As with all of our reviews, we like to actually use the product and spend time with it before giving the thumbs up (or down). When Black & Decker asked us to try out their new Rapid Roller, I was happy to accept. Unfortunately I didn’t have any painting projects lined up, and I haven’t really been looking for them either. Can you guess that painting is not one of my favorite things? Well after weeks of dirty looks from the Rapid Roller, I used it for a project, and I really liked it. The Rapid Roller paints just fine, but that’s not what sold me. You’ll have to read on to find out why.
You Only Get One First Impression
Out of the box, the Rapid Roller is almost ready to use. There are a few pieces you need to connect, and if you read the manual, you’ll learn they suggest dabbing some petroleum jelly (included) to lubricate a few places. The Rapid Roller is similar to other products like the PaintStick in that it comes with a cover that snaps over a gallon of paint, and you suction the paint into the handle. As you work, pulling the trigger pushes paint to the roller enabling you to work faster. Unlike competitors products Black & Decker included a few innovative ideas that set the Rapid Roller apart from the rest.
This is the roller head assembly out of the box. That’s the paint can fill tube in the upper right.
Here’s a picture of the fill nozzle.
This is the flexible supply tube with hose clamps.
And here’s the ratcheting trigger that pumps more paint to the roller.
Kickstands- Not Just for Bikes
B&D added a nice little wire frame kickstand that keeps the roller up off the floor. When you need to take a break or grab another BEvERage, just flip the kickstand down and walk away. This is important because the only reason products like these enable you to work faster is by eliminating the paint tray. Without the paint tray, you need somewhere else to put the Rapid Roller and the kick stand solves that problem. The kickstand is nice, but that’s not what sold me on the Rapid Roller.
It Pivots Too
This is the first roller I’ve seen that pivots. By pressing the orange button on the roller head, you can rotate the angle between straight, 40° and 80°. I know it sounds gimmicky, and it’s not the sort of thing I’d use very often but it is handy when you’re painting those tough to reach corners. Again, this isn’t the feature that makes me want to recommend the Rapid Roller.
That orange button is the pivot lock.
The reason I really liked the Rapid Roller is because it was easy to clean. If you’ve ever used a similar product, you know how tough it is get every last bit of paint out after you’re done. When you’re finished painting with the Rapid Roller, you push the excess paint back into the can through the fill nozzle. Next, the entire things disassembles. The plunger can be removed from the handle. The flexible tubing disconnects when you squeeze the hose clamps. The roller head and fill nozzle can come apart. While disassembling the entire thing can be time consuming, it ensures that you won’t sabotage your next paint project.
These pictures were taken after using the rapid roller (with dark red paint) and then cleaning it up.
All together I really liked the Rapid Roller. I have no doubt that it makes painting faster, and it’s a good purchase for all you homeowners with a lot of paint projects coming up. As I said, the real benefit is how easy it cleans up. My only complaint, and it’s a small one, is that the flexible tubing could be eliminated if you ditch the pivoting head. I’d rather have fewer parts to clean and fewer parts that could potentially break. Make sure you buy perforated roller replacements, or you’ll have a fun mess to clean up. The Rapid Roller has an MSRP of $45 but you can find it on Amazon for about $30.
Do you have a Rapid Roller? What about a PaintStick? Are they worth the extra cleanup time?