Whether you’re tasked with re-painting the walls of your house or you’re fixing up a piece of furniture, there’s no denying that painting by hand can be a painstakingly long process.
Not only does it take a long time, but getting that perfect finish you so desire is near impossible with just your standard brush. You don’t want to waste your hard-earned days off painting for hours on end only to come out with a dodgy finish. Not to mention how long it will take to dry.
There is an easy fix to this problem though: the handheld airless paint sprayer. It’s super quick and easy; it takes little preparation and is ready to use almost straight away.
It can be used on a wide variety of paint materials and, unlike other paint sprayers, the airless paint sprayer doesn’t use compressed air.
Rather, it uses an electric pump which thrusts the paint through the tip, creating a fan-shaped spray of paint. Using this method will give you a smooth finish every time.
However, with so many options out there to choose from it’s hard to know if you’ve gone with the best option to suit your needs. So, to put your mind at ease, we’ve done all the research for you!
Read on to find our top 5 best handheld airless paint sprayers. We’ve also added an information-packed buyer’s guide to help you get your head around every aspect of the decision making process.
OUR TOP PICK
The Graco 17D889 360 VSP is a super versatile handheld airless option, whether you’re a DIY painter or a professional decorator this sprayer will meet your needs.
It is great for both exterior and interior painting jobs, incorporating different spraying techniques to give you that perfect end product.
The sensitive trigger means you can easily control the speed depending on the job at hand with the Variable Speed Control system.
Plus, you can spray in any direction with the VacuValve Technology – coming in very handy when painting ceilings. It has a firm grip design to help maintain the spray pattern, ensuring all-round neatness.
It comes with a number of spraying tools which are easy to clean and can be reused over and over.
These include two reversible spray tips so when one side gets clogged you can just reverse it to keep spraying. It also comes with four FlexLiner bags making it ideal for multi-color projects.
With an impressive performance pressure ranging from 500 to 1500 PSI (Pounds per Square Inch) and a maximum material capacity of 42 oz, this sprayer is perfect for bigger jobs.
Plus, it is estimated to hold up to 25 gallons per year! Weighing just four lbs is relatively lightweight too – great for lots of moving around.
- Speed control – variable speed control lets you determine the pace
- Multi-color use – FlexLiner Bag replaces traditional material cups
- Spray paint unthinned – Stainless-steel Piston Pump won’t thin paint at high pressure
- Portable – easy to carry durable storage case & keeps accessories tidy
- Accessories – includes reversible spray tips, FlexLiner Bags & storage case
- Not the best option for small jobs
The Graco Ultra Cordless 17M36 is ideal for small-medium projects like painting furniture or a small feature wall.
It’s also perfect for professionals looking to use it for small jobs with lots of detail. It’s not just for the professionals though because this sprayer has a user-friendly modular design.
Complete with a TRIAX Triple Piston Pump and a ProConnect Pump Replacement system, this sprayer allows for greater durability and longevity so you can feel confident that this purchase won’t just be a one-hit-wonder, like some paint brushes and rollers.
Moreover, if the pump does need replacing, simply change it by removing the side panel and swapping out of the old pump for the replacement.
The true advantages of the Graco Ultra are the guaranteed perfect airless finish, absolute portability and the fact that it is ready to spray in seconds. Plus, the FlexLiner Bag system enables you to spray at any angle!
Not only can it spray at any angle, it can also spray water-based and mineral-based paints. Choose from two optional spray patterns too, just rotate the nozzle 180 degrees and you’re ready to spray.
Adjust the motor speed with ease using the Procontrol and the Smartcontrol option gives you advanced pressure control. Spray up to one gallon per charge.
Transport it to any job with ease as, along with its other complimentary extras, the Ultra comes with a carrying case. Although weighing in at just over 11 lbs, this model is not as lightweight as the GracoTrueCoat 360.
- User-friendly – simple to use the device whether you’re a pro or a newbie
- Finish – perfect airless finish guaranteed
- Replacement system – fully repairable for extended life
- Portable – no cords & included handy carrying bag
- Quick setup – be ready to spray within minutes
- Some users have found it can create an overspray from using too much paint too quickly
The Wagner Spraytech 0525027 Power Painter is a great all-rounder. Whether you’re working on small jobs or large surface areas, this sprayer has got you covered. The multi-directional suction tube allows you to spray in all directions – perfect for those hard to reach areas.
Much like the Graco Ultra, the Wagner delivers a fan-shaped spray pattern with its Optimus Dial tip.
It can be used with stains, sealers, oil and latex based paints on walls, fences, furniture, playsets are more. What’s really great about this painter is that its two setting power modules means it doesn’t overspray.
It’s easy to use too, it has a five-foot suction set enabling you to have the paint flowing directly from the can to the outlet.
You can also refill quickly in the middle of a job to avoid patchy areas. There’s also a low-level indicator so you’ll never unexpectedly run out of paint.
Unlike other sprayers the Wagner comes with a new lock paint cup making it easier to use. You can also adjust the speed using the Electronic three speed control making it perfect for both large surfaces and trim painting!
Weighing around 6.5 lbs when fully assembled this is a much lighter option than the Graco Ultra Cordless.
- Multi-directional – spray in any direction, great for tricky spaces
- Results – Optimus tip promises a great finish on any size job
- Ease – new lock paint cup
- Low-level indicator – never unexpectedly run out of paint
- Versatility – can be used with stains, sealers, oil & latex
- Some users have found it too noisy to use for long periods of time and tricky to clean
The Titan Tool 058009 High Efficiency Airless Paint Sprayer is designed for serious DIY painters and professional decorators.
Paint like a pro with this spray painter that will apply coats three times faster than your average roller brush.
Its high efficiency airless (HEA) technology decreases overspray by a whopping 55% while at the same time delivering a softer spray, keeping you in control.
The HEA pump is a durable and powerful sprayer that can spray unthinned coatings with a rebuildable fluid section that maximizes sprayer life. This sprayer promises to last three times longer than competitive sprayers and includes a two-year warranty.
With a max operating pressure of 1500 PSI and a 30 ft. hose that can be extended up to 80 ft. for a longer reach, it’s perfect for larger jobs like home exteriors, decking and garages. Moreover, this sprayer can spray up to 300 gallons per year – more than any other sprayer we could find.
It’s also worth noting that its variable speed pump has a horsepower of 0.60 that can spray unthinned paints and stains up to 0.33 gallons per minute – you’ll be done in no time!
Weighing a rather heavy 19.4 lbs this is not particularly lightweight or portable but given the power of this machine it’s definitely still up there with the best.
- Less overspray – up to 55% less overspray
- Power – able to spray unthinned coatings
- Longevity – replaceable fluid section maximizes sprayer life
- Control – softer spray gives you optimum control taking the fear out of airless spraying
- Some users have found it to clog quite easily
The Himalaya Airless Paint Sprayer is relatively similar to the Titan Tool High Efficiency Airless Sprayer in that it is designed specifically for professional painters and ‘prosumers’.
It’s suitable for painting materials such as water-based and oil-based interior and exterior paints. So, you can use this model for literally any job, anywhere, with any material you like!
Like the Titan Tool, this sprayer also promises to reduce overspray by up to 55% making it another great option for those looking for a flawless finish.
It’s also super convenient because the machine draws the paint straight from the can, avoiding all those messy paint spills. Plus, with several removeable parts, this is an extremely easy machine to clean.
With a 5/8 horsepower sprayer motor, this model can deliver up to 3000 PSI, so covering large spaces quickly is a piece of cake! The hose of the sprayer can scratch up to 25 ft. and its non-kink design means you can easily reach wherever you need to be.
The nozzle sizes are convertible, which allows you to choose the fittest one for your different work needs. A compact design with a built-in carry handle makes it easy to move around the work area.
This model weighs around 18 lbs making it more lightweight than the Titan Tool but still one of the heavier options available.
- Less overspray – up to 55% less overspray
- Pressure – 3000 PSI!
- Non-kink hose – reach any spot with ease
- Cleaning – removable parts for convenient cleaning
- Some users have found it to cut-out at times
Best Handheld Airless Paint Sprayers Buying Guide
When it comes to finding the best handheld airless paint sprayer for you, you need to take a few more things into consideration.
Our buyer’s guide below will break down the key points you need to consider before you start your search. Follow these tips and you will be fully equipt to make the right choice.
Many people can overlook this, but the power source of your paint sprayer is actually very important.
Paint sprayers can be powered in a number of ways, more often than not though, you will come across three main power sources: battery operated, electricity or gas.
Most people will go for an electric model, so they never have to think about changing batteries and can count on being able to use their machine at a moment’s notice. Plus, they require less maintenance than other options.
However, if optimum manouverability sounds good to you then cordless battery operated sprayers are the way to go.
If you’re looking to buy a paint sprayer for long-term, multiple-job use, choose a handheld sprayer that offers a wide range of specifications.
Make sure the model you choose is adjustable and has more than one control option.
If you’re willing to pay a little more, the more advanced models will provide several different spray patterns, multiple speed settings and thickness adjustments.
Ultimately, the more flexible your paint sprayer, the more use you will get out of it and you won’t have to spend more money on different models to suit different jobs.
Making sure your sprayer is clean and working smoothly is of the utmost importance.
We highly recommend going for a model that is easy to take apart in order to clean it efficiently. This way your machine will last longer and produce an excellent finish every time.
Basically the more power the sprayer has, the faster the paint will come out.
If your goal is to finish a large job very quickly, you should be looking for a sprayer with a maximum PSI of at least 1500.
If, however, you only need it for smaller jobs, then a lower pressure capability sprayer will be fine.
While the most important thing to think about is what model best suits your needs overall, it’s useful to check out what extra features and add-ons are included.
Different surfaces require varying painting speeds and amounts of paint used, so we recommend a sprayer that includes a step-adjustable or progressive paint flow.
Moreover, it is an added bonus if the sprayer has a low-level indicator to indicate how much paint is left in the tank before you run out. This will save you from going over patches that dried while you were re-filling.
Finally, something that will really improve your finish is the ability to spray in any direction and at any angle to improve access. Look out for sprayers that boast multi-directional suction tubes or VacuValve technology.
How do I use a handheld airless paint sprayer?
First, you must prime the pump to get rid of any air bubbles. This is done by turning the sprayer to prime mode. Next, fill with your chosen paint and secure the tip. Then secure the trigger.
It will take some getting used to when you first paint with an airless sprayer because the high pressure can be tricky to control. It’s best to start on a slower speed because if you move too slowly on a higher speed the jet will keep spraying paint onto the same spot, creating an overspray.
Is an airless sprayer better than a HVLP one?
Typically airless paint sprayers better suit water-based paints whereas HVLP sprayers will work better with oil-based ones.
The biggest difference between the two is how they work. An airless paint sprayer will use an electric motor to suck and release paint with high amounts of pressure. HVLP versions work under much lower pressure, which many believe to produce a finer finish.
It all depends on the project at hand, however. If you mainly plan to use it on large surfaces such as exterior walls, for example, then an airless sprayer is exactly what you need.
If you only ever plan to paint much smaller, intricate spaces like small furniture, then we recommend looking into the HVLP options.
How and when should I clean my paint sprayer?
This depends on the type of paint or stain you’ve been using. If you use latex paints you can clean them quite easily with water.
If you use oil-based paints you should try to clean it with mineral spirits. There are specific lacquer thinner available if you use lacquer.
It is worth noting that once you have cleaned your paint sprayer, it is highly recommended that you protect it with a good protectant.
Try to clean your sprayer after every use to avoid any residue back-up and keep your sprayer in a good condition for longer. Don’t forget to clean the gun, filters, and tips as well if longevity is important to you.