One day, you finally finish setting up your drywall lining in your new home. And although you’re satisfied with your work, you know you still have a lot more to do – it’s time to apply paints and textures to your walls and ceilings! But to do this, you need a texture gun. After brief research, you stumble upon the one from Harbor Freight. Can the good reviews be trusted or should you stay away from this company?
We prepared this article to teach you the following about the Harbor Freight texture gun:
- What it is
- 5 pros of using it
- 5 cons of using it
- Whether you should buy it or not
What is the Harbor Freight Texture Gun
The Harbor Freight texture gun is a type of tool designed to help you apply textured finishes to walls and ceilings. People most commonly use it to cover drywall surfaces. However, it works just as well for plaster and other types of materials.
The gun comes with a hopper that holds your desired texture. Once you plug in the air compressor, you can use it to spray the text evenly across your wall or ceiling. Thus, the Harbor Freight Texture gun appeals to many home renovators and DIY enthusiasts.
The main appeal of using models from Harbor Freight lies in their accessibility – they’re both cheap and easy to use. This makes them the perfect option for everyday use, especially if you don’t want to spend big money on a simple painting tool.
But although the gun holds mostly positive reviews, it’s not without its flaws. We’ll discuss these in the following sections.
What we like about the Harbor Freight Texture Gun: 5 pros
The Harbor Freight texture gun is praised for its great value for money. Customers give it mostly positive reviews and we can confirm that the gun does have its charms. You’d be amazed at what you can do with spending just so little money.
Here are 5 pros of using the Harbor Freight texture gun:
1) It’s very cheap compared to competitors
No matter what product you’re hunting for, your budget will always be your main priority. And when it comes to the Harbor Freight Texture Gun, we have good news. Most models are extremely cheap, costing little more than $10.
This makes it perfect for everyday use. Unless you’re working on a project of a professional scale, you’ll do just fine relying on this gun.
2) Great value for money
Who knew so little money could lead to such great results? The Harbor Freight texture guns do exactly what it’s supposed to do. It responds well and sprays textures evenly. While it can’t compete with professional-grade tools, it more than exceeded our expectations considering the cheap price.
The Harbor Freight texture gun is more than capable of handling most of your projects, regardless of the scale. It’s also the perfect first gun to buy – even if you’re new to using it and end up breaking it, you won’t lose that much money.
3) It’s beginner-friendly
Another appeal of the Harbor Freight texture gun is the ease of use. Since the company specializes in making tools for casual home renovation, its products are designed to be beginner-friendly. We can confirm that using this gun feels very natural. You’ll have no issues using it even if you have no experience with these types of guns.
This gun is also perfect for grasping the basic principles behind texture guns. Once you learn how to use it, you’ll be able to work with more professional models much more easily.
4) It’s a versatile choice
The Harbor Fright texture gun can apply textures on many different types of surfaces. These include plaster, paint, and drywall. Apart from spraying textures, you can also use it to apply paints and primers.
Most gun models come with more than just one nozzle. This allows you to change the size and therefore the shape of your texture.
5) It’s lightweight
Texture guns are typically made of metal. However, the ones from Harbor Fright are made of plastic. This makes them much more lightweight. Thus, you can use them for hours without getting tired. We recommend going with this gun especially if you plan to work long hours on your projects.
What we didn’t like about the Harbor Freight Texture Gun: 5 cons
No product is flawless – not even the Harbor Freight texture gun. Despite its positive reviews, we did find some issues with it. Whether these matter or not depends on what kind of project you’re working on. We recommend reading the list of downsides so you can make an educated decision about buying this texture gun.
Here are the 5 cons of using the Harbor Freight texture gun:
1) It’s not very durable
The Harbor Freight texture gun is very lightweight thanks to its plastic framework. However, can be a double-edged sword. Plastic can’t compete with the durability of metals. As a result, it will likely not last you very long. Some of the guns we tested broke down just after three uses.
But the issue doesn’t end with just physical durability. Sometimes, your DIY projects may call for thinners and other additives. When you mix these chemicals into your texture, you risk damaging your Harbor Freight gun. The solvents can attack the plastic and dissolve it over time. Thus, we recommend against buying this gun if you plan on using products such as thinners.
2) It can be tough to maintain
Many users complain about cleaning the Harbor Freight texture guns. This is another issue that we can confirm. Textures are designed to dry naturally in the air. Thus, some bits will thicken inside the gun. This can be a nightmare to clean.
And while most texture guns are tough to maintain, the one from Harbor Freight is even trickier. This is once again because it’s made of plastic. While you can clean the metallic linings easily, the texture clings stubbornly to most of the plastic parts.
This can lead to a much bigger issue. Poor maintenance will result in a clogged gun which reduces its lifespan.
3) You need to buy additional parts
Although this is no big news to veteran DIY enthusiasts, it can come off as a surprise to beginners. The Harbor Freight texture gun is a handle, not a standalone tool. It won’t work without an air compressor. Thus, you may need to spend much more money on a compressor if you don’t already own one.
This might feel pointless if you plan to use it only once or twice. And it often really is. In this case, we recommend renting an air compressor along with a texture gun. Although it still costs some money, it’s much more economical than buying something you’ll only use once in your life.
4) It doesn’t spray very far
Another problem with the Harbor Freight texture gun is its short range. While this won’t affect most users, it can be an issue if you need to work with high ceilings or unreachable walls.
More expensive models typically operate with much better pressure, which allows them to spray texture farther. Depending on your project, you may need to consider other options instead.
5) It can be quite noisy
Although all texture guns use an air compressor to function, the noise levels differ from one model to another. It usually depends on the quality of the materials your gun is made of. Since the Harbor Freight texture gun is made of plastic, it doesn’t filter noise very well. While you can protect yourself from noise by using mufflers, you can’t remove it from an environment. This can lead to noise complaints if you live in an apartment.
The Harbor Freight Texture Gun – Final Verdict
The Harbor Freight texture gun is a reliable model designed for everyday use. Whether it’s good or not depends on your specific needs.
This gun’s main selling points are affordability and great value for money. It costs only about $10, making it one of the most economical choices on the market. It functions exceptionally well considering the price.
It’s very beginner-friendly, meaning you’ll be able to use it even if you never held one before. The plastic body makes it very light as well.
The Harbor Freight texture gun is versatile as well. Thus, you can use it for most of your DIY projects.
However, it’s not without its flaws. Since it’s made of plastic, it will likely break very soon. If you need to apply a lot of textures, you’re better off with a different model.
It can be tricky to clean as well. This is because the dried texture gets stuck inside the body. If it clogs the hopper, it may stop working entirely.
But most importantly, we don’t recommend buying it if you need to work with hard-to-reach areas. The Harbor Freight gun doesn’t reach very far, and you may find out you can’t use it for your projects.
You’ll need to buy an air compressor as well, which could be a big investment. If you’re working on a one-time project, you’re better off renting it along with a better texture gun.
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