Piston & Diaphragm Paint Pumps

Buy Rite Finishing proudly supplies quality Paint Pumps by WAGNER and C.A. TECHNOLOGIES!

The two most commonly used pumps for Fluid Handling are either Diaphragm Pumps or Piston Pumps, but just like everything else, there are pros and cons to each. Let us help you through the choices.



  • Piston Pumps can supply a higher amount of pressure, this is typically required when spraying out of an Air Assisted Airless Paint Gun, an Air Spray Paint Gun or if you are transferring fluids over long distances (for instance from a paint kitchen or remote location).
  • As part of a Piston Pump’s inherent design, it has valves that work to make sure that the material being pumped keeps a uniform flow.
  • Piston Pumps typically have an internal pressure regulator, in other words, they will only run when needed. This is important when it comes to maintenance of the wear items within the pump.
  • Piston Pumps are available in either electric or gas driven styles, which makes them ideal for on-site work.


  • Even though a Piston Pump cycles less often and suffers less wear & tear, they are more complex than a Diaphragm Pump and their repairs can oftentimes be more expensive.
  • Piston Pumps are not known for their ability to deliver large volumes of fluid.
  • Piston Pumps are more costly to purchase than Diaphragm Pumps, this is largely in part to their complex nature over a Diaphragm Pump.


  • Diaphragm Pumps are generally simplistic and their internal pathways are smaller, this makes them easier to clean out when switching colors or materials. It can also make a Diaphragm Pump the better choice when spraying small amounts of material.
  • The smaller displacement volumes of a Diaphragm Pump will result in a reduction of solvent consumption during flushing operations.
  • Because of their design, it is possible to attach a funnel or feeding method directly to the top of a Diaphragm Pump. A Piston Pump feeds from the bottom and requires more material in order to feed the pump.
  • A Diaphragm Pump is easier to disassemble and contains smaller parts, they are typically less expensive to maintain


  • Because Diaphragm Pumps don’t have internal regulators they are pumping continuously, this results in increased wear and tear and maintenance.
  • Diaphragm Pumps are primarily low pressure, therefore, they are not suitable for highly viscous materials. *

*Wagner has the only Hi Pressure Diaphragm Pump on the market, however, it is not recommended for use with highly viscous materials.

For questions or more information, email or call us at 888-647-9929.