HVLP vs LVLP Spray Gun – Detailed Comparison

Spray guns are widely used by all DIY enthusiasts because of their convenience. You can get two different options i.e. HVLP and LVLP in the spray gun for all your painting projects. The HVLP and LVLP spray guns look very similar in design but are distinctive tools.

A brief article on the difference between HVLP and LVLP spray guns is written below for ending the confusion. By reaching the end, you will be able to differentiate and know the basic functionality of each of the spray guns.

HVLP vs LVLP Spray Gun – Getting Started

HVLP vs LVLP Spray Gun

HVLP Spray Gun

The high volume low-pressure spray gun comes with a turbine or can be connected to an air compressor. It uses more air as a result of which the paint moves forward to the nozzle. The pressure ensures that the paint is sprayed onto the surface evenly. This spray gun is affordable and is available in different options. You can either invest money in handheld versions or the standing versions depending upon your preference and ease of working.

HVLP Spray Gun

The main reason that most people like using this spray gun is that it is considered to be more environmentally friendly when compared with other painting tools available on the market. You can speed up the painting process and also save up to 80% of the paint by using an HVLP spray gun. If the process is fast or efficient and less paint is consumed, you automatically save a lot of money spent on power and paint.

This is why it is commonly used and is preferred by beginners in the painting business. One of the advantages of using the HVLP spray gun is that it can paint on different materials and gives a good finish.

Although you have to prep the material or the surface before the painting, the end result is flawless. The rate of transfer of HVLP spray guns is also higher than other spray guns and ensures to cover more than 50% of the area.

You may also want to know about best automotive hvlp spray gun

LVLP Spray Gun

As you all know LVLP stands for low volume low pressure. The LVLP spray gun is quite similar to the HVLP spray gun but the functions are a little different. This is ideal for painting thin surfaces as the air pressure used is very low.

One of the advantages of using this spray gun is that it can be used with any air compressor either if it’s a small one. Also read my write up on spray guns for small compressor. As mentioned above, this uses low air pressure but the finish is extremely neat.

LVLP Spray Gun

It uses a pressure of 10 PSI and is great for spraying some thin coats onto the surface. Most painters who like doing transparent coats prefer using the LVLP spray gun.

The transfer rate is higher and the finish is flawless. This does not work great on metallic surfaces as the pressure used is comparatively lower than HVLP spray guns. Homeowners or DIY enthusiasts use the LVLP because of its ease of use and convenience.

You may also want to know how to thin water based paint for spray gun

HVLP vs LVLP Spray Gun Comparison

HVLP vs LVLP Spray Gun Comparison

Transfer Rate

When I compare both of these spray guns with each other, the application and the finish are almost the same but there are some differences present too. The first and most important difference that should be considered is the transfer rate.

My favorite spray gun, the LVLP, has a transfer rate of almost 80% which is higher than the HVLP spray gun. The HVLP spray gun transfers almost 60% to 70% paint onto the material. Both of these are good options but LVLP wins when it comes to transferring rate.

Spraying Pattern

Secondly, the spraying pattern of both of these is different from one another. As mentioned above, the LVLP spray gun uses less air pressure so the spraying pattern of this spray gun is also small. You have to use the gun again and again to cover the larger surface area, hence more time will be consumed.

Whereas, the HVLP spray gun has a bigger spraying pattern so you will end up spending less time painting. The pattern is greater than 10 inches which is great if you are new and working as a beginner in the field.


This is a known difference between both the spray guns and is evident by the name too. The LVLP spray guns use a pressure of 10 PSI or more which is why they can be used with any air compressor.

Whereas, the HVLP spray guns work at a pressure of 50 PSI or more. This is a great difference and you will have to invest in an air compressor so that it can fulfill the pressure requirement in HVLP spray guns.


The price difference between the HVLP and LVLP spray guns is great. You can invest in an HVLP spray gun and it will work fine for years but this will break your bank account for months. Whereas, the LVLP spray gun is a more affordable option and can be used with any air compressor.

You will have to buy a heavy-duty air compressor for operating the HVLP spray gun which will definitely add up to the cost. Hence if you are a beginner, invest in an LVLP spray gun and upgrade after a few years.

You may also be interested to read about Thinning Enamel Paint for Spray Gun

FAQs about HVLP and LVLP Sprayer

Can you paint a car with an LVLP spray gun?

Yes, you can paint a car with the help of an LVLP spray gun but it won’t give the desired finish as an HVLP spray gun. It can paint on metallic surfaces but the output will not be flawless.

You can also have a look at best spray gun for painting cars

What are HVLP and LVLP spray guns?

Both of these are painting tools that look quite similar in appearance but have different features. You can use these for painting different surfaces either thick or thin.

What is an HVLP spray gun used for?

The HVLP spray gun is used for painting thick materials and has a wide spraying pattern. You can use this gun to speed up the painting process and save paint.

Concluding Comparison of HVLP and LVLP Spray Gun

A brief article on HVLP vs LVLP spray guns is given above so you can know the similarities and differences between them. In my opinion, the LVLP spray gun is a better option because it is affordable, uses less pressure, and has a neat finish too. The transfer rate of this spray gun is also higher than the HVLP spray gun which is amazing. I hope the article will help you choose the best painting tool for your next project.

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