Choosing a Low-Pressure Airless Spray Tip: Wagner vs. Graco

Choosing a Low-Pressure Airless Spray Tip: Wagner vs. Graco

Posted by Matt Piggin & Nikki Michaels on 3rd Dec 2019

Choosing a Low-Pressure Airless Spray Tip

Wagner High Efficiency Airless vs. Graco Fine Finish Low Pressure (HEA vs. FFLP)

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So you’ve done your research and decided on an airless sprayer — and now it’s time to choose the right airless spray tip for the job. Thanks to new technology in the airless spraying category that allows some units to operate at a much lower pressure (as low as 900psi), you now have the option to reduce overspray, enjoy greater control over your unit and spray pattern, and speed up your jobs — but how do you know which tip is the best option?

In this post, we’ll explore Wagner High Efficiency Airless (HEA) ProTip technology and Graco Fine Finish Low Pressure (FFLP) technology to help you gain a better understanding of the differences between the two and the respective advantages of each. Let’s get started.

Wagner HEA ProTip

In addition to reducing overspray by up to 55%, Wagner’s HEA technology uses significantly lower pressure to create a much softer spray and therefore a much smoother finish. This lower pressure also means your unit will require less firm handling and a lighter finger on the trigger, minimising gun recoil and maximising the user-friendliness of HEA sprayers.

It offers a 3x improvement on the speed of standard paint rollers and eliminates the harsh edges sometimes seen in other airless or air-assisted sprayers. And it’s economical: the lower pressure equates to gentler gun use and therefore a more infrequent need for maintenance or replacement.

Wagner’s HEA ProTip technology can be used either indoors or outdoors, and it’s suitable for use with water- or oil-based paints and stains.

Graco FFLP SmartTip

As you might be able to guess by the name, Graco’s Fine Finish Low Pressure tips use a lower pressure to produce a smooth, even coating; in fact, they go so far as to claim that their patent-pending SmartTip Technology results in a superior, industry-best finish.

FFLP tips can be used with all airless spray guns*, and they require 50% lower pressure than your average airless sprayer. You also get less overspray, and the misty spray pattern makes applying your coatings a breeze.

Like Wagner’s HEA tips, FFLP tips last far longer than their high-pressure counterparts because you’re using less pressure and therefore putting less demand on the tools. And what’s more? The superior precision of the FFLP tips means you’re saving valuable time on cleanup.

*Are the tips interchangeable?.

Airless spray tips require their own tip guard/tip holder. These are usually ⅞ fitting, and they’re interchangeable between the different brand guns. 

Graco FFLP fit in the Graco RAC-X holder, while Wagner HEA use the Trade Tip 3 holder (e.g. an FFLP tip will not fit on a Wagner gun without swapping over the tip holder, etc.)

When should you use which?.

Both groundbreaking technologies, HEA and FFLP have revolutionised the airless spraying game, making it easy and efficient for everyone from beginners through to experts to get professional-quality finishes on jobs.

But when should you use HEA, and when should you use FFLP?

In general, HEA proves better for bigger surfaces such as ceilings, walls, and weatherboards. If you’ve got a larger project you’d like to get done quickly and with all the aforementioned advantages of this new technology, choose HEA 

If you’re spraying a smaller surface where greater precision and control are required, then opt for FFLP. These tips are commonly used for jobs including architraves, doors, and furniture finishing.

Still unsure? Contact me at matt@millin.co.nz, and I can give you a hand.