Painting large areas by hand is difficult, tiring, and unreliable. When the scale and quality of a paint project is too much to handle for a brush, the only thing you can trust is a good paint sprayer. For professionals, hobbyists, and homeowners alike, a good airless sprayer will speed a project up while leaving a consistent, even coat behind on the thing you are painting. If you find yourself searching for a new airless sprayer, you might be wondering how exactly you should decide between all of the different options available.
Reading this article, you've already made one difficult choice: to go airless. Doing away with air in favor of an electric or gas pump makes setting up and operating the sprayer easier. To narrow down your selection, you should think about the type and scale of surface you need to paint. All sprayers have different hose lengths, paint guns, and pumps. The type of paint you plan to use will also influence your final choice. Extra features and controls like an adjustable pressure setting don't hurt either.
01 of 08
Best Overall: Graco Magnum 257025
The top spot of airless sprayers requires an option that will allow you to get a lot of painting done in a way you prefer. In other words, you need a lot of reliability and control. The Graco Magnum 257025 delivers this in spades thanks to a fully adjustable pressure setting on the paint head and quality parts. Graco rates this sprayer for up to 50 gallons each year, so for the price, you are getting a great tool to use for occasional paint projects around the home.
The flexibility of the sprayer shines in the types of paints and tasks you can use it for. The sprayer easily handles unthinned paints at high pressure and can produce a wide variety of even coats from stains to latex. This makes it great for interior projects, decks, small objects, sheds, etc. The 50’ hose will give you plenty of length to reach tough spots on a home’s exterior as well. Once you are done, hook the sprayer up to a garden hose for easy cleaning.
02 of 08
Runner Up, Best Overall: HomeRight C800879 Power-Flo Pro 2800
For another option to think about in the top spot, consider the HomeRight C800879 Power-Flo Pro 2800 as an alternative. While it doesn't have as many features as the top pick, the Power-Flo Pro gets the job done with a 2800 PSI, ½ HP motor mounted on a strong set of legs for stability. This makes the motor powerful enough to produce a good coat of paint that will rival most professional jobs in the right hands. This option will eat through a quarter of a gallon of paint each minute, making long jobs shorter.
One thing that really sets this sprayer apart is its durability. The inlet valve uses wear resistant, nonsticking ceramic materials to take the abuse of paint flowing through it at high pressures. If a clog should happen, the gun’s tip is reversible so you can clean it with ease and speed.
03 of 08
Best Budget: FLEXiO 890
For beginners, it is helpful to find a sprayer that will give you a good feel for the airless sprayer experience. It helps not to break the bank as well, especially if you only have a one time paint job to complete. This makes budget options like the FLEXiO 890 your best choice for the job. This electric, ultra portable sprayer sports a fine iSprayer nozzle capable of covering large surfaces in unthinned paint. The Detail Finish nozzle is also included for touch ups and fine finishing projects, making this budget option a great choice for many types of projects.
The mobility of this sprayer shouldn't be overlooked. Its design keeps all of the weighty things like the pump and X-Boost pressure turbine in the base. As you paint, you'll get the full control of air power without feeling it in your hands. The X-Boost turbine adds extra power into the mix, allowing you to cover a 8’x10’ wall in just five minutes using latex paint.
04 of 08
Runner Up, Best Budget: Wagner 0525032
While the cheapest option isn't always the best choice, the Wagner 0525032 is a strong option for people wanting to save money on equipment. This sprayer is lightweight in many ways. It discards the heavy gun, hose, and bucket setup for a simple paint bucket that attaches right to the gun itself. The paint bucket securely twists on and off, so you can refill it quickly without the worry of paint spilling onto surfaces you didn't intend to cover.
A two speed electric control will help you prevent over-spraying paint, so you can match the amount of paint you need to the project. For hard to reach spots, the multidirectional paint hose will let you tilt the sprayer at any angle while keeping the paint flowing quickly and consistently. Finally, the low paint indicator activates well before you will need to stop and refill your paint bucket.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Electric: Graco 16N673 TrueCoat Pro II
An electric paint sprayer makes setting up the equipment easy before a project. It eliminates the need for an air supply or gas to run the pump. Graco’s 16N673 TrueCoat Pro II is one of the best options you can find in this category since it's an ideal option for interior and exterior projects (anything under 3 gallons).
This sprayer stands out from the competition as a go-to tool for quick projects. The gun features Graco’s Tilt-N-Spray suction tube so you will have pressure at any angle or motion. The tip is also reversible to clean out clogs. A 32 ounce cup, paint liners, and interior storage round out the list of accessories this sprayer includes. The electric pump is quite capable for small projects requiring only a few quarts all the way up to the maximum 3 gallons. The pressure is fully adjustable, meaning you can use paints ranging from thin or thick latex to acrylics.
06 of 08
Best Gas: Wagner 9175
With a gas airless paint sprayer, you will get an upgrade in mobility and flexibility compared to most electric motors. Wagner’s 9175 is one of the best gas operated sprayers that is capable of handling virtually any type of paint including latex, oil-based, sealers, and stains. The ¾ HP motor is easy to use and maintain and can handle pressures up to 3000 PSI. The sprayer also comes with a heavy cart that can fit 5 gallon paint drums for a large supply of paint.
If you are facing a large or complicated project, this sprayer is one of the few options designed to handle challenging situations. The sprayer’s gun is commercial grade, meaning it will spray up to 0.35 gallons each minute and can fit a number of different tips for a variety of projects. The manual QuickFlo pusher valve will stand up to the abuse of heavy-duty projects. Finally, the gun features a telescoping handle and 50’ of spray hose for tall or hard to reach spots.
07 of 08
Best Carted: Graco Magnum 262805 X7
Adding some wheels to the base of an airless paint sprayer makes it easier to cart around the weight of the pump and bucket. The Graco Magnum 262805 X7 is one of the best carted sprayers. Its wheels are heavy duty and can survive a variety of outdoor, uneven surfaces when you need to paint around the yard or worksite. Combined with the 100’ paint hose and lightweight gun, it is easy to place the base in a central spot so you can move around the area without lugging around all the equipment.
The X7 features the same tilting tube found on the other Graco options on this list that keeps flowing while tilting the gun at any angle. The sprayer’s stainless-steel pistons extends the life of the motor and can safely handle up to 125 gallons each year. A fully adjustable pressure control, PushPrime fast start-up button, and reversible pressure option round out the list of features this sprayer packs. Hook the sprayer up to a 1-5 gallon bucket for painting or the garden hose for cleaning.
08 of 08
Best Professional: Graco 17G180 Magnum ProX19
For people who make a living painting homes, interiors, cars, or other large surfaces, it’s hard to do the job well with mid range sprayers. Professional airless paint sprayers are designed to stand up to the abuse of project after project. For the best, most reliable results, Graco’s 17G180 Magnum ProX19 is hard to beat. This sprayer has a slew of features and accessories to justify its high price tag.
The difference between the mid range and professional options becomes apparent with the ProX19. It all starts with the 1 HP motor that can push up to 3000 PSI into the system and is rated for up to 500 gallons each year. The 150’ paint hose can feed paint from a 1-5 gallon drum to the SG3 metal spray gun. For a quality finish, the gun includes a built in swivel for angle adjustability and an in-handle filter to block debris that can clog the system. Like other Graco guns, the ProX19 comes with the RAC IV SwitchTip for reversing the tip, Prime Button for fast start-ups, and the PowerFlush Adapter to connect a garden hose for cleaning.
How We Tested
Our reviewers spent two hours testing one of our readers’ favorite airless paint sprayers. We asked our testers to consider the most important features when using this airless paint sprayer, from its hose length to its pressure. We've outlined the key points here so that you, too, know what to look for when shopping.
What to Look for in an Airless Paint Sprayer
Pressure The more power your machine has, the faster the paint will spray. To finish large jobs quickly, look for an airless paint sprayer with a high PSI (pounds per square inch). For smaller jobs, a handheld low-pressure paint sprayer should be sufficient.
Hose length Choose an airless paint sprayer with a lengthy hose if you need access to hard-to-reach spots or will be using your sprayer farther away from an outlet (like on a fence in the backyard).
Tips Tips control the width and the speed of the spray. A larger tip ensures a thicker coating of paint, but a smaller tip should do the trick for most small residential jobs.
Test Results: Graco Magnum 25702 (Best Overall)
What We Like
What We Don't Like
Cleanup takes time
One of our testers, who used this airless paint sprayer to paint a wall in her basement, reported that “the result of the paint job was nice and even. It takes very little paint to cover a large area.” Our reviewers also thought that this machine was a good size and felt that it was easy to maneuver. On the other hand, one tester reported that its complex instructions made assembly more difficult: “It took about 20 minutes to read the directions and figure out what connects to what. It was very hard to assemble at first,” she explained, “and the cleanup process is time-consuming.”