I want to say this, too: I have replaced my own seals on the job. I have also taken the bottom half of the pump off to clear a clog on the job (I found a "paint skin" and put it all back together in 30 minutes.) But I'm not bad with a wrench and I believe that anyone can do anything. So…don't be afraid to work on an airless, they're just not as easy to work on as a conventional.
What To Buy?
Everyone wants to know which type of striping machine to buy. The answer is simple: Buy either one you want! They cost about the same. Both the conventional and airless striping machines certainly have a place in the market, but neither of them is the "be all…do all." They're just different.
But if you're in the market for a striping machine try this first: Call every good-sized paving contractor in your city. Why? Because I stripe for two different paving contractors and both of them have striping machines sitting in their shop. I could buy a machine from either contractor and pay half price.
Spray Tips Tip
Each spray tip has a tiny little slit of an orifice. If a flake of paint tries to get through it will clog and spray sideways. You'll hear some contractors say "just turn the tip around and pull the trigger!" Where? On my parking lot? SPLAT.
Instead, be wise and don't move the machine. Simply turn the tip around and bump the trigger for a split second. Turn the tip back and pick up where you left off. But that gets old. The best solution is to buy an in-line filter. I did. Now I don't have any clogs and I never strain paint. Done.
Dan Zurcher, owner/operator of American Striping Company, owns and operates both conventional and airless striping machines. In addition to writing "How I Stripe a Parking Lot…16 Years…By Myself," Dan has produced numerous "how-to" striping videos, offers his "Mr. Box" Kit for stripers, and distributes stencils and other striping-related products through http://www.americanstriping.com.