Earlex HV6900 Spray Station
Article - November 23, 2009
Back in March of 2008, I had a chance to review the Earlex HV5000 Spray Station, and I recently added an update to the review to reflect my current opinion of the unit. You can check that out here: Music to my Earlex
The HV5000 is one of the best bargains out there in HVLP turbine sprayers. Despite the excellent performance of the unit, I did have my questions about motor power, longevity, and overall quality of parts. As someone who used to drag my spraying rig around to job sites, I know the beating these units have to endure. So for those of you who need a little more beef in your turbine, the HV6900 just may fit the bill.
The HV6900 features a 3-stage industrial Ametek motor (5psi), a more durable 13-ft hose (with an optional 30-ft super flex hose), front-loading filters, an improved gun design, and weighs in at under 25 lbs. The turbine itself is exactly what you would expect from a 3-stage unit. You can literally see the power of the airflow in the robustness of the spray pattern. A smooth even fan was achieved with numerous finish types and the unit completely atomized everything I threw at it. Now the one thing I didn’t test was latex paint. Honestly, I never really spray latex so its hard for me to offer an informed opinion. But when I ran some latex through the HV5000 in my previous review, the results seemed decent enough once the paint was thinned. So my assumption would be that with the more powerful 3-stage turbine, latex would be no problem at all.
The gun on the Earlex is very similar to the old model, but features a new hose connector. I am told it was re-tooled for greater longevity but I never really saw a problem with the old one. Regardless, once connected, the hose is secure and doesn’t fall out.
I have sprayed about 5 projects using this system with finishes including lacquer, water-based poly, shellac, and water-based dye. In general, I can safely say that this unit performs every bit as well as my $700 Fuji 3-stage turbine. And the HV6900 retails for $200 less at $499!
So how does it stack up to the other 3-stage turbines on the market? Well, the only unit I have extensive experience with is the Fuji, which I feel is on par with other similar units on the market. And generically-speaking, here are the things your extra money will get you:
- A more durable hose. A rubber hose will generally take a little more of a beating. The HV6900 hose is much improved over the HV5000 and appears to be made of a thicker plastic with a hard rubber coating, but its still not quite as good as a heavy-duty rubber hose. Now there is an optional 30′ super flex hose available for $129. Earlex says this upgraded hose is as strong as a standard rubber hose, with the added benefit of being lighter and more flexible. Pictured below are, from left to right, are hoses from the HV5000, the HV6900, and the Fuji Q3.
- A gun with more settings. The Earlex gun features only two controls: one for fluid and one for fan orientation. On my Fuji gun, I have an additional control for the size of the spray pattern and an air flow valve in the hose itself. I rarely touch either setting so I really don’t miss them on the Earlex.
- A little more psi. The HV6900 is rated at 5 psi, and comparable units (Fuji, Apollo, Campbell Hausfeld) are rated at 5.5 – 6.0 psi.
You’ll need to decide for yourself if the above things are worth the extra money. But if I were in the market for a new 3-stage turbine, I would buy the Earlex HV6900 and spend the extra $200 on things like new tips, cups and maybe even an extra gun.
As with all my reviews, you should always read through the comments section below. Our readers tend to add valuable insights that I either didn’t know about or didn’t think of. After all, I am NOT a professional reviewer. So to really get the full picture on a product, be sure to include these comments in your research.