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Best Airbrush Air Compressor 2018- Buyer’s Guide and Reviews

Best Airbrush Air Compressor

Best Airbrush Compressors for 2018

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 comIn some cases, artists may prefer to work with compressed gas canisters instead of an best airbrush 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.ponent that will make your job easier.

Best Air Compressor For Airbrush Comparison Chart

Most of these are quiet airbrush compressors

PRODUCT 

IMAGE

MODEL

WEIGHT

EDITOR RATTING

PRICE

Editors ​First Choice

PointZero  Oil-less 3L Tank 1/5 HP

11.7pounds

Master Airbrush High- Hose & Dual-brush Holder

11.69 pounds

PointZero Pro  Twin Piston w/ Tank 1/3 HP

9.2 pounds

NEW Quiet 1/6 hp MASTER

 COMPRESSOR

11.2 pounds

Master Airbrush Multi-purpose  Airbrush Kit

7.3 pounds

Compressor vs. Compressed Gas

In some cases, artists may prefer to work with compressed gas canisters instead of an best airbrush 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.


How to Choose an Best Airbrush Compressor 

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 work space, 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 best airbrush air 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. Best Airbrush Air Compressor

Recommended Of Air Compressors for Airbrushing/airbrush makeup reviews

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

Kicking off our list is this best airbrush air 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

  • 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

Cons

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

Highlighted features

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    0.8-gallon tank to maintain the working pressure
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    55- dB that enhances ultra-quiet operation
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    40 PSI (operating), 58 PSI (Max)
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    1.0 SCFM

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

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

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Highlighted features

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    85 PSI – which is its maximum pressure
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    40 PSI – its operating pressure
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    1.3 SCFM
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    59-dB that offers quiet operation

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

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

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Highlighted features

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    59-dB for quiet operation
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    40 PSI (operating)
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    3.0 SCFM
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    A weight of less than 10 pounds

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

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 airbrush air 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

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Highlighted features

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    0.8 SCFM
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    Strong 1/6 horsepower motor
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    59 dB for quiet operation
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    40 PSI (operating), 60 PSI (Max)

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

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 best airbrush air 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

  • 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

Cons

  • 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

Highlighted features

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    0.8 SCFM
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    Robust 1/5 horsepower motor
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    59-dBfor quiet operation
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    15-45 PSI (operating), 90 PSI (Max)

History Of The Best Airbrush compressors 

If you’re into airbrushing, then you know that the most essential component you need to finish your next project is the air compressor. Whether you’re doing arts and crafts or painting details on your car, airbrushing is a delicate process that requires the best tools.

Today we want to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of what kind of airbrush compressors are out there, as well as the top brands from which you can choose. Even if you’ve done airbrushing before, it’s helpful to understand as much about it as possible so that you can continue to improve your skills.

Best Airbrush compressors

Here is your guide to airbrush compressors.

Type of Best Airbrush Air Compressors

Since airbrushing can be used in a variety of settings, it’s imperative that you know what kind to choose for your next project. Here is a brief overview of the models and options that are out there.

Silent

Considering that air compressors can be quite loud, you are limited in where you can do your work. In some cases, you may not have a dedicated space where the noise won’t be an issue for either yourself or others. On the high end, compressors can be almost deafening to the point where you might have to wear ear protection.

Compared to other types of airbrush compressors, these models are somewhat more expensive, but they are much more reliable and don’t that much noise. Overall, the average silent compressor emits up to 55-60 decibels, which is quieter than people talking. Compared to other models that can be as high as 90-100 dB, this is a vast improvement.

The level of craftsmanship and convenience is desirable for many people, which is why we highly recommend silent airbrush compressors.

Oil-Less

One aspect of air compressors is that they have a lot of moving parts that have to be lubricated. Just like your car’s engine has to have oil to work properly, an airbrush compressor is similar. However, because the air coming out is used in conjunction with paint, oil can pose a significant problem.

When oil mixes with your paint, it can ruin the finish or cause it to bleed. This issue is especially problematic if you’re using an airbrush for edible projects, such as decorating cakes. As such, it’s critical that you use an oil-free model that won’t ruin your final touches.

What’s also important to remember is that some other compressor types may also be oil-less, so pay attention to the specifications of any unit that you choose.

Diaphragm

If the kinds of projects you’re working on are small and more on the crafty side, then a diaphragm compressor is one of the best options you can buy. These units work similarly to standard air compressors, but it uses a flexible membrane to move air through the system. Because of this movement, you can’t get as much pressure as you could with a static model.

Nonetheless, diaphragm airbrush compressors are great for a few reasons. First, they don’t produce that much noise. Second, they are reliable and low maintenance. Finally, they don’t use oil to lubricate the machine, so you have clean air coming out. Again, the only limitation is the amount of air passing through as well as the pressure you can get.

Industrial

On the other side of the spectrum, we have compressors that produce a lot of pressure and can move a lot of air through the system. These models are mostly used for large-scale projects, such as automotive painting. If you’re more into DIY stuff, then you won’t need to worry about buying this kind of air compressor.

Compressed Gas

Technically speaking, this is not a type of compressor, but since these units are used for airbrushing, we wanted to include them on this list. In this case, you just have a tank of pre-compressed gas that you can use in place of a compressor. The advantages of this option include-

Low noise

No oil or water in the system

Cost-effective

Ideal for small jobs

However, you do have the issue of running out when the tank empties, so there is that to consider. As long as you keep a backup handy and you don’t need a ton of pressure, a compressed gas tank is a great option for light airbrushing.

Top Airbrush Air Compressor Brands

When picking out the best airbrush compressor, it helps to know which manufacturers are better than others. Although comparing specs is a necessary part of the decision-making process, you want to know more about the company making it.

So, with that in mind, here are some top airbrush compressor brands that you will find in your search.

Paasche

As far as compressor brands go, it’s helpful to find one that specializes in airbrushing. The reason you want a brand that is known for this particular skill set is that you know that they understand your needs. For example, if you bought a standard compressor that could be used for other things besides airbrushing, you might have to modify it significantly to ensure that you don’t run into any problems.

Paasche is a brand that does airbrushing right. They know what you need to get the job done, and they provide you with all of the tools to get it right. Whether painting small arts and crafts or massive artwork, you can trust Paasche.

Iwata-Medea

Although this company is not quite as well-known as Paasche, they also specialize in airbrushing. As such, you can get your compressor as well as any tools and accessories necessary for your next project.

For the most part, Iwata-Medea compressors are designed for small arts and crafts, as well as baking and decorating. If you’re looking for high-powered or professional-grade units, you probably want to find another brand.

Master Airbrush

Technically speaking, this brand is a subsidiary of TCP Global. TCP is a company that has a lot of different airbrushing materials and products, and they range from small to large projects. Whether you’re trying to make some new item for the home or you’re trying to paint your car, you can find compressors and accessories with TCP.

Master Airbrush, however, is more specialized. One thing that you can expect with this brand is to get a full-service kit with your compressor. That means that you get everything from hoses to brush nozzles to paint. For beginners, buying kits is a fantastic way to get into airbrushing because you don’t have to worry about missing something when you get started.

Grex

So far, the brands we’ve seen have all been based in the world of airbrushing. However, if you’re looking for something a bit more powerful and multifaceted, Grex is a better way to go. This company not only makes high-performance air compressors, but it manufactures a wide array of power tools and accessories.

That being said, Grex doesn’t force you to buy your parts separately. While you can purchase a more powerful compressor through them, they also sell complete airbrushing kits as well. Thus, you can upgrade to a better system without having to search for all of the different components necessary to complete your next project.

SilentAire

As the name suggests, this company specializes in silent airbrush compressors. If noise is a critical deciding factor for you, then you will want to see what this brand has to offer. SilentAire manufactures a variety of different sizes and output levels to meet your needs.

With SilentAire, you will have to buy your parts and accessories separately (although they offer almost everything you need). Depending on your skill level, this may be a good or bad thing. On the upside, you can customize your compressor to meet your specific needs. On the downside, that requires extensive knowledge on your part. Thus, if you’re just getting started, you might want to get a complete kit first and then build up from there.

Airbrush Air Compressor Safety Tips

Whenever you’re operating any kind of machinery, you want to be sure that you know and understand how to use it effectively. Since air compressors are dealing with a lot of pressure and complex parts, it’s imperative that you follow certain safety procedures and proceed with caution.

Although this list of safety tips is not extensive, it should provide you with a good idea of what you should do to ensure that your airbrush compressor stays in pristine condition.

Review Your Manual

Before getting started, you should take a minute to look through the manual of your compressor. There you can find all kinds of information regarding how to operate the machine and keep it in proper working order.

Some sections to pay close attention to include the diagrams of all of the parts included in and on the compressor, as well as how to get it going. You want to be sure that you know where everything is so that if and when you have to reference the manual for troubleshooting you’ll know what to do.

Keep Everything Tight

One side effect of air compressors is that they tend to vibrate as you use them. These vibrations can cause all kinds of parts and components to come loose over time, which means that you should check them from time to time.

Hose fittings and any other part that can be tightened should be checked regularly to ensure that it’s not coming loose. If you wait too long, the component may come undone while you’re working, which can cause significant problems.

Pay Attention to Heat Levels

As with all machinery, your airbrush compressor will get hot over time. This is also an issue because oil-less models don’t have as much lubrication, meaning that friction can build up more rapidly.

When using your compressor, see how hot it gets on a regular basis. If it becomes scalding, then refer to the manual to see if that’s normal. If it is, then make sure you keep the machinery away from anything flammable. Also, avoid contact with your skin.

Another thing to remember is that you want to make sure that the compressor has cooled off completely before putting it away or performing any maintenance on it.

Don’t Exceed Recommended Specs

Your air compressor is rated for a particular amount of pressure and output. On top of that, it has certain electrical requirements as well. Thus, if you want to stay safe, make sure that you’re following these recommendations as closely as possible.

If you exceed these specifications, it can not only damage your compressor, but it could lead to dangerous accidents. Over-pressurizing the tank can cause it to blow, and using it for too long can cause the motor to overheat and die.

Additional Tips and Tricks

While safety is always a primary concern, you want to be sure that you’re getting the most out of your airbrush compressor. So, we’ve compiled a list of general tips that will help you finish your next project without any problems or complications.

Use a Moisture Trap

Many airbrush compressors have this part included because water can get into your paint quite easily. Since compressed air is cold air, it draws moisture from the atmosphere that results in drops in your final product.

Depending on how much pressure and air you’re using, you may have to utilize a couple of different traps to keep your air as dry as possible. Also, things like hose length can affect how much water gets into your air, so pay attention to that as well.

Match CFM Ratings

CFM refers to the amount of air that moves through the compressor while it’s working. The acronym stands for cubic feet per minute. For smaller models, you’ll usually have less than 1CFM, but you will need more for larger projects.

When determining the right amount of CFM, pay attention to both the paint and the spray gun you’re using. Some paints require higher CFM to disperse it evenly, and some guns may need more than others.

Overall, try to match them all as closely as possible to get the best results out of your airbrush compressor.

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.To know more about those products click here.

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Mary T. White
 

Hi everyone, I'm a trained AC service technician who uses several tools in my profession. I created this interactive platform to share experiences and vital information. Feel free to share your views and ask any question.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 2 comments
Thomas Lemar - September 19, 2017

I highly appreciate what has been covered in your review, though I’m not a professional artist, I now know what I will be using in my next project. I definitely be visiting your site for more ideas when it comes to choosing the right tools for the job.

Reply
    Mary T. White - September 19, 2017

    Welcome Thomas, We are happy to know we were of help to you. Keep following our posts for professional ideas which can be relied on. We wish you all the best in your projects.

    Reply

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