Airbrushing represents a super fine method of spray painting. It allows artists to apply real-life details to their canvases. This form of art has become increasingly popular over the years because of the quality it adds to other forms of art. It can be done using dyes, paints, and inks. However, that is not all you need.
You will also need a high-quality airbrush compressor that delivers airflow that makes airbrushing work. In order to choose the best airbrush compressor for your needs, you need to determine what kind of art you want to make and what details you need, so without further due, let’s review the best units in 2020.
What is a Good Airbrush Compressor?
Airbrush compressors represent a versatile piece of tool that can be used for various projects. Airbrush compressors vary in size, weight, and pressure. A good airbrush compressor should have a high-capacity reservoir and a quiet, precise operation. Let’s take a look at the main features that you need to consider.
How to Choose an Airbrush Compressor?
In order to buy the best airbrush compressor for your needs, you need to pay attention to a few aspects. It is important to gather as much information as you can about certain devices before ordering anything.
The power outlet of your airbrush compressor matters because it determines the control, run time and what you can use it for. The usual number of watts consumed by an airbrush compressor is around 150 to 200. This number will determine the price of your airbrush compressor as well. Next, is tank capacity.
The reservoir capacity depends on the type of airbrush compressor that you choose. Small machines do not have tanks. However, most of the devices on my list do. The tank capacity determines the run time.
The tank capacity is measured in liters. The larger the tank, the heavier your machine will be. If you want something compact and lightweight, I recommend that you choose a compressor with a small reservoir.
Auto Shut on/off Feature
Most airbrush compressors feature a start/stop function. It is triggered when your airbrush compressor reaches a certain air pressure or left unattended. This extends the lifespan of your machine while saving you energy and money. I recommend that you order a compressor with this feature rather than without.
Best Airbrush Compressor Recommendation 2020
Every artist and crafter has specific needs when it comes to shopping for an airbrush compressor. That is why I took the liberty to highlight some airbrush compressors that meet different needs and standards.
- Best Overall: PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor
“Outstanding performance, perfect for t-shirts and model making, top-quality starter kit, durable, quiet.”
- Runner Up: Master Airbrush TC-40T Air Compressor
“Steady weight when under big pressure, thermally protected, air control, large storage tank, oil-less.”
- Best Lightweight: OPHIR 110V AS186A Pro Airbrush Compressor
“Compact, easy to adjust the pressure, adjustable spray pattern, five cleaning brushes, very easy to use.”
- Best Budget: Master Airbrush Multi-purpose G22 Airbrush Depot Compressor
“Durable design, cheap, universal airbrush holder, perfect for beginners, automatic shut-off feature.”
- Best Quality: Iwata-Medea IS 850 Studio Series Air Compressor
“1/8 horsepower, long-lasting, compact design, quiet operation, high-quality, regulator and hoses.”
- Best Quiet: AW Pro Twin-Cylinder 1/3 HP Airbrush Compressor
“Large tank capacity, less power consumption, perfect for body painting, ultra-quiet operation (59 dB)”
- Best for Artists: Paasche Airbrush D500 1/10 H.P. Air Compressor
“Suitable for use with all airbrushes, thermally protected, pressure switch, regulator and moisture trap.”
- Best for Beginners: Badger Air-Brush Co. TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor
“Great deal for the price, easy to use, auto start/stop feature, quiet, pressure gauge, airbrush holders.”
- Best with Tank: Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor with Tank
“Easy to use even for beginners, great value for money, lightweight, easy to store, decent tank capacity”
- Best without Tank: PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor Tankless Oil-less 1/5 HP
“Powerful, easy to utilize, very good pressure, a built-in water trap, oil-free pump, portable, rubber feet.”
Where to Buy Airbrush Compressor?
If you are not a fan of online shopping, you can always visit local shops and buy an airbrush compressor. Just open your browser and type “airbrush compressor near me” or “airbrush compressor for sale near me” and write down their addresses and work hours. I am sure that you will find something affordable.
20 Best Airbrush Compressor Comparison Chart 2020
When shopping for your first airbrush compressor, you need to pay attention to some of the important features like dimensions, weight, working pressure, and warranty. I took the responsibility to review and compare some of the best-selling models for this year in order to help you choose the right one for you.
|BEST AIRBRUSH COMPRESSOR BRANDS||DIMENSIONS||WEIGHT||WORKING PRESSURE||WARRANTY|
|PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor – Best Overall||10 x 4 x 7||11.3 pounds||15-50 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Master Airbrush TC-40T Air Compressor – Runner Up||12.2 x 5.3 x 12.2||11.5 pounds||15-45 PSI||5-year warranty|
|Iwata-Medea IS 800 Studio Series Air Compressor||6.2 x 8.7 x 2.2||8.65 pounds||1-35 PSI||1-year warranty|
|ZENY TC-20T Air Compressor W/3.0L Tank||12.6 x 6.9 x 15.1||11 pounds||43-57 PSI||2-year warranty|
|PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor||12 x 6 x 13||11.71 pounds||40-58 PSI||1-year limited warranty|
|Master Airbrush Model C16-B Portable Mini Air Compressor – Best Airbrush Compressor for Nail Art||4.2 x 4.2 x 2||2.75 pounds||15-25 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Iwata-Medea IS 975 Studio Series Power Jet Pro Air Compressor||10 x 6 x 7||22 pounds||1-70 PSI||1-year warranty|
|OPHIR 110V AS186A Pro Airbrush Kit with Airbrush Compressor – Best Lightweight Airbrush Compressor||12.2 x 5.1 x 12.2||11 pounds||15-50 PSI||1-year warranty|
|PointZero Cake Airbrush Decorating Kit with Airbrush Compressor – Best Airbrush Compressor for Cakes||10 x 7 x 6||18.36 pounds||1-57 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Master Airbrush TC-848 Air Compressor||15 x 8 x 12.8||21.1 pounds||43-85 PSI||2-year warranty|
|Master Airbrush Multi-purpose G22 Airbrush Kit With Airbrush Depot Compressor – Best Budget||12.2 x 5.3 x 12.2||7 pounds||1-60 PSI||2-year warranty|
|Iwata-Medea IS 850 Studio Series Air Compressor – Best Quality Airbrush Compressor||6.2 x 8.7 x 2.2||9.02 pounds||1-35 PSI||1-year warranty|
|AW Pro Twin-Cylinder 1/3 HP Airbrush Compressor – Best Quiet Airbrush Compressor||13.7 x 5.7 x 12.2||16 pounds||1-100 PSI||90-days warranty|
|Grex AC1810-A 1/8 HP 115V Piston Air Compressor||10.1 x 6.3 x 12||10.9 pounds||1-60 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Paasche Airbrush DC850R Compressor for Airbrush||14 x 16 x 14||41 pounds||1-90 PSI||1-year limited warranty|
|Badger Air-Brush Co. TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor – Best Airbrush Compressor for Beginners||16.5 x 6.8 x 14.5||18 pounds||1-57 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor with Tank – Best Airbrush Compressor with Tank||13 x 6 x 13||11.1 pounds||20-40 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Paasche Airbrush D500 1/10 H.P. Air Compressor – Best Airbrush Compressor for Artists||10.7 x 8 x 6.1||7.05 pounds||20-35 PSI||1-year warranty|
|PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor Tankless Oil-less 1/5 HP – Best Airbrush Compressor without Tank||10 x 4 x 7||8.1 pounds||40-60 PSI||1-year warranty|
|Silentaire Sil-Air 50-24 Silent Running Airbrush Compressor||15.7 x 15.7 x 23.6||60 pounds||84-114 PSI||1-year warranty|
Top 20 Best Airbrush Compressor Reviews 2020
Comparing the features of airbrush compressors is not enough to help you select the right machine for you. That is why I decided to review each machine in detail and present the pros and cons. Make sure to check their overall performance, design, construction, price and customer comments before you buy.
PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor
First, I have PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor that is suitable for different applications including auto & cycle graphics, crafts, murals, illustrations, fine art, t-shirts, taxidermy, photo retouching, models and much more. The package includes a multi-purpose & compact compressor with three airbrush guns.
The device features one premium dual-action, gravity feed with a 7cc color cut, gravity-feed, and a pre-installed 0.3mm nozzle set. It also has one fine-detail dual-action, gravity-feed with a low-profile 2cc and a pre-installed 0.2mm nozzle set. The last one is a broad-coverage single-action external-mix airbrush.
It has a 22cc siphon-feed jar and a 0.8mm nozzle set. If you want a high-tech airbrush compressor that delivers impressive results and consistent air, do not hesitate to buy this baby. Seven exclusive e-books for beginners are also included as well as airbrush essentials which make this set perfect for beginners.
- Outstanding performance
- Best airbrush compressor for model making
- Best airbrush compressor for t-shirts
- Quiet Compressor
- Top-quality starter kit
- Provides fineness work
- Perfectly suitable for the professionals
- Comes with a detailed guide to operating it
- Can be used for various types of crafts
- It is reliable and long-lasting
- It is a good option for beginners
- It is a bit heavy to work single-handedly
- It is difficult to operate for beginners
- It is a bit overpriced
- Can easily get hot If you will use it for too long
- Has the polarized applications
Master Airbrush TC-40T Air Compressor
Next, I have Master Airbrush TC-40T Air Compressor that is powerful, portable and lightweight. It has 1/6 horsepower, delivers high air volume (0.8 cfm) and airflow (23 liters/min). I personally recommend it because it is compact and easy to carry around thanks to the built-in handle. Also, it has a long lifespan.
This baby has a built-in fan, precise air adjustment, automatic shut-off when air pressure reaches 57psi and air pressure is preset at 43 psi. It delivers air-on-demand. Meaning, it will automatically shut down if not in use. You will get a thermally protected, oil-less model with constant pressure and zero pulsation.
- Powered by a single-piston oil-less engine
- Delivers steady weight when working on big pressures
- Contains large storage tank
- Thermally protected
- Has Air control through weight regulator
- There are chances of overheating as well
- The product has no longevity
- Some users report chances of air leak and the cooling fan are loosely fixed
Iwata-Medea IS 800 Studio Series Air Compressor
Iwata-Medea IS 800 Studio Series Air Compressor is perfect for both professional and occasional artists. It is reliable, quiet, compact and super powerful. You will get an oil-less piston air compressor that needs little to none maintenance with moisture filter that prevents pulsation and mounted air-pressure gauge.
This unit has bleed valve airflow adjustment to lower air pressure. The working pressure of this unit goes from 1psi to 35psi with a high-strength polyurethane hose that fits Iwata airbrushes only and a 1/8HP. It also has an on/off switch. However, let’s review some of the important pros and cons before your order.
- Excellent compressor
- Very quiet
- Good pressure
- Premium quality build
- Durable design
ZENY TC-20T Air Compressor W/3.0L Tank
Another air compressor that will blow you away is the ZENY TC-20T W/3.0L Tank with an automatic on and off feature. You can preset for auto turn off when the air tank reaches 57psi and preset for turn on when the tank pressure is below 43psi. This extends the lifespan of your machine and gives you peace.
It ensures constant pressure and zero pulsation. The air is drawn from the big air storage tank and offers a constant regulated pressure. This ensures zero pulsation. It has 1/5 power, 1450/1750 rpm speed, max pressure of 6.5 bar/95psi and pressure regulating a range of 0-4 bar. The hose is 6ft. Let’s read the cons.
- Very Powerful
- Easy portable
- Precise Air adjustment
- Has Automatic On/OFF shutoff feature
- Produces Constant Pressure and Zero Pulsation
- Thermally Protected design
- Powered by single Piston Motor
- Could easily overheat
PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor
If you want professional-grade, long-lasting airbrush compressor with no maintenance and performance that cannot be outmatched, PointZero 1/5 HP is ideal for you. It features a 3-liter reservoir that provides 1/5 HP an around 1.9 CFM with the quiet cool operation. It is ideal for professional artists and hobbyists.
This unit runs much longer without overheating thanks to the built-in auto turn on and off cycles. If you buy this baby, you will get complete control over your work and enjoy a steady, pulse-free clean crafting with easily adjustable output air pressure. It is thermally-protected, portable, lightweight & feature-rich.
The rubber feet will protect your work surface while the easy-carry handle will help you move your new toy around. Seven e-books for beginners are also included in your purchase along with other accessories that you will find very useful. However, make sure to check the pros and cons before your final decision.
- Equipped with a great airbrush compressor
- Powered by Compact 1/5 horsepower motor
- Works on demand
- Automatic start/stop feature
- Has Built-in water trap ensures air is clean and dry
- Contains Oil-free pump for less maintenance
- Compact and lightweight design
- Improved stability with rubber feet
- Not easy to bring together
- Not detailed manual
- Not long-lasting machine compared to some competitors
- Water trap gets filled quickly, meaning that you have to change it often
Master Airbrush Model C16-B Portable Mini Air Compressor
(Best Airbrush Compressor for Nail Art)
Looking for a professional airbrush compressor? If yes, look no further than Master Airbrush Model C16-B portable mini air compressor. It is a multi-purpose, compact machine with a 1/3 oz. gravity fluid cup and a 0.3mm fluid tip. It also has a 6-foot braided air hose with 1/8 inch fittings and great performance.
This unit includes master airbrushes used for auto graphics, cake decorating, hobbies, crafts, temporary tattoos, nail art, fine art and more. Just like most of the units on this list, it delivers air on demand. It will automatically shut off if not in use. It comes with a built-in airbrush holder and a max pressure of 25 psi.
It is perfect for both advanced artists and beginners. Students can use it as well. It operates amazingly for different airbrushing work and works with many paint spray media. Now, let’s check the main cons.
- Easy to use
- Best airbrush compressor for miniature painting
- Produce very little noise
- Compact design
- Durable construction
- The compressor is designed from plastic which is less durable
- Unclear instruction manual
- Bad air output position
Iwata-Medea IS 975 Studio Series Power Jet Pro Air Compressor
Another impressive air compressor by Iwata-Medea is 975 Studio Series Power Jet Pro Air Compressor. It features a very powerful twin-pump, 1/6 HP motor and automatic shut on and off. Meaning this unit will automatically shut down if not in use. It is reasonably priced unlike other air compressors on the market.
I recommend this baby because of the 2-liter reservoir and high-paint flow. If you want a multi-purpose airbrush compressor, this one is perfect for you. It comes with adapters and an air hose.
You can hook it up to any brand of airbrush. It also has twin air regulators, mounted twin pressure gauges with moisture filters and built-in airbrush holders. Now, let’s summarize the most important pros and cons of this unit.
- Work very quietly
- Has two independent air pressure adjustments
- Support 2 airbrushes
- Produces great power for its size
- A very professional piece of machinery
- Well constructed compressor
- Independent air filters for each piston
- Gets warm after a long time working
- The airbrush holders are made for only one style of airbrushes
- Only useable if the airbrush is placed in backward
OPHIR 110V AS186A Pro Airbrush Kit with Airbrush Compressor
(Best Lightweight Airbrush Compressor)
OPHIR 110V AS189A Pro Airbrush Kit with AirBrush Compressor is definitely worth your investment. It has a good but lower performance unlike other compressors in this range. However, it is still worth the mention. You will get three different airbrush guns, user manual, 5 cleaning brushes, air filter and more.
As you can notice, this kit is feature-rich and reasonably-priced. It also includes a mini airbrush holder, a cleaning needle, a carrying handle a pressure gauge, auto-stop function and so on. It is above average in comparison to other professional airbrush kits. The operation speed goes from 1450 to 1700 rpm. It has strong construction and consistent airflow. What more could you possibly ask for in an air compressor?
- The size is perfect and compact
- Best airbrush compressor and gun
- Works pretty good for coating guns
- Very easy to adjust the pressure
- It has an adjustable spray pattern
- Includes five cleaning brushes that come in different sizes
- Simple for cleaning away blockages with dried paint
- The package includes different accessories
- It is easy to operate and comfortable to use
- You need an adapter to fit the standard compressor hose
- A bit noisy compressor
- You need to drain the accumulated moisture in the tank
PointZero Cake Airbrush Decorating Kit with Airbrush Compressor
(Best Airbrush Compressor for Cakes)
Another PointZero that is worth your time is the Cake Airbrush Decorating kit with AirBrush Compressor. If you want a professional-grade airbrush compressor with advanced control that offers quiet operation, 1/5 HP and easy application, this is the right machine for you. It is suitable for making different patterns.
This unit is prone to clogging and easy to use. The compatible, simple design enables easy interchanging of airbrushes to meet your needs. The high-performance, compact and lightweight airbrush compressor delivers precise results. It includes twelve premium chef masters, highly-pigmented & non-toxic paints.
It also included seven airbrush guides for beginners, cleaning manual and much more. It basically comes with everything you need to make professional-looking cakes. Now, let’s review the main pros and cons.
- Diaphragm regulator with integrated pressure gauge
- Best airbrush compressor for cookies and cakes
- Internal-mix design and dual action control both fluid and air
- Ideal for sharp and precise detailing
- Easy to use
- Compatible design give you permission to an interchange of airbrushes so easily
- The kit comes with a user guide DVD
- Includes 12 premium chef master paints
- Instructions can be unclear to beginner users
- The compressor is loud when working at high PSI
Master Airbrush TC-848 Air Compressor
Master Airbrush TC-848 Air Compressor is a high-performance four-cylinder piston machine with an air storage tank. It is suitable for workshops and airbrush studios. This baby has 1/4 power and provides a high air volume (2.75 cfm). It delivers up to 78 liters/minute of airflow. But that is not all it has to offer.
Master Airbrush is also portable, lightweight and compact. It is easy to carry around thanks to the built-in handle. I personally recommend this machine because of the precise air adjustment, automatic on/off feature and long lifespan. Thanks to the automatic shut off and turning on, this unit has an extended life.
It ensures zero pulsation and constant pressure and comes with a two-year warranty. The best part? It is supportive of all airbrush types, color media, paint, and applications. Advanced users and beginners will find this air compressor extremely easy to use. Now, let’s summarize the pros and cons before you buy.
- Pretty quiet in operation
- It comes with a 6-inch hose
- This model features a powerful 4 Piston mechanism
- Equipped with diaphragm pressure regulators
- Features a compact and lightweight design
- May be used on an array of airbrushing applications
- Equipped with a relatively large tank
- The alignment of the water tap & valve may turn out to be difficult
- Some customers detect tank leaking issue
- Low durability
Master Airbrush Multi-purpose G22 Airbrush Kit With Airbrush Depot Compressor
(Best Cheap Airbrush Compressor)
Master Airbrush G22 Multi-Purpose Airbrush Kit with Airbrush Depot Compressor is perfect for artists who are looking for a quality unit that offers precision. This compressor has quality precision parts that enable the machine to work efficiently while delivering accurate spray control and amazing atomization.
If you want a multi-purpose air compressor that works great with many surfaces and paint media, this model is right for you. Removing the nozzle and needle caps allows you to spray the complete range of texture and stippling effects. It has a 1/5 horsepower and provides more air volume and pressure than most airbrush compressors. It is portable and has a built-in carrying handle for simple use and storage.
- Durable design
- Reasonably priced
- Airbrush cleaning pot
- Airbrush cleaning solution
- Universal airbrush holder
- Perfect fit for beginners
- Made from high-quality components
- Has automatic shutoff and shut on feature
- A little bit hard when it comes to cleaning
- The instruction manual is confusing for beginners
Iwata-Medea IS 850 Studio Series Air Compressor
(Best Quality Airbrush Compressor)
As you can notice Iwata-Medea has some of the best compressors on the market. This one is named as IS 850 Studio Series Air Compressor and shuts itself off automatically when not in use just like most units by this brand. It requires no maintenance and has a built-in airbrush holder among other great features.
If you order this machine, you will get an oil-less piston air compressor with an extra hose for enhanced moisture separation. It has a moisture filter that prevents pulsation and mounted air pressure gauge. It is equipped with a high-strength polyurethane hose that matches Iwata airbrushes. If you want a super-powerful, compact, and reliable unit that delivers quiet operation and adjustable airflow, this is the one.
- Comes with regulator and hoses
- 1/8 power
- Compact design
- Very good quality machine
- Quiet operating
- Not contain true pressure adjustment gauge
- Becomes really warm on high pressure
- Not good enough for big projects
AW Pro Twin-Cylinder 1/3 HP Airbrush Compressor
(Best Quiet Airbrush Compressor)
AE Pro Twin-Cylinder 1/3 HP Airbrush Compressor is ROHS and CE approved. It has a stylish and portable shape with rubber feet to protect your work surface. If you want a lightweight airbrush compressor that weighs only 16 pounds with an oil-less design, this one is perfect for you. It is also versatile and compact.
It has a built-in easy-carry handle, 6ft power cord, 1/3 horsepower, and 3.5L tank. But here is the kicker. This baby ensures low power consumption and easy assemblance. It is perfectly suitable for food décor, nail and body art, and other usual airbrushing applications. It is highly recommended and safe to utilize.
- Comes with a big air tank capacity
- Less power consumption
- Best airbrush compressor for body printing
- Pressure range is pretty big and flexible
- Includes auto-start and stop option
- Maximum power mode provides up to 100 psi
- Ultra-quiet operation (59 dB)
- Noisy compressor
- Not portable design
- There is no specified warranty
Grex AC1810-A 1/8 HP 115V Piston Air Compressor
Grex portable AC1810-A 1/8 HP 115V is a piston air compressor that is perfect for hobbyists and artists on the go. It is both stylish and feature-rich. If you buy this baby, you will get a compact, lightweight and portable air compressor with a fast airbrush system setup. It is very easy to transport and move around.
If you are searching for an oil-less piston layout for a low maintenance operation, this is the perfect unit for you. It delivers high-performance which makes it suitable for professionals. It also features a set and lock regulator, a retractable handle, an auto shut-off & a built-in airbrush holder among other features.
- The compressor produces flexible pressure
- Work quietly
- The model is lightweight and easy to care around
- Comes with an integrated airbrush holder
- You will find that this model is thermally protected
- There is no external tank attached to this model which might be a problem
- Has a low quality plastic gauge
- Some of the users are complaining about the moisture problem
Paasche Airbrush DC850R Compressor for Airbrush
Paasche Airbrush DC850R Compressor for Airbrush is ultra-quiet with 3/4 horsepower and a 1.6-gallon tank. It also features a regulator and moisture trap and delivers consistent air pressure. Searching for a super quiet compressor that delivers steady pressure at 58 decibels? If yes, this is the right unit for you.
It has an oil-free design and a rust-free aluminum air reservoir with easy to use ball drain valve. It is just ideal for those who seek for something quiet but powerful. This baby can run up to 4 airbrushes at once or small touchup spray guns. Now, let’s summarize the main pros and cons before you make a decision.
- 3 cfm at 40 psi
- 5 cfm at 90 psi
- Works pretty quiet
- Good and heavy construction
- Tank refills automatically
- Very accurate
- Well balanced machine
- Some of the users report pressure regulation issues
Badger Air-Brush Co. TC910 Aspire Pro Compressor
(Best Airbrush Compressor for Beginners)
Looking for a maintenance-free, quiet, portable professional compressor that requires no lubrication?
If yes, look no further than Badger Air-Brush Co. TC910 Aspire Pro compressor. It offers amazing results, features an automatic shut-off switch activated by the use of an attached airbrush and a metal design. It also has an adjustable air regulator, pressure gauge and a built-in moisture filter and 2 airbrush holders.
The tank capacity is 1 gallon while the horsepower is 1/5. The maximum pressure of this unit is 57 psi. It weighs only 18 pounds and includes a 1/8th to 1/4th-inch hose adaptor. This unit is covered by a 1-year warranty. Other features include thermal overload protection and ETL certification. What are the cons?
- Good value for money
- Ideal for beginners
- Auto start/stop feature
- Quiet compressor
- Comes with a pressure gauge
- Integrated airbrush holders
- Unclear instruction manual
Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor with Tank
(Best Airbrush Compressor with Tank)
Paasche D3000R 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor with Tank is one of the customers’ favorite models out there. It has a 1/5 power and delivers up to 30 psi for heavy-duty tasks. It is intended for professional use without producing much noise. its performance is way better in comparison to other similar items.
If you want an airbrush compressor that is suitable for both professionals and beginners, this is the right choice for you. It is lightweight, quiet and portable. It features an automatic shut-off just like other units on this list. Meaning, it will automatically turn off when not in use. This extends the life of your machine.
- Easy to use even for beginners
- Great value for money
- Can be hooked to different airbrushes
- It does not heat up with continuous use
- Easy to store and very portable piece of machinery
- Not detailed manual
- The tank is a little bit small
- The pressure gauge can easily get bent
Paasche Airbrush D500 1/10 H.P. Air Compressor
(Best Airbrush Compressor for Artists)
Paasche Airbrush D500 1/10 H.P. Air Compressor is ideal for both seasonal hobbyists and professional artists. The max operating pressure of this baby is 35 psi depending on your airbrush. This unit is easy to carry and delivers quality results. However, it is also quiet and light and comes with advanced features.
Some of those features include 1/8 bps adaptor for competitor hoses, an auto shut-off that will make sure your compressor is out when not in use. This also expands the life of your device It also comes with a moisture trap and a regulator. Now, let’s summarize some of the key pros and cons of this machine.
- Suitable for use with all airbrushes
- Thermal overload protected
- Airbrush compressor pressure switch
- Moisture and regulator trap
- Weak pump
PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor Tankless Oil-less 1/5 HP
(Best Airbrush Compressor without Tank)
Trusted by professionals, PointZero Portable Airbrush Air Compressor Tankless Oil-less 1/5 HP machine is highly suitable for professionals and enthusiastic hobbyists. The name of this unit says it all. It offers lasting and impressive performance. It is maintenance-free, durable and made of top-quality materials.
This baby has 1/5 horsepower and around 1.0 cfm with a cool, super-quiet operation (55dB). It is also CE certified and thermally-protected. If you order this unit, you will get a convenient tankless compressor with rubber feet to protect your work surface and a built-in easy-carry handle that enables easy moving.
Seven e-books for beginners are also included in your purchase. If you want a quiet yet powerful device with precise air output and many accessories, intended for professionals, this model is perfect for you.
- Powerful airbrush compressor
- Easy to utilize
- Very good pressure
- Automatic start/stop feature
- Built-in water trap
- Oil-free pump
- Portable design
- Rubber feet for stability
- Water trap highlight doesn’t work great
- Does not last as long
- Water trap gets filled quickly
Silentaire Sil-Air 50-24 Silent Running Airbrush Compressor
Last but not least, the Silentaire Sil-Air 50-24 Silent Running Airbrush Compressor makes no noise and is fully-automatic. Highlighted features of this compressor include a tank, pressure regulator with a built-in moisture trap and a line pressure gauge, tank pressure gauge, air intake filter, safety valve, and a handle.
It is portable, reliable and durable. You can choose between a 220V/60Hz or 220V/50Hz model. The max output of this machine is 2.15 cfm while the max pressure is 114 psi. It is super quiet and has a reservoir capacity of 6 gallons. Now, let’s take a look at the most important pros of this baby since it has no cons.
- Automatic pressure regulation
- Produce low noise
- Portable design
- Durable construction
Airbrush Compressor Types
You can choose between three main types of airbrush compressors including diaphragm compressors, oil-less pistons, and piston compressors. Let’s check them in detail, determine which one suits you best.
This type is usually chosen by new users. Diaphragm compressors use a pulsating membrane in order to compress the air and run it continuously without an air tank. Usually, they run a pressure up to 40 psi.
This type of machine uses 1 or 2 pistons to compress air. They can compress more air than diaphragm compressors can. With a few pistons, these units can run multiple airbrushes at once. They are attached to an air reservoir because they deliver such an excess of air.
Some pistons operate on oil. The oil serves as a lubricant to lower noise from the running pistons. Oil-less pistons, on the other hand, produce more noise but provide less maintenance. This type of piston is safer for the body and nail painting, as well as art decorating food.
How to Use Airbrush Compressor?
Using an airbrush compressor is not that hard. Just follow these simple steps and you will do just fine.
The first step is easy. Plug your machine and remove the lid. Drop some amount of color that suits your work into your airbrush. Then, place back the lid on your airbrush with care.
Start out the airbrush compressor by pressing the starting switch. Once you do this, your unit will make a noise. It means that your unit started to work. Turn on the knob located on your airbrush.
This is going to ensure an evenly painting process. The stronger you turn the knob, the darker your painting will be.
When your job is done, remove any excess amount of color from the reservoir. You can just spill it out or use a tissue to remove the leftovers. In order to take better care of your machine, I suggest that you use a small brush and cleaning water to clean your tank. Make sure that there is no ink left in your reservoir.
After, pull out the cleaning water. Turn on your machine and perform compressing until the air does not provide color anymore. After, unplug the power cord and prepare your airbrush compressor for storage.
How to Fix Airbrush Compressor?
Just like any other device, airbrush compressors can malfunction. I will present to you some of the most common airbrush issues and main solutions. Hopefully, they will be able to help you solve your problem.
Airbrush Compressor Problems
Problem 1: Airbrush compressor is not turning on
If you face this problem, first, make sure that your machine is plugged right. It might be full of air, so try spraying it. Take the moisture trap and tank and drain all the water. Leave the compressor plugged in for around 30 minutes and unscrew the hose. It could be overheated. So, it will turn on alone afterward. If your airbrush is still not turning on, use your warranty and call the seller. It could be an electrical matter.
Problem 2: Excessive noise from the airbrush compressor
This issue occurs due to wrong mounting, loose parts, problems with pistons and troubled crankcase.
If you encounter this problem, check the cooler, belt, clamps, flywheel, pulleys and accessories for any looseness. If you find some, just tighten it. If your compressor is wrongly mounted, refasten the bolts.
See if the vibration pads need to be installed or replaced. Also, check if new bearings or oil is required.
Problem 3: Airbrush compressor not spraying paint
If your machine is not spraying paint, it could be because of a blocked nozzle. However, it could also be thick paint, inadequate air pressure or a loose needle chucking nut. If you face this issue, clean and soak the nozzle in order to unblock it. You can also try to thin your paint with a reducer & try spraying again.
If it is still not spraying paint, check if your needle-chucking nut is loose and tighten it. In case your issue continues, try increasing the air pressure to make it function. It could be too low to atomize the paint. If your issue is something else than you cannot find in my section, please read airbrush problems and solutions for more issues.
How to Clean an Airbrush Compressor?
Cleaning your airbrush compressor properly and regularly can prevent issues like clogging and disrupted work from happening. However, cleaning the airbrush compressor consists of multiple steps. That is why I recommend that you watch video below.
Airbrush Compressor Maintenance
Instead of being lazy, make sure to clean your compressor between switching paints every single time. It is important to clean it when putting up your brush as well. I believe that proper maintenance is the key to a long lifespan and uninterrupted work. Clean your brush, needle, and crown at least once a month.
Airbrush Compressor Oil
Using the right oil and changing it occasionally ensures a long life for your airbrush compressor. Please check this guide on how to choose the right oil for your airbrush compressor and why is it so important.
What is the Quietest Airbrush Compressor?
Iwata-Medea IS 800 Studio Series Air Compressor and PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor are two of the quietest airbrush compressors on the market. PointZero 1/5 HP Airbrush Compressor is very quiet too. If you want an airbrush that offers precise results and purrs like a kitten, choose one of these three.
Can You Take an Airbrush Compressor on a Plane?
You can take an electric air compressor on a plane as checked baggage. The air tank should be empty. Also, your unit should be transported with the reservoir in an open position. The gauge should register no pressure in the reservoir. Keep in mind that air compressors powered by gasoline are not allowed.
Can You Use Any Air Compressor for Airbrushing?
You can try, however, what is the point if you can not control the psi? You will need a dedicated unit for airbrushing. You will want to operate with a psi range of 7 to 40, at least 20. Check my comparison chart for the best machine recommendations and do not forget to read their detailed reviews before buying.
Airbrush Compressor With or Without a Tank?
After hours of research, I have come to the conclusion that a compressor with a tank is better. You will get a steady flow of air from the reservoir, not impulses from the compressor. It keeps the flow uniform and even. This is the important difference between airbrush compressor tank vs tankless that matters.
Airbrush Compressor vs Regular Compressor?
According to online reviews, I have found out that some people like airbrush compressors while others think of them as useless. Customers claim that airbrush compressors are NOT that quiet as described. In fact, they are louder than a household compressor. Diaphragm devices do not have a pressurized tank.
Meaning, in order to continue using the brush, they need to be turned on constantly. This is why people find regular compressors more suitable for airbrushing needs than dedicated airbrush compressors. Just make sure that you have the right connectors to connect the compressor to the brush and you are good.
Airbrush Propellant vs Compressor
Airbrush propellant delivers a pressure source from different types of airbrushes, air tools, and sprayers when a compressor is not available.
Airbrush compressor works by transferring steam of fast-moving air via a venturi.
This creates a suction that enables the paint to be pulled from an interconnected reservoir at normal atmospheric pressure. The paint is moved onto paper and other different surfaces.
If you want a high-quality airbrush compressor that delivers precise results and quiet operation, I kindly suggest that you choose PointZero Ultra Compact Air Compressor. Another impressive model that is also quiet and provides high-quality, precise and great results is the Master Airbrush TC-40T Air Compressor.
However, if you are on a budget, I recommend the Master Airbrush Multi-purpose G22 Airbrush Kit With Airbrush Depot Compressor. It is reasonably priced and ideal for beginners. Hopefully, my buyer’s guide and product reviews can help you choose what is best for you. Feel free to ask questions if you have any.