List of different Spray Caps

This is one of the most complete spray cap list online (to my knowledge). The second one was the Ultimate Graffiti Buyer’s Guide (original site offline since 2012). The descriptions refer to caps on 94 cans; Usually this is the same except for mtn HC cans which often produce a different dot pattern.

Thanks layup for the caps!

For a can list see here.

April 2024: New caps finally tested! (Including the MTN Skinny Cream)

January 2018: CMC Jiffy, CMC Wally added. Again, thanks to Bombing Science for sending the caps!
Also added: Hardcore Medium, Hardcore Fat.

March 2017: Lego, Royal, Smoky, Wing Cap added (to be tested). Thanks to Bombing Science for the caps!

January 2016: Details about Skinny Gold/Grey/Black and Rusto Fat added.

August 2011: Several caps added. Beige Dot, NY Thin, Skinny Pro black/grey, golden cap (name unknown), Ironlak caps (Sharp Shooter, Widow Maker, Cyclone), Montana Germany caps (Level 1–6). Many descriptions added.

Table of Contents

Differences between caps

What are the differences between different caps?

Hardness differences. The Universal (top) produces hard edges, whereas the 94 is more center-weighed with softer edges.
When spraying a line, the edges can be very hard (e.g. with a Universal cap on ironlak), or they can fade out and look fuzzy. The caps that produce the softest lines are usually referred to as Softcap and have blue dots.
Caps that produce hard lines are good for outlining. For hazes and shadings, softer caps are generally preferred.
Spraying from the same distance with a NY Thin and a NY Fat will result in a much wider dot for the NY Fat. This also defines the minimum width of a line.
Caps which produce wide dots are called Fat Caps.
Reaction time
The Skinny Pro reacts quickly: When you stop spraying, the paint stops flowing. This does not necessarily need to be the case; The Super Skinny Gold, for example, continues expelling paint for half a second or so.
Dot pattern
The dot pattern is the pattern that is produced when spraying on a single point from medium distance. Most caps show a circle with a dot in the center (the NY Fat is a very beautiful example for this). Other caps, like the Astro Fat, rather produce rectangles with a dot in the center, and some few like the 94 cap have no outer circle at all.
Or Quality. For some caps you can grab a handful and every cap will produce a slightly different pattern (see the video about the alternative Banana Yellow linked in its description). Others always look the same. Consistency may be important if you rely on the pattern, e.g. for visual effects.[1]
Some caps only work on certain cans. More precisely: Some caps only worked on the original mtn Hardcore (not the current Hardcore 2) which is not available anymore. Note that only the brands in the can list have beend tested; I guess these caps work on Rustoleum as well. These are highlighted in the list below. The reason is the stem diameter; For ordinary caps it is around 3.3 mm, whereas the “incompatible” caps are at 3.5 mm.[2]
Caps, as well as some manufacturers, come and go. No longer available caps are highlighted too.

Cap dots

My new 2024 hobby: Opening them

The dot is where paint exits after entering the cap through the slit and following the internal path to the dot. What happens in the dot is that paint is guided by the (usually four) furrows from the outside to the center where leaves the cap through the hole in the dot.

The furrows are not pointing directly to the opening in the middle, instead they „miss“ it, which causes paint to rotate in a controlled manner before it shoots out, a bit like in a tornado.

This rotation helps to reach an even, circular output pattern. If the lines were straight, the paint would move rather randomly before exiting, causing an inpredictable output pattern.

Most dots are either the first two versions (fat caps) or the second two versions (thin caps). The only different cap I opened so far is the mtn Skinny Cream with 3 instead of 4 furrows, which I liked because it reminds of the mtn logo -- but this may be coincidence.

Given the low variability in dots, I wonder whether most caps mostly differ in colour and not in actual behaviour, as many of them feel quite identical.

A note about temperature

Say hello to Winter

It is not just for fun that manufracturers give a minimum operating temperature. Lower temperature has several effects:

Therefore two hints when spraying with low-pressure cans in low temperatures:

Thin Caps

Produce very thin lines

The stem of skinny or normal caps is either a small slit or a hole. Here: Skinny Pro black

These thin or skinny caps produce fine lines and are mainly made for detail work. The disadvantage is that they clog quicker that fatter caps (especially if the can was not shaken well enough before).

Standard Caps

General purpose, for filling and outlining

Most caps have a medium line width. The difference between them is sometimes so small that it is hardly even recognizeable.

Soft Caps

Sharp lines? Fotget about this

For stencils, highlights, and other effects

Fat Caps

Fill quickly

Fatcap stems have a much wider slit than skinny caps. Here: Pink dot black

Ideal for filling large areas.

Most fat caps have two «modes» and produce a narrow line when only pressed down carefully (low output mode) and a wider one when pressed down completely (high output mode). But not all – Ironlak’s NY Fat has no difference.

See Pink Dot, Astro Fat, and Silver Super Fat on vimeo.

Special Caps

Because they are different

Calligraphy caps produce a pattern that is much higher than wide – like a calligraphy pen.

The stencil cap is for very thin lines. Absolutely use a thin outline cap on it since the rest of the paint will just be kept back by the stencil cap. With a fat cap you will have a sea of paint there in no time.

Needle Caps are good for … what? They expel too much paint for working closely, and the line looks like paint splashed on the wall otherwise.

and references

Cap lists:

References and more:

  1. ^ Annotation: I often work with mtn 94. They are quite consistent; however, a low percentage (perhaps two amongst 100) are «bad». One cap I recently had produced a pattern similar to the one from a calligraphy cap.
  2. ^ On current cans, the hole only accepts stem diameters of 3.3 mm. Original Hardcore cans have larger holes, which might also be the reason why they sometimes leak with the normal caps.