The New 3M™ Performance Spray Gun Advantage Changing the Industry

Oct. 1, 2022

How the increased transfer efficiency of the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun can help save shop owners time and money.

good product is designed to solve a problem. A great product resolves far more problems than just one.

The 3M™ Performance Spray Gun was released late 2020 after over a decade of development. With the goal to provide painters with a high-quality and time-saving spray gun, it began to drastically increase efficiency for painters. The design of the new tool makes the clean-up and maintenance process undoubtedly faster(paint never flows directly through the gun). But after being introduced to the market, another advantage of the spray gun soon became apparent. Yet again changing the refinishing game.

“This discovery has been fascinating for 3M—you can imagine our excitement,” Corey Munn, Global Paint Applications Segment Senior Manager at 3M, says. “This is game-changing to the industry and is going to enable efficiency and liquid application never imagined.”

The Efficiency Discovery 

During the time of the launch, a longtime 3M customer and independent shop owner on the West Coast purchased a 3M™ Performance Spray Gun and passed it along to his painter. After some experience with the spray gun, the painter began to notice that there was more paint left in the 3M™ PPS™ cup than normal. Because of this discovery, the painter approached his shop owner and proposed the idea of mixing less paint for each job. Considering the coverage and quality was consistent with past spray guns, they began to do just that.

By the end of the month, the owner started seeing a reduction in their liquid cost-per-refinish. This reduction then began to directly result in an improvement in his paint material profit. Because of this, the owner bought two more 3M™ Performance Spray Guns and encouraged his painter to begin using them across other coating stages. By the end of the next month, he realized a 12 percent reduction in his liquid cost-per-refinish—an extraordinary advantage for the shop and the industry as a whole.  3M notes that actual results may vary among body shops.

Officially Tested and Verified 

The transfer efficiency advantage of the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun sent shockwaves through the industry. 3M began to further test the efficiency of paint use  with shops, paint companies, and painters around the world. 

“We're finding that the transfer efficiency in the design of the 3M ™ Performance Spray Gun is directly driving the liquid efficiency in the application,” Munn says. “As painters start mixing less, shops are seeing a beneficial impact to the paint material profits with better coverage.”

During development, 3M had the 3M ™ Performance Spray Gun tested by a third-party for transfer efficiency using the EN 13966-1 standard. According to the testing performed by Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation in Stuttgart, Germany, the spray gun has a transfer efficiency of 78 percent with a waterborne automotive basecoat. This result, along with competitive testing, gave the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun the highest transfer efficiency among leading HVLP metal spray guns.

“Transfer efficiency” equates to the amount of material—in this case, paint—that is effectively used on the job,” Munn explains. 

Making the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun the highest transfer efficiency among leading HVLP spray guns.

Take On the Challenge

Because the realization about the transfer efficiency savings is new to many painters, 3M is getting in front of painters and proving just how well it works with a simple and easy test. 

“The Coating Consumption and Application Efficiency Test is a very simple demonstration where painters run a test comparing the liquid-use from their current spray equipment, versus what's possible with the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun,” Munn explains.

“The Coating Consumption and Application Efficiency challenge helps owners and painters discover how much their spray equipment is costing their team in liquid efficiency. And looking at liquid efficiency can radically change how paint equipment is viewed”, says Munn.

“With the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun, we're able to provide painters with a tool that has a transfer efficiency capability which may help reduce the amount of paint they mix while obtaining the same or better coverage,” he says.  There are both economic and environmental benefits to using spray equipment with a high transfer efficiency.

[3M would like to hear from you.  Share your experiences with the 3M™ Performance Spray Gun by tagging @3MCollision on social media, or if you are interested in learning more and discovering what liquid efficiencies may be possible for you: please take the Coating Consumption and Application Efficiency Test or visit to discuss further with a 3M representative.