Krause and Becker Airless Paint Sprayer Review

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Last updated: December 13, 2023

A Detailed Review of The Affordable Krause and Becker Airless Paint Sprayer.

Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer

Airless paint sprayers offer a distinct advantage over traditional painting methods like rollers and brushes. But they can be pretty expensive, especially for an average user who doesn’t want to invest a small fortune.

What if there were cheaper alternatives to popular models like Graco and Titan? Would you be willing to make a compromise?

While less popular than other brands, Krause and Becker is one of the more affordable brands in the world of electric paint sprayers. It has a relatively simple design with a focus on power and speed, making it ideal for both DIYers and professional contractors. 

If you’re wondering whether a Krause and Becker sprayer will suit your project, you’ve come to the right place.

In this Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer review, we will look at what to expect in terms of design, performance, and cost. We will also review the top 3 models available, so you can determine the best fit for your project.

Features of Krause & Becker Paint Sprayer

1. Performance

Krause & Becker airless guns usually provide adjustable pressure and can generate up to 3000 PSI. Specifically, for most models, you will be able to adjust the pressure from 1000 to 3000 PSI. 

One of the major pros is the instant atomization that takes place when you power up the equipment. This allows you to spray paint and achieve maximum coverage. You should prime the machine before switching to spray mode. 

Triggers are usually lockable to enable you regulate pressure and flow rate. A trigger guard helps to prevent accidental spraying and protects the gun.

In addition to the suction and return tubes, most Krause and Becker paint sprayers usually have a mounted filter that takes care of air bubbles and other contaminants in the material, so only pure paint is atomized.

Upon atomization, any unused paint is sent through the return tube into a separate bucket so there’s no wastage.

The company also provides a 25-foot hose with almost all their airless sprayers except the handheld models. 

2. Design

Krause & Becker Airless Paint Sprayers have an ergonomic design with easy-to-use controls that make them beginner-friendly. They come with a built-in filter to reduce paint buildup and ensure smooth paint flow.

The motor is coated with anti-rust material to protect it from moisture. 

The sprayer tips are reversible, which provides versatility. This means you can use it with different paint mediums, specifically acrylic and latex paint. We don’t recommend using a filler or any texture-based material, as that could clog the nozzle. 

Besides the built-in filter, Krause and Becker’s paint spray guns also have a lock for the trigger to maintain continuous paint flow. This is really useful for larger projects. 

A paint bucket is supplied with the sprayer (except for the electric handheld model). The bucket is made of stainless steel to prevent rust and corrosion. Depending on the particular model, the capacity can be anywhere from 1 to 5 gallons, which is a lot compared to similar brands like Graco. 

3. Cost

Compared to similar brands like Graco, Krause, and Becker, airless sprayers are generally less expensive and high-quality. The high-end models cost around $150. A similar model by Graco would cost about $300. The difference is clear!

On the lower end, there are Krause and Becker airless spray guns that cost around $50. But these are usually handheld models and better suited for smaller jobs. 

It’s always a good idea to test the unit when you get it for the first time, so you can have it returned if there are any broken parts. 

Pros and Cons of the Krause & Becker Airless Paint Sprayer

Here are the pros of using a Krause & Becker airless spray gun:

  • Adjustable pressure control
  • Easy to clean once you follow the instructions.
  • High operating pressure (up to 3000PSI)
  • Built-in trigger lock.
  • Works with a variety of tips, even from other brands.
  • Works with latex and oil paint.
  • Stainless steel construction prevents rust and corrosion
  • No need for a compressor.
  • Creates a smooth and even finish
  • Suitable for small and large-scale projects depending on the model.
  • Ideal for hobbyists and professionals.

Here are the cons of using a Krause and Becker airless sprayer:

  • O-ring can come out when cleaning the gun
  • Spare parts might be hard to find
  • Noise level and overspray can be a problem (this makes it less suitable for indoor use)

3 Best Krause & Becker Airless Paint Sprayer

1. Krause and Becker 3000 PSI 5/8 HP – Best Overall

This Krause and Becker unit comes with all the features you can expect from a heavy-duty model. It includes a 25-foot spray hose, a powerful 5/8 HP motor, and a 3000 PSI piston pump that generates enough power to tackle the biggest weekend projects. So, don’t be deceived by the size!

Specifically, the pressure range of the system is 1000 PSI to 3000 PSI. This means you can adjust it via the pressure control knob to help control paint overspray, especially when working indoors. We’ve found that the pressure needs to be maximum if the paint is not thinned. 

Though the 515 tip that comes with the sprayer is good-quality, it is better suited for wall spraying and latex paint. It might help to thin down the paint before using the gun to minimize potential clogs. For a finer finish or to spray something thinner, you will need to get a smaller tip. 

Thankfully, the gun is compatible with tips from other brands. Two good examples are Graco 310 and Graco 413. Use the Graco 310 FF tip for a fine finish. If you have to use the default tip for a thin material, you can compensate for this by quickening your hand movement, i.e., your back-and-forth strokes. 

The same rule applies when spraying a thicker material; you can change the tip. 

There’s a lot of overspray with the unit, so be prepared. Prep the surface properly and cover any area you’re not painting. Also, use several thin coats instead of a heavy one to avoid runs.

Always clean the sprayer immediately after using it. 

What We Like πŸ‘

  • Works with water – and oil-based paint.
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Stainless steel construction makes it easy to clean and prevent rust
  • Extremely affordable
  • Perfect for small and medium-sized projects
  • High pressure/power output

What Could Improve πŸ‘Ž

  • The hose seems stiff (could be more flexible)
  • There’s a lot of overspray.

2. Krause and becker 5 GPH – Best Budget

This model weighs about 4.23 pounds and has a working pressure of 175 PSI. It costs around $69, which makes it one of the more budget-friendly models.

Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer

The gun is designed for general-purpose painting in the home, yard, or shop. Considering the size and pressure output, it’s best suited for small or medium-sized projects such as furniture, cabinets, decks, and small walls.

Despite its small size, it works with a wide range of mediums, including latex, lighter body paints, water-based sealers, and even stains. Make sure you check the viscosity of the material before spraying. 

The gun has a high flow rate of 5 GPH (gallons per hour), so it draws paint quickly and provides better coverage. It includes an extra piston rod and cylinder assembly as well as two cups to hold paint and measure viscosity. The paint cup is polypropylene, while the viscosity cup comes with a hanger. 

The viscosity cup is particularly useful when you’re not sure the paint gun can handle the thickness of the material. There’s information in the product manual on how to use the viscosity cup and hanger.

The unit has four spray tips – two 0.032″ tips for latex paint and two 0.021″ tips (one tip is extended) for thinner mediums.

This is an electric airless spray gun, so no compressor is required. Just plug it into a power outlet.   

NOTE: The Gun makes a very loud buzzing noise when spraying. So, beware, it’s quite noisy!! Also, be ready to refill the 24-ounce polypropylene cup a couple of times, depending on the size of your project. 

What We Like πŸ‘

  • It doesn’t require a compressor
  • It comes with a spare cylinder assembly piston rod.
  • Draws and applies paint very quickly
  • Sprays latex and thinner materials
  • Lightweight.
  • Wallet-friendly.

What Could Improve πŸ‘Ž

  • Makes a lot of noise

3. Krause & Becker Airless Paint Sprayer – Best for Large Projects

This Krause and Becker sprayer dramatically reduces the time it takes to paint an area and can handle paints of heavy viscosities, making it the best for large projects. It’s more affordable than Graco and Titan but performs just as well. It all depends on your painting ability and prep work. 

It’s also important you use the correct tip for the job and paint. 

The unit might take a little time to prime, but once it does, it has no issues re-priming. It operates with a lot of pressure, even on a low setting. 

Specifically, the pressure range is between 1000 to 3000 PSI, which provides better coverage and allows you to take on larger projects. 

The machine pumps directly from a 1- or 5-gallon bucket but doesn’t do it so quickly, so you can get more coats out of each paint bucket. The bucket and gun are made of stainless steel, which makes them easy to clean and ensures they won’t rust or corrode. 

The unit comes with a 517 spray tip for 12 “-16” fan width. It also works with standard Graco tips. For instance, you can opt for a 413 tip to reduce the amount of paint being sprayed. 

You can use oil-based paint according to the product manual. However, don’t clean the equipment with any solvent with a flashpoint less than 70 degrees F (21Β°C), as this can cause an explosion. Acceptable solvents are water for water-based paint and mineral spirits for oil paint. You can check the manual for more options depending on the paint you’re using. 

Overall, this is a decent budget-friendly sprayer for large-scale projects. It is easy to use and provides great coverage. For the price, it comes highly recommended. 

NOTE: Adequate preparation is key to getting a good result with any paint type. 

What We Like πŸ‘

  • Very affordable.
  • Suitable for heavy-duty painting projects
  • Easy to twist pressure control knob
  • It comes with a trigger lock for easy flushing and cleaning
  • Easy to use.
  • Durable construction

What Could Improve πŸ‘Ž

  • The hose is rather short (but it can be extended)

How to use Krause & Becker airless paint sprayer?

The general steps for using a Krause & Becker airless sprayer are described as follows:

Prep the Surface

Like any other painting project, you should always prep the surface before using an airless paint sprayer. Clean the surface if it’s dirty, and cover any area you don’t want to paint with masking tape. Also, remember to cover the floor and surrounding furniture with a drop cloth or tarpaulin to protect them from drips and overspray.

If you plan to paint outside, check the local weather and ensure it’s not too hot, cold, or windy.

Prime the Spray Gun

Once the surface is clean, mix the paint well. Make sure to use fresh paint. Old paint may have lumps or skin that can block the spray nozzle.

Priming is essential if you’re using the gun for the first time. It helps to flush out storage fluids out of the machine. 

Before you start, put on your safety gloves and respiratory. Other safety gears you may consider are goggles/glasses, full-body coveralls, and a spray sock. 

Follow the steps below to prime your Krause & Beckler airless paint sprayer:

  1. Separate the priming tube from the suction tube. The priming tube is usually the smaller tube. 

  2. Put the priming tube in a waste bucket. Then submerge the suction tube in warm water. If you’re working with oil-based paint, flush with mineral spirits before warm water. 

  3. Next, turn the PRIME/SPRAY switch to PRIME. Then set the pressure knob to PRIME/CLEAN. 

  4. Now, plug the sprayer into an electric outlet and turn on the power. 

  5. Once the machine starts pumping, the fluids (water/flushing solvent plus air bubbles) will be discharged into the waste bucket. Let it run for 30-60 seconds, then turn off power. 

  6. If you’re using oil-based paint, flush the machine with mineral spirits before using warm water. For water-based paint, just flush with warm water.

  7. Remove the suction line from the water or solvent and immerse in the paint bucket. Turn on the power. Wait till paint begins to discharge from the prime hose. Then switch off the power.

Start spraying

At this point, you’re ready to start spraying. 

  1. Remove the prime hose from the waste container and secure it with the suction line, then immerse it into the paint bucket. 

  2. Turn on the power. Direct the gun into the waste container and press the trigger. 

  3. Tun the PRIME/SPRAY switch to SPRAY mode and start spraying into the waste bucket. 

  4. You can stop when the motor stops. It means that the pump and lines are primed. Now, you can start spraying the main project. 

How to Clean Your Krause and Becker Paint Sprayer

Here’s a simple way to clean your Krause and Becker sprayer after use:

  1. To begin the cleaning process, take out the suction line and dump it into the waste bucket with water. Leave the prime hose in the paint bucket. 

  2. Shut the pump off and switch it to prime. Now run the machine until you get some water coming out of the prime hose into the paint can. It shouldn’t be too watery. Don’t run the same water through the machine two times. 

  3. Next, remove the prime tube and place it into the same waste bucket as the suction line. 

  4. Now, run fresh water right through the prime hose to get rid of any remaining paint in the big suction line. You want to do this before trying to clear the line that goes to the nozzle. 

  5. Once you’ve run the prime tube clear, switch back to the nozzle and blow the line clear. You should reverse the nozzle before you start shooting. Ideally, you want to do this outside, preferably on your lawn, as it tends to get a little messy. 

  6. Now, start shooting a steady stream from the gun. You can direct it to a small grass area and rinse it with water immediately after each spray. Repeat the process until the water runs clear. 

  7. Next, remove the nozzle and clean by hand. Soak all parts, including the filter, in warm, soapy water and rub gently with your finger to remove lingering paint. Rinse with warm water and allow to air dry, then reassemble the sprayer. 

  8. Shut some oil into the intake hose if you’re putting it away for storage. Otherwise, run plain water through the system one more time if you plan to use it regularly. 

NOTE: For oil-based paint, flush the system with mineral spirits first, then warm water. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for each model. 

Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer troubleshooting

Here we have listed some possible issues you might encounter while using your Krause and Becker sprayer, the causes, and how to fix them.

Spray is sputtering

If the gun is sputtering paint, do any of these to fix it:

  • Check the paint level. If it’s low, refill it.
  • Ensure the container is not tipped. If it is, hold it upright.
  • A damaged nozzle can also cause sputtering spray. In this case, you want to replace the nozzle.

The gun won’t spray

  • First check the cord and ensure it’s still plugged in.
  • You might be using a material that’s too thick. If that is the case, thin it down a bit.
  • The problem could also come from the spray tip being clogged. Clean the nozzle to unclog the sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning the nozzle.

Tails in spray pattern

  • This usually happens when pressure is too low. To fix this, increase pressure of the gun.
  • The paint material might be too thick. If this is the caser, consider thinning according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
  • Tails can also occur when the spray tip is worn. If this is the case, replace the tip.

Overspray

This is when a larger percentage of the paint drifts away from the target surface. 

  • This can happen when you don’t maintain a constant speed while applying the paint. I f this is the case, try to move steady and parallel.
  • Holding the gun too far from the workpiece can also cause overspray. Keep the gun 10-12 inches from the surface or whatever is written in the manual.

The machine won’t start

  • First. check if the unit is plugged in.
  • It might have something to do with the control settings. Be sure the power toggle switch is in the “ON” position, and the pressure control knob is set to maximum pressure. Look out for the green indicator light on the board. It should be lit.
  • Check the power source with a multimeter and ensure everything is okay.
  • Also, ensure you’re using the correct voltage supply.

Unit won’t build pressure

  • Consider adjusting the pressure control knob to increase pressure.
  • The valve balls or seats might be dirty or even worn. This can also prevent the unit from priming. Temporarily remove the balls (and clean them out)
  • There’s air in the hose or pump. Hold the sprayer in the open position and shoot until air is purged out of the system. Also, inspect the siphon tube for leaks.
  • Pressure problems can also be caused by worn spray tips or packing. If that is the case, consider replacing the tip or packing.
  • Make sure the spray tip is not too large. If it is, change it.

Pressure builds up but drops when you shoot a gun

  • The spray tip is either too large or worn out. Consider using a smaller tip or replace if its worn out.
  • The pressure drop can also be caused by a clog in the suction strainer or filter. Consider cleaning or replacing the filters.
  • In addition, make sure the inlet valve or suction tube is secure. Tight all fittings and clamps.

Leakage from the nozzle

When you have a nozzle leakage, it’s either the nozzle is dirty or damaged. If the nozzle is dirty, clean it. Otherwise, replace it if it’s damaged or worn.

The spray gun is spitting

  • Spitting typically occurs when you have a low fluid supply, or there’s no fluid remaining. In this case, you can refill the container that supplies the fluid or paint. 

  • Trapped air in the fluid pump can also cause spitting. Check the siphon assembly for any loose connections and tighten it. Then re-prime the machine.

Spray is uneven

  • Make sure the spray tip is not worn. Otherwise, replace it. 

  • Dried paint in the tip can also cause uneven spraying. Remove the tip and clean it thoroughly. 

Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer not priming

When you have a Krause and Becker sprayer that is not priming, here are some of the things to look at:

ONE: You forgot to set the prime mode and pressure control

Solution: Ensure the gun is connected to a power source. Turn the prime/spray switch to prime mode. Pressure should also be set to prime/clean.

TWO: Paint/material is too thick

Solution: Use a compatible solvent to prime the pump. Adjust the pressure up, place the pump away from the solvent can, and then dip the inlet tube into the heavy material you want to spray. Remove the spray tip, then press the trigger until the material reaches the gun. Replace the nozzle tip and start spraying.

THREE: Air in the hose or pump

Solution: In this case, remove the hose and clean it. Otherwise, press the gun trigger and run the unit for 8-10 seconds. Hold the trigger in an open position throughout this time. This will purge air from the system. 

FOUR: Leak in the siphon tube

Solution: If the solution above doesn’t fix the issue, you should check the siphon tube for possible leaks. Inspect the hose to see if you will find any holes. Also, make sure the connections are tight. 

FIVE: Siphon tube is clogged

Solution: Remove the line and clean it out. 

Krause and Becker airless paint sprayer tips

Here are more tips to help you make the best use of your Krause and Becker spray gun:

  • Safety first! Wear a mask, gloves, and goggles to protect yourself. Also, wear proper clothing (ideally, long-sleeved clothes and shoes) so no part of your body is exposed to paint or oil.

  • Start by spray testing on a piece of cardboard. If you’re unsatisfied with the spray pattern, you can make some adjustments before moving on to the main project.

  • To ensure even application, spray corners and edges first, then move on to the large surface. 

  • Start moving your hand (the gun) before pressing the trigger. This will help you avoid streaks. Likewise, when finishing the project, you should release the trigger before you stop moving the gun.

  • To prevent patches, ensure you maintain a constant speed throughout the duration of your work. You can spray in either a vertical or horizontal direction.

  • It’s always a good idea to thin down the paint when using finishing tips.

  • Ensure the gun’s safety lock is on when you are not painting 

  • Keep the sprayer 10 to 12 inches from the workpiece to ensure a smooth finish.  

  • Always read the manufacturer’s instructions before using any sprayer.

  • Never use the sprayer near an explosive material. Also, use in a well-ventilated area. 

FAQs – Krause and Becker Paint Sprayer

Who makes Krause and Becker?

Krause and Becker is a trademark of Harbor Freight Tools, a discount tool and equipment retail company based in Calabasas, California. In other words, Krause and Becker is an American brand. Besides paint sprayers, the company also offers generators, hand tools, automotive tools, and other power tools. 

Is It Easy to Clean a Krause & Becker Paint Sprayer?

Krause and Becker paint sprayer is easy to clean if you follow the instructions in the manual. However, the process might take a little time and can be messy, so you want to do it outside.

What Do the Numbers on Krause and Becker Airless Paint Sprayer Tips Mean?

The numbers on your Krause & Becker Sprayer tip denote the spray width and size it’s capable of. For example, 411, 513, or 317. Here, the first number is usually half the width of the fan pattern, while the last two digits denote the size of the spray tip. So, a 3XX tip will offer a six-inch width, while X17 means it’s an 0.017-inch spray tip.

Can I Use the Krause & Becker Airless Sprayer for Anything Other Purposes?

Yes, Krause & Becker Airless Sprayers are not only suitable for paint mediums. You can use them to dispense other fluids, including disinfectants and cleaning products. They will also work with different tips and paint, including oil and latex paints.

What is the difference between a paint sprayer and an airless paint sprayer?

As their names suggest, an air sprayer uses a stream of compressed air to create a spray, while an airless sprayer uses high pressure to atomize the paint. Because of this, air sprayers need compressors or turbines, while airless sprayers typically use electric pumps. 

Content Summary

Overall, Krause and Becker is an excellent choice if you need something to apply paint around the home without investing a fortune. It is cheaper than hiring a professional or renting a spray gun in the long run. It is easy to use and generates just enough power for most exterior needs. 

For DIYers who want a low-cost sprayer that can meet their home improvement needs, a Krause and Becker sprayer will be perfect. For professionals, it would serve better as a backup solution. 

In order to choose the best paint sprayer, you need to know the size of your project and how much paint you’ll need. Let us know if you have any more questions about Krause and Becker electric paint sprayer, and we will be glad to help.

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