Best Airbrush Compressors

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 19, 2019
Are you an artist who regularly uses airbrushing in your repertoire of painting techniques? If so, then you probably need a high-quality airbrush compressor to give you the best tool for airbrushing. Read on for our picks of 5 of the top models and find the best airbrush compressor for your needs. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Power
Air Flow
Pressure
Extras
Accessories
Weight
Warranty
 
PROS

The collapsible design of the guns makes it possible to quickly rinse all internal components under running water to get rid of paint residue. A set of 5 brushes will help to clean them without the use of special tools.

CONS

Included air hose is not very durable.

OUR VERDICT

This set includes all the necessary attributes to apply varnishes and paints in a quality manner, without leaving stains and smudges. A Water-Based Acrylic Airbrush Paint Kit (6 Colors in 1 oz. Bottles plus Reducer and Cleaner) will help you immediately test the tool in practice after assembly.

detailed parameters
Power

1/5 HP

Air Flow

~0.88 CFM

Pressure

Adjustable: 0 to 57 psi

Extras

Built-in carry handle, non-skid feet

Accessories

3 airbrush guns, 6-ft. air hose, airbrush holder, Water-Based Acrylic Airbrush Paint Kit (6 Colors in 1 oz. Bottles plus Reducer and Cleaner), cleaning brush set, color mixing wheel, complete color chart, airbrush guide

Weight

~8 lbs

Warranty

2 years

PROS

The case is equipped with dimensional ventilation openings, therefore, even with prolonged continuous operation of the compressor, the probability of its overheating will be minimal. And if critical temperatures are reached, the motor will automatically shut off.

CONS

Cleaning of airbrush guns is time-consuming.

OUR VERDICT

Regardless of whether you plan to paint a large area or want to apply paint to small sections, this model will cope with any task: the kit comes with 3 airbrush guns with different nozzle diameters to do the job very accurately.

detailed parameters
Power

1/5 HP

Air Flow

~0.88 CFM

Pressure

Adjustable: 0 to 60 psi

Extras

Built-in carry handle, non-skid feet

Accessories

3 airbrush guns, 6-ft. air hose, airbrush guide

Weight

~8 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Thanks to the Water Trap Filter, the air undergoes additional purification to eliminate the risk of small debris and minimize the possibility of condensation - this is especially useful when working in high humidity.

CONS

Heats up with prolonged use.

OUR VERDICT

Zeny's Airbrush Air Compressor is additionally equipped with a 3.2 qt. Air tank to ensure stable air pressure without sudden jumps or drops - an indispensable solution for complex work where color changes are not allowed.

detailed parameters
Power

1/5 HP

Air Flow

~0.81 CFM

Pressure

Adjustable: 0 to 57 psi

Extras

Built-in carry handle, non-skid feet

Accessories

Air tank (~3.2-Qt.), 6-ft. air hose, adhesive tape, airbrush guide

Weight

11 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

When the pressure reaches a critical point (~ 57-58 psi), the motor will automatically stop and then turn on automatically at 40 - 42 psi. Such a solution will in no way affect the quality of the paint, however, it extends the life of the components.

CONS

Pressure gauge does not accurately display the pressure value.

OUR VERDICT

This model compares favorably with most analogs in that it boasts a low noise level: at critical loads, this indicator does not exceed 55 dBi, and therefore you will not disturb nearby people during operation of the tool.

detailed parameters
Power

1/5 HP

Air Flow

~0.81 CFM

Pressure

Adjustable: 0 to 58 psi

Extras

Built-in carry handle, non-skid feet

Accessories

Airbrush guide

Weight

~8 lbs

Warranty

1 year

PROS

Massive non-slip legs provide the compressor stability on any surface, and the built-in handle makes it easy to transport the device to the place of work. The weight of the instrument is about 8 lbs, adding to its portability.

CONS

Some users complain of noticeable vibrations of the airbrush gun.

OUR VERDICT

If you have not had experience with airbrushes and spray guns before, but want to master this process, then this model is ideal for this: it has a relatively low cost, but its performance is not inferior to more expensive counterparts.

detailed parameters
Power

1/5 HP

Air Flow

~0.88 CFM

Pressure

Adjustable: 0 to 57 psi

Extras

Built-in carry handle, non-skid feet

Accessories

1 airbrush gun, 6-ft. air hose, airbrush holder, airbrush guide

Weight

~8 lbs

Warranty

2 years

Master Airbrush KIT-SP7B-20-2

Easy to Clean

Most artists who have used an airbrush compressor before can tell you how important it is to take proper care of the device. Due to the various levels of air flow and psi that these devices generate, as well as the sensitivity of the paint to the airflow, having an airbrush compressor that is not in top working condition can cause havoc with being able to paint with it the way that you need to. What doesn't help matters is that many of these devices can be quite difficult to clean, with such a task hardly being something that was considered when the device was designed. Having such a device that is easy to clean and maintain is one of the top priorities for any artist.

The Master Airbrush KIT-SP7B-20-2 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit was designed with maintenance in mind. The collapsible design of the guns makes it possible to quickly rinse all internal components under running water to get rid of paint residue after use, helping to keep them in top condition. The kit also comes with a set of 5 brushes, which will help you clean them without the use of special tools. These features ensure that it is quite easy to keep this device in working order with minimal effort, giving you more time to paint and requiring less time for maintenance.

Review of Master Airbrush KIT-SP7B-20-2 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit

Loaded With Accessories

Although the ability to maintain and clean this device easily is definitely a top selling point, it is far from all that this airbrush compressor has to offer. This particular kit is loaded with tons of accessories that will help you create your masterpieces. This set includes all the necessary attributes to apply varnishes and paints in a quality manner, without leaving stains and smudges. Three different airbrushes will let you choose the one that you need for a particular technique, along with an air filter water trap that will ensure that only paint is being sprayed from the air gun.

A Water-Based Acrylic Airbrush Paint Kit (6 Colors in 1 oz. Bottles plus Reducer and Cleaner) also comes included with the set, which will help you immediately test the tool in practice after assembly, letting you create a piece of art without having to purchase additional supplies. Along with these and other accessories, this airbrush compressor includes non-slip feet for added stability of the device while in use, and a built-in carry handle that greatly aids in transporting the device. If you are looking for a complete package, this model just might be the best airbrush compressor kit available on the market.

Master Airbrush KIT-SP7B-20-2 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit in the use

 

PointZero KIT-GP-47

Safety Measures Included

Any kind of device with a powerful motor can present a safety problem in certain situations. Such devices with fast moving parts tend to generate a lot of heat, which in turn can cause various hazards, including wearing down and breaking the device. This includes air compressors, which contain a powerful motor that runs at high RPMs, thus generating a lot of heat. If the heat is unable to quickly escape from the device's enclosure, this can lead to a lot of problems that any airbrush artist simply doesn't want to deal with.

The PointZero KIT-GP-47 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit, just like most other airbrush compressors reviewed here, includes a powerful 1/5 HP motor which can generate a lot of heat. However, unlike some other models, the manufacturer has included a number of safety measures to ensure that the device remains fully functional and that it doesn't pose a hazard of any kind. The case is equipped with dimensional ventilation openings, therefore, even with prolonged continuous operation of the compressor, the probability of its overheating will be minimal. Also, just in case critical temperatures are reached, the motor will automatically shut off. This helps prolong the lifespan of the device, ensuring that you have a fully working compressor for many years.

Review of PointZero KIT-GP-47 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit

Premium Airbrush Set

Regardless of whether you plan to paint a large area or want to apply paint to small sections, this model will cope with any task: this full premium airbrush kit comes with 3 airbrush guns with different nozzle diameters to do the job very accurately. Also included is a braided 6 ft airbrush hose that is quite durable and resistant to punctures, ensuring that you get just the right amount of airflow that you need while airbrushing. The device itself also includes such extras as non-slip feet for maximum stability of the device, and a carry handle for transporting it. The device has a surprisingly small footprint, so carrying it with you to an on-site job shouldn't pose any kind of problem.

What helps differentiate this airbrush kit from others, though, are some of the extra accessories included. The device comes with an Airbrush Essentials DVD that gives you a large amount of tips for airbrushing, as well as a set of seven downloadable airbrushing guides in ebook format. All of these things together make this airbrushing kit an ideal set for those who are new to or inexperienced with airbrushing. Even if you are an airbrushing pro, this full airbrush compressor kit has everything you need to create your artwork at its best.

PointZero KIT-GP-47 Air Compressor and 3 Airbrushes Kit in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Zeny 4336951446

No Risk of Contaminants

One of the biggest problems that many airbrush artists face with using an airbrush compressor is the risk of contaminants getting into their air supply and paint. The type of paint used most often with airbrushing is quite sensitive to any kind of contaminants, including water, and getting too much mixed in with the paint can lead to less than desirable results. Unfortunately, this issue is hard to get around with an air compressor, as the nature of such devices tends to generate condensation, especially in areas of high humidity and heat. Furthermore, other contaminants get somehow work there way into the system as well, causing the compressor to distribute air flow in a less than optimal manner.

Fortunately, the Zeny 4336951446 Airbrush Air Compressor with 3L Tank was designed with this problem in mind. Thanks to the Water Trap Filter built-in to the compressor, the air undergoes additional purification to eliminate the risk of small debris and minimize the possibility of condensation - this is especially useful when working in high humidity. This means that you can utilize the air compressor at any setting without worrying about contaminants changing the paint in any way, resulting in the paint being applied just the way you want it.

Review of Zeny 4336951446 Airbrush Air Compressor with 3L Tank

Large Air Tank

The protection against contaminants in the air supply is definitely a noteworthy feature, but this model has plenty of other features to offer. Zeny's Airbrush Air Compressor is additionally equipped with a 3.2 qt. air tank to ensure stable air pressure without sudden jumps or drops - an indispensable solution for complex work where color changes are not allowed. The evenness of the airflow in this model is quite remarkable thanks to this feature, being one of the best of the models that we have reviewed.

Of course, plenty of other features are included here as well. The true diaphragm pressure regulator on this device ensures that you are getting the exact amount of airflow that you need, ensuring a steady supply of dry air. The device also only compresses air to the specifications that you set, meaning that the motor only runs when air is needed. The case isn't the best ventilated that we have seen, as it can get quite hot when running for extended periods of time, but it does include an auto shut-off feature that prevents it from overheating, helping to extend the overall lifespan of the device. In the end, those who need an airbrush compressor that has smooth performance along with reliability will find this to be one of the best models available.

Zeny 4336951446 Airbrush Air Compressor with 3L Tank in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

PointZero AIR-ELITE-125X

Durable and Efficient

As with any device that contains a motor, the durability of various airbrush compressors has often come into question. Many an airbrush artist, especially those who highly rely on these devices, have experienced their compressor breaking down before, giving many of the models out there a bad reputation for reliability. Unfortunately, this is a frequent occurrence with some models, especially those of the cheaper variety. Having to frequently repair or buy a new airbrush compressor is hardly an ideal solution, which leaves many airbrush artists to look towards the more reliable models on the market.

The PointZero AIR-ELITE-125X Portable Airbrush Air Compressor would definitely be a good choice for those who are concerned about the reliability of an airbrush compressor, as this model includes a number of features that make it extremely durable. When the pressure reaches a critical point (~ 57-58 psi), the motor will automatically stop and then turn on automatically at 40 - 42 psi. Such a solution will in no way affect the quality of the paint, but it does go a long way towards extending the life of the components, giving you a reliable tool that should operate well for many years.

Review of PointZero AIR-ELITE-125X Portable Airbrush Air Compressor

Quiet Operation

Along with the high reliability and durability of this device, there is another feature that airbrush artists and those who spend time around them will both highly appreciate. This model compares favorably with most others in that it boasts a low noise level: at critical loads, this indicator does not exceed 55 dBi, and therefore you will not disturb nearby people during operation of the tool. Although there is no such thing as a completely silent airbrush, this makes this model one of the quietest ones available on the market, something that everyone will certainly appreciate.

Plenty of other features are included here that help make this airbrush pump a must-have for any airbrush artist. The device includes a sensitive pressure regulator that helps ensure optimal air flow at just the right settings that you specify, ensuring you get only the amount of airflow that you need, with no more or no less. There is also a water trap built-in that helps prevent the build-up of condensation, an important point when using the device in areas with high humidity. Also included are seven bonus airbrush guides that help give you tips and tricks to enhancing and perfecting the art of airbrushing. Overall, this full airbrush compressor kit is a reliable and quiet tool that will be a huge advantage to any airbrush artist.

PointZero AIR-ELITE-125X Portable Airbrush Air Compressor in the use

 

Master Airbrush ECO-17

Portable Airbrush Compressor

Artwork doesn't only happen in a studio. In fact, the vast majority of artwork out there often happens while out and about, often at another location or even while traveling. This is definitely true of airbrushing, which can often require working at various sites, including far away from a home studio. This, of course, means that a highly portable airbrush compressor can be a godsend to any airbrush artist. Having a device that can easily be taken with you and used in any environment is of huge benefit. Unfortunately, many of the airbrush compressors out there, while claiming to be portable, often have some characteristics which make them less than ideal.

The Master Airbrush ECO-17 Air Compressor and Airbrush Kit is a highly portable airbrush compressor that makes no compromises in its portability, including a number of features that make it a highly functional model while being quite portable. Massive non-slip legs provide the compressor stability on any surface, and the built-in handle makes it easy to transport the device to the place of work. The weight of the instrument is about 8 lbs, adding to its portability, meaning you won't have to strain yourself in order to take it with you wherever you go.

Review of Master Airbrush ECO-17 Air Compressor and Airbrush Kit

Great for Beginners

Most airbrush compressors are typically made for experienced airbrush artists, with many assuming that the user already knows many of the fine points of airbrushing. If you have not had experience with airbrushes and spray guns before, but want to master this process, then this model is ideal for this: it has a relatively low cost, but its performance is not inferior to more expensive counterparts. In addition, this device comes with a bonus How to Airbrush manual that helps walk beginners through the process of airbrushing, giving them some very useful tips for getting the most out of the process.

Of course, that doesn't mean this device isn't useful for experienced airbrush artists. The device comes with a highly versatile gravity feed air brush that can be used for a variety of different purposes. The body of the device includes a holder to two different airbrushes, as well as a built-in water trap to prevent moisture from interfering with the airflow and paint. If there are any negatives with the device, it would be the fact that some users have complained about vibrations of the air gun while in use, but this shouldn't be a problem if it is held in a firm grip. Whether you are a beginner to airbrushing or an experienced airbrush artist, this airbrush air compressor is the perfect tool for creating a masterpiece.

Master Airbrush ECO-17 Air Compressor and Airbrush Kit in the use

 

What Is an Airbrush Compressor?

Many artists around the world have tried their hand at airbrushing, a type of painting that lends itself to more accurate color production as well as extremely defined and nuanced variations of paint that are generally not possible to do with a typical paint brush. This type of painting has become quite popular, as well as having been heavily used for professional purposes such as retouching images for publication purposes. Airbrushing has allowed for the physical creation of more life-like and realistic images, making it quite useful in certain areas.

Although airbrushing has lost favor in comparison to computer image manipulation in the publishing world, airbrushes are still popular tools among quite a few artists. Airbrushes work by generating a flow of compressed air that in turn propels paint towards its target. The amount of paint, as well as the force of the air, can generally be adjusted with most airbrush compressors, letting the artist customize the coloring and texture of their artwork in ways that just can't be done with normal paintbrushes. This is the perfect method of painting some types of items, including miniature painting.

Airbrushes are usually best used for smaller artwork projects. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to paint something large, such as a wall or fence, you may be interested in finding the best paint sprayer for this purpose.

What Features to Compare

Airbrush compressors are generally all very similar devices, but there can be a number of things that differentiate each model from the others. Many of them may have certain features or accessories that others don't, while some other models may have some basic characteristics that are different. If you aren't all that familiar with airbrush compressors, it is a good idea to know which characteristics and extra features they may have in order to compare the different models. Doing this will help you find the best airbrush compressor for whatever art or work you need to do.

Power

The first characteristic to pay attention to is the power of the device, which measures the strength of the air compression motor. Most airbrush compressors are usually similar in power, with all of the models that we review here having 1/5 horsepower (HP), but other models may vary this number. Just keep in mind that 1/5 HP is generally the ideal power for such a device.

Air Flow

The air flow of an airbrush compressor measures the maximum amount of air that can flow through the tubing of the device. Generally, the stronger the device, the higher the airflow, but this isn't always true. A strong motor may not mean that the compressor has a higher air flow, so make sure this number is high enough to meet your needs.

Pressure

Airbrush compressors work by generating pressure inside of the device, which is then let out whenever the brush head is activated. The pressure (measured in PSI) is another good characteristic to know, as it can go hand-in-hand with the air flow, helping to determine the maximum amount of air (and thus, paint) that can be sprayed. Generally, a higher air pressure is desirable, but this will greatly depend on the user's needs. The best airbrush compressor is the one that will have the right PSI and air flow characteristics, so make sure you pay special attention to this.

Extras

The extras of an airbrush compressor can tell you what extra features are included on the device. Most airbrush compressors don't come with many extras, but such things as a carry handle and non-slip feet can help making using and transporting the device much more convenient.

Accessories

Most airbrush compressors will come with at least a few accessories that add to the functionality of the device, especially in regard to its primary purpose of airbrushing. Such accessories can include one or more airbrush guns, an air hose of varying length, an airbrush guide, and even a paint kit. If there are particular accessories that you need to use with your airbrush compressor, you will want to make sure that whichever model you choose comes with the ones you need.

How to Use an Airbrush

Are you a total beginner to airbrushing, but dying to learn how to do it? We are hardly airbrushing experts, however, we can certainly give you some good tips on how to get started with airbrushing. Although it may initially seem quite complicated and difficult to master, it is actually quite easy to get the hang of with just a little bit of practice. If you want to learn how to get started with airbrushing, read on for some great tips on how to start the process.

Needed Equipment

Before you can get started with airbrushing, you need to make sure that you have everything you need in order to do it correctly. The most important thing you will need outside of a canvas or other surface to paint on is the airbrush compressor. If you don't have an airbrush compressor, you can possibly get started with a can of compressed air, but you really need an airbrush compressor kit of some type in order to get the best results.

Along with the compressor, you also need an airbrush, or stylus. This is the device that connects to the nozzle of the air hose, which you will use to spray paint on the canvas. Of course, you also need paint. It is best to use a type of paint that is made specifically for use with airbrushes, as this will give you the best results.

Connecting the Equipment

Now that you have everything you need, you will want to connect the airbrush gun to the air hose, and, in turn, make sure that the air hose is connected to the air compressor. Make sure that the hose has a tight seal on both ends, as any air leaks will result in a less than optimal air flow that will have unfortunate effects on your airbrushing.

Thin the Paint

Any paint that you are going to use with an airbrush will need to be thinned, in order to give it the right amount of viscosity for working well with the airbrush. The best substance to use for this is paint thinner, which will help make it just the right composition for spraying smoothly and evenly onto the canvas. If you are using acrylic paints, you can use water instead of paint thinner. If you're not sure of the right amount of paint and thinner to use, it is best to check the packaging for the paint that you are using for its recommendations.

Ventilate Your Work Area

A good safety measure to take when you are airbrushing is to make sure you are working in a well ventilated room. The process of spraying the paint onto a surface will inevitably result in paint and thinner chemicals becoming airborne, so it is best to make sure that these fumes can be vented out quickly. Also, wearing some kind of breathing and eye protection is also highly recommended.

Put Paint in Airbrush Cup

You will need to put the thinned paint in the airbrush cup on the stylus in order to start airbrushing. It is best to start with just a few drops and go from there. Make sure that you don't put too much in, otherwise you will run the risk of paint leaking out from the stylus and cup.

Turn on Air Compressor

Once you're ready to begin airbrushing, turn on your air compressor. If you are doing this for the first time, we recommend setting it to around 10 psi, in order to give enough air pressure to put paint on the surface without overspraying. Once you get more used to the process, you can adjust the air pressure to the setting you prefer in order to get the results that you want.

Practice!

If you don't immediately get the hang of airbrushing after the first try, don't give up. Just as with anything, all it takes is plenty of practice in order to improve your skills. With the right amount of practice and perseverance, you will be well on your way to creating your first airbrushing masterpiece!

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Publish Date: 2019-08-19 10:06:40