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Graco vs Wagner

Some paint spraying enthusiasts claim Graco’s products are only useful if you require an airless paint sprayer and that if you require an HVLP machine, you should go with Wagner instead.

Here, we separate fact from fiction and find out if the rumors are true in our Graco vs Wagner round-up. But first things first, a simple click on each manufacturer's website proves that the most common assumption about the two brands isn’t true. Both Graco and Wager have airless and HVLP sprayers.

Choosing between the two companies isn’t easy, and there are plenty of similarities.

For example, both have many years of experience and each claims to use the most modern spraying technology. The competitive — and similar — price points don’t help differentiate between Graco and Wagner either. Looking for an American brand? Both Wagner and Graco call the US home, so choosing to buy local won’t help you in the Graco vs Wagner debate!

Despite these commonalities, there are a few things that separate Graco from Wagner and vice versa. Let’s take a closer look at each company, including the plus points and less desirable aspects.

Wall painting with HVLP Spray gun

History


Graco Incorporated started life in 1926 as a small family-run business in Minneapolis. The story goes that founder Russell Gray was working as a parking lot attendant and thought there had to be a more efficient way to lubricate cars than hand-operated grease guns.

After some rudimentary market research, Gray and his brother Leil formed Gray Company Inc. and the foundations were set. Over the years, the brothers realized there were more opportunities in the fluid-handling industry and branched out into the paint spraying industry in 1948.

Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength and now has fingers in hundreds of fluid-handling pies including cleaning, and automobile servicing, to name a few.

Customer Service


It has been around for a while, so Graco has had time to fine-tune its customer service departments and warranty policies.

Initially, you are referred to a local Graco distributor for service requirements or technical advice. If you still can’t find the answer you’re looking for, Graco also has a team of service engineers. You can connect with them through online messages or a good old fashioned telephone call. This dedicated team can advise on configurations, troubleshooting as well as parts and repairs.

Price Point


Graco sprayers are not the cheapest on the market, but in this life, quality usually costs a bit extra. That said, Graco’s guns aren’t overpriced either — if you look after your sprayer properly, its lengthy lifetime will make up for your investment many times over.

Paint Sprayers


If you think of Graco vs Wagner paint sprayers, your first thought is probably that Graco offers airless sprayers and Wagner other air-powered units. But this isn’t strictly true as both companies have a range of units on both sides of the air/airless spectrum.

It is true that Graco is predominantly known for its airless sprayers, but Graco also has innovative HVLP spray guns, such as the FinishPro 7.0. It even produces the Graco G40, an air-assisted airless spray gun.

The company offers models that are better suited to DIYers, like the TrueCoat 360, while other models, including the Magnum X19, boast pro features and are suitable for trade-level use.

All Graco sprayers are well designed and offer dependability, accuracy, easy-cleaning, and time-saving features.

Who Should Use Graco Products?


On paper, Graco really does offer a sprayer for everyone and every job, from occasional handypersons to large-scale contracting companies.

Be that as it may, a DIYer may find Graco’s sprayers somewhat complex or feel like there are too many features — even to the point of being intimidating.

For a paint contractor with more experience in an industry where time is money, then these extra time-saving features will help shorten the workday and maximize profits. Graco products also look professional and can help pros make that all-important first impression when securing new contracts.

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Pros of Graco Products


  • Durable, hard-working products.
  • Backed by almost a century of fluid-handling experience.
  • Professional appearance.
  • Fuss-free operation.
  • A wide range of sprayers available.
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Cons of Graco Products


  • Some products are over-specced for newbie paint sprayers.
  • Could be a bit high-end for occasional home improvers.

History


The founder of Wagner, Josef Wagner, started life on a farm in Germany. His original trade was repairing electrical motors and woodworking tools, then, in the early 1950s, Josef developed a revolutionary electrical paint spraying tool.

Wagner’s paint sprayer was aimed at both homeowners and contractors and by the end of the 1960s, Wagner was the largest European producer of airless paint spraying systems and one of the burgeoning industry’s largest manufacturers in the world.

Wagner went global in the 1970s, establishing production plants in the USA and Switzerland and other branches in Europe, Japan, and Australia.

In recent years, Wagner Spraytech acquired other industry leaders in the spray painting world, including HomeRight and Titan Tools.

Paint Sprayers


Despite its pedigree as an airless spraying pioneer, in the Graco vs Wagner airless paint sprayer face-off, Wagner is less well known these days. Instead, the company has built much of its reputation on the back of its HVLP units.

Nevertheless, Wagner does manufacture both sprayer types in addition to dedicated craft sprayers, such as the Studio Home Decor, a definite market niche.

When it comes to Wagner’s airless sprayers, the company also makes use of HEA (high efficiency airless) technology, as seen in its Control Pro 170. HEA means 55 percent less overspray in comparison to standard airless sprayers, a welcome innovation to spray aficionados worldwide.

Wagner offers two different HVLP sprayer lines: FLEXiO and Control. Sprayers in the FLEXiO line, for example, the FLEXiO 5000, are best suited to larger projects while the Control line is dedicated to smaller projects and staining. The Control Spray Max is a good example here.

Customer Service


When you scour the internet for Wagner reviews, one thing that jumps out is how users are supremely satisfied with the company’s customer service.

On Wagner’s website, you can find warranty details and tools to locate your nearest service center. But the most commendable asset, in my opinion, is their troubleshooting and how-to videos — being confronted with a new job is always less challenging when someone shows you how to do it first.

If all else fails, Wagner also runs a customer service hotline with real people. Call in and receive technical support and advice on replacement parts and product selection.

Price Point


With so many years of spray painting technology behind it, you may expect Wagner products to carry a hefty price tag. But in reality, the company’s products are competitively priced.

Wagner manufactures long-lasting, easy to use units at pocket-friendly prices — with no compromise on quality.

Who Should Use Wagner Products?


Wagner offers such a broad range of sprayers that there’s one for every task, ostensibly at least.

However, if you look a little closer, you may find that these sprayers lack the time-saving features or capacity that contractors working on big jobs need. Also, even though they are robust units, the overall appearance doesn’t quite give that impression.

When it comes to DIYers and home improvers though, Wagner spray guns tick most boxes.

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Pros of Wagner Products


  • Easy to use and clean.
  • Competitive price point.
  • Over half a century of spray painting experience.
  • Exemplary customer service.
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Cons of Wagner Products


  • May not suit large-scale paint contractors.
  • Not as many tip sizes are available as some competitors.

Conclusion


It was a no brainer as to why you needed to read this review, two paint spray industry giants both claiming to fit everyone’s needs — and hypothetically they do.

There can’t be a clear winner though as to which manufacturer is best for you. In the end, it comes down to what your individual decorating or restorative requirements are.

Graco is backed by years of research into fluid-handling technologies and may be slightly ahead when it comes to airless sprayers and units equipped for large-scale ventures. Visually, they certainly look the part.

Wagner is also supported by decades of expertise. Its units are uncomplicated to use, set-up and simple to clean — great for fledgling sprayers.

So which is best if you have to choose between Graco vs Wagner paint sprayers? My parting advice is to check the specification of each model you’re considering to ensure it can handle your upcoming projects. Otherwise, you can rest assured that whichever company you go with, you’re investing in a quality tool that if properly cared for, will last for years to come.

Graco vs Wagner FAQs

Q: Is Graco Better than Wagner?

Choosing between a Wagner vs Graco paint sprayer is largely a matter of your spraying requirements.

Are you a pro contractor with large projects to complete quickly or a hobbyist without as many time constraints? What type of materials do you plan to spray? How often do you plan to use the machine and what is your budget? These are all aspects you should take into account before your final decision.

Q: Are Wagner Paint Sprayers Any Good?

As a rule, Wagner’s paint sprayers are quality units that can handle most jobs. When it comes to individual models, Wagner has a broad range available, including HVLP and HEA airless sprayers.

If you want to make a comparison against other manufacturers, it’s best to pitch one specific model against another. For example, let’s consider the Wagner FLEXiO 590 vs Graco TrueCoat. Both are a great choice for DIYers and cover a multitude of jobs. However, when it comes to individual specs such as nozzle size, you may find that one fits your needs better than the other.

Q: What Is the Best Paint Sprayer for Home Use?

There are numerous paint sprayers on the market that are specifically designed for home use. Wagner’s FLEXiO line, for example, features units of various sizes that cover most home projects in a professional, quick manner.

Q: Which Paint Sprayers Do Professionals Use?

If you were to ask a variety of paint contractors for recommendations on their favorite paint sprayer, you will receive a multitude of options.

Many contractors rave about Graco and Titan sprayers, remarking that durability and the unique time-saving features set them apart from other manufactures.

Q: Are Wagner Sprayers Airless?

Wagner’s Control Pro range is a line of HEA airless sprayers. HEA technology ensures that newbies and experienced users alike will have a great experience thanks to reduced overspray, longer lasting tips, and the minimal effort you need to put into your paint applications.

Q: Is Spraying Better Than Rolling?

Spray painting via a paint gun is an extremely efficient method of applying paint to large areas when little accuracy is required.

If you have smaller indoor walls or detailed projects though, you may find that a roller and brush is more effective. With these traditional methods, it’s easier to avoid getting paint where you don’t mean to