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I've painted with Graco sprayers for over twenty years, using the contractor series spray gun to spray everything from paint to stain. This spray gun is included with most of Graco's contractor airless sprayers sold online and through paint stores. The Graco sprayers sold at major home improvement stores typically include the SG-series spray gun (SG-2 and SG-3).
In my experience, the contractor gun lasts longer and performs better than the less expensive model. I recently replaced my spray gun with the same model after many years of spraying enamel and stain.
The SG-series spray gun, designed for homeowners, is cheaper and not a terrible option for occasional use, but I'll explain my likes and dislikes, having owned both of them.
This spray gun is incredibly versatile in terms of the materials you can spray and the type of airless spraying you can do, depending on the sprayer you're pairing the gun with. I use mine with my Graco 495 Ultra Max, spraying everything from kitchen cabinets to drywall.
With the the 7/8-inch threading, you can use a Graco RAC-5 tip guard (orange) on this gun, or the more versatile RAC-X tip guard (blue) for the ability to do fine finish spraying at lower pressure with the Graco FFLP spray tips (green). I use this gun a lot for spraying cabinets and trim, using the FFLP tips and blue guard.
I spray a lot of enamel and latex paint through this gun with very little clogging. With my airless sprayer and the materials I use, no thinning is required with this gun. Keeping the mesh filter clean is key, as well as using the appropriate size filter for the material you're spraying.
You can use this spray gun on any compatible airless sprayer with PSI no greater than 3,600, the maximum fluid pressure for this gun. Many painters are unaware too that you can use non-Graco brand tip guards and tips on this gun, as long as the guard has a matching 7/8-inch thread. Most threading on spray tips and guards is 7/8-inch, but some are 11/16-inch. Check the specifications.
If you're new to spraying, or want to upgrade your spray gun from the cheaper SG-3, the Graco contractor spray gun is definitely worth the upgrade for anyone who sprays a lot. The ergonomic gun is more comfortable to spray with all day long, spits less, and the fluid needle lasts longer. I've sprayed with this gun my whole painting career and will continue to do so.
For the weekend warrior, or part time painter, the cheaper SG-series spray gun, paired with one of the Graco sprayers from a big box store, isn't a bad option too for infrequent use, but choose the SG-3 over the SG-2 to get the swivel hose, the only difference between the two.
The contractor gun for sure can handle spraying most latex and oil-based coatings, using the right filter size and spray tip. I've sprayed latex paint and enamel through the cheaper gun without any problems, but I'm not sure about other types of coatings.
© 2019 Matt G.