Last Updated: August 12, 2020
Cordless paint sprayers are kind of a new innovation on the market, but it’s easy to see where the public might want more of them. They offer the promise of versatility and comfort in movement. They detach the act of spreading paint from bulky, awkward air compressors and offer it the mobile promise of the cordless tool. Some might find discomfort in the added weight of the battery, but the experience with other cordless tools is that people can get used to this pretty quickly.
Our reviews here represent less an assessment of the market and more its potential. We think there’s good room for growth here and that eventually, additional manufacturers will offer products that can compete for consumer loyalty. These reviews not only tell you what’s best on the market right now but when combined with the buyers’ guide can give you a better idea of what the look for when the market expands.
|Best Overall||Graco Ultra Max 17M367||
|Graco Ultra Cordless 17M363||
When you get right down to it, the difference between the Graco Ultra Max and the Ultra is that the Ultra Max comes with additional tips to make it more versatile and that it can handle hot solvents.
Beyond that, the Ultra Max is a great cordless paint sprayer, one of just a small handful currently on the market but representing what is probably an emerging new line of tools. It’s one that because other brands have gotten out that Graco owns.
The Ultra Max is different in one very important other way, and that is its price. It comes with added tips so that it’s more versatile in action. It’s also compatible with spraying hot solvent and therefore is more versatile than the other Graco cordless paint sprayer. But, it’s also really expensive, especially compared to other paint sprayers, some of which can be one-sixth the cost on a given day.
We are excited enough about this line of tools that the price isn’t much of a deterrent. It might be for you. In that case, the Ultra is worth a look. If not, then definitely try to get your money’s worth.
If you need to buy a cordless paint sprayer on a budget, the Graco Ultra is a good model to consider. It’s as effective at the basic job as the Ultra Max, but it trades versatility in nozzles and compatibility with hot solvents in for a much more affordable price. If all you need to do is spray paint, and you don’t need to worry about solvents, this is the model you’ll want to look at.
The price is the selling point, and the reason why we give it our runner-up post is that it doesn’t have those added features. It’s a thing we almost hate to do because when we’re talking about the general price for this paint sprayer, it’s not unreasonable to want to just pay the basic model price and get the basic model features. And if you don’t really forsee the need to use hot solvents in your paint sprayer, you might find this one just simply a much better value.
Paint sprayers have been on the market for a pretty long time, offering an excellent alternative to the laborious, sometimes-painful process of manually painting large surfaces. Where it might take brushes and rollers hours to paint a surface, a paint sprayer can do it in minutes.
Cordless paint sprayers, by comparison, have been on the market only a short time. There’s a good reason for that. Paint and other thick liquids are heavy and thick and need a lot of power to apply with proper pressure. The market is currently pretty open for them, with a few models offered and discontinued as tool makers continue to try perfecting the design. It doesn’t help that cordless paint sprayers right now cost a whole lot more money than do paint sprayers that operate off wall power.
Undeterred, you want one. You just want to know how to decide which model you should buy. We put together this buyers’ guide to help you figure that out. We think that the tips are sound enough that if you get through it all and decide you want one with a cord that it’ll help you pick one of those out, too. We also think that when the market opens up and other models come on line and start bringing prices down that this will still hold up.
A great starting point to figuring out which cordless paint sprayer you want is asking why you’re buying a cordless paint sprayer in the first place. They represent an evolution in paint sprayers that start with the conventional paint sprayers that your parents and grandparents relied on.
They are a good deal less messy and are more precise, and do that without sacrificing the speed that people find attractive about conventional paint sprayers. Because they don’t need an air compressor to mix air with the paint, they are also a whole lot quieter. Because they get their power from a battery rather than an electric cord or an air compressor hose, they are also much more portable than other paint sprayers. That makes them great for use in hard-to-reach places and while working atop scaffolding.
In fact, in general, we’d suggest that you start by thinking through exactly what kinds of jobs you’ll want to do with your new paint sprayer and find out which models are capable of supporting it. You might find that if you need to spray something especially thick that you’ll need to rethink what kind of paint sprayer you should buy.
For the investment, you’ll want to look to maximize the dollars you spend. The first place is to make sure that whatever you buy can do more than just spray paint. One of the big separation points is whether the spray gun is compatible with flammable materials.
Two of the paint sprayers we reviewed can spray flammable paints. The TrueCoat 360 was the only one that didn’t. If you look at the reviews, one other difference will pop out at you, and that’s the price. If you want a cordless paint sprayer compatible with flammable substances, you are going to pay substantially more.
Because not all painting projects are the same, one valuable option is variety in painting angles. Part of this is what kind of attachments a particular paint sprayer is compatible with, which ones come as part of your purchase and which ones are readily available as a supplemental purchase. this will mean different sizes tips and attachments enabling multiple angles of spray.
The power of any cordless tool rests on a pretty simple equation, the ability of the tool to convert energy limited to the output of the battery into power for you to do the job. You’ll want to find a cordless paint sprayer that does it most efficiently to offer the greatest spraying power. You won’t always want maximum power in applying paint, however, so we’d also recommend that a paint sprayer that offers options in power output.
The cordless paint sprayers currently on the market come with 32 oz. bags, so this was less a criteria we used here and something that you’ll want to keep in mind as the market grows. Swapping out bags can be a time-consuming process. In general, the bigger the bag, the faster the job goes. It also means less potential for making a giant mess.
Painting is a messy job, and using a paint sprayer has historically been a really sloppy affair. It also makes a mess of the gun internally. Cleaning a paint sprayer can be a time-intensive job. You don’t want that. That’s no fun. You want to find a paint sprayer that is easy and fast to clean and that isn’t going to leave a lot of paint residue inside that will mix in with whatever color of paint you use the next time you use it.
You will also want to look for paint sprayers designed to make swapping out parts easy, simple and fast. This is especially the case for pumps, one of the more complicated components and one that can wear out quickly because it’s put to hard use. A pump that takes a long time to swap out means lots of downtime when you’re probably already feeling frustrated by having to take an unscheduled break.
We noted that the paint sprayers on the market are currently much more expensive than other options. There is still a pretty wide difference in price between those at the top of the food chain and the ones considered bargain models. You will definitely want to figure out what you need to buy and see how that fits into your budget.
Cordless paint sprayers are a relatively new innovation in the paint sprayer market. Honestly, we wonder why it’s taken this long for them to take hold, but based on what’s currently available it might be a few years before the consumer market is fully realized in terms of cordless paint sprayers. There are a couple of models on the market, and even as competitors have been discontinued these linger. Both are made by Graco.
The Graco Ultra Max was our favorite of the two because it just did a lot more. It is compatible with hot solvents and comes with a range of nozzles to make it much more adaptable to your needs. It just also happens to cost a whole lot more money.
On the other hand, the Graco Ultra is much more affordable. If all you need is a pretty basic cordless paint sprayer, it’s the one for you. It’s not compatible with hot solvents and comes with the basic set of tips. But if basic work is all you need, you can save a lot of money by going this route rather than the more expensive, more versatile Graco Ultra Max.
If you don’t want either or are just getting started and plan to wait for the market to open up, we hope you at least found our buyers’ guide useful. We also wish you the best in your search for a good paint sprayer, cordless or otherwise.
David Janus is the founder and CEO of Paint Sprayer Magazine. He has over two decades of experience in the spray paint industry and still enjoys writing about new products and technologies.
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