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Are you an artist that enjoys painting various artifacts? Then, a reliable airbrush air compressor is a must-have tool for you.
These tools enable you to draw illustrations on any object with high precision and control.
Moreover, you can use them to paint on different materials such as clothes, vehicle bodies, and various other surfaces.
Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, you’re going to easily find the model you need on this list of the best airbrush air compressors.
Airbrush Air Compressors – Comparison Table
The 7 Best Airbrush Air Compressors 2019
1. MASTER G22 Airbrush Compressor
This multi-purpose airbrush kit strikes a perfect balance between quality, precision, and affordability.
It runs on a 1/5 HP motor that gives you maximum versatility and enables you to work with many surfaces and paint media.
The MASTER G22 has top-notch atomization that ensures precision during spraying jobs.
To get the complete range of texture and stippling effects, you can completely remove the nozzle and needle caps of the MASTER G22 –this also gives it the advantage of providing more air volume and pressure than most airbrush compressors.
Finally, the G22 is a portable unit and comes with a built-in carrying handle to allow you to transport and store it easily.
- Durable design
- Reasonable price
- Airbrush cleaning pot and solution
- Universal airbrush holder
- Cleaning is a hassle
The MASTER G22 is the best mini airbrush compressor you can get for the money as it gives you value for every penny that you spend. Although its tank’s capacity is very limited, it’s good for the small jobs it’s designed to take on.
2. Paasche D3000R Airbrush Compressor
When you are deciding to buy an air compressor, you will definitely find that the Paasche name is always associated with good quality.
This reputation comes from the positive feedback that this air compressor manufacturer gets from its satisfied users of all of its products.
The Paasche D3000R is no different than its counterparts.
The 13 x 6 x 13 inches and 11.15-pound lightweight air compressor is reliable and durable. But that doesn’t compromise its stealth as it’s really quiet at 47 decibels.
The D3000R comes with an air tank that provides a better and constant airflow making your airbrushing way easier. When its air tank is running low, the D3000R air compressor will automatically toggle until the airbrush refills.
And although it’s designed for professional use, the Paasche D3000R is very user-friendly so that an airbrushing beginner can use it as well.
It can provide air pressure up to 35 PSI depending on what type of airbrush is used. It can also run at 40 PSI and then shuts off until it needs more air pressure.
You will find the D3000R equipped with everything you need for more consistent and better spraying.
It’s equipped with a pressure regulator and moisture traps, in addition to its mounted one-gallon storage tank.
And the best part is that the D3000R doesn’t need a lot of maintenance because it is an oil-free unit.
- Straightforward operation that beginners can work with
- Great value for the money
- Compatible with multiple airbrushes
- Doesn’t heat up with continuous use
- Easy to transport and store
- Manual isn’t that helpful
- Flimsy pressure gauge
The Paasche D3000R is a fully-integrated airbrush compressor that comes with many features and at a super affordable price. It’s truly a bang for your buck.
3. Iwata-Medea IS-972 Studio Series Power Jet Pro Airbrush Compressor
The Iwata-Medea Studio Series power jet allows you to regulate its airflow with absolute ease and features two air pressure regulators.
Provided with this capability, you will get to regulate the compressor’s airflow between two different airbrushing work stations all at the same time.
To enhance its durability and for safety purposes as well, the renowned Smart Technology that is able to detect when you are not using it and shuts it off automatically.
Moreover, the Iwata-Medea Studio Series power jet runs on a 1/6 HP motor and a powerful twin-pump mechanism.
You will not face any issues with power or performance while using this air compressor that is enhanced even further by its 2-liter reservoir tank.
The Iwata-Medea Studio Series power jet, like all leading compressor models, comes complete with other accessories that you might need.
You get an air hose and adapters so you can hook it up to any other brand of airbrush.
- Quiet operation
- Allows you to perform two independent air pressure adjustments simultaneously and supports two airbrushes
- Produces a lot of power for its size
- Professional-grade operation
- Equipped with separate air filters for each piston
- Durable construction
- Prone to heat up
- The airbrush holders are made for only one style of airbrushes
- Can only be used if the airbrush is placed in backward
- Hefty price tag
Although operating the Iwata-Medea IS-972 Studio Series takes a little getting used to, once you do, you’ll absolutely love how professional, durable, and efficient this unit is.
However, you should prepare to pay a little extra for the superb performance and features it has to offer. And by all means, it’s worth the money as it’s a great long-term investment.
4. Badger TC910 Airbrush Compressor
The Badger TC910 is a reliable, maintenance-free, and portable compressor that you can use for professional jobs.
It comes with an attached airbrush and a metal design that activates the automatic shut-off switch and provides you with a seamless experience.
Moreover, it’s equipped with an adjustable regulator, a pressure gauge, a built-in moisture filter, and two airbrush holders –a fully integrated unit.
Its 1-gallon tank size combined with its 1/5 HP motor that produces 57 PSI maximum pressure makes it a suitable airbrush compressor for miniature painting.
Furthermore, the Badger TC910 comes with a 1/8th to 1/4th-inch hose adaptor, ETL certification, thermal overload protection, and a year’s warranty.
- Good value for the money
- Suitable for beginners
- Auto start/stop feature
- Equipped with a pressure gauge
- Comes with airbrush holders
- Instruction manual isn’t that helpful
If you’re looking for a super budget-friendly airbrush air compressor that still delivers great performance and extras, you’ll find no better bang for your buck than the Badger TC910.
5. Paasche DC850R Airbrush Compressor
With a very quiet operation at only 58 decibels and high capacity, the Paasche DC850R can deliver steady air pressure.
This is thanks to the powerful 3/4 HP motor and the 1.6-gallon tank that enables it to run for extended periods of time and aid you in heavy use jobs. Moreover, it enables you to run up to four airbrushes at the same time, which makes it ideal for a variety of projects.
It runs on an oil-free pump that requires little to maintenance and a rust-free aluminum tank that’s easy to drain.
Both its operation and maintenance are easy, making it a good choice for beginners as much as it is for more experienced artists.
- Strong pressure levels
- Quiet operation
- Solid construction
- Automatic tank refilling
- Accurate and well-balanced performance
- Pressure regulation is subpar
If you’re a dedicated artist, you’ll really enjoy the high-quality construction of this airbrush compressor, as well as its durability and great capacity. However, you should keep an eye on the pressure as the regulator may not be the most reliable.
6. Master TC-848 Airbrush Compressor
If you were looking for an air compressor that can be great for airbrushing, you probably came across the name Master, which is one of the leading manufacturers of airbrush equipment today.
When you buy the Master Airbrush Model TC-848 air compressor, you subscribe to getting a calm and quiet operation as well as durable quality and reliable performance.
Master offers a 2-year warranty on the TC-848 air compressor.
Moreover, this unit is also compact and is easily transportable with 16.3 x 14.4 x 9.6-inch dimensions and a net weight of 21.1lbs with a built-in handle to make it easy to carry it anywhere.
Its motor is able to deliver a quarter of horsepower, which is strong enough to get an air volume of roughly about 2.6 CFM at an air pressure of 60 PSI. This is 25 PSI less than the maximum air pressure power of this unit, however.
The TC-848 also features a double switch for auto on/off shutoff. The first switch position allows the air tank to reach its maximum pressure of 85 PSI, the excess pressure is then released by the automatic safety release valve.
On the other hand, the second switch position is an automatic turn on preset for when the air tank pressure gets below 43 PSI, and an automatic turn of preset when the air tank pressure reaches 57 PSI.
This works on reducing the running time, consequently reducing the wear and tear on the motor and producing less heat-related moisture.
- Quiet operation
- Features a robust 4-piston mechanism
- Equipped with a 6-inch hose
- Comes with diaphragm pressure regulators
- Lightweight and compact design
- Aligning the water tap and valve is a real hassle
- Tank may leak sometimes
- Not very durable
Although the Master TC-848 isn’t that affordable, it’s not durable. However, if you’re looking for lots of ergonomics and extra features in a compact package, it’ll suit you quite well.
7. Grex AC1810-A Airbrush Compressor
The oil-less Grex AC1810-A compressor provides you with the easiest handling, maneuverability, and no need for maintenance.
Its high performance is thanks to the piston style design that enables it to take on a wide range of projects. However, with a 1/8 HP motor, it’s not powerful enough to tackle heavy-duty tasks.
The Grex AC1810-A is pretty easy to use and comes with a locking regulator that keeps it on the setting you need.
Moreover, the carrying handle makes it even easier to transport as well as retract when not in use.
And to be money and energy-efficient, the Grex AC1810-A shuts off when the unit is not in use.
- Produces flexible pressure
- Very quiet operation
- Lightweight and portable
- Integrated airbrush holder
- Thermal overload protection
- Doesn’t come with an external tank
- The gauge is made from low-quality plastic
- Drainage isn’t reliable
The Grex AC1810-A is a good choice if you’re looking for something compact and lightweight. However, it’s not the most powerful option. It’s a little overpriced for its features and quality, but its portability is hard to compete with.
How to Pick and Airbrush Compressor?
An airbrush air compressor is an essential piece of equipment when you’re doing airbrushing jobs. But these can be a little expensive, so you should research your decision well before you make your purchase.
If you’re still not sure how to evaluate the unit you’re considering, here are the main things you should look into before you decide it’s the one for you.
How powerful your air compressor is will determine the run time of the unit, its control, and what it can be used for.
The average wattage on an airbrush compressor should be around 150 to 200 watts. This number plays a huge role in determining the price of the airbrush compressor.
The capacity of an air compressor determines the run time, as well as the power it can hold.
Depending on the type of airbrush you choose, the tank capacity may be an important aspect to consider –but some of the models out there don’t run on a tank at all.
Usually, the capacity of an air compressor is measured in liters, but some other measurements like gallons or ounces could be used.
Needless to say, larger capacities mean heavier devices. So if you want something that’s easily transported, you should go for a model with a smaller capacity.
The auto-stop function is especially useful for airbrush compressors. This feature stops the operation of the unit once specific air pressure is reached or when the compressor hasn’t been handled in a while.
Its main value lies in the fact that it maintains the performance of your compressor at a top-notch level while saving you both energy and money.
How to Connect Airbrush Hose to the Compressor?
More often than not, you’ll need an adapter of some kind to connect the airbrush hose to the airbrush compressor.
Some models come with their own range of adapters, while others require a separate purchase. And if you want to use a wider range of brushes, you’ll definitely have to buy your own adapters.
You can find those at most art stores or hardware stores. But you should know the type of adapter you need and its proper fitting as the wrong one can cause issues with the pressure of airbrushing.
How to Remove Moisture Trap on Airbrush Air Compressor?
It’s normal for the pain to mix in with the moisture when you’re using an airbrush compressor, but you should know how to fix this issue.
Firstly, you should try to keep water away from your acrylic paint at all times –especially if you’re working in a humid space.
Moreover, you can make use of a moisture trap. Most airbrush compressors already come with these, but you can add one yourself if it’s not there.
Moisture traps collect moisture from your airbrush compressor and allow you to get rid of it through the drain cock or by detaching the trap from the device.
Although all of the seven recommendations are the best airbrush air compressors on the market, I’d still favor a couple over the others.
For example, the MASTER G22 hits the perfect combination of affordability, power, and reliability of performance.
But if you’re looking for heavy use and extended periods of operation, then go for the Paasche D3000R.
Finally, if you’re looking for a very powerful motor, then you should go for the Paasche DC850R or the Master TC-848 if you want something more affordable.