If you’re new to airless spray painting and you’re looking to learn more about Graco paint sprayers, this article will tell you all you need to know about the most popular units they produce. That is the Magnum X5, the X7, the TrueCoat 360 and more.
Graco paint sprayers are one of the best ones available today, from simple handheld units to carted equipment specially designed for atomizing and applying different types of paints and other types of fluids of different viscosities.
Whether you’re a painter, a homeowner, or you’re a professional contractor looking for a good paint sprayer to spruce up your homes and buildings, Graco’s line of sprayers are surely a good place to start.
Graco’s range of products includes different models or units designed for tackling projects of different sizes or proportions, such as for simple DIY spray painting of one room, an apartment or a whole building.
The purpose of this post is to compare the 4 most common ones used by both individuals and professionals today, which are the Graco TrueCoat 360, the Project Painter Plus, Magnum X5 and the Magnum X7.
Each of these units come in different specifications and they fit different types of users from simple homeowners to pro contractors.
Comparing them should help you learn the major differences between them and to see the one fit for the type of projects you have in mind.
Before beginning the comparison, you should know that Graco airless paint sprayers are categorized into 3 different series, which are.
- The DIY Series
- Project Series and
- Pro Series.
The DIY series contain units designed for beginners or hobbyist tackling projects at home. If you’re carrying out small projects at home, like painting your room, a few doors, trim, outdoor furniture, ceiling and so on, one unit from this series like the Project Painter Plus or the Truecoat 360 will work perfectly. You don’t have to splurge cash on a very expensive unit.
The Project series is the next big thing and it includes units specifically designed for tackling much more complex projects than units in the DIY series.
If you’re a homeowner and you want to paint your entire home, or if you’re a handyman and you have a similar job to paint a midsize house, one unit from this series such as the Graco Magnum X5 or the Magnum X7 will be perfect. You can paint anything from doors, furniture, trim, ceiling, fences decks and every other part that requires paint application in a house or property.
The Pro Series of Graco’s airless paint sprayers, as you may have already imagined, are for professional contractors that tackle different jobs on a daily or weekly basis. These are designed with heavy duty pumps that can meet the demands of a busy contractor.
In fact, in the case of tool failure, the design of the Pro Series even allows you to swap out the pumps with a spare without the use of tools, thus allowing you continue to spray without any downtime.
So, if you’re pro contractor and your job involves spraying large residential properties and commercial buildings, a suitable unit from the Pro Series like the ProX19 or the Ultra Max II can help you get the job done.
Graco Project Painter Plus vs Truecoat 360
One of the tried and trusted unit in the DIY series of Graco’s paint sprayers is the Project Painter Plus. Of all the units in the DIY series, the project painter plus is the only one that allows the user to spray directly from the bucket or paint contain. In my book, that puts it above the rest, because it makes your job much easier since you can just spray directly from the gallon.
On the other hand, the Graco Truecoat 360 makes use of an onboard Flexliner storage bag that holds just 42 oz (depending on the model) of paint at a time, before it needs to be refilled.
Unlike conventional paint cups however, the Flexliner storage bag can be disposed immediately after use, or it can be cleaned and stored properly for future use.
One of the major differences between the Project Painter Plus and the Truecoat 360 is in their handling. While the latter is handheld, the former requires the use of a hose and a spray gun which comes with the equipment.
Also, while the TrueCoat 360 requires an extension cord for a longer reach, the 25 foot long DuraFlex hose of the Project Painter Plus eliminates the need for any type of additional extension cord.
Additionally, even though both sprayers are DIY grade, the Project Painter Plus is ultimately designed and rated for carrying out more tasks, as the recommended annual usage for it is 50 gallons, while that of the TrueCoat is half that.
In terms of finish however, both offers smooth consistent finishes on both interior and exterior surfaces, including doors, cabinet, furniture, fences and so on.
One more thing you should note about the TrueCoat 360 is that it comes in different specifications. Some have single speed, allowing no speed adjustments, and there are some with dual-speed with two speed adjustments. The low speed is for spraying small detail pieces, while the high speed is for quickly covering large surfaces.
There’s also a TrueCoat 360 with variable speed that allows you to adjust the speed of spraying according to the project at hand.
Magnum X5 vs Magnum X7
The Magnum X5 and the Magnum X7 are the two main units in Graco’s Project Series. In terms of quality and capacity, they’re just above the Project Painter Plus and the TrueCoat 360.
Both are designed and equipped with a flexible suction tube to spray directly from a gallon, thus are very ideal for spraying large quantities of paint and tackling larger projects without having to refill paint cups.
Both also have adjustable pressure controls that allow the user to tweak the pressure as needed for the application
One of the first difference you’ll notice however, is that while the X5 has just two angle shaped feet to help support and balance it on the ground and a handle to carry it around, the X7 is carted with two wheels for rolling it around, making it much easier to move it on the job.
Another difference is that while the X5 supports tips sizes up to 0.015, the Magnum X7 supports up to 0.017, thus making it capable of spraying thicker fluids or coatings.
Both however are rated to spray up to 125 gallons of paint per annum, which is very good, especially if you’re an avid DIYer or a handyman that have enough projects or jobs to use up nearly that amount of paint in a year.
That rating should also tell you that both are capable of carrying out the same size of jobs. So at the end of the day, your choice between the two will come down to the type of fluid you want to spray or whether you like the portability of the carted unit.
Which Graco Paint Sprayer is Right for You?
When choosing out of the different Graco paint sprayers, the major thing you should consider is the size of the projects you handle.
Each of the sprayers come with an annual use recommendation showing how many gallons of paint you can paint with it per annum. Of course, it’s not a hard written rule that you must not exceed that number, but just more of a guideline that should guide you when making your choice.
With a handheld sprayer like the Truecoat 360, 25 to 30 gallons is the annual use recommendation. That means these are likely for small home improvement projects.
If you’re a small DIY homeowner who will use it sparingly throughout the year for small DIY projects around the home, this should be the right choice for you.
On the other hand, if you’re a handyman who will use it frequently, the Magnum X5 or X7 with an annual use recommendation of 125 gallons might just be what you need.
If you’re a contractor or a professional painter who uses it daily, then the ProX19 with an annual use recommendation of 500 gallons can definitely help you get those projects going.
Overall, the size of your job or the type of projects you carry out will certainly determine the right one you need.
The Viscosity of the paint or fluid you intend to use will also determine your choice. Heavier fluids will require larger tips to atomize properly, and each Graco paint sprayer have the specific spray tips it’s compatible with.
A magnum X5 can make use of a 0.009 tip, 0.0011, 0.0013, 0.015, but it cannot make use of a 0.017 tip like a Magnum X7. Similarly, a magnum X7 can make use of all the above tips, but it cannot atomize fluids properly with a 0.019 tip. So, the size of your project and the viscosity of fluids you want to make use of are two main factors that will determine which paint sprayer you choose.