fan was broken. I took it apart twice to super glue it together. The second time I added some duct tape.

The cup to hold the paint is way to tight. I sanded down the nubs so it would slide in place better. It was literally very tight and I worried about breaking it. Without paint powder it would open ok, but once the powder is in the cup it will make it impossible to close.

Once it was fixed, it worked great. I was amazed at the results.
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on January 27, 2012
There has been mention of a fragile powder canister lock and that the reliability of the unit is poor. I am not quite sure how rough folk can be,but I have found the unit well made, ultra reliable, gives fantastic and quite professional results,has handled every powder I've thrown at it ( and ive put 30 pounds through it so far), and above all, EASY to use. Yes. You have to treat it more care than you would a hammer,but a gentle hand and commonsense maintainence is all it needs to last for years. The only flaw is the small powder canister size,but it will still last for most small jobs and is very fast and easy to re-fill. This gun is the ideal entry to powder coating, and for most folk will be all they ever need.
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on May 17, 2012
For $34.95 there is nothing else as good on the market. Yet, the design is terrible and I can see why Sears discontinued this model. The cup 'lock' will easily break off if you don't already know how to use it, it takes several minutes of operation before the powder starts coming out, and the cup is very hard to close because they didn't allow enough clearance where it fits on so if there is any powder in it.. it won't close without force. Yet, it works. I returned the one I had with a broken lock and ordered another. I'll use it until I feel like spending 3-4x more for the one I really want.
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on January 17, 2013
I bought this thinking it was a bargain, and it was, but it was a one-off.

Pros:
Price
Point-and-shoot
No separate compressor needed
Powerbrick includes handy grounding line

Cons:
Time-consuming cleanup
Cup difficult to remove--no textured grips or lips to pull on, only friction on the smooth plastic
Build quality not great--the cup lock broke off and the cup gets stuck despite using canned air to keep it clean
Case came with a cracked snap-closure

This tool lasted long enough for nearly a week of powder-coating, but by the end it was literally coming to pieces. The cup is jammed partway in/out and un-jamming it would likely break it.

The coating starts evenly, but as the ionization nozzle gathers paint this quickly changes. Quick, frequent attention helps here.

In the end, it did a good job and let me finish my project, but I have a few pounds of powder paint that won't get used until I find another tool to replace this one. I wanted to love it, but now I know why it isn't more popular among the enthusiast crowd.
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