What Do Airless Spray Tip Sizes Mean?

If you are looking to spray for the first time, one of the last things often thought about is the Airless Spray Tip. The spray tip is the last piece of machinery paint has contact with and has a direct effect on how the paint hits your target. So what's the difference between them? And which one do I need?

How to Read the Sizes

Airless tips are sized using a 3 digit number such as 515. The first number is half the width of the spraying fan and the last 2 digits refer to the size of the hole or orifice the paint sprays through. For instance a 508 and a 515 both have the same fan width (approx. 10") but a different size hole. The 508 has a .008" hole and the 515 has a .015" hole. Here are some examples:

Tip Number Fan Width Orifice Size
211 4 inches .011 inches
417 8 inches .017 inches
527 10 inches .027 inches


The relationship of the tip opening (orifice) to spray pattern size is:
Given a constant width (fan), the larger the orifice, the more material the sprayer will apply. (A larger orifice means greater paint flow).

Given a constant orifice size, an increasing fan width will apply a thinner coating of material to the surface because a given amount of material is distributed over a larger area.

Which Tip Size to Buy?

 Well now you know what the sizes mean, the question is which sized do you need? This will depend on:

  • A: Area you are spraying.
    Example: If you were spraying a 4 inch baseboard in a new house, you would not pick out a 517 (10 inch fan) to spray it with.
  • B: What size sprayer you have
    Your sprayer will have a max tip size, for example a .017 inch Max. This means you can use any tip that ends in 17 or lower.
  • C: Kind of material you are spraying ( Example latex primer, or oil base stain. )
    Thinner materials like oil based stains don't need a large orifice to spray, while thicker material like latex ceiling paint will clog a smaller orifice. A 415 would spray either of the above mentioned materials, but both the type and quality of the spray material will make a difference.

Popular Sizes and Uses

  1. 415 Would be the most popular size for spraying just about anything. Walls, doors, ceilings, decks, exterior walls, exterior siding a good all around tip.
  2. 517 Very popular for spraying int. walls, and int. ceilings.
  3. 413 This is good size for doors, and ext. overhang and ext. siding. Gives you a little more control vs a 415 for ext. spraying. Also sometimes used for spraying Cabinets.
  4. 313 Same areas as 413, but just for narrower areas.
  5. 515 About the same areas as a 415, just a bit wider fan width.
  6. 211 This is a very small tip, we sell it more for new construction for spraying baseboard installed up on the wall. And for exterior facial board. Note you will need a extra fine red gun filter for spraying with this small of a tip. Also you will have to watch that red filter when spraying latex with this small tip setup, it will tend to clog faster than normal.
  7. 619 First make sure your pump will maintain a .019, main use is for New construction were over spray is of no concern, and high output is needed. If you are not familiar with spraying you will need to watch for runs with this tip size.

    You can view tips we have for sale here.

    If you still have questions on tips, feel free to email at info@gleempaint.com or call us at (228) 863-3942. We would be glad to give a recommendation.

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