Professional Spray Gun Anatomy (Functional Components Guide)

The last thing you want to do is invest in a paint sprayer and not be able to operate it properly. By not having the knowledge needed, you will struggle to perform your tasks to the best of your ability.

It is therefore imperative that you learn the anatomy and terminology of the professional spray gun. Having a full understanding of the inner workings will help you to use the gun to the best of your capability.

Before you begin your next paint project, let’s take a look at the basic components and parts so you can do a top-notch job.

Professional Spray Gun Anatomy

professional spray gun

Air Inlet

This is the point where the air will enter into the gun. Air will mix with the liquid through this as the cheater valve is in control of the air flow.

Cheater Valve

Controlling the entry of air, this valve will open or shut off its gate to make way for smooth passage of air to mix with liquid.

Plunger Rod

This rod-like part allows the valve to be opened so that the air can pass through seamlessly.


The trigger is obviously the most important part of your sprayer gun. Your sprayer functions simply by pulling this part. It is connected with the plunger rod, nozzle, needle, and valves in order to maintain a proper working function to your unit.

When you pull the trigger, the plunger rod will become depressed. Then, the airflow will start to move through the unit. Pulling this trigger will make the needle active and the air flow will work its way to the air cap. The needles allow for the paint liquid to flow through the nozzle.

spray gun components

Fluid Inlet

This is the area where your spraying materials will enter into the gun. Then, they will be pushed through the spray gun onto the object you wish to spray. The amount of liquid flowing through your gun will depend upon the air pressure and the intensity with which you are pulling the trigger.


The end point of your sprayer gun is the nozzle. This is where your materials will exit the gun. The nozzle is connected to the needle. On most spray guns, this needle is adjustable to allow for different shapes and widths.

Spray guns such as the Wagner Control Spray Double Duty Paint Sprayer allow for vertical, horizontal and even circular fan patterns to be achieved on your project.

Needle tips come in different sizes as well. For example, the Graco Magnum X5 offers a 0.015mm spray tip that is reversible to prevent clogging. On the higher end of models like the Magnum ProX19, you can increase your needle size up to 0.019mm.


Spray guns contain a variety of valves inside the components. Each has a different purpose and will control a separate portion of the sprayer. There are valves for functions such as air pressure and liquid pressure adjustments.

Utilize Your Manual

Another way for you to get accustomed to your spray gun is to read thoroughly through the manuals that are provided for you.

All paint sprayers come complete with a comprehensive user manual. These will identify the various parts of your spray gun as well as offer helpful instructions on the best use.


When you take the time to understand the unit you are working with, you only set yourself up for great success in your projects. Before you begin painting, allow yourself the time to become accustomed to the various parts of your spray gun.

It would even help if you took some time to practice spraying leftover materials or cardboard boxes. This will give you a feel for the proper usage of your spray gun before you start on your object to be sprayed. Then, you will be capable of producing high-quality work in a fraction of the time.

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