On the simpler side of the spray painting scene is this low-cost option from Critter Spray that functions as an attachment to compatible mason jars. The spray gun kit requires a compressor running at least 3 CFM at 90 PSI, so be prepared to be disappointed if you have an under-powered air compressor. On the plus side, the requirements are quite modest, so the chances of you not being able to meet this bare minimum requirement are slim. When attached to a mason jar it can spray stains, lacquers, paint, and other liquids with great accuracy. A starter mason jar and metal spray gun are included, which at first glance looks like a science project but is actually a very capable piece of equipment.
Other accessories include a tube, jar gasket, and instructions on how to get started. The included mason jar is 16 ounces and should be enough to get you on track, and when you graduate to bigger jars it can be adapted to fit those as well. Once again, a compressor is required and has to meet certain specs, and generally speaking if you adhere to a 3–4 horsepower minimum you’ll either meet or exceed the minimum requirements. The company decided to keep it simple with the settings and the only two adjustments available are for regulating the air supply and adjusting the height of the liquid nozzle. It’s hard to have a final opinion on this particular product, as the ease of use is incredibly welcoming but for a little bit more money you can get an entire spray gun kit that doesn’t require the use of a compressor. I think that this product fits a certain niche and has its place, and on the strength of that alone it’s worth looking at.
Is it Worth the Money?
If you look at it on a per-project basis, I would definitely say no without hesitation. The lack of control means that you can pretty much just point and paint and decide how much paint to spray at that particular moment but even then, it’s not as variable as you might think. The ½ to 2-½-inch circular pattern adjustment doesn’t make much of a difference. If you need to do a couple of spot checks in some hard-to-reach places then this is the item to get, since it doesn’t require a lot of lugging around or configuration.
Or maybe you want to cover an entire area in a base color with no special requirements, even then you can excel with this item. Regardless of how small the job is, the point is with the requirement of an air compressor you will always be restricted. On the other hand, if you were to get a spray gun station with the built-in turbine/compressor, you would have a lot less headache and could lug an entire spray station around like a toolbox.
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Where it Shines
Using two of these side by side with the air compressor or using another air tool with the Critter Spray is really enjoyable. Just judging by the amount of dual connection air compressors on the market, it seems this product was made for them, and if you look closely at the requirements it mirrors what many dual air compressors are listed as. The Critter Spray also works well with spot checks as mentioned before, especially on projects where the main concern isn’t painting but rather fixing up an area. Technically, this product is whisper quiet, since the only noise will come from the air compressor it’s attached to.
If what you’re trying to spray is too thick, you can always thin it out in order to make it spray properly. The manual has very clear instructions and tips like this to make the whole process as painless as possible. Make sure that when you’re purchasing extra mason jars for this that they are small mouthed, as wide-mouthed jars are not supported. Mason jars are cheap and plentiful and realistically you can get an entire set of them from the store for under 10 bucks. Cleaning this model is easier than any other spray painting tool you’ll own, and all you have to do is connect another sealer jar with thinner in it, shake it up a bit and spray it! This is the easiest spray painting setup you will ever use, and nothing else comes close in that regard.
It’s the most unique yet simplistic spray gun you will ever own, and at a very low price. If you don’t have a compressor then it’s a no brainer that this is not for you. There is no point in buying something that you’re not even going to be able to use without the related accessories. However, if you already own a compatible compressor and it has dual connections, then you might even want to buy two. There is nothing more thrilling than seeing two Critter Sprays side by side in harmony, doing what they were meant to do. It may not be the prettiest but it’s consistent, easy, and highly accessible to all skill levels. This is one of those products that not a lot of people will admit to loving, but is a great buy once you use it for your personal projects.