Which Paint Spray System HP, HVLP, MPLV, LPLV other?


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Established Member
14 Oct 2011
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Holmes Chapel
I’ve been looking at spray guns since my compressor in the Fuji Q4 packed up and is presently on the ‘mend it bench’. I’m getting very confused. There appears to be four types of gun. Normal high pressure spraying, HVLP, MVLP and LVLP. There seems to be either guns that run off compressors, or HVLP systems like the Fuji / Greco. What I can’t get my head around is that it appears that a standard HP gun can actually be made into any of the variants by simply changing the Cap. The only difference appears to be the amount of pressure you set for the gun and the Cap which has different fan hole sizes.

I’m potentially looking for a backup system to my Fuji / a new primary system and have the other as a backup. From my reading they all appear to be able to spray just about anything and the main difference being paint transfer rates.

Like Wallace (but no where near his standard) I like refurbishing old bits if iron and spray 1K machine enamel. I also spray high build up undercoat as well as the usual water and oil based paints for my wood work.

If anyone could demystify what the various systems real benefits and cons are I’d really appreciate it. I want to spend the money and get the absolutely right system.

The FUJI has been great, it’s done everything I’ve wanted. However, (it’s probably me) I’ve had issues on occasions spraying all of the paints, sometimes it’s been seals that have needed changing and sometimes i can’t identify any issue.
firstly you seem to want a more versatile system than your q4 as a back up. which paints have you struggled with. just as an aside most turbine hvlp guns hoses and turbines are interchangeable. fuji guns will fit graco but not quite the other way!
you wont be able to use a hvlp conversion gun without a big compressor.
I like the graco edge2 gun (turbine) as it allows you to spray upside down. I also like the pro contractor 9.5 by graco. as it has a small compressor to power the pressure pot. the fuji gun is nice but more traditional and could be used on the new system say for when you dont need to fill a pressure pot. I'm interested to hear the fuji and graco use the same turbine so theres only the smart start that makes the graco different.
Thanks Johnnb, occasionally the Fuji system seems to have had issues with most of the paints that I’ve used. As an example, I tried to spray Tractol undercoat 816, not had an issue before, but it simply wouldn’t atomise. It may be that the bearing was giving up and it was loosing pressure, or it could be I was pushing the shelf life of the paint (just a smidge under the 12 months it supposed to be good for) or it could be the HVLP is at its boundary of what it can spray. I simply don't know, and I don’t have the knowledge or experience to work out which it was......I do know how frustrated I felt at the time though. I’d like to find the ‘Holly Grail ’ system that will be on top of anything I’d like to spray so I know any issues are down to me.

Until my Fuji compressor blew up I was blissfully ignorant that it was just a metal box with a bit of foam and an off the shelf vacuum cleaner suction motor inside. I felt rather cheated and stupid for not realising having been sucked into the marketing BS when I should have known better.

I do mind (being a Yorkshire man) but will buy a big compressor if that’s what is needed to get the Holy Grail system.
To run traditional HVLP guns off a compressor - you really do need a serious compressor.

I have a Q4 and an Apollo - funnily enough, I find the Apollo better than the Fuji and it was a fraction of the price. LOL
MikeJhn":1wm1wm7x said:
You don't need a serious compressor to run a traditional HVLP gun its volume of air that is needed not PSI.

As to the difference between the Fuji and Apollo my findings also differ from yours, all summarised here: hvlp-investigation-and-review-t97520.html

By serious - I meant in terms of CFM (delivered) not PSI. My understanding has always been that if you want a serious amount of CFM (delivered) - it's not an average\hobby (traditional) compressor. Happy to stand corrected if compressors have moved on.

Fuji\Apollo - admittedly I'd spent way more time with the Apollo and was used to it. Whereas the Fuji came much later on for me and I didn't spend much time with it, but I take your points on board. I was painting windows and a door and not furniture. I did read thru your thread and look forward to using the Fuji properly at some time.

When I give the Fuji a proper try out - I certainly will be paying attention to how it performs. ;)
what's needed for a hvlp compressor is a big air displacement. so really that means industrial tbh. tank size doesnt matter to much. the car sprayer next door uses our old 3 phase compressor really heavy industrial stuff with air and oil filters. but the amount of air produced is the important thing.
I'm not to bothered about bounce back and over spray. only the resulting finish! ( cause I've got extraction) low pressure spraying decreases the over spray.
to spray the very thick finishes ie emulsion no compressor will be big enough. then you need an airless.
remember you need the power to coat whatever your spraying in just a few seconds. so if your spraying a small box anything will do as long as it atomises. wardrobes need more oomph.
furniture factories use air assisted airless. ie an airless pump with some air (at the horns)to improve the fan(a problem with airless sprayers)
Just to update this Thread, the advance's in HVLP spraying has overtaken the compressor route, all professional spray shops now use HVLP and not the old traditional Compressor air gun units, even airless spraying has fallen out of favour if a good finish is needed.