Q&A / 

Ryobi ProTip Paint Sprayer Tool

I had a queasy feeling the moment I pulled the Ryobi ProTip Paint Sprayer Tool from it's cool green soft-sided case. The tool seemed heavy and off balance, and there was no paint in it yet.

Now I have to be totally honest before we go any farther. I've never been a fan of homeowner paint sprayers because they just don't work like the professional sprayers I've seen on job sites or in factories. I'm not an expert when it comes to paint sprayers by any means, but the really great sprayers, even cans of spray paint from the hardware store, produce a very fine mist of paint.

The paint sprayers I've tested all seem to spit larger globs of paint on the surface, and they make a racket doing so. Are you starting to see where this review is going?

As I do with all new tools, the next step was to get out the Owner's Manual and read it. It was a small paper document that seemingly didn't include any graphics. There were phrases in the instructions that had you turn to the back of the manual to find the illustrations, but believe me, you can overlook these.

Where you'd expect to discover an exploded tool view and detailed drawings at the front of the manual, these were buried deep in the back of the document.

If you're an impatient user and/or a *visual* learner, you'd never find them. You'd gloss over the references to the illustrations at the back of the manual. Once you got to the Spanish language version of the instructions, you'd utter, "Oh great, no illustrations!"

One of the first things you have to do is lubricate a piston. I took apart the tool tip like they said and found, what I thought to be, a tiny metal part that looked like a piston to me. But I wasn't sure.

A link to an online video of the startup procedure would have been ideal. I'm astonished that tool manufacturers do not create videos, simple ones, that show you how to get started with their tools.

Videos like this are essential when you have to perform some mission-critical task like oil a piston. If you get this wrong and lubricate the wrong part, my guess is the tool freezes up and stops working.

Nowhere in the instructions did it say to thin the paint. I was using a top-of-the-line urethane-based paint from Sherwin Williams called Duration. It's thick. I added some water to help lower its viscosity and stirred it well. Even with this added water, the paint was very heavy bodied.

It was time to spray! I poured the paint into the translucent paint container, twisted it back into position, plugged in the tool and picked it up. Oh my, this bad boy was really heavy now, and putting a strain on my wrist because of how long the tool was. Not good.

I pulled the trigger, the pump started to work and the spitting started. Yes, this tool was just like all the previous ones I've tested. It spits paint onto the thing your painting. It's not really a sprayer in my opinion, it's a paint spitter. Now, mind you, the drops of paint are tiny, but they are not like the ones that come out of a spray-paint can. Not even close.

This tool comes with a unique feature that allows you to rotate the tip to unclog the tool. After just three minutes, I needed to use this. The tool stopped spitting, I mean spraying. It drooled a lot with the paint dripping down the front of the canister. Soon, I discovered it was done for the day.

No matter what I did, I couldn't get the tool to start spraying again. After another three minutes, I gave up. I took the tool down to the driveway to try to clean it up and salvage the paint in the container. While at the garage, I got out my trusty roller pan and a roller frame with a 4-inch roller. Within minutes, I was painting.

I was trying to paint flat pieces of plywood I had cut for a soffit installation. I didn't time the first few I got done with the sprayer before it died, but I have to tell you that I'm convinced a paint roller, in this situation, was much faster. It would have been even faster had I used a 9-inch roller frame!

Ryobi makes many other tools that deliver great results. I've used their tools. But this ProTip Paint Sprayer Tool is one that I just can't recommend. Unfortunately it doesn't even rate one hammer. Sorry Ryobi, but it's my job to report what happens when I use tools.

Tim Carter

Founder - AsktheBuilder.com

The above is an affiliate link. I get a tiny commission if you purchase this item from Amazon.

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6 Responses to Ryobi ProTip Paint Sprayer Tool

  1. I have a number of Ryobi cordless tools. I've found them in some cases to be tough. I've dropped a circular saw from the roof to a concrete floor and still used it. I've also found that their bearings tend to go bad, and their lithium batteries have a shorter life than I expected for an expensive battery. I've moved to Dewalt for my saws and grinder, and so far, have been happy with them and their batteries.
    Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading your newsletters and reviews.

  2. Have you reviewed the Wagner sprayer that sprays regardless of which direction it is pointing? I need to paint some very rough stucco, and am looking for something easier than a very thick roller. My questions with the Wagner is can it spray exterior masonry paint without dilution. Thanks for a great website!

  3. I went through three of these Ryobi paint sprayers. Returned the first two to Home Depot but was too embarrassed to return the third one. Ryobi paint sprayers, at least the one you reviewed and also the one I purchased, are junk.

  4. Next time you are at your local Sherwin Williams store pick up a Graco hand held ProShot sprayer. You get what you pay for and these sprayers deliver professional results. Mine is the 120V model but the battery operated ones work just as well. these sprayers can be rebuild once to extend their life. great for a quick door paint or molding.

  5. Thank you for the great, honest review. I agree about not finding a homeowner sprayer that actually works well. Someday, perhaps!
    With regards to your questions about 'paid reviews'... I think people are starting to get leary because so many bloggers ARE now getting compensated for their reviews. Read this if you like and you'll understand the new uproar. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124045072480346239.html
    My opinion (not paid for...teehee) is that I really don't mind bloggers getting paid in some way for a review as long as they give great information and description about the product so that I 'feel' like someone has actually used the product and is telling me their results. (like you always do, for instance). When I notice at the bottom that it's a paid review I just take that AND the bloggers' apparent background and integrity into consideration. I also then look for more reviews to try to get a 'second opinion' so to speak.
    I'm not much of a controversy-type person tho, so I'm sure others have different opinions. You just keep up reviewing like you do, unpaid or not and I'd sure continue following. Thanks for your time reading this and all you do for us.

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