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.

This review was featured on my August 28, 2012 AsktheBuilder  Newsletter.

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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