The Graco handheld sprayer has been out for sometime. In comparison to other airless units it has had the most rapid design improvements. When they first came out in 2010 they were called ProShots. The most unappealing thing to me was that they were disposable. I could never wrap my head around a disposable sprayer regardless of their performance.
We recently had a project at the Omaha Hilton that was perfect for a couple of these units so we decided to give them a run for the money. They are in the $500 range.
We went with the cordless Ultra unit. There are three units available. A corded unit, a cordless unit and a cordless unit designed for “hot” solvent work. This unit is referred to as the Ultra Max.
We purchased two so we could avoid switching between primer and finish. If you are accustomed to a traditional airless gun then you will think these are rather heavy as I did. I thought they were heavy before adding paint. With the addition of paint they are cumbersome and take getting used to.
There are many improvements to the design of these since they first came out. The biggest improvement is the Battery. Previously the battery was heavy and didn’t hold a charge for long. Now they use a 20Volt Dewalt battery that is lighter and lasts much longer. We found a charge lasted about 30 doors before there was a noticeable drop in power.
Charging is fast and the spray pattern is good thanks to the new spray tips. Previously you had to use special tips specific to these units. Now standard RACX tips and housings work on theses units. The best combination is using the new FFLP tips. Fine Finish Low Pressure. These tips allow a softer lighter fan pattern at a lower pressure. Perfect for these units. Once you get use to the weight these handhelds spray similar to traditional airless pumps.
The Cup liner is new and a nice improvement. They are disposable but we usually rinse them out and reuse them. One thing that is critical is cleaning these out after use. A lot of guys may leave a pump in paint to spray the next day. That will no work with these. If you don’t clean them out after use you will have a problem with stuck pump parts, clogging.
We had a problem with one of the units. It just stopped spraying or cycling anything through it. Hot water, paint etc… It was replaced without issue and the person at Graco I spoke with said that that happens sometimes. I’m not sure what went wrong. It was not abused and it was cleaned out daily.
If you have items you want a sprayed finish on but don’t want to use an airless pump every time then the Graco handheld may be a good addition to your inventory.
We first used them on doors. Since then we have used them to spray handrail spindles and it worked well. The handhelds are perfect for anything that wouldn’t take more then a gallon of paint.