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Commercial Airless Sprayer Buyers Guide: Which Paint Sprayer Do I Need?


Graco Airless Sprayers are our preferred brand of commercial airless sprayers. They are widely recognised throughout New Zealand as great investments for painting contractors and are proven to perform reliably year after year. New Zealand also has great backup in terms of parts and service options available nationwide – something missing from other major airless brands available in the country.

For the painting contractor time is money. Your investment in a high quality and reliable airless spray unit will set you up for many years of efficient spraying thus saving you time and money.

Pump Output Pressure vs. Flow Rate
A common misconception is the perceived relevance of the max pressure at which your sprayer can spray at. Graco’s Contractor sprayers from the smallest stand units to the large mud pumps have a similar max output pressure ranging from 3000PSI to 3300PSI (only a 300PSI difference). The main variables to look at are flow rate (in litres per minute) and the maximum tip size (in thousandths of an inch).

Choosing your sprayer based on tip size and/or coating
Given a specific product you need to spray the airless sprayer can be specified based on the recommended tip size. This recommendation is usually available from the coating manufacturer. Tip size will be specified as the orifice size of the tip in thou (thousandths of an inch). Ensure you select a machine that, with some margin, can spray at that tip size.

Check out our tip size guide cheatsheet here.

Choosing your sprayer based on intended workload
It’s very important to invest in a sprayer that can handle the workload you’re intending. For higher workloads consider the sprayers with the brushless DC motors such as the Graco 490 sprayer – a popular choice among busy painting contractors. The general rule-of-thumb is that the smaller units have smaller pistons therefore they have to work a lot harder to pump the same amount of fluid compared to a larger unit with a larger piston. This additional work causes fatigue and heat build-up leading to faster wear on the pump that can lead to early failure.

Don’t buy the cheapest option available
Keep in mind when choosing an airless sprayer to make sure it’s adequate for spraying all of the coatings you need to in the future. It does not make sense to purchase a smaller/cheaper unit in an attempt to save costs unless the intended use is minor. Buying a machine inadequate for the job will likely overload the machine and cause damage.

Specialised Coatings
Choosing a sprayer for specialised coatings such as fire retardants and membranes requires specialist technical expertise. If you’re in New Zealand feel free to contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

The Best Commercial Airless Sprayers Right Now

Graco 190



Graco 190 PC Express Airless Sprayer

The Graco 190 is a very popular unit as an entry level or backup unit for the small easy jobs such as fences or interiors where the unit is used infrequently.

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Graco 490



Graco 490 PC Pro Airless Sprayer

The Graco 490 features a brushless DC motor and an impressive maximum tip size of 0.023 inches. It’s widely known as an industry workhorse with unfaltering reliability. It will be adequate for a wide range of applications for the serious painter and decorator.

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Graco FinishPro 595



Graco FinishPro 595 Airless Sprayer

Graco’s range of FinishPro Airless Sprayers are world-class in their fine finish technology. These machines combine the efficiency of airless spraying with the fine finish of traditional compressor-fed spray systems. They come with a built-in compressor to atomise paint as it leaves the gun.

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Graco 650



Graco UltraMax 650 Airless Sprayer

As one of Graco’s latest machines the Graco 650 is positioned to be one of the most popular machines in the painting industry. It is a no-frills machine that will be a hardy workhorse. It is the lightest machine that can run two guns simultaneously.

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