Harbor Freight HVLP Conversion Guns...

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Forum topic by RobH posted 03-30-2008 01:01 PM 9610 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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465 posts in 4896 days

03-30-2008 01:01 PM

Just wondering if anyone here has tried either of these HVLP guns from Harbor Freight:

Option 1 at $30.00 I am thinking even if it is trash it should be good for something.

Option #2, coming in at $60.00, I can really not tell the difference in this and the previous gun, except the air volume requirements are a little different. I could see how a gun that uses less air would cost a little more.

Finally, Option #3, The cup on this one is only 5.3 oz, which I think would be a pain in the rear except for a very small project.

I am about done with a set of bunk beds, and I need to paint some of them. I am using latex paint. I have read a couple of reviews online that say these guns do a good job for the price. Just wondering what experience everyone had had with them.

Thanks for the input,
Rob Hix

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

16 replies so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 4668 days

#1 posted 03-30-2008 01:17 PM


I couldn’t get your links to open.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4721 days

#2 posted 03-30-2008 01:36 PM

I couldn’t either.

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4896 days

#3 posted 03-30-2008 01:38 PM

Links should be fixed now. Sorry about that.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View jjohn's profile


390 posts in 4560 days

#4 posted 03-30-2008 01:49 PM

I own one of the 30 dollar types and used it to paint the lower left side of my house. Had termites in the press board siding that I had to replace. Worked great for me and I used it using a water base paint. I did have to cut the paint by about 10% but that’s not unusual for spraying. Haven’t used it since, but for 30 dollars it paid for itself already. (I hate to brush on paint over a large area). LOL

As a matter of fact I buy a lot of the Chicago tools from HF and have had no bad luck with any of them.

-- JJohn

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4721 days

#5 posted 03-30-2008 01:55 PM

I’m not so sure 5.3 oz isn’t big enough unless you are doing a very large project. When I did my TV table I don’t think I used a fourth of a quart can of finish for three coats.

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#6 posted 03-30-2008 02:42 PM

Watch the CFM usage to be sure you can supply adequate air volume to the paint.
Gravity feed systems don’t like to be tilted and are limited with the space you can get the nozzle in to so be aware of that.
Also Harbor freight has a small air turbine set for about $40.00 bucks that should do furniture and the like quite well. ( probably a 1.5 mm nozzel)

I think I have all three around here and have had no particular problem with them.
p.s. I have a 5 hp compressor with 80 gallon tank. (12-14 cfm)

I also have this one that Harbor freight carries and it works quite well.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4835 days

#7 posted 03-30-2008 05:40 PM

I would get for first one available that I didn’t have to clean!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

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Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#8 posted 03-30-2008 05:56 PM

Gary, either or the two above are about as easy as a brush.
1. remove needle valve- 15 seconds
2, remove paint container and pour extra paint in a mason jar including a suitable solvent ( about 2 -3 ounces.)
3.Clean off the take up spout with you are in there.

4.Clean and re-insert needle valve.
Spray some solvent into a paper towel from the paint canister.
Shake gun and repeat.
5. Put gun in a plastic bag or pail with a lid.
Toss the paper towels outside to dry and dispose when dry.
Yer done.

-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Justin D.'s profile

Justin D.

26 posts in 4564 days

#9 posted 03-30-2008 07:00 PM

Bob – I have the second turbine pictured, although I haven’t used it yet. Good to hear it works well and easy to maintain. I picked it up one day as I had a high discount that was floating around 8-9 mos ago. Didn’t need anthing, so I picked it up.

Thanks for adding your second comments on the ease of use. Regards, Jusitn

View sandhill's profile


2128 posts in 4770 days

#10 posted 03-31-2008 03:16 PM

You never said anything about AIR? I Use a brush spray equipment is to much work and if you are careful and use a good brush you will not see any strokes if you do rub it out, If you have never used a gun you will most likely have to rub it out any how.

View Bob Burrington's profile

Bob Burrington

9 posts in 4569 days

#11 posted 03-31-2008 04:26 PM

I have the turbine type of sprayer from Cambell-Hausfeld. I think for the $70.00 I paid for it, that is works great. I have sprayed only water based products with it. Both paint and clear finishes, and I’m happy with the results. NO BRUSH MARKS.
I also bought a “Critter” from Woodcraft. It’s $50.00 and is a siphon type of gun. It uses mason jars for the liquid that can be sprayed and then capped for use at a later date. It’s kinda like a large airbrush and needs a 1hp compressor to run.

-- SAWDUST...Source of Fiber......Bob

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4868 days

#12 posted 03-31-2008 04:55 PM

Justin, It’s not the very best unit on the market but for run of the mill small jobs it pushes out a decent pattern and is not at all difficult to clean.
It makes a great starter gun to learn on.
Incidently, painting wood products is not nearly as demanding as spraying metals and plastics where every imperfection shows.
You can use the same vacuum cleaner/turbine motor and housing with a more accurate gun should you feel the need to upgrade the gun later on.
p.s. Try to keep the blower part a good distance from where you are spraying so it does’nt circulate paint aerosol into the filter and or turbine.

This is a pic of the first job I did with this gun:


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 4656 days

#13 posted 03-31-2008 09:02 PM

Hey Rob,

You might also consider the EARLEX, TWW just got one and did a…well…sort of reveiw and it got really good marks. More money than you are planning ~$275, Harbor Freght, but this machine is getting good marks all over. See: for Marc’s vidieo, interesting information about sprayers even if you don’t want to go this route. I’m thinking about moving toward spraying too, but don’t have the compressor for a gun. Just some more info that may help.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 4896 days

#14 posted 04-02-2008 01:30 AM

Thanks all for the input. I forgot to look at the air requirements. It looks like I will need a new compressor if I go with a conversion gun. When I look at the price of a new compressor and a new gun, I can get into the Earlex system for about the same, or maybe even better, cost. I am going to try to work it into the budget this weekend. I really could benefit from using this thing when finishing the bunk beds. I have already bought several spray cans of lacquer for the natural maple pieces. I could really use some help getting a good finish on the rest of the bed. I guess we will see come this weekend.

Thanks again for the help.

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View odie's profile


1692 posts in 4686 days

#15 posted 04-02-2008 01:48 AM

It’s been my experience, if you buy something from Harbor Freight with moving parts, it breaks in two weeks.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

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