Gravity Feed vs Conventional (Siphon) Feed Spray Guns
When selecting a spray gun you have a choice between gravity feed (cup on the top) and conventional feed (cup on the bottom). It is really a misnomer to call a conventional feed spray gun “siphon feed” because that term has a specific meaning. However, using the term “siphon feed” often communicates “cup on the bottom” to many technicians. This article discusses the differences between siphon feed and gravity feed spray guns.
Gravity & Siphon Feed Spray Guns: A Brief History
Conventional feed guns were the first to be widely used in auto body repair. Until the advent of HVLP (high volume low pressure), all conventional feed spray guns were siphon feed. One of the oldest and most reliable brands for siphon feed guns is DeVilbiss (they make great gravity feed guns, too).
In the 1980s, gravity feed spray guns came into wide use and their popularity has overtaken the use of conventional feed spray guns. Painters have begun to favor them over conventional feed guns and the introduction of HVLP as a requirement by environmental laws made gravity feed the natural choice.