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Thread: Airless Sprayer question for the experts

  1. #1
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    Apr 2017
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    Airless Sprayer question for the experts

    I'm going to pick up an airless sprayer in the next week, and I am deciding between the Graco X17 and Graco 390. Background: I'm not a pro painter, but I will be doing my shop, garage, house, several hundred feet of 6' fence and some other mid size projects in the next couple years.

    I know the 390 is a better sprayer, no question about that, but I'm wondering if it is worth the extra $500 over the X17? I can swing either of them, but don't want to needlessly overspend either. I'm leaning towards the 390 now as it seems a little more 'idiot-proof' and I do like that.

    Thoughts from folks that have used either or even better both? Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Modesto, CA, USA
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    X17 looks enough for you. I found Lowes 5 gallon paint buckets work better with an airless. Big cap unscrews big enough opening to use a small mixer paddle and to drop the intake hose in, no problem. Hoe despot spout is too small to insert mixing paddle and a fight to install remove the intake pipe.
    Buy a long extension pipe and an adjustable angle connector for higher up. Check ebay. The paint roller is too heavy to use easy with all the weight of paint inside the handle pipe.
    To clean I learned, after the pump was running clear, I would spray good paint for 20 seconds back into the bucket before switching to filling the slop bucket after the paint coming out was watered down. I counted while spraying paint back into the bucket. I watched it spray the wall until it got runny. A slop bucket with a lid avoids spray back while clearing the gun. Do the cleaning with the tip reversed for less blowback
    Bill D

    Use this for higher up. I will push the pipe back a bit so use two hands. one on the gun and one a foot up the pipe.
    https://www.amazon.com/QWORK-Swivel-...91943002&psc=1
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 05-21-2022 at 10:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2021
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    Columbia MO and Howard County MO
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    Mine is an old Graco Nova and is more like the 390 with the stinger on a hose, which I like because it fits under a bench for storage.
    I always thoroughly clean the pump, hose, gun and both filters then fill with pump-saver or paint thinner before putting it away.

    IMG_0551.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Maurice Mcmurry; 05-21-2022 at 11:35 AM. Reason: Image + storage tip
    Best Regards, Maurice

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
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    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    My money would be on the X17 being more than sufficient for what you want to do. I'm likely going one below that for my shop project, honestly.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Cincinnati, Ohio
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    Sounds like quite a list of projects. You know what you're going to be doing better than I, but I've always just rented this type of equipment, since my needs are few. Even if you don't want to do this because of your stack of projects, maybe it makes sense to do it for the first project if they've got the sprayer your interested in? That way you can really try it out, and make your own determination.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    If I was going to buy one right now, I'd get the 390. I don't like the gun that comes with the X17, so I'd have to figure in getting the better gun. Find my threads in the Finishing forum on airless spraying, including the "bad job coming" thread.

    You can buy the 390 with the good gun, skipping the low end four finger gun:https://www.graco.com/us/en/contract...ra-395-pc.html

    I use Fine Finish Low Pressure tips for almost everything now. I did read somewhere that the homeowner pumps don't do good with FFLP tips, but didn't spend much time studying that. The tip guards are interchangeable, so the tip guard that takes the FFLP tips can be used on the low end gun, but make sure about the pump handling it first.

    Put a gauge on it to start with, regardless of which one you decide on.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2009
    Location
    Medina Ohio
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    I used an X5 at the last place I worked and it would be all that you would need. I did use a Graco 300 series when I was painting houses but for the little that you said you really don't need that much of a unit

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2021
    Location
    Southwest WI
    Posts
    258
    I have the x17. I have had it it for about 5 years. It has always worked good for me. I have probably ran 150-200 gallons through it by now. I would suggest you get a couple different length extensions as I find you get less overspray when you do ceilings and when you do walls its easier to keep a consistent distance from the wall without using stilts or a ladder. You should also pick up a few different size tips. The size of the tip is chosen by the viscosity of the paint and the desired fan width. Graco also make fine finish tips for doing trim, doors, cabinets, or even a smoother wall.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    MN
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    Thanks for the replies! I ended up going the other direction and picked up a Graco 395 locally from Hirschfields. I have a 1.5 gal hopper on order from HD as well.

    I decided to go higher in the product line because I figured (or hope at least) that I could use it in the shop for spraying liquids heavier than my Fuji wants to. Also I have rarely regretting getting a better tool than I originally intended, but occasionally I have regretted getting a cheaper one

  10. #10
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    Good choice! That one came with the good gun. That gun is Much easier to use than the four finger gun.

  11. #11
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    It's been a while since I looked at them. Does that one have a built in gauge, or did you get one?

    I looked up the hopper, and found the finishing kit that includes the hopper, 3/16" hose, and a few other bits. I had thought about buying a 3/16 hose, but so far have gotten by with a 1/4" just fine.

    This looks interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MoTCoRhG8Ls
    Last edited by Tom M King; 05-26-2022 at 4:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    It doesn't have a built in gauge; I'll need to add one at some point. For house painting, eyeballing it in seems to work well enough.

    I only ordered the hopper rather than the kit. I might get a shorter hose at some point. 50' is good for exterior, but a shorter one would be easier and less wasteful in the shop.

    Tom, what do you put in the pump to store it? I have dogs, so I don't want to use the antifreeze that Graco sells for it, and mineral spirits was a pain to use for cleaning out the oil that it came in it. I had heard of people using some pipe anti-freeze that was non toxic, must be some propylene glycol thing.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lake Gaston, Henrico, NC
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    I've always just used the Pump Armor. I never looked at what's in it, but mine gets stored in a locked building. It's worked, and I've never been into my over 20 year old pump, so I stick with it. The first several years I had this pump I kept mineral spirits in it regardless of what had been sprayed through it, but like you, I was glad to end that.

    Look at my threads in the Finishing Forum, and the video where I'm finding the right pressure. Once you find a pressure you like for a given finish, you can go right back to it with no experimenting or wasting finish. I have the Titan gauge on my rig between the pump and the hose because that was the first one I saw. It has the right adapters on it to start with, so all you have to do is screw it in place. It will pay for itself quickly in saved finish from experimenting on cardboard to find the best pressure. No cardboard needed once you find a good setting. You go right to it, and go to work.

    I have 100' of 3/8 hose for spraying big roofs, but for interior house work, and finishing cabinets I'm using the 1/4 x25'. I did read that the 3/16 hose used by itself can lead to some pulsing issues, but other than that I have no idea because I've never used one.

    I show what it takes to clean out the rig with that 1/4x25 hose in the finishing forum here.

    Mods, this thread probably should be moved to the Finishing forum.

  14. #14
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    Apr 2013
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    Cedar Park, TX (NW Austin)
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    I have painted as much with the smaller Graco X5. The baseboard, crown and casing came out so smooth I have received compliments on the quality.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Goodin View Post
    I have painted as much with the smaller Graco X5. The baseboard, crown and casing came out so smooth I have received compliments on the quality.
    I have sprayed SW Emerald Urethane , un-thinned, through my Graco X5 using a FFLP 210 tip and thinned 10% with water through my Apollo Turbine 5.

    Can't tell the difference in finish quality.

    For volume projects, like when I did my Planation shutters, 200+ louvre blades plus frames, the Graco was the go to tool for ease of painting straight out of the can.

    For smaller pieces, the Apollo Turbine 5, with the 3M PPS system, is my choice.

    I initially bought the Graco X5 because I got notice from the HOA that I had to re-stain my 50 yards of 8' high wooden fence.

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