Selecting the right airless spray tip for your paint sprayer is an important decision since it will affect the overall function. Most spray guns come with a universal thread so that you can attach any type of airless spray tip that you’re needing.
However, it can sometimes be quite frustrating to figure out the exact airless spray tip that you need since different paint sprayers require different tips. There are general airless spray tips, fine finish low-pressure tips, striping field marking tips, and heavy-duty tips.
Usually, the types are categorized by what they are used for. This helps when trying to select the right one. Selecting the right airless spray tip isn’t something you want to screw up as it can be a hard thing to fix if you end up using the wrong one.
Guide To Choosing The Right Airless Spray Tip
Check out our other resources if you need help understanding what a painter is and everything you need to know about the different paint sprayers. By reading these details you’ll not only save yourself money but you’ll also save time.
Regardless of the brand you choose, whether it’s Wagner, Graco, Titan or one of the others, the right tip will make the paint job much more efficient and will look like it was done by a professional (if done correctly). Here are some important details to ensure you select the right airless spray tip for the right job.
Selecting The Right Airless Spray Tip
The most important thing to consider when selecting an airless spray tip is the size of the tip. Due to the way airless paint sprayers work (and how they’re assembled), you’ll want to make sure the airless spray tip selected isn’t bigger than the pump.
This might seem logical, however, it’s often hard to tell when just glancing at the tips. You can always measure the size of the pump before you select your tip (to guarantee you get one that will fit).
Making Sense of the Different Tip Sizes
Okay, so now that you know the importance of selecting the right airless spray tip, here we will cover what the numbers on the airless sprayer tips mean. Most airless paint spraying tips have a three-digit code. Sometimes there are letters in front of it as well.
The numbers on the airless sprayer tip will look something like “FFT310” (this number is actually one of the most popular airless spray finish tips). So when you’re looking at the sequence, pay attention to the numbers.
Take the first number you see in that sequence. In this case, “FFT310” (the number is 3). Then multiply that number by two, to give you the fan size. So this airless spray tips fan size would be (3 x 2 = 6) six. In this case, the equation gives you a rough estimate of the size of the fan.
Next, you’ll need to figure out the orifice size. Orifice size is the size of the opening of a pipe or tube. So, in this case, it’s the opening in which gallons (of paint) pass through the tip.
Another way to measure the airless spray tip size is though figuring out its gallons per minute also knows as “GPM”.
It’s the worst when you get a tip that’s too big and you can’t use it. Through figuring out the GPM you’ll be able to get the right tip that will fit just right, without being too big.
So knowing the fan width and the orifice size will help to give you an idea of how thick of a coating you’ll be spraying.
How many gallons per minute can travel though this tip?
All you have to do to figure this out is to look at the last two numbers in the sequence “FFT310”, so in this case, it’s the 1 and 0. So this tip has a .010 (ten-thousandth) opening for the paint to move though.
It’s important to know this since it will affect how quickly the paint will move through the tip.
The Type of Paint Spraying Tip Depends on the Finish You’re Using
- Stain or lacquer – .009 -.013
- Oil Based Paint – .013 – .015
- Latex Paint – .015 – .019
- Heavy Latex- .025+
- Elastomeric & Block Filler- .025 – .035+
- Smooth Elastomertic- .025+
Airless Paint Spraying Tip Final Thoughts
Hopefully, some of these details will help you out on your next painting project. It can be frustrating when you’re just about to start a paint job and you realize you’re missing a part (or your paint sprayer won’t work).
Keep in mind once you have the correct tip, it’s important to keep your pressure on low when using your machine (if you want the spray tip to last). Keeping it on a lower pressure will prevent your spray tip from wearing down and can actually double the lifespan of the tip.
Also if at any point you forget these details or are unsure which tip to still choose, check the paint container. Often there will be details on the paint container’s label, stating the type of spray tip you should be using.
If that doesn’t work, someone at your local hardware store in the paint department could help (since it’s their job and they tend to know all the ins and outs of paint spraying tips).