Shopping for a Pressure-Pot Spray Gun

Advice on choosing a low-end spray system, and on which upgrades make sense. August 15, 2011

I was wondering if anyone would recommend the economy pressure feed gun setup from Finish Systems? 1.4MM HVLP gun, 2.5 gallon pot, 25' hose set - $442.86. I like the price.

Forum Responses
(Finishing Forum)
From contributor C:
I use this company and am always happy there. What are you planning on spraying? Might need to get a bigger tip also.

From the original questioner:
I'm planning to spray lacquers. What tip size would you recommend?

From contributor M:
Give them a call. I've been using them for most of our supplies for some time now. They're very helpful if you have any questions and have always offered good advice when I needed it.

From contributor J:
Looks likes CA Technologies. It's a good one. I suggest you get extra parts. They might be hard to find locally. Especially the pressure pot gasket.

From contributor R:
Have you checked out Grainger? They could hook you up with a complete spray package, everything you need. Keep in mind that a pressure pot is just a vessel that holds a liquid, so there isn't much engineering behind them. Spend a few extra bucks and get a good spray gun and make sure to get a PP that has two regulators.

From contributor P:
As mentioned above, a pot is a pot is a pot, so spend your money on the gun, as there is a very big difference in cheap guns and more expensive guns. Kind of like a Saturday Night Special vs. a Gloc.

From contributor M:
The lid locks are beefy on the CAT and it has wheels - I have a CAT and think those two features make it worth the extra money. That and I know the liners and other parts are easy to find locally and readily available online.

From contributor M:
Since you did ask about tip size, here's how I use them:
1.3 for general use - cabinets, furniture, any decent volume of work.
1.5/1.7 for high volume; it takes more skill to get the same results as the 1.3 in less time, though.
1.1 for fine work - chairs, instruments, small items - slower but much better and easier to apply on more intricate pieces; too slow for large pieces.
1.0 or less for stain or dye.

I've had good luck with some cheap guns. Some ended up in the trash after the 1st or 2nd use (they mostly start out good, many deteriorate fast, some are complete junk, some have held up fine and work great). My CAT guns are okay, but I love my Accuspray 19 gun. If you start with a good gun, you can avoid the period of time between now and when you eventually get one - when some jobs randomly take 2 - 3 times longer because of double or triple the estimated sanding time and hassle of recoats. No gun will save you from this, especially if you have no experience with the stuff, but after I got my Accuspray it sure made a difference in quality and consistency. The CAT guns came later and I wasn't as impressed. If I'm giving something my all, I stick with the same Accuspray gun every step of the way, just cleaning and changing needles, nozzles, and air caps. I'm sure there are other guns that are just as good, but this is what I ended up with, and until I start looking at AAA systems, this does the trick.

That said, maybe the extra money you save on the economy gun could purchase other tools or accessories that would make your work more efficient than just a nicer spray gun - you can definitely get by with the gun you've asked about. If I was just starting out I would get the economy gun with a 1.1 tip in addition to the 1.4 included; after getting the hang of it I would upgrade to the better gun and save the cheap gun for primer or sealer duty. I also wouldn't imagine needing a pressure pot just getting started. Filling a cup doesn't take that long. For most of the applications I can think of, you're going to be the bottleneck until you get some experience. Any time you save using the pressure pot will be lost with additional cleaning. Look into the pressure fed PPS cup. You could get a really nice gun with extra tips and the PPS package and save some money over the setup you listed.

From contributor O:
What tip and air cap for the Accuspray gun on pressure pot with pre-cat lac?

From the original questioner:
Thank you everyone for your help. Now I'm wondering about the advantage and disadvantage of having one or two regulators on my pressure pot.

From contributor M:
Gold cap, #7 - and usually 1.3 or 1.5. The red, #6, usually gets used with the 1.1 tip, and #5 purple for stain and dye). The only time I find myself with a 1.7 on there is for thick paints and primers, or large non-critical purposes - like pre-finishing sheets for stained interior parts.

The point of the two regulators is so you can run whatever pressure you want to the pot, and have control of fluid and gun pressure independently, at the pot. My pots have one regulator, and the manifold where the guns/pots hook up already have regulators and a dedicated filter setup. I control the gun pressure at the manifold, then I adjust the fluid pressure at the pot - your pressure pot will use hardly any pressure, way less than any gun. Basically, if you're already regulating your air pressure for spraying, you really only need one regulator to lower the pressure to the pot.

I don't do a whole lot, probably spray 5-10 gallons a month on average, sometimes much more, but not often.