HVLP VS RP: What’s The Difference?

Spray guns play a crucial role in the painting industry, with numerous manufacturers catering to the market’s demand for these essential tools.

While conventional spray guns were initially popular, the introduction of HVLP (High Volume Low Pressure) spray guns revolutionized the field by reducing VOC emissions and creating a more favorable working environment.

However, not all materials were suitable for HVLP atomization, leading to the development of RP (Reduced Pressure) technology.

In this article, we will explore the distinctions between HVLP and RP spray gun technologies, enabling you to make an informed choice when selecting the most suitable tool for your painting needs.

The Difference Between HVLP And RP Spray System

If you are a professional painter and want to choose the best sprayer for your needs, you must understand the difference between these two systems.

The main difference between HVLP and RP is that an HVLP sprayer atomizes high solids paint materials with 10 PSI at the air cap providing good transfer efficiency.


But the RP sprayer atomizes material with 18 to 19 PSI at the air cap providing 65% or greater transfer efficiency.

RP Spray gun

Look at the main featured difference between both spray systems.

#1. Difference In Spray Coat

The HVLP spray gun is usually used to get better results of basecoats, while the RP sprayer is used for getting better clear coats.

#2. Difference In Speed

Most professionals want to complete their projects in less time. The HVLP spray gun can spray faster saving time, labor, and money. On the other hand, RP sprayers spray paint slower than HVLP.

#3. Difference In Handling Materials

There is a variety of materials used for spraying paint. The HVLP spray gun can handle water-based material well. It also works better for spraying pearls.

While RP paint sprayer is the best paint gun for high solid materials, especially for urethanes.

#4. Difference In Spray Range

The HVLP sprayer can spray well at a distance of about 10 to 21cm, the recommended limit is 10 to 15cm, while the SATA RP paint gun can also spray well at a distance of about 10 to 21cm but here the recommended limit is 17 to 21cm.

#5. Difference In Air Consumption

The HVLP paint sprayer uses higher air consumption, while the RP sprayer uses lower air consumption.

#6. Difference In The Use of Fluid Tip

Generally, the fluid tip used in the HVLP spray gun is 1.1mm to 1.5mm, while the fluid tip used in the reduced pressure spray gun is 1.1mm to 1.4mm.

The painter can use the best shape pattern suitable for their projects.


Which spray gun can be better useful, HVLP or RP?

Generally, the RP paint gun is better than HVLP on all grounds except in paint savings. Most painters have the opinion that it uses more paint than HVLP.

What CFM is required for an RP gun?

An RP gun usually requires 10 CFM which is less than an HVLP gun.

What is the transfer efficiency of an RP gun?

An RP gun often provides 65% or greater transfer efficiency.

How much PSI do I need to spray clear coat?

While spraying a clear coat, you need to spray at 26 to 29 PSI. You can measure this PSI if you pull the trigger and let the air flows through the tip of your paint gun.


Both spray guns are quite good in structure and efficient in performance, but it depends on the nature of the project, and the type of material, you want to spray.

Both guns are budget-friendly, But if I myself have to pick one of the two, I will pick the RP gun because it has better transfer efficiency and can handle all types of materials well.

John Smith

John Smith is a professional artist and painter with over 10 years of experience using spray guns in his artwork. He has been featured in various exhibitions and galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He is also a passionate educator, having taught painting techniques and spray gun usage to art students at the university level. In addition, he has authored several books on painting and is a regular contributor to art magazines.

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