Low Cost Turbo Spray Painters

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On a tight budget. I have read some of the articles on Earlex(?), Rockler, Harbor Freight and such. If you folks were in the market for a inexpensive sprayer (under $150 if possible) which one would you go after. AND if you have one of these puppies, what is your opinion of it’s performance. And I hope I put these questions in the right section, since its my first entry.

In the articles I’ve seen, the low cost sprayers always had something wrong or inconvenient. I think $350 or higher gets into the decent sprayers. I think Apollo recently came out with a model for non-professionals that was rated pretty good.

I bought 1 from harbor freight very early on. It looks very much like the rockler one.
I used it only once. My inexperience showed (never sprayed before at that time).
My feeling is it was really noisy and turned hot. It has been sitting on the shelf for the last 4 years in a box.

I purchased the Fuji Q4 gold last year. Much more expenseive but definitely a pleasure to work with, a jewel in my opinion.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Nice choice lanwater.
No reason to spend 1/4 of the money for something that doesn’t work worth while.
If your going to spend any money at all you might as well spend a little more and get something worth getting. Just my Opinion

I discovered that what Bently said apply to many tools.
When I started I bought a lot of tools tat I regretted buying as soon as I acquired some experience.

I am really happy with the Fuji. They have different models that are cheaper and got tremendous reviews. Check them out.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

In my opinion, I wouldn’t waste my money. I had a very similar experience to Ianwater. I bought an Earlex 3000 many moons ago ( they upgraded it 4 years ago to the 3500). I had an ok experience with it, not great, but ok. There are many ideas on how to make it run better, most of which I tried but none really helped. It just never seemed to get the “orange peel” out of the finish. I did get a good finish, but I ended up turning a side up and really wetting it until it would have run if it had been on it’s side. I got a good finish but I had to wait for it to dry all the time (which was quick maybe 1/2 hour) then turning it up to a side…..I could have brushed it on in half the time!! I talked with many people and ended up buying the 5500, which works well and I love. The finish is still a little “textured” but not much at all. I am a Professional Photographer during the day and I have taken home some old Photofloods to spray under, and it really shows all the flaws, but under normal room light, they really don’t show much, if at all. I also spray mostly water borne poly which is awesome to work with.

So…for my .02 worth I would wait and save a little longer and get the better model. I have a buddy that uses the Fuji….and it even has more power than the 5500 Earlex and he loves it. I just think it was quite a bit more, and after the experience I had with the first earlex, I was a little “shy”…


Unfortunately the cheap sprayers just dont cut it. The difference in a low end gun/system and a good one are day and night . Save your $ until you can get a good system. You wont regret it .

Charles Neil

I have the HF HVLP. The only things I’ve sprayed with it are water (for testing) and Sealcoat/BIN primer, both extremely low viscosity fluids to work with. The end results were very good but I found a lot of reasons why I would not consider the HF HVLP a good long-term solution (I certainly plan on upgrading when the unit breaks).

My main complaint is that the air bleeds into the fluid cup, resulting in finish leaking out of the gun through needle onto the handle. I haven’t tried to troubleshoot how best to tackle the problem.

-- paxorion

Have you considered a conversion gun? If you have an air compressor, that might present an affordable alternative. I have a Fuji 4 stage, and really like it…but for many years I used a Wagner conversion gun with my compressor and it did a very nice job.

"I long for the day when coke was a cola and a joint was a bad place to be" Merle Haggartd