We know that purchasing a paint gun system can be a confusing and complicated process if you are not sure what you need. This guide is designed to walk you through all of the questions that would determine which system is best for you.

If some of the terminology in this article is unfamiliar, check out our glossary of spray gun related terms first and then return to this guide.

Topics included in this article are:

1.     Learn the Terminology

2.     Choose Your HVLP Turbine

3.     Configure Your Spray Gun

Learn the Terminology:

HVLP, Turbine and Stages are all terms that are used frequently throughout this article. Below are the definitions for each of these terms.

·       HVLP stands for High Volume, Low Pressure. The gun pushes out a lot of air, but converts it to low pressure. It reduces overspray and lowers the amount of waste, making it a very efficient and cost-saving method of paint spraying.

·       Turbine refers to the box that houses the motor and the fans. It pushes warm, dry air through a hose and into a spray gun.

·       Stages refer to the number of fans inside the turbine. For example, a turbine with three-stages has three fans. More stages create higher air pressure through the spray gun. Higher stages translate to more power and are generally better for larger areas and thicker coatings.

 Apollo HVLP Turbine Paint Sprayer

Choose Your HVLP Turbine:

In this HVLP spray system comparison, you will learn how to determine which turbine paint sprayer system is best for your application.

We receive many calls from painters asking questions such as:

-       Which is the best spray gun for painting cars?

-       Which HVLP spray gun for cabinets?

-       What is the best turbine HVLP for auto painting?

-       Can I use an HVLP spray gun for furniture?

-       What is the best air spray gun for home use?

-       What is the best HVLP spray gun for kitchen cabinets?

-        Where can I get an automotive spray gun?

We can answer all of these questions, but the first step is to choose the series of turbine and number of stages needed. This is primarily determined by the following two questions:

1.     Are you a professional, DIY’er or a hobbyist?

a.     DIY/Hobbyist – The Apollo HVLP ECO Series is designed for the hobbyist, at-home user or budget minded painter. It is great for those who will use the turbine occasionally and for just a few hours at a time.

b.     Professional – If your livelihood depends on the speed and quality of paint work, the Power or Precision Series are a better choice for you. These professional paint sprayer turbines have significantly advanced speed, power, versatility and flexibility and are equipped with much higher quality spray guns. They are designed for daily use, several hours each day.

2.     What is the viscosity or thickness of the coating you will be spraying?

Click here for an article explaining how to measure viscosity.

It is important to select your turbine based on the thickest coating you will be using. In general, thicker coatings require more pressure.

For example, one of the more common questions we receive is, can you spray latex paint with an hvlp sprayer? It is absolutely possible to use an HVLP spray gun for latex paint. Because latex paint is thicker (higher viscosity), it is important to use an HVLP turbine with more power and higher stages. 

Once you have determined the viscosity of the thickest material you will be spraying, use the table below to see our recommendations on which is the best hvlp paint sprayer for you.

Type of Coating Viscosity (Zahn #)  Recommended Models
Inks, Dyes, Stains, Alcohol Shellac, Extremely Thin Viscosity Fluids, Water-Based Finishes 16 seconds

Series: ECO, Power or Precision

Stages: Any

Thin Lacquers & Enamels, Water-Based Finishes, Polyurethane, Marine & Airplane Finishes 16 – 18 seconds

Series: ECO, Power or Precision

Stages: Any

Thin Lacquers & Enamels, Water-Based Finishes, Polyurethane, Marine & Airplane Finishes. Same as above with higher viscosity. 17 – 20 seconds

Series: ECO, Power or Precision

Stages: Any

Catalyzed Lacquers, Conversion Varnish, Primers, Marine & Airplane Finishes, Medium Viscosity Industrial & Automotive Finishes, Urethanes and Enamels 18 – 24 seconds

Series: ECO, Power, Precision

Stages: Four or Five

Catalyzed Lacquers, Conversion Varnish, Primers, Marine & Airplane Finishes, Medium Viscosity Industrial & Automotive Finishes, Urethanes and Enamels. Same as above with higher viscosity. 20 – 28 seconds

Series: ECO, Power, Precision

Stages: Four or Five

Thinned Latex, Multi-Spec, Heavy Primers, Butyrate, High Viscosity Industrial Coatings, Zolatone 24-35 seconds


Series: Power or Precision

Stages: Five only

Thinned Latex Paint, Multi-Spec, Solvent Adhesives, Gel-Coat, Polyester, Wax-Based Strippers 35+ seconds

Series: Power or Precision

Stages: Five only


In summary, the Eco Series is a great choice for DIY’ers or Hobbyists with lower budgets who are spraying lower viscosity materials.

The Power and Precision Series systems are designed more for professional use and tend to require a higher budget. The higher stages allow painters to user higher viscosity materials.

Configure Your Spray Gun:

Included in your purchase of an HVLP turbine system, is an Apollo A7700 HVLP paint gun, an atomizing set and either a cup or an adapter for disposable cups (such as 3M PPS).

Once you have selected your turbine system, you will need to configure your A7700 Spray Gun.


HVLP Paint Gun

Atomizing Sets:

The Apollo A7700 spray gun may be ordered with any atomizing set (needle, nozzle and air cap) size you choose for the same price. The viscosity of the coating and the concentration of solids will determine what size will give you best results. If you are switching between different materials, you may need multiple sets.

Some options, such as the Power-5 VS+ and the Precision PRO-LE systems, come with almost a complete set of sizes of nozzles, needles and air caps.

While it is very quick and easy to switch out atomizing sets when changing liquids, many painters find it more convenient to have two or three pre-configured A7700 guns, each with the atomizing set appropriate for the various liquids to be sprayed. For example, professional automotive painters often have one gun for primer, one for basecoat and a third for clear coat.

Needles, nozzles and air caps may be purchased separately or in sets.

See our page on Needles, Nozzles and Air Caps for guidance on what sizes are best for you.


There are a few different options when it comes to setting up the cup on your spray gun. These options are based on preference.

The turbine kit comes with the option of either a traditional, reusable cup (typically made from plastic or aluminum) or an adapter for use with a disposable system like 3M PPS. Traditional cups can be reused but must be washed between uses.

There are also gravity feed cups, which go on top of the paint gun, and siphon feed cups which connect to the bottom of the spray gun.

3M PPS disposable cups can also be attached to the top or bottom of the paint spray gun using one of the adapters shown below. These adapters are built very similarly, but the Siphon adapter is slightly longer so that it does not interfere with the trigger while spraying. Once the adapter is installed on the gun, it need not be removed, except for cleaning, as it fits with all available sizes of cups, lids and liners.


a.     3M 26129 Gravity (top)

 3M 26129 Gravity Adapter

b.     3M 26054 Siphon (bottom)


3M 26054 Siphon Adapter


One of the unique features of the A7700 is that it can accommodate both top and bottom feed cups, and can be easily changed on the fly.

Gravity cups are placed on top of the sprayer and can be used with or without pressure. Gravity cups are generally more maneuverable, but can get top-heavy and cumbersome when using larger cups with more volume of liquid.

Traditional gravity feed cups are available in four sizes: 3 oz, 250cc, 600cc and 1,000cc.

Siphon Feed cups are placed on the bottom on the gun and are always pressurized. They are -available in 32 oz and 8 oz sizes.

-Still have questions on which HVLP turbine spray gun system is best for you? Give us a call at 858-722-1135 or email us at info@spraygunplaza.com for further assistance. 


Last updated on 5/30/21.