Gone are the days of laquer primer and cup guns and guessing about how you mix paint and primer. Nowadays it’s become a science of the proper material for the proper spray gun. This article describes in detail what your affordable gun options are these days and why some guns are better than others and most importantly what size tips to use.
First of all I will get down to what spray gun tips you should consider when buying a gun. Since there are so many guns out there I will describe an entry level kit that is great for the beginning painter and won’t set you back too much, the Devilbiss Finishline 3 is a great start to making quality paint jobs without spending much more than 200 bones plus shipping on Ebay. This spray gun kit is one of the most complete kits that you can get for doing all over paint jobs, it includes a 1.3, 1.5, 1.8, and 2.2mm tips with the gun and a cleaning kit. Now for most people this gun will be just fine; such as painting out of your garage or a simple cross flow booth. This isn’t a very elite kit, but it gets the job done and saves you a lot of money when it comes down to buying tips since their already included with the spray gun. I used one of these spray guns (two actually) over the course of four years and preferred it more than my Sata Jet. The reason being is because my Sata paint gun only came with a 1.3 tip and if you have ever priced gun tips before for a sata you could buy the whole Devilbiss paint gun setup for the same price as the tips you need.
Sata and Iwata are paint guns that are pretty much just designed for professionals, they have a few advantages such as they use less material (slightly), so you save money with these paint guns there if you’re doing a high volume of work and these paint guns require less volume of air to atomize the paint so they’re suitable if you have a smaller compressor. But, all in all for a beginning painter you’re better off with the Devilbiss Finishline or even the Devilbiss Starting Line; the Devilbiss Starting Line is also a good gun set choice for a few reasons. One such reason is that this kit comes with three individual paint guns; a spot gun, a 1.3mm tip base/ clear gun, and a 1.8mm tip primer gun. This is a great kit if all you are doing is high solids priming, shooting base/ clear, and spraying door jams. This kit is not ideal if you are shooting cheap paint like single stage or using very high solid material like sprayable fillers which require a 2.2mm tip.
Things to remember about gun tips for your Devilbiss or any other paint gun is that a 1.2 tip is for base coat only, 1.3 tip is for base/ clear, 1.5 tip for single stage or etching primer, 1.8 for conventional primer, 2.2 for sprayable filler. That’s about all you need to know. Other than that the only thing about Devilbiss paint guns is that they never really operate effectively at the inlet pressure that they are supposedly designed for, so before you begin spraying that car with paint or primer use an old hood to practice on first and get used to it and don’t forget the right tip.