Agitators and Heaters for Air-Assisted Airless Equipment

Finishers discuss the value of investing in an agitator and/or a heater as accessories for an AAA setup. December 31, 2012

I am investing in our first Kremlin 10:14 Airmix setup. We are mostly shooting Gemini conversion varnish and often it's flat or satin. However, we generally are spraying large quantities (for us), and five gallons a day roughly when we are spraying.

Should I invest the $500-$600 in an agitator? Why and at what point do you need one? (We mix with a drill-powered mixer.) Also, does have experience with the Kremlin heater and CVs? I don't think it would help us a whole bunch being in Texas but would like to hear experience in the matter.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor R:
Not so sure about a heater as were located in a climate thats mostly on the warm side, but I like the agitator. I spray flat and satin CV as well and the agitator is a nice set up to have.

I forget if its Mohawk or Sherwin Williams that mentioned in the spec sheet that the newer VOC coatings do need to be stirred more often than the older versions. If you have the extra and can afford it, Id say go for it.

From contributor H:
Their heaters have internal mixing barbs so if you are just spraying clears you are fine, but if you are changing colors the swirlers do not flush real well. I had to help a buddy take the heater apart and the swirlers had all kind of buildup of the different colors that he sprayed. You need to watch your temps with the heater as they can cause premature curing if you keep your paint off the floor. I most likely wouldn't get one unless you are thinking of moving to a colder climate.

From contributor B:

I have three of the stir heads, and they are nice! An electric drill seems a bit primitive especially when you consider the vapor/spark issue.

From contributor V:
Where I work in MN we spray an average of five-six gallons a day of 25 degree CV. I agree with Contributor R. If you can afford it I would definitely get the agitator and would skip the heater. With the agitator you don't have to remember to stop and stir, just mix up what you need for the day and spray away with a consistent sheen throughout.

From contributor M:
Look online for a small air motor and add a shaft and propeller. Several years ago Northern Tool had one made up (shaft, motor, propeller) for less than $100.00, name brand motor. Kremlin wanted to charge me $160.00 for a pickup hose. A Nylon tube for $15.00 works fine.