Choosing the Right Airless Sprayer Tip


I have had a lot of questions concerning what tips to use for the job. I wanted to take some time to explain what is going on so you can determine for yourself what size tip you need.

First you should evaluate how thick the material is that you are going to be spraying through your airless sprayer. Below is a quick guide for determining the size orifice you need for the material you are spraying:

Thin material:

  • Stain or Lacquer .011 to .013/0.28 to 0.33


Medium material:


  • Oil Base Paint .013 to .015/0.33 to 0.38
  • Latex Paint .015 to .019/0.33 to 0.48


Heavy material:


  • Heavy Latex & Smooth Elastomeric .021 to .025/0.53 to 0.63
  • Elastomeric & Blockfiller .025 to .035+/0.53 to 0.89


I need to also clarify that the tip not only is for thickness of the material that you are spraying, but also how thick you want to put it on. Let’s say that you are spraying Latex paint. You can use a .015 tip to put on a thin coat, or you can use a .019 to put on a thick coat. However, the thicker you put it on, the more susceptible it is to have runs, so keep that in mind.

Okay, so now that you know what size tip you need, let’s go on to what fan width you need.

The airless sprayer tips have a three number code. Here is how it works:

The first number refers to one-half of the fan width at 12” from the working surface; so the 5 in 517 refers to a fan width of 10” (2×5=10). The manufacturers use only one-half the size of the fan width to keep the number in a three digit format. The second and third digits refer to orifice size in thousandths of an inch; thus, the 17 in 517 refers to an orifice size of .017 inches.

Here are some examples:

  • 211 tip = a 4” fan width and a .011” orifice
  • 414 tip = an 8” fan width and a .014” orifice
  • 517 tip = a 10” fan width and a .017” orifice
  • 724 tip = a 14” fan width and a .024” orifice
  • With this information, you can determine for yourself what size sprayer tip you need for your next project.

I hope this helps.