When referring to paint spray guns, this stands for “high volume, low pressure, spray gun”, and these are now among the most popular spray guns currently in use within the automotive and painting industries. HVLP spray guns offer some clear advantages over traditional spay guns, which did not regulate the pressure of the air passing through the gun. While the air pressure in an HVLP gun is much lower than that in a traditional gun, few would consider it truly low.
One feature that separates a true HVLP gun from some other paint spray guns is the presence of an air turbine, which supplies air to the gun while warming and often filtering it. Traditional guns often used fairly standard compressors, which lacked a few benefits offered by HVLP guns, as we shall see. You can now purchase hybrid spray guns that will run on a home or shop compressor system, and though they are sold as HVLP guns, they do lack the benefits of the turbine. Let’s take a look at a few of the advantages offered by an HVLP spray gun:
HVLP Spray Guns Offer Many Benefits
Less Over-spray: Because traditional spray guns did little to regulate the flow of air through the gun, and as such, through the paint, it was pretty common for the air passing through the gun to pick up a bit too much or too little paint on the way through. Because most paint jobs require multiple coats, inconsistent spray wasn’t a problem when too little pain passed through the gun – but over-spray could result in clumping and running, sometimes requiring a whole paint job to be stripped away and restarted. The consistency provided by HVLP spray guns (when properly set up and used) greatly reduces the risk of over-spray.
HVLP Spray Guns Provide Better Air Pressure Control
Less Blow-back: Again owing to traditional spray guns’ lack of ability to regulate air flow, air and paint were ejected from the paint nozzle at a very high velocity. When the paint failed to slow enough on its journey from the nozzle to the surface being painted, the paint particles would sometimes bounce off the surface at high speed, causing inconsistent coverage, blown back paint landing on lower surfaces, and a lot more airborne paint than is ideal. HVLP guns greatly reduce blow-back by ejecting the paint from the nozzle at a more consistent and manageable velocity.
Faster Dry Time: Because HVLP guns allow a lot more user control regarding the amount of paint being sprayed at any given moment, users can apply the minimum paint required to provide coverage, meaning faster dry times. Additionally, true HVLP spray guns with turbines heat the air passing through them, so the paint goes on warm. This also speeds dry time. Who cares about dry time? Primarily those applying multiple coats to smaller surfaces like automobiles. Faster dry times means less waiting between coats.
Filtered Air: HVLP turbines do more than warm the air that they feed to the gun. They filter it, too. Compressors don’t filter the air that they provide very well at all, and can pass dust and dirt through their intakes and out into the spray gun, impacting the quality of the paint job. Compressors also contain lubricating oils that sometimes find their way into their output, which can significantly impact the qualities of fine paint.
Ultimately, HVLP spray systems represent a pretty big leap forward in paint technologies. The guns are frequently seen in auto shops, cabinetry shops, and even on the job site. A good spray gun can save many hours of labor when painting anything from motorcycles to home exteriors. Don’t rush your purchase. Take your time to find the reviews online about the model you wish to buy. There are quite a few review sites, such as Landroverbar – https://www.landroverbar.com/best-spray-gun-for-small-compressor/, where you can find a lot of different spray guns with reviews and a good price. Make sure to purchase an HVLP Spray Gun that is suited to the type of job you’ll be doing.