This video covers my initial impressions and experience with the Earlex Spray Station 5000, an HVLP turbine. To sum up, I thought the Earlex did a darn good job spraying pretty much everything I put in it, including oil-based poly, water-based finishes, lacquer, and latex paint. I would probably recommend purchasing some of the smaller tip sets though, since they will increase performance on the water-based stuff. The 5000 does lack some of the spray controls typically found in higher-priced 3 and 4-stage units, but sometimes those extra features are just unnecessary. I found the simplicity of the unit to be refreshing. In fact, there were a few occasions where I needed to spray and I found myself gravitating to the Earlex primarily because of its simplicity. Now the unit has only been in my possession for about a month so I can’t comment on its longevity. But from what I’ve seen so far, I think the Earlex represents what many of you are looking for: a low-cost way of getting into the spraying game, without scarifying the quality of your finish.
***UPDATE (10/5/09)*** Its been well over a year since I first used the Earlex and I am still very happy with the unit. I have sprayed everything from water-based to lacquer and many variations of stains and dyes and the performance has been excellent. I did have a problem with the gun at one point, when the small nut that holds the lid to the gun actually cracked. One phone call resulted in an immediate replacement and I was back in business in no time. My concerns about the longevity of the unit were based on the housing being primarily plastic, and the hose being a little stiffer and “cheaper” than I was used to. As a result, I diligently wrap the hose up after every use and I am careful not to step on it. Taking these precautions, I have had absolutely no problems with the hose. This unit is still a highly-recommended purchase.