Just getting started as a spray tan artist or maybe you’re in the market for a new gun? Let me lay out for you the differences between both plastic and metal applicator guns so that you can make the best purchase for your business!

Before we dive in, understand that the following reviews will only focus on spray tan guns themselves and not the entire spray tan machine (hose, turbine, filters, etc.) as a whole.

As we continue, also keep in mind it is possible you can purchase a spray tan machine with an quick connect hose that can accommodate either a metal or plastic gun. However, this will be completely dependent on what type of machine you purchase. You must do your own research to make sure both guns can be interchanged on the machines hose.

Without further ado, let’s break down the differences between metal and plastic applicators along with my honest insight on these five components: weight, price point, durability, spray pattern, and features.

Plastic Spray Tan Gun

Weight: If you are someone who fatigues easily or has sustained arm/wrist/hand injuries, a plastic gun is going to be best for you! Plastic guns run very light in weight.

Price Point: Plastic spray tan guns are typically less expensive than metal guns due to the materials used.

Durability: Most plastic spray tan guns have a plastic inner-needle, which tend to be thicker than what you would find in a metal spray tan gun. This means that the solution mist might not be as fine as what you would experience with a metal spray tan gun. In addition, plastic can be susceptible to melting if the gun itself overheats from the turbine being on for extended periods of time.

Spray Pattern: The spray pattern on plastic guns tend to run a bit narrow. This means it might take you longer to complete a full-body airbrush tan. It could mean that it’s easier for you to miss areas on the body during application. However, on the bright side, it also means that overspray will be much more minimal – which is a major selling point!

Features: Most plastic guns are not made with enhanced features, such as a contouring spray pattern option.

Plastic Spray Tan Gun Recommendations:

Metal Spray Tan Gun

Weight: Metal spray tan guns can be very weighted and can start to feel heavy on the arm/wrist/hand spray after spray.

Price Point: An investment on a metal spray tan gun can be more costly than what you will find for plastic spray tan guns.

Durability: Metal guns can withstand high volume appointment days due to the materials they are made with (stainless steel + handle coatings). While the stainless steel can become warm/hot if left on for extended periods of time, there will be no risk of overheating and/or melting due to the very durable stainless steel.

Spray Pattern: The fan width on a metal spray tan gun tends to run a bit wider (dependent on manufacturer and available gun settings), which will allow you to complete a full-body tan quickly as it can cover more surface area per pass. The downside to having a wide spray pattern is that you will be prone to more overspray

Features: Metal spray tan guns typically have more features and setting options than plastic applicators. From contour settings to spray tan pattern, these settings can often be changed.

Metal Spray Tan Gun Recommendations:

My verdict? Personally, I will always choose a metal applicator over plastic. They are able to handle a high volume of appointments per day and spray an ultra fine mist. Even though there is a bit more overspray than I would like, you can’t beat the quality! You can always invest in an extraction fan or extraction booth to help eliminate any airborne solution to keep your space (or a clients space) extra clean!

Clients have even remarked on the difference between my applications and the way the solution feels at it hits their skin with my Fuji 7350 Spray Tan Gun versus a plastic applicator that their previous artist works with. A great gun truly makes all the difference!

Good luck on your gun search, Bronze Boss – I hope this entry helps you to make the best decision possible for both you and your business!

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