There are two predominant configurations of airless spray tips commonly available from most manufacturers these days. These two common configurations are either flat tips or reverse clean tips.
Another type of airless spray tip that is not seen as often these days is the adjustable airless spray tip.
Flat tips are usually the most economical to purchase and are usually fine to use provided the paint being sprayed is properly filtered so there are no spray tip blockages occurring. Reversible airless spray tips, although slightly more expensive, can save a lot of time if blockages are likely to occur. In most instances when an airless spray tip blockage occurs with a reversible airless spray tip the airless spray tip can be simply rotated 180°, the airless spray gun can be triggered quickly into an area that is not critical which clears the blockage, then the reversible tip is turned 180° back to the spray position and spray painting can continue.
The adjustable airless spray tip when blocked could usually be adjusted to a wider opening and then the spray gun triggered triggered to clear the blockage.
With any type of airless spray tip, be it a flat tip, reversible clean tip or adjustable tip safety guards must be fitted to the nut that secures the tip assembly to the airless spray gun to ensure spray gun operator safety.
Flat airless spray tips are usually a common diameter and should fit in any airless flat spray tip holder and a simple flat nylon gasket is usually employed between the flat tip and the face of the airless spray gun.
Reversible airless spray tips utilise a nut and safety guard along with a reversible tip seal which often incorporates more than one part together with the reversible tip cylinder. These reversible tip seal assemblies usually have a plastic section fitted to the end of the cylinder to form the shape of T which enables the reversible airless spray tip cylinder to be turned backwards and forwards for cleaning and spray painting.
In the early days of reversible airless spray tips each manufacturers design was unique requiring that specific manufacturers spray tip seal and tip body be used. Many airless spray tip manufacturers began to standardise so they had the same reversible airless spray tip cylinder size meaning manufacturer “A's” reversible tip would fit straight into manufacturer “B's and C's” reversible airless spray tip body.
Of late certain reversible airless spray tip manufacturers have began to revert back to using a different size reversible airless spray tip cylinder meaning their tips will not fit competitors spray tip bodies and competitors reversible airless spray tips will not fit these new bodies so it pays to check compatibility/interchangeability.