Paint rollers and particularly power rollers have become ubiquitous in the home improvement and general painting industry as the preferred choice for those looking to make quick work of a room or area. Not only are they becoming more and more popular, but they are a very affordable alternative to paint sprayers for many easy painting jobs.
Paint Roller Origin
Paint rollers have a fascinating backstory with a man named David Welt was sent on a basic errand to go and retrieve business cards for his father’s painting service way back in 1938. It was within the confines of that shop that he saw the metal printing press rolling ink on the cards and had the ingenious idea that if a machine can do it then his father should be able to roll paint in the same way in order to facilitate a smoother and quicker job for his customers.
It was back at their home that a makeshift conglomeration of a bent piece of steel, wooden dowel, and carpet was combined in order to create the first paint roller of its kind.
This early variation was best used for covering up brush strokes which often plagued paint jobs by the handymen who used brushes to cover the area. This “stippling” led to the American Roller Stippler Company. This company eventually fizzled out, but modern technology has now created a whole new market for power paint rollers such that the paint is dispensed through the depression of a trigger on the handle such that there is no longer the necessity to return to the paint tray in order to receive a refill.
This article will look at the best power rollers on the market today in 2017 in order to provide consumers with the necessary information to make the best investment in this very useful piece of equipment.
Best Power Roller – Top Picks
Power Roller Reviews – The Best Power Rollers
1. Wagner Smart Side Kick Power Roller
** Editor’s Choice – Best Power Roller **
This Wagner model is another one from the smart line of products which is also at the top of the game when it comes to replacing manual rollers with something with a little more power. There is a direct feed from the paint can with a quick attach arm which is able to mount on the top of anything from a 1 gallon can to a 5-gallon container.
- An auto-feed control means that the system does most of the work in keeping a consistent stream for even coverage and the most minimal amount of mess.
- Cleaning up is also a breeze with the entire disassembly and washing able to be done in about 10 minutes time.
- Included 9-inch x 3 / 8-inch nap for best use on smooth surfaces
- Direct feed systems eliminate any need for a tray
- No paint tray needed as it pulls directly from an attached paint can
- Smooth or rough options through the incorporation of two special rollers
- Good price for the product
The primary drawback of this unit is that it might not be able to fit other roller sizes as well as some customers reporting some leaking issues. Besides that, the Wagner is one of the best cheap paint rollers on the market with good functionality and positive reviews in general.
Wagner paint rollers are a top name in the business and they have quite a few models that exceed the competition. This model makes it easy to cover large areas such as family rooms, hallways and ceilings in very little time at all with all of the convenience of a power roller. As with most Wagner products, there is also a wide range of available accessories for putting the perfect touch on the painting job.
One drawback is that it only works well with the included 18-inch extension such that tasks like painting a ceiling from a position on the floor can be quite an issue. However, overall this is the best roller on the market. Just like Wagner paint sprayers, the Wagner power roller is a quality product backed by great customer service that Wagner always offers to its customers.
2. AdirPro Electric Power Roller
** Best Budget Power Roller **
AdirPro is a growing name across the spectrum of home improvement tools and devices, and they have added their name to the top of the painting business as well. An even and consistent coat is easily applied with the paint issuing from the long supply hose that assists with mobility and getting into a variety of places without having to worry about setting up again. The entire system is drip-less and can be cleaned up in less than ten minutes so that more work time is spent on the actual job rather than the post-game show that is the cleanup.
- 9″ inch soft paint roller brush with a 16′ paint tube
- A flow rate of 450ml per minute at 45 watts power
- Pulls directly from the paint can source
- Near perfect reviews from its customers
- Use with water-based paints only
- Very affordable with prices under $75
One of the only drawbacks of the AdirPro Electric Power Roller is that it can only be used with water-based paints. Since the Wagner model listed above can handle both oil and latex coatings this may be a deciding factor for those needing to work with a variety of paints. For those looking to save money and using water-based paint only, this can be an affordable power roller and also high quality.
3. Black & Decker Pro Electric Power Paint Roller
This Black & Decker provides many of the same advantages that the other power rollers deliver such as mobility with the 20-ft hose which allows for a 40-ft work area. It also incorporates an innovative design feature which is termed paint saver since unused paint is easily pumped back into the attached can at the end of a job. Cleanup is a cinch and will allow for large areas to be covered with the convenience and professionalism that customers have come to expect from their painters.
- 16-inch extension handle for reaching those out of way areas
- Spatter shield which prevents a mess on the floor and walls while painting
- Includes a roller keeper for convenient storage of a wet roller
- Great customer service and warranty from Black & Decker
While we feel that the Black & Decker is a quality product, many professional painters avoid using anything, Black & Decker. This product is very useful for “weekend warriors” or those just painting a small area as it will get the job done at a fraction of the price of a paint sprayer.
Paint Sprayers vs. Power Rollers Debate
Pros of Using a Power Roller to paint
– Usually much cheaper than a paint roller
– Great for flat continuous painting, such as walls and flat ceilings
– Lightweight and easy to use
Cons in the Power Roller vs. Paint Sprayer debate
– Can’t paint different surfaces, can’t use on cabinets and other projects with different textures
– More time consuming than a paint sprayer
– Not very effective with thicker paints
– More streaking and dripping of paint
Why Use a Power Roller instead of a Paint Sprayer?
While I am a huge fan of paint sprayers for almost any type of paint job, power rollers do have a purpose and I feel that they are an effective tool in the painting industry. If I ever hire any of my students to do work or if I only have the use of one paint sprayer, I will often use a power roller to paint the easy parts of my job, to save the use of my paint sprayer.
Any type of flat surfaces such as interior walls and ceilings are best suited for a power roller as you can quickly get through the paint job without the cleanup and reloading of paint that many paint sprayers require. More and more painting professionals have used power rollers and large companies such as Wagner and Black & Decker have made power rollers available at a low cost for the customer.
Power Roller vs Non-Powered Roller
Overall, power rollers are the ideal investment to mostly eliminate the use of brushes in so many of the conditions that painters encounter nowadays. There are other rollers which can hold paint within the handle, but without the power aspect, they are not going to be as good of a choice for someone needing to deliver a heavy duty paint job. They still require an amount of manual refilling which can be a hassle in itself and add to both the cleanup and labor expenditures.
All of the above models operate from a general power outlet such that batteries are not required for operation. All of the tools needed can be purchased in one package by getting one of these power rollers online so that the painter’s arsenal is complete and ready to tackle any task that might be placed before him. There is no reason not to have one of these in the toolbox.
Wrap Up on Power Roller Reviews
The general consensus from this reviewer as well as a host of customer reviews is that the first one mentioned above (the Wagner Smart Roller) is the paragon of power roller performance and convenience. Hours of labor and painting hassle can be saved with this model and the variable speed is perfect for preventing drips and providing the right finish no matter with what speed the user is capable of applying the coating.
Some of the units that do not have such a variable adjustment will have to rely on the user to paint with a concentrated and steady rate of application to avoid such issues. Rough and smooth textures can both be achieved with the Wagner Smart Roller so that it is an excellent way to provide a great touch to the area which will leave customers impressed and happy with the results.