How do you know when a spray tip is worn?

Wear reduces spray quality and makes you waste material. Keep an eye on the state of your tip and replace it in time.

No matter how careful you maintain your spray tips, eventually they will wear and need replacement. How do you know when a spray tip has seen its best days? Learn what signs to look for to avoid loss of quality and material wastage.

Although it may seem wise to be economical about tip replacement, delaying timely tip replacement may cost you dearly. Worn tips actually cost you more as you need to do more spray movements with a smaller fan width and unnecessarily increase material consumption due to the enlarged orifice. Your work will be messier and of poorer quality, so in the end it will cost you time, money and maybe even customers.

With a worn 619 tip, you need twice as many spray movements and consume twice as much material:

New tip Used tip Heavily used tip Worn tip
Fan width 30 cm 28 cm 21 cm 14 cm
Material output 0.91 l/min 1.17 l/min 1.47 l/min 1.79 l/min

What causes tips to wear?

There are several reasons why tips wear, we sum up the most important ones below:

  • Excessive pressure: therefore spray paint at the lowest possible pressure while still obtaining a good spray pattern
  • Unstrained material: solve this by using a strain bag to filter out unwanted particles
  • Absence of filters: make sure to use a filter to stop residual impurities from wearing out your spray tip
  • Wrong size filter: always carefully select the correct filter for your spray pump for best spray results
  • Old or dirty hoses: avoid internal build-up leading to inferior spray pressure by regularly flushing used hoses and replacing them in time
How do you know it’s time to change your tip?

Look for the followings red flags which tell you your spray tip is worn-out and needs replacement.

  • A diamond shaped spray pattern? Time to change your tip!
    When the tip wears, its orifice gets bigger while the fan width decreases. This alters the spray pattern, evolving from a rounded rectangular shape to a smaller and more oval shape. By the time your spray pattern has an oval diamond shape, it’s time to replace the tip. Otherwise your work will be of poor quality, take more time and come with excess material consumption.

  • Fan width reduced by 25%? Time to change your tip!
    Along with the spray pattern becoming smaller and rounder, the fan width reduces as the spray tip wears out. Although it varies from one tip to the next one, you should replace your tip when the fan width is about 25% less than with a new tip. For example, a spray tip which gives a 10 cm span width at start, should be replaced by the time the span width is reduced to about 7 cm. 

From left to right: the spray pattern and fan width of a new tip, a used tip, a heavily used tip, and a worn tip

How to extend tip life?

You can extend tip life by using it optimally and cleaning all equipment parts carefully. However, after a certain time your tip will unavoidably need replacement. At that moment it is critical you start off with the most suited new tip.