Say hello to my little friend, The Harbor Freight 4oz. Detail Spray Gun.

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Review by Douglas Bordner posted 03-18-2012 08:20 PM 8875 views 0 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Say hello to my little friend, The Harbor Freight 4oz. Detail Spray Gun. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I am generally loathe to buy Harbor Freight tools if they have a motor/moving parts, probably snobbish on my part, and not springing from a lot of actual experiential data. But I have had my eye on this little gun for some time, and as it had dropped in price from $15.00 to the ridiculously low price of $12.95, I jumped on it. I mean how bad can it go, this is the disposable chip brush of spray guns, so if it sucked I wouldn’t cry and would have bought an education in “you get what you paid for” with pretty low tuition.

Although it was supposed to come with a wrench, their wasn’t one in my package. Should have opened it up at the store, but I have an air gun universal wrench from another gun so I am not terribly concerned. Thus the 4 star rating. I’m sure if I went back and raised a stink they would hand one over without issue. The local staff seemed pretty laid back.

With a rating of 3 CFM @ 50 PSI, and a 0.6 mm nozzle this gun works well with thin bodied finishes, and indeed, I am using it to spray shellac at a 2 pound cut.
The gun has fan control, air and fluid controls that work well using a PC pancake compressor.
I was able to spray a long while without causing the compressor to cycle.
The 4oz stainless steel cup is gravity fed, and side mounted, allowing it to be swiveled when spraying down. I’m still diddling with fluid air mixture and pressure, and there does seem to be a bit more overspray than I am used to with my PC (DeVilbis, actually) HVLP conversion gun. I am still tweaking it.

There is a 90 day limited warranty, and I will post back if cleaning is onerous, or if the packing nut craps out etc. For a small box guy, or a crafter I think this might be a good little starter gun, or if you have to get in close on larger work, it could be a back-up. Plus it’s so damned cute.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

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Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4837 days

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118066 posts in 4350 days

#1 posted 03-18-2012 08:29 PM

Hi Douglas
Thanks for the review. I’ve been buying HF hvlp guns for some time, They are priced so low it’s hard to believe their any good but they work great. I haven’t found the need for a little detail gun but I’m glad to know their good too.


View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4081 days

#2 posted 03-18-2012 08:40 PM

Douglas…I bought the same one at HF a while back and as you said it ain’t bad for the cheap price…if it isn’t any good just toss it. I don’t do alot of spraying lately but it did do the job the one time I used it…so I figure I got my moneys worth. Most of my work now is smal boxes and I use spray cans for that since I don’t want to clean a spray gun after only needing it for 15-20 seconds of spraying.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 4991 days

#3 posted 03-18-2012 09:31 PM

Say hello to my little friend? I’ll bet you used that line on dates at the drive-in back in high school. :-)

Seriously, though…. it sounds like it’s got everything my $40 gun from Woodcraft has. Good deal!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

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Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4837 days

#4 posted 03-18-2012 10:03 PM

Charlie, it was a quote from the 1983 movie, Scarface, but you can’t do precision work with a sledge hammer. Just sayin’. ;^D

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3577 days

#5 posted 03-18-2012 10:36 PM

thnx for the review Douglas. tis good info to know. HF does have some good stuff, and they have gotten better at a lotta o their stuff it seems.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View crashn's profile


528 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 03-19-2012 12:45 AM

I have even gotten mine to spray thinned house latex. I sprayed lite and it took several coats, but it came out great!

-- Crashn - the only thing I make more of than sawdust is mistakes

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3708 days

#7 posted 03-19-2012 02:01 AM

I was just thinking about getting this gun. Thanks for the review!

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4461 days

#8 posted 03-19-2012 02:21 AM

Thanks for the nice review , Douglas : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4837 days

#9 posted 03-19-2012 03:56 AM

You guys are welcome. Good seeing you around Dusty!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View pintodeluxe's profile


6155 posts in 3586 days

#10 posted 03-19-2012 06:02 PM

Woodcraft also has some nice, low priced Woodriver gravity-feed HVLP guns. One 20 oz, and another small detail gun that sell for about $30 each. I have found them comparable to the excellent P.C. gravity feed gun, except they do not include an air regulator.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Dusty56's profile


11859 posts in 4461 days

#11 posted 03-19-2012 08:34 PM

Always here to admire your talents , my friend : )
Have a great evening !

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3079 days

#12 posted 03-19-2012 10:46 PM

Hi Douglas, I purchase the same gun about a year ago, only used it twice which is more than I purchased it for. The price was cheap enough I, like you figured, if it didn’t work, it wasn’t a big expense and I would just return it. K great little unit for the money, I am warming up to some HF tools, not all, but I have been pleasantly surprised with almost all of them that I have purchased. Thanks for the review.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View DocK16's profile


1198 posts in 4860 days

#13 posted 03-20-2012 02:12 AM

Nice lil friend Dougy…...JU WANT SUMMA DIS?

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4872 days

#14 posted 03-20-2012 02:23 AM

I will be looking forward to your thoughts after using it a while.

I just have a really hard time bringing myself to go in the local HF store. I have seen some guys show up on the job site with HF tools and they have not been very impressive. And I have seen them poop out on the job.

Once a HF D-Handle drill puked out just as we started to mix a custom bag of grout that had been special ordered. If I had not had mine in the truck it would have been a heck of a time mixing it. Especially since the guy dumped the whole bag in the bucket.

I am just afraid to take my chances on the power tools. But the sprayer looks just like something at Lowe’s or Home Depot only a different color.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4837 days

#15 posted 03-20-2012 01:26 PM

Doc for the win! Great Tony Montana impersonation.

Todd- First off, howdy, say hi to your missus for Pam and I.
I’m with you about anything with windings. Thus far after a whole day of shooting shellac, I’m impressed. All the controls are functional and responsive, no leaking, atomizes really well with the 0.6 needle/nozzle. The stainless cup’s cap (say that five times fast before your first cup of coffee) isn’t threaded, but it is a tight fit. Swivel at cup swivels on the threading that holds the cup to the gun – a jamb nut arrangement would be a bit more positive, but hey —13 bucks.

If they had a pinner I would try that too, maybe pneumatics aren’t so bad. I always like their prices for throwaway stuff; acid brushes, chip brushes, nitrile gloves.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

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