Which Powder Coat Gun Is Best?
Powder Coat Gun Guide
Powder coating is a great hobby to get into as you can dip your toe in the water with spending too much time and money. Powder coating can be done as simple as shaking powder onto a hot part or dipping a hot part into powder and baking it in a small oven. While you can do it for that cheap and simple it is hard to get good results and you really should invest in an inexpensive powder coat gun if your a beginner.
How Does a Powder Coating Gun Work?
In order to get even coverage on an item you’re powder coating you really need a powder coating gun to get the job done correctly. A powder coating gun works by charging the powder electrically as it leaves the gun. Normally the item being coated is grounded completing the circuit which allows the powder to cling to the part much like a static charged piece of clothing would do. The electrical charge the gun produces is normally measured in “KV” or Kilovolts. A Kilovolt is an incredible amount of voltage. For example 1KV is equal to 1,000 Volts! So even though a powder coating gun may look simple it actually transfers a lot of power to the powder!
What’s the Difference Between Powder Coating Guns?
When shopping for a powder coating gun you may see a wide range of prices from $100-$2000. While they all may seem similar in their look there are a few key features that make these guns differ in price.
- KV Adjustment- Low end guns usually have a set kilovolt setting and you “get what you get” when you pull the trigger. This may work for beginner work but can be frustrating when you get into tight areas where powder might not stick (Faraday Cage Effect) or when you need to do multiple layers of powder and need the extra KV. Higher end guns will have a much higher maximum KV rating and also allow you to dial in your kilovolts on the machine. This will allow you to get perfect coverage on intricate parts or when doing custom finishes with multiple coats.
- Powder Reserve- Lower end guns may only have small cups on the gun to hold the powder when spraying parts. This works well for doing small piece work but if you’re spraying large batches or large parts where you may run out of powder you will need a hopper that holds more than just a few ounces of powder. Larger, more professional setups have a separate hopper that can hold pounds of powder to keep you spraying without stopping.
- Air Compressor Requirements- All powder guns have one thing in common; they need some sort of air pressure to project the flumes of powder onto the item you’re coating. Some of the higher end guns may need a higher CFM to properly fluidize and spray the powder while many entry level guns like the Eastwood Hot Coat Powder Gun will only require 1-3CFM at a low PSI (under 10 PSI). This means that even if you have the money to invest in a higher end gun you may need to drop the money to upgrade your air compressor at the same time. Most of the entry level guns can run off of a small Pancake Air Compressor if you’re just going for the lowest cost to start.
Which ever gun you decide on you should always take time to practice and get comfortable with the process before you spray and cure powder. Powder Coating is an extremely durable coating and because it is so hard to remove, errors on nice parts can be frustrating. For our full line of powder coating products you can Click HERE.