What Do Airless Spray Tip Numbers Mean

Airless spray tip numbers indicate the fan width and the orifice size of the tip. The first digit doubled gives the fan width in inches, while the last two digits represent the orifice size in thousandths of an inch.

Understanding airless spray tip numbers is crucial for achieving optimal paint application. The numbers help in selecting the right tip for the job, ensuring efficient paint coverage and finish quality. Different projects require different fan widths and orifice sizes to control the paint flow and pattern.

Using the correct tip minimizes overspray and maximizes efficiency, saving both time and materials. Choosing the appropriate tip is essential for both professional painters and DIY enthusiasts to achieve a smooth, even coat and a professional-looking result.

Introduction To Airless Spray Tips

Airless spray tips are crucial for achieving a perfect paint finish. These tips determine the spray pattern and flow rate. Understanding the numbers on these tips helps in selecting the right one.

Basics Of Airless Spraying

Airless spraying uses high pressure to atomize the paint. This method provides a smooth and even coat. It’s faster and more efficient than traditional methods.

The spray tip controls the paint flow and the pattern. Each tip has a specific number that indicates its size and spray width.

For example, a tip number 515 means a 10-inch spray width and a 0.015-inch orifice.

Importance Of Selecting The Right Tip

Selecting the right tip is essential for a quality finish. The right tip ensures even coverage and minimizes overspray.

Using the wrong tip can lead to wasted paint and poor results. It can also cause the paint sprayer to clog or malfunction.

Here’s a quick guide to understanding tip numbers:

Tip Number Spray Width (inches) Orifice Size (inches)
515 10 0.015
619 12 0.019
721 14 0.021

Follow these steps to choose the right tip:

  1. Identify the type of paint or coating.
  2. Check the spray width required.
  3. Match the orifice size to the paint viscosity.

Using the correct tip will save time and give a professional finish.

What Do Airless Spray Tip Numbers Mean

Decoding The Numbers

Airless spray tips have numbers that can be confusing. These numbers are important for your painting projects. They tell you about the tip size and spray pattern. Let’s break down what these numbers mean.

Tip Size And Orifice Diameter

The first digit of the airless spray tip number indicates the fan width. The second and third digits show the orifice diameter. For example, a 517 tip means:

Number Meaning
5 Fan width (10 inches)
17 Orifice diameter (0.017 inches)

Tip size affects the paint flow. A larger orifice sprays more paint. This is great for covering large areas. Smaller tips are better for detailed work.

Fan Width Interpretation

The first digit helps you understand the fan width. Multiply this number by two. This gives you the fan width in inches. For example, a tip marked as 3 will have a 6-inch fan width.

  • 3 = 6 inches
  • 4 = 8 inches
  • 5 = 10 inches

Choosing the right fan width is important. It affects how much surface you can cover. Wider fans are good for walls. Narrow fans are better for trim and edges.

Understanding these numbers helps you pick the right airless spray tip. This ensures you get the best results for your project. Always refer to the tip numbers when selecting your spray tip. Happy painting!

Factors Influencing Tip Choice

Choosing the right airless spray tip is crucial for achieving a smooth finish. Understanding the factors influencing tip choice helps in selecting the best tip for your project.

Material Viscosity And Tip Selection

Material viscosity greatly affects the choice of spray tip. Thicker materials like latex paint require a larger tip size. Thinner materials, such as stains, need a smaller tip size. The table below provides a quick guide:

Material Type Recommended Tip Size
Stains 0.009 – 0.013 inches
Lacquers 0.011 – 0.015 inches
Latex Paints 0.015 – 0.019 inches
Heavy Coatings 0.021 – 0.025 inches


Project Size And Tip Requirements

The size of your project also plays a crucial role. Larger projects need wider spray patterns to cover more area quickly. Smaller projects require narrower spray patterns for detailed work. Consider the following points:

  • For large exterior surfaces: Use a tip with a wider fan pattern.
  • For intricate detailing: Opt for a tip with a narrow spray pattern.
  • For ceilings and high walls: Choose a tip that reduces overspray.

These considerations help ensure efficiency and a quality finish on various projects.

What Do Airless Spray Tip Numbers Mean

Impact On Spray Quality

Understanding airless spray tip numbers is crucial for achieving high-quality spray finishes. The numbers directly affect the spray pattern, paint flow, and overall consistency. Selecting the right tip ensures efficient coverage and smooth coatings. Let’s explore how these numbers impact spray quality.

Effect Of Tip Wear

Over time, spray tips wear out. This affects the spray pattern and paint distribution. A worn tip can lead to uneven coatings and excessive paint use. Below is a table showing the common effects of tip wear:

Condition Effect
New Tip Even Spray, Optimal Coverage
Slightly Worn Tip Inconsistent Spray, Increased Paint Use
Heavily Worn Tip Poor Spray Quality, Uneven Coatings


Regularly check and replace tips to maintain high-quality finishes. This ensures your projects look professional and consistent.

Optimal Tip Performance For Even Coatings

Choosing the right spray tip is crucial for even coatings. Here are some tips for optimal performance:

  • Match the tip size to the paint type.
  • Use a tip with the correct fan width.
  • Adjust the pressure for a smooth finish.

Below is a list of tip sizes and their recommended uses:

  1. 0.013 – 0.015 inches: Ideal for thin paints like stain.
  2. 0.017 – 0.019 inches: Suitable for latex and enamels.
  3. 0.021 – 0.025 inches: Best for heavy coatings like primer.

Following these guidelines ensures even coverage and a smooth finish. This minimizes paint waste and enhances project quality.



Replacing And Maintaining Tips

Maintaining and replacing airless spray tips is crucial for optimal performance. Knowing when and how to replace your tips ensures you get the best results. Proper maintenance also extends the life of your equipment.

Indicators For Tip Replacement

Replacing your spray tips at the right time is essential. Here are some key indicators that it’s time for a new tip:

  • Inconsistent spray patterns: If the spray pattern is uneven or streaky.
  • Increased overspray: More paint ends up where it’s not supposed to.
  • Higher paint consumption: You notice you’re using more paint than usual.
  • Slower project completion: It takes longer to cover the same area.

Maintenance Best Practices

Maintaining your spray tips involves simple but effective practices:

  1. Clean after each use: Remove the tip and clean it with water or solvent.
  2. Inspect regularly: Look for wear and tear signs.
  3. Store properly: Keep tips in a clean, dry place.
  4. Rotate tips: Use multiple tips to extend their lifespan.
Maintenance Task Frequency
Clean Tip After Every Use
Inspect Tip Weekly
Store Properly Always
Rotate Tips Monthly


Advanced Tip Technologies

Airless spray tips come with advanced technologies. These help achieve precise finishes and efficient spraying. Understanding these technologies can transform your painting projects. This section will explore the key advanced tip technologies.

Reversible Tips And Their Advantages

Reversible tips are a game-changer in spray painting. They allow you to quickly clear clogs. Simply rotate the tip 180 degrees and spray. This action pushes out the blockage.

Reversible tips save time and increase efficiency. You don’t need to stop and clean the tip. This keeps your project moving smoothly.

Key advantages of reversible tips include:

  • Quick clog clearing
  • Increased spraying efficiency
  • Less downtime

Fine Finish Tips Explained

Fine finish tips are designed for detailed work. They provide a smooth and even finish. These tips are perfect for cabinets, furniture, and trim.

Fine finish tips use lower pressure. This creates less overspray and waste. You get a professional-looking finish without much effort.

Benefits of fine finish tips include:

  • Detailed and smooth finish
  • Reduced overspray
  • Less paint waste

Fine finish tips come in various sizes. Each size serves a specific purpose. Choose the right size for your project needs.

Troubleshooting Common Tip Issues

Understanding airless spray tip numbers is crucial for a smooth paint job. Yet, even with the right tip, issues can arise. This section addresses common problems and solutions.

Clogging And Prevention Strategies

Clogging is a frequent issue with airless spray tips. Debris and dried paint are primary causes. To prevent clogging, always strain your paint before loading it.

Here are some effective strategies:

  • Use a paint strainer: This removes debris before it enters the sprayer.
  • Clean the tip regularly: Rinse with water or appropriate cleaner.
  • Reverse the tip: Many tips have a reverse setting to clear clogs easily.

Regular maintenance is key. Keep your equipment clean to avoid clogs.

Dealing With Tip Blowout

Tip blowout occurs when the spray pattern becomes uneven. This can be due to wear or damage. To handle tip blowout, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect the tip: Look for signs of wear or damage.
  2. Replace the tip: If damaged, a new tip is necessary.
  3. Check pressure settings: High pressure can cause rapid wear.

Using the right pressure setting helps extend the tip’s life. Always keep spare tips on hand for quick replacements.

Real-world Applications


Understanding airless spray tip numbers helps in many practical scenarios. Different projects need different spray tips. Knowing the right tip ensures a smooth finish.

Case Studies: Tip Selection In Action

Consider a car painting project. You need a fine finish. A smaller tip, like a 311, provides a narrow spray. This works well for detailed work.

For a large wall, a wider spray is better. A 517 tip covers more area quickly. This saves time and paint. Professionals often use these tips for home exteriors.

In industrial settings, thick coatings are common. A 619 tip is perfect for these tasks. It handles heavy materials well.

Choosing Tips For Various Coating Types

Different coatings need different tips. Here is a simple guide:

Coating Type Recommended Tip
Stains and Varnishes 311 or 411
Latex Paints 515 or 517
Heavy Coatings 619 or 721

Stains and varnishes are thin. They need a smaller tip. This ensures even coverage without runs.

Latex paints are thicker. A medium-sized tip, like a 515, is ideal. It balances coverage and control.

Heavy coatings, like epoxies, need large tips. A 619 tip can handle these materials. It ensures a thick, even layer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Do The Numbers On Airless Spray Tips Mean?

The numbers indicate the spray pattern width and orifice size. The first digit, multiplied by two, gives the spray width in inches. The last two digits represent the orifice size in thousandths of an inch.

How Do I Choose The Right Spray Tip Size?

Choose based on your project and material. Larger tips work for thicker materials like latex. Smaller tips are better for thin materials like stains.

Can I Use Any Spray Tip With My Sprayer?

No, you need to match the spray tip to your sprayer’s specifications. Check your sprayer’s manual for compatibility.

How Often Should I Replace My Spray Tip?

Replace your spray tip after spraying 100-300 gallons of paint. Worn tips can affect spray pattern and paint application quality.


Understanding airless spray tip numbers is crucial for achieving a perfect finish. Choosing the right tip ensures efficient and smooth application. Always consider the material and surface before selecting a tip. Proper selection saves time and enhances the quality of your work.

Keep these tips in mind for a professional painting experience.

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