HTE or HVLP: Is HVLP spray gun better than HTE?

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The transfer efficiency of 90% is a lot more than the transfer efficiency of 65%. That is where HTE gets a better result than HVLP. Moreover, the air pressure is significantly lower in HTE.

It means you can use the High Transfer Efficiency spray gun at lower air pressure and with better transfer efficiency. In addition, the High Volume Low-Pressure spray gun lacks a smooth finish on the painted surface.

However, the HVLP gun still hits with more paint on the panel compared to the conventional one. You should stay with us to know about more the differences between these two spray guns.

HVLP spray gun better than HTE

What is better: HTE or HVLP?

Which spray gun works with a better transfer efficiency? Which gun needs less air pressure or which one provides a better-painted finish on the panel? Answering these questions is enough to decide which one is better between HTE and HVLP.




Transfer efficiency


70% to 90%

Air pressure

10 psi to 30 psi

10 psi to 18 psi


High volume

Comparatively low volume


Rough finish on the panel

Smooth finish on the panel


Less than conventional

Less than HVLP


Slightly over sprays

Doesn't overspray

Environmental friendly option

Better than conventional


Which spray gun has better transfer efficiency?

HVLP spray gun comes with a transfer efficiency of 65%, whereas HTE has a transfer efficiency of 70% to 90%. The newly introduced gun provides a better transfer efficiency to paint the panel.

Meanwhile, the transfer efficiency means the amount of paint put on the surface efficiently. And in this category, HTE as the name suggests does a better job.

What about the air pressure?

From the higher air pressure of conventional spray guns, HVLP and HTE have lowered pressure down to 10 psi. However, you can have a better performance from most of the HVLP guns at 30 psi pressure.

Meanwhile, HTE works with an air pressure ranging from 10 psi to 18 psi. This means you are supposed to get better performance from the HTE gun compared to the HVLP regarding the air pressure.

Higher volume: HVLP or HTE?

According to the name, HVLP has a higher volume than HTE. Even though both these guns are better than conventional ones, HTE does a much better job here.

The reason why HTE is the winner here is that you will notice a crappy finish on the panel after putting paint from the HVLP gun. And the result is because of the higher volume.

Which gun creates a smoother finish on the panel?

Painters often look to have a perfect finish on the painted panel, but do often they get it? If they go for the High volume spray gun, then it’s impossible to get the smoothness on the surface.

Due to the use of higher volume, the painted panel remains rough. On the other hand, using the high transfer efficiency, HTE makes a smoother painted panel.

Which gun is more environmentally friendly?

Both these guns are environmentally friendly as they don't produce any smoke or waste material like the conventional ones.

What is an HTE spray gun?

HTE stands for High Transfer Efficiency. As the name indicates, the gun provides a better transfer efficiency than the predecessor spray guns. According to our research team, it can efficiently transfer 70% to 90% of paint on the surface.

  • Works with 10 psi to 18 psi air pressure.
  • High transfer efficiency of 70% to 90%.
  • There isn’t any wasted material on the panel.
  • Puts a smoother finish on the painted surface.
  • There is no chance of overspray.

A better transfer efficiency means, more paint hits the painted surface or panel of the total paint. Therefore, it hits at least more than two-third of the total paint available in the gun.

After a long research session on HTE spray guns, we’ve found that the transfer efficiency ratio here is way better than both HVLP and conventional spray guns.

It's an environmentally friendly option as the gun doesn't leave any waste or create smoke while painting. The majority of the paint hits the panel and ensures a smoother painted surface.

Moreover, the gun requires comparatively less air pressure and volume than both conventional and HVLP spray guns.

What is HVLP spray gun?

After the conventional spray gun started to create a huge amount of waste paint, the solution came as an HVLP spray gun. HVLP stands for High Volume Low Pressure. It offers twice the transfer efficiency as the conventional one.

  • It works with 10 psi to 30 psi air pressure.
  • Moderate transfer efficiency of 65%.
  • More paint material hits the panel.
  • Less material is wasted.
  • A higher volume of paint is required.
  • It leaves an extra layer of paint.
  • Doesn’t make a smoother painted surface.
  • More effective paint for heavy equipment.

Compared to the conventional spray gun, the air pressure has significantly gone down in the HVLP gun making it an environment-friendly option. It can paint the panel at 10 psi air pressure.

However, most of these guns give the best result at 30 psi. Meanwhile, just as the name indicates the gun requires a higher volume that comes with a downgraded result as well. 

Instead of a smoother finish like the HTE gun, the painted panel remains rough with an extra painted layer.

Pros and Cons of HTE spray gun

From the above discussion, it’s fair enough to say that HTE is better than HVLP in all the sectors of spray gun painting. And here are the reasons why most painters think that it’s a better choice.

  • Higher transfer efficiency up to 90%.
  • A much better air pressure ranging from 10 to 18 psi.
  • Never leaves an extra layer on the panel.
  • A smoother finish.
  • Don't waste any paint due to smoke.

If you ask me whether there is any downgrade of this spray gun? My simple answer will be there isn’t any.

Pros and Cons of HVLP spray gun

HVLP spray gun is better than conventional guns but still a lot less efficient than HTE. The main reason why this gun is lagging behind is because of the higher volume and rough finish on the painted panel.

  • Here are the pros of this spray gun:
  • It has better air pressure than a conventional one.
  • 65% transfer efficiency is better than the conventional one.
  • More paint hits the panel.
  • An environmentally friendly option.
  • Doesn’t waste much of the paint.

However, it does have a lot of cons as well that are worth knowing.

  • Requires a higher volume.
  • Doesn’t smooth the painted surface.
  • Transfer efficiency is less than HTE one.
HVLP spray gun

Conventional spray guns vs. HVLP vs. HTE

You have already known in which sectors both HVLP and HTE collide and which one of these two is better than the other. However, conventional is the first spray gun that came up with a lot of drawbacks.

The following chart may provide an idea about the upgrades that have come from conventional to HVLP guns and HTE guns.

Conventional spray gun

HVLP spray gun

HTE spray gun

30% of transfer efficiency or less

65% of transfer efficiency

70% to 90% of transfer efficiency

40 psi to 75 psi air pressure 

10 psi to 30 psi air pressure

10 psi to 18 psi air pressure

Over sprays a lot

Better than conventional spray

Almost no over spraying

Creates fog and waste of materials

No wastage of materials 

No wastage of materials

Not environmental-friendly



The biggest problem with conventional guns is having less transfer efficiency, which is more than half of HVLP and one-third of HTE guns.

Again, having a high amount of air pressure creates a fog around the painted panel that affects the surrounding.

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