Customer Reviews: Rockler HVLP Spray Gun
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Price:$99.99+ Free shipping
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on December 31, 2008
I've had my sprayer now for just over a year. The set isn't all that pretty, with lots of plastic construction. However, the key components are brass or plated metal, and it works wonderfully, especially for the price. I've used mine to apply clear finishes and stains, and the coverage is excellent. The unit comes with two application spray needles, and you will want to experiment with them to decide which one works best for a given finish(helpful hint - definitely use the smaller apture needle/valve combo for stains and light weight finishes or you'll make a mess). No real qualms about this unit, my only advice is to purchase the optional container that Rockler also makes for this unit, so you can swap finishes and seal up one while applying the other, or can use the extra one to rinse the sprayer out when you're done.
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on April 9, 2013
I have used so many other sprayers trying to get a smoothe finish. I've used compressor driven hvlp spray guns and an hvlp system from the blue big box store made by Graco. I have a 20 gallon 6cfm compressor but it seems that once it started running it would never catch up until I was done spraying. The system by graco was used for deck stain and some painting. It did good but I didn't feel I could trust it with polyurethane. I had decided this was the year I would spend the money on a Fuji system. I am a hobbyist so I was reluctant to put down the bucks needed for such a good hvlp system that wouldn't be used that often. Then I ran across this little gem. The included viscosity cup showed I didn't need to thin the poly. I installed the smaller tip and nozzle then tested it on some scrap wood and adjusted the material flow down. Then I used it on a nightstand I had made. Two very nice coats later and it has a smoothe beautiful finish. Set-up was easy and cleaning just as easy. Wow!! I can't believe I got such a great hvlp sprayer at such a great price. My learning curve was easy as I had already used other sprayers, but if someone had never used one before this would still be easy to learn.
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on March 31, 2014
I recommend this powerful Unit for any tasks small to medium in size. I've painted garage interiors, exterior Latex on a couple one story homes and over 200 walls with this unit. Its stood the test of time for over a dozen years. I've used this sprayer from Rocklers for over 10 years and found it to be the best sprayer ever! I've bought different Wagner Paint Sprayers over the years to see if they can do more area but they don't come close to the ease of use, excellent spray pattern and cleaning of parts this unit has.

I use this unit to only spray Latex. It has hardly any over spray so wall prepping is at a minimum. It'll do 4 X 4 foot patterns and one quart of paint will do one 8 X 12 wall easily. It cleans up very easy and the Spray Head is the only area that needs a small long brush to clean it- I find an Acid Brush works best. Clean the Quart Cup, nozzle (and its Nylon washer) and the Pickup Throat Tube and you're done.

If you can clean it on site just wash the paint from the quart cup and refill it with water, reassemble and turn on the unit. After a single flush everything is pretty clean. If you can't finish it on site then leave water in the quart cup and reattach it. This will keep any leftover paint moist for later cleaning. When you get home disassemble the spray nozzle and Quart cup and grab an Acid Brush and an old tooth brush. If it's badly gummed up let it soak in a bucket of water overnight. The worst area to clean is the where the pickup tube assembles into the Sprayer Head. There are 4 corners in there that tend to build up old paint.

If you mix ¾ to 1 cup of water to a gallon of paint you'll be happy how the paint sprays in a good pattern. Don't add too much water because the paint will tend to run or the air pressure coming out the Sprayer nozzle will blow air grooves in the paint on the wall. I personally like a thicker application so I usually add ½ cup of water per gallon to thin it. Just adjust the needle screw to the thickness you need. That's it. Pretty easy...

FYI- most paints tend to clog up the spray nozzle if you have it running without the quart cup attached. Either turn the motor off or remove the air hose. I'm lazy about turning off the motor all the time so when I'm out of paint I just remove the Air Hose from the Spray Head. This keeps air from blowing into the sprayer nozzle where the existing remnant paint is sitting and drying out while you're refilling the quart cup. I usually have 2 spray cups (about $11 each) filled up with paint and ready to go. Just disconnect the air hose, switch out the quart cups and keep painting without skipping a beat.

There are 2 needles with the unit and a wrench to switch it out. One needle for Latex paints and the other for Poly and Oil/Stains. Besides another Quart Cup you may want to order another latex needle since it'll become useless after a couple years, or 200 gallons of paint.
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on January 10, 2012
So far I have sprayed shellac, lacquer, milk paint and clear acrylic. All have done very well. I recommend a better cleaning than described in the instructions. I remove the nozzle and needle and clean with whatever solvent is needed. ALWAYS do a final cleaning with warm soap and water. Clean the container threads well, let dry and assemble. So far I have found that the smallest needle works best for me. A little orange peel on the shellac- should have thinned more. I recommend writing notes about thinning, etc. Helps over time as my memory isn't that good. Had the sprayer about a year now and really like it. Buy yourself a couple extra containers.
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on November 2, 2015
This is the best budget HVLP you will find!

1) Will give a professional finish for oil/water based stains and topcoats
2) Will spray SOME paints (More on this later)
3) Inexpensive and frequently on sale
4) Easy to cleanup (If you buy a second spray bottle)
5) Easy to master for the novice but with a professional looking outcome
6) Great customer service and technical support

1) Only comes with 0.9 and 1.8 needle sizes, they don't make other ones for this gun either
2) Cannot adjust air pressure (This is actually a plus for most applications, more on this later)
3) Won't spray water borne alkyd or thick paints very well
4) Noisy as a loud vacuum cleaner

HVLP sprayers are nothing like airless paint sprayers, so it's important to understand the differences between the two. Airless sprayers operate at a higher psi and use a much greater volume of air making them great for painting large flat surfaces quickly; they have a lot of over spray and can casue runs and drips if used on detailed or profiled pieces. HVLP sprayers have very little overspray making them less wasteful and better suited for smaller jobs that require multiple thin coats of stain or paint. If you are wanting to spray on stains and topcoats, this will be one of your favorite low cost high reward tool purchases ever. Imagine spraying a topcoat and having ZERO bubbles to smooth out due to the low pressure! If on the other hand you want this for painting, BUYER BEWARE! Yes it will spray some thinned latex paints with floetrol added, but it is not designed for spraying paints and will give you many headaches if this is something you want to do a lot of with this HVLP. If you want an HVLP for painting and for staining your going to need one that has enough power (Starting at approximately $700 with a minimum of 3 stages but 4 or more is better), your going to want an air intake pressure control, and your going to also want to have a good selection of needles sizes to choose from. Because paints especially have a great variance in composition and viscosity the ability dial in air intake pressure (Not spray volume like can be controlled on every HVLP gun) and to be able to select the right needle size for the specific paint product is a necessity for anyone working with many different paint products.

1)Buy a second spray cup for 2 reasons, first is that unlike the extra cup, the included cup is not see through which can come back to haunt you if you are still spraying when your getting low on solution. Second reason is that when you are ready to clean the sprayer, the first thing you need to do is to use the dark cup as a cleanup solution cup and spray that for a couple of minutes before you disassemble and clean the individual parts.
2)Get a second spray gun or an entire second setup if your spraying water and oil based solutions, DEDICATE! Every experienced sprayer knows that cleaning parts is never 100% and being that oil and water don't mix, if you mix your usage things will not work well over time for either application.

Final thoughts:
This is a great deal for the price and will spray any traditional(Not a gel of course) oil/ water based stain or topcoat to a professional level, but is not the greatest option for many expensive latex paints. While the manual is pretty small, pay extra attention to the viscosity drip times; basically this gun will spray anything you can run through it at those specified drip times; but it may not have great results if you have to greatly manipulate the water percentage or throw floetrol and water into the mix. For good quality paint it will spray you can use Sherwyn Williams pro classic 16:1 Floetrol, use RO or de-ionized water as needed to achieve viscosity drip time, and the 1.8 tip. It sprays General Finishes High Perfomance top coat like it was tailor made for that! Hope this was helpful!
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on March 11, 2015
I bought this unit about 5 years ago straight from Rockler when they had it for $99 and I knew I was talking a chance buying a low end hvlp unit but I haven't regretted it for a minute! Will it spray like an Apollo or fuji... No, but for all but the absolute pickiest person, this will more than do the job! There are a few flaws that drive me nuts, but for the price, I have to give it 5 stars. I have sprayed about 6 kitchens and at least as many bathrooms worth of cabinets with it and the results have always been great with both oil based and water based finishes..
Excellent price to quality ratio
All in one unit, no compressor needed
Sprays everything I've tried with no thinning
Comes with 2 needle sets for spraying thicker materials (over $50 each to add on to the professional guns)

Extremely loud but then all but the most expensive turbines are
Plastic parts are difficult to clean if not done immediately
Gun is extremely difficult to remove from cup if you leave it sit at all... I usually coat the seal with oil to help but still didn't think I'd get it apart without breaking it at least 10 times...
It is not air tight. Oil based urethane quickly builds up a thick layer on top. Water base is usually OK for a few days
Hose can easily fall out of the gun which is actually a huge problem if you aren't in a dust free spray booth
Brass needles were so tight I had to use some 1200 grit paper on them to get them to work

Overall, I would, and do, highly recommend this unit!
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on January 18, 2015
An inexpensive sprayer that will produce very good results with a bit of patience, due to the low turbine power. I primarily use it for clear coating water-based polyurethane on molding, furniture and picture frames. Anything thinner, such as stain, would be a snap.

What I really like is the speed of clean-up with water-based paint or clearcoats, when using an available spare tank filled with warm water. Just unscrew the tank with the clear coat and install the warm water tank, then spray until the stream is clear. Your gun is clean. The spare tank comes with a tight fitting lid, so your water-based paint/clear-coat is safe/clean between individual coats (i.e., applications).

Now, for those truly thrifty folks, a very, very, very similar unit is sold at another tool retailer and is often on sale for a lower price. In addition, that retailer routinely provides 20~25% off coupons. But, that retailer doesn't offer the spare tanks. Rockler, appears to be the only source of those.
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on June 6, 2014
Apparently brought to you by the same folks that brought us sliced bread.
We just completed our first painting project with this, approximately 1600 sqft. of fence and it took about 5 hours, never had a problem with clogging or needing to stop and clean out the gun. Very easy to use, even my 9 year old was able to paint with ease. After the job we were able to clean up in about 15 minutes.
Our project used Glidden outdoor flat paint and we covered the 1600 sqft using about 7.5 gallons of paint, we were painting raw wood and there was a very slight breeze so we ended up holding the nozzle about 6 inches from the surface while painting. We will probably end up doing a second coat, as some of our labor included slave labor (i.e. teenagers) and they were less diligent with coverage than they could have been. All in all, the product far exceeded our expectations and previous experiences with paint sprayers... Would highly recommend the product to anyone looking at large painting jobs.
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on June 26, 2015
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on February 8, 2014
I used the unit on three occasions. The first two were for a "get acquainted" sessions that lasted for about 10- 15 minutes each. The third time I had the unit running for about 20 minutes when it began to whine and smoke. It quit running before I could reach the switch, but I unplugged it anyway.

When I was able to use it, the finish was great. No runs, sags or orange peel. I've been using my compressor driven spray gun for awhile so dialing this gun in was easy. Virtually NO overspray. The only time I had blowback was when I intentionally sprayed into an enclosed box to see how sever the blowback was. Very easy to use system.

As other reviewers have noted the "instruction manual" is pretty much a waste of paper. "Do not spray flammable materials", with other instructions on how to thin polyurethane for spraying.

Nowhere on the unit does it say "Rockler". Hmmm.

When I called Rockler they were very apologetic and are sending a new unit out to me immediately. All they wanted was the serial number off the flamed unit. Interesting to note that on the Rockler website there ARE other reviews that mention the compressors overheating and/or burning up. I like how easy this unit is to use and clean. I like the way it lays down poly. I hope that I have better luck with the replacement.
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