ProShot Fine Finish or 9.5 Turboforce HVLP?

Written by on August 10, 2011 in Handheld/Cordless, HVLP, Products of Interest, Sprayers with 23 Comments
proshot or 9.5?

Talk about a no lose situation.

Depends on the situation. Often, it is the typical late afternoon dash from the jobsite to the shop to bang out a small project, such as spraying about a dozen shelves (with attached wooden brackets) with oil paint.

Usually, the decision making process involves running through the set up and finishing process in my head. To be honest, in any small scale spray situation, I am looking for the quickest, most efficient way to get the desired quality result.

My first impulse in most cases like this would be the ProShot Fine Finish. But, what about the 9.5 Turboforce HVLP?

As the dialogue continues in my head, I acknowledge that the ProShot FF is certainly always up to the task. But, would the doors and other miscellaneous finished items in the shop appreciate the overspray? No. It’s not that the ProShot FF is an obnoxious oversprayer. It’s just that the 9.5 has such remarkable transfer efficiency. Further, with less overspray, I would be using less paint. Both machines would be running a quart cup, but maybe I could do all the shelves with just one cup and save a step in stopping to mix another.

It’s kind of a no lose situation, but sometimes the 9.5 Turboforce HVLP will edge out the ProShot Fine Finish, especially when portability and mobility are not critical. That is exactly how it played out with the shelving project.

We continue to test and accumulate real world test footage of the 9.5 Turboforce HVLP. It takes months to use a sprayer in many different situations, on different types of pieces and with a variety of finishes to fully understand its capabilities. It is a very pleasing combination of power and finesse, which is a very desirable – and not always standard – combination in an HVLP system. Today was a good test for it in oil based enamel paint.

We have also run this rig extensively in our Prep to Finish paint industry training program, with both students and adults. It scores very highly in the user friendliness category.

Stay tuned.

Scott Burt

Scott Burt is a contractor and freelance writer whose column "From the Field" has appeared in American Painting Contractor magazine (www.paintmag.com) since 2008. His writing and projects also appear in other print and digital venues. This site is an extension of Scott's publication work, and he encourages readers to leave comments and questions about articles published here. Hope to hear from you!

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  1. Graco 9.5 Fine Finish hvlp with Turboforce | topcoatreview | August 12, 2011
  1. Mike says:

    …and, don’t the HVLP’s have less wear and tear than the other units?

    • Scott Burt says:

      Wear and tear on what? The technologies are completely different so it is difficult to make that statement.

      • Mike says:

        Well, I was under the impression that with the HVLP there is no pump, so that would be one less item needing to be re-built like with an Airless. I don’t know enough about the Technologies, which is why I ask so many questions. I do know that Airless tips don’t last long and seem to have gotten more expensive in recent years. Not sure how long one of those needles lasts in the HVLP Guns or how long the Guns themselves last.

        Maybe this is a dumb question, but does anyone ever use a pole with the AAA unit? and if so, do they still have problems spitting?
        I bought a Clean Shot from Graco, but It didn’t last long before it started giving me trouble, and they aren’t cheap and are not very servicable, so I’ve given up on them.
        Today I sprayed some Gutters with My 395 using the FFT 311 Tip and put it directly on the Gun to avoid the spitting. I need lots of practice.

  2. Mike says:

    Aloha Scott,
    Just wondering if you’ve tried the cheapo stuff like the Wagner Flexio 890? It appears to be an entry level Turbine powered consumer unit that claims to shoot un-thinned Latex as well as thinner material. I know it is not a serious unit, however, I am at this time only looking for something that I can paint doors, shutters, cabinets with. My Airless 395 is a bit much for this task.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Hi Mike, yes, we try most of the tools that are out there, including the Flexio. Handhelds are convenience tools that “can” do a variety of tasks, particularly suited to those times when you are spraying only a quart or two of product. The quality obviously won’t be the same as a gravity fed gun and conventional turbine, but the Flexio (I believe) comes in at a significantly lower price point which makes for a pretty low risk purchase. It is a neat technology and is capable of moving a lot of material in a hurry. It depends on what you mean when you say that the 395 is a bit much for the tasks you mentioned.

      • Mike says:

        Scott,
        Thanks for the speedy reply. Really appreciate it. The 385 Airless throws a lot more paint than the demos of the Flexio that I’ve seen. By two much, I mean too much overspray, too much material. I’m not a good sprayer, but I’ve used some air units and they can do stuff that an Airless would just load up way too quickly, like spraying a bookshelf with the shelves installed. That, to Me would be very difficult to pull off with an Airless. I read your article on the Graco fine finish 395 and it looks like an amazing unit, but I just don’t have the coin right now. If I had to replace my sprayer, I’d look very seriously at that one.

        • Scott Burt says:

          What Flexio demos have you seen?

          • Mike says:

            Just the stuff on YouTube. Some look better than others. There are a couple where the spray is a bit splattery, which scares me a little, but I suppose adjustment is key in any sprayer. Do you happen to know if you can shoot Duration Exterior out of a Graco green FFT?
            I’m guessing it might have to be thinned down.

            • Scott Burt says:

              You might find that you have more flexibility with the 395 you already have.

              • Mike says:

                Scott,
                Are you saying that with a FFT I can approximate what can be done with the Flexio?
                Sorry for the uneducated questions on this, but with a FFT, can I dial back the pressure enough to avoid a lot of overspray and too much material?

                • Scott Burt says:

                  You should be able to exceed it. The intent of the inexpensive handheld is not to outperform more expensive sprayers with quality. What you are perceiving as too much material and overspray may be related to your pace and distance from target (and control of the spraying environment). These are common mistakes that people make when they haven’t accumulated much spraying experience yet. These are good questions.

                  • Mike says:

                    Hi Scott, Thanks for the continued dialogue. I guess what I’m after is a cheap version of what is available with some of the better units out there, but guess that’s asking too much from a consumer unit. I did manage to try out an FFT 311 Today on my 395 and dialed the pressure way down, and that worked pretty good. Put the tip directly on the gun to avoid spitting (I hate that!) I think I can get away with painting the gutters of the house I’m working on with that 311 set up.
                    For future reference, what would be your favorite Sprayer for doing cabinet enclosures etc?
                    You posted ” If you start going deeper in hvlp (and aaa), you will laugh at the product and process you have been living with in airless and ff tips. Whole different level. Shop project is about dialed, I might post up some pics soon.”
                    I don’t even know what aaa stands for – shows you how ignorant I am on sprayers. A friend of mine just bought an Apollo. I offered to rent it from him, but he wont even spray latex through it. Don’t know why, since Polyurethane must be harder to clean. Go figure

                    • Scott Burt says:

                      Mike, cheap and better rarely go together. Especially in spraying. AAA stands for air assisted airless, mixing fluid and air for less overspray and better results. We have a few years of archives on the technology here:

                      http://topcoatreview.com/category/product-reviews/sprayers/air-assisted-airless/

                      Favorite rig for cabinet grade would be the 395 Finish Pro II aa and G40 combo.

                      And I don’t blame your buddy for not wanting to rent out his Apollo.

                    • Mike says:

                      Thanks Scott, I’ll check it out.

                    • Mike says:

                      Scott,
                      So you prefer the AAA to an HVLP? And if so, what are some of the differences?
                      Thanks.

                    • Scott Burt says:

                      I prefer one over the other based on situation. Situation is defined by quantity of material to be used. HVLP for smaller quantities of product, aaa for larger.

                    • Mike says:

                      So with the AAA, I assume you have to pump through a hose like with a regular Airless? If so, that is a real game changer. A lot of the draw for me is not having to use a whole gallon of paint, and expecially not having to flush lines. That seems like the beauty of a cup gun.

                    • Scott Burt says:

                      That is an advantage of HVLP in smaller tasks, which is why I mentioned previously that the decision is often made based on quantity of material required for the size of the task.

  3. Damon T says:

    Hi again Scott. I had the opportunity to bring out my accuspray hvlp on a kitchen cabinet job yesterday shooting BIN. I hadnt actually used it in years, but the control was exquisite. I used a Titan 440 and a 310 Graco ff tip for the final waterborne coats. I had put away the hvlp due to it being a 3 stage and relatively worthless for waterborne coatings, but am rethinking getting a larger unit like the Graco 9.5 for cabinet jobs. I do dislike having the cup on the gun for cab interiors, and would consider getting either the procomp with detached gun, or maybe just upgrade to the aaa unit. I don’t do a ton of new woodwork though, so fine it hard to justify getting an AAA when I get nice millwork results with an airless and ff tip. do you have any experience with the detached hvlp gun? Thanks! Ps hope the shop remodel is going well.

    • Scott Burt says:

      Hi Damon

      Thanks for stopping by. Funny you should bring up hvlp, I just put up a new post – http://topcoatreview.com/2012/01/on-site-with-hvlp-and-oil/ – on cabinet finishing on site with the 9.5. No, I haven’t gone into the gun modification side with hvlp. If the nooks and crannies are too small, we move over to aaa with the sportier G40 or G15 guns. If you start going deeper in hvlp (and aaa), you will laugh at the product and process you have been living with in airless and ff tips. Whole different level. Shop project is about dialed, I might post up some pics soon.

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