LumberJocks

Excellent sprayer for small projects

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Review by splintergroup posted 02-04-2020 08:19 PM 1217 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Excellent sprayer for small projects No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

The Lowdown:

Paid $293 (starter kit)
now (2/2020) $346 for the same kit (Amazon)

Pros:
Easy cleanup!
Works in any position.
Excellent adjustability, awesome atomization.
Low air requirements.

Cons:
Expensive(ish).
Accessories are expensive(ish).

4 stars because nothing is perfect and I didn’t try more expensive/higher rated guns.

For years (seems like a lifetime) I have been using a small el-cheapo touch up gun for those times I needed to finish a small object.

It always worked “ok” but the finish was never great and the siphon cup often got in the way. Eventually it started spitting, indicating time to freshen up the seals.
This returned it to normal, but my heart began to wander….

Note that this was almost two years ago. I don’t like to review stuff if I haven’t had plenty of time to use it and have something similar to compare it to.

I used to paint cars and I have a collection of spray guns. The “touch up” class are nice since they are light weight and with only a small fluid cup they are easy to get into tight spaces. If you are not spraying a huge area where you need massive fluid flow, they are great for almost all projects side-table sized and smaller.

My search basically began and ended with the recommendations of the GunMan An automobile painters recommendations for mini sprayers.

Since I could not test out each of the available candidates myself, I put a lot of faith in this test and chose what I considered affordable and of sufficient quality, no need for me to get the absolute best available as it comes at a high price $$$$$ for the bragging rights 8^)

Here is the SRiPro. I have added a A.N.I regulator/restrictor to allow tweaking the air without needing to mess with my wall regulator.

Some would call this top-feed a gravity fed gun, but actually it is siphon fed.

This comes as a kit with the gun, cleaning kit, alternate spray head, and a sampling of the DeVilbiss “DeKups” system.

This is my first gun with the cup mounted on top. A big concern for me was the DeCups. Basically a disposable cup system. I wanted a traditional cup so I would not need to purchase accessories over the lifetime of this system.

A traditional “hard” cup can be found, but at over $50. I began to look into the possibility of modifying a Harbor Freight cup, but then decided to give the DeKups a serious try (and glad I did!).

(Left column, top to bottom: 24 oz. outer cap, inner cap, bladder (both disposable), outer shell)
(Center: 9 oz. outer cap reservoir plug (orange), lid/bladder, outer shell with graduated mixing card installed, filter screen insert)
(Right: 3 oz. DeKups, HVLP spray head, SRiPro, wrench/cleaning brush)

The DeKups system has three sizes.
24 oz.
9 oz. (my most used)
3 oz. (shown installed)

Good! No need to use a cup bigger than needed which allows for better spray gun access into all those corners 8^)

The DeKups consist of a hard plastic shell and cap into which a collapsible bladder and lid (the disposable parts) are installed. The cost of a lid/bladder runs about $1.25 for the 9 oz. and can be bought in quantity.
Note the 3 oz. cup is rigid.

The beauty over a ridgid cup (as I discovered) is you can use the sprayer in any position. With the cup on the bottom (everything upside down), the siphon action will collapse the bladder until all the airspace is removed. At this point the gun will not care what position it is in.

A second benefit is the bladder and lid are easily removed and disposed of (no cleaning!). I use a small squeeze bottle with lacquer thinner for cleaning the spray head passage. I just squirt some thinner into the siphon hole while spraying. The passage is very short and easy to access for a thorough scrubbing if needed, but with my regime it has never had any finish build up.

A big savings in both cleanup time and thinner, I save significant amounts of $$ on thinner compared to flushing out the long passage and large cup of my traditional siphon guns.

If I’m going to be spraying the same finish over several days, I’ll remove the DeKup from the gun, push up the bladder until the air is eliminated and install a supplied small plug (orange object in the picture). Basically the finish is now sealed in an airless environment. When needed again, the plug can be removed allowing the bladder to return to full size. Attach to the gun and give it a good shaking to remix, then spray.

The fan is adjustable from a fine (1”) spot to a 6” width. I have sprayed a 24”x60” table top with this using 50% overlap passes and precat lacquer. Great flowout and blending, but this is about as big of a surface I’d dare to do with precat before going to a bigger gun.

The SRiPro comes with two spray heads, one is labeled “HVLP” and the other listed as high efficiency. I have not tried the HVLP head as the HE head works superbly.
My typical spraying air pressure is set to about 20 PSI. This provides excellent atomization and flowout without excessive overspray.

As with all these upper end spray guns, there are plenty of cheap knock-offs on the market. The mechanics of the SRiPro are basically flawless, no idea of how well a knockoff would compare.

It could be considered expensive (20 times more expensive then the gun I replaced), but you all know the feeling of using a great tool where you only need to worry about your skills and not deal with grief caused by the tool.

A real pleasure to use compared to my old gun!

I have a Harbor Freight $9.99 gun (the purple one) that I still haven’t used. I bought it for those finishes (paint, etc.) that I’d rather not push through my new gun. It’ll be interesting to compare with!




View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5128 posts in 2305 days



8 comments so far

View sansoo22's profile

sansoo22

1464 posts in 737 days


#1 posted 02-04-2020 08:43 PM

Thanks for the review. The price did shock me a bit at first but when you think about how a finish can make or break a project I don’t see an issue with spending to get good consistent results.

Would you recommend this specific gun to a novice? I don’t spray anything at the moment but have a couple compressors so figure I will get into eventually.

View Pixxture's profile

Pixxture

53 posts in 1154 days


#2 posted 02-04-2020 09:45 PM

Thanks for the super good review. I am an extreme beginner with spraying on a finish. So i learn the items you mention, cups, pattern adjustment.
At this time i cannot afford any thing near the price you mention. I do have the purple HF and have managed to get a reasonable finish on a few projects. I would LOVE to see you do a comparison between the two guns. I think there are a few of us who could learn a lot from that.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5128 posts in 2305 days


#3 posted 02-04-2020 10:05 PM

Thanks for reading Sansoo, Pixxture!

As for the SRiPro being a good gun for a novice, it depends 8^)

The “pro” argument is you probably won’t outgrow it. Buy it once, use it for many years as your skills develop.

The “con” argument is you should find a reasonable, yet inexpensive gun to see if you intend to be spraying finishes for the long-haul and if not, you won’t be out a lot of $$$.

As I mentioned, I used the cheap touch up gun for decades. With the cheap HF gun ($9.99 on sale), you could try out spray finishing for very cheap and develop your skills. You should watch the video review I linked and see what you think of the more mid-priced guns.

Personally, if serious about spraying, I’d check into these mid priced guns (~$100). You usually will get something that will spray very good, just not be as good if you are trying to spray at the extremes of their functional range (small “spot” or wide fan pattern). Every gun has a sweet spot where the pattern and flow are “perfect”. On the more expensive guns this sweet spot is usually over a wider adjustment range.

Also consider what you are spraying. I do a lot of lacquer which is very fast drying. This requires a high degree of atomization for a fine mist that will smooth out before drying. Spraying something like polyurethane (which takes much longer to “flash”) can be done well with a rougher spray.

I’ll try to take the HF gun for a quick spin and see how the pattern and atomization go. It’ll at least help to know if it has potential, after all it is 30x cheaper!

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1268 posts in 2375 days


#4 posted 02-05-2020 10:54 PM

That’s a lot of good information Splinter.
I didn’t know how experienced you are in spraying.
Now I know why your projects have such a great finish.

-- James E McIntyre

View NickyMac's profile

NickyMac

36 posts in 451 days


#5 posted 02-18-2020 09:55 PM

I’ve been curious about jumping into spray applying some finishes. Rattle cans have done me alright after some learning curve and patience, but I know there is still much to be desired.

I’d be pretty curious how you feel about the little purple HF gun.

Thanks for the in-depth review, Splinter

-- - Nick

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5128 posts in 2305 days


#6 posted 02-18-2020 10:06 PM

I’ll be trying my purple HF sprayer soon, perhaps this weekend. The tip on it makes me think it will be better suited for thicker materials that the usual lacquers I use. There are other previous reviews of that same gun here on LJs.

For rattle cans, the nozzle on spray cans of Minwax Poly is a truly excellent design but alas it cannot be used on other spray cans.
I’ve basically quit buying poly since the spray cans work so well and are so convenient.

View OSU55's profile

OSU55

2794 posts in 3072 days


#7 posted 03-19-2020 02:27 PM

Why do you claim this is not gravity feed but a siphon feed?

Been using the 3M PPS disposable cup system for 10 years. The dkups is the same concept. Would not want to give it up. A quality gun with excellent atomization ( the real difference between the cheap bbs guns vs more professional models) will get the job done faster with a lot less hassle and less finishing of the finish.

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

5128 posts in 2305 days


#8 posted 03-19-2020 03:22 PM



Why do you claim this is not gravity feed but a siphon feed?

- OSU55

Mainly just semantics 8^)

The typical sprayer with a dip tube and a 1 qt. rigid bottom mounted cup feeds by siphoning. Break the fluid connection with the dip tube and no fluid can be sprayed. A gravity feed is as labeled, fed by gravity (reservoir is on top). Turn the gun over and fluid feed stops. In each type gravity is used to place the fluid where the gun can suck up.

I know you are wayyyy more than aware of all this so I’m just rambling a bit here to explain to any other readers.

The fluid passage hole in the guns top is really more like a short siphon tube, It works the same way as the more traditional bottom-cup, but with the collapsible bladder, the “siphon” is always in contact with fluid. Gravity never gets involved.

In reality, it’s Venturi fed. Even when used upside down with an air gap between the feed hole and fluid, the Venturi action will suck out this air and then start feeding fluid (and collapsing the bladder). Once that air is gone, it’ll work in any position.

With the traditional siphon and gravity feeds , they won’t spray when completely upside down. They also require bleed holes to prevent a vacuum from forming inside the cup. I bet everyone has had a moment when fluid finds its way out these bleed holes and drips onto the project. The DeKups is completely sealed.

I sometimes use “bag” liners in my old-school siphon fed Binks, which kind of acts like the DeKups until the bag gets sucked against the siphon tube inlet…

A purist probably would call this gun a gravity feed because the cup is on top, but that is where the similarity ends.

Of course when using the smallest 3oz. cups, which don’t have the collapsible bladder, it is a typical gravity feed.


Been using the 3M PPS disposable cup system for 10 years. The dkups is the same concept. Would not want to give it up. A quality gun with excellent atomization ( the real difference between the cheap bbs guns vs more professional models) will get the job done faster with a lot less hassle and less finishing of the finish.

Amen!

It’s all about how well the gun controls the fluid you are trying to spray. From atomization and flow rates to fan shape, size, and uniformity.
I really hate post spray finishing of the finish. A better gun just makes the finishing process much more enjoyable.

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