Graco Ultra/Ultramax

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Established Member
2 Oct 2020
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Anyone done much finishing with the Graco ultra spray gun?

I know Mr Millard has (waves) and I've watched all his videos on it. Kind of got the impression he rated it fairly highly but had quite a few issues?

I've just bought one and I'm wondering if maybe I shouldn't have.

At the moment (only had it two days) I'm spraying Dulux satin water based.
I thinned it maybe 10% and found that with my 410 tip that the machine would keep stopping.

Whether that's due to blockages or it losing its vacuum I'm not completely sure. Sometimes reversing the tip and giving it a blast would make it work again, sometimes not.

I tried thinning the paint further, perhaps just over 20% which I know is far beyond what most recommend, but still it kept stopping, and getting the odd splatter, and horrible drips now and again from the fan guard. 😐

Also, almost every time I come to detach the paint cup, the little push in filter gets knocked out and falls in the paint pot below. Funny the first time, getting a bit old now...

I was drawn to it as it claimed to be able to spray paint undiluted. So far I have not found this to be true.

I did do my research or so I thought. As I say, Peters videos overall gave me a favourable impression from a furniture angle, and I couldn't really find anyone slating it on YouTube or online, hence why I bought it.

Will I forever regret it or is it just a case of getting past the learning curve?

To be fair, the 1 or 2 door panels I've done where I didn't have any splatter from clogs, the finish looks great. But most of what I did seemed to have one issue or another.

Obviously I've used it and it looks like I have the option of returning it if I'm not satisfied within 30 days and upgrading to a bigger graco machine (not a refund)

The cost was already a push and so I'm not keen to spend more again but if its no good, it's no good.

Anyone use one for furniture?
I have one, make & spray kitchen cupboard doors using Tikkurila WB paint with mine (straight out the can), couple of things I "learnt" - nozzle size, I went down to a 310, and have used a 210, the pump speed control made a difference as well a bit trial and error but generally running at up to 7 seemed to favour good results, not had problem with filter (blue one I use), if any thing have a job getting it off, for my needs, it has worked fine.
Just to update the thread.
I VERY quickly realised that the Ultramax wasn't the type of gun for what I am doing and sold it two days after buying it!

Luckily, because I got a great deal on it new, I sold it getting my money back.

I've gone the way I should have in the start now and bought a Graco Finishline 9.5 pro contractor hvlp system.


The price of it made me cry a bit but already its Leagues ahead in terms of control and adjustability.

Hopefully I'll get some good results once I'm over the learning curve.

I actually did a day course for hvlp spraying at the Dulux Academy in Slough which I would recommend to anyone starting out in hvlp.
The price of it made me cry a bit but already its Leagues ahead in terms of control and adjustability.
Well done, I had a demonstration with one of these, with Graco, liked it , but the finance controller said no! for the amount of work it would get used for.
Maybe a better paint, not used dulux in years because Crown & Johnstones deliver a better finish and so maybe would also spray better.
Yeah, it's all learning. The dulux sprays way better than what I used originally but I have some Tikurilla to try next which gets good shout outs.
Yeah, it's all learning. The dulux sprays way better than what I used originally but I have some Tikurilla to try next which gets good shout outs.
I find most paints but not all will spray pretty good with an hvlp. But each product is a learning curve as to what consistency will spray the best. Add the hotter it is where your spraying the thinner you might want to go. I find because it sttamuzes so fine it can dry fast in heat. Not giving enough time to flow out. So a little water helps. I too have the graco 9.5 along with 5 other sprayers. They all have there place. The hvlp for small jobs with fast setup and minimal clean up and when you only have a cup of paint left and want to spray . Lol.
All of these turbines are just an expensive vacuum cleaner type motor with multiple stages ie multiple fans on the same spindle, in a very simple tin box.
They will wear out in time because the bearings have a finite life, same with brushes and eventually the commutator. With some shopping around you'll find that you can buy a replacement motor / turbine (it's probably an Ametek made in Italy or maybe a Domel) for a couple of hundred quid aftermarket . They are much more expensive than a standard, good, vacuum cleaner motor not because they are much more complex but because they only sell in <1% of the quantity.

The enemy of the turbine is heat. Compressing air generates heat and heat plus runtime kill bearings. These things run hot and if it's anything like the Fuji, the enclosures are poorly ventilated for the sake of limiting the noise.

If it were mine, I'd take the covers off and have a look at it to see how well designed it is. Make sure there's an obvious and adequate route for cooling air to get in and to get out even when the gun is connected and not actually spraying.

Just because the designers should have done a good job doesn't mean they did. They only need the product to last past the warranty, then they will happily sell you a replacement turbine at 100%-300% markup. Specialist spares and repairs have high profit margins.
Yeah I take your point. Its a simple enough motor in concept but the system as a whole is a really nicely made bit of kit.

The Edge ll Plus gun is absolutely lovely and there are lots of little details that go to make it a pleasant thing to use.

The auto shut off is a great feature that keeps the heat of the unit down a bit.
You can also dial in the power output you want at the turbine with a dial so it's not necessarily always running at max output.

Importantly, I chose it because it seems to be the leading machine and YouTube reviews go back many years and I couldn't really find any negative ones.

I'm liking it so far, but yes, cheap it ain't! 😳