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Wagner Control Pro 170 Review

Editor Rating: 4.8/5

Great Product

Wagner Control Pro 170

Reviewed by: Timothy Henderson

Last modified: Nov 10, 2020 @ 5:12 am

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Review Summary:

Should you be looking for an airless machine, yet find this spraying niche somewhat intimidating — the Wagner Control Pro 170 may be the solution. Simplifying the priming and maintenance procedures that frequently deter hydraulic newbies — this unit is ideal for the keen DIYer wanting to take their painting game to the next level.

Featuring a 0.6 horsepower pump, this machine knocks out an impressive 1500 psi — meaning rapid coverage and therefore making it suitable for medium-to-large-sized jobs such as staining deckings, weatherproofing fencing, and painting outbuildings.

Furthermore, this mighty powerhouse has an external hydraulic unit — reducing the weight on your hands and allowing you to complete time-heavy projects with little fatigue.

Its HEA (high-efficiency airless) technology lowers overspray by around 55 percent — not only preventing paint from covering unwanted areas but also reducing wastage — saving your hard-earned dollars.

An included 515 tip permits the use of most mediums — and promises to provide a smooth and consistent coat. Being reversible, blockages can be swiftly cleared — permitting you to crack on with your work without dismantling the entire gun.

Drawing directly from an original paint can or container — there’s no need to fill the machine. Additionally, an incorporated inlet filter prevents detritus and debris from entering the pump — reducing the likelihood of obstructions, damage, and ensuring a clean finish.

The Control 170 is one of Wagner’s high-end DIY sprayers — a step below its ultimate 190 model. The unit is available in two forms — a floor-standing pump with carrying handle and a cart-mounted version for easier transportation.

Pros:

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Prosumer sprayer.
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Lightweight detachable gun.
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30-foot hose.
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Three times faster than a roller.
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Reduces overspray by 55 percent.
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Adjustable power settings
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Compatible with 2-in-1 paints, primers, oil, and enamel.
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Ideal for large projects.
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The pump lasts three times longer than its competitors.
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Sureflo valve for straightforward priming.
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Available with either floor-stand or cart.

Cons:

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First-time assembly can be challenging.
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517 maximum tip size.
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Takes around 20 minutes to clean post-project.

Features and Benefits of the Wagner Control Sprayer 170 HEA


Wagner states that the Control 170 permits the ardent DIYer to paint like a pro.

Let’s see if the unit has the features to meet that impressive claim.

External Pump


If you’ve ever wielded a handheld airless sprayer — you know that extensive use requires the arm strength of Thor.

Hence, assuming you’re not the lightning demi-god accustomed to lifting Mjölnir, these powerful yet hefty machines aren’t particularly suited to time-heavy projects.

Therefore, it’s pleasing to see that the Control 170 from Wagner features an externally-housed pump — literally taking the weight off your hands. Furthermore, this machine is available in two versions — floor-standing and cart-mounted.

The ground-sitting model features a robust ABS plastic stand. Elongated ‘feet’ provide reassuring stability, while an ergonomic handle permits straightforward transportation. The cart version allows you to wheel the machine around — which may appeal to those users moving the unit from site-to-site — or those lacking the strength to pick up the sprayer.

Pressure Control


The front of the Wagner 170 features a substantial pressure control dial — sizable enough for use with gloved or paint-covered hands, or for those lacking finger dexterity.

Adjustable in five steps — you can crank-up or step-down the power output to suit your coating medium. Thinner liquids such as sealers, for example, require less pressure than more viscous latex-based paints.

Suction Hose


Incorporating a non-kinking suction hose — the Control 170 requires no container filling prior to use.

Instead of the messy and wasteful procedure of decanting your coating medium into a metal or acrylic cup — all you need to do is secure the suction line directly into an original one or five-liter paint can. The pump will then draw the liquid into the machine.

Furthermore, this hose features an inlet filter to prevent dirt and detritus damaging the hydraulic pump and ensuring a debris-free coat finish.

Sureflo Pusher Valve


Airless machines can be formidable beasts for the hydraulic newbie — especially when it comes to priming.

Many of the industrial-grade units require an absolute plethora of pre-project steps just to prepare the machine for use. Understanding this deterrent, Wagner has made the process simple with its proprietary Sureflo feature.

Three-to-four presses of this prime button and your unit is ready for action — making it appealing to airless new-kids-on-the-block.

Metal Spray Gun with HEA 515 Tip


Perhaps the most striking aspect of this DIY-centric sprayer is the gun.

Dropping the typical plastic housing seen on most home-improvements units — Wagner has opted for a semi-pro-grade metal build — offering a contractor aesthetic and durable construction while remaining lightweight.

Wielding the gun is both enjoyable and rewarding — allowing you to shoot-from-the-hip (if you want, I wouldn’t recommend it) and making you feel like a veritable John Wick (or John Wayne, depending on your era).

The Control 170 arrives complete with a HEA 515 tip — perfectly suited to delivering latex paints without thinning — and therefore ideal for wall projects. While the 515 will also cope with stains and sealers — you can obtain replacement tips (sizes 313 and 211 respectively) that are manufactured specifically for these mediums.

And, whatever tip you’re using, a straightforward turn of a lever on the barrel rotates the head through 180 degrees — allowing you to clear obstructions without dismantling the unit.

For me, the only downside of this gun is the rather small trigger. Allowing for only two-fingered operation (unless you have unfeasibly small digits) it may promote hand fatigue on longer projects. Admittedly, this is at heart a DIY machine — but since it’s trying to emulate the pro models — it’s surprising Wagner didn’t opt for a three or four finger trigger seen on the higher-end contractor sprayers.

What do The Users Say?


In my opinion, the Wagner 170 is an excellent introduction to airless electric painting for the ambitious DIYer.

However, with limited spraying experience with this machine — my views may not provide a true picture of this popular unit. Hence, for a completely non-partisan opinion, I delved into the numerous Control 170 reviews written by owners of this sprayer.

Reassuringly, the testimonials proffered by these enthusiastic DIYers were positive. Frequently praised were the easy-to-grasp priming system, the lengthy 30-foot spray hose, and the lightweight and durable metal gun.

Sure, some guys weren’t completely overcome with joy — criticizing the unit for its time-consuming post-project cleaning needs and the limitations of a maximum 517 tip size.

Yet, on the whole, everyone agreed that the unit was user-friendly, allowed for speedy coverage, and provided a smooth and even finish — especially with latex paints.

Keen to find out more what these DIY-aficionados had to say? Take a look at the reviews yourself.

Alternatives to Wagner Control Pro 170


Not exactly what you’re looking for?

If this machine lacks the features or applications you demand in a sprayer — fear not my painting padawan.

Here are three excellent alternatives that may better suit your home improvement needs.

If you’re chasing an airless external pump unit — yet find the price of the premium-branded Wagner 170 a barrier — this may be the solution.

The Himalaya, like the Control 170, features a suction hose with an inlet filter, variable pressure control, and a floor-standing hydraulic unit. However, it’s substantially lighter on the bank balance than the Wagner — although, as a relatively unknown company — obtaining replacement parts may be a challenge.

  • 3000 psi in comparison to the 1500 psi of the 170 model.
  • 0.63 horsepower compared to the 0.6 horsepower of the Wagner 170.
  • Shorter spray hose — 25 feet as opposed to the 170’s 30 feet.
Need a true pro-grade sprayer instead of the prosumer-level Control 170? Then check out this unit.

The Graco 17G180 airless sprayer, like one version of the 170, has cart-mounted hydraulics for effortless portability, tailorable pressure, and a bespoke InstaClean filter. However, rated for 500 gallons per year as opposed to the 300 of the Control 170 — it’s more suited to intense industrial-grade use.

  • A 50-foot hose in comparison to the 30-feet of the Control 170.
  • 3000 psi — the Wagner 170 offers 1500 psi.
  • Delivers 0.38 gpm (gallons per minute), while the 170 provides 0.33 gpm.
Looking for something more compact than the Control 170? This handheld airless unit removes the need for external hydraulics — incorporating the entire pump into the gun body.

The Power Painter Plus features two pressure settings and a one-quart paint container. What’s more, utilizing Wagner’s proprietary EZ-Tilt technology — the machine can spray in an inverted position — making it ideal for ceiling work.

  • Easier on the credit card than the Control 170.
  • Requires filling the container cup, unlike the direct draw of the Wagner 170.
  • Delivers 6.6 gallons per hour, compared to the 19.8 gph of the Control 170.

Conclusion


For ambitious DIYers looking for an airless solution for medium-to-large scale work — the Control 170 could suit.

Taking the hassle out of home-hydraulic spraying with its Sureflo priming feature and providing rapid coverage with a 0.6 horsepower pump — this machine is ideal for addressing fencing, decking, and indoor and outdoor walling.

Its pro-grade metal gun with 515 tip delivers a blemish-free finish, while its suction hose negates the need for pre-project filling. Furthermore, variable pressure control permits you to tailor the power delivery depending on your coating medium.

While raising the standards of DIY units — hardcore home-improvers and pro-users may find that its relatively low annual throughput recommendation is unsuitable for extensive use.

However, if you’re seeking a machine that bridges the gap between standard DIY and contractor-level sprayers — I suggest you check out the Wagner Control Pro 170.

The FAQ

Where Can I Find the Manual for the Control 170 Wagner?

The user guide for the 170 Control is available from the official Wagner website. You can access it by clicking here.

How Much Does the Wagner 170 Control Cost?
The Wagner Control 170 is an airless machine that bridges the gap between DIY units and pro-grade sprayers. You can find its current cost here.
What Are the Uses of the Control 170 Wagner?
Delivering 0.33 gallons per minute and drawing directly from an original paint can, the Control 170 is suitable for medium-to-large scale work, including spraying:

  • Expansive decking.
  • Boats.
  • Outbuildings.
  • Basements.
  • Border fencing.
  • Outdoor and indoor walls.
  • Workshops and sheds.
  • Doors.
Can I Use a 50-Foot Hose With the Wagner 170?
Yes. Although the Control 170 arrives complete with a 30-foot hose, the hydraulic pump possesses sufficient grunt to utilize a 50-foot length. You can purchase this from Wagner, part number #0580614.
Is the Control 170 Wagner 110-Volts?
Yes. The Control Pro is rated for use at 110 volts — making it suitable for use with US mains power.
Will the Control Pro 170 Work With a Limewash or Whitewash Coat?
Yes. The 515 tip shipped with the Control Wagner Pro 170 is as suited to latex paints as it is white and limewash.

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