Best Airbrush Air Compressor

Best Airbrush Air Compressor 2017- Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

If you’re an artist, then you know how important it is that you have the right tools to make your one-of-a-kind pieces. Regardless of your medium, if you don’t have a means to put your imagination into reality, then you are left without any way to express yourself. With that in mind, the world of airbrushing is well known because it gives creative people the opportunity to create pieces that would otherwise be impossible with traditional methods. Whether you’re painting a picture on a canvas or decorating a cake, airbrushes give you complete control and versatility. For that reason, it’s imperative that you have the right machine to power your brush, which is where the best airbrush air compressor comes in.

While most people think of air compressors as a means to provide power to tools, the fact is that they can be perfect for airbrushing as well. Since you need a constant stream of pressurized air for the brush to work, a compressor is a necessary component that will make your job easier.

Compressor vs. Compressed Gas

In some cases, artists may prefer to work with compressed gas canisters instead of an air compressor. The best reason to do this is if you work in a remote area and don’t have access to power. Also, gas tanks are much quieter, but they have quite a few limitations. First, you will eventually run out of gas, meaning that you have to buy extra tanks so that you aren’t scrambling to refill your current one when it runs out. That also means that you have to spend time refilling your tanks on a regular basis. Other downsides of compressed gas are that it can make you feel lightheaded while you work, and there is a risk that you can damage the head while working or storing it.

Overall, you are much better off getting an air compressor as it has more reliable access to air and will provide much better results. The only downside is that they can be louder and do require a stable power source to work, so if you do your art in a remote location, you may have to buy a generator. However, if you work in a shop or a garage, then you won’t have to worry about plugging in, making it a non-issue.

So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the key features you should consider when picking out your air compressor.

Best Airbrush Air Compressor Comparison Chart

PRODUCT 

IMAGE

PRODUCT

NAME

WEIGHT

EDITOR RATTING

PRODUCT

PRICE

PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor

PointZero  Oil-less 3L Tank 1/5 HP

11.7 pounds

PointZero Pro Airbrush Air Compressor Twin Piston

Master Airbrush High- Hose & Dual-brush Holder

6.5 pounds

Master Airbrush High Performance Airbrush Air Compressor with Filter

PointZero Pro  Twin Piston w/ Tank 1/3 HP

9.2 pounds

NEW Quiet MASTER AIRBRUSH TANK COMPRESSOR

NEW Quiet 1/6 hp MASTER

 COMPRESSOR

11.2 pounds

Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit (1)

Master Airbrush Multi-purpose  Airbrush Kit

7.3 pounds

How to Choose an Airbrush Air Compressor for the money 

Motor

First and foremost you have to pay attention to the motor. Usually, this will be rated in terms of horsepower, with most airbrush compressors coming in at around 1/6 to 1/3 horsepower. The more power it has, the more stable the operation and the better your results will be. If you’re worried about having enough pressure and output, then you will want to get a compressor with a more robust motor.

Size

Depending on your workspace, you may have to consider the size of your compressor to make sure that you have enough room. Typically speaking, you will have to keep the device close by so as to maintain a stable level of pressure and output while you work. You could technically get a longer hose so that the compressor stays further away from you, but it will affect the output, and it could result in other problems like water developing in the line. We’ll talk about water later on, but usually, you want to keep a shorter hose to minimize that problem.

The other thing about size is the reserve tank. While you could get a compressor without a tank, we strongly suggest that you get one with a reserve as it will help you work much more efficiently and will cut down on the noise factor as well. That being said, the tank is the largest part of the compressor so make sure that it won’t be too cumbersome. Most airbrush compressors have a cylindrical tank or a double model with two stacked on top of each other. Additionally, you can find pancake compressors that are round, wide, and semi flat on the sides. Regardless of the shape, as long as you have about a gallon of reserve space you should be fine.

Output

Along with the motor, the next most important thing is the output of air. You don’t want to have to wait for the air to come out while you’re working as it can significantly impact your work. As such, there are two things you should look at; first is the pressure level (PSI), and the second is how much air is pushed through. The second rating is known as cubic feet per minute, and it will tell you how well you can use your brush. Typically speaking, most airbrush compressors deliver up to 1.0 CFM at a PSI of 40 or less. Depending on your brushes this should be more than sufficient.

Water Filter

As we mentioned, a problem that can occur while painting with an airbrush is water in your line. Whenever you compress air, it gets colder, and that means that it can get condensation from water vapor. Unless you are in a completely dry environment, this problem will happen all of the time, which means that you have to get a compressor with a valve that drains the water from the air. This will ensure that you don’t get water coming out while you paint, as that can ruin your project. The only thing to consider about a water filter is how often it needs to be changed.

Pressure Regulator

This is another feature that is common with airbrush compressors as it ensures that you can vary the amount of air pressure that you get while working. Standard compressors deliver a constant pressure, which means that you can’t adjust your paint stroke accordingly. As such, it’s imperative that you get a model with a regulator so that you can do more detail work.

Automatic On/Off Switch

Typically, when a compressor’s tank fills and gets to a certain PSI level, it will turn off so as to prevent over pressurization. This is hugely important while airbrushing as it will not only keep your output consistent, but it will extend the life of your machine. Some lower end models require you to turn it on and off yourself, so you want to get something that does it automatically so that you don’t have to worry about it while you’re working. Also, these devices will turn back on when the pressure gets too low, meaning that you will never run out of air.

Noise

Finally, if you are concerned about how loud your compressor will be then you will want to pay attention to how many decibels it creates while in operation. Most airbrush compressors will tell you this, so you shouldn’t have to do a lot of research to figure it out. For reference, human speech is around 70 decibels, so if you get something much lower than that (like 55 dB), then it should be relatively quiet, even if you keep it next to you while you work. Anything higher than 75 dB will be a nuisance, so keep that in mind.

Recommended Air Compressors for Airbrushing

1. PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor Oil-less 3L Tank 1/5 HP

Kicking off our list is this compressor system from PointZero. This is a fantastic model for anyone who needs a little extra power and output for their brushes, as well as a reduced recycle time to ensure that you don’t have to wait for pressurized air. That being said, this particular model comes with a robust 1/5 horsepower motor and delivers up to 1.0 SCFM. It also comes with a 0.8-gallon tank so that you can keep working without losing pressure.

Since this portable air compressor is designed for airbrushing, it comes with all of the standard features that make it ideal for that kind of work. It has a water filter to keep the air dry, the pump is oil-free so that you can use food coloring or edible materials without risk of contamination, and it has a pressure regulator to ensure proper results each time. Best of all, this model is one of the quietest with a range of only 55 decibels.

Other features include an easy-carry handle so you can take the compressor wherever it needs to go, rubber feet for stability, and downloadable airbrush guides from PointZero to help you get started. The only thing it’s missing is a brush and paint kit.

Pros:

Cons

  • Compact 1/5 horsepower motor
  • Delivers up to 1.0 SCFM
  • Ultra quiet operation at 55 dB
  • 0.8-gallon reserve tank
  • Works on demand
  • Operating PSI of 40, Max PSI of 58
  • Automatic start/stop to minimize wear
  • Built-in water trap ensures air is clean and dry
  • Oil-free pump for less maintenance
  • Easy carry handle for portability
  • Rubber feet for stability
  • Weighs only thirteen pounds
  • Six-foot power cord included
  • Downloadable airbrush guides available

  • Does not last as long as compressors with larger reserve tanks
  • Water trap gets filled quickly, meaning that you have to change it often

2. PointZero Pro Airbrush Air Compressor Twin Piston w/ Tank 1/3 HP

If you need an upgrade from the PointZero Compressor above, then this next model is for you. Featuring a twin-tank design that stores more air and delivers more power, this is a perfect tool for any artist who needs a high-capacity compressor for their work. As far as performance goes, this unit has a 1/3 horsepower motor and delivers up to 1.3 SCFM at a max pressure of 85 PSI. Simply put, this is one of the most powerful and reliable airbrush compressors you can find.

Since it’s built for painting, this compressor also comes with everything you need to get the best results possible. These features include an automatic on/off switch, a water trap to keep your air dry, and a diaphragm regulator to ensure that you get the best pressure every time. Other features include an oil-free pump to allow you to work with edible paints, an easy-carry handle to make it more portable, and a downloadable airbrush guide to help you get started.

Pros:

Cons

  • Robust 1/3 horsepower motor
  • Delivers 1.3 SCFM
  • Quiet operation at 59 dB
  • Twin tank design allows for more reserve air
  • One-gallon tank
  • Dual power modes for more versatility
  • Max PSI of 85, operating PSI of 40
  • Sensitive diaphragm regulator keeps air optimized
  • Water trap ensures that air is clean and dry
  • Oil-free pump requires less maintenance
  • Automatic start/stop feature for longer shelf life
  • Easy carry handle for portability
  • Rubber feet for stability
  • Downloadable airbrush guides available

  • In rare cases, the unit may overheat
  • Tank is not as large as other models, meaning that it has to recycle more frequently
  • Water trap can fill quickly and need changing more often

3. Master Airbrush High-Performance Airbrush Air Compressor with Filter, Black Air Hose & Dual-brush Holder

While PointZero Compressors are built for experienced airbrush artists, what about if you’re just starting out? If that’s the case, then Master Airbrush has your back with compressors that are designed to help you get the hang of airbrushing. This particular unit comes with all of the usual refinements including a 1/5 horsepower motor, an output of up to 1.0 SCFM, and a quiet operation that is only 59 dB.

To help ensure that you get proper results each time you use it, this machine also comes with a pressure regulator, a water filter, and an extra long six-foot hose to connect to your brush. The pump doesn’t use oil, so you also don’t have to worry about contaminating your paint or edible colors. Finally, this model comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Pros:

Cons

  • Efficient 1/5 horsepower motor
  • Delivers 3.0 SCFM
  • Reserve tank ensures continuous delivery of air
  • Quiet operation at 59 dB
  • Onboard regulator controls pressure output
  • Operating PSI of 40
  • Water filter and trap delivers clean, dry air
  • Extra long hose attachment for airbrushing
  • Easy carry handle for portability
  • Rubber feet for stability
  • ​Oil-free pump requires less maintenance
  • Automatic on/off function for easier operation
  • Weighs less than ten pounds
  • Two-year limited warranty

  • Some components are fragile and can break easily
  • May not be compatible with all airbrushes
  • Smaller tank has to recycle more often
  • In rare cases, the motor may overheat and cause the unit to shut down suddenly

4. NEW Quiet 1/6 hp MASTER AIRBRUSH TANK COMPRESSOR

For those who don’t need the raw power of the PointZero Compressor but still want reliable results, this system from Master Airbrush is an excellent way to go. This model comes with a robust 1/6 horsepower motor, it delivers up to 0.8 SCFM, and it holds up to one gallon of reserve air to ensure that you get a constant flow.

The other great thing about this compressor setup is that it comes with a guidebook to help you get started, along with a six-foot air hose to connect with your brushes. Additionally, it has a water trap to keep your air dry, and an automatic on/off switch to ensure longer shelf life and that you don’t risk over pressurizing your brush. In the end, this is a fantastic compressor for beginners or people who do light craft work.

Pros:

Cons

  • Compact and efficient 1/6 horsepower motor
  • Delivers up to 0.8 SCFM
  • Twin tank design holds more reserve air
  • One-gallon tank
  • Quiet operation at 59 dB
  • Six-foot air hose included
  • Regulator controls air flow
  • Operating PSI of 40, max PSI of 60
  • Water trap ensures clean, dry air
  • Oil-free pump requires less maintenance
  • Automatic on/off setting for easier operation
  • Airbrush training book provided
  • Easy carry handle for portability
  • Rubber feet for stability
  • Weighs eleven pounds
  • Two-year limited warranty

  • In rare cases, the unit may overheat and shut down suddenly
  • Some components are less durable than others
  • In rare instances, the unit may leak air

5. Master Airbrush Multi-purpose Gravity Feed Dual-action Airbrush Kit

If you’re looking for a complete kit that has everything you need to start airbrushing, then look no further than this set from Master Airbrush. Not only do you get a high-quality compressor to deliver better results, but it comes with a brush kit to help you start on your path to creating great art. In fact, the only thing you need is paint, and you’re ready to go.

As with the other models we’ve seen, this compressor comes with all of the usual features. It has a large reserve tank to ensure constant delivery of air, an oil-free pump to remove contaminants, and a water filter to keep your air dry. Other features include an easy-carry handle, an automatic on/off switch for when the tank reaches its max pressure, and a six-foot hose to give you more flexibility while working. Overall, this set is perfect for any beginner just starting out.

Pros:

Cons

  • Efficient 1/5 horsepower motor
  • Delivers up to 0.8 SCFM
  • Reserve tank ensures constant delivery of air
  • Max PSI of 90, operating PSI between 15-45
  • Oil-free pump requires less maintenance
  • Quiet operation at only 59 dB
  • Six-foot air hose included
  • Airbrush kit provided with storage case
  • Automatic on/off switch provides longer life
  • Water trap delivers clean, dry air
  • Pressure regulator controls output
  • Easy carry handle for portability
  • Rubber feet for stability

  • Unit may vibrate more than others
  • Some components are somewhat fragile
  • In rare cases, the motor may overheat and cause the device to shut down suddenly
  • In rare instances, the compressor may develop a leak

Final Verdict

When it comes to airbrushing, we find that the best models are either the PointZero Twin Tank Compressor or the Master Airbrush Multi-Purpose unit. The reason that these are our top picks is that the PointZero model is designed for high-capacity brushes and output, while the Master Airbrush device is built for beginners looking to get started in the craft. As such, experienced airbrush artists should rely on the PointZero Compressor while newbies should get the complete kit from Master Airbrush. Either way, these machines deliver high-quality results.

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Mary T. White
 

Hello all, this is Mary White, a trained AC service technician who also doubles up as a blogger. On my website, I majorly discuss issues related to the working, specifications, pros and cons of the various tools that are needed for home and professional use. I understand many homeowners and commercial operators need essential tips and professional advice before they can invest in any tools such as air compressors, socket sets and many others. As a result, I have dedicated my time to provide insightful information about these devices and at the same time provide a platform where users can share their experience. I update my website from time to time and you can follow me for the latest news and trends regarding different tools.

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